September 15, 2023
This article appeared in the eastongazette.com
State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury stated that he will not seek renewal of his contract for another year. This comes after much controversy over Choudhury and his methods and management style during his tenure in charge of Maryland’s Public Schools.
Throughout his time in Maryland, Choudhury has been rude to state legislators in session, faced allegations of workplace harassment of employees, and has threatened to take full control over Maryland School systems and their curriculums. The workplace allegations were based on the reports of 30 plus employees at the State Department of Education.
Former employees complained about Choudhury, saying he created a “toxic” workplace. Local educators who met him on county visits, described him as aloof and arrogant.
He seemed to have little or no influence on improving state test scores despite his being proclaimed a “creative and bold” leader by some. This departure will add to Choudhury’s history of “voluntarily” leaving school districts after short tenures.
In recent months, despite full and undying support from State Board President Clarence Crawford, Choudhury was losing favor with many in power, including Governor Moore who didn’t comment on Choudhury in particular but said in a recent interview, “I want transparency. I want accountability, and I want a superintendent that believes in it and can deliver it. The results we’re seeing right now are not satisfactory results, and I demand better.” That quote seemed a precursor to the end for Choudhury who often sparred with state legislators and the Accountability and Implementation board of the Blueprint for Maryland’s future. It was also a bad omen when the State Board did not renew his contract when they were supposed to in August.
He was also accused of erasing text messages from his government cell phone, which is against the law. His department was accused of hiding test scores of failing schools as well.
It’s unclear as to whether Choudhury will finish his term or leave before the end of his contract in June. There were also no details on when or how the search for a new State Superintendent will being.
State Senate President Bill Ferguson, a former teacher, issued a statement thanking Choudhury for his work “during an unprecedented time of upheaval in education” as schools grappled with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. He also noted Choudhury’s dedication to the goals of the Blueprint.
” It is vital that Maryland’s next superintendent of schools embody the same commitment to improving educational outcomes for all students,” said Ferguson, a Baltimore Democrat who is a former teacher. “Our State’s public schools need a leader who can ensure every child is ready to thrive in a 21st century economy upon graduation.”
Portions of this article were taken from THE BALTIMORE BANNER.
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Jan Greenhawk is a former teacher and school administrator for over thirty years. She has two grown children and lives with her husband in Maryland. She also spent over twenty-five years coaching/judging gymnastics and coaching women’s softball.