UPDATE: I have heard that there may be a vote this week on expanding the EAA statewide with what is essentially no limit to the amount of schools that can be included in it. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR STATE HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE AND YOUR STATE SENATOR TO EXPRESS YOUR OPPOSITION TO HOUSE BILL 4369.
When Eastern Michigan University was founded in 1849, it was called the Michigan State Normal School. A normal school was a place to teach students to be teachers and to establish teaching standards or norms:
A normal school was a school created to train high school graduates to be teachers. Its purpose was to establish teaching standards or norms, hence its name. The normal schools were to train teachers for common schools, which were being established rapidly in new towns in the state of Michigan. In 1849, when Michigan State Normal School was established, Michigan had only been a state for 12 years.
Today, EMU’s well-established reputation as a university that produces consummate educators is being diminished and tarnished by its association with Governor Snyder’s failed education experiment being conducted on students in Detroit, the Education Achievement Authority.
EMU was selected as the university partner in the intra-local agreement that created the EAA, the only one of Michigan’s 15 public universities to do so. Their activities include:
- Organizing and operating a laboratory or university school at the site of a school assigned to the Authority by the Originating District or a Participating District.
- Sponsoring, hosting, or participating in conferences, seminars, or other meetings concerning public education reform.
- Assigning faculty or other staff of the Originating University, on limited term appointments, to assist the Authority.
- Providing technical assistance to public schools authorized or operated by the Authority.
- Providing other educational services, including, but not limited to, lifelong education, adult education, community education, training, online courses, enrichment, and recreation programs for the Authority or public schools authorized or operated by the Authority.
Given the failure of the EAA to live up to its grandiose promises and the revelations of student abuse, poor treatment of teachers, neglect of special needs students, and a whole host of other failures, faculty at EMU along with students have been imploring the regents of the university to sever their partnership with the EAA.
This Thursday, students from the group Students for an Ethical and Participatory Education (SEPE) will join with EMU faculty members for a rally to protest the universities connection with the EAA:
The Education Achievement Authority of Michigan (EAA) exists today because of the secretly-developed 2011 agreement between the Emergency Manager of the Detroit Public Schools and our Board of Regents of EMU. The University has ceded all of its authority and its solid reputation to the EAA.
- Development of the EAA was politically-motivated, Ill-conceived, undemocratically-operated, and disastrously-implemented!
- Teachers and students are disrespected by EAA leadership. Teachers have left the EAA in droves, many within the first three months of operations. Enrollment has taken a nose-dive, -24%!
- The Regents support of the EAA is tacit preference for poorly trained, inexperienced Teach for America (TFA) recruits over our College of Education graduates!
- Instances of illegal corporal punishment are well documented with retaliation against teachers reporting such disciple to the authorities. Students with disabilities have had their individualized plans ignored, violating federal special education laws.
- The defective computer-based instructional system used by the EAA (called Buzz) lacks any basis in research. The use of this system amounts to a beta-testing governmental experimentation with black students. Frequent outages of the Internet and defective computers, coupled with class sizes as high as 60 students per teacher, suggest a curriculum implementation that would never be tolerated in a suburban school.
EMU’s reputation has suffered due to this affiliation with the EAA!
JOIN THE STUDENTS FOR AN ETHICAL PARTICIPATORY EDUCATION (SEPE) & DEMAND THE DISSOLUTION OF THE EAA AGREEMENT!
URGE THE REGENTS TO DO THE RIGHT THING! DISMANTLE THE EAA!
RALLY to DEMONSTRATE OUR OPPOSITION to the EAA
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20TH
DEMAND THAT OUR ADMINISTRATION AND REGENTS GET EMU OUT OF THE EAA!
A FAILED EXPERIMENT ON THE LIVES OF MICHIGAN CHILDREN AND FAMILIES AND A BLEMISH ON EMU’S LEGACY AS A CHAMPION OF PUBLIC EDUCATION
In addition to the rally, there is a MoveOn.org petition that you can sign HERE. It’s interesting to see how many EMU Education students have signed it, given that teachers in the Ann Arbor area have refused to accept EMU Education students as student teachers until the university separates from the EAA.