June 20, 2011/Eastern Michigan University News
YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University is part of a newly created authority to run failing public schools in Michigan under a series of broad changes announced today by Gov. Rick Snyder.
The plan would restructure the Detroit Public Schools by moving some of its schools under an 11-member authority, which would include two members appointed by EMU, and to be run by the district's emergency manager, Roy Roberts.
Two members would be appointed by the Detroit Public Schools and seven by the governor.
EMU is the only one of Michigan’s 15 public universities to be involved in the project.
“We are excited and proud to collaborate in this partnership,” said Roy Wilbanks, chair of the EMU Board of Regents. “We are delighted to be involved and help play a leadership role in the education of Michigan’s children.”
EMU president Susan Martin said EMU is a logical partner for the state and for Detroit’s public schools.
“Ensuring a solid future for Michigan’s young people is central to Eastern’s mission,” Martin said. “We have always had an active interest in Detroit. We are well-grounded there.”
Details of the plan were announced at 11 a.m. today at Renaissance High in Detroit.
Eastern’s role with the authority could include the following activities:
•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, 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.
•The University has long had active interest in Detroit education.
A recent example is EMU’s participation in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation-Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship, which places graduates of a customized masters program in needy Detroit schools to teach science and math classes. A cohort of 13 students started this spring and will start in the fall of 2012 as “master teachers” of science and math in the Detroit Public Schools.
EMU has a deep history in the education of teachers. It was the first teacher-training school in the nation to offer a 4-year degree program, and is one of the nation’s largest producers of educational personnel.
The University has an active and successful charter school program. Graduates from Eastern’s College of Education have distinguished themselves teachers, program directors school superintendents and college professors.
For further details on the governor’s education reforms, view this website (emich.edu/eaa).