Board Reappoints Dr. Weast as Superintendent

February 11, 2003
Jerry D. Weast, Ed.D., was reappointed unanimously as superintendent of the Montgomery County Public Schools by the Board of Education today [Tuesday, February 11], making him the first appointee from outside the school system in recent times to win a second four-year term as superintendent.

Dr. Weast, who came to Montgomery County in 1999 from a school district in North Carolina, has worked closely with the Board of Education, principals, teachers, staff, parents, students, and community leaders to usher in a series of significant reform initiatives and other improvements designed to raise the rigor of the instructional program and improve student achievement.

His reappointment today coincided with the Board's adoption of revised academic priorities for the next four years, reaffirming its focus on improving student achievement. The Board today also discussed the school system's revised multiyear strategic plan, Our Call to Action: Pursuit of Excellence, which is aligned with the standards of the state's Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act and the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Dr. Weast's tenure has been marked by a rapid growth in enrollment of more than 11,000 new students, making the school system the largest in Maryland at nearly 139,000 students and the 18th largest in the United States. Continued demographic change -- including increased poverty and more students learning English as a second language -- also has occurred, with the school system becoming one of the most diverse in the nation.

At the same time, systemwide academic performance on important and rigorous measures -- including participation in honors and Advanced Placement courses and completion of Algebra 1 or higher level math by the end of Grade 8 -- has continued to increase. The school system has received national recognition for innovative reform efforts from pre-kindergarten through high school.

The improvement in student performance has occurred with greater student participation and a greater range of student skills and abilities. For example, the systemwide average SAT score reached 1095 last year, the highest in Maryland, with the highest-ever average math score (560) and the highest-ever participation rate of 81 percent.

Nonetheless, targeted reform efforts identified by Dr. Weast remain focused on addressing the continuing disparity in achievement results by race, ethnicity, income level, language, and disability, including differences in student performance among and within schools.

For additional background information on Dr. Weast, see the link below.

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