Editor’s Note: School turnarounds hard to pull off
The experiment meant to turnaround Detroit’s worst schools is coming to an end, even though how that will happen is unclear. And while the Education Achievement Authority’s critics will be happy to see it go, the reform district’s impending demise is also a strong reminder of just how difficult it is to revive a failing school.
Gov. Rick Snyder envisioned the district in 2011 as a tool to fix the persistently low achieving schools in Detroit — and eventually the rest of the state.
You can’t blame him for trying. Michigan’s School Reform Office at that time had not effectively done its job and schools under its jurisdiction weren’t making enough progress.
Last year, Snyder took control of the reform office, moving it from under the oversight of the Michigan Department of Education to the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, over which he has direct control.
That means the governor can now turn to the SRO instead of the EAA, which is good since everyone is backing away from it, including Eastern Michigan University, one of the institutions integral in the EAA’s formation.
The 15 schools in the EAA will likely return to Detroit Public Schools. That district is also undergoing major changes, and city and legislative leaders should consider what didn’t work with the EAA — and what did — as broader reforms for DPS are crafted.