First Chancellor is Named for Statewide Michigan District

Monday, August 29, 2011

John Covington, the outgoing superintendent for the Kansas City, Mo., School District, will become the first chancellor for the new statewide district for Michigan's lowest-performing schools.

Covington will run the Education Achievement Authority (EAA), which will take control of some struggling schools in Detroit starting next year. On Friday, the EAA executive committee unanimously approved Covington, who will be paid $225,000 a year with a $175,000 signing bonus. The contract is for four years.

Covington, 52, resigned Wednesday from his job in Kansas City, effective next month, he said. His departure is reportedly causing a rift on the school board in Kansas City and within the system that he has led since 2009.

Covington said he understands that officials were disappointed that he's leaving after two years, but the EAA job is an opportunity to create a new model school system for the nation. He said he's a proponent of student-centered -- or individualized -- instruction, a longer school day and a longer school year. Principals, teachers, parents and residents should have more decision-making power, as well as accountability, to improve student achievement, he said.

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