U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says public schools in Detroit have improved in the last four years. Duncan was in Detroit today with Governor Rick Snyder. They toured a traditional public school and a school in the state’s Education Achievement Authority.
The EAA is a controversial state-run authority meant to turn around failing schools. Based on his tour today, Duncan says the EAA shows promise.
“Obviously, long long way to go, and there’ll be bumps in the road and hurdles. But my only goal is to see every child be successful,” said Duncan. “I think the only way we get there is if, again, the EAA is successful, the Detroit public schools are successful, charters are successful. We just need great public schools across the state and across the country.”
Duncan says Detroit is “ground zero” for school reform in the country. He told a crowd of students, teachers, and staff that he sees more progress every time he visits.
“And I’ll come back out today and say there’s been even more progress. I’m very, very encouraged with the progress that Detroit public schools are making,” he said. “I think with the EAA, it’s still early, but I think this is the right type of work and very hopeful about where this will go.”
Opponents of the Education Achievement Authority say it strips local control of schools and has not been proven to work. The EAA oversees 15 schools in Detroit. But there’s legislation in Lansing to expand the authority statewide.