Lack of transparency, data drive opposition to EAA expansion
In 2011, the state created a school reform district called the Education Achievement Authority, or EAA, to turn around the state’s lowest ranking schools. In its first year in operation during the 2012-13 school year, the EAA took control of 15 priority schools in Detroit. The results have been mixed at best, as the EAA has been plagued with declining enrollment, insufficient funding, and accusations of ineffectiveness and unsafe conditions.
Currently, a bill at the Capitol that proposes to expand the EAA to cover failing schools across the state is struggling to get enough support from both Democrats and Republicans.
State Representative Brandon Dillon, a Democrat from Grand Rapids, is against expansion of the EAA. He says the lack of transparency in a public school is most concerning, and that getting information about the EAA has been "like pulling teeth."
Brooke Harris, a former 10th grade English teacher at one of the EAA schools, Mumford High School in Detroit, says teaching in the system was "mass chaos" and "disheartening."