Education, Events, Guest Post — November 17, 2014 at 8:36 am

GUEST POST/EVENT: Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents meeting to discuss ending relationship with the EAA, 12/5/2014 (UPDATED)


I have updated the post to give details on the EMU Board of Regents meeting. See the end of the post.

Today’s guest post is from Eastern Michigan University College of Education faculty member professor Stephen Wellinski. Prof. Wellinski has been a leader in demanding that EMU end its partnership with Gov. Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit school kids known as the Education Achievement Authority.

Along with a host of other faculty members, students, and activists, Prof. Wellinksi has been tirelessly advocating for his university to stop betraying its legacy as one of Michigan’s top bastions of higher education when it comes to educating the public school teachers of the future. I have written before about his efforts HERE and HERE.

Here is Prof. Wellinski’s post:

Our stance against the EMU administration/Board of Regents’ inter-local agreement that created the Educational Achievement Authority (EAA) has had an impact. In September, The Board of Regents along with President Martin and Provost Schatzel held a special “EAA meeting.” After comments from a panel of EMU and Wayne State University faculty, an EMU student, and a Member of the Michigan Board of Education presented, we heard Regent Stapleton detail the origins of the nefarious agreement that has damaged EMU’s legacy as a champion of public education.

We need to thank Chairwoman Fran Parker for making this meeting happen, as two important outcomes happened. First, the EMU Board of Regents/Administration made a legitimate effort to recognize the depth of damage done to our community (AND, to the Detroit students and teachers) by THEIR agreement with a Governor who failed to deliver his part of the bartering . . . Oh, the Governor did deliver a 15 million dollar cut to EMU’s budget the year the agreement was signed.

Second, an assurance was given for further review of their agreement AND with follow-up action. Yes, there will be action – a vote to continue or opt-out of the inter-local agreement that establishes The EAA.

December 5th is the next meeting of the Eastern Michigan Board of Regents and the EMU-EAA relationship will be an agenda item (with a vote). Obviously, we should be concerned about the politics that will be part of the final outcome and, as such, should temper our expectations. BUT, we have provided an indisputable case for the decision makers to end their agreement and steer EMU into a post-EAA world. That should give us hope.

There are no guarantees for a favorable decision on Friday, December 5th. But, we do have an opportunity — an opportunity to help the EMU Board of Regents/Administration turn an ugly chapter of our storied history into a definitive moment for Eastern Michigan University AND public education. As such, our efforts are still needed. With that, I humbly ask that you make your voice heard before or on the 5th to the EMU Board of Regents via phone, email, or letter. Better yet, you can request to speak at the meeting (I am willing to share any thoughts/comments that are sent to me with the Board.)

Also, ask three people to sign, comment, and share this Preserve EMU’s Integrity petition.

Let us use our words to help remind these people of the reasons to sever the EMU-EAA agreement: the EAA is ill-conceived and has done damage to both our EMU community and to the people in Detroit schools. Equally important, let us use our words to help these people envision a post-EAA world in which Eastern Michigan University is leading a meaningful public education revival.

EMU Board of Regents Office:
207 Welch Hall
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Phone: 734.487.2410

EMU Board of Regents:
Francine Paker (chair) ~
Mike Morris (vice chair)
Floyd Clack ~
Beth Fitzsimmons
Michael Hawks
James F. Stapleton ~
Mary Treder Lang ~
James Webb ~

President Martin:
202 Welch Hall
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Phone: 734.487.2211

Provost Schatzel:
106 Welch Hall
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Phone: 734.487.3200

UPDATE: Here are details about the event. Click the image for a larger version.