Former NAACP president wants Prince George’s Co. schools chief fired

Former NAACP chairman Ben Jealous announces his campaign for governor of Maryland during a rally in Baltimore, Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Jealous wills seek the Democratic nomination. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)

WASHINGTON — Ben Jealous, the former NAACP president and now a Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, believes the Prince George’s County school chief should be fired.

In a news release, Jealous said management in the state’s second-largest school system suffers from “incompetence and failure of leadership.” And he called on Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker — another Democratic gubernatorial hopeful — to fire Dr. Kevin Maxwell, the school system’s CEO.

Jealous isn’t the first to call for Maxwell’s ouster. Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican running for re-election, has long been critical of the county’s school system and Maxwell’s performance. In a recent news conference, Hogan repeated his call for the firing of Maxwell, who told WTOP: “I’m not running for office. I’m trying to run a school system.”

Baker, who has polled ahead of the crowd of at least eight Democrats running for governor, dismissed Jealous’ attack as political and called it a “Larry-Hogan-style political attack.”

The Prince George’s County school system has been the subject of a state audit that found glaring flaws in the school system’s application of its own grading policy, as well as shoddy record-keeping that put hundreds of students’ diplomas in question.

A spokeswoman for the Jealous campaign said that news had troubled the candidate, but that the most recent allegation of double-digit raises being handed out to certain central staff employees — in violation of collective bargaining — was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

That accusation came from three members of the Prince George’s County School board: Edward Burroughs III, David Murray and Raaheela Ahmed, who refer to themselves as “The Accountability and Solutions Caucus.”

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