Prince George’s school board members defend record of outgoing CEO

WASHINGTON — Ten members of the Prince George’s County school board are defending the record of the district’s outgoing CEO.

Those members of the 13-seat board issued the statement regarding Kevin Maxwell a day after the CEO announced he’d be stepping down at the end of the school year.

In the letter, the school board members admit to “missteps” by the board, but argue that there had been “significant academic progress” during Maxwell’s tenure. The members singled out the expansion of pre-kindergarten and language-immersion programs as evidence of Maxwell’s successes.

The letter also stated that the board members will “work through the details of Dr. Maxwell’s transition” and will “announce them as soon as they are finalized.” The letter also encouraged residents to weigh in via email.

The letter featured a disclaimer of sorts. At the top, in italics, it read: “This letter does not represent any official action or position of the Board of Education. It does, however, represent the consensus opinion of an overwhelming majority of the Board Members.”

Edward Burroughs, David Murray and Raaheela Ahmed — did not sign the letter. The three board members have been frequent and vocal critics of Maxwell. In a tweet, Burroughs stated that he was not asked to sign off on the letter and wasn’t even informed it was being drafted.

Speaking at a police graduation ceremony in Upper Marlboro on Wednesday, county Executive Rushern Baker said he’d be working with the board on finding an interim CEO.

In Maxwell’s letter announcing his impending resignation from the job of CEO, he explained he was leaving because it was clear he wouldn’t have the support of the next county executive. (Under the school system governance in the county, it’s up to the executive to select the CEO.) Baker told reporters, “I’m running for governor, but I’m still the county executive, so I will be involved in the interim appointment.”

Asked if he would look for an interim school chief inside or outside of the county system, Baker declined to comment further. Instead, he said he wants the school board to focus on upcoming graduations and more immediate concerns.

“They’ve got a budget they have to deal with, so I want them to focus on that for the next 55-60 days,” he said. “Then after that, we can focus on what the process looks like.”

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