I am starting an honor roll for hero superintendents.
As of now, there are four.
If you know of others, nominate them with your reasons.
They deserve our thanks and praise.
Paul Perzanoski of Brunswick, Maine, stood up to a bullying governor.
John Kuhn of Perrin-Whitt Independent School District is a national model of bravery in opposition to political meddling.
Vickie Markavitch of Oakland, Michigan, spoke out against the state’s mislabeling of districts.
Here is another: Joshua Starr of Montgomery County (Md) public schools.
His district refused to sign the state’s RTTT application.
He opposes the RTTT emphasis on rating teachers by test scores.
He recognizes that NCLB and Race to the Top are a reversion to an “industrial model” of education.
Faced with the bewildering roll-out of federal and state mandates, Starr proposed a three-year moratorium on all standardized tests, “while we figure all this out.”
According to the Washington Post article about him from last April:
“Starr critiqued the growth models and rubrics being developed as contradicting research on what motivates teachers. He said Montgomery’s current system, which mentors struggling teachers for a year before decisions about termination are made, is a “hill to die on.”
And he said that singling out teachers as the culprit for education failures and shaming them is the most “pernicious part of the national reform movement.”
Accountability for student success should rightly extend to “you, me, and the entire community,” he said.
But in the midst of all the flux and change, he struck a hopeful chord. He said the transition could give Montgomery a chance to carve a distinct path.
“As No Child Left Behind is dying its slow death, it’s an incredible opportunity to fill that void with what we believe we should do for kids,” he said.”
Joshua Starr is an educational leader of the highest caliber.
He doesn’t comply and follow harmful orders.
He insists on thinking what is best for students and teachers and the community.