If he is a true social justice warrior, then eventually, Dr. Joshua Starr, the superintendent of the Montgomery County Public Schools, is going to have to put his neck on the line—stop talking and tweeting and start acting and doing. So far, all we have is talk.
First, read this Gazette story about student growth in the Downcounty Consortium zone (which includes the school clusters, Blair, Einstein, Kennedy, Northwood, and Wheaton school clusters). Apparently, the elementary schools in the zone have reached capacity and MCPS will study if new elementary schools are needed or if existing ones need expanding.
So, this is all very interesting. However, if I was Dr. Starr and I ran the world and I was the true social justice warrior that I claim to be, I would use the Downcounty Consortium zone crowding as an opportunity for true innovation. What is that?
Based on recent Dr. Starr’s twitter postings, he seems to be on this progressive school kick (which is not a bad thing). He is linking us either directly or indirectly to these kinds of schools:
Professionally or personally, I have nothing against these types of “progressive” schools. I actually think some of them are “cool”—way cool. How cool is an elementary school with just 100 kids? And so I see a real opportunity here for Dr. Starr to begin building a real legacy.
So, Dr. Starr, why not put out requests for proposals (competitive bids) that would establish a series of several progressive schools in the Downcounty Consortium zone. (How about four to six such schools?) Let these new progressive schools solve the overcrowding problem. I’m no MCPS budget whiz, but I’ll bet that an investment in these schools is cheaper than building new elementary schools or expanding existing Downcounty Consortium elementary schools. And I'll bet those schools could be up and running before MCPS could finish its normal school construction thing, which seems to take forever.
So, I think it is time for Dr. Starr to put up or shut up. If he is a true progressive social justice warrior then he needs to start pushing the envelope and building a legacy we can see and feel.
Visit this MCPS website to learn more about the Downcounty Consortium.