On Monday, February 5 the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation hosted award-winning educator Dr. Carey Wright for the 2024 Stone Social Impact Forum. The conversation was moderated by NBC News’ Education Correspondent, Rehema Ellis. The Stone Social Impact Forum is a signature series featuring bold civic change agents who demonstrate various pathways to tackle inequality, advance social change, and inspire all people to be civically active.
Under Dr. Wright’s leadership, Mississippi initiated successful education reforms that made it a national leader for improving student achievement. Mississippi’s Quality Counts grade for education improved from an F to a C-, its ranking climbed from 50th to 35th and the graduation rate rose from 75.5% to 88.4% – higher than the national average. Among students with disabilities, the graduation rate more than doubled from 23.2% to 59.9%. Mississippi 4th graders in 2013 were reading more than one full grade level behind the national average on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). By 2019, Mississippi 4th graders scored higher than the nation’s public school average in mathematics, tied the nation in reading and ranked No. 1 in the nation for making the largest score gains. The rapid progress of Mississippi students earned the state Quality Counts’ No. 2 ranking in the nation for improvement in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Dr. Carey Wright is the Interim State Superintendent of Education at the Maryland State Department of Education. A native Marylander, she previously served for nine years as State Superintendent of Education for Mississippi, where she is credited with its elevation as a national leader in literacy instruction and outcomes. Under Dr. Wright’s leadership, Mississippi implemented aggressive education reforms that resulted in unprecedented academic success and increased student success. She implemented Mississippi’s first publicly funded Early Learning Collaborative program which earned the state recognition from the National Institute for Early Education Research as one of only seven states in the nation that meet all or most quality standards for early childhood education.
Dr. Wright is a passionate advocate for early childhood education. Before she was appointed state superintendent for Mississippi, Dr. Wright served as chief academic officer and the deputy chief for the office of teaching and learning for the District of Columbia Public Schools. She also worked as a consultant to the Harvard Business School Public Education Leadership Project. Dr. Wright previously served as associate superintendent for the Office of Special Education and Student Services for the Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools. Dr. Wright has been recognized as an outstanding educator by the National Center for Culturally Responsive Systems. She was nominated twice for The Washington Post Outstanding Principal Award and awarded the Howard County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Educator of the Year.
More About the Stone Social Impact Forum:
The Stone Social Impact Forum is an annual series that features bold civic change agents who demonstrate various pathways to tackle inequality, advance social change, and inspire all people to be civically active. The Forum is a joint initiative of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation made possible through the generous support of the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation.