Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rules Allowing Extended Time on Graduation

Advocates Debate Effects of Change in Regulations
By Catherine Gewertz

Federal regulations have opened a door that allows schools to get credit under the No Child Left Behind Act for students who take longer than four years to earn a high school diploma. But that option worries some education advocates, who fear it could relieve valuable pressure on high schools to graduate students on time.

Under the law’s accountability provisions, students who don't graduate in four years count against schools' graduation rates. Many educators have complained that such an approach punishes schools that go the extra mile to keep students from dropping out or to lure back those who have left school.
Read more HERE

Board opposes waiver of Maintenance of Effort

The Board of Education opposes a request by the Charles County Commissioners to waive the state's Maintenance of Effort requirement.

Maintenance of Effort is the state law that requires local governments to maintain the same level of funding from year to year and provides increases based on the enrollment and per pupil cost from the previous fiscal year. It ensures minimum local government funding in public education. Charles County Public Schools receives a significant portion of its funding from county government. Since 1984 the law has ensured that counties meet a proportional funding obligation relative to state funding.

In a letter to Donald Wade, chairman of the Board of Education, the Commissioners wrote that they regret that they are planning to request a waiver of the Maintenance of Effort for the next school year. They are filing for the waiver, according to the letter, because the county may receive additional unspecified state funding cuts. Counties must file requests for a waiver of Maintenance of Effort to the Maryland State Department of Education by April 1.

"The Maintenance of Effort waiver would have a significant impact on the school system, students, programs and staff," Wade said. "It is not in the best interest of maintaining a quality education system. Our funding projections for next year are already significantly lower on both the county and state levels and the cuts jeopardize the progress we have made in recent years."

By requesting a waiver of Maintenance of Effort, the Commissioners are asking to reduce funding by approximately $4.5 million below this school year's original budget and cut $14 million from the Board of Education's proposed budget of $304 million. Requested budget increases include only mandatory costs for health insurance, transportation, employee longevity steps, maintenance service contracts and utilities. The school system has not entered into negotiations with its two employee group representatives because of the lack of firm revenue projections from both the county and the state.

Additionally, the school system anticipates state funding will be flat; however, no official funding notification has been provided. The school system initially expected a $1.8 million cut in state funding, but projections show that stimulus money may offset that loss.

"The current law requires that the county levy taxes sufficient to meet the statutory obligations of Maintenance of Effort. A simple desire on the part of the Commissioners to avoid appropriate actions to satisfy the law is not a reason to grant a waiver or to overturn the law," Wade said.

Counties must by law submit a formal request for waivers to the Maryland State Department of Education and must prove that the county's fiscal condition significantly impedes the county's ability to fund Maintenance of Effort. A public hearing on all waiver requests will be held 9 a.m., April 27, at the Maryland State Board of Education in Baltimore.

Wade said the local Board plans to oppose any effort by the county to waive Maintenance of Effort and will ask the local delegation to oppose a statewide waiver. "While some counties may not be able to meet the legal requirement of Maintenance of Effort, the Board of Education feels that Charles County can meet its obligation," Wade said.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Multiracial Pupils to Be Counted in A New Way

By Michael Alison Chandler and Maria Glod
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, March 23, 2009; Page A01

Public schools in the Washington region and elsewhere are abandoning their check-one-box approach to gathering information about race and ethnicity in an effort to develop a more accurate portrait of classrooms transformed by immigration and interracial marriage. Next year, they will begin a separate count of students who are of more than one race.

For many families in the District, Montgomery and other local counties that have felt forced to deny a part of their children's heritage, the new way of counting, mandated by the federal government, represents a long-awaited acknowledgment of their identity: Enrollment forms will allow students to identify as both white and American Indian, for example, or black and Asian. But changing labels will make it harder to monitor progress of groups that have trailed in school, including black and Hispanic students.

Read more HERE

Friday, March 27, 2009

Report: Md. Kindergartners are Entering School Better Prepared

BALTIMORE (March 24, 2009) - Children entering kindergarten in Maryland continue to improve their preparation for the rigors of the classroom, according to a new report by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).

"Children Entering School Ready to Learn-School Readiness Information for School Year 2008-2009," a report by MSDE's Division of Early Childhood Development, revealed steady progress in all demographic subgroups. Maryland students entering kindergarten fully prepared for learning increased by 5 percent from 2008 to 2009, up to 73 percent. That is up 24 percentage points since the baseline year of 2001.

Read more HERE

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Follow-Up of Board Work Session, 3/23/09

Since the work session on 3/23/09, I have received a fax in which Chairman Wade listed his appointees for two board sub-committees:

  • Alternative Schedules - Cook, Carrington, & staff
  • Code of Conduct Sexual Offenses - Pedersen & Bailey, & staff & students

NOTES: Board Work Session, 3/23/09

The Board Work Session on Monday, March 23rd will be re-broadcast on Channel 96 on Wednesdays at 6 p.m.; Fridays at 9 a.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. It will be available soon via web streaming. To view the full agenda and the various reports, please visit BoardDocs.

The below notes are my personal notes and are not intended to be all-inclusive or official minutes for the Board of Education meetings and are provided as a request from my supporters and the general public in a personal effort to be more transparent. Although I have diligently tried to make these notes as unbiased and accurate as possible, I am only human and do make mistakes.


  • Female - Resident of White Plains for 30+ years. Concerned about the safety issues in the schools. Supports Abells request for information. Appalled by reaction of other members. Wants to know how board members vote on these issues. Concerned about quote by Wade in Indy and fights. Concerned with lack of transparency. Public should know what is going on.


  • Cook - Wants an update about the safety of our schools
  • Pedersen - What happens after events occur? We did brainstorming...supports a student government teen court and cameras in schools
  • Cook - Grant money available for school safety
  • Abell - Parent policing; student ID's; lack of visitation by parents due to policy restrictions; whole community is needed
  • Wise - Doesn't believe there are safety problems, taught for 26 years
  • Cook - Things are not like they used to be
  • Abell - Teachers and principal have commented to me personally: Teachers are reluctant to send students from the classroom because they are ridiculed and reprimanded by principals for not being able to "control" their students. Principals reluctant to suspend because it looks bad on them and their school.
  • Carrington - Who is responsible for these parent volunteers?
  • Ms. Hile (Principal, Hanson) - Never been told to watch her suspensions or keep them down
  • Mr. Short (Principal, Lackey) - Montgomery County has ID's and still have the same number of suspensions. Thinks students do a great job policing themselves. Very open environment; allows parents in school
  • Cook - Perception vs reality
  • Abell - We need to be open and let the public know about the incidents
  • Carrington - Thinks it's wrong to put on web-site or put emphasis on this small percentage of our student population.
  • Wise - Addresses newspaper to stop putting negative in the paper and put positive on the front page
  • Abell - Paper does print the positive. Web-site ONLY has positive; no bad
  • Bailey - History of the board and system and how far we've come. Kudos to staff



  • Anonymous paper poll indicated...Yes = 2; No = 5
  • Bailey - No. Not Needed
  • Wise - No. Thinks we get enough
  • Pedersen - Yes
  • Abell - Requests a public vote for all these items so public can see how each board member votes

Yes = Abell, Pedersen; No = Wade, Wise, Carrington, Bailey, Cook


  • Anonymous paper poll indicated...Yes=1; No=6

Yes = Abell; No = Wade, Wise, Carrington, Bailey, Cook, Pedersen


  • Anonymous paper poll indicated...Yes=4; No=1; Maybe=2
  • Wise - Because it is happening more we should review

Yes = Abell, Carrington, Cook, Pedersen, Bailey, Wise; No = Wade

  • [Yep....it doesn't match the anonymous paper poll]


  • Anonymous paper poll indicated...Yes=3; No=3; Maybe=1
  • Carrington - Doesn't see a need for it
  • Pedersen - Wants to put it to rest and will appease community
  • Wise - Doesn't see a need
  • Pedersen - Inform public
  • Abell - Listed the history of this request dating back to Jan 2007 through today of at least 8 requests for the research that was previously done.
  • Wise - Thinks staff should not be tasked; we should do it ourselves
  • Richmond - Offered staff; double-shifting does work and year round schooling does work in some areas but don't know if they are right for us.
  • Wade - Form a committee of staff board members

Yes=Abell, Bailey, Cook, Pedersen, Wise, Wade; Abstain=Carrington

Meeting adjourned

HSA deadline looms & Stats

More than 4,600 seniors risk not getting diplomas if they don't pass tests

By Liz Bowie liz.bowie@baltsun.com
March 26, 2009

While some state and school officials seem optimistic that thousands of seniors will meet new state graduation requirements by May, the task for some schools is much more challenging than for others.

More than half of the 4,660 students who are in danger of not getting diplomas because they have not passed the High School Assessments live in Baltimore City or Prince George's County and are concentrated in a couple of dozen high schools.

Read more HERE

County-by-county HSA numbers -- baltimoresun.com

Statewide HSA results by school -- baltimoresun.com

Reported Rape Raises Questions About Schools' Policy

By Jenna Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 26, 2009; Page SM01

When Charles County police arrested a Henry E. Lackey High School senior last month and charged him with raping a 16-year-old in an empty classroom after school, several school board members said they were shocked by the system's brief policy on sexual offenses.

The student code of conduct says that any sexual offense is "viewed as potentially serious misconduct dependent upon the age and level of development of the student in question." The section on sexual offenses is 165 words long, compared with a 928-word policy on cellphones.

Discipline in sexual offense cases includes notifying the parents of students involved and, in most cases, legal authorities. In addition, the suspected offender is to be suspended "for up to 10 days," although the superintendent has the power to extend that period or expel the student.

Read more HERE

8% of Md. seniors at risk of not graduating

4,660 yet to pass High School Assessments
By Liz Bowie liz.bowie@baltsun.com
March 25, 2009

With three months left in the school year, more than 8 percent of Maryland seniors are at risk of not graduating, education officials said Tuesday in releasing the first precise count of how well the Class of 2009 is meeting the High School Assessments.

This year's seniors are the first who have been required to pass four tests in biology, English II, American government and algebra or do extra projects to prove they have mastered the material before getting a diploma.

Despite the large number - 4,660 students in a class of 53,000 - officials told the state school board that they are confident that most will qualify by retaking tests in April or May, completing the projects or getting waivers. Special education students and those who are learning English as a second language are at the greatest risk of not graduating.

Read more HERE

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

State Recognizes Charles County Schools for MSA Achievement

LA PLATA, Md. (March 24, 2009) -- Fifteen Charles County public schools were recognized by the Maryland State Department of Education in the Maryland School Performance Recognition Program, which honors schools for achievement and improvement on the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) or the High School Assessment (HSA).

Dr. James Craik and William B. Wade elementary schools, and North Point High School were honored for overall achievement. William A. Diggs, T.C. Martin, Walter J. Mitchell, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy, J.C. Parks, J.P. Ryon and Eva Turner elementary schools, Milton M. Somers Middle School, and Henry E. Lackey, Maurice J. McDonough, Thomas Stone and Westlake high schools were recognized for subgroup improvement.

Read more HERE

Schools revamp schedules to save money

By Emily Bazar,

Schools are moving to four-day weeks, shortening the school year, staggering start times and making other schedule adjustments to save money.

Some altered schedules to fill budget holes for this year. Others are planning for next year but don't know how much their budgets will be reduced as legislators face shrinking tax revenue.

Although federal stimulus funds will help, "most districts are still unaware of how much money that will mean for them," says Mary Kusler, a lobbyist for the American Association of School Administrators.

Read more HERE

Monday, March 23, 2009

School system publishes Annual Report

Charles County Public Schools 2009 Annual Report, titled "News to Know," will be mailed to all student households this week, March 23-27.

The report, which is one of three to be produced this year, contains student and faculty accomplishments, school system budget information, articles on technology and Charles County Public School's safe driving partnership with the Charles County Sheriff's Office.

The report is being mailed at no cost to the school system or taxpayers and will be mailed in an envelope containing advertisements, which offsets the production and distribution costs.

The report is also available on the school system's Web site, www.ccboe.com. The report is listed under the public information and media tab, located on the left-hand side of the home page. Select the publications menu option.

The publication is produced by the CCPS communications department and is required by law to be published. The direct link to the report is http://www2.ccboe.com/PDF/2009-annualreport.pdf.

CCPS does not endorse any of the companies whose advertisements appear with the mailing. Call 301-934-7220 for additional information or additional copies.

The Pressure Is On, and the Kids Suffer in . . . Kindergarten?

By Jay Mathews
Sunday, March 22, 2009; Page SM06

Dear Extra Credit:

We have two sets of twins who are in fourth grade and kindergarten at a well-regarded public school in Bowie. The difference I see in the four years since my older children were in kindergarten is astounding.

I do not remember the older children having tests in kindergarten. Now they have tests at least monthly in math, reading, social studies and science. The tests are multiple choice so that they can practice filling in little bubbles to be ready for the Maryland State Assessment in three years. For this week's math worksheet, they were required to cut and paste the days of the week in order (acceptable to me) and then explain how they knew their answer was correct (what are they supposed to write for that?).

This year's kindergartners were starting to write sentences by the second month. They started with a simple "I see" and quickly moved up to things such as, "I go to school." They are expected to learn a new sentence each week and write it with a capital letter at the beginning, correct letter formation and spelling, spacing between the words, and a period at the end. Is this really essential for kindergarten?

Read more HERE

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Assessment of the New Bike Trail

Okay, not really education related but definitely community related and students might eventually try to venture out and get some sunshine.

Today was a gorgeous day so I decided to try out the new Hike-Bike Trail that runs from Indian Head to White Plains. Here is my assessment along with some pictures.

First I drove to the entrance of the trail off of Bumpy Oak Road and took off toward White Plains. Unfortunately, I didn't get very far. I got to Pomfret Road and was not allowed to continue because of it being roped off and saying DO NOT ENTER, NO TRESPASSING, U.S. GOVERNMENT PROPERTY
So I turned around and headed towards Indian Head and rode all the way to Rt. 225 (decided to turn around there because it was starting to get dark) never seein' a soul until...

...I met Charlie. Charlie was a nice elderly gentleman that said he rode from Marbury, does it frequently and posed for this nice picture. If you look closely there is an old barn in the background.

Summing it all up...I never saw anything paved and I thought the commissioners had stated that it was paved; maybe it is in another section, but not this one. I saw ducks, geese, and a blue heron. It was quite the workout riding through all the gravel, hills, and mud puddles. I definitely wouldn't try it without an off-road bicycle. Charlie was having a tough time and had to turn around because he couldn't get through with those skinny tires. It would be great for walking or jogging. I could see it becoming an all-terrain vehicle magnet once the weather breaks, though. Plan plenty of time so it doesn't get dark on you; it gets dark in the woods about 30 - 60 minutes before everywhere else. It was kind of spooky going alone. I definitely would say let someone know where you're going and don't go alone, or if you do, don't wear headphones, be aware of your surroundings, and exercise your right to bear arms :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lacrosse Tonight

The long awaited first Lacrosse matches will take place tonight Stone at McDonough girls play at 5:00; boys at 6:30 woo hoo!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Executive Session Added, March 23, 2009

I was notified today via fax and email that Chairman Wade has requested an Executive Session from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. prior to the board work session on Monday, March 23. Agenda is unknown. I have respectfully requested the nature/agenda for this meeting.

Maryland Public Information Act

This post began in two other posts if you have been following the saga...

Letter delivered at 11:30 a.m.

Dear Mr. Richmond

This is a request under the Maryland Public Information Act, State Government Article §§10-611 to 628. I am making this request on behalf of myself. I wish to inspect all records in your custody and control pertaining to the Board Poll regarding Board Member’s Request for Information dated March 12, 2009, including the individual responses of each board member for each item.

If all or any part of this request is denied, I request that I be provided with a written statement of the grounds for the denial. If you determine that some portions of the requested records are exempt from disclosure, please provide me with the portions that can be disclosed.

I also anticipate that I will want copies of some or all of the records sought. Therefore, please advise me as to the cost, if any, for obtaining a copy of the records and the total cost, if any, for all the records described above. If you have adopted a fee schedule for obtaining copies of records and other rules or regulations implementing the Act, please send me a copy.

Please note that the Public Information Act affords you only 30 days in which to approve or deny my request. If you are not the custodian of these records, the law gives you ten days to identify to me the proper custodian and the location of the documents.

Jennifer Abell

I'm LIVID, part 2

Okay here we go again...this post is in regards to a previous one...

So I phoned central office yesterday to see if the results of the poll were in. I was informed they were still waiting on two. I asked if they would be sending out the results upon completion and was told I would need to talk to Mr. Wade.

Phoned central office again this morning to see if it was complete and to try and talk to Mr. Wade. He wasn't in. Tried his cell...no answer. Tried his home...answering machine picked up...I thought I had hung up and was going to call central office again but heard that there was no dial tone...so I listened for a minute.....and heard a voice..."Mr. Wade?" Yes in deedy it was. Strange.

I asked Mr. Wade if we would be receiving the results of the poll today and was informed that NO we would not. We will be receiving the results on Monday at the work session. I questioned how one member of the board (himself) could withhold information from the other members. How can we prepare for the meeting without the results? The conversation continued with how he could poll one member's requests but not another's. He said safety is a concern for all and mine was just a laundry list. He then mumbled that there is a process. My response was yes, there is a process, but it should pertain to all members, not just one. Then I received a lecture about being professional and how this very conversation could end up on a blog somewhere. I put his fear at ease and assured him it would.

I have a call in for legal advice.

Monday, March 16, 2009

NOTES: Board Meeting, March 10, 2009

The Board Meeting Tuesday, March 10th will be re-broadcast on Channel 96 on Wednesdays at 6 p.m.; Fridays at 9 a.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. . To view the full agenda and the various reports, please visit BoardDocs.

The below notes are my personal notes and are not intended to be all-inclusive or official minutes for the Board of Education meetings and are provided as a request from my supporters and the general public in a personal effort to be more transparent. Although I have diligently tried to make these notes as unbiased and accurate as possible, I am only human and do make mistakes.


  • See report
  • Web streaming video


  • Wise - Democratic Central Committee honoring Wade for Kennedy award
  • Abell - MABE nominating and budget committee by May 29
  • Pedersen - Blue Ribbon met with commissioners and submitted 6 issues
  • Carrington - Reaching Out Now organization helping teachers and students; round table discussion and activities. Attended awards for history fair and robotics competition at CSM
  • Wise - Winter student recognition program at Lackey was well attended
  • Cook - Couldn't attend but received positive feedback
  • Carrington - LaPlata good turnout - younger kids seeing older kids getting awards
  • Abell - McDonough turnout was very poor
  • Pedersen - North Point was good turnout
  • Wise - One complaint from someone who had a child at two different locations
  • Wineland - Westlake attendance was good
  • Cook - Families liked seeing people they knew
  • Wise - Surprise for feeder schools; had banners made


  • Carrington - Adventure with Wineland driving. Met with VP of CISCO from building in DC to London conversation/discussion
  • Wise - Indy paper - student blatantly says they are transferring to another county to play spring sports. Wants review at state level athletic policy
  • Pedersen - Issues with AA Regional track meet held at Armory in DC. Floors and starter not conducive
  • Wade - Letter from Grasmick - 2/10/09 letter re: appointment of Supt. approved


  • Ms. Brown read report
  • Wise - 2.5 hours to respond to the TELL survey?


  • Senior prom on 3/13. 500 tickets sold out in 2 days
  • CCASC state convention
  • All HS raising $$ for state charity


  • Barnhart - Kind. addition completed
  • Bailey - Kind. addition - lost a couple of days due to snow. comp. 6/09
  • Martin - ditto
  • Mt. Hope - Septic system replacement. Bids for construction of kind. addition 3/25; currently have 17 interested companies
  • Received another $1M from IAC for Middleton boilers
  • Now have 249 "educational cottages"


  • Presentation
  • Wise - Life of rubber base?
  • Belmore - At least 10 years old now
  • Pedersen - Seen some in ill repair like Wade
  • Belmore - Those are a different kid; older style; slowly being replaced

INSTRUCTION - Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee

  • HSA projects to date 717. 87 students met HSA requirement through the Bridge plan.
  • Discussion on projects
  • Summer Academy
  • Sensory Room at JP Ryon; small rooms; $20,000 via grant
  • Trying to seek funding for another room in the LaPlata area


  • 2010 - 2011 Calendar;


  • Schwartz - HB 1243/SB673 - Fairness in negotiations - create a system to allow outside arbitrators to decide what is negotiable and what is not. Would not allow Supt. to transfer employees. Suggests we oppose. MACO and Supt. Assoc. are opposing.
  • Pederesen - How does this benefit the child?
  • Abell - Asked for legislative issues to be an actual printed report on BoardDocs in the future in order to properly prepare for the meeting.

Motion for opposition to bills by Wise; Seconded by Pedersen. Abell - Abstained; Everyone else - Yes; PASSED


  • Presented; questions next month


  • Cook - Suggests making board meeting earlier
  • Pedersen - Against moving times
  • Wise - Concern with staff time
  • Abell - Public forum should NOT be moved; we were voted in as public servants to represent our community and that is who we should be accessible to
  • Cook - Suggests submitting emails that could be read
  • Bailey - Spoke about history


  • None


  • Cook - School safety issues
  • Abell - Four previously requested agenda items (incident ticker for website, student code of conduct for sexual harassment, board notification of incidents, alternative schedules)
  • Cunningham - States he can't locate the information; still working on it


  • Wise asked for the motion for the minutes to be divided

Motion by Bailey to approve the minutes from 2/10/09 executive session. Seconded by Carrington. Abstain - Wise and Pedersen. Yes - all remaining. PASSED

Motion by Wise to approve the minutes from the 2/10/09 public session. Seconded by Pedersen. Vote was unanimous. PASSED

Motion by Wise to approve Personnel. Second by Carrington. Vote was unanimous. PASSED

REMINDER: Board Work Session, March 23, 2009

Just a reminder, the Board of Education will hold a work session at 6 p.m. on Monday March 23, at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building in La Plata. The meeting will also be aired live on Comcast Channel 96. The agenda is not available for you to view on BoardDocs yet, but eventually you will be able to go here and see it. Until then, you can see it below.

***I will try to refrain from personal comments about the agenda ***

Public Forum

Work Session

  • Safety in Schools
  • Chairman's update on Board poll about alternative schedules, Code of Student Conduct for sexual offenses, ticker tape of school incidents and Board member notification of incidents.

Tide turns against schools as foreclosures rise

By Greg Toppo and Jack Gillum, USA TODAY

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Way back when times were good — last April — builders showed up one day at Forest Grove Middle School and gutted a little-used classroom off the gym.
Four months and a half-million dollars later, they had transformed the space into a gleaming, bubbling mini marine biology laboratory, with five huge, blue plastic tanks for local marine life and a refrigerated tank that replicates the cold-water ecosystem off Maine.

For the first time, teacher Kevin Stinnette thought, his students could do hands-on lessons with cold-water species such as frilled anemones and Acadia hermit crabs.

Then the mortgage meltdown hit central Florida, and the crabs and anemones weren't the only ones hit with cold water. Here as elsewhere across the USA, hard times have forced schools to trim budgets, freeze hiring and, in a few cases, make substantial job cuts, raising doubts about the future of a range of programs, including the new marine lab.

Read more HERE

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm Livid

Board members received two memos from Chairman Wade today via email and fax. They both pertain to two of my posts here on this site.

You can read the first memo HERE. It is explaining when the agenda for board meetings is posted. If you go to this post, http://abell4edu.blogspot.com/2009/03/reminder-board-meeting-31009.html, you will see I stated that the agenda was NOT available to the public a week before the meeting. Granted, we had a snow day on Monday, but if that was truly the issue, as the memo seems to portray, how was the agenda available to board members on Monday? If they could make it available to us on Monday, a snow day, why was it not available to the public?

The second memo you can read HERE. This is the one that really incites me. It is concerning Future Agenda Items and this post http://abell4edu.blogspot.com/2009/03/future-agenda-items.html and if I was getting a complex before, this seems to have proven my point. You see, there are four items I requested for a future agenda item (school incident ticker, board member notification of incidents, Student Code of Conduct for sexual offenses, and alternative scheduling), I have asked for the latter one at least six times over the last 18 months and the former ones I asked for in January...they never seem to be placed on the agenda. So, I did the proper thing and brought them up again, in public at the 3/10 meeting. (I hope to have my notes up by the weekend). Once again they were written down by our chairman along with Ms. Cook's request for School Safety Issues. A little discussion took place, with Mr. Wade requesting clarification on exactly what I wanted. We moved on. Then today we get the above memo asking for a consensus of the board for MY requests as future agenda items before the chairman tasks staff with the work. Ms. Cook's request is not on this list, only mine. Why wasn't a consensus requested during our PUBLIC meeting so the PUBLIC could see who was for or against? Why doesn't our chairman need consensus for Ms. Cook's request? What is it about my requests that our chairman doesn't like?

BTW - I tried to talk to Mr. Wade via telephone regarding this, to no avail.

Md. to explore tracking performance of teachers, students

by Liz Bowie

The state Board of Education said yesterday that it will explore a partnership with neighboring states to create a regional data base that tracks the performance of teachers and students. Maryland lags in such data gathering, according to state schools chief Nancy Grasmick. Already, 21 states track teachers, but Maryland does not. [Sun]

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Obama to unveil first piece of education plan

By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is unveiling the first piece of his education plan to a group of Hispanic business leaders.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says Obama's speech Tuesday to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will outline the first steps of an agenda to change American schools. Gibbs says the president's remarks will focus on new approaches to help students and teachers. [AP]

Monday, March 09, 2009

Future Agenda Items

You know, I am really starting to get a complex. It seems as though items that I request to be placed on an upcoming agenda never get placed on the agenda. If another board member requests it, bingo, it's on there the next month. Could it be intentional? hmmmmmm

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Report: Md. schools should tap foreign language 'assets'

March 5, 2009 - 9:22am

WASHINGTON - Maryland is home to the nation's third-highest percentage of foreign-born college graduates and should capitalize on the diversity of language abilities, according to a 2009 report of the Preservation of Heritage Language Skills Task Force.

The task force, authorized by the 2008 Maryland General Assembly, made four recommendations: to award high school foreign language credit by exam, increase immersion programs in schools, expand teacher certification options and enhance English speaking learning programs for foreign-born adults.

"The main challenges we face in assuring that Maryland benefits from these skills are leadership, coordination and innovation -- not taxpayer dollars," said Sen. James C. Rosapepe, D-Prince George's, co-sponsor of the task force legislation.

Legislative action isn't necessary, Rosapepe said, and this innovation can occur at the local level among school systems and communities.

Read more HERE

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

School System Publishes Annual Report

Charles County Public Schools published its 2009 Annual Report, titled "News to Know," this week on the school system's Web site, www.ccboe.com. The report is listed under the public information and media tab, located on the left-hand side of the home page. Select the publications menu option.

The report contains student and faculty accomplishments, school system budget information, articles on technology and Charles County Public School's safe driving partnership with the Charles County Sheriffs Office.

The publication is produced by the CCPS communications department and is required by law to be published. The direct link to the report is http://www2.ccboe.com/PDF/2009-annualreport.pdf

Additionally, the report will be mailed next month to all staff members and student households at no cost to the school system or taxpayers. The report will be mailed in an envelope containing advertisements, which offset the cost of producing and distributing the publication. CCPS does not endorse any of the companies whose advertisements appear with the mailing. Call 301-934-7220 for additional information or additional copies.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

REMINDER: Board Meeting 3/10/09



The Board of Education's next monthly meeting is Tuesday, March 10, at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building on Radio Station Road in La Plata. The public portion of the meeting begins at 1 p.m. and recognition begins at 4:30 p.m. The meeting is televised live on Comcast Channel 96 and rebroadcast throughout the week. Program schedules for Channel 96 are available at www2.ccboe.com/publicinfo/channel96/schedule.cfm. You can view the agenda and report items at BoardDocs ..

Executive session  12 p.m.

Call to order  1 p.m.

Pledge of Allegiance, Henry E. Lackey High School's JROTC unit

Reports of officers/boards/committees
Superintendent's update
Correspondence/Board Member updates - Cisco Telepresence; Sen. Cardin's North Point visit; and winter student recognition
Education Association of Charles County update
Student Board Member update
CIP update
Special Education Citizen's Advisory Committee
2010-2011 school calendar
Legislative update
Policy subcommittee update
Unfinished business

New business and future agenda items
New business - Change of Board meeting time
Future agenda items
Recognition  4:30 p.m.
Resolutions: Month of the Young Child and National Student Leadership Week.
Public Forum  6 p.m.

Action items