Arizona Department Of Education Hires Executive To Focus On Equity, Diversity, Inclusion
The Arizona Department of Education has created and filled the first-ever executive position focused on equity, diversity and inclusion.
“We do have a lot of inequities in our education system in Arizona, whether that be from school to school or even within schools we’re seeing that different groups of students are achieving at different levels,” said Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman.
Erica Maxwell was chosen from a pool of about 100 applicants. Hoffman said the interview panel included community members.
Maxwell’s more than 25-year education career includes working in a Gila River Indian Community charter school and as an administrator in the Chandler Unified School District, according to a press release from the Department of Education.
The new associate superintendent will help oversee the Office of Indian Education and school safety. Maxwell will analyze existing data about the student achievement gap.
The Arizona Daily Star reported in 2018 that “race, family income and ZIP code,” are some of the top indicators for whether a student passes or fails Arizona’s statewide standardized test.
“In the very early months a big part of the job will be working to improve cross-agency collaboration and bringing in different people from the department together to see how can we even support the work that we’re already doing,” Hoffman said.