Maryland’s kids deserve proven leadership and accountability.
Rushern Baker asked for and was granted the power to run Prince George’s County school system.
In March 2013, Rushern Baker asked the state to give him the political and bureaucratic authority over the public school system. As a part of that effort he wrote a bill and got it through the State Legislature (). The law gave Baker the power to appoint several school board members, including the Chairman of the School Board, the Vice Chairman, and the school Superintendent. In June 2013, the took effect.
The results have not been good for our kids.
The school district lost 6.4 million dollars in federal grant money that was used to fund Head Start.
“Prince George's County's Head Start program lost a $6.5 million federal grant after complaints of abuse and poor teacher training surfaced during an investigation. The county's public schools system and board of education were notified that the grant was terminated due to failure to "timely correct one or more deficiencies," a spokesperson said. The program was apparently under a federal investigation for months after a review by the Administration for Children and Families allegedly revealed poor instructor training and alleged abuse of students. (NBC, Channel 4, Washington DC, 8/17/16)
The federal Department of Health and Human Services sent a13-page document stating "The [school system] did not ensure staff abided by the standards of conduct requiring them to use only positive methods of child guidance and not engage in corporal punishment, emotional, or physical abuse, or humiliation or employ methods of discipline involving isolation ... or denial of basic needs," Brenda R. Hewitt, regional program manager with ACI] wrote in the letter. (Washington Informer, 8/25/16)
"Several central office employees received hefty, unauthorized pay raises"
In April 2018, three members of the Prince George’s County Public School Board looked into how much executive cabinet members are paid, and found one received a 36 percent pay hike between 2015 and 2017, amounting to almost $50,000. Another cabinet member saw a salary increase of $46,409 between 2013 and 2017, and a third received a $35,758 increase between 2015 and 2017. In a letter sent to County Executive Rushern Baker, Burroughs and fellow board members Raaheela Ahmed and David Murray call the increases “excessive and reckless.” (WTOP, 4/12/18)
And last year, a probe found that grades for over 5,000 students were changed to push kids along just prior to graduation.
In November 2017, a 211-page independent audit was released. It revealed that ”grades for nearly 5,500 students (in Prince George’s County) were changed days before graduation during the past two years, according to results from an investigation sparked by concerns that educators were fraudulently boosting graduation rates.” [The Washington Post, 11/3/17]
Rushern Baker said,
“Whoever is the leader of the county should be accountable for every operation of government.
“If it doesn’t work out, people will know who to blame.”
The people now know.
Rushern Baker: Wrong for our kids. Wrong for Maryland.
Baker told the public at the time he took over the schools that he was up to the task.
He told the Washington Post:
“Whoever is the leader of the county should be accountable for every operation of government….”
“If it doesn’t work out, people will know who to blame.” (Washington Post, 4/3/13)