Tag Archives | Education Achievement Authority

GUEST POST: EMU faculty honor University President Susan Martin’s courage & leadership and ask for her help re: the EAA

Dr. Stephen Wellinski has been on the forefront of the battle to end the interlocal agreement between Eastern Michigan University and the Education Achievement Authority (EAA). EMU’s connection to Gov. Snyder’s failed experiment with Detroit students is a stain on an otherwise well-earned reputation as a university that teaches teachers and Dr. Wellinski’s leadership on this issue is an important element in the overall effort to send the EAA to the rubbish bin of history. He has written several guest posts on Eclectablog and today, once again, I turn over the blog to him.

During the most recent meeting of the EMU Board of Regents, faculty and students alike spoke out against the partnership with the EAA.…

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Republican plan to fund road repairs will strip nearly $1 billion MORE from Michigan schools each year

Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger wants you to believe that he’s found a magical way to fund road repairs without raising your taxes! While it’s true that your gas taxes and sales taxes won’t increase, the entire scheme is based on taking nearly a billion dollars more from schools each year. Local municipalities will take a huge hit, too.

How much will schools lose? A report by the Michigan League for Public Policy puts the tally at $634.1 million for this year. That number rises to $888.7 million in 2022-23. The Michigan Association of School Boards calculates that the average loss to schools will be an astonishing $475 per pupil per year.…

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ACTION/EVENT: Join EMU faculty, students, & alumni in their continued fight against EAA partnership

Last month I shared Prof. Stephen Wellinski’s letter encouraging public school advocates to contact the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents to demand that they end EMU’s partnership with Michigan’s failed experiment on Detroit children known as the Education Achievement Authority (EAA).

You can sign Prof. Wellinski’s petition HERE.

The Board of Regents meets this Friday, December 5th to consider/reconsider their involvement and activists from across the state are expected to attend to have their voices heard on the issue. Here are details about the event. Click the image for a larger version:

Students at EMU are joining this cause and have issued the following resolution:

EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY STUDENT BODY
THE ONE HUNDRED AND FIRST STUDENT SENATE
FALL TERM TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN

RESOLUTION NO.

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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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