Education Achievement Authority of Michigan Announces Start-up Schools

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    15 Detroit schools make up initial EAA roster

    Screen Shot_2012-03-14_at_11.26.22_AM           At a special joint meeting Tuesday, the Education
    Achievement Authority (EAA) of Michigan Board of Directors and
    Executive Committee approved the assignment of 15 Detroit Public
    Schools as its initial member schools to open in September.

    Chancellor John Covington describes the EAA of Michigan as, “A
    different system for a different outcome.  It is our goal to create a
    new model for education within the state of Michigan.”

               “The existing educational structure in this country was
    designed to accommodate an agrarian society 150 years ago,” Covington
    said.  “The old model simply does not fit a 21st Century digital
    society.  The EAA is a new model for students, teachers and parents to
    fit a new century.  We are fundamentally changing the paradigm for
    teaching and learning in Michigan.”

               The EAA of Michigan is a new statewide system of schools
    starting in Detroit that will assume operation of the lowest 5 percent
    of the Persistently Lowest Achieving (PLA) schools as defined by the
    Michigan Department of Education in the state of Michigan over the
    next three years.

    The concept for the EAA of Michigan was announced in June, 2011 by
    Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Public Schools (DPS) Emergency Manager
    Roy Roberts.  It was formally created in August, 2011 through an
    inter-local agreement between Eastern Michigan University (EMU) and
    DPS.  The EAA of Michigan has an 11-member board with seven members
    appointed by Snyder, two by DPS and two by EMU.

    Covington said the nine elementary and six high schools assigned to
    the EAA will be radically transformed to address stifled student
    achievement in these schools.

    “For the first time, students in direct run schools will be organized
    by their instructional level rather than by the number of years they
    have been in school,” Covington said.  “They will progress based on
    their individual mastery of subjects rather than the number of days
    spent in the classroom.

    “EAA of Michigan will take low performing schools and build a
    portfolio of high performing schools. These schools will feature a
    flexible schedule; a rigorous curriculum aligned to state, national
    and international standards and increased school-site autonomy to make
    decisions necessary for students to succeed.  We are designing a new
    approach to education from the ground up.”

    The nine elementary/middle schools that will be part of EAA are:

    Brenda Scott Elementary/Middle
    Burns Elementary/Middle
    Law Academy
    Mary M. Bethune Elementary/Middle
    Murphy Elementary/Middle
    Nolan Elementary/Middle
    Phoenix Elementary/Middle
    Stewart Elementary/Middle
    Trix Elementary/Middle

    The six high schools are:

    Central Collegiate Academy
    Denby High School
    Ford High School
    Mumford High School
    Pershing High School
    Southeastern High School

               Covington said students who currently attend schools that
    have been assigned to the EAA of Michigan will automatically become a
    part of the new school system.  Families will have the choice to
    transfer to a different school if they so desire and have complete
    information on the options available to them.  Students from other
    schools may also enroll in EAA schools if they desire to be a part of
    the new education model.

               A full schedule of meetings is planned to assure that
    parents are fully informed about all the options available for their
    children. Parents will receive a special package in the mail in a few
    days with meeting dates and times. In addition, parents can call the
    EAA Parent Information line at (313) 456-2278 or visit 

    www.michigan.gov/eas

     for more information.  Covington said parents
    will have a voice in the future of their child’s school, including
    participation on School Reinvention Teams (SRTs) where they can
    provide direct feedback and guidance.  Open enrollment will take place
    March 15-April 16, 2012.

               “Students will be free to apply to the school of their
    choice during open enrollment,” Covington said. “The goal is to
    increase high quality options for students so that they can find the
    best fit for them.”

         Within EAA direct run schools, as students master subject matter
    at one level, they will advance to the next level of learning
    regardless of the number of days they have spent in the class.  Thus,
    advancement is based on their mastery of materials, not the number of
    days they have spent in class.  Students who require extra time to
    complete materials will not have to start over at the beginning of a
    new school year but will be able to work from their prior achievement
    levels.

               “The EAA of Michigan is designed to empower teachers to
    succeed by giving them a professional work environment under which
    they will have the autonomy, support and empowerment they need to
    dramatically raise student achievement,” Covington said.

    He said teachers will have access to:

    ·   timely and mea
    ningful student data

    ·   best instructional practices

    ·   time to collaborate with others

    ·   mentors

    ·   time to teach and re-teach until students master content and skills

    ·   an institutional structure of continuous improvement that supports
    teacher growth

    ·   multiple pathways to teacher certification

    ·   timely meaningful professional development tied to student needs
    as shown by data

    ·   pay incentives.

    Covington said the EAA of Michigan schools will incorporate components
    of school transformation efforts being implemented around the country
    including in the Chicago Public Schools, in post-Katrina New Orleans
    and in Denver, Colorado. He and his staff hosted 12 strategic planning
    meetings in communities around the state from December 2011 to
    February 2012, to obtain input for envisioning schools of the 21st
    Century. More than 700 educators, parents, community leaders, clergy,
    business leaders and concerned citizens provided input on how the new
    system should operate and functions.  In addition, a statewide
    strategic planning student forum hosting 100 students was held in East
    Lansing, Michigan on the campus of Michigan State University in
    February.

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