Detroit’s Worst Schools Get Government Help

In Detroit the worst-performing public schools will be removed from the city’s school system and run by a new state authority designed to turn the schools around within five years.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Governor Rick Snyder and other state leaders intend to test a new concept that if successful may be utilized in other troubled schools around the state. The new concept known as the Educational Achievement System will begin a year from this fall with approximately 39 Detroit schools. The Educational Achievement System will be limited to the bottom 5% of the statewide academic system.

The new school system will be run by Roy Roberts, the current emergency manager of the Detroit public schools. Schools placed into the system must remain in it for five years and will be aided by the administrative support from Eastern Michigan University. After the five year period, the schools are able to rejoin the Detroit district, obtain a charter to operate independently, or remain under the Educational Achievement System.

The governor who recently encouraged a large tax cut for corporations to pass, didn’t specify any plans to fund the academically ailing schools or what will happen to the budget of the regular schools. Snyder did say that the new Educational Achievement System should strive to spend 95% of its student funding on classroom expenses rather than the current 55% provided by the Detroit district.

Employees of the Educational Achievement System may be subject to new hiring rules. This in turn could lead to nonunion teachers being employed with reduced pay and benefits.  The new school system will also have to contend with other issues including crime, student absenteeism, as well as other issues.

Principles at schools under the new authority will be allowed to hire their own teachers. Parents will be asked to sign an agreement that they will assist in improving the schools.