Newspaper editorials: Don't rush drastic education reforms

Over the weekend, two Michigan newspapers editorialized against policymakers rushing drastic education reforms.

The so-called reforms include moving "low-performing" schools to a statewide Education Achievement Authority that would be run by a chancellor and controlled by a board appointed by the governor and legislative leaders. There are currently 15 schools under the EAA through an agreement between Eastern Michigan University and Detroit Public Schools, but policymakers are looking to expand the EAA to a statewide system.

The Oakland Press wrote, "Some proposals come from the conservative Oxford Foundation at the request of Gov. Rick Snyder. Others are part of the Education Achievement Authority, created to take over the lowest-performing schools in Michigan. Combined, the proposals essentially throw out K-12 education as we know it."

The Oxford Foundation is circulating a draft proposal that would rewrite how the state funds the K-12 school system, allowing students to attend any school of their choosing and have state funds follow the student, creating more online learning venues, and giving students $2,500 for every semester they graduate early.

The Oakland Press was joined by the Port Huron Times Herald, which wrote: "Remember new math? This is another revolutionary change where an untested ‘reform' is thrust on the public with little thought or discussion of the potential ramifications. It could succeed brilliantly or fail spectacularly. The next generation of children will be the guinea pigs."