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It's official: Judge Rhodes to head DPS

Feb 29, 2016

Credit John Meiu / Detroit Legal News Publishing LLC

Gov. Snyder has made it official: Judge Steven Rhodes is the Detroit Public Schools’ fifth emergency manager since 2009.

Rhodes is the retired federal judge who managed Detroit’s bankruptcy case.

As expected, Snyder named Rhodes to replace Darnell Earley, who officially stepped down as of Monday.

Snyder is calling Rhodes a “transition manager” for the district, which sits on the verge of bankruptcy without quick state action on a restructuring package.

Rhodes will “oversee the district’s finances and operations, and is working to name an interim superintendent to oversee the improvement of academics as soon as possible,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Terrence Martin, executive vice president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, says teachers are a mix of “cautiously optimistic” and “distrustful.”

“If he [Rhodes] wants to, you know, be a transitional manager instead of an emergency manager … then it has to look and feel different than what the rest of the folks have done,” Martin said.

Martin says the DFT is pushing for Rhodes to choose an interim superintendent from within the current DPS ranks, and puts the district “in a position … where it’s ready for local control” in the “near future.”

Rhodes is also working as a consultant for Snyder in Lansing, warning lawmakers against the consequences of a DPS bankruptcy, and urging support for Senate bills that promote a bankruptcy-style restructuring.