The start of the 2014 New Year didn’t begin well for Prince George’s County.
Police dealt with two domestic related homicides. Despite the violence, the county says the long term statistics and trends show a brighter future.
“This county has been able to reduce homicides by nearly 40% in 3 years, ” said Chief Mark Magaw. Despite these assurances, According to police sources, the first killing of the year occurred sometime before 4:30 a.m. in the 5500 block of Karen Elaine Drive in New Carrollton. Police arrived and found a 26-year-old man suffering from fatal gunshot wounds at an apartment complex.
The second murder was caused by D’Juan Renay Hunter (pictured above) of Shipley Terrace in SE DC who had a confrontation with his mother’s fiance’. Police officials report that 38 year old Hunter came to visit at the residence of 52 year old Raymond Quattlebaum in the 9100 block of Goldfield Place in Clinton. (See the story here) While there, Hunter confronted Mr. Quattlebaum, over something (No one knows much of what transpired). During the confrontation, Hunter shot Quattlebaum who was his mother’s boyfriend. After the shooting, Hunter ran from the scene. He was found and arrested early on January 2nd, 2014 in Bowie. Hunter faces first degree murder and related charges. Not that there is ever a good time for a murder to take place, but this one supplanted the good news about crime in Prince George’s County going down. It’s like we are the bad joke of the Counties around here.
The two New Year’s Day killings stood in contrast to the county’s year-end tally for 2013. Homicides dropped from 64 recorded in 2012 to 57 last year.
…Dance has consulting job with company doing business with schools
Several months after the Baltimore County school system signed an $875,000 contract with a professional development company in Illinois, Superintendent Dallas Dance took a part-time job with that company to coach Chicago school principals.
Dance is allowed under his employment contract to do private consulting work with prior approval of the school board as long as it does not interfere with the superintendent’s job. However, Dance acknowledged in an interview Friday that he had not yet sought the board’s approval, even though he took the job with SUPES Academy over the summer.
Dance’s second job prompted questions about the propriety of his working for a company that does business with the school system, training its principals. It also raised concerns about the superintendent taking the time to train educators in other states when Baltimore County schools are undergoing changes that have drawn complaints from teachers.
Coming from the TOP school official, this looks real bad for Maryland State Board of Education and Mr. Dallas Dance. If he skirts the rules, who is to say what other unethical endeavors has he taken on.
This clearly is a slap in the face of the board who hired him, who was too young to lead Maryland teachers and implement his new Common Core philosophy. Many of the parents we spoke with are ashamed and embarrassed to live in Maryland more and more. The ignorance at every level of Maryland is really starting to show by allowing people unqualified to lead, hire, re hire and expand. Entitlement has gotten Maryland into a world of stupidity on a national level and showed America which state is most dependent on federal Government to maintain lifestyles.
No chief executive in the private sector would be allowed to do this. Donating 2/3 of the compensation does not mitigate the conflict of interest here. Either Superintendent Dance gives up the employment with the company or the company gives up its contract with Baltimore County. End of discussion.
The funny thing is that, teachers can’t tutor a student in their building for pay, even if that teacher doesn’t teach that student in any regular class.
So a teacher can’t pick up an extra $25 an hour for legitimate educational work, but the superintendent can take tens of thousands of dollars from a company that paid nearly a million dollars in taxpayer money?
Call your elected officials now and the media. Demand investigations and initiation of changes… There is no smoke without fire!!
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” and manipulation during her tenure. Both leaders need to resign to create room for new leadership.
Dr. Lillian Lowery Embattled State Superintendent is currently presiding over deep-seated corruption in Maryland school system. She has demonstrated a culture of discrimination and racism while on the job.
The Maryland legislature and Prince George’s County Board of Education should rewrite the policy to resemble private sector, common sense, guidelines and take away the credit cards. If the person holding the card is responsible for paying the bill and then submitting an expense report, the chances of mistakes or abuse is virtually eliminated.
Credit card misuse has been on the rise not only in Prince George’s County but around the country. For Example one of the finalist selected by PGCPS Board members had his credit card taken away recently. (Read more) And in Atlanta, School board member confessed to misuse of credit card (Read more). In Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative School District, Superintendent Trevor Ebel resigned after an auditor’s report found district credit cards were used to purchase thousands of dollars worth of restaurant meals, alcohol and expensive hotel rooms at out-of-state conferences. (Read more)
Arthur H. Camins, director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., suggests a new way to make progress in education policy — through engineering design thinking. The ideas expressed in this article are his alone and do not represent Stevens Institute. His other writing can be found at www.arthurcamins.com >>> Read More Washington Post
… at Common Core forum, parent becomes cause celebre.
Last week in Maryland a parent was arrested and charged with second degree assault on a police officer after speaking out at a town hall meeting organized by the local education board and Maryland State Superintendent Dr. Lillian M. Lowery. Like most town hall forums, this meeting was a sham, where the officials would only answer pre-selected, politically correct answers that they approved of. Questions from the audience of about 160 people, which consisted of parents, PTA members, teachers, and school administrators, were submitted on cards prior to and during the 1-1/2 hour meeting for the Q&A period which lasted about 40 minutes.
The meeting was about a new style of curriculum that is being implemented at public schools called “common core”. Many critics have accused this new curriculum of dumbing down the material, which would go along with the progression that we have seen over the past several generations.
Robert Small, age 46, was one of the only parents with the courage to speak up, despite the fact that many other parents cheered him on.
“Look, I am being manhandled and shut down because I asked inconvenient questions,” Small said. “Why won’t they allow an open forum where there can be a debate? We are told to sit there and be lectured to about how great common core is.”
As he was being taken out, Small said, We’re sick of this. This is not a CNN political game. This is a public town hall… Listen, don’t stand for this. You’re sitting here like cattle. You have questions. Confront them.They don’t want to do it in public….Parents, you need to question these people….Do the research,.Then he said, “Is this America?” Research on common core can be found >>here<<
Mr. Small was arrested after being removed from the auditorium and charged with second degree assault of a police officer and a second charge of disrupting a school function.
The video clearly shows that, if anyone was aggressive, it was the security guard, not Mr. Small. What may have happened out in the hall however, is unknown.
In the second video clip (click here), you can hear multiple parents call out how their question was not read and they were ignored.
There will be one more out of four Common Core meetings hosted by county school boards in Maryland. This one is on October 1 in Prince George’s County. Click here for more info.
Proponents of the standards are still struggling to explain the initiative to parents, many of whom say they’ve never even heard of Common Core. Arguments for and against the new standards have had little impact on public opinion because, according to a Gallup survey of public schools, 62 percent of Americans have never heard of the Common Core. With the debate now shifting to the alignment of high-stakes tests to the Common Core Standards, people on both sides of the issue agree that the battle for the hearts and minds of parents will be crucial.
As you have seen in the video the questioning from Mr. Small was for the better of the community. However, he was cut short and forcefully removed plus charged with criminal offense. There was no need for leadership to act that way. The Maryland State Board of Education (MSBE) is out of control and it is accountable to no one in the State. What has really gotten stuck in our craws most has been the imperial, patronizing manner in which the Maryland State Board of Education (MSBE) leadership has been conducting its business. Superintendent Lillian M. Lowery arrived more than one (1) year ago spouting transparency and community engagement, but what we’ve mostly gotten has been something far less. Maryland State Board of Education (MSBE) President Dr. Charlene Dukes and the MSBE set the stage by surreptitiously hiring full time staff members to lobby the state Legislature to increase the power of the MSBE to impose working conditions to cover their own diabolical acts because they are not elected but selected. So far they have succeeded and this trend must be reversed.
The MSBE and President Charlene Duke’s leadership and their cohorts are like a junta ruling by fiat, disconnected from the community denizens. They are not elected by anyone and aren’t fooling everybody with their placating, after-the-fact patchwork rationales that diametrically contradict their own actions. The only transparency that has come to light is that they think that teachers, parents and the public are that gullible, or just not as smart as a third-grader. In the process, they appear disingenuous and are only losing credibility and fomenting distrust.
The person who should have been charged in the above video was the security guard. He had no right to be pushing the speaker. Also, he was getting in his face like a typical thug who wanted to fight. The parents whose rights are violated like this should take a stand and sue them for violating the law. If we do not start standing up to these people, they will assume more and more power. Tax payer dollars made that meeting public. People can leave if they are bothered by his questions.
The hearings have been taking place been between 7pm- 8:30pm as indicated below in the past schedule. A word of caution though, the meetings may not be teacher-friendly, but we certainly hope for the presence of retired teachers and other professionals to turn out in the last meeting on October 1, 2013.
If you want change to happen, stay engaged with the Maryland State Board of Education system and ask tough questions. Elected officials definitely needs to get involved and demand changes concerning transparency and accountability initiatives in the State level. As seen here in Prince George’s County, corruption is the order of the day in the State level and involves money meant to help the children but has been directed elsewhere. Maryland State Board of Education is the mother ship of corruption and discrimination. Parents and Elected officials must create accountability mechanism and demand tough changes to roll back the trend. For those who missed their chance, the October 1, 2013 meeting at Charles H. Flowers High School in Prince George’s County is the last one, here has been the schedule:
Easton High School in Talbot County on Sept. 10.
Forums will also be held Sept. 16 at South Hagerstown High School in Washington County
Sept. 19 at Ridge Ruxton School in Baltimore County.
The final discussion will be held for the Washington DC region on October 1, 2013 at Charles H. Flowers High School in Prince George’s County.
We worship false gods when our heroes are determined not by their values but by their financial worth. We idolize people of wealth – and so we pursue lives that will fill our bank accounts and leave our spirit barren.
We impress upon our children the goal of success – and then define it in ways that will leave them spiritually unfulfilled.
We compare the salaries of our educators and our spiritual leaders to the titans of Wall Street, the stars of the sports world and the famous entertainment figures and we have no trouble discerning what the world round about us most reveres.
To believe in God requires us to reject all the false gods of our society that seek only to still the voice of our conscience and the stirrings of our soul.
Steven Ray Poe, a 36-year-old Lanham man and the student allegedly engaged in sexual conduct for more than a month. Photo: Prince George’s County Police
Another employee a janitor this time around at a Prince George’s County high school has been charged with sexual abuse after a 15-year-old student. She told police she had a sexual relationship with him.
Charging documents indicate that Steven Ray Poe, a 36-year-old Lanham man (Pictured above), repeatedly engaged in sexual acts with the victim on the DuVal High School campus, including both on school grounds and inside his apartment.
The relationship allegedly started in late April, when Prince George’s County Police say Poe and the victim began talking causally on campus. Those brief conversations led to the student giving Poe her phone number.
During their conversations, though, Poe repeatedly advised the student to delete any text messages she received from him, according to the charging documents. However, the alleged relationship was revealed when authorities say the victim’s mother went through the girl’s phone and found text messages between her and Poe.
The documents say that about two weeks ago, Poe and the defendant met in a janitor’s closet on campus, where they hugged and kissed. That scene was repeated a few days later; during that encounter, though, Poe allegedly touched the student inappropriately.
Police say Poe and the student then engaged in sexual activity twice more. The next instance happened on either May 25 or 26 at Poe’s Lanham apartment. A week later, sometime between June 3 and 7, police say the two once again met in a janitor’s closet; during that encounter, police say the two had another sexual encounter.
He has been charged with third-degree sexual offenses and second-degree assault.
Reform Sasscer movement is outraged by the negligence of the Prince George’s County School System in this morally dead situation. The problems have now manifested themselves into physical harm for the children. Urgent intervention is required by our New Board of Education Chairman to look into these episodes and to avoid further harm to innocent victims. We do understand that change is gradual. However, this is a state of emergency. The Prince George’s County School System has established over time that its influence is not only harmful to the educational futures of the children; but also the physical welfare of the students. (Read more)
An emergency homeless shelter for the Youth in PG County opened on May 2, 2013 in Capital Heights this last Thursday, many thanks to Senator Joan Benson, County Executive Baker, other elected officials, volunteers and donors etc. who advocated and donated supplies for the 20 Bed youth shelter. We at Reform Sasscer Movement are thrilled to see this actuality here in PG County. It’s something we advocated for and have always wanted to see for a long time.
As County Executive Rushern Baker said during the ribbon cutting ceremony, “This initiative represents several years of dedication and hard work from so many committed individuals,”. “I have to commend those who worked tirelessly to ensure that this “safe haven” for youth has become a reality. It is important that we provide all the necessary resources to support those youth that are vulnerable in our County—for that, I thank you.”
Funded by local, state, federal and private dollars, the shelter’s goal is to partner the homeless youth with a caring adult in their lives as soon as possible, though they can stay in the shelter for up to 21 days. This shelter hopely will help solve some of the problems we highlighted earlier because of high suspension rates. (Read more)
The youth shelter has 20 beds and is open to homeless youth ages 12 to 21. All youth should contact the Homeless Hotline at 888-731-0999. If they are in trouble.
We hope PGCPS Board of education members, the school superintendent, principals, teachers etc will help in disseminating the vital information to all students in the county in order to create awareness of the facility for those homeless youth or those in transition!
Create a strong anti-discrimination and harassment policy in PGCPS. Obey state and federal laws. The PGCPS District system continues to be a willful violator of the laws.
Access certification credentials held by senior management, including Ms. Monica Goldson etc.
Limit the purchasing power of school personnel. Dr. Williams’ unauthorized purchase of school system merchandise demonstrates the necessity of this regulation.
Find ways to address and help reduce high suspension rates throughout the PGCPS District. Suspended students become a problem to the community. There is a close link between the homeless youth in Washington DC and the ones in Maryland.
Closely examine all contracts over $10,000 signed off by Dr. William Hite Jr. and Ms. Verjeana Jacobs, who currently serves as the BOE Chair).
Consider the following points as they impact the entire school District.
B.) Lobbying the County Council and the County Executive (Rushern Baker) to appoint an Inspector General (IG) to address waste, fraud, and abuse issues for all county agencies at Baker’s Office (including School Board). (These steps are necessary because an I.G. has not been appointed and there are an abundance of attorneys). Yes we can!
C.)Enforce the existing Codes of Ethics for all central office employees. Report infractions that go unpunished to MSDE.
D.) Reporting all concerns to MSDE. For the purpose of injecting accountability on the part of State Department with regard to enforcing state laws and policies at the local level.
E.) Justifiably inquire about the relationship between Ms. Elizabeth Davis and Tony Liberatore. Credible sources assert that Mr. Liberatore’s wife witnessed intimate kssing between Mr. Liberatore and Ms. Elizabeth Davis at Sasscer.
Ms. Davis does EEOC hearings/mediations. In light of her low morals, what are her qualifications and credentials for that role? What connection did she have with Ms. Synthia Kucner and now with labor relations Director?
10. Consider rules and regulations by federal, state and BOE policies.
A.) Abide by state law with regard to Hite’s contract. The state law is on the BOE webpage. see the attached link.
B.) Establish more precise criteria for the purpose of acquiring a better leader. Filtering out the unqualified candidates for the purpose of attracting qualified, traditional candidates. The candidates should be diverse and not limited to Broad Group and other such organizations.
C.) Elect and select BOE members who will supervise and express the concerns and potential of the governed, rather than fraternize with the Superintendent.
D.) Complete THOROUGH background checks, for the purpose of avoiding embarrassment, which includes incidents like Deasy’s questionable doctorate.
11. Close and thorough examination of the personnel appointments
A.) Examine the growing number of personnel in PGCPS, which include Jim Whattam, Esq., and other appointees, who have extensive ties to Prince George’s County Educator Association (PGCEA). Provide fair and impartial review of all unions. An investigation about Mr. James Whattam the previous attorney for MSEA attorney with extensive ties to AFSCME Local 2250 and PGCEA needs to be investigated and exposed.
B.) The serious allegations of misconduct by previous Superintendent Dr. William Hite Jr. and some female employees necessitate investigation. The concerns need to be put directly in writing to the BOE members. Investigation needs to be launched right away. A Copy needs to be forwarded to Mr. Rod Rosenstein’s office if the BOE does not act. Dr. William Hite Jr. actions proved to be more detrimental to the interests of the community than Dr. Hornsby.
12. Dr. William Hite Jr. should be held accountable for his appointment of less qualified, non-credentialed personnel, in light of the fact that they did not comply with state law. BOE should supervise the future Superintendent and force HR compliance. The record demonstrates that Dr. Hite typically advised the BOE. That custom was/is unacceptable.
13. Review the following deals:
A.)Washington Plaza, lobbyist ties and campaign donations
C.) The 27 administrators currently in arbitration
D.) Lack of due process among ALL employees for hearings, terminations, etc under Mr. Roger Thomas, Synthia J. Shilling, and Mr. Jim Whattam
E.) OIA number of lawsuits and EEOC complaints. There are a myriad of EEOC complaints. The excess of complaints has necessitated their distribution to other field offices throughout the country.
F.) Review overlap of Legal Department for attorney duties with regard to waste.
G.) The Thatcher contract was a no bid contract, which totally opposed BOE policy. It needs to be cancelled.
H.) The $90 million surplus budget left over from Dr. Hornsby’s term has been squandered.
I.) A proper investigation needs to be launched ASAP to follow the money trail involving Dr. William Hite Jr., Roger Thomas, Mr. Matthew E. Stanski, Ms. Synthia J. Shilling also known as Ms. Synthia Kucner, and other co-conspirators.
14. Contact state and federal officials (FBI, DOJ) about the broken laws, policies and procedures.
15. Demand information regarding credentials and licensure. The State Department is already doing an audit. Go to Dept of Labor, MSDE, EEOC and any other organizations like NAACP, Casa de Maryland and La Raza about discrimination and hiring.
16. Involve the media. Report any information to Miranda Spivack or Ovetta Wiggins of the Washington Post or NBC4 Prince George’s County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins so they may do a story on misappropriation of funds. (After the incident with Dr. Hornsby occurred, BOE policies/procedures were implemented to prevent a reoccurrence. These procedures have yet to be followed.
17. Stop empowering Principals who harbor strong biases and manipulate the system for the purpose of destroying teacher credentials in order to remove teachers who don’t share in their interests and/or beliefs. Test scores rise because of teachers and not because of the principals. Administrators should be receptive helpers and not feared executioners.
18. Implement earned income raises for PGCPS staff. Income raises have not been implemented for the PGCPS staff for a considerable period of time. These teachers work very hard usually without adequate compensation. Compare to Montgomery county public schools (MCPS) and others.
19. Investigate Office of Constituent Services, which acted as a campaign tool for Dr. William Hite. The Office of Constituent Services continues its services to Dr. William Hite even after his discontinuation with PGCPS. This office does very little to promote the interests of the PGCPS. The said office was only created to promote William Hite’s personal agenda. There was an illegitimate disbursement of funding; the Office of Constituent Services’ staff was paid merely for the purpose of neutralizing controversies involving Dr. William Hite. Superintendent William Hite granted several staff members significant raises without justification. In this regard, IT Help Desk and Constituent Services need to be merged to avoid duplication of duties.
20. Investigate IT Department and its relationship with some BOE members connected to fired IT Director Mr. Pierre Dickson. Verify what damage caused by the said Director and his lover Ms. Shanita Anderson.
21. Investigate nepotism involving with Dr. William Hite’s office for the following reasons;
A.) The Director of communications Mr. Briant K. Coleman is a close family member to second in command Dr. Coleman Porter.
B.) Several Instructional Directors have spouses who are either Principals or administrators within PGCPS.
C.) The previous Director was fired to create room for the current Communication Director, who is related to the Deputy Superintendent.
D.) Previous Director of Communication was unjustly terminated in pretext for raising a discrimination issue.(see attached ~> Breedon vs PGCPS Bd. of Ed Hite)
E.) Investigate, reprimand and or fire the current Director of Communications for disrespecting the County Executive and other stakeholders for being involved and directing the manufacturing of unnecessary misleading communications while using various tools on the job, including the Washington Post. (See attached PGCPSLies)
F.) Investigate Ms. Monica Goldson, Chief Operating Officer (COO). She has several relatives in high level positions beginning at Sasscer – HR and in various schools. As the chief operating officer (COO), she controls millions of dollars and reports that are disbursed to the chief executive officer or the superintendent of schools. She is also responsible for the PGCPS’s day-to-day operating activities, including revenue and sales growth; expense, cost and margin control; and monthly, quarterly and annual financial goal management etc. What did she do for/to Dr. Hite to get the job without qualifications? Why did she suddenly drop her husband and put him through divorce proceedings through the court system for years? See attached Monica-Goldson-Divorce. Is this part of Dr. Hites “Italian lover” syndrome? This bed hoping love rat needs to be investigated for the countless marriages he has ruined together with others examples, Mr. Pierre Dickson, Shanita Anderson, Union leaders etc.
22. PG County Chapter of NAACP needs to stand firm on its principled and justified stance against discrimination of any form or kind within PGCPS. Sitting on the fence is very uncomfortable and unprincipled. Take a stand and support the county Executive. We need you!
Investigate, investigate and change things immediately.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – President Barack Obama