On April 1st, I ran an April Fool’s Day joke post that I titled, “BREAKING: EAA Chief unexpectedly quits to take new job – ‘Screw you, guys. I’m going home.’”
This morning the Detroit News is reporting that my parody post was not far off the mark and that this is actually happening – John Covington, Chancellor of Gov. Snyder’s failed experiment on Detroit kids, is leaving. Not because he is being fired but because Covington is bailing out on Detroit and taking a new job.
John Covington is in talks to leave as chancellor of the embattled Education Achievement Authority.
Covington, who is less than three years into his tenure as head of the turnaround school district, has told Gov. Rick Snyder he will be resigning, according to two sources familiar with his plans. Although the departure deal is not finalized, the announcement is expected to come this month.
A source close to the governor said Covington is leaving voluntarily to take another job, and is not being forced out. EAA spokesman Bob Berg would not discuss the matter, and Covington couldn’t be reached.
Bailing out on a school district is not new for Covington. Back in 2011, I reported that Covington had been accused of faking a conflict with his former school district in Kansas City to get out of his employment contract.
From reporting by WCTV5:
Kansas City school board member Arthur Benson said Covington abruptly resigned this week because of the job in Michigan. He said Covington manufactured a dispute with board president Airick West to be able to renege on his contract.
Covington interviewed with the school board there Friday afternoon. The board said they want Covington to start on Sept. 23 or whenever he is done with Kansas City. Covington had said his resignation in Kansas City would be effective Sept. 23.
“I’m extremely excited,” Covington told the Michigan board. He said he plans to hit the ground running and get a team in place.
He touted his record in Kansas City during his interview broadcast live from Detroit.
Benson said the job had been long in the works. Covington used a dispute with board president Airick West over a contract for his own purposes, the board member said.
“He used a disagreement with West to manufacture an excuse to break his contract,” Benson said Friday morning in an email to KCTV5.com.
A month after Covington left Kansas City, the district lost its accreditation due to consistently poor academic results under Covington’s “leadership”.
Given the abysmal failure he’s been in Detroit, Covington doesn’t need to fake a conflict; most of us will be happy to see him go. The fact that he’s not being forced out is simply a face-saving measure for both him and Governor Snyder.
Hopefully he’ll take the crew he brought up from Kansas City with him. The last thing we need is to have someone like Chief Officer of Accountability, Equity, and Innovation Mary Esselman or Nolan elementary and middle school principal Angela Underwood taking his place.