Detroit, Education, Rick Snyder — March 6, 2014

UPDATED: Rick Snyder redefines “success” and “progress” for Detroit students


In a Detroit News op-ed today, Governor Rick Snyder doubled down on his support for the failed experiment with Detroit students known as the Education Achievement Authority. The piece, titled “The EAA is a worthy experiment” is nearly comical in its Polly Annaish view of the EAA. Our governor seems to have bought every single story told to him about the EAA while conveniently ignoring ANYTHING negative.

[UPDATE: The title of the op-ed was changed since I originally posted this to “Every student deserves effective education”. Apparently they don’t want to admit what they are doing with the kids in the EAA.]

The most audacious part is this:

MEAP scores released last week reveal that in many cases, we’ve stopped the downward spiral. […]

Results show that 12 percent of students who had previously failed state reading tests passed them in 2013. And overall, 38 percent of the EAA students tested on the MEAP made progress toward or beyond proficiency in reading, and 21 percent improved in math.

You would think a CEO-type leader would recognize that when just over a third of the kids have shown progress of any kind in reading and only a fifth in math that something is horribly wrong. You certainly wouldn’t call that “progress” by any definition.

It seems clear that Rick Snyder has a separate definition for “progress” and “success” for Detroit students than he has for the rest of the state. Any leader worth their salt would look at this year and half experiment as a provable failure and would pull the plug on it before one more day had passed.

But, for Rick Snyder, we must keep on keepin’ on. Apparently he thinks if we just keep doing the same thing only more so, we’ll get a different results. And that, my friends, defines insanity.

[Caricature by DonkeyHotey from photos by Anne C. Savage for Eclectablog]

  • judyms9

    I don’t have access to the statewide MEAP scores, but I would find a district or districts that had roughly comparables and place them side by side (by side) and compare them to two or three schools that made the largest gains. Then ask the parents where the best practices are probably happening. It won’t be the EAA, but Snyder has to defend it because being less than sparkly and rosy will damage his chances for re-election. There are many reasons to call Snyder the Pants-on-Fire governor, as opposed to the laughable Comeback Kid.

  • blake

    I have seen the MEAP scores and many kids that were proficient or advanced have become partially proficient or not proficient thanks to the EAA’s student-centered learning. And you cannot blame the teachers…they are coerced and threatened into teaching this way. I know personally that many, many of them are only staying through the end of this year because they don’t want to leave the kids.

  • Bill W

    I think he’s counting on most of the people not in Detroit thinking: “It’s Detroit! Anything would be better!” Unfortunately, I know a lot of people, mostly white, who think exactly that.

  • Max Boettger

    Every other school in Michigan that might even try to look that bad would be called a failure and those schools can’t hand pick the students and parents!! He is a fraud!