DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s the first day on the job for the man hired to fix Michigan’s failing schools.

The chancellor for the newly created Michigan Education Achievement Authority Wednesday toured four Detroit Public Schools. By fall of next year, Chancellor John Covington will take control of more than 30 schools in Detroit.

“We’re going to use the Education Achievement Authority as a tool and as a vehicle to make the changes that we really need to make to improve the education for our children,” said Covington.

“But it’s not something I can do alone. I am not going to attempt to do it alone. We are going to have to have the input from everybody,” he said.

Covington comes to Michigan from the Kansas City School District that was recently decertified, but he said he was only there for two years and that is not enough time to turn a failing district around.

“I don’t think Kansas City we left in a lurch. My record in Kansas City speaks for itself,” Covington said.

“When you look at the monumental changes that we were able to accomplish in a short period of time in a school district that is dysfunctional as Kansas City is and has been for the last 40 years,” he said.

While in Kansas City, Covington oversaw the closure of nearly half the schools in the district, whose enrollment shrunk to about 17,000 from a peak of 75,000 in the late 1960s.

The Authority is expected to eventually expand to include failing schools across Michigan.


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