Thursday, April 17, 2014

Starr's Hired Gun

This week's Gazette includes a letter to the editor from the MCPS Public Information and Web Services Director.  The letter criticizes a Gazette Editorial about Superintendent Joshua Starr's "Hope" agenda.  Joshua Starr brought the "Hope" agenda to MCPS as part of a no bid $900,000 multi-year contract with Gallup, Inc.  

The letter to the editor from the MCPS Public Information and Web Services Director dispenses the following statement as "public information":  
...the Gazette’s recent editorial on the superintendent’s speech at Interfaith Works [“The urgency of action,” April 9] didn’t meet that basic standard of journalism...
Does the  job description of the Montgomery County Public Schools' Public Information Director include defending the personal agendas of superintendents?  No, it actually doesn't. The position is to provide public information and web services to the public on behalf of the Board of Education and the school system. The position does not include spinning the personal agendas of superintendents.


  1. Actually, isn't "Public Information Director" EXACTLY about that sort of thing, by definition?

    1. Not at all. In fact, this is an example of not doing his job. Part of job is to maintain "excellent" relationship with media. Slamming reporters and editors when they don't write what you want is not in the job description. Job is to represent school SYSTEM, not personal representative of superintendent.

      SUMMARY DESCRIPTION OF CLASSIFICATION: Under the direction of the chief of staff, directs the department of public information and web services. Responsible for overseeing media relations and web communications for the school system, planning and implementing two-way internal and external communications; coordinating emergency communications; and providing training, guidance and support to staff on effective communications and media relations...
      1. Coordinate media relations including responding to media inquiries, maintain excellent relationships with news media, develop press releases, plan press events and serve as the school system spokesperson.

  2. "He even used H-O-P-E as an acronym for Hard work, Opportunity, Preparation, and Equity."

    Oh, how sweet. Starr is a cheerleader! Did he use pom-poms? "Gimme an H - for Hard Work!… Gimme an O - for Opportunity!…"

    Opportunity? Based on high-school graduation rates, Montgomery County now ranks in the BOTTOM HALF of all counties in Maryland.

    Equity? The recent County Council report shows the achievement gap WIDENING.

    Hard work? Not from our Superintendent.

    Faced with serious challenges, instead of real leadership, we have a cheerleader (with a press agent). But I guess that's okay, because as long as the union is happy, our children don't matter. That's what we get for voting for the "Apple Ballot!"


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