Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith recently discussed the strengths of the MCPS system in his interview with the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC). Also, Dr. Smith accentuated MCPS’s responsibility in educating and creating future business leaders and employees in his blog post at AllIn.
In his interview, Dr. Smith first highlighted the success of the MCPS system. “We are among the best,” he said.
Citing not only the superb student success on standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, and AP exam, Dr. Smith also referenced the numerous schools who place on nationally acclaimed lists including the Jay Mathews Assessment of High Schools and U.S. News & World Report.
In his conversations with teachers, Dr. Smith notes how often he hears that MCPS is a well sourced system. “They talked about the good salaries, motivated students and joint teacher-leader opportunities,” Dr. Smith said.
One joint leader opportunity MCPS provides is the SummerRise program. This program prepares students for the workforce by allowing students to communicate with local businesspeople and discover their passions as a result.
Dr. Smith emphasized the how the citizens of a county must work together to provide opportunities. He has served as a panelist at forums for educators and business leaders, hoping to bridge the gap between the education system and job market.
Taking the changing society into account, Dr. Smith believes it is important to offer students opportunities to help plan their future. “Many students go to college, but everyone goes to work,” Dr. Smith said. Considering the importance of job preparation, Dr. Smith especially illuminated the crucial role of MCPS in the future of building our community.
“Since the world is changing rapidly, it is important that we periodically review our strategies and programs to ensure that they are relevant for today’s students and tomorrow’s workforce,” Dr. Smith said.
Dr. Smith also illuminated how the four-year college pathway is now a belief system of the past. With our changing world, he emphasizes the responsibility of MCPS to provide other means to encourage students to fulfill their career goals. Dr. Smith believes that the implementation of college and career readiness programs in schools would help students find a path fit for them.
“It is no longer an either-or world. We must prepare every student for college and career,” Dr. Smith said.
With high prospects, Dr. Smith regularly views the future of MCPS with bright optimism. “I don’t see challenges to overcome, I see opportunities,” Dr. Smith said. With this in mind, Dr. Smith advocated for the exploitation of modern era resources such as technology to benefit students.
Dr. Smith is passionate about improving MCPS and he believes in its success.
“Watching students succeed and seeing their “ah-ha!” moments brings me excitement and inspiration. I always say, “you don’t have to be sick to get better,” Dr. Smith, “With the resources Montgomery County possesses, I don’t see anything stopping us from giving them the best.”
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Alice Zhu of Richard Montgomery High School