Statement by Councilmember Andrew Friedson on Investigation Into MCPS Employee Misconduct and Promotion Processes

Below is a statement by Montgomery County Councilmember Andrew Friedson on the investigation into Montgomery County Public Schools employee misconduct and promotion processes following the Thursday morning hearing involving the Montgomery County Council and Education & Culture Committee (the full hearing can be seen here):

This morning, the entire Montgomery County Council joined the Education & Culture Committee for a hearing to review the deeply alarming workplace harassment and employee misconduct allegations in MCPS and their processes for promoting principals and administrators.

It’s evident that this is not just a case of established MCPS processes and procedures failing, but of systems that appear to be set up to fail, or perhaps not set up at all. It’s also clear this deeply disturbing episode doesn’t just reflect a process or procedural problem; it appears to reflect a longstanding cultural problem.

Regaining the public’s trust starts with publicly releasing the full Jackson Lewis report with any required redactions unless there is a specific legal reason not to release it. That report is only as good as the trust that the 25,000 educators, 160,000 students and their families, and the public have in it. And they can’t trust what they can’t see.

Letters and websites aren’t enough. Everyone needs to feel there’s a genuine culture of accountability and transparency. They must have faith that complaints and concerns will be taken seriously, investigated thoroughly, and that appropriate actions will be taken without delay. The idea that anonymous complaints have not been taken seriously up to this point reflects a deeply concerning culture of power dynamics and protectionism that must change immediately.

The Maryland Public Information Act is intended to promote public transparency, not to prevent it. Along with colleagues, I urged the Board of Education and Superintendent to change their email procedures to ensure emails are available for requests, reviews, and investigations.

I strongly support the Office of the Inspector General and have full faith in their independence and professional standards as they undertake two investigations into the specific allegations against Dr. Beidleman and the school system’s policies and procedures for handling misconduct allegations. I’ve spent the past five years working to strengthen the Office of the Inspector General and together with Council colleagues, added two exclusive investigator positions to provide additional oversight into our more than $3 billion public school system.

Both the obvious failures related to this specific incident and the broader structural and cultural failures they have exposed must be investigated thoroughly and transparently. We need true accountability for all those directly and indirectly responsible and we need an actionable plan to root out the problems. This cannot be the end of the process for achieving the type of systemic change needed to restore trust. Our students and families, educators, and taxpaying public deserve nothing less.

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Karen joined the Well-Paid Maids team as a cleaner in January 2021, and she was recently promoted to an operations manager! This well-deserved promotion is part of Well-Paid Maids' effort to deliver better customer service with responses to phone calls and emails seven days a week. To celebrate Karen's promotion, we caught up with her to learn more about her time at Well-Paid Maids, the area's only certified living-wage cleaning company.

 1. Why Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I saw the company was paying a living wage and had great benefits. Also, they were very flexible with my schedule, especially since I have kids.

 2. How has it been working at Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I feel very appreciated at the company. This is the first job where I feel I'm able to speak about any issue and that management will support me.

 3. How has working at Well-Paid Maids benefitted you?

Karen: Because Well-Paid Maids pays a living wage, I can now spend more time with my kids and not work double shifts like I did at my old job.

 4. How do you plan to spend your PTO this year?

Karen: I look forward to traveling to El Salvador to visit my family there.

 5. How would you describe Well-Paid Maids as an employer in three words?

Appreciated, valued and opportunity

Submit your own Announcement here.

Washington City Paper is hosting its annual Best of D.C. contest -- and Well-Paid Maids is eyeing the Best Maid Service category. If you missed it: Well-Paid Maids has secured first place for the past three years. Can you help us snag gold again? Simply go to the ballot and write in your vote for the best maid service. In case you need a refresher before you vote, Well-Paid Maids is the only certified living-wage cleaning company in the D.C. area. We pay our cleaners, who are W-2 employees, at least $24 an hour and offer benefits like insurance, 24 paid days off per year and more. Voting is open until June 10 at 5 p.m., and the winner will be announced July 18. (We'll keep you posted!) Thank you for your support -- and if you still haven't booked a spring cleaning yet, now is the time!

Submit your own Announcement here.

Movie being filmed in McLean, VA, needs your support

A local community movie is filming in our area in June and needs contributions!

Local actors, teens, teachers, housewives, and retired residences are trying to make this film happen but we need your help.

This is an educational short story about teens learning how to navigate when they don't feel accepted by their friends and what to do to find acceptance. Yet this film isn't just for teens. In your life have you ever felt like you weren't accepted??

Come be a part of the audience for this film! Invite your friends. Be a part of this film being produced right here in our area.

This is a social impact film that will show locally and internationally at film festivals in 2025 and also at colleges.

More information can be found here. DONATE TODAY:

https://www.filmindependent.org/sponsored-projects/ultimate-bias/

https://www.silvanomarifilms.com/jis

This is a not-for-profit film and donations are tax-deductible.

Free Community Father-Daughter Dance

Fathers and father figures, create unforgettable memories with your daughter at our free community father-daughter dance on June 1st, from 6-8 pm. Hosted outdoors at Olney Baptist Church. This event offers a delightful outdoor experience complete with a DJ spinning tunes, interactive games, a charming photo booth, delicious treats, and exciting raffle prizes. Fathers/father figures and daughters of all ages are warmly welcomed to share in this special evening together. Join us for an evening of joy, laughter, and cherished moments!

In the spirit of giving back to our community, we are partnering with Quest to Feed Montgomery to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need. We kindly ask each attendee to bring along a non-perishable food item to donate during the event. Every contribution, no matter how small, will go a long way in supporting families facing food insecurity in our area.

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