State Ends Contract With The Education Achievement Authority

Feb 19, 2014

The state is ending its exclusive contract with a controversial authority meant to turn around some of the state’s lowest-performing schools.

But as The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, that doesn’t mean the Education Achievement Authority is going away.

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan has sent a letter to the EAA saying it will no longer be the only authority that can oversee struggling schools. When the contract ends next year, schools could also be placed under the control of neighboring school districts, local intermediate school districts, or other entities.

Martin Ackley is with the Michigan Department of Education. He says the move shouldn’t be taken as a sign the state is losing confidence in the EAA.

“We still plan on using the EAA as an option, as one of the options,” he says.  “But it was felt that it couldn’t be our only option.”

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would bolster the EAA and allow it to expand statewide. Right now, it oversees 15 schools in Detroit.

Critics say the authority is struggling with declining enrollment, finances, and school safety.