Who is going to fix Michigan’s schools?

Jul 9, 2017 by

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Two years after Gov. Rick Snyder made waves by pulling the state’s School Reform Office out from under the Michigan Department of Education, he has decided to move it back. If anything, this is a recognition of just how difficult it is to improve schools and do away with the ones resistant to change.

Many — including us — had hoped the reform office would do more under Snyder’s supervision to address failing schools. The reality was that nothing really changed. Leadership of the SRO stayed the same, as did the office’s intervention (or lack thereof) in the bottom-performing schools in the state.

Snyder assumed oversight of the SRO around the same time he was putting together a legislative plan to bail out and turn around Detroit Public Schools.

It seemed he wanted to use legal authority of this office to implement broader reforms for urban districts across Michigan, with a focus on Detroit, which has the highest concentration of failing schools.

The first real attempt to use the SRO in a more active way was tied to the Detroit bailout legislation, passed last year. Lawmakers included specific language tasking the office with closing schools that had been in the bottom 5 percent for three consecutive years.

Source: Editorial: Who is going to fix Michigan’s schools?

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