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Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr

A year after taking the helm of Montgomery County Public Schools, Superintendent Josh Starr talks about deciphering new report cards, boosting teachers' pay, interpreting standardized tests and dealing with passionate parents in one of the nation's top-performing school districts.

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Joshua Starr, head of public schools in Montgomery County, Md., criticized the "apparent national obsession" with standardized testing. Starr said standardized tests are an overly simplistic measure, and that schools need to emphasize creativity, problem solving and effective communication. "I am concerned that there are those out there who believe [standardized tests] are equivalent to a profit and loss statement," Starr said. He added that the county's new curriculum will help reconcile the academic achievement gap.

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