The faculty and students of Eastern Michigan University’s College of Education have been actively seeking to end the institution’s affiliation with the Education Achievement Authority, Gov. Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit students. Among the many horror stories coming out of the EAA, we learned this past week that they are literally experimenting with 100-student kindergarten classes.
Each time, the students and faculty have been rebuffed by their Board of Regents.
Things have gotten so bad that nearly a dozen school districts refuse to accept EMU College of Education students as student teachers.
Now the chickens are coming home to roost. Aimee Hayden is a student in the EMU College of Education and she has been unable to land a student teaching position, an unfortunate situation that is direct result of the university’s EAA partnership. What follows is a letter Aimee sent to a colleague and fellow member of the Kappa Delta Pi sorority Carol Janowski, seeking help in securing a position. What you’ll learn from her letter is that EMU’s connections to the EAA are harming their students’ teaching careers in a very real, very tangible, and very negative way.
My thanks to Aimee for sharing her story and, more importantly, her letter with me.
My name is Aimee Hayden and I am having trouble with getting a placement for my CI [ed. note: CI = "cognitively impaired"] student teaching. I was told that, with you being president of Kappa Delta Pi, you may know who I can contact. I have already sent and email to [EMU President] Dr. Martin and never got a response. I know the eight regents will not care since, the way I understand it, they are the ones that took on the EAA.
I am very disappointed with Eastern right now. I decided to go to Eastern because my mother graduated in 1970 with her degree in POHI. My mother said since I wanted to go into special ed that Eastern is the school to go to. I have had so much trouble with EMU since I’ve been in the College of Education. I have wasted so much money and time because my adviser had me following the wrong program and now I can’t find a student teaching placement. I had my placement all set for the fall then the distirict found out that Eastern is involved with the EAA and I lost my placement.
My adviser [name redacted] has been working on a placement but is having trouble because of Eastern’s involvement with the EAA. She even said that, if I know anyone, ask if they can help me. Now I have been told that if I don’t graduate in December that I have to take more classes because I have been in school for so long. I am sorry but I am not taking any more classes. I am a mother of two children and a wife and there is no way I am taking more classes. It’s bad enough because of the advice I got that I am going to be 45 years old and still not graduated from school. I should have graduated two years ago. Plus I had a placement all setup before the district found out about Eastern’s involvement with EAA.
I had my placement all setup with [name redacted] at Monroe Elementary in Wyandotte. I did my gen ed student teaching at Monroe and [name redacted] and I had it all figured out that I would do my student teaching with her this fall. She heard what a great job I had done and she loves how EMU students are such great student teachers. This was a great fit for me because it was in a resource room and the experience would of been great. Then the letter went out all throughout Wyandotte school district stating that they do not want Eastern student teachers in the district because Eastern University has taken on the EAA academies in Detroit. The letter also said that, as long as Eastern is supporting EAA, they do not want Eastern student teachers and they will not hire Eastern graduates.
Since that letter, the district has said it is the teachers choice but the union does not want EMU students. [Name redacted] told me that she has to support her union and that she is really sorry that she can’t have me as a student teacher. I have talked to other teachers and they have told me the same thing. As much as I want to be mad at these teachers I can understand because they are right, the EAA is going to ruin our profession.
Other school districts either will not answer [name redacted] or they have told her no, including Southgate and Taylor, because of Eastern’s involvement with the EAA. I am really worried about getting a placement. I have made professional contacts in Wyandotte that people have told me to let them know when I graduate and they will help me get a job in the Wyandotte school district. But now I have lost any chance even though I have been subbing in the district for four years to be hired. So it turns out instead of having an advantage by having my degree from Eastern, now I am at a disadvantage.