Tag Archives: Public Education

Education leaders in Maryland involved in Corruption wary of Gov. Hogan’s plans


Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

SEABROOK – In the same week that Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) Chief Executive Officer Kevin Maxwell announced his proposed budget, seeking more investment in the public school system, Gov. Larry Hogan announced his plans to put more state money toward private schools.

On Dec. 13, at a private school in Baltimore, Hogan announced his intent to double the funding for private school vouchers over the next three years. Last year Hogan, in partnership with the Maryland General Assembly, passed a bill to launch the Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) program with an initial funding amount of $5 million.

“Our administration has made education our number one priority, and we are working hard to ensure that every single child in Maryland is given the chance for a great education, regardless of what neighborhood they happen to grow up in,” Hogan said.

The BOOST program helps low-income families pay for their students to attend non-public schools by providing scholarships to students. When the program started, BOOST had an advisory board that determined the criteria for eligible students and the schools the students could attend. That board also set the scholarship amount.

During the inaugural year BOOST received more than 5,000 applications statewide, from which more than 3,000 were approved for the program.

Hogan believes the overwhelming response shows a need for further investment in the program.

“This year, we will again be funding the BOOST program, and we will be doubling the total funding over the next three years to $10 million in scholarships by Fiscal Year 2020,” he said.

Although Hogan has made his intentions clear, and believes in the BOOST program, some in the public school realm believe the move is a step in the wrong direction. Especially when the public school system in Maryland, inspite of gains, requires new investments to further programs and address a backlog of capital improvements needs.

Maryland State Educators Association (MSEA) President Betty Weller called Hogan’s plan a “Trump-like initiative” that would send Maryland taxpayer money away from public schools to private schools.

“According to independent experts, Maryland’s public schools currently have $2.9 billion less than what they need to help every child succeed,” she said. “Our kids rely on strong neighborhood public schools to prepare them for a college education and stable career, and we have a moral obligation to fill those equity gaps.”

While $5 million over three years may be a drop in the bucket for the state’s budget, MSEA sees the investment in BOOST as a redirection of funds from the public school system. Weller called the BOOST program wasteful and said the General Assembly should stand with public schools by eliminating the program.

“Maryland educators are deeply frustrated by Gov. Hogan’s proposal to drain twice as many resources from our public schools to subsidize private schools. The governor’s alliance with President-elect Donald Trump – who has proposed the idea of using $20 billion in taxpayer money for private school vouchers – on privatizing our public schools should be alarming to every Marylander who believes in the importance of public education,” Weller said.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, III shared similar thoughts, urging Gov. Hogan to reinvest in the public school system rather than on private school vouchers.

“Gov. Hogan’s proposal to spend $10 million on private school vouchers sends the wrong message about Maryland’s commitment to a great public education for every child,” Baker said in a statement. “Our public schools serve students from every neighborhood, every socioeconomic group, and every race, religion, gender and learning level. Instead of diverting money away from students who need it most, I urge Gov. Hogan to reinvest in Maryland’s public schools.”

In Prince George’s County, Maxwell just proposed a $2.05 billion schools budget, and while that budget will be looked at by both the county board of education and the county council, the budget asks for a large increase in state funding.

This year’s proposal requests more than $1.12 billion from the state, which is more than $33 million more than the previous year, and a move like Hogan’s may cast doubt on how far the state is willing to go to see improvements in local public school systems.

“Diverting public funds towards private school vouchers is the wrong approach. Now is the time to increase on our investment in public schools so that every student receives the 21st-century education they deserve,” Baker said.

Still, the state received more than 5,000 applications for the program, which specifically targets “areas with under-performing schools,” showing that there is interest in the program.

Ultimately, the General Assembly will decide the fate of the funds.

via Prince George’s County sentinel




How to Start a Movement

Learn here in only three minutes how to start a movement.

One person alone is a “lone nut.” The key figures are the followers, who risk ridicule by joining in, but who together create a movement.

Today we have a movement. A movement of parents, educators, and concerned others who want to take education back from entrepreneurs; who want to build respect for teaching and learning; who admire teachers; who understand that poverty is the biggest obstacle in the lives of children who get low test scores; and who also understand that tests are a measure, not the goal of education. The goal of public education is to contribute to the development of well-educated citizens with humane values, citizens who are prepared to take charge of their own lives, to help their neighbors, to advance knowledge and science, and to improve our society.

If more people are truly committed to the notions of life, liberty and happiness for everyone – in America and the world — then it is our duty and obligation to make fundamental changes in our society to accomplish these goals.

If we decided to do nothing, then the real danger exists that America will erode and wither from within. Nuclear weapons, aircraft carriers and vast piles of money may be able to forestall change abroad and at home for a while, but it cannot last forever. Fundamental and systemic changes are needed and the people will increasingly begin calling for these changes as time goes on.

If we prefer to aspire to improve our society, then we must act and we must act now. If we do not, then the decay will continue and patriotism, flag waving and cheering will only be temporary reprieves until our demise.



Pennsylvania: Reasons for Hope.


Tom Wolf, the newly elected Governor of Pennsylvania, may turn out to be true friend of public education. In a landscape crowded with foes of public education, like Scott Walker, John Kasich, Doug Ducey, Rick Scott, and Andrew Cuoo, this is quite a distinction for Governor Wolf.

After years of devastating cuts by Governor Tom Corbett, Wolf has vowed to fund public schools. He appointed a one-time rival, John Hanger, as secretary of policy and planning (Hanger is strongly pro-public schools).

Governor Wolf recently visited a public school in Philadelphia. At a time when so many governors have sworn their fealty to charter schools, it is refreshing to read about a governor who recognizes public responsibility for public schools.

John Hanger told the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry that the Wolf administration would focus on public education and economic development in its spending plan.

Governor Tom Wolf could build a national reputation if he reverses the school privatization and defusing of public schools that Corbett encouraged.


President Barack Obama, center, meets with newly elected governors in the oval office.USA-Flag-Wallpaper-01***

Vouchers and Tax Credit Scholarships in the US.

2015 – The future of public education in the United States is at a critical crossroads.  Watch this video to learn how the growing trend of sending public money to private schools through vouchers and tax credit scholarships threatens public education.

It is worth your while to watch it especially now with state of Maryland gearing towards charter schools.



Charter corruption and mismanagement of Resources.

charter school under construction

Even corporate reformers admitted that the growing charter sector is a vampire with little accountability, draining resources and the higher-achieving students from our public schools.  One  report after another was released, showing massive charter corruption and mismanagement.   Macke Raymond, the head of the pro-privatization research group CREDO that is funded by the Walton Family Foundation, admitted that market-based competition in the form of charters does not lead to improvements in the public schools: “I’ve studied competitive markets for much of my career. That’s my academic focus for my work. And (education) is the only industry/sector where the market mechanism just doesn’t work.”

Kaya Henderson, Michelle Rhee’s chosen successor as DC Chancellor, said about charter schools, “Either we want neighborhood schools or we want cannibalism, but you can’t have both.”  Cami Anderson,  the Superintendent who designed the disastrous “One Newark” plan to close neighborhood public schools and open charters in their stead, explained why  test scores have dropped during her administration: “We’re losing the higher-performing students to charters, and the needs [in district schools] have gotten larger….[there are public schools] where there are 35 percent of students with special needs…I’m not saying they are out there intentionally skimming, but all of these things are leading to a higher concentration of the neediest kids in fewer [public] schools.”

At Reform Sasscer Movement, We have always believed that conservatives should be strong supporters of public education and not the other way around. Conservatives conserve traditional institutions, they don’t seek to blow them up and replace them with entrepreneurial for-profit schemes. Conservatives seek to strengthen their communities, not divide them up for profit making. Public schools have long been community institutions throughout the world. We believe we are now in a battle between Main Street and Wall Street. Main Street values its community; Wall Street wants to find a way to get a share of public education dollars for investors and this is not a smart move. We must find a way to address these issues heads on without compromising what needs to be fixed while creating more problems for the world.




Inside Philanthropy: The Scariest Trends.


According to blogger Diane Ravitch, David Callahan wrote an insightful article in “Inside Philanthropy” about something that most of us have noticed: the growing power of foundations that use their money to impose their ideas and bypass democratic institutions. In effect, mega-foundations like Gates and Walton use their vast wealth to short circuit democracy.

Callahan identifies five scary trends but they all boil down to the same principle: Unaccountable power is supplanting democracy.

He writes:

“1. The growing push to convert wealth into power through philanthropy

“Look at nearly any sector of U.S. society, and you’ll find private funders wielding growing power. Most dramatic has been the reshaping of public education by philanthropists like Gates and the Waltons, but the footprint of private money has also grown when it comes to healthcare, the environment, the economy, social policy, science, and the arts.

“Whether you agree or disagree with the specific views pushed by private funders, you’ve got to be disturbed by how a growing army of hands-on mega donors and foundations seem to get more clever every year about converting their money into societal influence. Love it or hate it, the Common Core is a great example: In effect, private funders are helping determine how tens of millions of kids will be educated for years to come. And to think that we once saw public education as America’s most democratic institution!

“Inevitably, the upshot of all this is a weaker voice for ordinary folks over the direction of American life. The veteran funder Gara LaMarche has a recent piece in Democracy that crystallizes the worries that many people have that philanthropy has become a powerful agent of civic inequality.

“2. How philanthropic dollars have become another form of political money

“Zeroing in on politics, we see philanthropic money increasingly shaping public policy and legislative outcomes. This trend isn’t new, of course, and along with Sally Covington, blogger Diane Ravitch writes that, she wrote in the 1990s about the huge influence that conservative foundations like Bradley and Olin had over policy debates of that era by funding a network of think tanks and legal groups like the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society. Perhaps the greatest achievement of these funders was knocking off the federal welfare entitlement, after investing millions in work by Charles Murray and others.

“What’s different today is that many more funders, with much more money, are playing the policy game.”

The money quote: “And to think that we once saw public education as America’s most democratic institution!”

In city after city, state after state, wealthy funders are underwriting charter schools to replace democratically controlled public schools, school closings, mayoral control, state takeovers, and other means of removing democratic institutions.  These funders have no compunction about privatizing “America’s most democratic institution.” They think they are acting in the public interest by removing the public from public education. Their wealth leads them to exercise power recklessly. They think they know everything because they are richer than almost everyone else. They are wrong. And their arrogance is dangerous.





In D.C. to talk education, Newark schools chief faces protest!


Cami Anderson, who runs the largest school district in New Jersey, came to Washington on Thursday to give a quiet talk about education at a think tank. But the staid event quickly turned dramatic when a busload of angry residents followed Anderson from Newark in a display of the slugfest politics that have infused debate over public education across the country.

“For us, what’s going on in Newark is not a triumph, it’s a tragedy,” said Sharon Smith, who has three children in that city’s public schools and was among about 40 parents and students who filled the 12th floor conference room at the American Enterprise Institute. “Our children are facing this disruption, and we don’t have a voice.”

The Newark protesters, several of whom registered in advance for the event, ate a hot buffet lunch and waited for Anderson to appear, surprising organizers and sending them scurrying.

“We’ve had 150 of these events since I’ve been here — people like Michelle Rhee after she closed schools in D.C. and (former New York City Schools Chancellor) Joel Klein when he was very controversial,” said Rick Hess, director of education policy for the conservative think tank. “Never before had such a disruption threatened in such a way.”

After some delay, a staffer announced that Anderson would deliver her talk in a room two floors below without an audience, news that was met with howls of protest. >>> Read more Washington Post >>> See the video (here)



Major scandal underway in Pgcps.


Mr. Rushern Baker –The all powerful current County Executive for Prince George’s County is known not to be a man of his word according to Prince George’s County NAACP Chapter and is deeply involved in the scandal comprising Dr. kevin Maxwell 

We won’t repeat all the details here for now, but there are a few facts that probably will not be reported elsewhere. However, Prince George’s County has long history and a reputation for questionable ethics.

On this note, is one man responsible for the sins of another? Can one politician be held accountable when another acts outside the scope of that politician’s control?

This certainly wasn’t the case when Jack Johnson, the Democrat County Executive of Prince George’s County, was arrested for bribery. Maryland Republicans didn’t hold the Maryland Democratic Party responsible for his crimes, only for how they dealt with it afterwards. When Paul Schurick, the Bob Ehrlich campaign aide who engaged in phony phone calling on Election Day, was arrested and tried for his activities, we didn’t hold then-Maryland State GOP chair Audrey Scott responsible. The same goes for when the Anne Arundel County executive was accused for a variety of transgressions.

We have previously expressed fear on this space that corruption is making a big-time comeback under the Rushern Baker regime.

Buccaneers of Thomas Addison Elementary School infamy have been trolling the corridors of power with renewed swagger, after having been banished to the sidelines once the scandal blew up in County Executive Rushern Baker’s face.

All manner of shady wheeler-dealers offering their unique skills have been welcomed with open arms by the movers and shakers in the Rushern Baker government in preparation for a Casino coming up west of Largo in the Washington National Harbor.

These wheeler-dealers have easy access to all the important offices, and it has again become the norm for investors from various parts of the country, the world and anywhere else looking entry into Prince George’s County not to find open doors unless they go through the briefcase intermediaries. However, that’s a story for another day. Stay tuned with this blog. Featured below is information received recently from Nehemiah Vision in order to keep elected officials accountable.  As you can see from the reports, Ms. Monica Goldson played a major role in the transfer Thomas Addison Elementary School saga.

A significant amount of time has passed since the first post regarding the Board of Education’s (BOE) vote to transfer Thomas Addison Elementary School to the local government for use by MGM casino. Since that time, the BOE had The Thatcher Law Firm prepared a response that did not address the issues raised in the appeal by the Executive Director of Nehemiah Vision, but was in our opinion a poor attempt to have the appeal dismissed in an effort by the Thatcher Law Firm to avoid answering for BOE’s failure to comply with the law. Should we prevail with this appeal, it will send the much needed message to our elected officials that they will be held accountable to their constituents and they are not above the law. The documents filed with the State Board of Education are attached below.


Dr. Kevin Maxwell whom we advocated for and the highest levels of PGCPS leadership are implicated in a mega corruption involving the current regime. Dr. Maxwell was indirectly a subject of the Maryland legislature in the last session. (Read more)


Ms. Monica Goldson – Chief Operating Officer for Prince George’s County controls millions of dollars on behalf of  other conspirators. She is the Architect of mismanagement involving public funds currently underway in Prince George’s county Public schools which is facilitated by ASASP Union (the union)  fueling the fire.  


Dr. Segun Eubanks (Courtesy of the National Education Association)…is identified with weak financial controls within Prince George’s county school District and has been laughing all the way to the Bank for the last nine (9) months. (Read more)


  • When you see these gentlemen and others next time, ask them with love how does it feel to be in power without checks and balances? if you are uncomfortable, don’t say anything but look at them closely.
  • If they are your friends, Challenge them with love and positive intentions if they are being the best they can be.
  • Ask them too whose interests are they serving? is it personal or for larger good?
  • Find out the reasons for retaliating against innocent employees who helped them get their current positions.
  • Inquire further why they ignored some of our recommendations. (see them here)

As a movement, we have made it clear that philosophy and substance are far more important than party identification. If we truly believe that, then we need to support and elect honest leadership to lead Prince George’s county in the right direction many years to come.

There are more series of highlights coming up in the next several months unless major adjustments involving Executive staff and others in PGCPS are made…. stay tuned!

We have had enough. Enough is enough.

We are fortunate to have you guys (our followers) in our lives. You make the world a better place!



“Our times demand a new definition of leadership – global leadership. They demand a new constellation of international cooperation – governments, civil society and the private sector, working together for a collective global good.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Speech at World Economic Forum Davos, Switzerland (29 January 2009)


Brown, Gansler and Mizeur to attend Young Democrats Convention in Annapolis.


All three major Democratic candidates for Maryland governor will make an appearance March 22 2014 at the annual Young Democrats of Maryland convention in Annapolis.

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler and Del. Heather Mizeur will appear in separate panel discussions with their running mates during the daylong event.

Other speakers include House Speaker Mike Busch, Comptroller Peter Franchot and a Twitter debate among candidates for attorney general as outlined yesterday in our blog. The event also will feature a straw poll of competitive races in the June primary.

Anne Arundel County Young Democrats is hosting the annual convention, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center, 1101 Smithville St.

Tickets are $20, but group rates for local chapters are available. To register, visit http://www.ydmaryland.org/convention




Maryland’s three Democratic gubernatorial candidates – Delegate Heather Mizeur (l), Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (c), and Attorney General Doug Gansler (r). (Courtesy Photo)


Maryland audit of Prince George’s school system makes a finding…

…identifies weak financial controls


Segun Eubanks (Courtesy of the National Education Association)

A state audit of the Prince George’s County school system found that weak financial controls and insufficient oversight have resulted in $1 million in overpayments to employees and have left the district’s computer network vulnerable to attack.

The audit, which the Office of Legislative Audits released Wednesday, found serious problems in the district’s human relations and Internet security departments and questioned $1 million in six sole-source contracts for which the school system apparently had no documentation.

Auditors reviewed the county school system’s financial records from January 2011 to June 2012. Thomas J. Barnickel III, the legislative auditor, said he was troubled that many of the issues the recent audit identified were problems the state found six years ago during the previous state audit of Maryland’s second-largest school district.

“Serious actions need to be taken to address these long-standing issues,” Barnickel said. >>> Read more Washington Post



PGCPS 2014 -Financial Management Practices Audit Report


Corruption erodes trust in public institutions and in democracy, it undermines our internal market, it hampers foreign investment, it costs tax payers millions, and in many cases it helps organized crime groups do their dirty work. As everyone can see here in Prince George’s County Board of Education,  people without a sound education are like society without a sense of direction.

Corruption is estimated to costs Member States no less than 120 billion dollars each year.

Every dollar that a corrupt official or a corrupt business person puts in their pocket is a dollar stolen from a pregnant woman who needs health care; or from a girl or a boy who deserves an education; or from communities that need water, roads, and schools. Every dollar is critical if we are to reach our goals to end extreme poverty by 2030 and to boost shared prosperity.

Let’s not mince words: In all countries of the world, corruption is public enemy number one. We should never tolerate corruption, and we all should pledge to do all in our power to build upon our strong fight against it.

How do we build institutions with greater integrity so we can help more people lead better lives?  We believe there are three important elements in our approach: First, we need to improve the way we share and apply knowledge about building institutions with greater integrity; second, we need to empower citizens with information and tools to make their governments more effective and accountable; and third, we need to build a global movement to prevail over corruption.

Needless to say, it will take more than one report to root out corruption. But as Maryland is finding its way out of the economic crisis, we cannot afford to drag our feet. PGCPS needs to completely clean house of the administration, HR, Accounting, etc.  In the past, HR did not comply to contracts, employment law and their own rules and policies.  Employees reading the newspaper and novels at their desks.  They pass you to department to department because no one wants to work.  No accountability and transparency.  But then again, most of the Superintendents have been way below par too.

Long story short, for the past 25+ years, PGCPS admin, HR, accounting, etc. have been a joke.  Hopefully Maxwell can find a way to review and replace at least 90%+ of the admin, HR, accounting, etc. staff.

While we disagree in some aspects of the report because the corruption is too high, we hope that this will start a political process and will spur the political will and the necessary commitment at all levels to address corruption more effectively across Maryland and the World. The price of not acting is simply too high.