New York Times Probes Baltimore County School System Records
Posted by Ann Costantino on 5th November 2017
Front Page 11/4/2107 New York Times Article on Baltimore County Public Schools -Tech Firms Entice Schools With Steak and Travel


A recent front page story in The New York Times has put Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) front and center when it comes to the study of relationships between public-private sectors.

“Close ties between school districts and their tech vendors can be seen nationwide. But the scale of Baltimore County schools’ digital conversion makes the district a case study in industry relationships,” Times reporter, Natasha Singer, wrote.

Singer’s story, which can be viewed here, has also revealed that former BCPS superintendent, S. Dallas Dance, took at least 65 out-of state trips in a three year period, all related to the county’s 1:1 personalized learning digital initiative called STAT, for Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow. And information The Times obtained through Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) requests has uncovered that those trips cost Baltimore County in excess of $33,000.

In response to the article, national education advocate and former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education, Diane Ravitch, released a blog post today, calling out the “disgrace” unfolding in Baltimore County over the school system’s multi-million dollar technology initiative, in a system with neglected facilities.

Ravitch said of the story “we learn about covert payoffs, payola, lavish expenses, cozy deals between vendors and school officials…” She went on to write, “We see a district committed to spending hundreds of millions on technology while some children are in trailers for classrooms, and water fountains are spouting brown water. In other words, basic needs have been neglected to pay for the shiny new machines.”

Baltimore County parents and advocates have long criticized the priorities of the former superintendent and what they have called an overindulgence in tech spending, travel and questionable contracts. Op-eds that have appeared in the Towson Flyer and The Baltimore Sun have also questioned Dance’s priorities over the years.

At large board member, Ann Miller, responded to community concern by attempting to obtain Dance’s travel records. The school system failed to respond to Miller’s request, prompting Miller – in an unprecedented move – to file an official MPIA request in 2016, while serving as board member.

To offer a sense of some of the travel involved, The Baltimore Post is releasing a partial list of Dance’s speaking engagements obtained through extensive web research conducted by a reporter.

July 29, 2013 – EduStat University – Ithaca, NY – Keynote Speaker – Courageous and Connected Leaders – Collaboration for CustomizationDr. Dance’s keynote will provide a glimpse into contemporary leadership as well as the urgency associated with bold instructional initiatives.” –

August 5, 2013 –   K-12 Education Reform SummitChantilly, Va – Keynote Speaker – Dr. S. Dallas Dance, one of the Keynote Speakers,

October 19, 2013 – VirtCon Tech or Treat – Discovery Ed. Silver Spring, Md. Keynote Speaker

February 26, 2014 – Discovery Education/ Future Ready –  Silver Spring – Speaker – embedded in thumbnail image (Dallas Dance and other panelists) –  “The Future at Now!  Chart Your Journey to the Digital Transition”  –

February 26, 2014 – EdSurge / Discovery Education, Silver Spring, Mr. –  Speaker –  “The Future at Now!  Roadmap to Digital.” –Future@Now: Roadmap to the Digital Transition gave viewers the opportunity to hear practical advice and real success stories from real leaders.”

March 13-14, 2014, Successful Innovations, Lynchburg, Virginia- Keynote Speaker – 2014 Mid-Atlantic Family Engagement Summit,

April 7-11, 2014 – NAPE (National Alliance for Partnership in Equity) – Arlington, Virginia, Featured Speaker for 2014 Professional Development  –

May 9, 2014 – SHLB (Schools, Health and Library Broadband Coalition), Washington, DC, Plenary Speaker,

June 11, 2014 – Rethinking Accountability Conference,  Washington, DC – Speaker – “Putting Students and Learning First”,  “Educators, policymakers, and business and community leaders at the forefront of this work will talk about how new accountability systems can improve schools and change the way we test students.”,

June 11, 2014 – Rethinking Accountability Interview, Washington D.C. – Interview – The conference discussed how schools, districts, and communities across the nation are charting new paths to student- and learning-focused accountability, and how new approaches are making a difference in improving education. The conference was hosted by the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Sandler Family Foundation.,:  

August 29, 2014 – C-SPAN , Washington, DC – Panel Speaker –  “Poll on Attitudes Toward Public Schools” –Discussion about why people are against teaching core standards –  //  video: 

September 29, 2014 – EdNet Conference:  Educator Pushback—What Do We Need to Understand?, Baltimore, Md.,  – Speaker –  As school reformers work to move accountability, standards, school choice, and more forward, there remains pushback in many areas—teacher evaluation, charter schools, testing, Common Core State Standards—and an increasingly critical eye on the commercialism of school product providers. Where are educators pushing back and why? Which of the reform initiatives will gain traction? Where will likely buy-in from educators occur, and what will it take to get it? Hear prominent educational leaders share their real-world insights. –   

October 16, 2014Alliance for Excellent Education – Briefing: Rethinking Accountability to Support College and Career Readiness, – Washington, DC – Speaker –

October 17, 2014Video of Live Streamed meeting hosted by Discovery Education, Silver Spring, Md. 2014 –  Meeting Moderator –“Bridging Key Stakeholders” – “During this live streaming event, superintendent colleagues and district leaders will come together for an innovative thought-leadership and professional development event to explore ways to engage critical district stakeholders to support a successful digital conversion.”  County Executive Kevin Kamanetz contributes remotely.  Video:

November 3-5, 2014: Global Symposium on ICT in Education 2014, Gyeongju , Republic of Korea – SpeakerTransforming Education with 1:1 Computing:, Learning from Practical Experiences in Providing Students  with Their Own Individual Computing Devices – Dr. Dance’s session’s topic was about: Case Studies at Regional/National Level: Lessons Learned and Pitfalls to Avoid of 1:1 Educational Computing Initiatives,,contentMDK:23607810~pagePK:210058~piPK:210062~theSitePK:282386,00.html

February 1, 2015 StanfordSCOPE (Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education) – Rethinking Accountability, Washington, DC – Speaker –  

February 26, 2015 – AASA Conference (School Superintendent Association) San Diego, Ca – Speaker Dr. Dance, Speaker. FOUR presentations over weekend: 1) This particular talk sponsored by Microsoft . 2) The Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow (S.T.A.T.) Initiative: Preparing Globally Competitive Students, 

February 27, 2015 – AASA (School Superintendent Association)San Diego, Ca – Speaker Dr. Dance, Speaker: This particular talk sponsored by Microsoft. 3) School Efficiency, Organization and Collaboration with Microsoft OneNote. 4) Blueprint 2.0 and the Role of Communication in Creating a World-Class School System Moderator: Rich Bagin, Executive Director,  NSPRA, Rockville, MD Presenters: Dallas Dance, Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools, Towson, MD; Mychael Dickerson, Chief Communications Officer, Baltimore County Public Schools, Towson, MD” –

February 28, 2015 –AASA  (School Superintendent Association) – San Diego, Ca – Speaker – Dr. Dance, Speaker: “How to Go from Tech Scared to Tech Savvy From Twitter to tablet apps, technology is a major part of schools today. Learn from your peers what you need to know, what details you can avoid and how to demystify social media.” –

March 9-12 2015SXSW-EdAustin, TexasSpeaker – (unsure of how many days, and which was day of speech). SXSWedu® fosters innovation in learning by hosting a diverse and energetic community of stakeholders across a variety of backgrounds in education! –  

March 13, 2015 – “Teaching and Learning Conference / Digital Learning Day, Washington, DC – Speaker/Interviewed on Stage -Filmed at the Teaching & Learning 2015 Conference, hosted by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. – Digital Learning Day Live! Hosted by Rehema Ellis with Governor Bob Wise. 

March 18th, 2015 –CoSN Conference (The Consortium for School Networking) Atlanta, Ga. – Speaker –

May 20, 2015 – Pasadena Educational Foundation – Pasadena, Ca. – Keynote Speaker –  “Celebrating Our Schools” Spring Event,

March 22, 2015 –ASCD Conference –  Houston, Tx –Speaker –  The Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow, (S.T.A.T.), Initiative: Preparing Globally Competitive Students” –

April 29, 2015: The Learning CounselPhone Interview – The Learning Counsel interviewed Dr. Dallas Dance of the Baltimore Public Schools on Strategy for Transition to Digital Curriculum in this New Age of Teaching and Learning,

June 8-9, 2015 – Future Ready Schools – Baltimore, Md. – Panel Speaker –,

June 28- July 1, 2016 – ISTE  (Actual day of speech unknown) – Philadelphia, Pa  – Speaker – Town Hall –. Lead and Transform :  Starting at 1:04:  

July 2015 – CUE /Discovery EducationSan Simeon, Ca. – Speaker – “Preparing Globally Competitive Graduates- CUE 2015 Super Symposium“


September 1 or 2,  2015 –  AEP (Arts Education Partnership) Plenary Panel, Arlington, Tx- – Panel Speaker – The Future of Learning:  Remaking the Learning Landscape for Student Success. ,

October 3, 2015 – CUBE (Council of Urban School Boards of Education) – 48th Annual National School Boards Association Conference, Phoenix, AZ – Speaker “What’s working? Innovative and practical models for district and school-wide reform and improvement.” –

October 26, 2015 – SETDA Leadership Summit Plenary Panel: Arlington, Va. Panel Speaker “Shifting Digital Instructional Materials Policies and Practices”,!/presenters

November 9, 2015 – iNACOL Symposium (International Association for K-12 Online Learning) – Orlando, FL.  – Keynote Speaker –

December 8, 2015Learning Forward – Washington, DC – Speaker/Thought Leader – A panel featuring Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent S. Dallas Dance.

January 2016 – CUE Super Symposium Promotional Video, Dallas Dance, special guest speaker:

February 11-13, 2016 – AASA (School Superintendents Association) National Conference on Education –  Phoenix, AZ

February 19, 2016 – MassCUE – (Massachusetts Computer Using Educators), Bedford, Massachusetts, Keynote Speaker – Preparing Globally Competitive Graduates: This session will discuss the Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) S.T.A.T. (Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow) Initiative by outlining how BCPS started with the development of digital curriculum before choosing a device. This has been critical in keeping the focus on instruction, professional development, and the creating of collaborative and engaged learning environments for students and teachers. Initiatives such as this and the second language acquisition are critical to preparing students to be globally competitive.

March 7, 2016: SXSW-EdAustin, Tx – Speaker –Is Education Policy Stifling Digital Innovation?   Video:

March 14, 2016 – NAESP (National Association of Elementary Principals) , Arlington, Va. – Speaker – Leading through Change – 4-7, 2016 – CoSN (The Consortium for School Networking), Washington, DC. – Speaker –  Topic: “What Keeps Superintendents Up at Night.”    9, 2016 – The Learning Counsel – The Consumerization of Learning


December 15, 2016 – The Learning Counsel  – Building a Sustainable Culture in Baltimore –

April 18-20, 2016 – ASU GSV Summit, San Diego, Ca.  – Speaker The ASU GSV Summit continues to bring together the most impactful people from diverse constituencies—entrepreneurs, business leaders, educators, policymakers, philanthropists, and university and district leaders—to create partnerships, explore solutions, and shape the future of learning.S.T.A.T. is the multi-year transformation of BCPS into a complete 21st century technology learning environment that prepares globally-competitive graduates. BCPS is redesigning curriculum in the core content areas to redefine what instruction will look like in a blended learning environment, while placing a stronger emphasis on developing critical thinking and analytical skills. Through this effort, BCPS is personalizing learning for an increasingly diverse student population at a time when the economy requires more from students for future success. This panel will feature a variety of BCPS stakeholders who will provide an inside look at this ground breaking initiative already being emulated nationwide.” –  

June 3, 2016: Content in Context, Ed Tech Reality Check, Philadelphia, Pa. – Speaker – What does research show about the state of the digital classroom?, How fast is the classroom environment changing? What does the pace of change mean for content creators? What are the success stories for digital learning? What else is essential besides great content? What role do experts see for print materials in the next ten years? What are the fads educators would like to go away? What would they like to see happen next?

June 8-9, 2016 – Future Ready Summit, Boston, Massachusetts –Speaker

June 26-29, 2016:  ISTE, Denver, Colorado, Presenter and / Current Board of Directors Member

August 15, 2016 – Excellence through Equity, Speaker, along with multiple BCPS employees.  Baltimore, Maryland

October 18-19, 2016 –  MassCue, Massachusetts  – Speaker / Presenter, Preparing globally Competitive Graduates (spoke on the 19th)   video:

Sometime during October 19-23, 2016, Miami, Florida.  Panel Speaker with former BCPS board member, Marisol Johnson, who presented with him.

October 25-28, 2016 – Concordia Summit, New York – Interviewed by Yahoo Tech at event: 

November 7-9, 2016 – The 21st Century Superintendent, Speaker/Presenter, San Diego, Ca. Spoke on Nov. 8. “Dr. Dallas Dance – “Impacting District Culture” 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Policy Update” ESSA Panel:

November 13-14, 2016 The Learning Council – Gathering and National Awards Event, Walt Disney World, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Coronado H Ballroom, 1000 West Buena Vista Dr. Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

November 28-29 , 2016 – AIA Build America Summit, New York – Buildings that define a community – The contribution of specific buildings—schools, libraries, cultural institutions, historic buildings, community centers, and public spaces/parks”


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