By Bruce DePuyt, Maryland Matters, published April 18, 2018 Maryland Matters

Rushern L. Baker III said massive private sector investment in Prince George’s County offered validation for the policies and vision he pursued in two terms as county executive and is a sure sign that his long-neglected county has arrived as an economic force, both regionally and throughout Maryland. But he acknowledged that gains in the county’s public schools are fragile and will require constant vigilance.
Delivering his eighth, and final, State of the County address, Baker (D), a candidate for governor, spoke with pride about how Prince George’s is awash in development. The venue for his address, the glittery, new Hotel at the University of Maryland was, if not Exhibit A, certainly a prime example of how investors have come to place their bets on the county.

Pick any spot on the map, Baker and various warm-up speakers told a mostly suit-clad audience of more than 500, and we’ll show you a project that will transform life in that community.
Among the most frequently cited projects:
• The Gaylord Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill
• The MGM National Harbor Casino, also in Oxon Hill
• Kaiser Permanente’s new regional headquarters, being built in New Carrollton
• The U.S. Immigration and Citizenship headquarters, going up at the Branch Avenue Metro
• The University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center, under construction in what county leaders call “downtown Largo”
• And the Whole Foods Market in University Park

“We are number one in job creation in the state of Maryland five quarters in a row,” Baker said. “My favorite part about that is that we don’t make the numbers up. The state has to give them to me.” The joke, not lost on the room, is that — if he survives the Democratic primary — Baker will face off in November against Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan (R).

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Viewing Education In 3D

by bizroundtable on December 27, 2017

Courtesy, Prince George’s Suite Magazine. 12/21/2017

PGCPS CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell Discusses The State of the School System, The Recent Audit And the 3D Program With Prince George’s Roundtable President M.H. Jim Estepp

Dr. Kevin Maxwell knew that the job came with dozens of challenges when he stepped into the position of CEO of the Prince George’s County Public School System in 2013. Prior to taking the job, the CEO seat rotated leadership more than a freshly oiled turnstile on steroids: he is the eighth leader of the system in 18 years.

The Prince George’s county public schools’ top executive took part in the “State of the Education System” event in a fireside chat format with M.H. Jim Estepp, President and CEO of the Greater Prince George’s Business Roundtable November 28.

Highlights of the conversation included the development of the 3D Scholarship Program which allows county students to achieve three degrees over the course of an academic career from high school through community college and on to a bachelor’s degree—all affordably offered in total at $10,000. The program begins with the public school system and includes Prince George’s Community College and the University of Maryland University College. With the rising costs of higher education, the groundbreaking program is likely to become a national model.

Maxwell promises to triple the number of students in the 3D program in years to come. “All we need is the support to make sure this happens and then our kids are on a level playing field with every other child across the state and around this great country,” he said.

Maxwell also discussed a $25 million Department of Education grant for teacher leadership and special programs for needy students and arts integration. He plugged the Second Annual Prince George’s 2018 Arts Gala as an extraordinary must-see event showcasing the performance and visual art talent of county students.

Innovative programming wasn’t the only topic of discussion. The schools CEO addressed the elephant in the room almost immediately as the conversation with Estepp began.

About The Audit

“We knew there were issues in the schools,” Maxwell responded. “We knew that when I started. You can’t just flip a switch. The real, hard work takes time. The audit first refuted [concerns] about corruption and fraud at the highest levels of our organization. The audit absolutely said that there was no fraud, no systemic intimidation of that sort. It did say there are issues within our system. I don’t disagree with that.”

The chief schools executive noted that policies and procedures need updating, training and certifications and better record keeping are all areas where attention and correction are needed.

“In this system, we still use paper and pencil for some of those things, keeping track of graduation credits that other systems are using technology for,” Maxwell acknowledged.

But the bottom line remains that an audit is designed to point out strengths and weaknesses in any system. And Maxwell says with adequate time, the weaknesses will be addressed.

“That’s the process of an audit,” Maxwell said. “We have an amount of time to respond to that audit and we will submit a response to the state within that time and make the corrections in response to the state.”

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Dr. Wiseman and Board Chair Dr. Eubanks to be Sworn in

August 9, 2017

County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III Appoints Former University of Maryland School of Education Dean Dr. Donna Wiseman to the Prince George’s County Board of Education and Reappoints Dr. Segun Eubanks as Board Chair Upper Marlboro, MD – August 9th, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, will participate in the swearing-in ceremony of […]

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Choosing A Humble Way Forward

July 17, 2017

By M.H. Jim Estepp, published July 16, 2017 Prince George’s Suite It was with great disappointment that we received the news this week that the General Services Administration (GSA) would no longer seek a new home for the aging Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Washington, D. C. After years of investing time, millions of […]

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The Roundtable’s July Meeting is a hit!

July 17, 2017

July 14, 2017 By James R. Estepp (Photo credit to Raoul Dennis) The Business Roundtable’s July Meeting at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden was attended by State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks and 9th District County Councilman Mel Franklin, each of whom gave us their thoughts on their respective offices and the county’s continuing trend upward. […]

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Baker Tells Crowd: ‘County Will Be Working At Full Throttle During Last 18 Months Of This Administration’

May 12, 2017

Reprinted from Prince George’s Economic Development Corporation. Photo courtesy Mike Yourishin. Clinton, MD – Last Wednesday, County Executive Rushern Baker delivered his 2017 ‘State of the Economy’ Address at the Colony South Hotel in Clinton, Maryland. Co-hosted by the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation and Greater Prince George’s Business Roundtable, the event drew a […]

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The Business Roundtable Welcomes both of Maryland’s U.S. Senators to a Star-Filled Annual Meeting

January 12, 2017

January 9, 2017 By James R. Estepp (Photo credit to John Bechet) The Business Roundtable’s Annual Meeting at the Colony South Hotel today was attended by not one, but both of Maryland’s United States Senators, as both Ben Cardin and then Chris Van Hollen gave us their thoughts on the upcoming year on Capital Hill. […]

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The Business Roundtable Presents a Look at Economic Development in 2017 and Beyond

January 10, 2017

Thanks very much to the Prince George’s County Council for inviting the Business Roundtable to their Retreat last week to present a look at economic trends affecting businesses in the county and region. It was our honor to be part of a panel with Board Member Jim Coleman. View the Entire Roundtable presentation before the […]

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MGM National Harbor is Here, and NBC 4 Washington was there to cover it

December 9, 2016

Congratulations to Roundtable Board Member Lorenzo Creighton and the entire well-oiled machine at MGM National Harbor. The following is a story from NBC 4 Washington’s Tracee Wilkins on a one-of-a-kind night of a lifetime.

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NBC 4 Washington Covers the State of the Education System Address

October 20, 2016

Here’s the story from NBC 4 Washington covering The Business Roundtable’s October 19, 2016 event, the State of the Education System Address with Dr. Kevin Maxwell and County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. The story also features comments from Roundtable Secretary/Treasurer Steve Proctor and Board Member Gary Michael.

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