UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - Prince George’s County Public Schools has been dealing with a number of troubling allegations, many of which have been reported by FOX 5. On Thursday, Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell met with concerned state lawmakers to talk about a number of troubling issues.
At times, it was a contentious meeting between Maxwell and the Prince George’s County members of the Maryland House of Delegates.
The latest allegations claim there has been fraud and corruption in the awarding of grades and diplomas to inflate graduation rates among the county's public high schools. This has led the Maryland State Board of Education to launch an investigation into the claims.
"FOX 5 and the Washington Post have the resources to do their own investigation,” said Del. Dereck Davis. “They don't need us to provide them will filler."
"I can assure you that there is no systemic attempt to inflate graduation rates or as the letter to the governor said – systemic corruption at the highest levels of the organization,” Maxwell said. “It does not exist."
These state lawmakers want to know what the school system is doing to correct the unintended fallout from policies established by a student safety task force. Over 800 teachers and staffers have been placed on leave this school year while being investigated for alleged abuse and misconduct.
"We must remain vigilant to provide a safe learning environment for children while regaining our balance,” said Maxwell.
He said the ship is being righted.
"We had a whole summer of training session with principals and senior leaders this year on a book called about building trust, rebuilding trust,” he told reporters.
Del. Jay Walker was asked whether he supports Dr. Maxwell.
"Just to give you an honest answer, I'm more concerned now about the leadership we have in the school system now,” Walker said.
"I have dedicated my entire career of almost 40 years to providing children with an education that will help lift them out of poverty into the middle class and higher,” Dr. Maxwell told the state delegates during the meeting.
Officials said they are looking forward to regularly scheduled meetings among lawmakers and education executives starting Friday to help keep these lines of communication open.