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Leadership Team Named For Michigan Education Authority

John Covington, the former Kansas City schools chief who left that job to head an authority overseeing struggling schools in Michigan, has named an executive team to help him get the Education Achievement Authority up and running by next school year.

Maria Goodloe-Johnson, the former superintendent in Seattle, will be the deputy chancellor for instructional support and educational accountability. A press release noted that Goodloe-Johnson, who like Covington is a graduate of the superintendents' training program sponsored by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, raised student enrollment, test scores, and private financial support for the district during her four-year tenure. But she was fired by her board earlier this year in the wake of a scandal over financial mismanagement of a district business development program.

Rebecca Lee-Gwin, the new authority's deputy chancellor of business/fiscal affairs and operations, had been hired by Covington to work alongside him in Kansas City as chief financial officer. Before that, she was superintendent in Russell County, Ala.

Mary Esselman, the newly-appointed chief officer for accountability, equity, and innovation, also came from Kansas City, where she was an assistant superintendent for professional development, assessment and accountability.

Other executives named include chief technology officer Adel Haddad; chief of staff Tyrone E. Winfrey Jr., who is currently the president of the Detroit school board; and MiUndrae Prince, the interim associate chancellor for instructional support and educational accountability.

The authority was created to oversee some of the state's lowest-performing schools. Though the plans were for the district to start with about 30 schools in Detroit, Covington said today that the authority will start off with some failing urban and rural schools in other areas in the state as well, said an article in the Detroit Free Press.

Covington didn't offer more details on what schools will be a part of the authority, saying that decison will be made by February. But he said that the district could eventually swell to encompass more than 100,000 students, which would make it the largest district in Michigan.

The authority is intended to help struggling schools by providing more classroom resources and autonomy to principals and teachers.

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