Prince George's County D9 Politico Blog

Keeping politicians accountable and voters informed.

GUEST BLOG: My Two Questions for County Executive Baker

with one comment

Guest post by RF – a PGCPS parent and PTA activist 

County Executive Rushern Baker is making a bid to take over Prince George’s County Public Schools, and it seems likely he will succeed in his effort. Clearly, our schools are not where we want them to be, so one can see a valid rationale and logic in Mr. Baker’s attempt to gain control of the system. On these grounds, my initial inclination is to support the change. However, for me to be solidly behind Mr. Baker’s power grab, I would need him to answer two questions: 

1. What happened with the County Executive’s “Commission for Education Excellence”? Is the commission still active and has it made any specific recommendations? The commission’s web page is badly out of date, and I can find no record of it producing any publicly released recommendations. If Mr. Baker is unable to steer his hand-picked 12-person committee to produce meaningful results, I am very hesitant to hand over full control of a school system of more than 120,000 students to him. 

2. What specific issues does Mr. Baker plan to address if he takes over the system? What type of reform agenda does Mr. Baker believe in? There is no evidence that changing a school system’s governance structure alone will have a positive impact on student achievement. “School reform” can take many forms—some of which I fully support and some of which I don’t want to see implemented in our county. 

The manner in which Mr. Baker is going for the power grab does not sit well with me. If he intends to vigorously implement meaningful and thoughtful reforms, I nevertheless welcome the shake-up. But, until Mr. Baker can provide us with more details about his reform agenda, I am unable to lend my support to his attempt to gain control of PGCPS.


Written by pgd9politico

March 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Thanks for raising these points, they do deserve answers. I am also worried that this may in fact be more fiscally motivated than performance related. I agree the School Board hasn’t been as effective as I’d like. But this move is far too like the “emergency manager” moves in Wisconsin and elsewhere to be comfortable. Most Maryland counties have elected or hybrid school boards. The board’s democratic nature surely is not the problem in PG. But more than that, I’m concerned that this is the Baker Administration desperately thinking that grabbing the Board’s budget (admittedly a large chunk of the overall County funds) will let them throw money at problems, without ever stopping to analyze what those problems ARE. This is deeply discouraging from an administration that had promise for being performance-driven and budget-smart. And the process is being railroaded through. Parents (and all citizens) deserve the opportunity to read and hear what the proposal calls for and ask about what they see as missing. Unfortunately the Community Teaching Institute that Baker led doesn’t bode very well for the PG education system, either. Glad to see you out of blogging retirement BTW!


    March 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm

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