Tuesday, October 25, 2016

@MCPS Attempts to Whitewash Special Education Deficiencies at Martin Luther King Jr Middle School

As a refresher, the Maryland State Board of Education upheld the dismissal of a special education teacher at Martin Luther King Middle School.

You can read the State Board decision here, including the Administrative Law Judge's findings outlining alleged deficiencies.

Advocates contacted the General Counsel of the Montgomery County Board of Education and the Associate Superintendent for Special Education, inquiring what they planned to do to make up for the lost educational opportunities of the students in those classes. You can read that email here.

Unfortunately, the General Counsel to the Montgomery County Board of Education and the Associate Superintendent are attempting to whitewash the situation, and strain our credulity, by claiming that each and every one of those students received a Free and Appropriate Public Education. To refresh your recollection, the Administrative law judge found, among other things, that:

1. The new principal who arrived at MLKJMS determined that the special education students "were not making academic progress."

2. The general education teacher in the supposed "co-taught" class alleged that the lessons were not modified for students who needed it.

3. The IEPs were not individualized, not effective, and not flowing from the students' present levels of performance.

MCPS and the Board of Education has decided not to do anything about the losses these students incurred. They are not investigating whether these students lost more ground compared to their non-disabled peers. They have not reached out to the students' parents to determine if the students have gaps in their learning that needs to be remediated. In short, what we see from Joshua Civin and Chris Richardson is the classic denial, deflection, and obfuscation typical in correspondence from Montgomery County Public Schools.

Here is the recent correspondence from Joshua Civin and Chris Richardson:

2016 Civin to Astrove by Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County, Maryland on Scribd

Fortunately, there remain other avenues of redress to ensure that these students will be made whole.


  1. Now exactly who does Josh Civin represent? MCPS or the BOE? They are not the same entities.

    What State is Josh Civin licensed to practice in?

    Has he taken an Ethics class in the last decade?

    As an attorney, does Mr. Civin believe that he can withhold information, EVEN IF it puts children in danger?

    We know Mr. Civin withheld the test results that showed that the Richard Montgomery High School artificial field SHOULD BE CLOSED IMMEDIATELY due to permanent and irreversible deterioration of the fibers. What else is Mr. Civin keeping from the public by invoking "client confidentiality?"

    And, how is Mr. Civin ethically permitted to represent TWO clients with conflicting interests at the same time?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. Since Mr. Civin is an attorney for at least one of the above mentioned, his only duty is to his client. It is unfortunate that our Childrens education has to suffer because MCPS and the BOE care more about appearances, thieving money for personal gain, and protecting their own corruption! I have read articles about the attorney MCPS has on their books to literally fight the Parents of Special Needs children who want and deserve the right to have the Best education for their children. The horror stories I have read are dispicable. I dont know if this is the same attorney, but the unethical behavior he exhihited, it wouldn't suprise me. MCPS system now no longer cares about a childs education, but moreso pocketing money for themselves. I was born and raised here, now I hate it here!!

  2. Civin represents MCPS. He does not, and cannot represent the Board of Education.

    Joshua Civin recently became General Counsel of the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland
    . From 2011 to early 2014, he was
    Counsel to the Director of Litigation at the NAACP
    Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF)
    , where he led LDF’s work in
    , arguing on
    behalf of LDF and the UT Black Student Alliance in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth
    Circuit and filing friend
    -court br
    iefs at every stage of the litigation, including in the U.S.
    Supreme Court. Previously
    , he was an attorney with Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) and
    an Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellow with LDF
    . He
    graduated from Yale College, studied
    history at Oxfo
    rd University as a Rhodes Scholar, received a J.D. from Yale Law School, and
    served as a law clerk to Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth
    Circuit and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court.


  3. Why aren't MCPS administrators required to live in Montgomery County?

    Civin lives in Baltimore.

    Zuckerman lives in DC.

    This isn't their community. Their children will never go to these schools.

    1. Since administrators perform virtual work, they can accomplish it from anywhere.

    2. I finally agree with an opinion here! I do love your news, but often have a difference of opinion. But here, I agree. MCPS admin should live in this community. It makes a difference. Education is a moral imperative!

    3. Well that is pretty pointless. If you are in favor of no accountability, no bid contracts, and administrators over classrooms, there is nothing to be gained by having administrators live in the county.

  4. And every single bit of correspondence is worded like an attorney (ATTY) speaking to another attorney (AnATTY)

    The CYA coming before the topic at hand shows the litigous atmosphere now so dominant in MCPS (MCPS). It is reprehensible that all the posturing and posing is going on, primarily and dominantly on the part of MCPS (MCPS), long before the primary function is even considered by All Parties Involved (API)




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