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Starr Leaving Stamford to Become Chief of Maryland School District

Dr. Joshua P. Starr, who has been superintendent of Stamford Public Schools since 2005, will be the next Montgomery County Public Schools superintendent

Dr. Joshua P. Starr, the current superintendent of will be the next Montgomery County Public Schools superintendent, after final contract negotiations and state approval.

MCPS’ Board announced Starr as the finalist in a public meeting on Monday evening.

“We are pleased, we are in fact delighted, that Dr. Starr is joining us,” said Board of Education President Christopher Barclay, adding the new superintendent will come to Montgomery County and have several public meetings before officially assuming the job on July 1.

Starr has been superintendent of Stamford Public Schools, a 15,000-student system with similar demographics to Montgomery County, since 2005. Beforehand, he worked in the New York City Department of Education as the Director of School Performance and Accountability, and started his career as a special education teacher in Brooklyn.

Speaking on a conference call, Starr said he felt his experience running Stamford’s school system would be “scalable” to Montgomery County.

“The Stamford demographics are almost the same as MCPS, but I have a more complicated political system,” Starr said, adding that he had been successful in getting budgets passed without additional cuts for the past two years.

“I’m not interested in making any sweeping changes,” Starr said, “I’m interested in helping to deal with the next level of how can we reach the children who we still need to reach.”

In a letter to his colleagues in Stamford Monday, Starr said that he was “deeply grateful to all of you for making my six years in Stamford among the best in my life.” 

Starr’s recent amounted to a total request of $229.6 million, and was recently passed by the Board of Finance.

Budget woes, however have affected Stamford as well, and Starr’s budget, including reducing 12 special education positions, . 

The 41-year-old superintendent “impressed” the Board, member Patricia O’Neill said, with his research on MCPS. He was one of three finalists invited for in-person interviews with the Board.

“Dr. Starr is a fine person and a good school person,” Dr. Jerry Weast said, “And he’s coming up with a staff that’s close to his age.”

Starr, who has his own Twitter profile, said he was interested in social networking as a way to collaborate with students and parents. He also said that his three children would attend MCPS schools.

joe May 01, 2011 at 09:42 PM
It amazes me that in 2005, the Stamford Bd of Education chose Starr to be superintendent. When he was chosen, his extensive background in education was one year . He taught special education to a classroom of four students with the help of a teacher's aid. Then served for 1year as a director. Dr. Starr never taught in a diverse classroom environment, never was an assistant principal, or principal of a school, and yet the Stamford Board of Education in their great wisdom, hires him as Superintendent of schools. According to the newspapers, under Starr's leadership, test scores improved. The math scores were curved so it would appear that more students passed. As far as his implementation of heterogenious grouping ( where high level students are mixed with average and below average students) In the real world with classes of 28-30 its is disasterous. Anyone who has teaching experience knows that heterogenious grouping is a failure. I hope the Board of Education takes its time in choosing a qualified superintendent. Unfortunately, the Bd. of Ed. is not in touch with what really is going on in the Stamford Public Schools. In order to have a better understanding of what is happening, It should be MANDATORY for all Board of Education members to substitute in the High schools for two weeks. Then they would understand what is really happening and would be able to make better judgements in their anti- teacher policies, and also in hiring our administrators.

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