Education Achievement Authority

EMU Board of Regents Protest
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Despite objections from many in the Eastern Michigan University community, a partnership with the controversial statewide school district designed to turn-around the worst schools in Michigan will continue.  


Next month Eastern Michigan University's Regents will review the school's connection to the Education Achievement Authority created to turn around the state's worst schools.  Student government wants the university to cut ties with the EAA.


Eastern Michigan faculty, students and alumni continue to call for the university to cut ties with the Education Achievement Authority.  A 2011 inter-local agreement with EMU allowed the creation of the district designed to take over struggling schools. There are continuing concerns and some of those are now coming from members of the board of regents.


Simmering faculty concerns about Eastern Michigan University's involvement with the Education Achievement Authority may bring additional focus to state concerns over the charter schools it authorizes. EMU is among 11 across the state at risk of losing its ability to authorize more charter school operations.


Courtesy Image / michigan.gov/eaa

John Covington has resigned as chancellor of the turnaround district for Michigan's worst-performing schools after three years. Covington said Monday he's leaving to care for his ailing mother and become a school consultant.

michigan.gov/eaa

EAA debate heats up in Lansing, final vote possible this week

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville hopes to hold a final vote this week on a bill to expand the state's Education Achievement Authority (EAA).

The EAA is the entity the state uses to take over persistently failing schools. Right now, it runs 15 schools in Detroit. The bill would pave the way for it to expand up to 50 schools statewide.

Richardville, R-Monroe, says the EAA is not a perfect solution, but it's better than doing nothing.

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Some Students and faculty at Eastern Michigan University continue to speak out against the university’s contract with the Education Achievement Authority. 

    

By a single-vote majority, the state House has approved a measure that allows Michigan to put some of the worst-performing schools into an alternative system. It expands a bill approved a year ago that created the Education Achievement Authority, which currently runs 15 schools in Detroit.

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The head of Michigan’s Education Achievement Authority believes the data shows better performance by students in the program than they had in Detroit Public Schools.  Eastern Michigan University hosted a panel discussion on the EAA Wednesday. 


A2Y Chamber Opposes EAA Expansion

Feb 21, 2014
annarborchamber.org

The Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Chamber is opposed to expansion of Michigan's special district for struggling schools.

The A2Y Chamber today issued a statement opposing expansion of the Education Achievement Authority.

The EAA is currently running 15 schools in Detroit, but lawmakers are proposing an expansion to allow the EAA to control up to 50 troubled schools.

electablog.com

A group of about 30 people gathered at Eastern Michigan University today to protest the university's affiliation with the Education Achievement Authority. 

Samir Webster is a member of the group "Students for an Ethical and Participatory Education", which organized the protest.  He says they've met with the Board of Regents and EMU President Susan Martin, but they feel their voices aren't being heard.

 Critics of the EAA says it's failing in its mission to turn struggling schools around.  Area school districts have been boycotting EMU student teachers because of the school's ties to the EAA. 

 Eastern Michigan University officials say they respect the right of faculty members to share their concerns, but the school has no plans to end its affiliation with the EAA.


EAA no longer Only Option for Struggling Schools

Feb 19, 2014

State ends contract with the Education Achievement AuthorityBy Jake Neher This time next year, the Education Achievement Authority will no longer be the only entity that can take over failing schools in Michigan.  State Superintendent Mike Flanagan has notified the EAA that the state is ending its exclusive contract with the authority.

Lawmakers Could Vote on E-A-A Expansion This Week

Feb 17, 2014

A bill that would bolster a state-run system for struggling schools could get a vote this week in the state Legislature.  Right now, the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) is trying to turn around 15 schools in Detroit. The legislation would allow it to operate up to 50 schools across the state by July of 2015. “That means that the same school reform model that has failed in 15 schools in Detroit could be coming to a neighborhood school near you,” said state Rep. Collene Lamonte (D-Montague).

Critics of the Education Achievement Authority want to not only stop the spread of the reform effort but also want it out of Detroit, that was the message Tuesday night at a community forum on the issue hosted by the Ann Arbor Education Authority.  


The Ann Arbor teachers union is refusing to hire any student teachers from Eastern Michigan University due to the college's involvement with with Michigan's Education Achievement Authority. 

The EAA is a state school system tasked with improving consistently under-performing school districts. It currently runs 15 schools in Detroit and receives student teachers from EMU. 

EAA opponents say it removes too much control from local government. 

EMU's Head of Media Relations, Geoff Larcom  says EMU has no intention of terminating its contract with the EAA.

Hundreds of educators and others have signed a petition asking Eastern Michigan University to sever ties with the Education Achievement Authority.  Some of these people spoke against the partnership at Tuesday's board of regents meeting.  

Chair of the board of regents Francine Parker says administration needs to listen to the concerns and work to ensure all E-M-U students can find student teaching positions.

Steve Camron is a special education professor and chair of the College of Education Council.  Camron says the E-A-A connection is hurting E-M-U education students beyond the student teacher boycott.  He says the E-A-A's use of Teach for America Candidates with less training makes EMU grads unable to compete for teaching positions.

President Susan Martin says she is closely listening to faculty and student concerns and trying to get more information.  She says it's unfortunate E-M-U students are being punished and great educators are struggling to find student teaching positions.  Martin says the E-A-A however is one of many creative efforts to address under performing schools and it makes sense for E-M-U to be part of the effort.

The regents approved Provost Kim Schatzel's appointment to the E-A-A board.

EMU Faculty Protest EAA Association

Dec 3, 2013

Eastern Michigan University faculty members held multiple protests today urging the school to end its involvement with Michigan's Education Achievement Authority. 

The EAA is a state school system tasked with improving consistently under-performing schools. 

Critics say the EAA removes too much control from local government. 

Steve Camron is a professor at EMU and one of the protest's organizers. He says involvement with the EAA will negatively impact enrollment in EMU's teacher education program.

The Washtenaw County Education Association has called for a boycott of Eastern Michigan University student teachers, citing EMU's affiliation with the state's Education Achievement Authority. 

WEMU's Bob Eccles has more.