Tag Archives | Education Achievement Authority

GUEST POST/EVENT: Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents meeting to discuss ending relationship with the EAA, 12/5/2014 (UPDATED)

I have updated the post to give details on the EMU Board of Regents meeting. See the end of the post.

Today’s guest post is from Eastern Michigan University College of Education faculty member professor Stephen Wellinski. Prof. Wellinski has been a leader in demanding that EMU end its partnership with Gov. Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit school kids known as the Education Achievement Authority.

Along with a host of other faculty members, students, and activists, Prof. Wellinksi has been tirelessly advocating for his university to stop betraying its legacy as one of Michigan’s top bastions of higher education when it comes to educating the public school teachers of the future.…

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UPDATED: The Education Achievement Authority takes its (dog-and-pony) show on the road to Ann Arbor

Tomorrow, October 23rd at 1:00, the Education Achievement Authority, Gov. Rick Snyder’s failed experiment with Detroit school children, will hold a board meeting at the downtown campus of Wayne County Community College. Following that, at 4:00 p.m., on the campus of the University of Michigan, a public forum will be held called “The Future of Education in Detroit – The Role of Charter Schools, Nonprofits, and the Education Achievement Authority” (flyer is HERE.) Along with the the co-director of the Education Policy Initiative and a charter school CEO, EAA interim Chancellor Veronica Conforme and Dan Varner, State Board of Education member and Chief Executive Officer of Excellent Schools Detroit, are two of the panelists.…

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As predicted, one of the remaining two Education Achievement Authority Chancellor candidates drops out

Five days ago, writing about the lack of professionalism and transparency with the Education Achievement Authority’s Board of Directors, I wrote this:

[I]t looks very much like Veronica Conforme has already been chosen to remain in the Chancellor position and [the EAA Board is] simply drawing out the process until Superintendent Jenkins withdraws his name. He does, after all, have a job and being part of this process jeopardizes his ability to do it with the full support of the Sagninaw schools community.

Yesterday, that is exactly what happened:

One of the two remaining candidates in the running for chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority has withdrawn from the race.…
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Education Achievement Authority Board decries lack of public involvement that they make nearly impossible

With the departure of the disgraced former Chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority John Covington, the EAA Board has been searching for a replacement. In the meantime, they hired Veronica Conforme to take the reins (along with the $325,000/year salary) as the interim Chancellor. Conforme, who had been consulting with the EAA since January, was the chief operating officer, chief financial officer and deputy chief schools officer for the New York City Department of Education. Before assuming her new role, she was a finalist for superintendent of Orleans Parish public schools in Louisiana but withdrew her name for consideration.

Under Conforme’s “leadership”, the EAA sent out incredibly deceptive mailings to parents of students (and some non-parents!) in surrounding school districts with the intent to fool them into believing their kids had been assigned to EAA schools.…

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Explosive Education Achievement Authority exposé pulls back curtain on who profits from expansion: the software vendor

Since the beginning of the year, I have been documenting the ongoing travesty of Gov. Rick Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit children known as the Education Achievement Authority (EAA). Through exclusive interviews with current and former teachers and administrators, I detailed how the software platform called “BUZZ” was a total disaster from the very first days of the EAA’s existence. During my research for those pieces, I was never able to find a payment from the EAA to Agilix, the software developer of BUZZ and associated software like Brain Honey that is based on the BUZZ platform.

A new piece out this past week by ACLU journalist Curt Guyette, published in the Detroit Metro Times, pulls back the curtain on the connection between Agilix, the EAA and and a third party called the School Improvement Network or SINET.…

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BREAKING: EAA Board to interview two fired superintendents to lead the Education Achievement Authority

This post has been updated to add details regarding the reason Timothy Chargois was fired as superintendent of Beaumont ISD in Texas.

When John Covington was hired to head up the Education Achievement Authority – Governor Rick Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit kids – he left behind a failed school district in Kansas City. Some Kansas City school board members claimed that Covington, the district’s superintendent at the time, had faked a conflict with the board president in order to renege on his contract. Shortly after he left, Kansas City Public Schools lost their accreditation.

With Covington now gone, resigned in disgrace from the EAA after poor performance of students in the “District for Misfit Schools” and lavish overspending by school administrators, EAA administrators are looking for a new leader.…

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Education Achievement Authority apologizes for incredibly deceptive recruitment letters

Interim Education Achievement Authority Chancellor Veronica Conforme is off to a banging start. Just two and a half months after taking over from disgraced John Covington, Conforme oversaw the EAA’s sending out of deceptive letters recruiting students into the state’s district for poor-performing schools. The letters, masquerading as official student assignment notices, went to parents (and some non-parents!) in at least seven districts outside of the EAA. This includes the Detroit Public Schools with whom the EAA has a “Memorandum of Understanding” that prohibits this sort of student poaching from each others districts.

After revelations of the deceptive letters came out over the holiday weekend, Conforme has now apologized for them:

With the new academic year starting today, some parents in Detroit and neighboring suburbs were surprised over the weekend to receive letters saying their child had been assigned to the state reform district for low-performing schools.…
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BREAKING: Education Achievement Authority sending out deceptive letters to poach students from other districts (Updated x3)

After John Covington quit (or was forced out) as Chancellor of Gov. Snyder’s failed experiment with Detroit students — the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) — he was replaced by Veronica Conforme, the former chief operating officer of the New York City Department of Education. However, the ethically questionable behavior of the EAA is continuing under her watch.

This past week, parents of students outside of the EAA have been receiving letters from the EAA. The letters are recruitment letters, trying to bring in more students, but masquerade as official letters informing the parents that their students have been formally assigned to the EAA.…

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Over a quarter of Michigan charter school authorizers put in “At-Risk of Suspension” status

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan announced today that 11 of the 40 charter school authorizers have been put in “At-Risk of Suspension” status after a damning investigative report by the Detroit Free Press recently reveal gross negligence, a lack of transparency, nepotism, and, most importantly, poor performance in many of Michigan’s charter schools. In Michigan, which has a quarter of the charter schools in the country, close to 80% of charter schools are for-profit which means they are essentially education corporations that profit from Michigan tax dollars.

The school authorizers who were placed in “At-Risk of Suspension” are:

  • Detroit Public Schools
  • Education Achievement Authority
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Ferris State University
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Highland Park Schools
  • Kellogg Community College
  • Lake Superior State University
  • Macomb Intermediate School District
  • Muskegon Heights Public Schools
  • Northern Michigan University

From a press release (pdf) from the office of State Superintendent Flanagan:

Eleven of Michigan’s 40 charter school authorizers were put At-Risk of Suspension by State Superintendent Mike Flanagan today, jeopardizing their ability to charter any future schools.…
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Proof that Eastern Michigan University’s EAA affiliation is hurting College of Education student teachers

The faculty and students of Eastern Michigan University’s College of Education have been actively seeking to end the institution’s affiliation with the Education Achievement Authority, Gov. Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit students. Among the many horror stories coming out of the EAA, we learned this past week that they are literally experimenting with 100-student kindergarten classes.

I’m not kidding.

There has been a protest rally, a petition, and open letters which I have posted HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Each time, the students and faculty have been rebuffed by their Board of Regents.

Things have gotten so bad that nearly a dozen school districts refuse to accept EMU College of Education students as student teachers.…

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