ANNAPOLIS – Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury informed the State Board last week that he is withdrawing his request for a second term to pursue other opportunities.
A joint statement from the Board and Superintendent Choudhury on Friday said, “The State Board is grateful to Superintendent Choudhury for his leadership in Maryland through the first phase of educational transformation in the State. Over the past two years, he rebuilt the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for the Blueprint era, centered the focus of the State Board and MSDE on comprehensive educational equity, led the charge to build a Strategic Plan, prioritized improving reading proficiency rates which recently improved to their highest level in nearly a decade, and developed innovative programs such as Maryland Leads, Maryland Works, and the Maryland Tutoring Corps initiative.
“Superintendent Choudhury has also strengthened MSDE staffing infrastructure, resulting in the lowest vacancy rate in a decade while recruiting top tier talent and elevating current employees. 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 State Board intends to present plans for transition and a national search by its upcoming Sept. 26 State Board meeting. The State Board and the superintendent will be making no further comment at this time.”
Governor Wes Moore released a statement, saying, “I want to thank Superintendent Choudhury for his service to the state of Maryland. He led the Maryland State Department of Education admirably during an unprecedented global pandemic and a transformative time for our state's education system. His implementation of the initial phase of the Blueprint for Maryland's Future has set our students and educators up for success as we continue the work of making Maryland's public schools the best in the country.”
House of Delegates Minority Leader Jason Buckel, a Republican, responded to the announcement, saying, “Just days ago, Superintendent Choudhury came before the House Ways & Means Committee and pledged that he was staying in Maryland. This abrupt turnaround and lack of transparency are endemic to Mr. Choudhury’s tenure as Maryland’s superintendent. He has continuously failed to be upfront and accountable. It is time for our state to move on.”
“Superintendent Choudhury’s decision not to pursue a contract extension is, hopefully, a step in the right direction,” said House Minority Whip Jesse Pippy. “Public K-12 education in Maryland is at a critical juncture and it is important the next superintendent understand the needs of Maryland students, the dynamics and differences in local governments, and treats parents as a partner in their children’s education.”
“It is clear that public education in Maryland has not been succeeding for the majority of our students and families even though we are spending record sums of taxpayer dollars,” said Delegate Buckel. “The next superintendent needs to work closer with local leaders to make our schools safer, improve educational outcomes, meaningfully address failing schools, and be accountable and transparent with parents and key stakeholders. Superintendent Choudhury was not getting the job done. It is time to do better.”
Isiah “Ike” Leggett, chair of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Accountability and Implementation Board, said in a prepared statement, “On behalf of the members of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Accountability and Implementation Board (AIB), I want to thank Mohammed Choudhury for his service as the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools. He has been a champion of education equity for Maryland public schools as he has led the Maryland State Department of Education in implementing the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.”
Mr. Leggett said the AIB would continue working to make the Blueprint a success.