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Detroit: New Emergency Manager Replaces Roy Roberts

DetroitMartin_Blog.jpg

Jack Martin will become the third emergency manager of Detroit's 40,000-student public school system, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced Monday.

Effective immediately, Martin will leave his post as Detroit's chief financial officer, which he has held since May 2012. He was also previously the emergency manager of the Highland Park school district.

Martin replaces Roy Roberts, who had been appointed to a one-year term in 2011, and then another one-year term in 2012. Roberts had announced that he would retire in mid-May, but stayed on to finish the school year and into the summer until a replacement could be found. Roberts' resignation letter touted a reduction in the district's debt and an improvement in the city's graduation rate.

In a statement, Gov. Snyder said that "there is still work to be done, and Jack Martin's problem-solving skills, expertise, and strong management and leadership abilities will help continue the positive transformation of Detroit Public Schools."

The Associated Press reports that Martin graduated from the Detroit schools, ran his own accounting firm, and served in the U.S. Department of Education, the Selective Service System, and the federal Department of Health and Human Services over the course of three presidents' administrations. You can read more about Martin's appointment from the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit was just one of a number of large urban districts searching for new leaders as of this spring.

Michigan's emergency-manager law has gone through a series of legal challenges this past year. The Detroit school system has had an emergency manager of some sort since 2009, when Robert Bobb was appointed.

In other Michigan news, state Superintendent Mike Flanagan has been pushing for an eventual transition to countywide school systems. My colleague Andrew Ujifusa has more over on the State Ed Watch blog.

Photo: New Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Jack Martin, left, Gov. Rick Snyder, center, and former DPS Emergency Manager Roy Roberts pose for a photo at Davison Elementary-Middle School Auditorium in Detroit on Monday after the press conference naming Martin to the position.
--Clarence Tabb/Detroit News/AP

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