Mar 3, 2014
Suddenly, with Michigan’s “Education Achievement Authority” set to expand to include schools beyond Detroit next year, officials in the rest of the state are discovering what a disaster it has been.
Currently, the EAA includes 15 schools in Detroit. There is no cap on the number of schools it could eventually swallow up, and there is no process in place for the schools to exit the Authority and return to their public school districts. It’s a potential bottomless pit into which schools will disappear. So now state representatives are putting together legislation to cap that number and to include an “exit strategy” for the schools.
Since the EAA was set up by the governor a year ago, it has been a disaster. Students are left alone to work out their lessons on computers – when they have computers! – while Teach for America staffers sit and watch them. Numerous reports of physical abuse have surfaced. Recent test results show the schools are performing worse than before the EAA took them over.
Enrollment in the EAA schools has declined by almost 25 percent in just over a year. State senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood from the nearby city of Taylor points out that “according to the governor’s own metric, the EAA should be dissolved, not expanded across the state.”
No wonder these state representatives are so concerned! But where were they when this dumping ground was set up to swallow Detroit schools? Students, parents and teachers in these schools could have told them what a disaster the EAA is. In fact, they WERE talking about it. But these reps weren’t listening when it wasn’t touching their kids!