Tag Archives: PGCPS

PGCPS School Board Millenials

Published on Jul 12, 2017The Prince George’s Board of Education has three of the youngest school board members in Maryland. Learn who influenced them to run for office & what they consider important issues in the educational system. Patricia Villone reports.

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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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Drama At Prince George’s County High School Graduations – Sign the Petition

Find out exactly who was behind the disruption, why and what has been done as a result on this installment of Politics963 with Harold Fisher.

Recently there was drama at two area high school graduations involving Prince George’s School Board Member Edward Burroughs.

Student leaders were selected to speak at Oxon Hill graduation but the mics were cut off. Burroughs forfeited his time to speak so that the students could. They were never given the opportunity to speak to their classmates during the ceremony.

At the Potomac High School’s graduation Burroughs was surrounded by police officers upon entering the ceremony at Showcase Arena. He left without incident.

via WHUR RADIO

>>>Listen to the entire WHUR Radio podcast here

Sign the Petition >>> Demand an Apology from PGCPS Deputy Superintendent and CEO >> Sign up here

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Prince George’s School Board Member Edward Burroughs with Radio Host Harold Fisher for WHUR.

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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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Structure of the PGCPS board of education debated by members

rushernsegunkevin-1050x722By YASMINE ASKARI

Members revisited the conversation of Prince George’s County Schools Board of Education’s hybrid structure during its work session last Thursday. The discussion first focused on reasons to oppose an amendment that would change the board’s ability to override the recommendation of the county’s school CEO and then shifted into a discussion of the accountability of appointed officials.

The current 14-member board is a hybrid of four appointed officials, nine elected and one student member, with both the current chairman of the board and the vice chairman of the board appointed officials.

At Thursday’s session, board members were presented with an amendment that would change the supermajority vote requirement to override the CEO’s recommendation from a two thirds vote amongst board members to a three-fifths vote.

Curtis Valentine, a member of a board subcommittee, recommended the board oppose the amendment based on the committee’s understanding that there will be a review of legislation in the coming year that will allow board members and the community to comment on every aspect of legislation related to the board’s hybrid structure and not just the three specific changes.

While the board Chairman Segun Eubanks was quick to point out the board’s tendency to vote unilaterally and dub the current hybrid structure “one of the most important and profound school governance experiments in the nation” he was quickly rebutted by board member Edward Burroughs III.

Burroughs contended that the voting rule had made a difference.

“Last year, [board member Beverly] Anderson chaired the budget committee and worked with the administration for a long time on the budget. And we had a vote to put math and reading specialists at the bottom 25 of our schools and we got eight votes. That failed by one vote,” Burroughs said. “If it was three fifths, those students today would have math and reading intervention that they desperately need. So that makes a difference to me. I don’t care about process and waiting for a report. Those kids needed that service right there and then, immediately.”

He then shifted the conversation to critique Eubanks praise of the board’s structure.

“When we talk about this being this world renowned structure, I disagree,” Burroughs said and pointed out that chair of the board Eubanks familial relationship with County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) is a problem.

“When the county executive determines to appoint his former brother-in-law to chair of the board, that is a problem. That is not democracy, that is not good for the system, that is not good for checks and balances,” Burroughs said. “And it makes a difference. When you have non-elected board members, and four appointed board members, and we are being told that we cannot elect our own leadership, that’s crazy.”

Burroughs went on to critique both the board chairman and vice chairwoman’s management of the Head Start program.

“If you look at Head Start, we were not able to hold our board chair and vice chair accountable for their actions or misactions on behalf of those kids because of this structure. It means something to me that all four labor unions are agreeing on this. There’s a reason they all support this.”

Burroughs was hastily thanked for his comments by Eubanks who proceeded to defend himself.

“I’ve been an educational professional for 35 years. I’ve read more books in education than some folks around here have read any books about any subjects in their entire lives. I have committed my life to social justice and I don’t care who I’m related to, or was related to, or was ever related to, I am one of the most qualified educators in this county, and in this state, and in this country,” Eubanks said. “I will stand by records. I will hold up against anybody on this board or anywhere else.”

It was somewhat of an abrupt turn from a work session that started with discussion on legislation, but other members began to voice their views, including Anderson and student board member Juwan Blocker.

While the board ruled to oppose the amendment, the conversation on the board’s hybrid structure was barely settled.

“This hybrid board has covered up a lot of nepotism in Prince George’s County,” Blocker said. “We need to be the ones who decide our leadership.”

Via The Enquirer Gazette

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Board member Juwan Blocker – “This hybrid board has covered up a lot of nepotism in Prince George’s County,” Blocker said. “We need to be the ones who decide our leadership.”

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Board member Edward Burroughs III.

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Prince George’s Co. bus drivers worried office infested with mold

IMG_9153PRINCE GEORGE’S CO., MD (WUSA9) – Bus drivers with Prince George’s County Public Schools say the office they check in and out of every day is making them sick. Many are worried the building is infested with mold.

“It’s unbearable. When you go in there you just smell some kind of weird odor”, said driver Kirt Williams. “And then after that your throats starts scratching and your nose feels kinda funny. And with me, my eyes get real watery.”

The building is a temporary trailer, but Driver Tujuana Bigelow said it has been there for about twenty years old.

“It’s hard- our foreman is in such bad shape being in that building all day long he was in the emergency room last night,” she said. “So I mean we can’t continue to work in this environment.

One hundred and eight bus drivers go in and out of the building each day.

Officials with the PGCPS said the building had been tested earlier this week to confirm whether there is mold.

Prince George’s County School Board member Edward Burroughs III said he’s been waiting at the site all week for testing crews- that didn’t show up.

“Frankly, I’m livid,” he said. “And if it has been tested Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday where are the results? We need to make those results public.”

The building was tested Wednesday afternoon.

Susan Nelson is among others who are now wearing face masks when they go into work.

“It feels like your throat is stopping up for one thing, you nose gets discomfort, very much so, and your eyes water,” she said.

via WUSA9

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