Dallas Dance to resign as head of BCPS
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.