Tag Archives: pgcpsmess

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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Update on HB1565 – PGCPS Bill on Reform.

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Prince George’s House Delegation Education Committee hearing on HB1565 to address issues with the school board structure was held yesterday.

Reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County verified with several delegates concerning bill HB1565. There are amendments currently pending including by Delegate Howard, Delegate Jay Walker. A possible hearing is supposed to take place next week on Wednesday March 8th, 2017 at 9am. However, delegates are not sure if the date conflicts with other hearings. In any event, it will take a while to decide if the bill dies in the committee or not.

According to delegate Howard, all senators from Prince George’s County except Senator Muse are against bill HB1565. She indicated she was fighting for the bill to be debated and is supportive. We will share the latest once amendments become available.

Remember , we must fight to help  stop….” Prince George’s County Public Schools diverting money through illegal procurement practices and stop using the annual school budget to create black holes to hide money that is later diverted to pet projects, bonuses and salaries of employees for central office staff. When the CEO of Schools, his executive staff and appointed board members are allowed to break the law; cover up the abuse and sexual molestation of children; lose a $4 million grant; fire whistle blowers reporting waste using manufactured evidence; give bonuses and salary increases to executive staff while only giving teachers a 2% cost of living increase; attempt to fund school background checks in the FY18 budget at $600,000 when the FY17 expenditure is projected to be less than $80,000; and consistently have more than $30 million in unplanned spending for non school-based programs or services, it’s difficult to make a legitimate argument that $20 million split between 24 counties is going to hurt our systems bottom line”… ( Tonya Wingfield via facebook)

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Student Board Member Juwan Blocker files a Grievance to @PGCPSCEO

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PGCPS Student board member Juwan Blocker (pictured)

Student board member Juwan Blocker has created a petition urging the Prince George’s County CEO  Dr. Kevin Maxwell to keep Hyattsville Middle School’s creative writing program.

The Petition states:

Dear Prince George’s County Public Schools students, parents, and community leaders,

My name is Juwan Blocker and I am the Student Member of The Prince George’s County Public School Board, representing all PGCPS Students. The Creative Writing Major at Hyattsville Middle School has been planned to be terminated after the 2017-2018 school year. Hyattsville is a Creative Performing Arts (CPA) Middle School that requires students to audition to get into one of five CPA programs Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts, TV/Media Production, and Creative Writing.

The Creative Writing Program has been in existence for 15 years. Since its start, the program has helped strengthen the writing and critical thinking skills of students by having them analyze various literary genres and providing opportunities to express themselves through speaking and writing. Many students have tremendously benefitted from the program.

A recent PTSA Meeting and letter from Dr. Maxwell’s administration have changed the future of the program. The letter states that the Maryland State Department of Education does not recognize the Creative Writing Program as a fine arts major. The letter then states that based on parent input and concern the program will be continued for the 2017-2018 school year, but will be offered as an elective course for subsequent school years.

There are several problems and concerns with this sudden change.

1.     Why weren’t School Board Members made aware of this change?

2.     Why were parents and students just notified about this change?

3.     Why weren’t parents and students apart of the decision-making process?

4.     Has Dr. Maxwell’s administration evaluated all possible options to keep the program the way that it is?

5.     How do you terminate a program without evidence that proves that the program isn’t effective or needed to better prepare students for college or a career?

6.     Why are we cutting a program that helps strengthen the writing and critical thinking skills of our students?

The reality is that if our county indefinitely terminates this program then the rest of the Creative Performing Arts Program will not be the same, we will be taking away the additional opportunity for students to increase their writing and critical thinking skills that prepares them to be college and or career ready. This program attracts students and families from various backgrounds and if this is cut then we will also see a decrease in diversity at the school.

Replacing the Creative Writing Program with offering it is an elective course would extremely water down the course. The way that Dr. Maxwell and his administration is handling this situation is unacceptable and we deserve better!

Juwan Blocker,

Student Member of the Prince George’s County Board of Education

>>> Read more

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CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell (pictured) has been used by corrupt cartels since 2013 to advance personal careers for several individual politicians in Prince George’s County at the expense of the families, students and staff in the Prince George’s county.  Due to evolving corruption with ties to the local judiciary, the students have been forced to fight for themselves while unrest escalates in several areas within the county.

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PGCPS Student board member Juwan Blocker (pictured)

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How PGCPS Executives transferred Corruption And got Caught.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation has discovered that Metro Schools Director Shawn Joseph put unlicensed educators in positions of power inside the district.

Now the state has ordered the district to remove any unlicensed principals — and it’s taking a hard look at other top district leaders.

When Joseph took the helm back in July, he brought with him a large group of people with whom he had worked in other states.

But our investigation discovered that, for months, many were not actually licensed to work in Tennessee — and some still aren’t.

Metro Nashville Education Association President Erick Huth says he first heard from teachers back in December that Cumberland Elementary’s Carolyn Cobbs — the highest paid elementary school principal in the district — did not have a Tennessee license.

She finally got it just Tuesday — more than halfway through the school year.

“To me, it was pretty much understood that you had to have an administrator license in hand that was valid in order to be a principal,” Huth said.

“It’s the state’s indication to the public that these individuals are qualified to be administrators. So, in the absence of a license, we don’t know what the qualifications of an individual are.”

We checked and found that Joie Austria, prinicipal at Paragon Mills Elementary, wasn’t licensed. She finally completed the paperwork and got her license just Wednesday.

Keiva Wiley, principal at Antioch High School, still isn’t licensed in Tennessee, nor is LeTrecia Gloster, an executive lead principal who helps supervise other Metro Schools principals.

We took those cases to the state Department of Education.

“We told Dr. Joseph that when we’ve learned about cases where we see a principal does not have the appropriate license that they need to be removed from that role and that somebody with the appropriate license can take that person’s place,” said department spokesperson Sara Gast.

On top of that, NewsChannel 5 Investigates discovered that many of Dr. Joseph’s own leadership team — the people supervising the district’s principals — are not actually licensed themselves in the state of Tennessee.

According to the state, chief academic officer Monique Felder doesn’t have a Tennessee license, although her predecessor did.

Chief of Schools Sito Narcisse doesn’t have a license either, nor does Mo Carrasco — the man who oversees the district’s most troubled schools.

And Dennis Queen, the executive officer for charter schools, is also unlicensed.

“Anyone who is really supervising instructional program, I would say, is supposed to be a licensed administrator,” Huth noted.

The state Department of Education said those positions must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to see if they meet the requirements for licensure.

But, in a written statement, district officials did not deny that all of those people needed licenses — which could potentially create new headaches for the new administration.

“If there is a situation where somebody is serving in a role that we determine needs a license and doesn’t have one,” Gast said, “we would ask the district to find someone else to take that place that has the appropriate license.”

School district spokesperson Janel Lacy issued the following statement:

Tennessee state law does not recognize out of state licenses. There were principals and administrators who were hired over the summer from out of state that needed to get Tennessee licenses. All of them had valid credentials in the districts they came from. All of them, with the exception of the Executive Officer of Priority Schools, have taken and passed the Praxis exam. We are simply waiting on the state to upload their paperwork into the licensure system.

The Executive Officer of Priority Schools has an out of state license but because he has not yet officially received his Tennessee license, he is not currently supervising principals until he receives the Tennessee license. He expects to complete his Tennessee license requirements in the coming weeks.

Two of the administrative positions you asked about – the Executive Director for Professional Development and the Executive Officer of Diversity and Equity – are in support positions (not certificated positions), and therefore, do not require a Tennessee license.

We understand the importance of licensure as required by state law and are taking the appropriate steps to ensure all certificated employees are appropriately licensed. We’ve recently welcomed new leadership to HR. We now have a strong leader who is assessing the state of HR and re-establishing and strengthening protocols.

However, Lacy said that the executive officer for priority schools, Mo Carrasco, would continue to draw his $155,000 salary until he is properly licensed.

Via News Channel5 Tennessee.

Read more >>A Look at How PGCPS Executives transferred Corruption to Tennessee.

Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph – He was  Deputy Superintendent of Schools in PGCPS.

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From PGCPS to Metro Nashville Public Schools.

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PGCPS’ year a mix of loss and success Featured

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Maxwell and Eubanks 

UPPER MARLBORO – Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) was no stranger to front-page news in 2016.

This year was marked by multiple tragedies in the school systems, headline-grabbing scandals, and quiet successes. PGCPS celebrated 30 years of The Science Bowl, increased testing scores and graduation rates and saw grand achievements from their students, but the school year was also marred by allegations of child sexual abuse and the loss of the federal Head Start grant.

Two of PGCPS’s leaders, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Maxwell and Board of Education Chair Segun Eubanks, reflected on the school year and how they gauged PGCPS’s progress and shortfalls.

“There’s no doubt that there were certainly some big, significant challenges for our school system this year, and certainly the issues about reporting and child abuse and those kind of things have been big conversations, as was the loss of the Head Start grant,” Maxwell said. “That said, I have to tell you, I’m pretty proud of how people reacted and responded to it.”

PGCPS had a pretty rocky start to its year. In February, then-school aide Deonte Carraway was arrested in connection to the alleged making of child porn and other child sexual abuse allegations at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School in Glenarden.

Carraway allegedly produced more than 50 videos with children between the ages of 9 and 12 that included at least 23 alleged victims. A grand jury later indicted Carraway on approximately 270 counts of sex offenses, child porn and sexual abuse of a minor.

In response, the school system set up a Student Safety Task Force to guide PGCPS on what it can and should do to ensure student safety. That task force made several recommendations to Maxwell and the county board of education, which the board then started to put into place during an emergency summer session.

Since then, the system has been actively updating policies and retraining teachers, principals and school employees on appropriate behavior, reporting policies and knowing the signs of child abuse.

“We have been doing the retraining and we have been very aggressive, I think, in our response ,” Maxwell said. “We’re a lot farther along and we’re a lot better educated in terms of training of our staff and in the issues surrounding that work.”

In August, PGCPS faced another setback when the system announced they would lose the more than $6 million federal Head Start grant after reported noncompliance with fixing concerns raised by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).

The ACF had sent a report to the school system detailing deficiencies it found with the county Head Start program, which included examples of broken policies regarding student punishment. Though Maxwell and the report noted PGCPS did make efforts to correct the deficiencies, when the ACF reviewed progress, they found different instances of noncompliance and decided to rescind the grant.

Since then, Maxwell announced the school system would relinquish the grant rather than fight to keep it and initiated a similar program titled Early Start. The school system eliminated its office of Head Start and moved the new program into its early childhood office without a break in services to families and students.

“We were able to keep our promise with the Head Start work and made sure every single child that was affected continued to have service provided and we have done that,” Maxwell said. “I think we should be judged on how we responded and I think we responded well.”

PGCPS has faced other controversies and hardships as well. The decision to close both Forestville High School and Skyline Elementary was heavily debated and fought by the communities and families impacted by those schools.

Former Board of Education member Lyn Mundey was convicted in a school lunch theft scheme, a Forestville teacher was arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a student and the school system lost two teachers to domestic violence, lost students to both gun violence and vehicular accidents, and lost a principal to an undetected heart disorder.

“We know and understand that how we respond to these crises and how we get through them together, that we need to figure out how to be more unified after crises and loss than we were beforehand,” Eubanks said. “I think we’ve seen that kind of response through this year. I don’t know that we could have had a year with quite as much loss and difficulty as we had this year.”

However, 2016 was also a year of great improvements and successes for the school system.

In February, the school system received half of the state Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) Awards, and Angela Malone, an Oxon Hill Middle School teacher, received the acclaimed Milken Family Award, also known as the “Oscar of Education.”

In March, PGCPS celebrated a 2 percent increase in overall graduation rates from the previous year, according to state data. The 79 percent overall graduation rate is the highest on record for the school system and puts it just behind the national graduation rate of 82 percent, which is detailed in a U.S. Department of Education report.

“We said that in order for us to really improve as a district in dramatic ways, we need to improve not just as everybody else is improving but faster than the state average,” Eubanks said. “We’ve done that in both our kindergarten readiness assessment and in our graduation rate.”

The school system also saw a 1.2 percent improvement on the overall pass rate for Advanced Placement tests, a 1.7 percent overall increase in International Baccalaureate pass rates, and a slight increase in ACT scores, according to the state department of education. At the same time the system did see a slight dip in Maryland School Assessments and SAT scores.

Both Maxwell and Eubanks attributed these increases to a large effort from all school employees. Maxwell said the school specifically tackled graduation rates by taking a new approach to the matter, including utilizing a credit recovery system and systematically identifying which students needed support.

And the hard work put in by teachers and administrators alike has not gone unnoticed, considering the school system welcomed nearly 1,000 more students this year and a growing list of public-private partnerships with community businesses and large names like Venture Philanthropy, Junior Achievement, and County Executive Rushern Baker, III’s Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative.

“Even through all of those things with the head start and what happened early in the year with Carraway, we didn’t lose enrollment in our schools. None of our parents took their children out of the head start program,” Baker said.

Baker also lauded recent changes the system has made to improve the overall culture at PGCPS and touted the improving and trailblazing arts and language programs, something that Economic Development Corporation President Jim Coleman also applauded.

“The results are clear: 2,000 more kids are enrolled in our school system today versus when County Executive Baker went into office. Second thing is 11 out of 24 of our high schools saw double-digit improvements in SAT scores last year. And lastly, he’s got so many hotshot programs going on in technology and STEM. It’s off the charts,” Coleman said.

In 2016, PGCPS also launched its Family Institute to increase and improve family engagement across all facets of the school system, celebrated 30 years of French Immersion, and began the year with only 33 teacher vacancies, which is no small feat for a system of its size.

The body also increased the number of arts integration schools to 65, continued expanding its language programs and is now home to more than 300 National Board Certified Teachers.

“To see the work that we’ve done in Prince George’s County is really incredible, especially considering that, not too long ago, people said that teachers who teach high-need students, teachers who teach in predominantly urban schools and teachers of color have a significantly harder time achieving National Board certification,” Eubanks said. “We’re breaking the mold in all three of those categories.”

PGCPS was also home to a number of Gates Millennium Scholars, the regional Science Fair champ, numerous Ivy League acceptances, and millions of dollars in college scholarships.

In addition to academic successes, county school students also shone bright in athletics. County students claimed three state titles and broke records at the state track and field championships; Prince George’s dominated the basketball scene with both Forestville and Largo girls winning their divisions and Eleanor Roosevelt boys doing the same; and Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School also just won back-to-back state championships in football.

“We end 2016 moving into 2017, I think in many ways, more united, more determined as a board and as a team with the administration,” Eubanks said.

via Prince George’s sentinel.

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More suspects sought after first arrest in dice game shootings of PGCPS Student.

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Police arrested 22-year-old Bravon Freeman of Southeast D.C.

PRINCE GEORGE’S CO., MD. According to WUSA9 , there are still a whole lot of questions about two apparently connected shootings this weekend in Capitol Heights.

Police have just arrested Bravon Freeman, 22, but they’re still looking for one or two more suspects in the same shooting.

Freeman’s arrest is in the second shooting of Todd Webb, 14, a freshman from Suitland High School. Police are still looking for the suspect or suspects who shot into a crowd just a few minutes earlier.

Police say dozens of people were gathered around a dice game in Capitol Heights very early Sunday morning. They say one or two people walked up and opened fire.

Four people were hit and injured. Brian Davis, 18, a star athlete at Roosevelt High in D.C., was killed.

Minutes later, police say Freeman grabbed a gun and shot Webb, a teenager who dreamed of playing pro football. After shooting Webb, police say Freeman ran into his apartment for a second and then came back out and started beating the mortally wounded teen.

“Mr. Freeman was identified on the scene as responsible for the second shooting,” said Maj. Robert Brewer, commander of the Criminal Investigation Division.

Police immediately arrested Freeman and took him to headquarters for questioning.

What’s still unclear is who killed Davis and shot and injured the other four people. The teen’s friends and family say that first shooting may have been revenge after a fight that took place even earlier.

“I understand there was a fight earlier,” said a friend. “A 14-year-old and a 19-year-old fighting. The 14-year-old got the best of the 19-year-old, so the 19-year-old came back to retaliate and shot up the place.”

What is clear is that two families of teenagers are grieving and looking for answers. “My heart is real heavy. He always told me a good joke to keep me smiling.”

Court records show Freeman had just had charges dropped against him days earlier in D.C. He’d been charged as a felon in possession of a firearm. Days after getting out of the D.C. jail, again a felon in possession of a gun, police say he shot and killed a high school freshman who had his whole life ahead of him.

They have charged Freeman with first and second degree murder. He’s being held without bond.

A gofundme page has been set up for Todd Webb. His sister told the press he wanted to be a police officer. Click this link to help his family. 

Another gofundme page has been set up for Brian Davis who lived in Northwest Washington D.C. and attended Roosevelt Senior High School.  Click this link to help his family as well.

Finally, another gofundme page for (Allyssa Banks) who was murdered recently at Largo is still in progress. Anything to help these kids rest in peace will be appreciated by their families. We covered her sad story here. >>>Click this link to help her family.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to http://www.pgcrimesolvers.com and submit a tip online.

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In loving memory – Brian Davis, 18 (left) and Todd James Webb Jr (right), were pronounced dead on the scene.

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In loving memory Allyssa Banks – She was shot dead by someone she knew

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PGCPS teens threaten mass shooting at PGCPS schools.

The Prince George’s County Police Department will be stationing additional officers at schools Monday after a threat circulated on social media over the weekend.

Police said officers would be sent to Bladensburg High School, Charles H. Flowers High School, William Wirt Middle School and Kenmoore Middle School out of an “abundance of caution” in response to a threat naming those schools.

The threat appeared to hint at a shooting attack on teachers and students at several Prince George’s County Schools and was shared on a number of social media platforms.

 Prince George’s County Schools tweeted Sunday that they were aware of the threat and that law enforcement was investigating. Police later confirmed that additional police would be present at schools out of an abundance of caution.

A spokeswoman for the school system declined to provide further details when reached by phone Sunday.

Police said other officers would periodically visit county schools not named in the threat.

Elizabeth Seton High School, a private school near Bladensburg High School, will be closed Monday due to the threat, the school’s president Sister Ellen Marie Hagar told the press on Sunday.

Part of the post causing anxiety was shared on facebook by Mr. Charles Dash Payne to alert the public in good faith. “If you see something, say something!” ….and that’s what he did. We Thank him for that.

(See tweets below)

This story is developing. Stay with PGCPSMESS, Reform Sasscer and pgparents blogs for the latest.
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