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Education

In reversal, Snyder returns school reform office to agency

Durfee Elementary-Middle School in Northwest Detroit
Jenna Belevender
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Gov. Snyder moved the SRO under his control two years ago in a move he said would make the office more accountable for turning around low-performing schools.

Gov. Rick Snyder has reversed course and moved Michigan's school turnaround office back to a state department over which he has no direct control.

The move Friday comes two years after Snyder transferred the School Reform Office from the Department of Education - whose leader is hired by elected members of the state Board of Education - to the Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

The Republican governor now says moving the office back to the Education Department "will ensure the efficient continuation" of efforts to improve low-performing schools.

The School Reform Office this year received criticism after threatening to close up to 38 schools that ranked in Michigan's bottom 5% for more than three years. State Superintendent Brian Whiston, head of the Education Department, helped broker deals to delay the potential closures by partnering with districts to improve student performance. 

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