UPPER MARLBORO, MD – The transition team put into place by Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer for Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), presented their report “Great by Choice: The Transition Team Report” to the Prince George’s County Board of Education recently. The team led by Dr. Charlene Dukes and Dr. Lillian M. Lowery was established in October 2013 to conduct a thorough review of the school system as outlined in the five key goals of Dr. Maxwell’s Entry Plan. The team comprised of 30 members including unions representatives involved in retaliation and harassment of employees. The said unions representatives are well connected to the corrupt cartels.
After reviewing the “report”, it now seems the report contained some potentially explosive information, which is perhaps why it was not shared much sooner. However, “the Transition team” also fell flat on their face on a number of grounds.
First, they failed to identify weaknesses of the unions representing employees in contributing to the problems within the county schools. The report also fails to identify ways on how to strengthen the unions and train principals as part of change management. The report is more of a cover up rather than finding ways to solve problems as we identified. It does not look at the problems or issues heads on as presented in our blogs by reform sasscer movement.
The “Transition Team” certainly deserves the presumption of innocence but given how the team appears to have done the work, they seem to have misled the Board of Education for Prince George’s County in some areas and clearly covered up issues in the process. It is clear there is something rotten in the state of Education in Prince George’s County. The “Team” in our view was in many ways a cover up mission than a “team” committed to genuine change. They appear to have come in like a fox in a henhouse to “eat”. Many of the issues identified have been discussed before and very little change has been made. Specifically Ms. Monica Goldson who is our major concern still runs the show as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and all her close relatives and friends are in strategic positions throughout the system. Ms. Goldson should step aside. We think it’s time for her to take a break and let others guide the sinking ship.
The Office of Legislative Audits (OLA), co-chaired by Sen. James Rosapepe (Dist 21 -Prince George’s and Anne Arundel) and Del. Guy Guzzone (Dist 13-Howard County), issued their own report on the Prince George’s County School System financial management practices. It’s a not a pretty picture. A full copy of the report is found HERE.
The report found that PGCPS had not implemented adequate controls over its human resources and payroll, overpaying a number of employees. One employee was overpaid by $25, 111, another by $9,553, just to name a few. PGCPS has recovered the full amount of overpayment from one employee and has another employee on a payment plan. PGCPS management response to overpayments was a pledge that their Payroll Department will work with IT to modify current database responsibilities for those who approve time sheets to only include approval rights, not editing. This will be change was to be completed in February 2014. Problems with revenue were documented throughout the report, such as $1 million in no bid or “sole source” contracts for “consulting that PGCPS handled that were not documented, as required, neither was the rationale for the use of sole source procurements for any of the six consulting contracts selected for by OLA in a test sample. In 2011-12, there were $22 million in no bid contracts against the state law.
There is actually a law signed by Governor Martin O’Malley which we advocated for in 2012 to create accountability and transparency. The law was ignored and business continues as usual without accountability. see it here >>>PG 410-12
Some very basic systems are not in place within PGCPS. For Example, PGCPS does NOT use intrusion detection and prevention (IDP) coverage on its network or internet connections. The school system also lacks an Information Technology Disaster Recovery Plan for recovering computer operations from disaster scenarios such as a fire or flood. Outdated practices are in place with the Before and After Care Program also.
Above all, more than $100 million of bus transportation expenses are not adequately controlled because of unreliable routing software that isn’t fully used, as well as inefficient bus routes. More than half of the findings –12 of 23 — in the scathing report by the Office of Legislative Audits are repeated from a previous audit, but still remain problems.
The Prince George’s school system, the 19th largest in the U.S., has the second largest enrollment in the state with over 125,000 students at 205 schools and a total operating budget of $1.6 billion, more than half from state funding.
Finally, as if the above scandal was not enough, Prince George’s County public schools management came up with their own version of priorities and ignored the suggestions we recommended to them in the first place.
A civic leader who preferred to remain anonymous told this writer that the euphoria waves of change management and the fight against corruption in Prince George’s County public schools (PGCPS) is irresistible and the board of education should not play around. We don’t believe in selection work by a certain clique of interested politicians to deliver because of interference by outsiders who have no interest of the people at heart.
See the cover up mission here ~> CEO’s Transition Team Shares Report with Board of Education
AREAS WE AGREE WITH CEO’s Transition Team
Conduct a central office audit to determine where services are being duplicated and personnel can be eliminated or re-assigned; analyze where positions are needed or might be eliminated or redeployed to other offices.
- CCE1. Designate a Chief Communications Officer position and fill with the most qualified individual in a permanent capacity.
- CCE2. Develop a strategic communications plan, including key metrics, that aligns to district goals and priorities and includes strategies to improve the image of the school system through a concerted “rebranding” effort.
- CCE3. Review current organizational structures, staffing, and roles and responsibilities in the Office of Communications. Identify positions needed to align with the strategic communications plan and determine if current individuals are the best fit for those positions.
- CCE5. Evaluate the district website and develop a plan to ensure that it is easy to navigate, content is relevant, and that there is a plan for keeping it up to date.
- CCE8. Review Board of Education Policy 105 and Administrative Procedure 4217, Parent, Family and Community Involvement, to ensure that they align with research-based best practices.
- CCE9. Evaluate whether a Department of Family Engagement and Community Outreach is needed and where in the organization it belongs; develop a district-wide plan for family and community engagement.
- OEE9. Analyze whether a network approach to supporting schools is feasible with existing resources and clarify how supports are provided, given the relationship between offices that directly supervise schools, curriculum and instruction, professional development, and operations; identify a more streamlined process for services to be provided and monitored for quality control.
Dr. Lillian M. Lowery Maryland State Superintendent of schools (Pictured above) has been criticized for showing very poor leadership skills in various ways including discriminatory conduct. She has received an F grade for Common Core meetings and other reform implementations in Maryland so far. Above all, she does not believe in the due process of the law and continues to contribute to the culture of impunity.
In our opinion, We aver and therefore believe Maryland State Board of Education President Dr. Charlene Dukes (shown here) has demonstrated a culture of corrupt leadership style and continues “an integrated pattern of pay to play,” High suspension rates, cover up, violation of due process rights, manipulation inter alia during her tenure as President for Maryland State Board of Education.
“If we are to progress as a democracy – a rule-based democracy – we need to ensure that the machinery of law, order and the administration of justice is in good working order.”
It provides that no person is deemed to be above the law and no one can be punished by the State except for a breach of the law. Overridingly, nobody can be convicted of breaching the law (or be given an amnesty) except in the manner set forth by the law itself.