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Education Achievement System looks to public

Leaders of a new statewide school district are looking for citizen input.

The Education Achievement System(EAS) is Governor’s Snyder’s plan to improve the state’s lowest-performing schools. The EAS held input sessions in Detroit and Kalamazoo Monday.

Plans for the EAS have been sketchy so far. It’s set to launch in 2012 with an unspecified number of Detroit Public Schools.

EAS Chief of Staff Tyrone Winfrey says part of the reason few details have been announced is because the district wants to hear from the community.

“We’re going to the community, to 12 different areas, and basically allowing the public--allowing teachers, educators, principals, community activists, you name it--be part of developing our strategic plan,” Winfrey says.

At the Detroit meeting, participants did group activities about “values” and their vision for 21st century schools.

That infuriated Detroit teacher and parent Christal Bonner, who said those activities did nothing to clarify what she calls the “mystery” of the EAS—or influence its decision making.

“This is just a little game," Bonner fumed. "It’s a way that they can show on paper, ‘Oh, look. We involved the stakeholders.' They already have it planned out what they’re gonna do, and they’re misleading the public.”

Winfrey says the EAS will announce its “strategic plan” and other details in mid-to-late January.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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