New County School Chief by Friday (Demo)

Like it or lump it, County Executive Baker is almost finished with all his appointments to the Board of Education.  The Search Committee for a new Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) announced that three finalists were recommended to Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III for his selection of the County’s PGCPS CEO.  County Executive Baker is expected to make the selection of the new Board of Education CEO by the end of this week. 
The selection committee, appointed by Governor O’Malley and State Superintendent Dr. Lillian Lowery, was sure to include in their statement: “Due to the confidentiality of the process, the names of the three finalists are not being disclosed to the public,” so I don’t know the names of the finalists.  The process of choosing these finalists was supposed to be transparent, I’m told.  Scott Peterson, spokesperson for County Exec. Baker, was quoted by The Gazette, “the names of the finalists would not be revealed due to confidentiality issues and concerns regarding their current employers.  “That’s a legal right we have,” Peterson said. “The opinion from our law office after checking with the state attorney general’s office is we don’t have to give out that information.”
School Bus Question MarkI so WISH I could tell you who was on this list but by Friday, we’ll all know who Baker picked.  Dr. Charlene Dukes, search committee chair, described the 3 candidates as, “a diverse group of highly qualified individuals, all of whom had superintendent experience and led educational systems in a variety of geographic areas across the country, including work in large urban and suburban school systems.”
The Committee reviewed materials submitted from a total of fifty (50) solicited and unsolicited applications. This legislation went into effect on June 1st and today, June 25, all county and county council appointments are in place.  For County Executive Baker, this is a must win.  For this county, the stakes are high.   More children are living in poverty in Prince George’s. The County’s poverty rate has doubled since 2000, going from 4% to 8% and fewer middle class families are sending their children to public schools.  See POST.  In the meantime, median home prices in the county have jumped from $170k to $220, outside investors are purchasing real estate and development is on the move.  Our education system is the critical link between the county drawing the business tax base it needs and the burgeoning echo boomers and baby boomers who are seeking out transit oriented development.
Folks, this has to work.

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Comments (1)

I agree, this has to work. While I continue to have real issues with the lack of transparency in Baker’s whole takeover process from start to finish, I have to give him credit for moving quickly. If we were stuck with all kinds of public vetting processes and discussions at this late hour, the interim leadership situation would likely hurt the school system badly. Of course, much will depend on Baker’s CEO choice and that person’s vision and leadership qualities. But one thing is for sure, turning our schools around will not be a one-person job. We the parents really need to step up. All of us can do a better job of setting high expectations for our own kids and making sure they are prepared, do their homework, and behave properly. And, more parents need to step up to the plate – show up for BOE meetings to hold our leaders’ feet to the fire, get involved with our schools and PTAs, talk to our principals, etc.

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