An Educated Best
Interim Prince George’s County Schools CEO Dr. Monica Goldson Aims At Accountability, Support For Teachers, Staff
By Raoul Dennis
The newly appointed interim Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO is a stakeholder in the schools in the old-fashioned way: Dr. Monica Goldson is a product of public school education and her children attend.
Add to that her 27 years of service as a professional in PGCPS.
These are factors in Goldson’s surgical approach to keeping the best of the system’s operations intact while putting greater attention on areas that need improvement.
“It’s important that people understand that we are on the right track to making sure that we change the narrative about Prince George’s County Public Schools,” Dr. Goldson said moments before giving an address at a meeting of the Greater Prince George’s Business Roundtable. “So the same quality of programs that we provided before, we will continue to provide. What I’m adding is a level of accountability and making sure that we monitor and are transparent about what we do each and every day.”
Goldson also addressed community concerns about getting more support from PGCPS leadership at the classroom level.
“When I came into the position, I began a reorganization because I felt that we were a little top heavy,” Goldson said. “Because of that I’m taking the funds from that reorganization and redirecting them back into our schools. So that $1 million savings will go back into our schools because what’s most important is what happens in the schoolhouse. All of us have this job because we are doing what we need to do for our children. So every opportunity we get, I want our teachers and administrators and building support staff to know that they’re the focus.”
Already the interim CEO is appreciating the support she’s getting. County leaders fully funded the PGCPS budget request and have articulated their interest in seeing the school system continue its best work (See“Toward Better Living,” in the Summer 2018 edition of Prince George’s Suite magazine here).
“Our county council has been partners in education for a while. They have put their arms around me and embraced the changes that I have had to make. [That has been] in addition to our elected officials at the delegation level that I just met. We want to send a message that we are working together to move the school district forward,” she said.
In a surprising twist of good news, Dr. Goldson announced that the $6.5 million Head Start federal grant that the county lost last year will be restored.
“We are partnering with our external agencies to regain that grant,” she reported.
The top schools executive also noted a short list of wow factor programs including the career academies, 3D scholars program, dual enrollment programs, pre-apprenticeship program (masonry, electrical, plumbing and carpentry) and the Uber-like Here Comes The Bus app.
Goldson acknowledged that there are still tough days ahead.
“Every day won’t be perfect and when it’s not I’m going be the first person who stands there to tell you that it’s not and what we are going to do to make those changes to make sure that we do become that school system that people can become proud of.”