Superintendent of Schools → Biography

About Dr. Starr

Joshua P. Starr began his tenure as superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) on July 1, 2011. Since arriving at MCPS, Dr. Starr has worked tirelessly to provide all students with an education that prepares them for success in the 21st century.

Dr. Starr has worked collaboratively with staff, students, and the community to develop a strategic focus for MCPS that is aligned with the skills and knowledge students will need in college and the work place—academic excellence, creative problem solving, and social emotional learning. In June 2013, the Board of Education passed a new Strategic Planning Framework that aligns the work of MCPS to these three competencies and a continued commitment to operational excellence.

During his MCPS tenure, Dr. Starr has been recognized for his willingness to advocate for teachers and school staff. A strong believer in the potential of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to create meaningful change in public education, he has urged state and national leaders to consider a moratorium on accountability systems and evaluations based on out-of-date standardized tests so schools and districts can effectively align their systems, policies, and professional development to the CCSS.

Dr. Starr has also worked hard to engage staff, students, parents, and community members in conversations about education in a variety of ways, including student and parent town hall meetings, book clubs, podcasts, television, and the use of social media.

Dr. Starr began his career as a special education teacher in New York City, working with students with emotional and behavioral disorders. He held administrative and executive positions in urban and suburban school districts and served as Director of School Performance and Accountability for New York City Public Schools, the nation's largest school district. From 2005 to 2011, Dr. Starr was the Superintendent of Stamford (Conn.) Public Schools, where he distinguished himself by increasing academic rigor for all students, standardizing curriculum, and building partnerships with the civic and business communities.

Dr. Starr is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin, earned a Master’s degree in special education from Brooklyn College, and holds a doctorate degree in administration and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

A self-professed lifelong learner, Dr. Starr enjoys reading books and articles, which he frequently shares on his Twitter account, @mcpssuper. He's also been known to pick up his guitar and jam with students and staff.

Dr. Starr and his wife, Emma, live in Montgomery County and have three children.