One Relentless Nerd’s desire to beat public education to death sustained another delay on Thursday when the Michigan State Legislature took their ball and went home for the summer without voting on an expansion of the Education Achievement Authority for the rest of the state. The bad news is they didn’t bother to come up with any plan to fix Michigan’s roads either so we get to have a fun summer of flat tires and broken tie rods. Shared sacrifice!
This is a really good thing, because today the chancellor of the EAA, John Covington, announced he was resigning his position for a new job offer. The fact that he and other school school administrators were discovered spending thousands of Michigan taxpayer dollars on trips and airplane rides and furniture from IKEA while the schools struggled with very little money to operate had nothing to do with it. Perhaps it was the MEAP scores when they finally came out proved the schools in the program were way below the rest of Detroit Public Schools in achievement. Then there were the discipline problems, the high teacher turnover rate, many teachers were Teach For America trainees, the class sizes were close to 50 students, the lack of special education teachers that violated federal education law and so on and so on. Three years of that probably looks like a good time to bail out.
Before Detroit Covington spent two years running Kansas City, Missouri’s schools into the ground. They lost their accreditation shortly after he left for Detroit. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Covington is a graduate of Eli Broad’s school management program. Eli Broad believes all public school districts should be run by MBA’s, because public schools should be about a product, not educating people for their future. Covington brought Eli Broad’s methods of destroying public schools to Michigan so they can then be taken over by for-profit management companies, like the EAA.
Covington leaving means someone else will replace him and the EAA with all of it’s failings and scandals will continue on. Unfortunately it doesn’t mean the end of Snyder’s corporate school reform fever dream. Despite the Michigan Department of Education distancing themselves from the EAA and many critics insisting the program is a failure, Snyder is determined to expand the EAA to the rest of the state so more schools can be taken from the sphere of their local communities and put under the control of Lansing. For now, that can’t happen until September, and by then school will be back in session. On November 4 we kick out Rick Snyder and elect Mark Schauer, who will put an end to the constant attack on our public schools.