Education Achievement System chancellor begins statewide strategic planning meetings

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    John CovingtonEducation Achievement System (EAS) Chancellor John Covington has scheduled nine strategic planning sessions throughout the state of Michigan starting Friday, Dec. 9, to secure public input in the design of the system that will begin operating schools next fall. Three of the meetings will be held in Detroit, with the first one taking place this Friday, Dec. 9.  Additional planning meetings will be scheduled in January with a goal to involve additional areas throughout the State.

    The Detroit meetings will be held at the Michigan State University – Detroit Center at 3408 Woodward this Friday, Dec. 9, 5:30-8:30 p.m., at Marygrove College at at 8425 W. McNichols; Monday, Dec. 12 from 5-8 p.m.; and at the Wayne County Community College downtown campus at 801 W. Fort St. on Monday, Dec. 19, from noon to 3 p.m.  

    Covington said key stakeholders that include, parents, business and community leaders, elected officials, teachers and members of the clergy are being invited to the planning sessions.

    “We are on an extremely aggressive timeline to get the system operating, but we will only be successful if the community is involved in the process,” Covington said.  “It is important that we gain statewide participation so that we build a new educational system for our students.”

    The strategic planning meetings will be designed to seek input from members of the community and answer the following questions regarding the structure of the new system:

    What should be the mission of the EAS?

    What core values should drive EAS’ work throughout Michigan?

    Are there particular design elements that should be included in EAS schools?

    How might the EAS schools look different from a traditional school system?

    “We don’t want to reproduce what is already in place,” Covington said. “We need something different for 21st century education. We need to address the needs of children who are born with a cell phone in one hand and a laptop in another.

    “We also need to build a system that educates students who are prepared to compete in the global workforce, whether they attend college or not.”

    The meetings will be held in Detroit, Flint, Mason, Ann Arbor, Portage and Grand Rapids, Michigan throughout the month of December and one meeting will be held Jan. 4, 2012 hosted by the Grand Rapids Public Schools at a site yet to be determined.  Covington said additional meetings will be held in January and will be announced as they are scheduled. 

    Covington held preliminary community meetings in Grand Rapids, Flint and Detroit in October and November to introduce the Education Achievement System, answer basic questions and gauge the needs of the system. 

    The EAS is a new statewide system of schools that will operate the lowest performing 5 percent of schools in Michigan not achieving satisfactory results on a redesign plan or that are under an emergency manager. It is designed to provide a new, stable, financially responsible set of public schools that create the conditions, supports, tools and resources under which teachers can help students make significant academic gains. It will begin operating its initial schools in the 2012–2013 school year.

    Following is a list of meeting dates, location and times for the scheduled statewide community meetings. Contact information is provided for each meeting to confirm participation.

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