Activists criticize school officials at board meeting
A group of county activists had a litany of complaints and sharp criticism for the Prince George’s school board at its June 21 meeting, accusing school leaders of failing to deliver on promises, and demanding greater responsiveness from board members.
People for Change in Prince George’s County, formed by a handful of residents to critique candidates during the 2006 election season, issued a report card to Superintendent John Deasy and the eight school board members at the last board meeting of the 2006-2007 school year. The group expressed frustration with what activists described as a lack of progress.
Their criticism came a week after the county school system saw a significant bump in Maryland School Assessment (MSA) scores, an accomplishment lauded by Deasy and other officials.
Five county residents issued their individual grades to the schools’ leadership during the public participation forum held before each meeting.
Sandra Pruitt, a leader of People for Change, said officials should make greater efforts to involve parents in policy making.
‘‘Parents have been locked out of the process,” she said. ‘‘Many of the new programs being introduced ... were rolled out without countywide input and community organizations’ input.”
Deasy and board members do not respond to public comments. The officials looked on without reaction as speakers offered their critiques, including one woman who called Deasy’s commitment to the county school system into question.
Board members had a tempered response to the criticism.
At-large school board member Ron Watson said he was encouraged by citizens’ knowledge on board policy and initiatives.
‘‘When they can quote board policy, it shows we’re making progress,” Watson said. ‘‘And we didn’t run for this board because we were afraid of challenges.”
At-large board member Verjeana Jacobs said officials would digest the critiques during a six-week break before they reconvene in August.
‘‘We thank the public for their criticism,” she said.