UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) Chief Executive
Officer Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell highlighted the system’s progress in “moving
towards greatness” Thursday as he challenged business leaders and residents to
play a more active role.
Hosted by the Greater Prince George’s Business
Roundtable, the “State of the Education System” address offered an overview of
three years of steady progress despite recent challenges.
“For many, the past several months would have
been enough reason to get off the road. …But that’s not who we are. That’s not
who I am,” said Dr. Maxwell. “Prince George’s County Public Schools will not be
defined by crisis. We will not quit.”
Dr. Maxwell went on to discuss the school
system’s “roadmaps” to greatness – the Student Safety Task Force
recommendations and The Promise of PGCPS strategic plan.
But that’s not all, he said.
“As many of you know from your own experiences,
reforming an organizational culture requires holding people accountable,” said
Dr. Maxwell. “We will not protect an adult’s job at the expense of a child’s
well-being. We will keep moving past challenges towards greatness.”
Among the highlights:
Graduation rates – Prince George’s County’s high school graduation rate is at an
all-time high of approximately 79 percent, five percentage points higher than
2013. Nearly every student in the graduating class at the Academy of Health
Sciences received both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree on the
same day. The school’s graduation rate is 100 percent for two years in a row.
Three additional high schools – DuVal, Eleanor Roosevelt and Frederick Douglass
– boast graduation rates of 90 percent. The three schools with the highest rate
increases across the state came from Prince George’s County.
Learning assessments – Results on state exams continue to trend upwards. At almost
every grade level, African American students in Prince George’s County Public
Schools outperform their peers across the state, especially in reading
comprehension. Middle school students who come from families with low income
are ranked in the top eight statewide in English language arts. Results are
also encouraging for pre-kindergarten students across all racial, ethnic and
economic backgrounds, including students with limited English proficiency and
those with special needs. “We believe this is the result of our investment in
full-day prekindergarten. We started with eight full-day pre-kindergarten sites
four years ago; and now we have 50,” said Dr. Maxwell.
Staff awards and
recognitions – Buck Lodge Middle School
science teacher Elizabeth Lazaro received President Obama’s Presidential Award
for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, which carries with it a
$10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. Oxon Hill High School
Principal Dr. Jean-Paul Cadet is a Washington Principal Ambassador Fellow at
the U.S. Department of Education, selected by Secretary John B. King.
Community investments and
partnerships – The school system’s
nationally-recognized career academies have received investments of $7 million
from the U.S. Department of Labor and from regional organizations, such as
Venture Philanthropy Partners’ $15 million Ready for Work initiative. Major
donors include Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic Region ($1 million) and the
Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation ($300,000).
To read Dr. Maxwell’s prepared
remarks, click here. To view the video presentation from the event, click here.
The school system will hold a
"State of the Schools" event for families and community members later
Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS), one of the nation's 25 largest school districts, has 208 schools and centers, more than 130,000 students and nearly 19,000 employees. Under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, the school system serves a diverse student population from urban, suburban and rural communities located in the Washington, DC suburbs. PGCPS is nationally recognized for innovative programs and initiatives that provide students with unique learning opportunities, including arts integration, environmental and financial literacy, and language immersion.
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