Education, Teachers — January 27, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Citing Eclectablog reporting, Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood calls for the immediate shutdown of the Education Achievement Authority


It’s time for a conversation

NOTE: My reporting on the Education Achievement Authority involves multiple posts. You can read all of my coverage of the EAA by clicking HERE.

EAA Chancellor John Covington released a report of his personal investigation into the allegations in my reporting which you can read about HERE.

Last week, I published an exclusive exposé on abuse of Detroit students in Education Achievement Authority (EAA) schools titled “Education Achievement Authority teachers speak out on abuse of students and the failure of the EAA”. The piece details reports of administrators striking students along with gross deficiencies in terms of security, computers, and support for EAA teachers.

Although there’s been a fair amount of interest within the education community in Michigan, the piece didn’t appear to generate much attention elsewhere. Other media outlets have ignored it and there didn’t appear to be any response from state government or EAA officials.

As of this morning, that has changed.

Radio talk show host Mildred Gaddis posted an excerpt of my piece on the WCBH website this morning.

More significantly, state Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood issued a powerful statement this morning calling for the abandonment of the EAA. Along with state Representative Ellen Cogen Lipton, Senator Hopgood has been a fierce warrior in his efforts to protect the students of the EAA. You can read more about their important work HERE.

Here is Senator Hopgood’s statement:

Eclectablog’s interviews with teachers at the Education Achievement Authority, that cited outright violence against children along with unacceptable inadequacies in programming and classroom resources prove our worst fears to be true – that the EAA is not only a detriment to students, but an actual encroachment on their safety and well-being. Reports from one educator after another serve as evidence of the countless failings of the Authority, from a lack of special education programming to classrooms of 50 students, and putting students directly in harm’s way at the hands of disciplinarians.

Not only is the EAA incapable of expanding statewide as the Governor has called for, it must be shut down immediately in order to ensure the safety of our students. Every stakeholder in the conversation surrounding the expansion of this Authority should read the extensive interviews released by Eclectablog – those who do will quickly be convinced that it is absolutely essential that the EAA close its doors for good.

My understanding is that education writers and advocates Diane Ravitch and Lois Weiner will be writing about my investigation some time this week. Additionally, I have heard that the revelations in my post are sparking serious conversations within the group that oversees the EAA and its administration.

It appears that this story is not going away soon. Stay tuned.

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  • Allison

    Thank you for exposing the sham that is the EAA. I posted a link to your exposé on Diane Ravitch’s blog the other day, and I am so glad this is getting the attention it deserves. Our kids deserve so much better.

    • Thanks for helping push it out there, Allison. I have confirmation that Dr. Ravitch will be writing about it, possibly yet today.

  • Steven Camron

    Great work Chris! Kudos to Sen Hopgood for his vigilant and tenacious work on this issue!

    • Thanks, Steve. And thanks for all of YOUR hard work on this issue. It’ll be interesting to see where this ends up.

  • judyms9

    Great work. I passed the report on to my son and other active teacher friends, most of whom consider what are being called reforms as gimmicks that steal time from actual teaching and learning and building in children the character traits and mindsets they need to succeed: curiosity, perseverance, patience, and delight in discovery and achievement.

  • Mary Valentine

    It is important for this story to stay alive — for the sake of those students. They deserve better than being slapped across the face. The people in charge of this program should be ashamed of themselves.