The Arizona Tribune

Arizona Department of Education Appoints New Executive to Focus on Equality Issues

Arizona Department of Education

The Arizona Department of Education created a new executive post and filled the post recently. The department considered one of the longtime Arizona State educators for the new role, will focus on equality issues.

On 19th August, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kathy Hoffman revealed Erica Maxwell had been appointed to the ‘first-ever executive position’ of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Hoffman further said the department selected Erica Maxwell out of 100 applicants, and community members were part of the interview panel.

“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,” Kathy Hoffman stated.

Erica Maxwell has a good track record in the field of education. She has served more than 25 years in educational institutions, worked at Gila River Indian Community charter school, worked as an administrator at Chandler Unified School District, assistant faculty member in Chandler-Gilbert Community College and associate faculty in Arizona State University, data as per press release from the Education Department.

Superintendent of Public Instruction mentioned in a press release, Maxwell’s education career is very impressive and encouraging, specifically her effort ‘supporting at-risk youth and diverse student populations.’ 

Creation of the new executive position was revealed earlier, but the hiring occurred only after 3 months, Hoffman said the creation of the new post is the first of its kind in the country.

In a press release, Maxwell addressed, the work includes the alignment of my life’s purpose and passion at the topmost level through community involvement and support for educational equality across Arizona State.

Kathy Hoffman also took it over Twitter to announce the development news, reads as follows,

I’m thrilled to introduce Erica Maxwell as Arizona’s first Associate Superintendent of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. This vital role will help us provide students with the best possible educational outcomes by ensuring access to supportive learning environments across our state.

The new executive will assist in monitoring the Office of Indian Education and the safety of school. Maxwell will evaluate current information about student achievement gap.

In the initial months, a significant part of the job includes enhancing cross-agency collaboration and involving various people from the department to look at ways how we can support the work that we are executing, Hoffman mentioned.

I’ m thrilled to work with Maxwell jointly, to enhance our public education system vision that offers highest possible result for every student in the State, said Hoffman.

Three months ago, when the new position was created, it was briefed as, Apart from other responsibilities, the Associate Superintendent will be responsible for identifying cross-agency collaboration opportunities, creating a strategic plan for equity initiatives and functioning with the team of Policy and Government Regulations to suggest legislative actions to Arizona state lawmakers.  The new Associate Superintendent will also take part in various task force groups of State Superintendent that focus on equity issues, for instance, Latinx Advisory Council, the African American Advisory Council, Culturally Inclusive Practices Advisory Council and others.

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