Local listservs have been heating up with Prince George's County parents voicing concerns about a school board policy change that would allow the district to own the copyright on student work.
Board member Peggy Higgins (Dist. 2) said the board heard parents' concerns and pulled the policy to rework it before the Post published its article.
"It is through [the first read process] that the problems regarding this policy's proposed language became clear and the proposed policy was pulled in order to be reworked," Higgins wrote in an email to a Riverdale Park resident. (Higgins permitted Patch to use the content in her letter).
"The Board has absolutely no intent to establish a policy that could negatively impact the creativity of our students. Conversely, we really are dedicated to our students and consistently applauds and celebrates the creative talents of our students."
Higgins said the intent of the policy is to create a process to "address technology products that are produced under the direction of the school district, while valuing and affirming both student and teacher work and creativity."
The policy is needed because as PGCPS shifts to the Common Core curriculum, technology may be used to teach and test students, she added.
Board Chair Verjeana M. Jacobs (Dist. 5) told the Post she got the idea after she and another school board member went to a presentation about how teachers can use Apple apps to create new curricula. Jacobs said she only wanted to make it clear that the district should own teacher-developed curricula created on school-owned iPads, the Post reported. Jacobs said it was never their intent to own their students' works.
According to the Post the policy reads:
“Works created by employees and/or students specifically for use by the Prince George’s County Public Schools or a specific school or department within PGCPS, are properties of the Board of Education even if created on the employee’s or student’s time and with the use of their materials. Further, works created during school/work hours, with the use of school system materials, and within the scope of an employee’s position or student’s classroom work assignment(s) are the properties of the Board of Education.”
The policy's language can no longer be found on Board Docs' website.
Higgins said parents can continue to contact their board representatives about the proposal, while the board reworks the policy's language.
Watch a Huffington Post Live discussion on this topic here.
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