Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder persuaded the Legislature to create the so-called Education Achievement Authority, a cluster of very low-performing schools in Detroit. The first superintendent of the EAA, some 15 schools, was John Covington, who resigned his job as superintendent in Kansas City (which soon afterwards lost its accreditation) to take over the EAA. Covington’s time in office was blighted by controversy over conditions in the schools, the over-use and misuse of technology, as well as issues concerning the use of EAA credit card for travel and other expenses. Snyder has wanted to make the EAA statewide, but thus far it has not been successful and has lost enrollment.


The board of the EAA hired Veronica Conforme, who has been the interim, leader, as superintendent at a salary of $325,000, the same as Covington’s. She pledged to give $25,000 of her salary to local charities. Most recently, Conforme was working at the College Board where she was involved in the “Access to Rigor” campaign; before that, she was chief operating officer for the New York City Department of Education during the Bloomberg administration. She began work in the headquarters of the NYC Department of Education in 2003, after serving as director of human resources at Columbia University’s Medical Center. She has degrees from Syracuse and Columbia. She has a strong administrative background, but apparently no experience as a teacher or principal.