NOTE: My commentary on this development can be found HERE.
Not a good week for the Education Achievement Authority and its leader John Covington. First, MLive reporter Jeff Wattrick’s article from 2011 is being circulated again, reminding all of us that Covington’s so-called turnaround success in Kansas City fell apart after he left when the district he controlled lost its accreditation:
Based on Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro’s comments yesterday, despite the pomp and circumstance, Covington’s “reform” agenda simply delivered more of the same.
“This issue was before us two years ago,” said Nicastro. “At that time we had great hopes that the district was in fact on the right path and could bring about rapid improvement. That did not happen.”
Kansas City’s Rev. Stan Archie—the Vice President of the Missouri Board of Education—concurred with that sentiment: “The numbers were just not there. The academic progress—I had nothing to go to say, academically, this…was working.”
Ouch. Let’s keep that one in circulation.
And now we learn that the State Department of Education has informed Chancellor Covington that they want out of their contract that makes the EAA the exclusive home for what Covington likes to call “failing schools.” In a letter (PDF) sent to Covington, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan indicates that he tried to contact Covington to discuss immediate termination but never got an agreement to do so. Therefore, he was compelled to give the MDE’s one-year notice:
In our need to have options in which to place pesistently low-achieving schools, in addition to the EAA, we need to end the exclusivity provision of the Agreement between the EAA and the state.
I sent you a document several weeks ago to terminate the Agreement immediately, which would allow for flexibility of additional options. Our hope was that we could mutually agree with this direction and decision. You have not agreed to that immedate termination, which has led us to to send this one-year Notice of Termination, as provided under Section 4.02 of the Agreement.
You can read the Notice of Termination HERE (PDF).
Not looking good for The Music Man of the EAA. Not good at all.