Despite student pleas, EMU continues EAA partnership

Dec 5, 2014

Protesters overwhelmed the EMU regents meeting.
Credit Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

“Black lives matter! The EAA is killing me!”

Dozens of chanting protestors overwhelmed the Eastern Michigan University regents meeting with Friday afternoon, with a handful of people lying down on the carpet in front of the regents table.

Not even EMU President Susan Martin could get them up, despite her calm appeals for order.

Amidst shouts of “Shame on you!” the regents voted to continue their partnership with the controversial Education Achievement Authority.

The EAA was designed to turn around some of the worst schools in Detroit three years ago.

Some protesters lay on the floor chanting "black lives matter, the EAA is killing me."
Credit Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

But students are leaving it in droves, and some teachers say the schools are mismanaged and even unsafe.

Regent Jim Stapleton says he voted yes because the EAA is the "only idea out there."

"At its core, I think that idea is a good one. Its implementation over the last three years has been horribly flawed.”

Stapleton says he and the other regents will demand more transparency from the EAA and insist on having greater authority over the schools in the district.

Meanwhile, EMU students are struggling to get student teaching jobs; some schools are boycotting EMU as a way to protest their affiliation with the EAA.