Michigan’s Public Schools and New Chancellor Contract Come Under More Scrutiny

John Covington, the first chancellor of Michigan’s new statewide school district for poor-performing schools could receive more than $1.5 million in salary and bonuses over four years. The contract has upset some union officials in Michigan.

A spokesman for Roy Roberts, emergency manager for Detroit Public Schools, tells the Detroit Free Press the contract was necessary “to attract top talent to what may be the toughest job in the country.”

Last week, the Michigan Department of Education released a list of 98 schools that were classified as “persistently low achieving,” which means they must submit a plan for improving results and are subject to being placed in the new reform district to be led by Covington.

Meanwhile, Dan Rather Reports airs a follow-up program tonight on HDnet of its earlier documentary, “A National Disgrace,” an investigative look at Detroit Public Schools. The original report, which aired in May, suggested the city school district’s graduation rate hovers near 25 percent, far lower than what the school district officially reports. Rather and his crew uncovered evidence of corruption throughout their reporting.

“We went to Detroit and we said here may be one of the worst cases in the country, if not the worst,” Rather said at the time.

Tonight’s special two-hour report that follows “A National Disgrace” examines Detroit’s “school system in crisis” through the eyes of the students. The report airs at 8 p.m., ET, on HDnet.

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