State Superintendent of Education
Dr. Carey M. Wright is the state superintendent of education in Mississippi. She has more than 35 years of experience in education and served as chief academic officer for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) as well as deputy chief for the Office of Teaching and Learning, providing leadership for PK-12 education by managing the Offices of Curriculum and Instruction; Professional Development; Early Childhood Education; College and Career Readiness; Youth Engagement; Bilingual Education; Out of School Time; School Counseling; Educational Technology; Gifted and Talented; and Library Media Services. After implementing a policy requiring four Advanced Placement (AP) courses to be offered in all DCPS high schools, student participation increased more than 25 percent and the number of students passing at least one AP exam increased more than 85 percent. The total number of AP exams receiving passing scores increased 64 percent. In addition, African-American student performance on AP exams increased 86 percent, and Hispanic student performance increased 184 percent.
From 2003 to 2009, Wright served as associate superintendent for the Office of Special Education and Student Services for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. In this capacity, she was responsible for overseeing student services for 150,000 children and special education programming for 17,000 children; a budget of $325 million; nonpublic placements and alternative programs; special education staffing at 200 schools; school counseling, psychological services, and pupil personnel services; and the International Student Admission Office. Under Wright’s leadership, the percent of special education students being educated in the general education classroom increased from 53 to 67 percent. During the last four years of her tenure, special education student proficiency on state reading and math assessments increased between 13 and 34 points at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. The largest gains occurred in high schools, where student proficiency increased by 30 points in reading and 34 points in math.
Wright spent the majority of her career in Howard County Public Schools, also located in Maryland. In Howard County, Wright was a teacher, a principal for 15 years, and the director of special education and student services. She began her career as a teacher in Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland.
Wright has been recognized as an outstanding educator by the National Center for Culturally Responsive Systems, nominated twice for The Washington Post Outstanding Principal Award, and named the Howard County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Educator of the Year. She obtained her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is a member of the Chiefs for Change Board of Directors.