Detroit, Education — October 7, 2014 at 7:18 am

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One of the two remaining candidates in the running for chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority has withdrawn from the race.

Carlton Jenkins, superintendent of Saginaw Public Schools, decided not to run following the EAA’s decision to extend the interim chancellor’s contract for a second time, through Dec. 31, according to an EAA spokesman. The move to extend Veronica Conforme’s contract would have given the state-run school recovery district two more months to decide between her and Jenkins

The Board of the EAA, Gov. Rick Snyder’s failed education experiment with Detroit children, is not only unprofessional, they are becoming painfully predictable. What is unclear is whether this is due to incompetence or, more likely, because they are following the directives of the financial backers who have invested in the EAA in hopes that the model can be expanded elsewhere. Because, if it IS expanded elsewhere, it opens up an entirely new market for profitizing and monetizing schools for for-profit vendors who enrich themselves using tax payer dollars by educating poor kids in desperate situations on the cheap.

So-called “education reformers” are an incestuous bunch. They sit on each others boards. They work as consultants for each other. They swap staffers and those in leadership positions regularly. No matter where you turn, the same names seem to come up over and over again. This is by design. Like the Republicans who have put their people in charge at every gate where a decision must be made, the ed reform/for-profit charter crew has people in place everywhere there is money to be distributed

So, it’s unsurprising that Veronica Conforme, their last remaining candidate to head up the EAA, has clearly been anointed as their new leader. She comes from the ed. reform organization put in place in New York by millionaire Michael Bloomberg whose goals align with those of groups like the Eli Broad Foundation and the Gates Foundation. She brought into the EAA early last year as a “consultant” and then, when John Covington was fired resigned from the Chancellor position, she was quickly appointed as interim Chancellor. The problem is that Bloomberg’s reforms have not been especially effective. During her initial interviews, Conforme told the EAA Board that when Bloomberg was replaced as the Mayor of New York City by Bill DeBlasio, she knew it was time to go.

The EAA Board has very clearly made her ascension to that position a done deal. Why Conforme was chosen may not be evident now but it surely will before long. Mark my words.