EAA to make its schools autonomous, chancellor says

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Detroit — The leader of the Education Achievement Authority unveiled a plan Tuesday to restructure all 15 direct-run and charter schools to operate autonomously in the state-run recovery district.

The plan proposed by Chancellor Veronica Conforme includes measures to streamline the EAA's operations, provide school leaders with leadership training, hold schools and their leaders accountable for performance and improve support for principals and teachers.

She called it the beginning of a new chapter for the EAA.

"It's time to act," Conforme said during a special meeting of the district's board of directors and executive committee. "We need to work on how best to move student achievement."

Conforme told the board members she's been talking with community members, Detroit Public Schools and charter operators for the past couple of months, "and we're excited about changes to ensure children receive the education they deserve."

She outlined four pillars of the rebuilding strategy:

■Leadership: The EAA is creating a training academy for future Detroit school leaders, the Achievement Leadership Institute, with help from a national education nonprofit.

■Autonomy: At all of the EAA's 15 direct-run and charter schools, building leaders will make decisions on programs, talent and resources, and professional development.

■Accountability: The EAA is creating quantitative and qualitative measurements to track school performance.

■Support: The EAA's central office structure will be overhauled, with new support networks created to help principals operate their schools and give them a single point of contact.

She said the changes are expected to be fully implemented by the next school year this fall.

Conforme said she plans to visit schools and neighborhood events over the next several months to discuss the planned changes. To view the full presentation to the EAA's board of directors, go to http://icansoar.org/eaa-in-the-news/


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