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MCPS May Be Looking For New Superintendent

MCPS Superintendent Dr. Joshua Starr.jpg

Last week it was reported, by MyMCMedia.org that the Montgomery County Board of Education may not renew MCPS Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joshua Starr’s contract which expires in June.

The Board held a closed session last Friday to discuss the matter, MyMCMedia.org reported. However, according to a Washington Post editorial sources Starr has been advised to seek conditions for his departure, rather than pursue contract renewal.

While Starr’s contract expires on June 30, Starr is required by law to tell the Board of Education whether he wants his contract renewed or not by February 1. The Board will then have until March 1 to make a decision as to renew or terminate the contract.

Starr was hired in 2011 at a yearly salary of $250,000, but currently earns $264,000 annually, according to reports.

No Board members have stated publicly that they do not wish to renew Starr’s contract for four more years, no Board members has said they’d approve a new contract. Instead, when MyMCMedia.org asked Board members Mike Durso, Patricia O’Neill, and Phillip Kauffman about Starr’s future they all declined to comment.

The MyMCMedia.org report included an open letter to Board of Education regarding the renewal of Starr’s contract from retired MCPS principal Jeanette Dixon.

The letter was critical of Starr’s performance. “A particularly egregious misstep that adversely affected students and staff was his Innovation schools initiative. This program labeled high schools, undercut their principals, and was an appalling example of non-collaboration, lack of inclusiveness, and lack of transparency and communication,” said the letter.

“Additionally, a good deal of time, energy, and money has been spent on the following initiatives that have not made a difference for students and staff: change in bell times, the hurried rollout of staff surveys, an alternative school that will make a difference for our at-risk students, closing the achievement gap, failing mathematics final examination scores, High School Plus, and community engagement,” wrote Dixon.

She ended the letter saying, “There are people out there who passionate about the education of all of our students, and can lead our diverse school system. The education of our children does not have the luxury of four more years of nonprogress.”

Dixon served as principal of Paint Branch High School from 2001 until her retirement in 2013.

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