Tag Archives: Pgcps Mess

Angry parents call for PGCPS CEO to step down

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Prince George’s County NAACP President Bob Ross addresses reporters following a meeting with Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford about grade-change allegations in the county. (Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post)

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — Parents in Prince George’s County are calling for Prince George’s County Public School CEO, Dr. Kevin Maxwell, to step down after an independent audit revealed thousands of students had their grades changed to boost graduation rates.
This comes after Governor Larry Hogan held an hour-long meeting with the Prince George’s County NAACP and parents about the audit’s findings.

“The CEO must go! He does not care about our children. The CEO must go!.”, shouted a parent during a news conference following Governor Hogan’s meeting, calling for accountability in the grading scandal that has rocked PGCPS.

“That investigation turned up wide-spread corruption and wrongdoing.”, said Governor Hogan.

An independent audit commissioned by the Maryland State Board of Education found that thousands of graduates from 2016 and 2017 had failing grades for at least one quarter, which were later changed after the cutoff dates.
It further stated that over 150 students graduated in 2017, despite having over 50 absences for the school year.

Yolanda Rogers is a parent with five children who have attended PGCPS schools, of whom three have graduated.

She said the grading scandal has had a huge impact on her kids.

“I have two children that’s graduated with A’s in English, B’s in Math and when they tested in college, they tested for remedial English and remedial Math. That’s problematic for me.”, said Rogers.

Many are now calling for Prince George’s County Executive, Rushern Baker, to get rid of the current chairman and superintendent.

In a statement, John White, spokesperson for PGCPS pointed out that the school system was not invited to today’s meeting, but says Dr. Kevin Maxwell and his leadership team have taken the state audit findings and recommendations very seriously.

PGCPS has until the end of the month to respond to the audit and submit a plan of action.

Officials from Prince George’s County Public Schools have said that an action plan is in the works to improve grading and graduation certification.

County Executive, Rushern Baker could not be reached for comment.

via DCW50 >>> Read more >>> Fox5 DC maryland-map

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BOE Member Sonya Williams In major water as Arun Puracken joins the 2018 race – as people’s choice – District 9

1EBB8BAA-93DA-4159-A685-4B2D3B0B31B4.jpegWe finally have a Teacher Running for Board of Education. This is the way to go Mr. Arun Puracken. Education matters and it is the key to life. It should matter now more than ever.

Mr. Arun Puracken school board campaign launch was more lit than some delegate, Senate, and Council campaign launches. There is lots of love and support from the community and the board members themselves starting with Mr. Edward Burroughs III, Mr. David Murray and Ms. Raaheela Ahmed our “rebellious, fearless leaders”.

we encourage more teachers and others to step up to run for various political offices and lead the way forward in Maryland. This is one way to shake up the state and the county Leadership in order to make a difference in the future.

Nominate a Leader to be Featured in Education Matters

Do you know a leader in your community supporting our schools and making a difference in the lives of children both in and out of school? We are seeking nominations for individuals to be highlighted in our Leadership Spotlight segment. Nominees could be principals, superintendents, teachers, teacher assistants, guidance counselors, parents, students, business leaders, community volunteers, afterschool providers, and more.

Here are Some pictures from Mr. Arun Puracken Friday December 8th, 2017 event.

 

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PGCPS Administrator on Leave After Charge He Chased Student for Littering

B678CA98-D9EB-48DB-A296-D8EDD6496E71An administrator for Prince George’s County Public Schools is on administrative leave after he was accused of chasing a student and grabbing her because she allegedly threw garbage out of a school bus window and it hit his car.

Associate Superintendent Mark Fossett is on administrative leave pending an investigation, officials confirmed.

“We expect all of our administrators to behave professionally, which is why we’re investigating,” PGCPS spokesman John White said.

A source with knowledge of the investigation told News4 that on Friday, Dec. 1 a student at Wise High School in Upper Marlboro was headed to school on a bus when she threw some trash, possibly an empty potato chip bag, out of a window.

Fossett happened to be driving behind the bus. The trash hit his car, White said school officials were told.
Once the bus got to the school, Fossett got on board and yelled at the students, the source said.

The teen who allegedly littered got so upset that she jumped off the bus and started running to the school.
Fossett then chased her, and the student said he grabbed her by the arm, the source said. He denied that he grabbed her, according to the source.

White declined to comment on the specific charges and said an investigation is underway.

via NBC4

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PGCPS student robbed after being dropped off at wrong bus stop

pgcps-busesLANDOVER, Md. – A Prince George’s County middle school student says after orientation day at his new school, his bus driver dropped him off at the wrong stop and he was robbed of his new Nike sneakers and cell phone.

The seventh grader’s mother says her son was left at Kenilworth Avenue and Eastern Avenue on Tuesday, which is nearly two miles from their home in Fairmount Heights.

Tameika Jackson didn’t want her 12-year-old son to be identified, but she let him speak with FOX 5 about what happened. He says a group of men approached him soon after he got off the bus.

“This one guy, he came up to me and then he said, ‘Give me your phone and then your shoes,'” the boy said. “And they were at least 20 years old, so I didn’t know what else to do. So I gave them my shoes and my phone. And after that, there was this one girl at the [Metro] bus stop, I walked up to her and asked her if I could use the phone to call my mom.”

The boy said he had told the bus driver where he lived, but was dropped off there anyway. Jackson says she is furious.

“I picked him up, he was barefoot, no shoes on,” she said. “And there was a bunch of junkies out there. He was upset, he was shaking and I just told him everything was going to be fine, but I will get to the bottom of it. And I brought him home. He says he doesn’t want to go back to school tomorrow.”

Jackson says she called FOX 5 because she couldn’t reach anyone at G. James Gholson Middle School in Landover where her son attends.

A Prince George’s County Public Schools spokesperson says they are now investigating what happened and alerted the school’s principal to the situation.

The principal later called Jackson and apologized, saying she will personally make sure the boy is on the correct bus headed to the correct location on Wednesday and in the days to come. The transportation director also contacted Jackson by phone Tuesday night.

Jackson says she never got bus information in the mail prior to the start of school, so her son’s father drove the boy to school Tuesday and spoke to school staff about which bus he was supposed to be on.

She says the child got on the bus he was told to ride. Jackson says she has an older child who attended Gholson and he got dropped off at a bus stop two blocks from their home.

“I’m to the point now that I don’t want to go to work the rest of the week because I want to make sure that he feels comfortable getting on the bus and getting off the bus,” Jackson said.

School officially starts on Wednesday in Prince George’s County, but some students had orientation on Tuesday.

via Fox5DC

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State lawmakers from Prince George’s seek broad probe of graduation rates

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Members of the Prince George’s County’s legislative delegation joined the call Thursday for a state investigation into charges that county school officials doctored grades to increase promotion and graduation rates.

In a letter dated Thursday, the delegates called upon state Superintendent of Schools Karen B. Salmon to examine the claims. The letter was signed by Dels. Jerry Walker and Geraldine Valentino-Smith, a Bowie resident and vice chairwoman of the delegation.

The claims were made by four members of the county school board, including David Murray and Raaheela Ahmed of Bowie.

“Given that the Maryland State Department of Education has oversight over public school districts in Maryland and the educational interests of the State, we respectfully request the resources of the Maryland State Department Education for purposes of an in-depth audit and further investigation of such serious allegations,” the delegates wrote.

The allegations of grade tampering came to light this week when county schools CEO Kevin Maxwell revealed that four school board sent a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan, asking him to conduct an investigation into possible irregularities. He dismissed the claims as “politically motivated” and revealed that a similar probe conducted last fall turned up no evidence of grade-tampering. However, Dr. Maxwell has refused to sit down with reporters as such fox for on camera interview despite repeated requests.

At a jam-packed and often heated school board meeting Thursday night, during which the $1.9 billion school budget was passed, Maxwell repeated his defense of the school system.

“The false allegations about our graduation rates strike at everything that Prince George’s schools stand for – past, present and future,” Maxwell said. “These allegations denigrate why teachers teach and why principals lead. They are a personal attack on every teacher, counselor administrator and employee in this system.”

In their letter, the delegates said the state probe of anonymous allegations last fall did not go far enough because the school personnel interviewed in that investigation were selected by Maxwell.

“It has come to our attention that a high level of concern exists for those schools that experienced a significant change in graduation rate or that have a significant disparity between graduation rates and the performance of students on high school standardized tests,” delegates wrote. “We are also aware that the local change in grading policy may be causing both confusion and disagreement among teachers and parents and this issue could certainly be clarified through a careful MSDE review.”

County officials adopt slightly increased budget for FY 2018
The other nine school board members and a group of county high school principals released statements this week denying the charges and supporting Maxwell.

But Ahmed and Murray stood by their claims, saying Thursday they’d heard and seen enough evidence from system employees to indicate that something was amiss with the grading system. Hogan’s office has forwarded the letter to state education officials.

“There was enough information that I had received – testimony, having seen documents – that there convinced me there was reason for some of these things to be true,” Ahmed said. “I had reason to expect issues – widespread issues.”

Tracie Miller, principal of Gwynn Park High School, was joined by several other high school principals at the board meeting in Upper Marlboro as she spoke out in defense of her colleagues at the meeting.

“We, as high school principals, are extremely offended about the allegations and hurtful accusations that we pressure teachers to to give students grades in order to (increase) the graduation rate,” she said. Such claims, she added, “stain all of us.”

Many parents have come forward with information that their children grades appear suspicious after receiving an A in their report card. Other students who skipped school for many days got A’s and B’s as part of their grades in a shocking revelation to make the adminstration look good.

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Students say PGCPS administrator bullied them at Oxon Hill graduation

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Dr. Monique Davis is the school’s deputy superintendent

UPPER MARLBORO, MD (WUSA9) – Cell phone video posted to Twitter showed graduates swaying hand in hand and they sing their school song.

It was an all-out kumbaya moment at Oxon Hill High School’s graduation Wednesday but not everyone’s feeling the love. Two students said they were bullied by administrators.

Monet Key-Passmore was the class president, Destiny Richardson was the student government association president; between the two of them there are a bunch of awards and countless volunteer hours.

They were left off the speaking program at commencement, so they asked school board member Ed Burroughs for help.

He said the principal gave him the green light to share his time with the ladies.

“We walked up and I was going to start my speech and the mic wasn’t working,” recalled Key-Passmore.

But this was no technical glitch because it happened twice. WUSA9 obtained cell phone video of the awkward moment. Then the graduates said it got worse.

“Dr. Monique Davis charged at me and said ‘sit down and don’t say nothing, don’t get up,” Richardson recalled, “every time I would attempt to she would cut her eyes at me to intimidate me and that’s when I got emotional and started crying.”

Dr. Monique Davis is the school’s deputy superintendent who did not return our calls for comment. But the graduates said more than an apology, they want to make sure this doesn’t happen to another graduating class.

“We have employees on leave for similar behavior and I just can’t believe we would treat children this way I’m very disappointed in Monique Davis, the deputy superintendent,” said Edward Burroughs, “this is unacceptable!”

Burroughs later told said he feels like the school department is retaliating. He tried to attend another graduation ceremony Thursday when he was surrounded by police. He said they were directed by the superintendent to arrest him if he approached the stage or administrators. A school spokesperson agreed it sounded unusual but has yet to offer an official response.

The school department did release the following statement about the Oxon Hill graduation:

“High school graduation ceremonies in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) celebrate students and their accomplishments. The ceremonies are planned by school administrators in advance with the help of a standardized template. Speakers are notified well in advance. Changes or additions to the program should be approved by school administrators well before the graduation ceremony. Day-of requests cannot be accommodated to ensure the ceremony remains on schedule and aligns with the printed program.”

via Wusa9

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Dr.Kevin Maxwell is Said to have ordered police to arrest School Board Member Edward Burroughs III.

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PGCPS Parents protest over District Heights Elementary School air quality concerns

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Parents protest over District Heights Elementary School air quality concerns (ABC7)

“Repair our schools! Save our children!”

Those were the cries for help from parents, students, and community leaders outside District Heights Elementary School Monday night.

“I am not here to point fingers at anybody because I just want to call attention to the situation because we do want what’s best for our children,” said Lisa Gordon, whose nine-year-old son had to vacate his classroom because of problems with the air inside it.

On Monday morning, Prince George’s County School District CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell toured the school. The tour followed outrage from parents who claimed their kids and teachers were getting sick because of the air.

Testing confirmed there was inadequate ventilation, so several fans have been replaced.

“He guaranteed me today that it was 100-percent safe for the kids to come back to school,” said parent Phyllis Wright.

But the parents who showed up to Monday’s protest are still concerned their kids are in a school that is still being tested.

“Well it makes me feel sad because this is the school where our children have to come,” said Gordon.

Via ABC7

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