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.”