Darnell Earley, the state-appointed emergency manager of Detroit Public Schools, says he will leave the job at the end of the month.
Earley's announcement comes in the aftermath of teachers' protests over what they call unsafe and unhealthful conditions in the city's school buildings.
Earley also has come under fire over his previous role as emergency manager in Flint, Mich., where a switch in the source of the city's water supply resulted in lead-contaminated drinking water and a widespread public health crisis.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced Earley's resignation today in a news release.
“Darnell has done a very good job under some very difficult circumstances," Snyder says. “...He restructured a heavily bureaucratic central office, set in place operating and cost-containment measures, and has taken steps to stabilize enrollment. These factors should all set the course for a sustainable, new Detroit Community Schools, as I have proposed.”
Many of the school district's teachers have a pointedly different view. They say Earley oversaw a system that allowed deplorable facility conditions to go uncorrected. In recent weeks, teachers staged sickouts to bring attention to building conditions, and many schools were forced to close.
The teachers union in Detroit calls Earley's departure "a step in the right direction."
"As emergency manager, Earley has showen a willful and deliberate indifference to our schools' increasingly unsafe and unhealthy conditions, and a blatant disrespect of teachers, school employees, parents and the student of this city," says Ivy Bailey, interim president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.
In a statement accompanying the governor's announcement, Earley did not address the facility problems that have incurred the wrath of teachers.
"I have completed the comprehensive restructuring, necessary to downsizing the central office, and the development of a network structure that empowers the educational leadership of our schools to direct more resources toward classroom instruction," Earley stated. "This and other initiatives implemented over the past year were completed ahead of my 18-month schedule."
The union is calling for an end to having emergency managers running the city's school system.
"Now is the time for [the district] to have an elected school board that answers to the people of this great city,” Bailey says
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