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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