The High Graduation Rate Of Black Students In Prince George County Maryland Has Brought Charges Of Grade Inflation By Public Officials

America has a his­to­ry of dic­tat­ing that Black pros­per­i­ty, excel­lence, and empow­er­ment must nev­er be allowed to see the light of day. The lat­est pos­si­ble sto­ry of this is ema­nat­ing from Prince George’s County, Md., as many ques­tions arise about Black edu­ca­tion­al achieve­ment and accu­sa­tions that evi­dence of such achieve­ment in this par­tic­u­lar school dis­trict was the result of fraud. At the urg­ing of Black school board mem­bers and Democratic state law­mak­ers, Republican Governor Larry Hogan has called for an inves­ti­ga­tion in this pre­dom­i­nant­ly Black coun­ty – which is among the most pros­per­ous Black com­mu­ni­ties in the nation– over alle­ga­tions of grade infla­tion and ris­ing high school grad­u­a­tion rates.

In a let­ter, the gov­er­nor has asked Maryland State Board of Education President Andrew Smarick to look into poten­tial wrong­do­ing in the Prince George’s County school sys­tem amid alle­ga­tions stu­dents’ grades were fraud­u­lent­ly altered in order to boost grad­u­a­tion rates, as AP report­ed. The coun­ty has an 81 per­cent grad­u­a­tion rate, which some state board mem­bers and local offi­cials claim­ing it was due to manip­u­la­tion of grades and cred­its, accord­ing to WTOP.

Precipitating Hogan’s inquiry was a May 30 let­ter to him from four mem­bers of the Prince George’s County school board, as The Washington Post report­ed. In their let­ter, the mem­bers made claims of “wide­spread sys­temic cor­rup­tion,” includ­ing the chang­ing of stu­dents’ grades and cred­it­ing them for class­es they did not take, result­ing in inflat­ed grad­u­a­tion rates and grad­u­at­ing hun­dreds of stu­dents who did not meet state require­ments. The board mem­bers – Edward Burroughs III, David Murray, Raaheela Ahmed and stu­dent mem­ber Juwan Blocker – say whistle­blow­ers have “clear and con­vinc­ing evi­dence” of the fraud. The four rep­re­sent a minor­i­ty bloc on the 14-mem­ber body.

State law­mak­ers rep­re­sent­ing the coun­ty have weighed in as well, call­ing for an inves­ti­ga­tion into the mat­ter. In a let­ter to state Superintendent of Schools Karen B. Salmon, Dels. Jay Walker and Geraldine Valentino-Smith, both Democrats, request­ed the Maryland State Department Education con­duct “an in-depth audit and fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion of such seri­ous alle­ga­tions.”

The grass-roots orga­ni­za­tion Progressive Maryland held a demon­stra­tion call­ing for an inves­ti­ga­tion into the alle­ga­tions, as The Washington Post report­ed, with sup­port from Ben Jealous, for­mer nation­al NAACP pres­i­dent and a cur­rent Democratic can­di­date for gov­er­nor, and Bob Ross, pres­i­dent of the Prince George’s County chap­ter of the NAACP. Ross has asked Rushern Baker, Prince George’s County Chief Executive not to renew the con­tract of Kevin Maxwell, chief exec­u­tive of the coun­ty schools, accord­ing to fox5dc​.com. State Sen. Anthony Muse, also a Black Democrat, has called for Maxwell’s res­ig­na­tion.

Maxwell issued a state­ment main­tain­ing the alle­ga­tions are false, but wel­com­ing an inves­ti­ga­tion. “From the begin­ning, I have main­tained that pol­i­tics lie at the root of the accu­sa­tions,” Maxwell said in a state­ment, call­ing the claims an affront to teach­ers, admin­is­tra­tors, stu­dents and par­ents over the past few years. “There has been no sys­temic effort to pro­mote stu­dents in Prince George’s County Public Schools who did not meet state grad­u­a­tion require­ments in order to inflate our grad­u­a­tion rates.

We look for­ward to col­lab­o­rat­ing with the Maryland State Department of Education to resolve this mat­ter.”

Other school board mem­bers and school offi­cials also denied the alle­ga­tions.

Gov. Hogan’s office not­ed that the State Board of Education vot­ed unan­i­mous­ly in favor of mov­ing ahead with an inves­ti­ga­tion, which will be con­duct­ed by an out­side par­ty and with­out any input or over­sight from his office. “The gov­er­nor has nev­er weighed in on the sub­stance of the claims, and has specif­i­cal­ly said that he was direct­ing this inde­pen­dent enti­ty to inves­ti­gate in response to the mul­ti­ple requests from local offi­cials,” said Amelia Chassé, Deputy Communications Director for the Governor’s office in a state­ment.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (Source: Flickr)

Black Democratic sup­port for the inves­ti­ga­tion notwith­stand­ing, some argue, how­ev­er, that Maxwell makes a valid point when he argues there is a polit­i­cal moti­va­tion behind the governor’s actions. After all, Hogan is a white con­ser­v­a­tive Republican going after a Black coun­ty, that vot­ed against his elec­tion as gov­er­nor. As Stephan Neidenbach wrote in The Method, Prince George’s County is home to 7 of the 10 of the wealth­i­est Black com­mu­ni­ties in the U.S., and among the best edu­cat­ed in the coun­try. More impor­tant­ly, Rushern Baker, Prince George’s County Chief Executive, recent­ly announced his run for gov­er­nor against Hogan just days before.

Under Baker’s lead­er­ship and due to a neigh­bor­hood ini­tia­tive, vio­lent crime has dropped 36 per­cent and homi­cides 40 per­cent. This, as grad­u­a­tion rates have increased. If Hogan’s moti­va­tions were sin­cere, Neidenbach argues, he would have prompt­ed an inves­ti­ga­tion of the over­whelm­ing­ly white Carroll County, which is at the head of the class in state grad­u­a­tion rates, yet has wit­nessed a trou­bling spike in crime. More crime and more grad­u­a­tions are an unlike­ly com­bi­na­tion that raise sus­pi­cion.

Elsewhere in the coun­try, many white politi­cians have per­fect­ed the art of scape­goat­ing Black pop­u­la­tions, con­jur­ing the image of Black fraud and incom­pe­tence to jus­ti­fy neo­colo­nial­ist poli­cies that usurp the rights of Black peo­ple, depriv­ing them of democ­ra­cy and auton­o­my. In Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder invoked his state’s emer­gency man­ag­er law, signed into law in 2011, to take over finan­cial­ly strug­gling cities and school dis­tricts such as Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, Benton Harbor and Ecorse. Coincidentally, the munic­i­pal­i­ties tar­get­ed for state takeover have been major­i­ty Black. Assigning unelect­ed offi­cials to con­trol these Black-con­trolled cities amount­ed to revers­ing and elim­i­nat­ing the elec­toral process for vot­ers. The Flint water cri­sis, in which the city’s res­i­dents have suf­fered from the lead poi­son­ing of their drink­ing water, was an out­growth of the emer­gency man­ag­er law.

Concerns about open hos­til­i­ty Black inter­ests and reac­tion to signs of Black pros­per­i­ty and suc­cess are long­stand­ing and based in real­i­ty. A prime exam­ple of this men­tal­i­ty is the destruc­tion of the boom­ing Greenwood com­mu­ni­ty in Tulsa, Okla., —also known as Black Wall Street — by a white mob in 1921.

It is estab­lished that many offi­cials regard the high aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment of Black chil­dren with great con­ster­na­tion, seek­ing to steal our children’s thun­der and down­play their intel­lec­tu­al capa­bil­i­ties and edu­ca­tion­al achieve­ment. They often accom­plish this by chang­ing the rules of the game after the fact. For exam­ple, the moth­er of the first Black vale­dic­to­ri­an at a Mississippi high school has filed a law­suit alleg­ing her daugh­ter was forced to share her title as “co-vale­dic­to­ri­an” with a white class­mate who had a low­er GPA.

The recent inquiry into the high grad­u­a­tion rate of Prince George’s County — the coun­ty with the high­est con­cen­tra­tion of Black wealth in America — has broad sup­port and should pro­ceed. People need to know the truth, with the inter­ests of the chil­dren first and fore­most in their minds. If the inves­ti­ga­tion begins to smell like an assault on Black excel­lence, then it deserves our col­lec­tive side eye.

The con­tent, opin­ions, and views expressed in this arti­cle are that of the writer and not of Atlanta Black Star. ABS gives a plat­form for many dif­fer­ent views and opin­ions in the Black Community. http://​atlantablack​star​.com/​2​0​1​7​/​0​7​/​0​6​/​t​h​e​-​h​i​g​h​-​g​r​a​d​u​a​t​i​o​n​-​r​a​t​e​-​o​f​-​b​l​a​c​k​-​s​t​u​d​e​n​t​s​-​i​n​-​p​r​i​n​c​e​-​g​e​o​r​g​e​-​c​o​u​n​t​y​-​m​a​r​y​l​a​n​d​-​h​a​s​-​b​r​o​u​g​h​t​-​c​h​a​r​g​e​s​-​o​f​-​g​r​a​d​e​-​i​n​f​l​a​t​i​o​n​-​b​y​-​p​u​b​l​i​c​-​o​f​f​i​c​i​a​ls/


One thought on “The High Graduation Rate Of Black Students In Prince George County Maryland Has Brought Charges Of Grade Inflation By Public Officials

  1. Well, this is typ­i­cal­ly the white racist Neandertals aggres­sive assaults and behav­ior on the black com­mu­ni­ty. Using their pow­ers through elect­ed offices and as a means to break­ing the spir­it of the black youths, and their par­ents by cast­ing asper­sion on them, so as to taint them! It is right out of their play­book so as to make them feel as if they are supe­ri­or to them. And, we know for a fact that sci­en­tists has shown that the blacks are the supe­ri­or human being, phys­i­cal­ly, men­tal­ly, and spir­i­tu­al­ly to them.

    The gov­er­nor of the state of Maryland is an ene­my of black peo­ple, and there is no illu­sion about that notion. Why as Rushern Baker, Prince George’s County Chief Executive announces his run for the gov­er­nor­ship, this so-called dis­hon­est grad­ing thing is com­ing out from with­in by whis­tle-blow­ers. Where were these before now? All of us who know these people’s play­book of char­ac­ter assas­si­na­tion, hit is one of theirs.
    In this coun­try, the white peo­ple (a major­i­ty of them: Democrats and Republicans) hate black peo­ple, whether they are gay, or straight.

    What is hap­pen­ing is their typ­i­cal modus operan­di of try­ing to dis­cred­it the works of blacks, by try­ing to say that we can­not amount to them. When it is them, who are suf­fer­ing from inse­cu­ri­ty, and infe­ri­or­i­ty. The only thing that they can out do in is plot­ting, and killing oth­ers to steal, robbed, and pil­lage their nat­ur­al resources. Every earth­ly pos­ses­sion that they have been stolen from oth­er, espe­cial­ly the black race.
    If one knows about his­to­ry, data, and the cycle of life, it doesn’t mat­ter how much they try, the last will be the first, and the first will and must be the last.

    It is unfor­tu­nate that some of the “boasie slaves” are quick to jump on the wag­on of the known racists. A usu­al the ones from the black com­mu­ni­ties who are black are like “roast bread­fruits” and the ones which are brown are like “coconuts” and are quick to through their peo­ple to wolves and at their mer­cies, rather than defend them against this slan­der vocif­er­ous­ly!

    Racism is a sys­tem, and as a peo­ple, we must denounc­ing their behav­ior or those amongst us or oth­ers who want to indulge and engage in such behav­ior. At the end of the day, their race (whites) are dwin­dling, decreas­ing, and declin­ing every day, and there is no way for them to recov­er and be the dom­i­nant race in this coun­try and the world. As a peo­ple our new strat­e­gy is not to denounce them, instead, let us keep cheer­ing for them and their same-sex mar­riage lifestyle. In the end, their num­bers will reduce a lev­el of no recov­ery and our children’s chil­dren will have bet­ter lives and future ahead! The dev­il works in mys­te­ri­ous ways by cor­rupt­ed the Neanderthals.

    Finally, the worst ene­mies are the ones who are with­in the black com­mu­ni­ty. Not all peo­ple who are black or look­ing black are in fact black! Their thought process and cor­tex are frozen as their Neanderthals oppres­sors from Caucasian moun­tain. And, I have seen a lot of them in my life­time. They are quick to sell you out like Judas Iscariot for the “Dollar” or to feel accept­ed by the whites, who have shown us that they hate us with a pas­sion. Irrespective of how hard our chil­dren or we work, that is not suf­fi­cient to them! Choosing the edu­ca­tion­al path is not what they would like to see our chil­dren mas­ter­ing, no, no they want them on the evening news in mugshots! They want to see our chil­dren fail and end up in pris­ons, as it is a part of their agen­das to make mon­ey from them and they have done their cal­cu­la­tions on them by fore­cast­ing how much mon­ey they can make with­in a cer­tain peri­od when they are con­vict­ed of cer­tain crimes, man­u­fac­tured or real. At the end of this inves­ti­ga­tion when the dust clears and the dog whis­tle is dirty, rusty, and not func­tion­ing, because it was a hoax, char­ac­ter assas­si­na­tion, and aggres­sive assault on the integri­ty of the edu­ca­tors and the stu­dents, are we to expect an apol­o­gy from this Neanderthal Governor? As his­to­ry has taught us that a major­i­ty white peo­ple pre­dom­i­nant­ly, inher­ent­ly, and genet­i­cal­ly have no con­science, so don’t expect any decen­cy from them!

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