The Education Achievement Authority (EAA) hasn’t had much good press lately. The district, made of Detroit’s worst performing schools, got its test results back and the vast majority of students “failed to show even marginal progress.” Then the district made national news when a teacher was fired, and later reinstated, when lack of communication equipment lead her to break up a violent fight with a broom. Then a bombshell dropped this past week as the Detroit News uncovered that in a little less than two years the EAA had spend $174,000 on airfare and hotels for staff. One trip sent 35 people to a conference about online learning at Disney’s Swann & Dolphin Resort! An EAA spokesman justified the cost saying the travel “was necessary to train new teachers.” The EAA students were to have the vast majority of their curriculum delivered online using a program called BUZZ according to a shocking interview of a former EAA teacher by Eclectablog. However, the students were slowed by a lack of computers, network issues, and issues with the software itself, or pretty much everything.
Imagine a classroom of disadvantaged kids in Detroit sitting two or three to a computer trying to get a crappy software program to work with a faulty network while 35 highly educated staff members are at Disneyworld because they evidently need to be taught in person! There is one thing that the EAA and Disneyworld have in common though. They are both championed by someone with a high pitch voice living in a fantasy world.