The following guest post is by Mitchell Robinson and was first posted at his education-focused blog MitchellRobinson.net. He offered it up to me to share with the readers of Eclectablog and I immediately took him up on it having already read his beautiful prose. Robinson is associate professor and chair of music education at Michigan State University. He has held previous collegiate appointments at the University of Connecticut and Eastman School of Music and his essay centers around the importance of art and music in public schools. Its not just an academic discussion. In Lansing Public Schools, for example, they have eliminated the music and arts programs.…
From surplus to ballooning deficit: the legacy of government takeover & Emergency Managers in Detroit Public Schools
In 1999, the Detroit Public School system had a positive fund balance of $246,300,000 according to a ten-year summary in their 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (pages 91-92). That was the same year that the DPS was taken over by the State of Michigan under Republican John Engler. The school district was placed under the control of an Emergency Financial Manager in 2009 and has been under a state-appointed Emergency Financial Manager or, more recently, an Emergency Manager continously since then, ostensibly to fix the financial crisis blamed on the DPS school boards prior to 1999.
How has the state takeover and the imposition of un-democratic emergency management worked out?…
Indiana school district to hire former Michigan Emergency Manager who increased debt by nearly $90 million in 18 months
Look out, Indiana! It’s coming right for you!
After having been beta tested in Michigan, the Emergency Manager model of “saving” “failing” municipalities from their own corruption, malfeasance, and ineptitude – or as is more often the case, the implosion of their manufacturing base and disinvestment – is being rolled out in the states of Indiana and New Jersey. In Indiana, Gary Public Schools has just hired a new Emergency Manager (or “fiscal manager” in their parlance) to run the cash-strapped school district. Who is the new overseer? None other than Jack Martin, former Emergency Manager of Highland Park schools and, more recently Detroit Public Schools.…
DENIED: Former EAA chief John Covington eliminated from consideration for Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools
Former Education Achievement Authority Chancellor John Covington is out of the running to head up the Metro Nashville Public Schools. After being selected as one of the final four candidates by a search firm with ties to the Broad Foundation and that has promoted him in the past, Covington’s history of failing school districts and then leaving abruptly led to him being dismissed:
Pushing past calls to delay the search, the Metro school board felt the interviews were strong enough to introduce the three finalists to the Nashville community. [..]
The group decided to cut from the running controversial candidate John Covington, who also interviewed Friday.…
UPDATED: How is former EAA chief John Covington still being considered to run schools? Two words: Broad Foundation
This post has been updated below.
Former Education Achievement Authority Chancellor John Covington has left a trail of scandal and disarray in both Kansas City and Detroit after abruptly quitting leadership positions in both cities. Yet, over the past week, we’ve learned that he’s in the final four being considered to head up the Metro Nashville Public Schools.
Once Nashville officials learned about his sordid past, things began to fall apart with the local teachers union asking for a refund of at least some of the money spent with the search firm Hazard Young Attea & Associates. “I really thought that when the board of education entered into a contract with the search firm, they were hiring a search firm that would do appropriate vetting, or at least, call up all of the references to find out what they knew about the individual,” said Erik Huth, president-elect of the Metropolitan Nashville Education Association.…
Teachers union wants its money back from search firm who chose former EAA chief Covington as finalist to run district
This is getting comical
As I have been writing about for the past week, Metro Nashville Public Schools is looking for a new director to run its school district. They hired Hazard Young Attea & Associates, a search firm, to interview candidates and present them with four finalists. One of those four finalists was none other than disgraced former Education Achievement Authority Chancellor and Kansas City Schools superintendent John Covington.
As I wrote yesterday, one of the references that Covington listed on his resume the head of the Kansas City teachers union. Puzzled by this, the incoming Metro Schools union leader Erik Huth gave her a call and, according to a media release put out by Huth, she LOLed when she was told that Covington had used her as a reference:
UPDATED: Nashville school board members discover the truth about former EAA chief John Covington and are NOT pleased
Monday night I wrote about how former Education Achievement Authority Chancellor John Covington is one of four finalist to run a the Metro Nashville Public Schools. The fact that he made it that far is puzzling considering that he left his two previous leadship jobs abruptly and without warning. In Kansas City, the district he ran lost their accreditation shortly thereafter and, in Detroit, the EAA continues to flounder and Covington left under a cloud of allegations regarding misspending of funds for his personal benefit.
Word is now getting out, however, and some of the members of the Metro Nashville Public Schools board of education are not pleased.…
Former Education Achievement Authority Chancellor John Covington still looking for a school district to run
When John Covington bailed out of the Education Achievement Authority shortly after spending irregularities and a host of other problems were making news, he said it was to care for his ailing mother. However, soon after he left, he formed a company called the National Institute for Student-Centered Teaching and Learning. After that, he threw his hat into the ring to be the superintendent of a South Carolina school district. Fortunately for them, however, he wasn’t selected.
He’s still looking, though, and has managed to make the final round in the search for the next Director of Nashville Public Schools.…
Earlier this month, in an exclusive report here at Eclectablog, I reported that teachers in the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) were not receiving Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) payments as promised. The “District for Wayward Schools” had received millions of dollars in TIF grants from the federal government – $11.5 million over three years – to give teachers financial incentives for being good teachers. However, as I reported on June 9th, those funds were not being dispersed. In a email response to a teacher asking about it, EAA Associate Chancellor David Donaldson had this to say:
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