Great Success and Strong Support for Michigan's Education Achievement Authority

By Mike Brownfield | May 31, 2013

Students in Michigan's lowest performing schools received some great news yesterday at the Mackinac Island Policy Conference with the announcement that $59 million has been raised to help fund the Education Achievement Authority (EAA), community college scholarships, and other exciting reforms. MLive reports:

The Michigan Education Excellence Foundation says it has raised $59 million -- and hopes to raise a total of $100 million -- to help fund the Education Achievement Authority, community college scholarships for Detroit students and other reform efforts in the city

Bloomberg Philanthropies, founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, run by the noted philanthropists who both graduated from Detroit Public Schools, have each pledged $10 million in the form of challenge grants.

"This is a big deal folks, we're changing the lives of kids," Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who formed the EAA in June of 2011, said Thursday during a press conference at the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference.

The EAA was created to help students in Michigan's lowest performing schools. Those schools feature innovative, creative learning environments where each student receives an education designed to meet that student's unique educational needs. (See the video above to learn more)

Earlier this week, the EAA released a progress report that showed great success over the past year. The Detroit News reports:

More than half of the students enrolled in the Education Achievement Authority have made at least a year of academic progress in math and reading since the new district opened last fall, officials said Tuesday.

EAA Chancellor John Covington said results of assessments given to students this spring showed 56 percent achieved at least a year's growth in reading and 44 percent made two years or more of growth.

In math, 65 percent of students registered at least one year's growth and 48 percent achieved two years or more of growth.
"The scores are phenomenal and impressive, and we owe a deep debt of gratitude to parents and teachers who have ensured that students are getting what they need to achieve these results," Covington said at a news conference to announce the results.

Covington said the testing shows "the achievement gap can be closed. There's nothing wrong with the children, but it had everything to do with a broken system."