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Lucretia Brown

Lucretia Brown, previously a deputy school superintendent in Pennsylvania, will serve as Prince William County Schools’ new Chief Equity Officer.

Brown comes from Allentown, Pa., where she had been working as the deputy superintendent for equity, accountability and school improvement in the Allentown School District. In her new role, Brown will “lead the Division’s equity efforts and sustain a culture of equity and inclusion for all students to eliminate the disproportionality between students’ groups within the highest and lowest achievement categories,” according to a school division press release on Friday.

According to the division, Brown holds a master’s degree in urban education and a Ph.D. in leadership with an education concentration, both from Alvernia University. She got her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to her work in Allentown, Brown worked in the Reading School District, Montgomery County Community College and as an independent consultant.

According to the release, she will “plan, organize, and direct initiatives related to diversity, equity, and outreach; provide leadership to increase effectiveness in promoting equity and inclusion Division-wide; develop and implement the Division’s equity plan, and serve as the division’s leader for equity goals.”

The division’s Superintendent’s Advisory Council on Equity has been meeting since 2019, and in May the school board ratified the division’s new equity statement, which lays out a series of goals and “inclusive practices … to promote equity and excellence for all,” such as providing “all students and staff with access to resources, opportunities, supports and interventions, to ensure that they maximize their abilities and potential” as well as “raising the achievement of all students while working to eliminate learning disparities.”

Like most school divisions in the state, there’s gap in standardized test results and other metrics between Black and Hispanic students and White and Asian students has been widening during since the beginning of the pandemic and last last year’s school closures.

According to the Commonwealth’s School Quality Profile for Prince William schools, there was a significant gap in dropout rates between student demographics in 2020, though most groups were below the statewide averages. Last year, the dropout percentage was 1.2% for White students, 1.7% for Asian, 2.8% for Black students and 11.9% for Hispanic students. For economically disadvantaged students that number was 7.2% and for English-learners it was 19.9%.

When the equity statement was adopted, then-Deputy Superintendent Keith Imon said it would be up to new Superintendent LaTanya McDade and her team to implement the practices to achieve the goals laid out in the statement.

“This is the first step. The actualization of it, the operational piece of it … will be looked at as you have a new superintendent coming into the school division,” Imon said at the time. “This is the starting point and Dr. McDade was part of the discussion moving this forward prior to her arrival. … We have transparency in all our curriculum, we’ve always had that. We’ll continue to have transparency.”

Board Chair Babur Lateef said the board had discussed budgeting the new position with then-Superintendent Steve Walts since 2019, but that it didn't make it into the division's budget until fiscal year 2021 budget talks, only to be removed over revenue concerns at the very earliest stages of the pandemic. Funding for the position finally stuck last year. McDade and her office are responsible for the hire.
 
"She comes very highly recommended and I know wherever she's worked has spoken incredibly highly about her, so we're very excited about her."

(15) comments

Mike Hunt

Equity Officers & school teachers can’t change culture / family structures (or lack of….).

Joe Christmas

Good point. What on earth can some "equity officer" do that teachers have not been able to for 40 years? Is the Superintendent saying VA teachers have done a bad job for that long?

Lynne June

Actually, school climate and culture can be changed by teachers and administrators.

Duke Nukem

Very little representation from the pro "equity" crowd in the comments section. I am wondering what is happening here. Are the liberals just over in la-la land now that orange man bad is not in office? This seems most likely, or do they agree that this is all BS and the real issue here is school choice which McAwful shot down years ago? Our leaders send their kids to elite private schools anyway. Give the power back to the parents not the elites who rule over us.

Lynne June

I’d really like to see what an equity administrator’s job is. If her job is to ensure funds are distributed equitably between schools, that should already be happening through the budget based upon general and special education student counts, Impact Aid, Title I, and free and reduced lunch. Everyone knows that it is impossible to close the gap completely, no matter how many preschool programs, school enrichment programs, engaging teachers, parent support programs, tutoring programs, culturally responsive training, environmental changes, etc. are put in place. There are always going to be high achievers and low achievers. Saying that, it is a noble act to try to close the gap because there will be students who benefit. Maybe an equity officer can be a leader who brings together the best resources and evidenced based research to achieve this goal. She needs to start with enlisting the expertise of experienced, seasoned educators who’ve seen what works and what doesn’t with curriculum, school climate and culture, and families.

Harry Morant

Shouldn’t the current school administration and the teachers already be doing all those things you are guessing this “equity officer” will be doing? Just another layer of bureaucracy for money to disappear into.

Joe Christmas

""can be a leader who brings together the best resources and evidenced based research to achieve this goal""

So it's a person who organizes people to have meetings (in addition to the typical spam emails and probable mandatory training they design for teachers). Yeah, great use of taxpayer funds.

Marie El

This is just CRT tied up with a really pretty bow. I feel the only way they can reach this so called equity is to dumb down the curriculum, lower the standards, and take from the Gifted Children. There is no way to reach this equity, because no matter what any school personnel tries, some children just aren’t as smart, or care about their education, have good work ethic and the willingness to work hard, or have parents that support their child’s learning. Those can’t be mandated. Instead of redistribution of wealth, this will be redistribution of education.

My daughter was gifted at a young age. The school had nothing for her. She was in second grade and the school’s answer was to have her teach other children who were struggling with math and reading. I did not allow that. She was there for her own education. Teachers admonished me for letting her read books that apparently they would be reading once she got to 5th Grade, like The Hobbit. Those same upper grade teachers didn’t like the fact that her 3rd grade teacher gave her harder level math assignments. She completed 6th grade math in 3rd grade with me teaching the material given to her. The same upper level teachers’ response to me was, “What are we going to do with her when she gets to my class?” I told them they better figure it out, but she likes to learn and I am teaching her. The librarian wouldn’t give her access to the harder books on the shelves even with my permission. She could only check books out of the library on the 2nd or 3rd grade shelves. She tested at a 12th grade reading level which they new since it was their stupid test.

I was told Once she got to middle school, they had a gifted program, but it only met once a week after school to work on silly problems. I asked if they had any gifted classes. I was told no, because it makes the other kids FEEL bad.

Last example I will share was a program the schools have called Accelerated Reading. Basically children read books and answer questions for each book. Depending on how they did with the questions determined how many points they would receive. Harder books gave more points. Well since my daughter read harder books and more books in general, she had more points than anyone in the school. Each grade had a picture of their highest reader each month put on a bulletin board. Well since no one in her class could ever catch her, they decided they needed to put the second highest children’s picture up, because it just wasn’t fair to the other kids. When the other children noticed my daughter’s picture was not there anymore they started to tease her. The children didn’t know the reason, but she did. All this will be coming to PW schools. How else will they attempt to make this equitable?

Needless to say, I took her out of school and homeschooled her. She graduated early and received a degree in Mathematics with a 3.9 at 18. She was accepted to Texas A&M to get her PhD, all paid for. She is now getting her degree in Computer Engineering as well. Yes I like to brag a little because I am so proud. Not all came easy. She just worked really hard. Not all students will work hard like gifted children do.

Sorry for the long story, but this is one subject that makes me very angry. We already have some of the most uneducated adults in the country compared to the rest of the non 3rd woulrld countries. Demand that the county schools tell us how they plan to achieve this nonsense.

Jerzy Brick

"My daughter was gifted at a young age. The school had nothing for her. She was in second grade and the school’s answer was to have her teach other children who were struggling with math and reading. I did not allow that."

Bravo, Terrence the McNugget (already the "winner" btw, that was determined when all the democrats cried wolf about insecure elections and election integrity 4 years ago!) would shame you for not allowing that from his cushy Great Falls headquarters and his private-schooled children!!

Way to go, the "Gifted" program is part-fraud also, its not like outside-of-the-box thinkers and doers are accepted, its just how well you place on STEM tests at the end of the day, so they can use them for their wants and needs. The public school system is exactly that, a system of despair. You cant teach on an individual level in that setting, impossible.

Rob Schneider

Given this description, "eliminate the disproportionality between students’ groups within the highest and lowest achievement categories" ... if that's truly her objective than she can achieve it by either helping lower achieving students improve, or the other way is to stop the achievement of the highest achieving students.

Harry Morant

It will be the latter. The highest achievers will be punished for the failure of the under achievers. That’s what they call “equity”.

Harry Morant

Will she be wearing a Uniform? With an "Emblem" on the sleeve?

Stephanie Richardson

Another waste of taxpayers' dollars for another position that is not needed.

Joe Christmas

And her job will to be to send daily emails to teachers and families about the left wing agenda, and to create powerpoints to give periodically to anyone forced to listen. All this courtesy of the taxpayer. Oh yeah, and she'll need staff too, so add that to the bill. I just wonder who out there anywhere thinks these sorts of positions are necessary, except for a very tiny very political few.

Duke Nukem

Joe Christmas gets it.

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