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New Prince George's school system CEO shares plans for school year


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Published on: Wednesday, August 21, 2013

By Tauren Dyson

Kevin Maxwell, the new chief executive officer of Prince George’s County Public Schools, presented his plans for the coming school year to parents, students and educators on Aug. 13 at DuVal High School in Lanham.

“There’s been a tremendous amount of work that’s been done in the school system,” Maxwell said. “But there are a lot of very good people working very, very hard in this school district, and I want to make sure that we acknowledge that and we don’t throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water.”

The school system has had a high turnover of teachers and superintendents. Since 1999, five superintendents have helmed the school system’s top position.

Some think Maxwell will finally shut the revolving door of school superintendents.

“Even knowing what challenges that there are in this school system, and he came back and is willing to be the CEO, knowing the internal politics,” said Zandra Brown, PGCPS intervention resource teacher. “That is an attribute that can be a wonderful thing to bring in.”

County Executive Rushern Baker III boasted about getting back a school administrator who worked as a principal in Prince George’s County for 22 years. Maxwell also held top positions in Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties’ public school systems.

Yvonne Vaicach, a physical education teacher at Kingsford Elementary School, is on the teachers’ union’s Board of Directors. Vaicach said she wants consistency in the school system’s curriculum. Retention in the number of teachers in the system is an important component to gain stability within the school system, she said.

“I will tell you the truth. Now, I’ve been teaching for 27 years in this county,” Vaicach said. “Maybe I’ve met two or three truly bad teachers. Almost every teacher I meet, they put their heart into what they do.”

During the meeting, Maxwell pledged his allegiance to the students.

“These are my children. They’re you’re children. They’re not someone else’s children — they are all our children,” Maxwell said.

Reader Comments - 5 Total

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Posted By: Agathos Zoe On: 12/8/2013

Title: PGCPS Parent and Husband of Teacher

Antoinette Glenn On: 10/25/2013 said, "eacher Retention can be fixed with higher salary being competitive with surrounding counties...". I disagree. Higher salaries attract teachers, awesome teaching environments KEEP teachers. My wife has been teaching for over 20 years, from Denver, Prince Georges County, DC, private and public. If we support the teachers, they will stay. As Vaicach said in the article, she hasn't met any bad teachers.
Family stability and how schools and teachers can teach with the real struggles of having a stable family to go home to and do work and get support makes a big difference. Since teachers can't control the home environment, the best we can do is support the teachers by giving smaller classrooms and/or adequate support in the classroom.... Then they will stay.

Posted By: Antoinette Glenn On: 10/25/2013

Title: STEM Coordinator

Teacher Retention can be fixed with higher salary being competitive with surrounding counties to include teacher initiatives: bonuses for student achievement in all content areas, tuition reimbursement.
Need to identify MASTER TEACHERS in every content area and pay them accordingly. These are the teachers that facilitate PD's for their content area schoolwide and countywide.
More Funding is needed for Science and STEM Education to bridge the gap of education and careers in the STEM fields

Posted By: FED UP WITH THE BS!!!!!!!! On: 10/9/2013

Title: PGCPS IS FULL OF CRAP!!!

MY CHILDREN HAVE BEEN HARASSED AND ASSAULTED AND DEMEANED THIS SCHOOL SYSTEM IS FULL OF BOLOGNA!! YOU ALL DO NOTHING WHEN IT COMES TO CHILDREN IN CERTAIN AREAS THEY COULD CARE LESS!!!! I AM IN A SITUATION WHERE I CAN NOT MOVE AT THIS TIME BUT AS SOON AS I AM ABLE I WILL. I CALLED DR. SMITH AT 3013723431 AND THE PERSON ANSWERING THE PHONE WAS VERY RUDE AND DISRESPECTFUL, I CALLED HER MS SMITH AND SHE RUDELY CORRECTED ME....IS YOUR TITLE IMPORTANT OR IS MY CHILD AND THE ASSAULT THAT TOOK PLACE. I WOULDN'T RECOMMEND A DOG ATTEND PGCPS SYSTEM!!!!!! IF YOU CAN TAKE YOUR CHILDREN OUT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE OR THEY WILL FALL THROUGH THE CRACKS DUE TO UNDERPAID TEACHERS (AND THEIR NASTY ATTITUDES), LACKADAISICAL PRINCIPALS WHO ARE ONLY THEIR TO MAKE PROMISES THAT THEY DON'T INTEND TO KEEP, AND CHILDREN WHO ARE OVERLY EXPOSED BULLY'S WHO WILL NEVER AMOUNT TO ANYTHING BUT A BULLY IN THEIR ADULT LIFE AS WELL!!!!!

Posted By: Leaving PGCPS On: 9/9/2013

Title:

Maxwell seems like the perfect pick. But as a parent who was super involved in my child's school, I have given up. We are no longer a part of PGCPS. I do not feel the standards are high enough. I am taking my honor roll student elsewhere. I don't like the two-tiered education system in PGCPS where only lottery and TAG picks get the top-of-the-line education. From the comments I've seen in the press, it seems Mr. Maxell wants to add more specialty programs, which says to me the two-tiered system will remain.

Posted By: H. Cranshaw On: 8/27/2013

Title: Children and Teachers

We were all counting on a decent raise in order to keep up with Montgomery and Howard Counties teachers. Unfortunately, our 2 % raise is an embarrassment after 5 years. We counted on it and hoped Mr. Maxwell would have come through for us.




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