Michigan has seen an increase in the state control of school systems. While distinctly trying to remedy issues within the management of school districts, it remains to be seen what impact, if any, these drastic interventions have on student achievement. The overall effect of these takeovers on student achievement remains unexamined. This article aims to gauge the overall effect of these interventions using emergency managers thus far in the State of Michigan.
In March of 2011 Governor Rick Snyder enacted Public Act Four, which allowed for governor appointed Emergency Managers to take control of financially failing cities and the school districts that resided inside of them. In May of 2011, not too long after Public Act Four's enactment, Detroit Public Schools were handed over to newly appointed Emergency Manager Roy Roberts. Then, that following June, Governor Rick Snyder and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan announced their outline for education reform for the lowest performing Michigan schools.
On Thursday, February 17, Governor Rick Snyder released his budget proposal for FY 2012 and FY 2013. Mr. Snyder has framed the controversial proposal as a "shared sacrifice." Furthermore, he and fellow Republicans portray the proposal as a necessary step to ameliorate Michigan's structural fiscal problems. They believe it is time to "stop kicking the can down the road." Conversely, Democrats, labor unions, various interest groups, and others have criticized the proposal as being unfair and an abandonment of investment in the state. One of the more contentious issues is education funding.
Over the preceding decade, Michigan lawmakers have made multiple attempts to pass anti-bullying legislation. To the chagrin of advocates of anti-bullying legislation, each attempt has ended in failure. Because of this Michigan remains one of only five states not to have passed anti-bullying legislation; granted, Michigan's State Board of Education recommends that schools adopt an anti-bullying program and has even provided a model anti-bullying program for school boards to adopt. But the lack of legislation has many concerned that school districts are not adopting anti-bullying measures and thus children are vulnerable.
Student Achievement and Emergency Managers:
Written by Alison Benoit
Wednesday, 08 May 2013 21:01
Over the past decade there has been an increased examination of school performance as it relates to student achievement. In response to this, states have taken "an institutional response to the decline in public confidence over the current state of urban school leadership" by increasing their role in educational policy and management of school districts (Wong & Shen, 2003B, p.13). Through this, states have begun to intervene in districts that are failing both in management and academics. Interventions for schools, whether for academic or management reasons, have become increasingly common for states to undertake since the early 1990s (Wong & Shen, 2003b, p.93). Since the 1990s, the increasing era of accountability and interventions has caused the educational landscape to change (Rogers, 2012, p.912).
The Birth, Growth and Outcomes of the Education Achievement Authority
Written by Breeana Kiter
Wednesday, 08 May 2013 20:59
In March of 2011 Governor Rick Snyder enacted Public Act Four, which allowed for governor appointed Emergency Managers to take control of financially failing cities and the school districts that resided inside of them. In May of 2011, not too long after Public Act Four's enactment, Detroit Public Schools were handed over to newly appointed Emergency Manager Roy Roberts. Then, that following June, Governor Rick Snyder and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan announced their outline for education reform for the lowest performing Michigan schools (Detroit Public Schools, 2011). From their goals and outlines came what would soon be called the Education Achievement Authority- with the stated goal to "Redesign public education in Michigan's lowest performing schools by driving more resources directly into their classrooms and offering great autonomy to help ensure student achievement increases." (Eastern Michigan University, 2010).
Michigan's Education Achievement Authority and Louisiana's Recovery School District
Written by Dan H. Rice
Thursday, 21 March 2013 00:51
The House Education Committee recently voted on new legislation for the expansion of the Education Achievement Authority. Despite strong resistance by Democrats and various education interest groups, House Bill 4369 will soon make its way to the House floor. Critics have described the EAA as a hostile takeover of local education systems while supporters claim it is necessary to turn around failing schools. Rhetoric aside, the jury is still out on the efficacy of the EAA as it has only been in operation for less than a year. However, the Louisiana Recovery School District is a system that has been in place since 2004 and can give us insight into how the EAA in Michigan could look.
Education has been high on Michigan's agenda for years and with the job market demanding higher educated employees, this has created more competitiveness in the job market, affecting all ages and areas for careers. Over the last two decades, Michigan has implemented several initiatives for funding higher education. The Student Equity Plan proposed by Senator Bill Sederberg in the late 1980's was the first plan based on undergraduate instructional cost. Governor Engler established the "tier system" in the 2000's and in 2006, the Republican Party moved away from Engler's tier system and replaced it with the performance funding model, which is Michigan's current appropriating model.
One of the most important pieces of legislation that will be discussed by the Michigan legislature this year is the role and possible expansion of the Education Achievement Authority (EAA). The EAA is the state run agency that takes over low performing schools and attempts to turn them around. Advocates for the EAA say that the greater flexibility given to schools allows them to innovate teaching styles and lower costs through contracting out services, such as custodial work. Those critical of the EAA claim that the state takeover of schools removes local input and allows the state to sell schools to for-profit management companies. This is sure to be a contentious issue with the EAA playing an important role in the upcoming policy discussions.
The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College.
The thoughts, opinions, and positions represented herein are solely those of the participating students and in no way represent an official position or policy recommendation of Michigan State University.
Andy Chou and Andrew Revard are Education Policy Correspondents for the Michigan Policy Network. Andy is a first-year student in Economics at Michigan State University. Andrew is a senior in Political Science at MSU.