It is nearly six months on the job, and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Joshua Starr is still running his mouth. The dude loves to talk. Here he is on November 22nd talking to the county PTA organization:
The dude also loves to say this—not an exact quote, but fairly close: “MCPS is the first large public school district in the nation to get all of its kids to the Moon. My job will be to take all kids to Mars.”
Not sure what Starr means by getting MCPS to the Moon, but I think the implication is MCPS is the first large public district to close “the achievement gap.” I disagree it is true—there are huge gaps remaining, but I think that this is the basic implication here. And so, getting to Mars is like doubling-down on all the wonderful things achieved under the Jerry Weast years. Those achievements will not only be maintained but exceeded during the Starr years.
But let’s assume that everything Weast says he did he did and now it’s Starr’s turn to take MCPS further down the road—to Mars. Of course, in my head—my world—this means that Starr is going to demand more and more from our students and their teachers. No one ups the ante and expects easy street, right?
But then when I read this recent Bethesda Magazine blog, I got confused—does Starr really want us going to Mars.
In the blog, the writer seems to say enough is enough—MCPS students are too stressed over Advanced Placement expectations, and perhaps, there also is just way too much competition amongst MCPS students. By the way, Starr makes both of these are points in his community Listen and Learn events.
But then again, I ask—how the heck does MCPS get to Mars without stress and competition? I’m no astrophysicist, but even I know it isn’t possible to get from the Moon to Mars by coasting.