Rick Pluta reports on the debate over expansion of the Controversial EAA
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.