African-American community in Maryland

*We previously cited a medium.com report about the high graduation rate of black students in Prince George’s County coming under investigation by Maryland Republicans.

The county is reportedly home to 7 out of the 10 richest African American communities in the U.S. More black wealth is “gathered in the county than anywhere else in the US.”

It is also home to the best educated in the nation. So many were reportedly suspicious when Maryland’s Governor, Larry Hogan, requested an investigation into data showing increased graduation rates in the county.

Amelia Chassé, Deputy Communications Director for Governor Hogan, read our original coverage, which was titled “Affluent African-American Community Under Investigation By Republicans,” and she reached out to set a few things straight.

Chassé says it was NOT Republicans who called for the investigation.

“Governor Hogan requested that the independent State Board of Education investigate these allegations at the direct request of four Prince George’s County School Board members,” she explained, “and after Prince George’s County state senator Anthony Muse and the entire Prince George’s County house delegation – all of whom are African American and members of the Democratic Party – called for an investigation: As did the local chapter of the NAACP and the former national head of the NAACP, as referenced in the post.”

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The Washington Post reports that four members of Prince George’s County’s school board have urged Gov. Larry Hogan to order an investigation into what they allege is a systemic effort to fraudulently boost graduation rates in the Maryland school district.”

The “minority” members say the state’s second-largest district engaged in “widespread systemic corruption” that has inflated graduation rates since 2014.

As noted by the Atlanta Black Star, Gov. Hogan issued a letter asking “Maryland State Board of Education President Andrew Smarick to look into potential wrongdoing in the Prince George’s County school system amid allegations students’ grades were fraudulently altered in order to boost graduation rates.”

Chassé tells EUR:

The State Board of Education – which includes members of both political parties – then voted unanimously to pursue an investigation, to be conducted by an outside party and subject to no input or oversight from the governor’s office.

The governor has never weighed in on the substance of the claims, and has specifically said that he was directing this independent entity to investigate in response to the multiple requests from local officials.

The state was asked to look into these allegations at the direct request of numerous Democratic elected officials, as well as the NAACP, in Prince George’s County.

Bob Ross, president of the Prince George’s County chapter of the NAACP, reportedly asked Rushern Baker, Prince George’s County Chief Executive not to renew the contract of Kevin Maxwell, chief executive of the county schools.

Maxwell issued a statement maintaining the allegations are false, but he welcomes an investigation.

“From the beginning, I have maintained that politics lie at the root of the accusations,” Maxwell said. “There has been no systemic effort to promote students in Prince George’s County Public Schools who did not meet state graduation requirements in order to inflate our graduation rates. We look forward to collaborating with the Maryland State Department of Education to resolve this matter.”

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