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Maryland Public Schools Superintendent Chooses Not to Return

Maryland Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury, who received some criticism from state lawmakers, former employees and others, has decided he will not seek a second term as the state’s public schools leader.

According to a joint statement Friday from Choudhury and the State Board of Education, the superintendent “will pursue other opportunities.” The board will present plans for the transition of a new leader and a national search for his replacement when it meets Tuesday in Baltimore.

“The State Board is grateful to Superintendent Choudhury for his leadership in Maryland through the first phase of educational transformation in the State,” according to the statement. “During the remainder of his tenure, the Superintendent will work with the State Board and other stakeholders to continue the critical work of leading education transformation in Maryland.”

The board notes several accomplishments under Choudhury’s tenure since he took over in July 2021, including guiding the state Department of Education’s strategic plan, the Maryland Tutoring Corps initiative and other programs.

On Tuesday, Choudhury said in an interview he was optimistic he would continue his work leading the department on various programs such as the state’s major education reform plan called The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.

However, a new four-year contract remained in limbo.

According to board bylaws, the panel needed to approve a new contract for Choudhury this coming Tuesday.

Choudhury, who came to Maryland after working as associate superintendent of strategy, talent and innovation at the San Antonio Independent School District in Texas, has received national recognition for his efforts on economic integration of schools.

Although he’s received some praise in his two years in Maryland for analyzing data, decreasing staff vacancies and a push to help local school systems hire teachers from their community, Choudhury has also been criticized by some state lawmakers and former employees on his leadership style and lack of collaboration with some advocates.

Robert Eccles, a former education official who left the department last year, has testified before the board this year requesting a third-party investigation into Choudhury’s direction of the state agency, alleging intimidation and harassment of former staff.

But Choudhury did receive support from some board members such as board President Clarence Crawford, who credited the superintendent for achieving the department’s lowest vacancy rate in a decade.

Source : WTOP