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After six years, Education Achievement Authority leaves behind lackluster legacy

Jun 26, 2017

Credit Motown31 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Friday marks the last day of the Education Achievement Authority, Michigan's controversial state-run turnaround district. 

The EAA's 15 schools will stay open, but they'll be absorbed back into the Detroit Public Schools Community District. Sonya Mays, treasurer for the DPSCD school board, says the district is working with the EAA to make it a smooth transition for students. 

The two districts are coordinating on transferring school records, communicating with families, and hiring administrators and teachers, among other things. 

"And so it's our hope, and we've tried to be very intentional about this, that students themselves will see very little disruption," Mays said. 

The EAA was created in 2011 to turn around Detroit's lowest performing schools. But, according to Michigan State University education professor David Arsen, it fell far short of that goal. 

"The EAA could fairly be regarded as a train wreck of educational policy," Arsen said. 

Arsen says a rushed policy process, plus a lack of state investment, meant the EAA had little chance of turning around Detroit's failing schools. 

In the state's latest rankings, two-thirds of the EAA's schools were in the bottom five percent.