This week, the Michigan Department of Education announced a new round of school districts that will enter “partnership agreement” discussions to improve student achievement at priority schools, as well as a new State School Reform Officer to help lead that work.
On Monday, MDE released a list of seven new school districts and charter schools they’ll be working with through the partnership agreement process, plus the addition of more schools to the existing agreements with nine other districts. Through this process, which is meant to provide additional support to districts and schools struggling to meet student achievement goals, resulted in 32 schools coming off the priority schools list this year.
“The old model, which simply moved to close poor performing schools did nothing to improve student outcomes,” said MEA President Paula Herbart in a press statement. “However, the new partnership model is clearly working to address needs for students and schools. This positive approach to improving achievement levels has proven effective and we look forward to continuing our work with State Superintendent Brian Whiston and the department to assist districts across the state.”
On Tuesday, State Superintendent Whiston announced the appointment of Dedrick Martin, Ed.D. to be the State School Reform Officer and director of the Office of Partnership Districts. In that position, he’ll lead work to ensure partnership school districts – and their employees and communities – have the support necessary to help students succeed. Martin has been superintendent at St. Johns Public Schools since 2013, and prior to that, he was superintendent at Ypsilanti Public Schools from 2009-2013. He will be wrapping up his responsibilities at St. Johns through the end of the calendar year and beginning as the State School Reform Officer (SRO) in February 2018.