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ERIC Number: ED559995
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Oct
Pages: 37
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Redefining the School District in Michigan. Part Two of a Three-Part Series
Smith, Nelson
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
What happens when policymakers create statewide school districts to turn around their worst-performing public schools? In Louisiana and Tennessee, Recovery School Districts (RSDs) have made modest-to-strong progress for kids and serve as national models for what the future of education governance might hold. In the Great Lakes State, the story is more complicated. In "Redefining the School District in Michigan," Nelson Smith examines the progress of the Education Achievement Authority (EAA). The EAA shares basic features with its brethren in Louisiana and Tennessee in that all three are charged with resuscitating the state's worst schools within the confines of a separate, autonomous school district. But unlike the RSD in the Bayou State--which comprises over eighty schools statewide--the EAA is so far a smaller effort; it is responsible for just fifteen schools, all in Detroit, with further expansion stymied. Like Tennessee's Achievement School District (ASD), the EAA was created in response to the Race to the Top competition. Yet it is an interesting hybrid of both existing models, combining the governance reforms of the RSD and ASD with a big push for competency-based learning. States that want to embrace this approach to school turnarounds need to create conditions that are essential to success, Fordham's report concludes. Michigan's effort--though laudable and in many ways heroic--was hobbled from the start from too many compromises and too little political support. [For "Redefining the School District in Tennessee. Part One of a Three-Part Series," see ED560000; and for "Redefining the School District in America. Part Three of a Three-Part Series," see ED559998]
Thomas B. Fordham Institute. 1701 K Street NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-223-5452; Fax: 202-223-9226; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Identifiers - Location: Michigan
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Race to the Top