First board meeting for statewide school district held in Detroit

Aug 11, 2011

The board that will run the statewide district for Michigan’s lowest-performing schools met for the first time in Detroit Thursday.

Governor Snyder says the Education Achievement System will eventually take on the bottom 5% of schools across the state, starting in Detroit in 2012.

Detroit Public Schools emergency manager Roy Roberts is also heading the EAS. That’s a concern for some, including Detroit Federation of Teachers Vice President Mark O’Keefe.

Roberts wasn’t happy when O’Keefe suggested Roberts was shifting resources away from other Detroit schools, but leaving them with all the district’s debt.

O’Keefe: “You, as the head of EAS, have a conflict of interest because when you act in favor of EAS, that is to the detriment of DPS.”

Roberts:“But you’ll probably tell the Governor that, right? Because I wasn’t elected, I was selected.”

Roberts says the EAS will help turn the worst schools around through more charter-style autonomy.

Roberts says this next year will be the “start-up” phase for the new district to get its operating infrastructure ready, and hire a schools chancellor.