Michigan takes drastic approach to fix failing schools

Jun 20, 2011

Michigan will try a drastic new approach to fix its failing public schools.

The state will put what it designates as “persistently low-performing schools” in a special, statewide school district.

The effort will start in Detroit. The city’s public school system has gained national notoriety for its rock-bottom test scores, and is already run by a state-appointed emergency manager.

That manager will jumpstart the effort to put some Detroit schools in what the state is calling an “Educational Achievement System” starting in the fall of 2012.

Governor Rick Snyder says the intent is to gradually expand that across the state.

“We’ll look at moving schools into this Educational Achievement System. Starting as a pilot here in Detroit, to incubate that success system.”

Snyder says the underperforming schools will remain in the district for five years.

When the school is deemed “healthy and performing,” it will have the choice of staying in the state district, moving back to its former district, or seeking a charter operator.