Several of my friends were very upset this week to learn that Superintendent Mohammad Choudhury would finish out his contract with the State of Maryland as a "full time senior consultant." They wonder why he isn't just out on his backside after all the nonsense he has pulled.
What I think my friends don't understand is that the Board, by taking this action, neuter Choudhury by removing ANY power or influence he has in Maryland education. The joint statement from the State Board and Choudhury confirms it, as they explain that he will provide " expert-level advice, guidance and recommendations.”
Speaking as to why they didn't just buy Choudhury out of his contract and send him off into the sunset, Crawford said, "At the state level, we don’t have that option,” he said. “One of the benefits at the state level is Maryland taxpayers, the Maryland citizens will still get the benefit of Mr. Choudhury’s knowledge and experience. If this were a straight buy out, we would lose all that. In the final analysis, it works out well for the state.”
TRANSLATION: "We can't wait to get this guy out of here, but we still have to finish paying him, so we are going to pretend that his opinions matter to us after October 6, his official eviction date."
In other words, the citizens of Maryland won't hear from this guy ever again since his knowledge and experience apparently didn't benefit the schools.
The terms of this action state that Choudhury must report directly to Board President Clarence Crawford and Vice President Josh Michael about everything and anything he wants to say or do publicly. He can't talk to Board members or legislators without their permission. He can't even talk to his old staff.
The agreement also specifies that Choudhury and the board won’t make “disparaging or damaging” statements, public or private, to each other or their “representatives, agents, employees, officers and attorneys.”
That's a clear sign that this was not an amicable parting. It shouldn't be. This guy was rude to legislators, arrogant in meetings, dismissive to local systems and school boards, and someone who covered up test scores to hide his own failure. He terrorized MSDE staff, forcing many to leave. He even deleted text messages off his MSDE cell phone, which is illegal since those messages are public information. And let's not forget that he wanted full authority over what is taught in every public school in Maryland. And that's just what the public knows.
One of the images that will forever define Choudhury is his running to his office and locking the door to keep from answering probing questions from Fox 45 report Chris Pabst. That and his constantly masked face and wildly gesticulating arms at meetings.
Crawford continued to define the agreement:
“We wanted to have clearly defined lanes in advance to minimize any potential confusion on the part of staff or on the part of stakeholders as to whom they should speak with,” Crawford said in a brief interview.
Translation? "We don't want to have to deal with this guy anymore."
“What we’ve done is we’ve clearly identified where the interim [superintendent] will be on board, and he or she will have the full authority as the superintendent of schools for the state of Maryland,” Crawford said. “[Mr. Choudhury is] going to help us with policy matters. He’s going to help us do some research [and] help us figure out how to move forward.”
They are cutting this guy off at the knees. They want him to disappear.
Of course, there will be acting Superintendent until the Board chooses an interim Superintendent. It is someone already working at MSDE, Dr. Sylvia Lawson, Assistant Superintendent for Organizational Effectiveness, who will hold on to the reins until an interim Superintendent is named.
At the September 26th board meeting, Maryland State Board of Education President Clarence Crawford announced that the department will be creating two groups to facilitate the transition and to search for Choudhury’s eventual replacement, with the hope of announcing the final selection by next summer.
An interim Superintendent will likely be named at next month's State School Board meeting.
Meanwhile, Choudhury will begin his tenure as "expert advisor" on October 6th. I envision him doing his "research" at home on his sofa while sending out resumes.
What about Choudhury's future? Based on the horrible hiring decisions of the Biden Administration and their agencies, he'll end up at the U.S. Department of Education as director of some useless, expensive federal program.
Mark my words.
Until then, he's neutered in Maryland.
Parts of this article were taken from Maryland Matters (links posted in article)