Covington guided 15-school startup district with innovative learning plans

DETROIT, Mich. –The Education Achievement Authority of Michigan announced today that Dr. John Covington is resigning as chancellor to the EAA Board of Directors effective immediately to care for an ailing family member and start a consultancy helping schools create student-centered learning programs.

The board will convene at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 and formally accept Covington’s resignation. The board also expects to potentially appoint an interim chancellor.

Covington has served as chancellor since 2011. He is credited with creating a student-centered learning and teaching model on the cutting edge of educational reform. Under his leadership, the EAA was the only school district in the nation awarded the Bill and Melinda Gates Next Generation Innovation Grant for three consecutive years. Within the first year of Covington’s leadership, six of the EAA’s K-8 schools scored in the top 20 of 127 schools evaluated for their rate of growth by Excellent Schools Detroit; three scored in the top 6 and one scored in the top 3.

After two and a half years at the helm of EAA, Covington believes that it is time for him to put his family first. He was raised by a single mother in the rural South who pushed him to excel academically and inspired him to choose education as his life’s work. Her health is now declining, and he feels he must provide her with the care and support that she needs and deserves.

“It has been a tremendous honor and a most humbling experience to serve as the Chancellor of the EAA and be part of this tremendous work,” Covington said. “The EAA was created to transform traditional education for students who – for far too long – were left with an egregious education gap. The EAA is working. Students are taking responsibility for their education and they are preparing to become ‘Next Generation Ready.’”

“I’d like to especially thank Gov. Snyder for his vision; in addition to legislators and donors who supported the EAA’s educational transformation under my leadership.”

Board chair Joyce Hayes Giles said the board members are pleased that Covington was able to create a new system of schools utilizing a 21st Century education model.

“This was the largest number of schools to be reformed at one time in the U.S.,” she said. “Under his direction, the EAA has demonstrated that with limited resources, education reform and redesign is an integral aspect of helping Michigan’s Priority Schools. We appreciate Dr. Covington’s hard work, dedication and applaud his accomplishments at the EAA.”

The EAA Board plans to launch a search for a permanent chancellor immediately.

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