June 21, 2011
AFT President Randi Weingarten Responds to
Detroit Public Education Reform Plan Presented by
Governor and DPS Emergency Manager
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts yesterday announced a plan to take failing Detroit public schools and place them under a new umbrella called the Education Achievement System.
WASHINGTON—A preliminary glance at the Education Achievement System (EAS) proposed by Gov. Snyder and Emergency Manager Roberts reveals a plan for education reform that was developed without the input of Detroit’s educators or community. We are troubled at the lack of teacher and school employee voice in the current plan, especially in light of the hard work Detroit’s education unions and school district have already done in collaborating to develop and implement workable solutions for the city’s schools.
In school districts across the nation, the AFT and its affiliates have enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to work with superintendents and district leaders to develop education plans designed to turn around struggling schools. In the United States and around the world, successful education systems are those where educators and parents are at the table with administrators and elected officials, developing meaningful education reforms together. At this stage, the EAS plan lacks the input of educators that separates effective education plans from “silver bullet” reform proposals. The AFT and its affiliates in Michigan have already begun examining the EAS plan. We will soon begin to raise questions and provide feedback on what research shows works to improve teaching and learning in Detroit.
There is a tremendous opportunity here to turn around the public schools and create a better future for Detroit’s schoolchildren. Capitalizing on that opportunity requires that the voices of educators, parents and the community are part of a constructive dialogue on education reform and improvement for the children and families of Detroit.
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.