An article from The Baltimore Sun today finally tells the story of a school board with a reality disconnect.
“It’s frustrating to see that there are four members of the board who basically don’t feel they have any say,” he said. “You can’t pass a law to tell the leadership of the board how to behave.”
Today was a fork in the road for us. Bill and I sat in the front row in the courtroom when Dallas Dance pleaded guilty to four counts of perjury and listened to the state prosecutor read all 66 pages of the Statement of Facts. It was disheartening and revealing yet vindicating. After each of us gving 30 and 35 years (respectively) of service to BCPS, we were treated with disdain at retirement. It is difficult to express how that felt. We then learned that many parents who questioned STAT had been treated the same way. To be clear once again: we are not and have never been opposed to technology integration. We believe that technology should be part of the curriculum, but not the heart of it. The people at the helm of BCPS do not take kindly to criticism. And that is a shame because it stops debate and discussion so it becomes impossible to resolve problems. Both of our parents were teachers and admins so BCPS has been in our families’ lives since the 1930s. We are sad that we no longer feel the pride we always did in our school district. Members of the Board of Education, with four exceptions, looked the other way and allowed this to happen. Currently the same people seem hell bent on plowing ahead in the same Dance style, with little regard for what the community thinks or wants. While I still enjoy working with the children as a volunteer and substitute, I don’t like what i see as a result of STAT. Not sure where the road will take us from here.
Have concerns about recent reports of deteroirating behavior management in BCPS? If so, the following articles may interest you. Warning: contains highly controversial material. May result in heated arguments.
“PEG’s influence on these discipline policies, Benner said, is destructive. Between 2011 and 2015, Benner said he witnessed a fourth grader throw another student against the wall, breaking his nose. He saw elementary school aged boys walking down the halls, grabbing girls’ breasts.” read more
“One prominent black professional, journalist and author Juan Williams, thinks those schools are subscribing to a politically-driven philosophy that grossly underestimates the capabilities of minority students, particularly black children. ‘These people (associated with PEG) are engaged in cultural, political arguments that are based on negative stereotypes of black capacity to achieve in any situation,’ Williams said. ‘My mother never would have said, ‘You don’t have to be on time. If you are then you are acting white.’ That idea is tragically insulting.” read more
“As a black man I can say that they are hurting black kids,” Benner said. “I’ve never seen anything as idiotic as PEG. Everything we do, PEG is at the forefront.
“It’s so comical. PEG says shouting out in class is a black cultural norm, and being on time is a white cultural thing. It’s so demeaning, so condescending to black kids. If a white person were making claims like this, black people would be in an uproar.
“You are not doing kids any favors by making excuses for them because they are black. It’s not a matter of culture if you’re talking about norms that all cultures need to abide by – you cannot throw things or attack your teacher, regardless of your race.” Read more
A recent Op-Ed in The Baltimore Sun written by a teacher gives great reasons to change the way we test our students. #Refusetesting
Read it here
The bad news about Dallas Dance, our former superintendent of schools in Baltimore County, just keeps coming. The latest post from STATUSBCPS tells us that that Dance used images of our students on his private company website.
Read it here
You have to wonder where it all ends…yet another story about former Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance earning money out of state while he was supposed to be here in Baltimore County minding the schools. As Dance’s day in court nears, (March 8 is the trial), how many more side jobs and flying around the country will we read about? Once again, Ann Constantino has uncovered the facts and reported in The Baltimore Post.
Read it here
In the most recent article in The Baltimore Sun, “Lawmakers Call for Ethics Review of Baltimore County School Board, Officials”, it is reported that Senators Kelley and Nathan-Pulliam did not sign the letter.
“My name is not on the letter because I refused to sign it,” Nathan-Pulliam said. “I refused to sign it because in the meeting [with White] I heard that these types of audits had been done already. If it’s already been done then it’s a waste of taxpayer money that should be going back into the schools,” she said.
It’s hard to understand Nathan-Pulliam’s concern about wasting taxpayer money when for the last five years Baltimore County Public Schools has been spending money like drunken sailors on an unproven digital transformation initiative. Equally perpexing is that in light of the facts that she believies that BCPS is capable of policing itself.
BCPS policy 8363 is clear about earning outside income. It’s hard to understand how an educator could read it and not comprehend. (https://www.bcps.org/system/policies_rules/policies/8000Series/POL8363.pdf)
Read it the article here
The Baltimore Sun is finally waking up and providing better coverage of BCPS, thanks to Doug Donavan, who is bringing more information to light about what went on during Dallas Dance’s tenure. Of course, in this case, Ann Constantino of The Baltimore Post was there first. (see my prior post)
Read it here
“School officials should not be consulting on the side. They have a full-time job running school districts. That job is complex and demanding. Their attention and loyalty should not be divided.”
– Samuel Abrams, Director of Columbia University’s National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education
Another Questionable No-Bid Contract in Dance’s Wake