Tag Archives: PGCPS

PGCPS CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell meets with Md. State Board of Education to discuss grade-fixing audit

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Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell

BALTIMORE – The head of Prince George’s County Public Schools faced the Maryland State Board of Education Tuesday, the first time since a troubling state audit showed grade-fixing and policy violations allowed students to graduate without meeting state requirements.

At the hearing, state board members pressed Dr. Kevin Maxwell on the root causes of the findings and whether there has been a shift in culture in the school system.

“It seems like something is going on here,” said Maryland State Board of Education President Andrew Smarick. “I don’t want to go too far, but it seems like some signal, something is happening to suggest to schools, to teachers, to someone, ‘We gotta graduate these students irrespective of some of these rules we have.’ And that is what I have been grappling with here.”

Smarick noted some of the most outstanding audit findings — grade changes that could not be verified, late changes to student transcripts and students graduating despite more than 50 unexcused absences.

In response to questions about the driving forces behind the audit findings, Maxwell spoke about staff confusion on grade change forms, lack of automation, high staff turnover and people who were not clear on policies. He emphasized the audit found no intimidation or fraud by him or his staff.

After the hearing, FOX 5 asked him again about the underlying causes of the problems uncovered.

“The audit, I think, gave us a very good roadmap to the fact that there are some issues that need clarification, there are some procedures that need to be updated, there is a lot of training and there are some compliance issues,” Maxwell said.

At one point, a school board member asked whether emphasis on graduation rates by the state and federal government was to blame, but Maxwell did not agree that outside pressure was a factor.

Maxwell and his staff outlined their plan to correct what was found by the audit and the ways the school district is tightening up policies, putting more oversight in place and retraining staff.

Janna Parker, a Prince George’s County community member who attended the meeting, said the plan is a good first step, but feels what she did not see from Maxwell was accountability at the top.

“I think when you base any plan on not fully accepting accountability or placing the accountability on who and where it needs to be, it’s flawed plan,” Parker said.

When asked about Gov. Larry Hogan’s recent statement that some of what is going on in Prince George’s County Public Schools is criminal, Maxwell said he did not agree with the governor.

Smarick said the state board is now going to decide how and if the state will intervene in the school system and what is legally possible. He said there should be decisions made by the next meeting in February.

There could be another audit, and while there has been no public talk of the state taking over Prince George’s County Public Schools, it is something that’s happened in other states.

After the meeting on Tuesday, the state released graduation rates for districts across the state. Prince George’s County had a record high of 82.7 percent for 2017.

via Fox 5DC  >>>Read more >>>Washington Post

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PGCPS Teens Charged in String of Robberies Targeting Cab Drivers

224AAD65-DF46-428F-8536-09DC98A9E232Prince George’s County police say five teenagers are responsible for a string of robberies targeting cab drivers, including a shooting that left one driver critically injured.

The teens charged are linked to two separate robbery sprees, police said Thursday.

Malik Samuels and Robert Walker, both 17, are charged with the attempted murder of a cab driver.

Police say the cab driver went to the 9000 block of Ballard Lane in Clinton, Maryland, to pick up a fare at 2:35 a.m. Wednesday. When he arrived, the suspects approached him. The teens demanded money and then shot the victim, according to police.

Violent Night in Prince George’s Leaves 1 Dead, 1 Injured
Neighbors found the man lying in the street.

“All of a sudden we heard four or five shots. I got up and look out of the window and then I saw the guy lying on the ground,” said Ronald Currie, a neighbor who called 911.

As Currie looked from his window, he said he saw an act of kindness when it was needed the most.

“He brought a blanket and covered him up with the blanket. It all kind of happened at the same time,” Currie said of the neighbor who came to the aid of the victim.

The victim was taken to the hospital in critical but stable condition.

Two hours later, a cab driver expecting to pick up a customer in the area of Woodlawn Boulevard and Torington Place in Largo encountered the teens.

Both boys got into his cab and demanded money and the car. Police say the teens got away with the cab, and the driver was not hurt.

Three other teens are facing charges in a string of similar robberies. Police say the suspects targeted cab and ride-share drivers during the week of Jan. 15.

In each crime, police say one of the suspects posed as a customer and rode in the victim’s car before the crime was committed.

Jose Ponce-Coreas, 19; Demonte Johnson, 16; and Christian Tejada, 18, have admitted their involvement in the crimes, according to police. All three remain in police custody.

via NBC4   Read more >>> Washington post

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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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2 confirmed cases of tuberculosis at PGCPS high school

IMG_1667UPPER MARLBORO, Md. – Two people at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro have been diagnosed with tuberculosis, according to school officials.

Prince George’s County Public Schools say the two confirmed cases of the bacterial infection are being treated, and other students and staff are not at risk of additional exposure.

The school system did not say if the affected individuals were students or staff members.

“Although the risk of exposure is small, we are working with our health professionals to offer TB screening out of an abundance of caution,” said Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell.

Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium that usually attacks the lungs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of the disease include a bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer, pain in the chest, coughing up blood or phlegm, weakness or fatigue, weight loss, no appetite, chills, fever and sweating at night.

Prince George’s County health officials say it normally takes at least eight hours of close contact in a small room for tuberculosis to be passed on to others, and it cannot be contracted from shorter exposure periods such as passing a person in a hallway or sitting in a cafeteria for an hour.

“The Health Department and PGCPS prioritize the health and safety of all students, staff, and parents,” said Prince George’s County health officer Pamela Creekmur. “We are working expeditiously to provide information, screening, and any additional follow up to maintain the health and wellness of the Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School community.”

via Fox 5 DC

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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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