Faculty and students from Eastern Michigan University’s College of Education voiced their opposition to the university’s affiliation with the Education Achievement Authority to the Board of Regents on Tuesday in Welch 201.
The EAA is an 11-member system governing board for the Education Achievement System. It is a statewide school system implemented in 2011 by Gov. Rick Snyder. It functions with the bottom 5 percent of public schools in Michigan, beginning with 15 schools in Detroit.
EMU became the only public university in the EAA through an agreement between the Board of Regents and Detroit Public Schools in 2011.
“The faculty has voted twice in support of cutting ties with the EAA,” Steven Camron, associate education professor and chair of the COE faculty council told the Board of Regents.
He implored that the university cut ties with the EAA, as these ties have tarnished the reputation of the COE and their students.
In October, teacher’s unions in six Washtenaw County public school districts supported the boycott of EMU’s student teachers as a result of their affiliation with the EAA.
Camron went on to say the goals of the EAA run counter to the core values of the COE, and suggested any member of EMU’s Board of Regents who supports the university’s affiliation with the EAA should resign.
“Please reevaluate this harmful affiliation,” Camron concluded.
The room erupted into cheers and applause from the COE faculty and students in attendance who rose to their feet waving signs condemning the EAA as Camron made his way back to his seat.
Fatma Jaber, a student in the COE, also called for an end to EMU’s affiliation with the EAA. She stated though she knows university officials are working to put a stop to the boycott of EMU’s student teachers, simply ousting the boycott will not solve the problem.
Several other passionate members of the COE community implored the Board of Regents to cut ties with the EAA. President Susan Martin acknowledged their pleas, thanking all who voiced their concerns.
“I do want to learn more about the faculty and student concerns,” Martin said. “I certainly don’t approve of the boycott of our student teachers.”
COE Dean Jann Joseph resigned from her seat on the EAA board on Nov. 30. The Board of Regents made the decision to replace her with Provost Kim Schatzel.