I don’t have time right now to give this subject the attention that it deserves, but I wanted to pass along this breaking news item from Ypsilanti, where Eastern Michigan University’s Board of Regents have voted 6-2 to continue the charade of legitimizing Rick Snyder’s controversial Education Achievement Authority (EAA). Here’s video from the Regents’ meeting followed by a clip from the Detroit Free Press.
The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents voted this afternoon to continue – for at least a year – its controversial relationship with the Education Achievement Authority, drawing jeers, shouts and a demonstration that nearly shut down the meeting.
“Shame on you,” many people in the audience shouted as Regent Mike Morris proposed continuing the relationship, but working to create a stronger relationship with the EAA, as well as demand more transparency and accountability.
A majority of the board agreed with him, though Regent Jim Stapleton said his vote to continue the relationship with the EAA, the state’s reform district for the lowest-performing schools, was with reservation.
“I am disappointed promises were made to our school about our level of participation that to date have not been kept,” Stapleton said…
Speaking of Stapleton, who was appointed to the Board of Regents by Jennifer Granholm, audio recently surfaced of him explaining to EMU faculty how the EAA came about, and what EMU had been led to believe at the outset. If you haven’t listened to it yet, I’d recommend it. It’s enlightening. Here’s a clip from the transcript.
“We thought this would be an enrollment play for us, because 68% of our students come from within 20 miles. We were told this was going to be a statewide school district, not just an urban school district, not just Detroit. So we thought that if we could have a presence… And fundraising dollars, foundation dollars that they promised us would be going through our foundation. And we thought, quite frankly, that since we were going to help the Governor with this, that we’d have some sort of benefit in terms of State appropriations. Well, guess what? None of those things happened…” -Jim Stapleton, September 22, 2014
And, about nine weeks after that was recorded, Regent Stapleton, along with five of his fellow Regents, voted to renew the relationship between EMU and the EAA.
Does that seem odd to anyone? He admits that the University got nothing out of the deal, and that they’d been misled by Snyder, but then he went ahead and agreed to keep the deal in place. One wonders what kind of interest Stapleton may have in helping the Governor when he’s already made it clear that the deal isn’t in the best interests of EMU, or, for that matter, the children of Michigan.