Dallas Dance to re­sign as head of BCPS

The Avenue News - - NEWS - By NI­COLE RODMAN nrod­man@ches­pub.com Follow me on Twitter @NRod­man_Ea­gle

Dr. S. Dallas Dance, su­per­in­ten­dent of Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Schools, has an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion, ef­fec­tive Fri­day, June 30, 2017.

Dance’s fu­ture plans re­main un­clear at this time.

“To my knowl­edge, he does not have an­other job,” BCPS spokesman My­chael Dick­er­son told the

Ea­gle on Tues­day morn­ing. Dick­er­son char­ac­ter­ized the res­ig­na­tion as vol­un­tary, though he of­fered no de­tails on why Dance had de­cided to re­sign.

“I now tran­si­tion to an­other chap­ter of my ca­reer where I will specif­i­cally use my pas­sion for eq­uity and ac­cess to a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion to en­sure it is pro­vided to all stu­dents through school, district, and com­mu­nity lead­er­ship,” Dance said in a state­ment re­leased Tues­day morn­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to Ed­ward J. Gil­liss, chair of the Bal­ti­more County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion, Dance gave no­tice of his res­ig­na­tion on Tues­day morn­ing.

While Gil­liss had no in­for­ma­tion on why Dance was re­sign­ing, he said, “I think Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Schools are a bet­ter place be­cause of him.”

“We have some hard work to fill his big shoes,” Gil­liss said.

With just months be­fore Dance’s June 30 res­ig­na­tion, an in­terim re­place­ment will likely be ap­pointed to as­sume the po­si­tion of su­per­in­ten­dent on July 1.

Ac­cord­ing to Gil­liss, the process for re­place­ment in­volves both the lo­cal and state boards of ed­u­ca­tion. Su­per­in­ten­dents are signed for four-year-con­tracts be­gin­ning with the start of the fis­cal year in July.

For his part, Dance called his five-year ten­ure as su­per­in­ten­dent of BCPS “the best years of my pro­fes­sional life.

“I have led this or­ga­ni­za­tion from my heart be­liev­ing that we could move moun­tains, and while not lit­er­ally, we have be­gun tack­ling some large com­plex is­sues, which will take us time, ef­fort, en­ergy, and com­mit­ment to re­al­ize its full im­pact,” he stated, adding, “Team BCPS is much big­ger than any one in­di­vid­ual.”

“I want to thank each and ev­ery per­son who has worked and sup­ported us as we’ve strength­ened in­cred­i­ble learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments for each child in ev­ery school,” he con­cluded. “I know the best days for Team BCPS are ahead, and I will al­ways be one of its big­gest cheer­lead­ers.”

Be­fore be­ing hired by BCPS in 2012, Dance was an ad­min­is­tra­tor for pub­lic schools in Hous­ton, Texas. He had pre­vi­ously served in ad­min­is­tra­tion in Vir­ginia, af­ter two years spent as a teacher at a high school near Rich­mond

In his time at BCPS, Dance spear­headed sev­eral ini­tia­tives and over­saw the open­ing of sev­eral new schools.

His most no­table ini­tia­tive, the on­go­ing STAT (Stu­dents and Teach­ers Ac­cess­ing To­mor­row) pro­gram, aims to ex­pand tech­nol­ogy in schools by pro­vid­ing a tablet com­puter for ev­ery stu­dent.

Dance has also faced multiple con­tro­ver­sies dur­ing his time in Bal­ti­more County.

Prior to hir­ing Dance, the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion had to grant a waiver ex­empt­ing him from a three-year min­i­mum class­room experience re­quire­ment.

In 2013, Dance came un­der fire for a side-job con­sult­ing with SUPES Academy, an Illi­nois-based ed­u­ca­tional train­ing com­pany. Dance was forced to re­sign from SUPES af­ter it came to light that he was work­ing with the firm even as they had a con­tract with Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Schools.

In Novem­ber 2016, a school sys­tem Ethics Panel con­cluded that Dance had vi­o­lated ethics re­quire­ments by fail­ing to re­port out­side teach­ing jobs on fi­nan­cial dis­clo­sure forms.

While Dance had in­formed the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion about his work with the Univer­sity of Rich­mond, he did not note the work on fi­nan­cial dis­clo­sure forms from 2011 to 2015.

He also failed to re­port the cre­ation of a lim­ited li­a­bil­ity cor­po­ra­tion, De­lib­er­ate Ex­cel­lence Con­sult­ing LLC, that Dance es­tab- lished in 2012.

For his part, Dance ar­gued that he did not re­port since the LLC was not ac­tive and had been in place for less than 14 weeks.

The forms were later amended to in­clude the omit­ted in­for­ma­tion.

Dance also faced crit­i­cism in October 2016 af­ter 58 per­cent of county stu­dents failed to fully meet grade-level stan­dards on the Part­ner­ship for As­sess­ment of Readi­ness for College and Ca­reers (PARCC) tests, which are ad­min­is­tered to grades 3 through 12.

The Board of Ed­u­ca­tion voted 10-2 in May 2016 to of­fer Dance a new four-year con­tract with an an­nual salary of $287,000.

For his part, Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz called Dance’s res­ig­na­tion “a tremen­dous loss for our County and our stu­dents.”

“Dr. Dance and I have worked closely to­gether over the last five years and achieved in­cred­i­ble ac­com­plish­ments in­clud­ing in­creas­ing grad­u­a­tion rates for all stu­dents, nar­row­ing the achieve­ment gap and mak­ing huge progress to­ward pro­vid­ing healthy 21st cen­tury learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments,” he said, adding, “I am confident the school board will re­cruit the best new su­per­in­ten­dent to con­tinue Dr. Dance’s legacy of pro­vid­ing a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion for our stu­dents.”

PHOTO COUR­TESY BCPS Su­per­in­ten­dent Dr. Dallas Dance dis­cussed progress in Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Schools dur­ing his State of the Schools ad­dress in April 2015.

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