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Michigan Superintendent To Expand Options for Taking Over Failing Schools

Mike Flanagan, the schools chief in Michigan, took a major step this week to broaden his state's choices for dealing with chronically low-performing schools.

According to local media accounts, Flanagan will terminate the exclusive arrangement the state department of education currently has with the Education Achievement Authority, the controversial turnaround entity created in 2011 to assume control over some of Detroit's worst schools.

The EAA operates 15 Detroit schools with longer school days and instruction that is supposed to be tailored for individual students. But the takeover district has been heavily criticized for its approach and loss of enrollment.

The termination of the EAA's current agreement with the state would take effect a year from now, according to the Detroit Free Press, which shortens the original exclusivity arrangement by a year. Flanagan said he wants other options available to help long-struggling schools, including the possibility of tapping charter management organizations and other districts to take on the management of turning them around.

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