Business, Education

Maryland State Board of Education appoints Mohammed Choudhury as new State Superintendent of Schools

BALTIMORE, MD—In a unanimous vote on Thursday, the Maryland State Board of Education appointed Mohammed Choudhury as the next Maryland State Superintendent of Schools. Choudhury’s selection follows a rigorous and multi-phased national search, closely guided by community and stakeholder input.

Currently serving as Associate Superintendent and Chief Strategy, Talent and Innovation Officer for the San Antonio Independent School District, Choudhury is nationally recognized for his visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to equity, innovation, and excellence in public education. Understanding needs, spearheading initiatives and delivering results, Choudhury has integrated transformative policies and groundbreaking practices that have shattered expectations and raised the bar for staff and students across the country.

“When we set out on our search for Maryland’s next superintendent, our goal was to identify and hire the highest caliber candidate to build the future of education for all Maryland children. Considering Mr. Choudhury’s outstanding transformative accomplishments, we are completely confident that we have hired the right person, one who deeply cares about children,” said Board President Clarence Crawford. “Mr. Choudhury distinguished himself by providing a fresh perspective, and his engaging high-energy approach brings the best out of the people he serves. He is a bold pioneer in the educational community, and we are fortunate to have secured his leadership as Maryland’s chief education officer as we continue to recover from the devastating impacts of COVID-19 and seek to implement the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. Mr. Choudhury is an empathetic and collaborative leader and hard-working person who values input and diverse perspectives.”

Relentlessly committed to narrowing historical opportunity and achievement gaps and improving student achievement and outcomes, Choudhury is credited for helping to lead a transformation of San Antonio’s large school system, where 90% of students are economically-disadvantaged. Before he arrived in San Antonio, the district had an F-rating. Today, it is the fastest-improving large district in all of Texas.

Choudhury cites the following initiatives as the driving forces for this success: implementing an innovative poverty tracker to assess and address student needs in the district’s poorest communities; expanding options for families by launching innovative, high-performing school models that serve all students; and recruiting and retaining master teachers at chronically underperforming schools. San Antonio’s success has helped transform the way Texas examines poverty and funds public schools with Choudhury’s work scaled to benefit more than 5.4 million students across the state.

“For years, Maryland Public Schools have been a model for other states and there is an incredibly strong foundation to build upon to ensure that every Maryland student has the opportunity to build a great future. But being one of the top states for education doesn’t mean there aren’t gaps in the system, and it certainly doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement,” said Mohammed Choudhury. “With the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future as a guide for MSDE and every district in the state, the state’s leaders have shown a remarkable commitment to the hard work that’s necessary to bridge gaps and ensure every student has the tools and supports needed to be successful. I am honored by the board’s selection and look forward to hitting the ground running as Maryland’s next State Superintendent of Schools.”

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Prior to his appointment in San Antonio, Choudhury led transformation and innovation efforts for the Dallas Independent School District which has been recognized as a national model for launching and scaling transformation initiatives. He started his career as a classroom teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District where he earned accolades for his innovative work to partner with non-profit organizations to provide students with additional support in middle school. Beyond the classroom, Mr. Choudhury also built extensive experience and expertise in program and policy development as a senior leader with the Future is Now Schools Network.

In 2018, Education Week profiled Choudhury as a “Leader to Learn From,” one of 12 exceptional school system leaders recognized nationally for impacting student and teacher success. Mr. Choudhury is a member of the Chiefs for Change Future Chief program, a highly selective, nationally-based leadership development program that prepares the next generation of state and district education leaders. Choudhury completed his undergraduate work at California State University in Northridge and earned an M.Ed. from UCLA.

Mr. Choudhury will replace Dr. Karen B. Salmon who will retire on June 30 after an education career spanning more than 45 years, including five years leading the Maryland State Department of Education.

“We are thankful for Dr. Salmon’s leadership, deep knowledge of Maryland’s education system and her unparalleled commitment to all Maryland children as part of her dedication to equity and excellence,” said President Crawford. “As a result of her guidance, we are well-poised to deliver the future of Maryland education.”

Last fall, the Maryland State Board of Education announced that it had retained Greenwood/Asher & Associates to lead the global search for the next Maryland State Superintendent of Schools. The extensive, multi-phased search process included planning, community outreach, and a national recruitment strategy. The firm conducted multiple stakeholder meetings, three public Town Hall meetings, and a survey to solicit public input to inform the Superintendent recruitment profile.

Led by the superintendent selection team, all Board members screened and narrowed 55 applicants to 11. Eleven candidates were researched and interviewed, with four exceptional finalists.

Choudhury will begin his term as Maryland State Superintendent of Schools effective July 1, 2021.

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