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Mississippi education superintendent Wright set to retire

April 21, 2022 GMT
Mississippi State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright, speaks about the teacher pay raise bill following the ceremonial bill signing, Thursday, March 31, 2022, at Madison Central High School in Madison, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Mississippi State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright, speaks about the teacher pay raise bill following the ceremonial bill signing, Thursday, March 31, 2022, at Madison Central High School in Madison, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Mississippi State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright, speaks about the teacher pay raise bill following the ceremonial bill signing, Thursday, March 31, 2022, at Madison Central High School in Madison, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Mississippi State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright, speaks about the teacher pay raise bill following the ceremonial bill signing, Thursday, March 31, 2022, at Madison Central High School in Madison, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Mississippi State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright, speaks about the teacher pay raise bill following the ceremonial bill signing, Thursday, March 31, 2022, at Madison Central High School in Madison, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss, (AP) — Mississippi’s longest-serving state superintendent of education said Thursday that she will retire this summer.

Carey Wright became the leader of Mississippi public schools in 2013, after a 41-year career as an educator in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Her retirement June 30 comes on the final day of the state budget year.

Wright said in a news release that she is grateful to have worked with educators, state Department of Education employees, legislators and other leaders.

“Together, we have worked to make a difference in the lives of children.” Wright said. “Most especially, I am incredibly proud of Mississippi students. There is no limit to what they can accomplish.”

During Wright’s time as superintendent, Mississippi’s high school graduation rate has increased and fourth grade students’ scores have improved on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Since the 2014-15 school year, Mississippi has required third graders to pass a test to ensure they have strong enough reading skills to advance to the fourth grade.

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Wright also supported the creation of early learning collaboratives for preschool children. The Department of Education said Mississippi had 11 collaboratives serving 1,700 children in 2014. By next school year, 30 collaboratives will serve 6,000 children.

The state Board of Education will choose a new superintendent, and that person must be confirmed by the state Senate.

“Dr. Wright never wavered from her belief that Mississippi students were just as capable as students in any other state,” said the board chairwoman, Rosemary Aultman, said in a news release from the state Department of Education. “She eliminated the culture of low expectations and proved our students could achieve at the highest levels.”