Joshua P. Starr

CEO PDK International

Former SPED teacher accountability guy & superintendent, husband, father of 3, committed to public ed for social justice

Bachelor’s degree in English and History from the University of Wisconsin- Master’s degree in special education from Brooklyn College- Doctorate in education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

United States



AASA | The School Superintendents Association

Before Day 1 of his new superintendency, the author launched a systematic plan for listening to a wide array of perspectives while infusing a new spirit of community engagement.

Education Next

A Testing Moratorium Is Necessary - Education Next

Meaningful assessment data reveal what students know and are able to do, and provide teachers with the information they need to track student progress and to identify and...

The Washington Post

Schools need time to implement Common Core standards

The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 45 states and the District as the foundation for what students in America's public schools need to know and be able to do.

Education Next

Examining High-Stakes Testing - Education Next

WINTER 2014 / VOL. 14, NO. 1 More than 40 states plan to assess student performance with new tests tied to the Common Core State Standards. In summer 2013, results from Common...

Phi Delta Kappan

Supporting the Growth of Effective Professional Learning Communities Districtwide

Teachers do not magically know how to work with colleagues; districts must support and lead that work if PLCs are to live up to their potential.


Shanker Institute

Teaching in Context: The Social Side of Education Reform

Chapter 8: Organizing Adult Learning for Adaptive Change (Harvard Education Press, 2017) provides new evidence from a range of leading scholars showing that teachers become more...

Blogs and Interviews


Kids, Grades, and Becoming a Functional Member of Society

This is the seventy-ninth episode of Public Interest Podcast with Josh Starr, former Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent, who speaks about the importance of caring...

Education Week - Rick Hess Straight Up

Theories Must Be Put to the Test

Back in the early 2000s, I worked for Joel Klein in New York City schools for two years, one of which was as director of School Performance and Accountability in the...

Education Week - Rick Hess Straight Up

Is it Time to Rethink Standards?

Note: This week, Joshua Starr, chief executive officer of PDK International and veteran superintendent, will be guest-blogging. See his earlier posts here and here. When I was a...

Education Week - Rick Hess Straight Up

10 Questions About Our New Federal Education Agenda

Note: This week, Joshua Starr, chief executive officer of PDK International and veteran superintendent, will be guest-blogging. See his earlier post here. There's a scene from...


Former Mont. Co. School Supt. says post-election protests provide 'truly teachable moment'

Since the presidential election, hundreds of local high school students have left their classrooms and taken to the streets in protest of President-elect Donald Trump. In many...

The Kojo Nnamdi Show

How Local Teachers Are Helping Students Process The Election - The Kojo Nnamdi Show

What are local teachers doing to help their students process an unprecedented election?

Justin C. Cohen

Guest Post: Josh Starr on Anti-Racist School System Leadership

Josh Starr is the CEO of PDK International. He spent twenty-two years in public schools, as a special education teacher in Brooklyn, a central office leader in the New York City...