April 5, 2013 Bookmark and Share

House Democrats' Task Force Seeks Education Reforms that Work

Task force seeks solutions that increase student performance, improve schools

LANSING — House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) announced today that the Michigan House Democrats have formed a task force that will find real solutions for Michigan’s struggling schools. The task force is a response to House Republicans’ effort to expand the unproven Education Achievement Authority across the state, even though students in the 15 schools currently run by the EAA have reported conditions detrimental to learning in those schools.

“The Education Achievement Authority has been in place in Detroit since the start of the school year, and the results so far have been dismal: overcrowded classrooms, a lack of textbooks and high rates of teacher turnover that disrupt education,” Greimel said. “Rather than recklessly spreading the EAA across the state — as Republicans plan to do — we need real solutions for schools in crisis, solutions that have actually worked in other places.”

The task force will investigate education reform measures undertaken in other states, evaluate their success and determine whether those solutions could be implemented in Michigan. Task force members include Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton (D-Huntington Woods), who is the Democratic vice chairwoman of the House Education Committee, and Education Committee member Rep. Thomas F. Stallworth III (D-Detroit). Other members include Reps. Terry Brown (D-Pigeon), Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids), John Kivela (D-Marquette), Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores), David Rutledge (D-Ypsilanti), Andy Schor (D-Lansing) and Adam Zemke (D-Ann Arbor). Legislation based on their findings will be introduced in the state Legislature. Representatives Lipton and Dillon will co-chair the task force.

“All of the state representatives who are members of this task force have a great deal of applicable expertise, and I look forward to their recommendations to improve schools,” Greimel said. “We need to learn what’s already worked in other places and bring those lessons home. Our kids are too important to be turned into school reform guinea pigs.”

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