Wednesday, April 01, 2009

INCIDENT TICKER

The incident ticker you have seen under construction in the left hand column is now active. I will use this ticker to post serious events at our local schools that are reported to me by members of the public. The events listed will NOT be obtained through my position as a board of education member. To report an incident to be posted, please EMAIL ME with the school, date, and the event...NO NAMES PLEASE.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you! This will really help us parents make appropriate decisions when it comes to enrolling our kids in your system. Why the superintendent hasn't done this already on the CCPS site is a mystery. Isn't this the system that prides itself on technology? So what's the problem? It's not like your posting names or something.

Anonymous said...

The problem is, Anonymous, that the superintendent doesn't want that information out there. It blows his cover. He tells us what he wants us to know and denies what we eventually find out. If we never find out, then his salary (and benefits) are justified because the spin he has created out there is just so dazzling. More importantly, he doesn't have to find solutions to the tough problems that face public schools today.

Anonymous said...

So true. Appears as though its more important for ccps to concentrate on the moon and the stars than on the problem right there under everyones noses. We can send men to the moon and beyond but people with masters and doctorate degrees in education can't figure out how to engage and educate today's youth. And please, spare me the "parents fault" mantra.

Anonymous said...

Are you guys idiots? If your company had a Web site, would you use it to spread bad news? That's what we have you for. People set up Web sites for their organizations or companies to spread positive news and provide resources for the benefit of their supporters - not to be a part of the rumor mill anytime they hear the slightest negative comment from some random person in the public. If you spent half the time trying to promote good news as you do being agents of negativity, maybe the school system would be a little better. Also, I see there aren't any incidents on the ticker yet. Does that mean the school system isn't as bad as you make it out to be?

Jennifer said...

Anonymous (10:54 p.m.),
I'm not certain of my actual IQ level, but I do not believe I fall in the "idiot" range.
First, we are NOT in a profit-making business, we are a public school system providing a service to the residents of this county. Therefore, we are accountable to the residents of this county and are NOT doing them any favors by withholding information on the status and safety of our schools. Not rumors but FACTS.
I devote a lot of my time to this school system on a non-paid volunteer basis; however, I refuse to stick my head in the sand and pretend that just because I don't see or hear something, it isn't happening.
I never said the school system was "bad," I just want to provide the information. As for no incidents being posted, I explained in the post that I would NOT be using my official channels to obtain and post incidents: they would have to be reported to me by members of the public. Trust me when I say there have been several incidents since this posting that I am aware of but until a member of the public tells me about it, I will not be posting.
In closing, your verbiage is very telling about who you are and I will be approaching you personally to discuss further, not hiding behind anonymity. From one elected official to another, don't try to tell me how to spend my time, and I won't tell you how to spend yours. And, a little piece of advice, it's better to let your stance on a topic be known in public.

MBillard said...

The problem as I see it with Anonymous IV's comments (4/5/09 @ 10:54PM) is that CCPS is not a company and the people it serves are not "supporters." Such a comparison is not applicable in this situation. While it is appropriate to report all the good things that happen in the schools on the web site, that is not--nor should it be--the web site's sole purpose. It is not a propaganda or PR machine tasked with ginning up support from the masses. It is supposed to be a resource for the parents of students in the school system that provides valuable information about they system. Parents cannot make informed decisions if half that information is being intentionally suppressed in order to paint a prettier picture.

Are we idiots? Apparently the school board thinks we are, because it doesn't think we're capable of handling all the facts and must be spoon-fed a sanitized version of reality. As Maura Cook said in the recent work session, "perception is reality," and the school board is busy trying to promote a customized version of reality rather than deal with the one we already have.

Anonymous said...

The website is a good thing.
Allowing the administration to think that information about violent, suspicious, or dubious activity, covering up assaultsz on teachers, people abusing credit cards,`covering up unqualified (not knowing what the hell a teacher is doing) etc. should be observed then investigated by the state and parents of the children in that teacher's classroom.

Right now, the practice of covering up violent activities and insubordination is occuring.

I think that these acts should be posted on the site, minus the names.

Yes, Jennifer should investigate, and if founded to be true, file criminal charges with the police.

Mr. or Ms. Anonymous is on another planet( 10:54 p.m.). This program needs to get off the ground, and yes we need the public to see the shinanigans being pulled by the Federal schools.
There are teachers actually posing as knowing the material that they are "teaching" to the students, but yet admitting "they just learned it." What kind of deceitful behavior is that, especially if it's your kid trying to get through some AP class?
Even if it's just several teachers, that's $210,000 to $270,000 for teachers that have been in the system for a long time.

I invite parents to have their child carry a portable tape recorder on them to record either out of control classes or shady academic behavior disguised as "knowledge" and being characteristic of a "State of Maryland 'Highly Qualified Teacher.'"
Yes, there are excellent, inspirational teachers in our county. But the administration treats them like, well you know, crap. Burdening them rotten thugs, can't throw them out of the classroom for being distruptive, expecting them to provide materials for their students for the year on a $300 budget.
Go figure, a complete waste our tax money on classrooms disrupted by thugs, assaults on teachers, and the covering up of violent behavior being dispensed by thugs against our children. Teachers being back talked by miscreants calling them the "f word", the "b word", etc.

All paid for by the Charles County Tax Payer. I say post the incidences, have them investigated, corroborated by students in the class, then get them published in the paper.
Students and parents can post them anonymously, then investigated by the elected board of ed.

Anonymous said...

You may want to watch out with hidden recorders. I am not a lawyer, but my understanding is recording someone without their permission is illegal. And a child caught with such a device would almost certainly face some form of disciplinary action.

I agree completely that students who disrupt class should be removed and dealt with severely. Sadly most public school administrators don't agree. They seem to prefer "second chances". Nothing wrong with a second chance,....but there is something wrong with a 10th, 12th, or 15th chance.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #7 (4/08/2009 1:00 AM) You pretty much answered the very first question that was posed by Anonymous #4 with an astounding yes.

So basically the school system should be run like a KGB training camp where everyone is secretly recording each other in hopes that they will catch something newsworthy to report to Jennifer. Our schools should probably also have metal detectors in all of the hallways and classroom entrances. Everyone should probably be in uniform (preferably orange or black and white stripped). There should also be cameras in every classroom recording every move - so that "Big Brother" can control everything that is happening.

Looks like someone has been reading a little too much Orwell and Kafka.

LegalBeaglette said...

I believe Anonymous @ 1:00 misconstrues the intent and range of the ticker feature, and I’m not sure whether Anonymous at @ 4:17 is mocking the feature or the 1:00 commenter. I suggest that Anonymous @1:00 (if I may be so bold as to infer his/her meaning) thinks there is housekeeping to be done in the classroom – from inept teachers to discipline for generalized student misbehavior (like backtalk), neither of which is what I understand to be included in the definition of “incident” for the ticker. An “incident” with regard to the ticker (please correct me if I’m wrong, Ms. Abell) is a factual event that clearly involves the safety of students and/or staff.

As for the “highly-qualified teacher” reference (not a “ticker” topic), CCPS has taken steps to address that issue – in working to have teachers assigned to subject areas for which they are qualified, and in ensuring that parents can verify a teacher’s qualifications (in compliance with NCLB). To be fair, a “qualified” teacher does not a “good” teacher make – but the attention to instructor qualifications is a step in the right direction.

We all want students (and staff) to be in a safe school environment. Launching barbs in this blog is not a means to that end.

Anonymous said...

As I've said before,
1) allow professionals within the field of study to observe the teachers to make sure that they are exhibiting a mastery of the content that they are teaching. Because of the continuously poor AP scores in science and math, year after year, this obviously needs to be done immediately. Complaining to the administration does absolutely no good. Having the "content supervisor" or whoever this person is, doesn't do any good. They obviously either don't care enough to do anything about it or have their hands tied politically.
2) Verify that there is a direct correlation between the classroom grade and the scores on the AP exams.
There are no barbs or harpoons being thrown here. These are the facts. These students are trying to obtain college credit from 4 year universities which will not happen with average scores from 1.5 to 2.5.

LegalBeaglette said...

Relax, Anonymous @ 2:24 -- my reference to barbs had nothing to do with topic-related comments made by anyone. Your reference to teacher qualifications is topic-related (but not for the "incident" post). I don't disagree with you that the issue of instructor qualifications/evaluations -- whether AP or otherwise -- is important (see my comments on Rhee, or AP Q’s & A’s, or AP Scholars, or County Ranks High in AP Enrollment, or Studies Find Benefits to Advanced Placement Courses.)

LegalBeaglette said...

And another arson fire in the same school in a men's restroom on May 11. [Maryland Independent, 5/13/09/, Page A-7]

Stupid -- and dangerous.

LegalBeaglette said...

A school bus driver, now charged with several counts of rape of a 13-year-old (and other related offenses), received certification from CCPS to transport children despite a conviction in 1992 for obtaining alcohol for a minor. [Maryland Independent, 5/29/09] It begs the question: What civil and/or criminal violations of record would prohibit such certification?

Jennifer said...

The driver was certified in 2002 and FBI, sheriff's and state background checks did not reflect the 1992 charge. That is not uncommon because the charge was 10 years old at the time and it is a misdemeanor that resulted in a fine. Having said that, even the knowledge of a 10-year-old misdemeanor, with no recurrence of the behavior, would not have prohibited the transportation director from certifying him as a bus driver.

LegalBeaglette said...

And another arson fire in the same school (Westlake) on September 15. [Maryland Independent, 9/18/09, Page A-7] Is this type of thing a far more common event at other schools in the county -- but unreported? Or have I missed the news entries (which is possible, because I do not always read the local paper)?