Against Rehiring Joshua Starr

The Montgomery County School Board is in the midst of deliberations on whether to rehire Superintendent Joshua Starr.  Montgomery County Public Schools have been headed in the wrong direction, academically – and schools superintendent Starr makes it worse.  In fact, most everything about Joshua Starr indicates that he had no interest in student achievement.  The long-standing achievement gap in mathematics and other classes gets little reaction or attention from his office.  And there’s little reaction to the scandal over massive failure rates in high school finals.  MCPS, years after this was revealed, is still studying the matter.

Starr has been a vocal opponent of academic testing.  As a measure of accountability, after all, testing represents a threat, because it allows the public to judge how well he is educating our students.  Of course, that’s his basic job.  Isn’t it important for us to evaluate how well he is doing his job?
Instead of academic testing, the Post reports that he will be evaluating students on their feelings.  How happy they are.  How do they feel hope.  I wish I were making this stuff up.

And, in addition to opposing testing and student achievement, he is opposed to allowing parents to send their kids to schools where achievement is encouraged.  Starr is opposed to charter schools, and works to suppress them.  Competition isn’t something he would like, because, like testing, it threatens to make MCPS look bad.

Well, despite all that, MCPS is looking bad, and sadly in need of new leadership.

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