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.