Detroit Public Schools getting new leader

Local graduate will take over as district’s emergency manager


DETROIT — A longtime accountant and federal and city government official is taking over as the new state-appointed emergency manager for Detroit’s public schools, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced Monday.

Jack Martin, who most recently served as Detroit’s chief financial officer and previously was CFO for the U.S. Department of Education, replaces current Detroit Public Schools emergency manager Roy Roberts, effective immediately.

Mr. Roberts announced earlier this year that he would leave the post. The former General Motors executive had guided the academically and financially struggling district since 2011.

Both areas have shown improvement.

Mr. Snyder praised Mr. Roberts and his accomplishments heading up the district but said “there is still work to be done, and Jack Martin’s problem-solving skills, expertise, and strong management and leadership abilities will help continue the positive transformation of Detroit Public Schools.”

Mr. Martin, a DPS graduate himself, ran his own accounting firm, and, as a government official, served three U.S. presidents.

He served as chief officer of finances, acquisitions, and procurement for the federal Education Department and held a concurrent appointment as acting director of the U.S. Selective Service System under President George W. Bush.

Mr. Martin also served Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton as chair of the Provider Reimbursement Review Board of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Mr. Martin also is a former emergency manager of Highland Park Schools.

“This opportunity will allow me to continue offering leadership and making a positive impact in the Detroit community,” Mr. Martin said. “Fixing education in Detroit is foundational to addressing the myriad of other critical issues facing our community — locally and statewide.”

Between 2000 and 2010, Detroit’s population dropped by more than a quarter of a million, to slightly more than 700,000 people. By 2008, public school enrollment had slipped to less than 100,000 students. It is projected to fall to 40,000 by 2016.

At the time of Mr. Roberts’ appointment, DPS faced a $327 million deficit. According to the governor, Mr. Roberts reduced the deficit by $251 million and produced consecutive balanced budgets with operating surpluses.

The district also has increased the graduation rate by 5 percent during Mr. Roberts’ tenure.