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Maxwell Blasts ‘Baseless’ Accusations of Graduation Rate Manipulations

Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell issued the following statement late Monday night regarding accusations the county’s high school graduation rates:

Much to our anger and extreme disappointment, and that of a majority of the Board of Education, a handful of Prince George’s County Public Schools community members have made baseless accusations about our high school graduation rates.

Over the last few years, we have worked diligently to raise standards and expectations for our students while implementing multiple supports to keep them on the road to a diploma. Allegations that we systemically engaged in unethical practices are false, play to the worst suspicions about our school system, and disparage all of us.

Earlier this school year, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), at the direction of the U.S. Department of Education, conducted an inquiry into our graduation rates in the wake of an anonymous complaint that alleged the Chief Executive Officer had ‘forced educators to change the grades of ninth- and 12th-grade students in order to boost promotion and graduation rates.’ Nothing could be further than the truth.

The MSDE investigation drew the same conclusion. As stated in the report, the investigation determined ‘there was not anything done to indicate grades had been manipulated nor that bullying had been used to ensure more students were being promoted or graduated.’

Despite calls late last year by the county NAACP for Maxwell’s removal over student safety allegations, his contract was extended in February for a second four-year term by County Executive Rushern Baker.

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