Daily "Recent Prince George's County News" updates were suspended in early March 2016. They were compiled primarily from retweets of news headlines. Those retweets continue, but in unformatted and unarchived form at PG-Politics-Briefs. To follow such headlines on a current basis, follow @pgpolitics on Twitter.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Can PG Schools Compete? Parents losing confidence; Enrollment down; Officials have heads buried in the sand

(Updated and response posted November 13, 2005 )

Prince George's County schools have long been the worst in the area and almost the worst in the state. Our local political establishment has failed to make any meaningful, long-term improvements despite years of talk, political tinkering, and a vastly increased school administrative bureaucracy.

Now, enrollment is dropping, suggesting that parents have lost confidence in our schools, are giving up, and that those who have the resources to make a choice are choosing competing educational alternatives. School officials and politicians claim to both be surprised and to not have any data about where the fleeing students are going. Do they have their heads in the sand, or do the just not care?

What is the answer? I don't know, but an effective solution probably does not include retaining or giving more money to the elected and appointed officials who have failed for so many years. Perhaps the parents taking their children out of the system have the best answer.

Recent related news reports:

"Communities left off school CEO search list"
Gazette, October 20, 2005
"Residents and officials are frustrated that some communities' input was not sought during a meeting held to discuss criteria for selecting a new Prince George's County schools CEO. [. . .]"

"Parents flee to church schools; At least 34 new schools started in past five years"
Gazette, October 20, 2005

"Parents have faith in church-based schools"
Gazette, October 20, 2005

"Former school official in PG faces prison time"
Times, October 17, 2005
"Md. Ex-Educator Guilty Of Money Laundering"
Post, October 16, 2005
Pamela Y. Hoffler-Riddick had a staff of 26. She was one of five regional assistant superintendents with similar staffs--a total of about 130 administrators with a total salary in excess of $10 million. What quantifiable benefit does this level of bureaucracy contribute to improved educational results? [Earlier posting]

"Some Area School Systems Losing Students"
nbc4.com, October 16, 2005

"Officials Puzzled by Enrollment Drop in Prince George's County Schools"
wjla.com, October 16, 2005

"Officials Worry Prince George's is Losing Students"
wtopnews.com, October 16, 2005

"School Rosters Slip In Prince George's; County Unexpectedly Tallies Second Drop In Enrollment as Most Area Systems Gain"
Post, October 16, 2005

Money Found To Pay for PG County Gym
wjla.com, October 10, 2005
"Money used to pay teacher salaries and to run the schools is being used to complete a gymnasium at a new Prince George's County high school.
[. . .]
Critics say the money should have gone toward fixing up older schools in need of repair, not on an oversized gym."

"Pr. George's Yields, Agrees To Pay for Disputed School Gym"
Post, October 10, 2005

"Laurel High safety questioned, defended"
Laurel Leader, October 6, 2005 (no longer online)
". . . have some parents worried about safety at the school, said Laurel High . . ."

"Specialists talk about gang issue in schools"
Gazette, August 23, 2005

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