Dr. Kevin Maxwell named as CEO of Prince George's schools - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Dr. Kevin Maxwell named as CEO of Prince George's schools

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The new Chief Executive Officer of the public school system in Prince George's County has a long history with the organization he's about to head. Dr. Kevin Maxwell was a student, a student-teacher, a teacher, an assistant principal, a principal, and an administrator in the PG school system. Since 2006 he has been the superintendent in the neighboring Anne Arundel Co. school system. But he commutes from Prince George's County.

Maxwell is the pick of County Executive Rushern Baker III, who convinced the state legislature to give him more control over the school system, where test scores, although improving in recent years, lag substantially behind statewide averages.

Many families, here, choose private education because of uncertainty over the public schools. "I felt that our teachers [in the local public elementary school] had a lot less control over their classrooms than they should [have]," explained Deborah Jackson, who eventually switched her two children from public to private schools in Prince George's County.

Sharon Clark is quite satisfied with her local elementary school in University Park, but is skeptical of nearby public high schools. "One of them is crime ridden", sighed Clark, "and everybody has a baby.... I'm not saying that it's the schools' fault. But you've got to put your child in an environment that you want them to assimilate to, and I don't want them to assimilate to that."

At a gathering of Maryland luminaries at Northwestern High School, where Maxwell was once the principal, the new choice for chief of schools told the crowd: "Kids know whether you care about them. They know whether you love them. They know whether you dismiss them and don't care about them. And we want great teachers in our classrooms who love their children like their own."

Dr. Maxwell says he believes in "personalizing the environments" in schools, so students feel welcomed and supported. The new CEO issued a challenge to his audience at Northwestern High: "I absolutely can't do this by myself. I need every one of you. And, for those of you who have been saying, 'What are you going to do?' I'm going to turn in right back around and say, 'What are you going to do help?'"

In recent decades, there has been tremendous turnover among the top administrator of P.G. schools.

Dr. Maxwell said in an interview that he believes consistency is important, and he hopes to stay in the top job in Prince George's County for eight to ten years.

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