Prince George's County and its schools: the need for vision and transformation
On a Washington Post article last week about tax incentives for new construction in Montgomery County, Maryland, a cavalier commenter said something like "people and businesses should just relocate to Prince George's County," which is next door.
I countered that because of the comparatively low quality of the school system, higher income households for the most part aren't willing to consider living there, therefore developers aren't super interested in building there.
Although Prince George's County has other issues too, including a lack of vision on transit and urban design:
-- "College town follow up: alumni as residents and contributions to community capital," 2015
-- "More Prince George's County: College Park's militant refusal to become a college town makes it impossible for the city(and maybe the County) to become a great place," 2015
-- "Revisiting past blog entries: College Park as a college town and economic development | PG County and Amazon," 2018
--"Setting the stage for the Purple Line light rail line to be an overwhelming success: Part 4 | Making over New Carrollton as a transit-centric urban center and Prince George's County's "New Downtown"," 2017
-- "When the one over neighborhood is in the county next door, and housing prices have been in the tank: Mount Rainer, Maryland," 2016
-- "Washington Post series on "Dashed Dreams: The Plight of the Black Middle Class," 2015
-- "PL #7: Using the Purple Line to rebrand Montgomery and Prince George's Counties as Design Forward," 2017
Apparently this has been controversial ("Prince George’s Co. proposal to use private funds for public schools raises concerns," WTOP-radio).
From the standpoint of go big or go home, and my "transformational projects action planning" approach (Bilbao, Portland, Edmonton), I'd argue that a few new schools isn't enough to transform the image of the PG School system nor the County as a whole.
So what first came to mind is not the various K-12 education reform efforts in cities like Washington and New York City, which by and large, haven't had the kind of outcomes that are touted, but the Oklahoma City MAPS for Kids program (MAPS3).Metropolitan Area Projects program, which in various phases, funds significant infrastructure projects including the creation of new parks, arenas and other community facilities, a streetcar line, a revitalized waterfront and canal, etc., through a sales tax surcharge.
-- "Powerful story of how Bristol Virginia elementary school deals with extremely impoverished students," 2015"
-- "Creating cultures of excellence in schooling," 2006
-- "International Baccalaureate program at an impoverished high school in Seattle as a way to improve academic outcomes," 2015
-- "Back to school as a reason to consider schools issues comprehensively," 2015)
-- "Rethinking community planning around maintaining neighborhood civic assets and anchors," 2011
-- "Successful school programs in low income communities and the failure of DC to respond similarly," 2019