December 28, 2015 4:23 pm ET
Sparks fly at board meeting over school violence and out of state contracts
Source: Decadence Dance?
Going to a Baltimore County School Board meeting is similar to what Forrest Gump described in the famous movie quote: “Life is like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re gonna get.”
You will see firsthand what was in the proverbial box of chocolates when you view the following video. Click hereto watch the speakers at the 12/15/15 board meeting during the public comment section.
I have been to several such meetings, and I know others who also watched these often times “unpredictable” meetings, especially when the board cannot control the voices of the public.
And that, folks, is the theme for this blog.
One parent who attended such a meeting spoke up and yelled out, “Let the person finish!” regarding a very contentious subject. It was apparent that the school board was not in the mood for such criticism.
In the end, the board relinquished—after sensing the mood of the audience—and allowed the speaker to finish.
I would like to refer to the public comments during these meetings as let the truth be known. There is no doubt in my mind that these people who approach the camera and microphone are brave souls whose hearts are filled with the blood of conviction, which many times goes against the political agenda of the board.
You will see some of that bleeding if you choose to watch the accompanying school board video.
Seated at the head of the board is Dr. Dallas Dance, the controversial superintendent of the Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), and the controversy surrounding Dr. Dance is merited.
In a quote taken from the Sun’s “Your Turn/MD Voices”dated 9/26/15, Mr. George Nellies—a retired English teacher who spent 33 years in the BCPS system—refers to Dr. Dance’s statement, “We’re doing great work…”, as Dance’s justification for another term as BCPS superintendent.
You will see as we go through Mr. Nellies’ scrutiny of Dr. Dance’s record, along with my added ditties, that this is pure crapolla, hogwash, or whatever smelly substance you prefer.
Being an investigative journalist, I will take a closer look at the Dr. Dance’s record to date.
Dr. Dance came to town as BCPS superintendent in March 2012. It was a controversial decision because, at the time of his appointment, then MD State Superintendent Nancy Grasmic stated in a Sun article, “Because Dance has not had years of experience in high-level administrative positions,” she said, “he needs ‘to have a cadre of support in the system’ or people who will act as ‘critical friends.’”
Simply put, Dr. Dance needed “friends” for this position because he lacked the necessary qualifications.
His appointment was scrutinized in yet another quote from the same Sun article:
“Dance has only two years of teaching experience, which required the Baltimore County school board to seek a waiver from interim state Superintendent Bernard Sadusky before hiring him; Maryland requires three.”
I implore you to watch the video testimony from the four speakers that I have included in my assessment.
Those speakers, especially the two mothers from the west side of Baltimore, paint quite a different picture of Dr. Dance, who made this statement:
“I will tell you I am very open. I am very transparent. I want to make sure that people are part of the solutions,” he said.
He said he values people’s opinions whether they are custodians, bus drivers, teachers, community activists, parents or students.”
We in the vernacular refer to that as “talking the talk but not walking the walk.”
The mothers who spoke at the meeting refer to the out-of-control violence, teacher burnout and lack of support from the administration. That includes the fear that is felt by anyone who dares to cross the board.
Now, after all of the hype surrounding Dr. Dance, comes this headline from the Sun:
“PARCC results shock leaders
In 1st test, more than half of student fail to meet expectations”
Again, we see that the results of our superintendent and other administrators in the school system have our students failing, and dismally so.
Those leaders include Dr. Dance.
On top of those shocking numbers, Dr. Dance brought with him some other baggage, not including shirts and ties.
Does the word SUPES come to mind? This might shed a little light on the incident:
“Catalyst Chicago also found through public information requests that Dance was one of more than two dozen school officials nationwide who began coaching principals under the $20 million contract.”
And to throw salt on an open wound, we have this headline from the Sun:
Did I mention the audit of Dr. Dance? I’m sorry, there is so much wrong with the BCPS system that I almost forgot.
Another problem among the many was this report by Liz Bowie of the Sun, where the headline was a tawdry one.
Auditors critical of Baltimore County schools’ contract process
My guess is that is why Michael Moneymaker testified before the board about the plight of MD workers, when all the work being performed by county schools is going to out-of-state companies.
Mr. Moneymaker makes two very clear points in his testimony. For the last five years, he and his employees have been mostly unemployed. His point is that 80 cents of every dollar of local work stays in the community while only 20 cents stays if the contracts go out of state.
Remember, the SUPES contract came by way of Chicago.
You will see in the tape a young Dulaney High School student plead for a new school as she describes the present one crumbling around her.
After all this, Dr. Dance placed a robocall wishing everyone a “Happy Winter Holiday.”
How PC of him…
Now this issue is a divisive one, especially considering the courts and the state recognize Christmas as an official secular holiday; it is clearly marked on the state calendar.
So, in my humble opinion, not only is Dr. Dance destroying our beloved school system with his computer giveaway agenda and low test marks, but he is also hell-bent on wiping the vestiges of our time-honored traditions.
And, just so you know, I’m not coming to that conclusion based upon one mundane robocall.
I will have more on that later, folks.
Until then, I leave you with a question: How does erasing the names of the most celebrated holidays further our educational system?
Let me go ahead and give you the answer: It doesn’t. All it does is advance Dr. Dance’s PC agenda.
NOTE: Right after I published this blog, I found a related link regarding my column — Councilman’s Sellout Earns Poor “Marks.” You might want to check out the update and video from a WJZ TV 13 link. Quite informative.