EAA Opponents Say State-Wide Causing More Harm Than Good

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

To some, it's a way to help failing schools pick themselves back up.

To others, like Michelle Fecteau, "We don't feel the EAA has proven itself to be a viable option academically, operationally and financially."

The Education Achievement Authority was created as a way for the state to take over schools that consistently perform in the bottom five percent.

But Fecteau, a member of the State Board of Education, argues the result hasn't been good. She points to an overall drop of 24 percent in enrollment in EAA-controlled schools over the last year and several issues with financial records.

"Looking at the standardized test scores that are not impressive at all," she said. "33 percent of Special Education students have left in one year."

Which is why she doesn't want the coming expansion, announced on Tuesday by State Superintendent Mike Flanagan. He reaffirmed his decision, Wednesday. His statement reads...

"I feel a moral obligation to do so for the sake of the children suffering in a handful of schools where they are not learning."

One of those schools, consistently in the bottom five percent has been Lansing Eastern High School. Marry Esselman is in charge of Instructional Support for the EAA. She says last year's results show success.

"The majority of students had two or more years of growth," she said. "Our Special Education students actually outperformed their peers in terms of growth in both reading and mathematics."

It's the kind of growth schools like Lansing Eastern aren't seeing, which, in the end, could lead to a takeover.

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