Michigan School Board President: EAA not ready for expansion

Feb 21, 2014

John Austin says that the EAA is making headway in some schools, but there has been a host of problems in other schools.
Credit Flickr - controltheweb

Michigan’s failing schools will be expanding future turnaround efforts by collaborating with various partners, not just the state’s Education Achievement Authority.

That became clear on Wednesday, when State Schools Superintendent Michael Flanagan informed the EAA that its exclusive contract to oversee turnarounds will end in a year. Flanagan’s decision comes amid a pointed debate over the EAA’s performance since it took control of 15 of Michigan’s worst-performing schools in 2012.

Many EAA supporters admit the authority is off to an imperfect start, but say that its work needs to continue. More vigorous supporters, mostly Republicans, want to expand the EAA from 15 in Detroit to 50 schools statewide. Critics, which include Democrats and some Republicans, cite a number of concerns, including a lack of transparency and data, and administrative chaos.

Current State spoke with John Austin, President of the Michigan State Board of Education. Austin says he wasn't surprised that Flanagan took this action.