After Steering Mississippi’s Unlikely Learning Miracle, Carey Wright Steps Down

By accepting hard truths and embracing accountability, the nation’s poorest state became a national exemplar in math and reading growth.

The 2019 data release from the National Assessment of Educational Progress didn’t offer news of much progress.

The test, administered in schools biannually since 1969, had shown only lackluster academic growth in most states for over a decade. The latest scores suggested more of the same, with meaningful declines in fourth- and eighth-grade English. Peggy Carr, then the associate director of the National Center for Education Statistics, observed that improvement was so meager that “students who are struggling the most at reading…are where they were nearly 30 years ago.”

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