Council hearing on MCPS

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Anonymous wrote:After reading the unredacted report, I feel like a critical problem with the complaint handling process is that the department in charge investigating complaints is also allowed to self-determine which complaints to investigate. Meaning they have a huge incentive to not investigate as it only creates more work for themselves. That, and if they find a complaint to be substantiated, it creates even more work for themselves, so they're pretty motivated to avoid that outcome. The whole sad story just sounded like a lot of people that would much rather go home to dinner than deal with anything unpleasant.


+1 This is why MCPS is a safe haven for bullies, harassers, and sexual predators. Even when someone is seriously harmed and goes out on a limb to file a complaint, the complaint at a minimum is unheard and in the worst cases, the complainant faces harsh retaliation.

The BOE cannot rebuild trust in MCPS without getting rid of the toxic staff that have been reported but remain in their school system. Biedleman was just the tip of the iceberg.

And ultimately they chose to scapegoat McKnight rather than address the systemic issues for which the board is largely responsible


It's not scapegoating to hold a superintendent responsible for the systemic issues in the system they are the head of.


Exactly. I don't think anyone is arguing that McKnight was the originator of all of these issues. It's that she was aware of them and allowed them to continue, did not follow several recommendations to improve the systems, and did not share critical information with the board.


It’s hard to argue she did not follow recommendations to improve the systems when investigations were still ongoing and she did create a plan of action. She was asked to resign before anything effectual could be done, besides removing people. That’s why folks say she was the scapegoat for the BoE and the system.


The plan of action only came about after the Post article was published. There were earlier recommendations in 2019 and 2022, and nothing was fixed.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:After reading the unredacted report, I feel like a critical problem with the complaint handling process is that the department in charge investigating complaints is also allowed to self-determine which complaints to investigate. Meaning they have a huge incentive to not investigate as it only creates more work for themselves. That, and if they find a complaint to be substantiated, it creates even more work for themselves, so they're pretty motivated to avoid that outcome. The whole sad story just sounded like a lot of people that would much rather go home to dinner than deal with anything unpleasant.


+1 This is why MCPS is a safe haven for bullies, harassers, and sexual predators. Even when someone is seriously harmed and goes out on a limb to file a complaint, the complaint at a minimum is unheard and in the worst cases, the complainant faces harsh retaliation.

The BOE cannot rebuild trust in MCPS without getting rid of the toxic staff that have been reported but remain in their school system. Biedleman was just the tip of the iceberg.

And ultimately they chose to scapegoat McKnight rather than address the systemic issues for which the board is largely responsible


It's not scapegoating to hold a superintendent responsible for the systemic issues in the system they are the head of.


Exactly. I don't think anyone is arguing that McKnight was the originator of all of these issues. It's that she was aware of them and allowed them to continue, did not follow several recommendations to improve the systems, and did not share critical information with the board.


It’s hard to argue she did not follow recommendations to improve the systems when investigations were still ongoing and she did create a plan of action. She was asked to resign before anything effectual could be done, besides removing people. That’s why folks say she was the scapegoat for the BoE and the system.


And who did she put on her expert committee?
Anonymous
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Anonymous wrote:Glass: BOE requires full-time status. They need to be paid more than $25K per year - it's not a living wage. A 2019 recommendation recommended $60 K. We need the BOE to succeed in overseeing a $3.2 billion budget and we need adequate resources for this.


I’m all for a full-time board if they also get the authority to determine the schools portion of the property tax. Then the council won’t be able to claim they’re funding schools when they’re actually raising taxes for something else and people will take BOE elections more seriously.


That is not going to happen. It's not how local government in Maryland is structured. So does that mean you oppose a full-time board?


If they’re not going to have full responsibility it doesn’t need to be a full-time job. I don’t need to pay for them to get more briefings on the minutiae of third-grade math curriculum.

There’s no reason government has to keep the same structure. This isn’t working.


DP. Right. Because approving a good curriculum isn't important and we should keep them to rubber-stamping whatever MCPS puts in front of them.

Have you watched many BOE meetings? Noticed how much gets dumped into presentations, there, but how many key pieces of information are left out? Seen the breadth of concern in public testimony that they rarely have time to discuss?
Realized that that is a fraction of the public's desired interaction because of a 2-minute limit and limited signup slots (that tend to get booked within hours of their being available)? Extrapolated the time it would take to make properly informed decisions?

It would be at least a full time professional's job (not talking just 40 hours, here) to do what we expect them to be able to do. That's if they had a full staff. And without the additional work of a taxing authority, though I don't think your idea, there, isn't worthy of consideration.

$25k is insulting versus the expectation and $60k is little better. If we want them to do an amount of work similar to that performed by the Council, pay them like it.


Do you really want elected individuals making detailed decisions about what the school teaches rather than professionals? Have you seen the sort of people that get elected to the BoE? Or even the county council?


We need a teacher on the board. If there can be a student there can be a teacher and enough of the conflict of interest bs, it’s time


Students aren't employees of the organization the Board oversees. That's a ridiculous suggestion. MCEA has far too much power as it is.


There is that stupid conflict of interest argument. You can’t tell me there’s a simple way to ensure an active teacher is on the board?

And who says we have to listen to mcea if we are onthere any more than any other member


You want someone with a FT job as a teacher to also be on the BOE? And when there are daytime Board meetings, do you want them to skip their role on the Board, or skip teaching their classes?🤦‍♀️


That’s one option. Another is a release from the clarssroom for the length of their term. Once again, not that hard. Just different.

And sure, someone who is a parent can serve too.

This is what happens at the state level. Not that hard


They're elected positions. I guess I wouldn't have a problem with MCPS letting a teacher take a leave of absence, similar to FMLA, to serve on the Board, if elected. But I think most people know that creates a horrible conflict of interest and wouldn't vote for such a candidate.


It would be fine to have a teacher on the board as long as they recused themselves from participating in any matter in which they had a financial ot other personal interest. Not just abstaining from voting. Recusing from participating. That’s how government ethics should work.


A fundamental responsibility of the BoE is budget. It would be inappropriate to use a Board seat on someone that can't participate is budget discussions.


The boe members don’t recuse themselves do they?
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:After reading the unredacted report, I feel like a critical problem with the complaint handling process is that the department in charge investigating complaints is also allowed to self-determine which complaints to investigate. Meaning they have a huge incentive to not investigate as it only creates more work for themselves. That, and if they find a complaint to be substantiated, it creates even more work for themselves, so they're pretty motivated to avoid that outcome. The whole sad story just sounded like a lot of people that would much rather go home to dinner than deal with anything unpleasant.


+1 This is why MCPS is a safe haven for bullies, harassers, and sexual predators. Even when someone is seriously harmed and goes out on a limb to file a complaint, the complaint at a minimum is unheard and in the worst cases, the complainant faces harsh retaliation.

The BOE cannot rebuild trust in MCPS without getting rid of the toxic staff that have been reported but remain in their school system. Biedleman was just the tip of the iceberg.

And ultimately they chose to scapegoat McKnight rather than address the systemic issues for which the board is largely responsible


It's not scapegoating to hold a superintendent responsible for the systemic issues in the system they are the head of.


Exactly. I don't think anyone is arguing that McKnight was the originator of all of these issues. It's that she was aware of them and allowed them to continue, did not follow several recommendations to improve the systems, and did not share critical information with the board.


It is clear that Dr. McKnight knew there were complaints about Beidleman and yet she approved his promotion without asking any questions. Also, she hid what she knew from the board and also didn’t tell the board that the Post was doing a story on Beidleman. I’m trying to understand her motivation. I know he was her friend but at some point, if you are a moral and competent professional, you put friendship aside and do what needs to be done. She must have known this could get out of control and negatively affect her. It makes me wonder how insular she and her top people were. I’m guessing they got away with shady stuff and covering things up for decades so they probably felt untouchable
Anonymous
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Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:Glass: BOE requires full-time status. They need to be paid more than $25K per year - it's not a living wage. A 2019 recommendation recommended $60 K. We need the BOE to succeed in overseeing a $3.2 billion budget and we need adequate resources for this.


I’m all for a full-time board if they also get the authority to determine the schools portion of the property tax. Then the council won’t be able to claim they’re funding schools when they’re actually raising taxes for something else and people will take BOE elections more seriously.


That is not going to happen. It's not how local government in Maryland is structured. So does that mean you oppose a full-time board?


If they’re not going to have full responsibility it doesn’t need to be a full-time job. I don’t need to pay for them to get more briefings on the minutiae of third-grade math curriculum.

There’s no reason government has to keep the same structure. This isn’t working.


DP. Right. Because approving a good curriculum isn't important and we should keep them to rubber-stamping whatever MCPS puts in front of them.

Have you watched many BOE meetings? Noticed how much gets dumped into presentations, there, but how many key pieces of information are left out? Seen the breadth of concern in public testimony that they rarely have time to discuss?
Realized that that is a fraction of the public's desired interaction because of a 2-minute limit and limited signup slots (that tend to get booked within hours of their being available)? Extrapolated the time it would take to make properly informed decisions?

It would be at least a full time professional's job (not talking just 40 hours, here) to do what we expect them to be able to do. That's if they had a full staff. And without the additional work of a taxing authority, though I don't think your idea, there, isn't worthy of consideration.

$25k is insulting versus the expectation and $60k is little better. If we want them to do an amount of work similar to that performed by the Council, pay them like it.


Do you really want elected individuals making detailed decisions about what the school teaches rather than professionals? Have you seen the sort of people that get elected to the BoE? Or even the county council?


We need a teacher on the board. If there can be a student there can be a teacher and enough of the conflict of interest bs, it’s time


Students aren't employees of the organization the Board oversees. That's a ridiculous suggestion. MCEA has far too much power as it is.


There is that stupid conflict of interest argument. You can’t tell me there’s a simple way to ensure an active teacher is on the board?

And who says we have to listen to mcea if we are onthere any more than any other member


You want someone with a FT job as a teacher to also be on the BOE? And when there are daytime Board meetings, do you want them to skip their role on the Board, or skip teaching their classes?🤦‍♀️


That’s one option. Another is a release from the clarssroom for the length of their term. Once again, not that hard. Just different.

And sure, someone who is a parent can serve too.

This is what happens at the state level. Not that hard


They're elected positions. I guess I wouldn't have a problem with MCPS letting a teacher take a leave of absence, similar to FMLA, to serve on the Board, if elected. But I think most people know that creates a horrible conflict of interest and wouldn't vote for such a candidate.


It would be fine to have a teacher on the board as long as they recused themselves from participating in any matter in which they had a financial ot other personal interest. Not just abstaining from voting. Recusing from participating. That’s how government ethics should work.


A fundamental responsibility of the BoE is budget. It would be inappropriate to use a Board seat on someone that can't participate is budget discussions.


The boe members don’t recuse themselves do they?


They do. Silvestre recuses herself from votes concerning Montgomery College, as she works there.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:After reading the unredacted report, I feel like a critical problem with the complaint handling process is that the department in charge investigating complaints is also allowed to self-determine which complaints to investigate. Meaning they have a huge incentive to not investigate as it only creates more work for themselves. That, and if they find a complaint to be substantiated, it creates even more work for themselves, so they're pretty motivated to avoid that outcome. The whole sad story just sounded like a lot of people that would much rather go home to dinner than deal with anything unpleasant.


+1 This is why MCPS is a safe haven for bullies, harassers, and sexual predators. Even when someone is seriously harmed and goes out on a limb to file a complaint, the complaint at a minimum is unheard and in the worst cases, the complainant faces harsh retaliation.

The BOE cannot rebuild trust in MCPS without getting rid of the toxic staff that have been reported but remain in their school system. Biedleman was just the tip of the iceberg.


We still do not know if any on the Board have connection with any in CO who are no longer. How and why should we trust the BOE?


No one should trust any of the BOE Members and the Ombudsman’s staff. They know of complaints that they glossed over instead of reviewing evidence. They were complicit.

Do I think Dr. McKnight should go? Yes. However, the BOE should not point to that one thing as to say they are fixing the system.

The BOE needs a separate General Counsel so they can make independent decisions. They also need to invest in the time it take to objectively consider matters that come before them for a vote. Giving complainants the ability to speak before the board in a hearing as well as giving complainants the opportunity to hear what MCPS tells the board would be a step in the right direction.

Employees with complaints who are still in MCPS need to be reinvestigated in light of the details how complaints were ignored with Biedleman. The board has been silently ignoring this need. Without completely cleaning house, the festering rot remains.
Anonymous
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Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:Glass: BOE requires full-time status. They need to be paid more than $25K per year - it's not a living wage. A 2019 recommendation recommended $60 K. We need the BOE to succeed in overseeing a $3.2 billion budget and we need adequate resources for this.


I’m all for a full-time board if they also get the authority to determine the schools portion of the property tax. Then the council won’t be able to claim they’re funding schools when they’re actually raising taxes for something else and people will take BOE elections more seriously.


That is not going to happen. It's not how local government in Maryland is structured. So does that mean you oppose a full-time board?


If they’re not going to have full responsibility it doesn’t need to be a full-time job. I don’t need to pay for them to get more briefings on the minutiae of third-grade math curriculum.

There’s no reason government has to keep the same structure. This isn’t working.


DP. Right. Because approving a good curriculum isn't important and we should keep them to rubber-stamping whatever MCPS puts in front of them.

Have you watched many BOE meetings? Noticed how much gets dumped into presentations, there, but how many key pieces of information are left out? Seen the breadth of concern in public testimony that they rarely have time to discuss?
Realized that that is a fraction of the public's desired interaction because of a 2-minute limit and limited signup slots (that tend to get booked within hours of their being available)? Extrapolated the time it would take to make properly informed decisions?

It would be at least a full time professional's job (not talking just 40 hours, here) to do what we expect them to be able to do. That's if they had a full staff. And without the additional work of a taxing authority, though I don't think your idea, there, isn't worthy of consideration.

$25k is insulting versus the expectation and $60k is little better. If we want them to do an amount of work similar to that performed by the Council, pay them like it.


Do you really want elected individuals making detailed decisions about what the school teaches rather than professionals? Have you seen the sort of people that get elected to the BoE? Or even the county council?


We need a teacher on the board. If there can be a student there can be a teacher and enough of the conflict of interest bs, it’s time


Students aren't employees of the organization the Board oversees. That's a ridiculous suggestion. MCEA has far too much power as it is.


There is that stupid conflict of interest argument. You can’t tell me there’s a simple way to ensure an active teacher is on the board?

And who says we have to listen to mcea if we are onthere any more than any other member


You want someone with a FT job as a teacher to also be on the BOE? And when there are daytime Board meetings, do you want them to skip their role on the Board, or skip teaching their classes?🤦‍♀️


That’s one option. Another is a release from the clarssroom for the length of their term. Once again, not that hard. Just different.

And sure, someone who is a parent can serve too.

This is what happens at the state level. Not that hard


They're elected positions. I guess I wouldn't have a problem with MCPS letting a teacher take a leave of absence, similar to FMLA, to serve on the Board, if elected. But I think most people know that creates a horrible conflict of interest and wouldn't vote for such a candidate.


It would be fine to have a teacher on the board as long as they recused themselves from participating in any matter in which they had a financial ot other personal interest. Not just abstaining from voting. Recusing from participating. That’s how government ethics should work.


A fundamental responsibility of the BoE is budget. It would be inappropriate to use a Board seat on someone that can't participate is budget discussions.


The boe members don’t recuse themselves do they?


They do. Silvestre recuses herself from votes concerning Montgomery College, as she works there.


But they don’t recuse themselves from decisions they may have a financial stake in, do they?
Anonymous
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Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
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Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:Glass: BOE requires full-time status. They need to be paid more than $25K per year - it's not a living wage. A 2019 recommendation recommended $60 K. We need the BOE to succeed in overseeing a $3.2 billion budget and we need adequate resources for this.


I’m all for a full-time board if they also get the authority to determine the schools portion of the property tax. Then the council won’t be able to claim they’re funding schools when they’re actually raising taxes for something else and people will take BOE elections more seriously.


That is not going to happen. It's not how local government in Maryland is structured. So does that mean you oppose a full-time board?


If they’re not going to have full responsibility it doesn’t need to be a full-time job. I don’t need to pay for them to get more briefings on the minutiae of third-grade math curriculum.

There’s no reason government has to keep the same structure. This isn’t working.


DP. Right. Because approving a good curriculum isn't important and we should keep them to rubber-stamping whatever MCPS puts in front of them.

Have you watched many BOE meetings? Noticed how much gets dumped into presentations, there, but how many key pieces of information are left out? Seen the breadth of concern in public testimony that they rarely have time to discuss?
Realized that that is a fraction of the public's desired interaction because of a 2-minute limit and limited signup slots (that tend to get booked within hours of their being available)? Extrapolated the time it would take to make properly informed decisions?

It would be at least a full time professional's job (not talking just 40 hours, here) to do what we expect them to be able to do. That's if they had a full staff. And without the additional work of a taxing authority, though I don't think your idea, there, isn't worthy of consideration.

$25k is insulting versus the expectation and $60k is little better. If we want them to do an amount of work similar to that performed by the Council, pay them like it.


Do you really want elected individuals making detailed decisions about what the school teaches rather than professionals? Have you seen the sort of people that get elected to the BoE? Or even the county council?


We need a teacher on the board. If there can be a student there can be a teacher and enough of the conflict of interest bs, it’s time


Students aren't employees of the organization the Board oversees. That's a ridiculous suggestion. MCEA has far too much power as it is.


There is that stupid conflict of interest argument. You can’t tell me there’s a simple way to ensure an active teacher is on the board?

And who says we have to listen to mcea if we are onthere any more than any other member


You want someone with a FT job as a teacher to also be on the BOE? And when there are daytime Board meetings, do you want them to skip their role on the Board, or skip teaching their classes?🤦‍♀️


That’s one option. Another is a release from the clarssroom for the length of their term. Once again, not that hard. Just different.

And sure, someone who is a parent can serve too.

This is what happens at the state level. Not that hard


They're elected positions. I guess I wouldn't have a problem with MCPS letting a teacher take a leave of absence, similar to FMLA, to serve on the Board, if elected. But I think most people know that creates a horrible conflict of interest and wouldn't vote for such a candidate.


It would be fine to have a teacher on the board as long as they recused themselves from participating in any matter in which they had a financial ot other personal interest. Not just abstaining from voting. Recusing from participating. That’s how government ethics should work.


A fundamental responsibility of the BoE is budget. It would be inappropriate to use a Board seat on someone that can't participate is budget discussions.


The boe members don’t recuse themselves do they?


They do. Silvestre recuses herself from votes concerning Montgomery College, as she works there.


But they don’t recuse themselves from decisions they may have a financial stake in, do they?


Joftus recused himself from voting on a contract with the Kid Museum.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:After reading the unredacted report, I feel like a critical problem with the complaint handling process is that the department in charge investigating complaints is also allowed to self-determine which complaints to investigate. Meaning they have a huge incentive to not investigate as it only creates more work for themselves. That, and if they find a complaint to be substantiated, it creates even more work for themselves, so they're pretty motivated to avoid that outcome. The whole sad story just sounded like a lot of people that would much rather go home to dinner than deal with anything unpleasant.


+1 This is why MCPS is a safe haven for bullies, harassers, and sexual predators. Even when someone is seriously harmed and goes out on a limb to file a complaint, the complaint at a minimum is unheard and in the worst cases, the complainant faces harsh retaliation.

The BOE cannot rebuild trust in MCPS without getting rid of the toxic staff that have been reported but remain in their school system. Biedleman was just the tip of the iceberg.

And ultimately they chose to scapegoat McKnight rather than address the systemic issues for which the board is largely responsible


It's not scapegoating to hold a superintendent responsible for the systemic issues in the system they are the head of.


Exactly. I don't think anyone is arguing that McKnight was the originator of all of these issues. It's that she was aware of them and allowed them to continue, did not follow several recommendations to improve the systems, and did not share critical information with the board.


It is clear that Dr. McKnight knew there were complaints about Beidleman and yet she approved his promotion without asking any questions. Also, she hid what she knew from the board and also didn’t tell the board that the Post was doing a story on Beidleman. I’m trying to understand her motivation. I know he was her friend but at some point, if you are a moral and competent professional, you put friendship aside and do what needs to be done. She must have known this could get out of control and negatively affect her. It makes me wonder how insular she and her top people were. I’m guessing they got away with shady stuff and covering things up for decades so they probably felt untouchable

+100
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:Glass: BOE requires full-time status. They need to be paid more than $25K per year - it's not a living wage. A 2019 recommendation recommended $60 K. We need the BOE to succeed in overseeing a $3.2 billion budget and we need adequate resources for this.


I’m all for a full-time board if they also get the authority to determine the schools portion of the property tax. Then the council won’t be able to claim they’re funding schools when they’re actually raising taxes for something else and people will take BOE elections more seriously.


That is not going to happen. It's not how local government in Maryland is structured. So does that mean you oppose a full-time board?


If they’re not going to have full responsibility it doesn’t need to be a full-time job. I don’t need to pay for them to get more briefings on the minutiae of third-grade math curriculum.

There’s no reason government has to keep the same structure. This isn’t working.


DP. Right. Because approving a good curriculum isn't important and we should keep them to rubber-stamping whatever MCPS puts in front of them.

Have you watched many BOE meetings? Noticed how much gets dumped into presentations, there, but how many key pieces of information are left out? Seen the breadth of concern in public testimony that they rarely have time to discuss?
Realized that that is a fraction of the public's desired interaction because of a 2-minute limit and limited signup slots (that tend to get booked within hours of their being available)? Extrapolated the time it would take to make properly informed decisions?

It would be at least a full time professional's job (not talking just 40 hours, here) to do what we expect them to be able to do. That's if they had a full staff. And without the additional work of a taxing authority, though I don't think your idea, there, isn't worthy of consideration.

$25k is insulting versus the expectation and $60k is little better. If we want them to do an amount of work similar to that performed by the Council, pay them like it.


Do you really want elected individuals making detailed decisions about what the school teaches rather than professionals? Have you seen the sort of people that get elected to the BoE? Or even the county council?


We need a teacher on the board. If there can be a student there can be a teacher and enough of the conflict of interest bs, it’s time


There are two former teachers on the board (Harris and Yang).
Then parents should get a seat at the table as well.


I think all of the adult board members are parents or grandparents of current or former students.


DP. I'd imagine that the idea is that, with most of those more or less directly being affected by BOE decisions being families with children who are going through or coming into the system and who do not have the potentially conflicting interests of being professional educators of one sort or another, there might be a reason to have such a person on the BOE representing that "rest of us."
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:After reading the unredacted report, I feel like a critical problem with the complaint handling process is that the department in charge investigating complaints is also allowed to self-determine which complaints to investigate. Meaning they have a huge incentive to not investigate as it only creates more work for themselves. That, and if they find a complaint to be substantiated, it creates even more work for themselves, so they're pretty motivated to avoid that outcome. The whole sad story just sounded like a lot of people that would much rather go home to dinner than deal with anything unpleasant.


+1 This is why MCPS is a safe haven for bullies, harassers, and sexual predators. Even when someone is seriously harmed and goes out on a limb to file a complaint, the complaint at a minimum is unheard and in the worst cases, the complainant faces harsh retaliation.

The BOE cannot rebuild trust in MCPS without getting rid of the toxic staff that have been reported but remain in their school system. Biedleman was just the tip of the iceberg.


With an understaffed DCI (only 2 FTE investigators, plus some part-time, temp employees), I think you are correct. Trying to work through the backlog of complaints, much less taking on new complaints, would be extremely challenging. The BOE told the council that the backlog would be addressed. We'll see.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:After reading the unredacted report, I feel like a critical problem with the complaint handling process is that the department in charge investigating complaints is also allowed to self-determine which complaints to investigate. Meaning they have a huge incentive to not investigate as it only creates more work for themselves. That, and if they find a complaint to be substantiated, it creates even more work for themselves, so they're pretty motivated to avoid that outcome. The whole sad story just sounded like a lot of people that would much rather go home to dinner than deal with anything unpleasant.


+1 This is why MCPS is a safe haven for bullies, harassers, and sexual predators. Even when someone is seriously harmed and goes out on a limb to file a complaint, the complaint at a minimum is unheard and in the worst cases, the complainant faces harsh retaliation.

The BOE cannot rebuild trust in MCPS without getting rid of the toxic staff that have been reported but remain in their school system. Biedleman was just the tip of the iceberg.

And ultimately they chose to scapegoat McKnight rather than address the systemic issues for which the board is largely responsible


It's not scapegoating to hold a superintendent responsible for the systemic issues in the system they are the head of.


Exactly. I don't think anyone is arguing that McKnight was the originator of all of these issues. It's that she was aware of them and allowed them to continue, did not follow several recommendations to improve the systems, and did not share critical information with the board.


It is clear that Dr. McKnight knew there were complaints about Beidleman and yet she approved his promotion without asking any questions. Also, she hid what she knew from the board and also didn’t tell the board that the Post was doing a story on Beidleman. I’m trying to understand her motivation. I know he was her friend but at some point, if you are a moral and competent professional, you put friendship aside and do what needs to be done. She must have known this could get out of control and negatively affect her. It makes me wonder how insular she and her top people were. I’m guessing they got away with shady stuff and covering things up for decades so they probably felt untouchable


That wasn't clear at all. Some people seem to be pushing that narrative but there's no evidence to support it.
Anonymous
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Anonymous wrote:After reading the unredacted report, I feel like a critical problem with the complaint handling process is that the department in charge investigating complaints is also allowed to self-determine which complaints to investigate. Meaning they have a huge incentive to not investigate as it only creates more work for themselves. That, and if they find a complaint to be substantiated, it creates even more work for themselves, so they're pretty motivated to avoid that outcome. The whole sad story just sounded like a lot of people that would much rather go home to dinner than deal with anything unpleasant.


+1 This is why MCPS is a safe haven for bullies, harassers, and sexual predators. Even when someone is seriously harmed and goes out on a limb to file a complaint, the complaint at a minimum is unheard and in the worst cases, the complainant faces harsh retaliation.

The BOE cannot rebuild trust in MCPS without getting rid of the toxic staff that have been reported but remain in their school system. Biedleman was just the tip of the iceberg.

And ultimately they chose to scapegoat McKnight rather than address the systemic issues for which the board is largely responsible


It's not scapegoating to hold a superintendent responsible for the systemic issues in the system they are the head of.


Exactly. I don't think anyone is arguing that McKnight was the originator of all of these issues. It's that she was aware of them and allowed them to continue, did not follow several recommendations to improve the systems, and did not share critical information with the board.


It is clear that Dr. McKnight knew there were complaints about Beidleman and yet she approved his promotion without asking any questions. Also, she hid what she knew from the board and also didn’t tell the board that the Post was doing a story on Beidleman. I’m trying to understand her motivation. I know he was her friend but at some point, if you are a moral and competent professional, you put friendship aside and do what needs to be done. She must have known this could get out of control and negatively affect her. It makes me wonder how insular she and her top people were. I’m guessing they got away with shady stuff and covering things up for decades so they probably felt untouchable


That wasn't clear at all. Some people seem to be pushing that narrative but there's no evidence to support it.


Some people as in Jackson Lewis LLC law firm. It's in their report.

Isn't the bar open yet in Mexico?
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Anonymous wrote:Glass: BOE requires full-time status. They need to be paid more than $25K per year - it's not a living wage. A 2019 recommendation recommended $60 K. We need the BOE to succeed in overseeing a $3.2 billion budget and we need adequate resources for this.


I’m all for a full-time board if they also get the authority to determine the schools portion of the property tax. Then the council won’t be able to claim they’re funding schools when they’re actually raising taxes for something else and people will take BOE elections more seriously.


That is not going to happen. It's not how local government in Maryland is structured. So does that mean you oppose a full-time board?


If they’re not going to have full responsibility it doesn’t need to be a full-time job. I don’t need to pay for them to get more briefings on the minutiae of third-grade math curriculum.

There’s no reason government has to keep the same structure. This isn’t working.


DP. Right. Because approving a good curriculum isn't important and we should keep them to rubber-stamping whatever MCPS puts in front of them.

Have you watched many BOE meetings? Noticed how much gets dumped into presentations, there, but how many key pieces of information are left out? Seen the breadth of concern in public testimony that they rarely have time to discuss?
Realized that that is a fraction of the public's desired interaction because of a 2-minute limit and limited signup slots (that tend to get booked within hours of their being available)? Extrapolated the time it would take to make properly informed decisions?

It would be at least a full time professional's job (not talking just 40 hours, here) to do what we expect them to be able to do. That's if they had a full staff. And without the additional work of a taxing authority, though I don't think your idea, there, isn't worthy of consideration.

$25k is insulting versus the expectation and $60k is little better. If we want them to do an amount of work similar to that performed by the Council, pay them like it.


Do you really want elected individuals making detailed decisions about what the school teaches rather than professionals? Have you seen the sort of people that get elected to the BoE? Or even the county council?


We need a teacher on the board. If there can be a student there can be a teacher and enough of the conflict of interest bs, it’s time


Students aren't employees of the organization the Board oversees. That's a ridiculous suggestion. MCEA has far too much power as it is.


There is that stupid conflict of interest argument. You can’t tell me there’s a simple way to ensure an active teacher is on the board?

And who says we have to listen to mcea if we are onthere any more than any other member


You want someone with a FT job as a teacher to also be on the BOE? And when there are daytime Board meetings, do you want them to skip their role on the Board, or skip teaching their classes?🤦‍♀️


That’s one option. Another is a release from the clarssroom for the length of their term. Once again, not that hard. Just different.

And sure, someone who is a parent can serve too.

This is what happens at the state level. Not that hard


They're elected positions. I guess I wouldn't have a problem with MCPS letting a teacher take a leave of absence, similar to FMLA, to serve on the Board, if elected. But I think most people know that creates a horrible conflict of interest and wouldn't vote for such a candidate.


It would be fine to have a teacher on the board as long as they recused themselves from participating in any matter in which they had a financial ot other personal interest. Not just abstaining from voting. Recusing from participating. That’s how government ethics should work.


A fundamental responsibility of the BoE is budget. It would be inappropriate to use a Board seat on someone that can't participate is budget discussions.


The boe members don’t recuse themselves do they?


They do. Silvestre recuses herself from votes concerning Montgomery College, as she works there.


But they don’t recuse themselves from decisions they may have a financial stake in, do they?


No more than Thomas does for SCOUTS cases his sponsors have a vested interest in.
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