Thursday, March 31, 2011

Charles County Public School Employee Charged In Theft Scheme

The Baynet
March 31, 2011

Allegedly Stole Computers, Apple iPods, and other Technology Equipment Purchased Using Federal Funds Intended for the Needs of School Children

Greenbelt, Maryland - A criminal complaint was filed late yesterday charging Rhayda Barnes-Thomas, age 40, of Accokeek, Maryland, with theft concerning a federal government program and making false statements in connection with a scheme to use federal funds received by her school employer to buy technology items used for herself, her family and friends. Barnes-Thomas is scheduled to have an initial appearance today at 4:15 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jillyn K. Schulze.

The complaint was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Steven D. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Department of Education - Office of Inspector General; and Charles County Sheriff Rex Coffey.

The U.S. Department of Education provides federal funding, known as Title I grants, to public school districts with enrollment of low-income families to help ensure that all children meet appropriate academic standards. Typical uses of Title I funding include purchasing equipment for classroom education. According to the affidavit supporting the criminal complaint, since approximately 2006, Barnes-Thomas has been the Title I coordinator for the Charles County (Maryland) Public Schools (the County Schools), assigned to manage the County Schools’ Title I funding, including overseeing the purchases of technology equipment for use in classrooms paid for with federal funds.

Read more HERE.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


BALTIMORE (March 30, 2010) – Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick today announced her intention to retire this summer, which will end her nearly 20-year tenure at the helm of the nation’s most honored public school system.
Dr. Grasmick has served as State Superintendent in Maryland since September of 1991. She currently ranks as the nation’s longest-serving appointed state schools’ chief. She will retire on June 30.
Maryland this year has already received several national accolades. Education Week in January named Maryland the number one school system in the nation for an unprecedented third straight year. The College Board in February followed up by citing Maryland student success in the rigorous Advanced Placement exams as the nation’s best, also for the third consecutive year.
“Our students and our schools have made tremendous progress over the past two decades, and stand on the edge of even greater progress,” Dr. Grasmick said. “It has been my great honor and privilege to work with our state’s outstanding educators to provide our children with the educational system they richly deserve.”
Under Dr. Grasmick’s leadership, Maryland schools have seen marked improvement. For seven consecutive years, Maryland’s school systems have raised scores in both reading and math, and there has been strengthened achievement across racial subgroups. Student achievement also has increased for students receiving special services, such as low-income and students with disabilities. At the same time, MSDE data reveal a reduction in many achievement gaps between subgroups, especially at the elementary-school level.
Maryland has seen dramatic improvement in other areas. Its work in the Advanced Placement program has been cited, logging the nation’s greatest increases in the percentage of students scoring at college mastery levels in the exams. Graduation rates in the state have risen steadily over the past 20 years, while dropout rates have fallen.
The Maryland State Department of Education has been a thriving incubator for innovative practices under Dr. Grasmick. Determined to strengthen school performance across the board, Dr. Grasmick led the state to initiate one of the nation’s first accountability systems, predating the federal No Child Left Behind Act by several years and receiving national recognition along the way.

In other pioneering efforts, MSDE initiated what may be the nation’s first state division for leadership development, shining a spotlight on the principal as instructional leader for each school. The Department four years ago launched the nation’s first statewide award to honor parents who contribute to school improvement. The State more than a decade ago set in place the nation’s only service learning graduation requirement.
Dr. Grasmick has put a special focus on early childhood development during her years as State Superintendent. The Maryland Model for School Readiness, which charts the preparation of students as they enter kindergarten, has earned a reputation as a national model. Over the past nine years, the percentage of children deemed to be fully prepared for kindergarten has risen from 49 percent to 81 percent. Over those nine years, Maryland has moved all early care programs under MSDE, and the Department initiated an innovative curriculum for pre-school students linked to the State’s K-12 curriculum.
Last summer, Maryland was awarded one of the U.S. Department of Education’s 12 Race to the Top grants, a $250 million program designed to take the nation’s top school system to a new level of excellence. The grant takes aim at continuing the improvement of the State’s lowest performing schools, redesigning teacher tenure, strengthening data collection, and constructing a new system of teacher and principal evaluation that puts student performance at its heart.
Dr. Grasmick’s career in education began as a teacher of deaf children at the William S. Baer School in Baltimore City. Over the next 30 years, she served as a classroom and resource teacher, principal, supervisor, assistant superintendent, and associate superintendent. Dr. Grasmick is the only person in Maryland history to hold two cabinet-level positions simultaneously; in 1991, she served as Special Secretary for Children, Youth, and Families and as State Superintendent of Schools.

Dr. Grasmick—a graduate of the Baltimore City Public Schools (Western High School)—received a doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University, an M.S. from Gallaudet University, and a B.S. from Towson University. She served on the President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education and has garnered numerous awards for her visionary and consistent leadership, including the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education; the College Board’s first President’s Award for K-12 Leadership; the Maryland State Conference of the NAACP’s Community Service Award; the Johns Hopkins University’s Woodrow Wilson Award; the James Bryant Conant Award from the Education Commission of the States; and the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Child Advocacy Award. Dr. Grasmick recently served on the American Academy of Sciences task force that produced “Rising Above the Gathering Storm,” a report that spotlighted math, science, and technology education in this country. She has been inducted into the Daily Record’s “Circle of Excellence,” an honor bestowed only on those named to the newspaper’s Top 100 Women list more than three times. Just last month she was named along with developer David Cordish as the first two inductees into the Daily Record’s “Circle of Influence” honoring influential Marylanders who have a positive impact in the State “in a wide variety of ways and settings.”

Monday, March 28, 2011

Notes from Board of Education Work Session, 3/28/11

The Board Meeting on Monday, March 28th will be re-broadcast on Comcast Channel 96, Verizon FIOS Channel 12 and is available via webstream at . 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.

Call to order - 6 p.m.

Pledge of Allegiance

Public Forum

  • Liz Brown - EACC - Delay opening; teachers overwhelmed in crowded classrooms
  • Robert Harlan - Against delay of opening the school. Population is increasing. Commissioners may want you to delay altogether and just not build the school. Baltimore County is opening one and they are in the same economic situation we are. Try redistricting and rezoning existing schools.
Discussion on status of St. Charles High School
  • Wise - Read letter from Commissioners
  • Wade - Discussed meeting with legislation; thinks school not to be built altogether should be removed from the table. Richmond meeting with Governor before Christmas. Believes new board of commissioners are very different from the last and he trusts them. His mind has changed since his "no" vote last meeting.
  • Pedersen - County needs the high school. The past is the past. Time to move forward.
  • Bowie - Commissioners committing to operating cost? If worst case scenario happens, would the 200 employees still need to be laid off?
  • Richmond - Cannot solve overcrowding in high school by moving middle school students. Yes, if we have to foot the $10M ourselves, it would be difficult without layoffs.
  • Lukas - Could the high school open with fewer students depending on funding?
  • Richmond - Yes
  • Lukas - In delaying for one year, we still get the state funds, but a longer delay could impact the state funds. Cost we are presenting to commissioners include cost of pool?
  • Wineland - Bids have pool as an alternate. State does not pay for land, design, engineering, etc.
  • Pedersen - Grant $ for digital classroom
  • Richmond - Mikulski & Cardin secured the $.5M for the digital classroom
Motion to delay opening of new high school to 2014 by Pedersen; Second by Wade
Yes = Cook, Lukas, Pedersen, Wade, Wise
No = none
Abstain = Abell, Bowie


Calvert's school layoffs to start in April

If we (Charles County) continue with the new high school as currently scheduled, we WILL be doing the same thing very shortly.

Calvert Recorder
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Staff writer

At today's Calvert County Board of Education meeting Calvert County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith revealed he plans to lay off $3 to $6 million worth of employees and will be starting "the first wave" in the next week or two.

He said approximately 69 employees, most of whom are teachers, have already been spoken to and told their positions might not be available in the 2011-2012 school year.

"We want to make sure the bulk of people know by the 29th of April," Smith said.

In Smith's $187 million fiscal 2012 budget he estimated having to cut about $6.6 million mostly due to anticipated fixed charges and cuts in state dollars and funding from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or ARRA.

At Thursday's meeting Chief Budget and Business Officer Tammy McCourt also projected that Calvert County Public Schools could lose $374,371 in employee pensions shifting to the county, $559,000 in unemployment insurances and $300,000 in increases in fuel costs.

McCourt did say the school system could gain an additional $1 million in state aid should the state continue to provide its current per-pupil funding.

She said at this point health insurance costs, exact numbers on pension shifts, costs for special education non-public placements, state and county allocations and number of staffing cuts remain unknown.

"It's a bad situation; it's just bad," said Calvert County Board of Education President William "Bill" Chambers.

Smith said he was hoping for feedback on how to make the process of laying off employees "as sensitive and humane as possible in these circumstances."

The cost of small class size

By Eva Merkowitz
The Washington Post: Opinions
March 27, 2011

That class size should be small is revered like an article of faith in this country. Its adherents include parents, education groups, politicians and, of course, the unions whose ranks it swells. In many states it is even required by law, which has lead to millions of dollars in fines against schools in Florida and a lawsuit against New York City by its teachers union.Yet small class size is neither a guarantor nor a prerequisite of educational excellence.

The worst public elementary school in Manhattan, 16 percent of whose students read at grade level, has an average class size of 21; PS 130, one of the city’s best, has an average class size of 30. Small class size is one factor in academic success. The question, then, is whether the educational benefits of class-size reduction justify the costs.

Some proponents contend that because research shows reducing class size is beneficial, spending on this should be prioritized over anything that is unsupported by research. That’s a neat rhetorical trick but unsound logic. The absence of research on, say, teacher salaries doesn’t prove that we should pay the minimum wage to teachers to dramatically reduce class size. Research should guide spending decisions only if it measures the benefits per dollar of spending on all alternatives.

Read more HERE.

Fairfax schools consider recording student disciplinary hearings

Donna St. George
The Washington Post
March 27, 2011

A growing number of Fairfax school officials support the idea of creating audio recordings of student disciplinary proceedings as the district seeks to respond to parent complaints about fairness and tone in the hearing room.

The hearings, which have become a flash point in a debate over how students in trouble get punished in Fairfax, have been criticized by parents for being highly adversarial and straying from fact to suspicion.

Assistant Superintendent Barbara M. Hunter said Friday that both she and the hearings office support the concept of recording what happens during the system’s 600-plus such proceedings a year. Hunter said she could envision parents being given a tape or CD shortly after each hearing. Now, notes are taken during proceedings but are not intended as a transcript.

“We are listening very carefully to what the community is saying,” Hunter said. “One of the ideas that has emerged is this notion of recording the hearings, and we would welcome that. We think the idea is very workable.”

Read more HERE.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

NOTICE: Board of Education Work Session on New High School, 3/28/2011

The Board of Education plans to meet for a work session March 28 to determine the future of St. Charles High School.

Construction and annual operating costs are the center of discussions among and between the Board and the Charles County Commissioners. The Commissioners have asked the Board to delay construction on the new high school to 2014, but the Board wants funding commitments before making a decision. The Board, in a March 23 meeting, told the Commissioners they are faced with three options:  build the school by the opening of the 2013 school year, delay the school opening to 2014 or stop the project.

The March 28 meeting will be the second work session in two weeks for the Board of Education, which could not get a majority vote to delay the school until 2014, but agreed to meet and outline for the Commissioners their funding concerns. On Wednesday, Board Chairman Roberta Wise summarized five issues and asked the Commissioners to consider and commit to the following:

  • yearly operating costs of $10 million;
  • payment of construction cost increases caused by delaying the school opening for one year;
  • keeping the school design intact;
  • additional funding to secure the construction site if project is delayed; and
  • assurances to pay for emergency facility repairs needed for student safety schools if the school system changes its capital improvements plan to push out all other projects for five years.
"We are here today to ask for your support. We are here today to ask you to step up as leaders and provide us with solid commitments. We are running out of time to meet the state's April 1 deadline for a timeline and plan for St. Charles High School," Wise said.

Superintendent James E. Richmond has been given an April 1 deadline to notify the state's Interagency Committee on School Construction (IAC) about the school system's plans for St. Charles High School. Wise, Vice Chairman Maura Cook and Richmond accompanied Commissioner President Candice Kelly and county staff to a meeting with David Lever, IAC director, to alert the state of a possible construction delay. The IAC must determine what it will do with funds approved and partially expended this year as well as with additional funding recently approved for the new high school. The state Board of Public Works approved the Board of Education's request for construction of St. Charles High School in 2010. The Board, in October 2009, voted 5-2 to proceed with a request to the state to build the new high school that the school system originally proposed to open in 2011.

Following the Board of Education's 2009 vote, the former board of Charles County Commissioners committed a $10 million, one-time funding payment to Charles County Public Schools to help operating costs for the new high school. The $10 million would be funded from the county's Developers' Rights and Responsibilities Account (DRRA). The new board of County Commissioners recently informed the Board of Education that due to the recession, the expected developer payments to the DRRA never materialized and the money is not available.

"We need this high school. We also need the money to operate it and provide the same educational program available now. To open this school without additional funds would impact the educational program, class size and our ability to move public education forward," Wise told the Commissioners.

On Wednesday, the Commissioners agreed to one point; there are no plans to redesign the school to compensate for construction cost increases caused by delaying the project. The Commissioners also expressed their commitment to building the school, but stopped short of promising operating costs or other funding. Commissioner President Candice Kelly said it would be easy to generate another promise of funding, but the reality is that the county's financial future is uncertain. She said the Commissioners are optimistic that the economy is rebounding and asked the Board to work with them new high school funding issues.

The Board of Education's March 28 work session is at 6 p.m. at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building. The meeting is public and will be broadcast live on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOS Channel 12. The meeting is also aired live on the school system's Web site at

Monday, March 21, 2011

Notes from the Board of Education Work Session, 3/21/11

The Board Meeting on Monday, March 21st will be re-broadcast on Comcast Channel 96, Verizon FIOS Channel 12 and is available via webstream at . 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.

Call to order 6 p.m.

Pledge of Allegiance

Public Forum - No one signed up


Discussion on status of St. Charles High School

  • Cook - Would commissioners help with emergency CIP items?; Are commissioners aware of extra costs?; and guarantee of operating cost covered
  • Pedersen - Relocatables can be used if project is delayed?
  • Wineland - Redistricting would be a must if we don't build.
  • Lukas - Population in high school projections over next three years; Greatest source of funding, DRRA or excise tax?
  • Wineland - Population holds steady and then starts to climb by 2015
  • Pedersen - We need the high school; Consequences of delaying a year?
  • Wineland - Economy has started to recover; cost is continuing to climb
  • Cook - Money given to us for the digital classroom must be used by November 2012
  • Pedersen - 3 stipulations she wants initiated to the commissioners ...maintaining the site, inflation and the building could not be changed
  • Cook - Would also like to add a stipulation of operating cost
  • Lukas - We had a letter of commitment with the last commissioners and that didn't help us out too much.
  • Wise - Delay CIP for 5 years...we CAN still do systemic renovations like Jenifer roof?
  • Wineland - Still need $475,000 to make it happen this summer, if not next summer
  • Abell - Not sure if we want to send 'stipulations' to our new commissioners. Not certain or sold on the idea that we MUST have this new high school right now.
  • Wineland - Redistricting could get everyone below core but not state. We could house them with relocatables, but what happens when the economy turns around? If we stop it and have to adhere to new codes, population and inflation could overcome us.
  • Wise - State would be upset with us and possibly not fund us again.
  • Lukas - Experience of teachers (seasoned) and salary all figured in opening costs
  • Richmond - most worried about the operating costs of $10M for every year...equates to 100 teaching positions. If opened on time, the school system would have to come up with ALL the cost of operating.
  • Hettel - Cutting two hundred teachers would increase class sizes by 5 across the board in all grade levels
Motion to delay the opening of the school by one year and work with county to cover the operating cost by Pedersen; Second by Wade
  • Cook - Cover all the previously discussed items with the commissioners...inflation cost, operational cost, site, structure remains unchanged, emergency CIP items
  • Abell - I voted against it from the beginning...we can't afford it, irresponsible financially to continue, we don't have the money, the county doesn't have the money, the state doesn't have the money to build, no money to operate, etc.
Yes = Pedersen, Cook, Wise; No = Wade; Abstain = Abell, Bowie, Lukas
Motion Fails
  • Lukas - Too many dominoes lined up for failure; it would be nice, we need it, but can't afford it.
  • Wade - Doesn't think the commissioners take this seriously.
  • Bowie -
Motion not to move forward with the high school with the way things currently stand by Abell; Second by Pedersen
Rescind her second by Pedersen
Cook Second the recension
Motion Fails

Motion to reconvene on Monday, March 28th at 6:00 p.m. by Lukas; No Second
Motion Fails

Loan Study on Students Goes Beyond Default Rates

New York Times
Published: March 15, 2011

For each student who defaults on a loan, at least two more fall behind in payments on their student debt, a new study has found.

The Institute for Higher Education Policy, a nonprofit organization, said in a report that two out of five student loan borrowers were delinquent at some point in the first five years after they started repaying their loans.

Almost a quarter of the borrowers used an option to postpone payments to avoid delinquency.

The institute said the goal of its study was to develop a fuller picture of the debt burden that students face by compiling data on students who have trouble repaying their loans, but do not default.

“We want to get beyond the dichotomy of people who default on their loans and everyone else,” Alisa Cunningham, the institute’s vice president for research and programs, said on Tuesday.

The study, based on data from five of the nation’s largest student-loan agencies, found that only 37 percent of student borrowers who started repaying their loans in 2005 were able to fully pay them back on time.

And that percentage is probably decreasing, given the high unemployment rate of recent years, Ms. Cunningham said.

Read more HERE

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

U.S. Urged to Raise Teachers’ Status

New York Times
Published: March 16, 2011

To improve its public schools, the United States should raise the status of the teaching profession by recruiting more qualified candidates, training them better and paying them more, according to a new report on comparative educational systems.

Andreas Schleicher, who oversees the international achievement test known by its acronym Pisa, says in his report that top-scoring countries like Korea, Singapore and Finland recruit only high-performing college graduates for teaching positions, support them with mentoring and other help in the classroom, and take steps to raise respect for the profession.

“Teaching in the U.S. is unfortunately no longer a high-status occupation,” Mr. Schleicher says in the report, prepared in advance of an educational conference that opens in New York on Wednesday. “Despite the characterization of some that teaching is an easy job, with short hours and summers off, the fact is that successful, dedicated teachers in the U.S. work long hours for little pay and, in many cases, insufficient support from their leadership.”

The conference, convened by the federal Department of Education, was expected to bring together education ministers and leaders of teachers’ unions from 16 countries as well as state superintendents from nine American states. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that he hoped educational leaders would use the conference to share strategies for raising student achievement.

Read more HERE

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

NOTICE: Board of Education Work Session, 3/21/11

The Board of Education of Charles County is holding a work session at 6 p.m., Monday, March 21, at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building in La Plata. The meeting will be aired live on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOS Channel 12, and streamed live on the school system Web site at

The agenda is as follows:

Call to order 6 p.m.

Pledge of Allegiance

Public Forum


Discussion on status of St. Charles High School


Portions of the meeting may be closed as permitted by State Government Article 10-508 (a).

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Notes from the Board of Education Meeting, 3/8/11

The Board Meeting on Tuesday, March 8th will be re-broadcast on Comcast Channel 96, Verizon FIOS Channel 12 and is available via webstream at . 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.

Executive session  12 p.m.

Call to order  1 p.m. - Pledge of Allegiance, North Point High School's JROTC unit

Superintendent's update - See report

Legislative audit report, pupil transportation follow up

  • See Report
  • Public vs. Private transportation
  • No compelling reason to undergo conversion at this time.
Correspondence/Board Member updates - Maryland Commission on Education Effectiveness
  • Abell - MABE Budget Committee Meetings scheduled for 7/11/11 & 7/26/11
  • Bowie - Westlake Senior Portfolio
  • Lukas - Chess Tournament
  • Pedersen - Maryland Council of Education Effect (see attached report)
Education Association of Charles County update  - see report

Student Board Member update - see report

Assistant Superintendent Update
  • Maryland Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning Survey (TELL)
  • Athletic eligibility recommendations - see report...residency issues and requirements; task force/committee working on.  Future superintendent rule change would require students to actually be living in the residence (as opposed to a home in the process of being built) before being eligible for athletics
CIP update
  • Wise was invited by Commissioner President Kelly to attend a meeting with herself and Dr. Lever on March 3.  Ms. Wise also invited Mr. Richmond, Ms. Cook, Mr. Wineland.
  • Dr. Lever said, if the high school is delayed, a plan is needed and a protection for the already prepared land.
  • Budget Director for the County suggests we put CIP items on hold for 5 years & build the school and let it sit for one year
  • Richmond concerned about safety issues regarding postponing CIP items for 5 years and also about the operating costs for this new high school.
  • Wineland - met with county staff for follow-up.  How would we pay for emergencies like Jenifer Elementary roof? 
  • If we delay the project one year, due to the economy it would increase the cost of the school by approximately 10 million dollars, which the state will NOT pay.
  • Open bids on the school next week. 
Motion to hold a work session on 3/21/11 to discuss by Pedersen; Second by Lukas

Motion to go into executive session by Pedersen; Second by Cook

Mathematics programs and Charles County Public Schools Educational Showcase
  • Abell - asked about Computer Science no longer counting as a Tech Ed credit mandated by the state.  Anne Arundel was able to file a waiver by altering the curriculum. Possible for us to look into this?
  • Estep - They are exploring this and other possibilities/courses
  • CCPS Educational Showcase, Saturday April 2, 2011 at North Point High School from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  Free and open to the public.  64 workshops, etc.; transportation can be provided
School calendar 2012-2013
  • will be available online soon. 
  • One consensus was to use President's Day as a make-up snow day, leaving the spring break intact.  This can be enacted for the coming school year also.
Legislative update
  • The sky is falling
  • No really, it's falling
  • Hail & sleet (is anyone reading this?)
  • Looks as though the pension funding is going to get pushed local
  • House Bill 858 -supply concussion information to students and parents and would disallow students to return to activity without a medical note
  • House Bill 977 - allows students to attend any school in the county with open seats (baa haa haa)
  • Bakare - Students are supporting Bill 858
Unfinished business - none

New business -none

Future agenda items
  • Abell - Discipline Policy
  • Pedersen - board to talk about vision and goals
  • Lukas - Guidelines/policy in place for funding new schools obviously doesn't work; possibility of discussing ways to fund new schools
  • Wade - Update on breathing apparatus' put in schools a few years ago.  (defibrillators)
Recognition 4:30 p.m.
Madison French, Academic Achievement, Mudd
Kyle Smith, Personal Responsibility, Middleton
Marshe Hill, Personal Responsibility, Smallwood
Ciara Albrittain, Career Readiness, Piccowaxen
Kinsey Polk, Academic Achievement, Diggs
Jennifer DeMarco, Academic Achievement, Stone

Jason R. Peer, school counselor, Mudd

Carey L. Rohrbaugh, teacher, Diggs
Anne K. Ward, English teacher, Stone
Nina M. Capuano, teacher, Middleton
William Marchione, counselor, Piccowaxen
Jennifer A. Kelley, instructional assistant, Smallwood
Daniel Meltsner, Charles County's Outstanding Educator for Use of Technology

Month of the Young Child
National Student Leadership Week

Public Forum 6 p.m.

Action items

Motion to accept by Abell; Second by Pedersen
Motion to accept by Abell; Second by Pedersen


Monday, March 07, 2011

REMINDER: Board of Education Meeting, 3/8/11

The Board of Education's next monthly meeting is Tuesday, March 8, 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 student and staff recognition starts at 4:30 p.m. The meeting is televised live on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOS Channel 12 and is rebroadcast throughout the week. The meeting is also streamed live on the Charles County Public Schools Web site. Visit to watch the meeting.

Executive session  12 p.m.

Call to order  1 p.m.

Pledge of Allegiance, North Point High School's JROTC unit

Superintendent's update

- Legislative audit report, pupil transportation follow up

Reports of officers/boards/committees

Correspondence/Board Member updates - Maryland Commission on Education Effectiveness

Education Association of Charles County update

Student Board Member update

Maryland Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning Survey (TELL) and athletic eligibility

CIP update

Mathematics programs and Charles County Public Schools Educational Showcase

School calendar 2012-2013

Legislative update

Unfinished business
New business

Future agenda items

Recognition 4:30 p.m.
Daniel Meltsner, Charles County's Outstanding Educator for Use of Technology

Resolutions Month of the Young Child and National Student Leadership Week

Public Forum 6 p.m.

Action items


Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Study: Manassas Park and Calvert County have most efficient schools in D.C. area

By Nick Anderson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 27, 2011; 11:27 PM

Even when tax revenue is scarce, lawmakers rarely ask a key question before they vote on education budgets: Which public schools produce the most bang for the buck?

A new analysis of spending patterns and test scores in school systems nationwide found a surprising result: Manassas Park and Calvert County have the most efficient schools in the Washington area.


Elsewhere in Maryland, on an index called "basic return on investment" - one of three methods the center used for comparison - Frederick County received a top mark. Schools in Montgomery, St. Mary's and Anne Arundel counties were rated just behind. Then came Howard County, with high achievement at a relatively high cost. Prince George's and Charles counties had the lowest efficiency ratings among Maryland's suburbs.

Read the complete article HERE.

How teacher development could revolutionize our schools

By Bill Gates
The Washington Post
Monday, February 28, 2011

As the nation's governors gather in Washington for their annual meeting, they are grappling with more than state budget deficits. They're confronting deep education deficits as well.

Over the past four decades, the per-student cost of running our K-12 schools has more than doubled, while our student achievement has remained virtually flat. Meanwhile, other countries have raced ahead. The same pattern holds for higher education. Spending has climbed, but our percentage of college graduates has dropped compared with other countries.

To build a dynamic 21st-century economy and offer every American a high-quality education, we need to flip the curve. For more than 30 years, spending has risen while performance stayed relatively flat. Now we need to raise performance without spending a lot more.

Read more HERE.