“Student government election results on hold”

From the Eastern Echo comes “Student government election results on hold.” It’s not exactly an “informative” article though because all it says is that “The Election Commission” is investigating “matters related to the election;” in other words, it doesn’t say what exactly those “matters” are. But my best guess is that there’s some concern/confusion that the write-in candidate Fatma Jaber completely crushed the official candidate (I guess Desmond Miller?), but this is just a guess.

Anyone actually know?


“Legendary comic artist Art Spiegelman to speak at EMU”

I’m actually going to this event tonight; as promoted in mLive (and I assume other places), “Legendary comic artist Art Spiegelman to speak at EMU.”

Art Spiegelman, one of the most celebrated and accomplished comic artists ever, will give a multimedia presentation at 7 p.m. on April 10 in Eastern Michigan University’s Pease Auditorium.

The presentation, entitled “What the %@$*! Happened to Comics” will focus on the history of comic books and their influence on society, and Spiegelman will be available to autograph books following the presentation.

A couple of interesting things to watch for with this:

  • That “%@$*!” is supposed to be “fuck,” so expect lots of naughty words and the like regarding said history.
  • Spiegelman is notorious for smoking EVERYWHERE, including during talks like this. In the photo of him at the mLive site, he’s got a butt going. I saw a similar talk he gave at EMU way back when– maybe ten years ago?– and he smoked the whole time. It’ll be interesting to see if some EMU wonk tells him to put that cigarette out in Pease.


“Washtenaw County Circuit Court Judge Donald Shelton will retire in September”

Pretty slow news week or so around here– though April is always a busy work season!– so not much to post. But I did see this in mLive: “Washtenaw County Circuit Court Judge Donald Shelton will retire in September.” Loyal readers might recall that way back when, Shelton was one of the finalists for EMU president a few years back. What’s he going to do when he’s done judging?

Shelton was appointed associate professor and Director of the Criminal Justice Program at the University of Michigan — Dearborn, according to a press release.

The appointment, which is pending authorization from the school’s Board of Regents, begins in the fall semester.

“March Gradness” has some interesting results

Busted brackets all around, I guess I’m technically still in the lead in the EMUTalk.org annual final four tourney, but I think if Florida wins its way into the final game, Claire is going to end up taking the title. Stay tuned.

But I wanted to share today an interesting piece from mLive that I guess appeared originally in Bridge Magazine, “March Gradness: An NCAA bracket built on grad rates, not victories, produces a different winner – and only one team actually in the Final Four.” A quote and another link:

Here’s how it works… Same schools and pairings as this year’s NCAA men’s basketball championship. But to survive and advance your school has to have the better student graduation rate for all full-time students.

There were a few “overtime” games in March Gradness – tie scores between schools with equal graduation rates. In those cases, African-American grad rates were used as a tiebreaker. Our data came from the Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System. We used the published six-year graduation rate for full-time students. And special thanks to the technology company Vertex, which publishes a nifty NCAA bracket each year which we adapted to the purpose of March Gradness.

You can download a PDF of the results here.

When I first read this/looked at this, I thought they were talking about graduation rates for basketball players, which would have been interesting stats to see; rather, it’s for the university as a whole. By the way, according to the resource used for this article, EMU’s overall six year graduation rate is 37%.

“The Education Achievement Authority is working for Detroit’s kids (guest column)”

A loyal EMUTalk.org reader pointed out that on the same day that the Freep ran “Detroit’s children continue to do worse in schools under state control (guest column)” by Tom Pedroni, they also ran a pro-EAA guest column by EAA chancellor John Covington, “The Education Achievement Authority is working for Detroit’s kids (guest column).” Here’s a quote:

The Education Achievement Authority adopted a student-centered model of teaching and learning that allows teachers to personalize instruction to meet the needs of each child. Using this approach, we expect our students to make 1½ to 2 years of academic growth each year for the first several years, and reach grade level and beyond within three to five years, as measured by the state test. What’s most important about this approach is that it gives these students real hope of learning and progressing toward a successful future.

To date, EAA students have shown academic progress when compared to other students across the country and across Detroit. We assess our students’ progress four times per year using a nationally recognized test call Performance Series Assessment.

Of course, it’d be nice to read something from someone a little less biased on it all– of course the guy in charge of the EAA is going to say it’s working just fine!– but here’s at least something that represents a different point of view.

Student Center in blue for autism awareness


That’s kinda cool….

Hey Mr. President– how about giving Ypsi some love?

The Ann Arbor News/mLive is awash in news about President Obama’s three hour (or so) visit to Ann Arbor/University of Michigan today. (Note to self: probably best to stay out of Ann Arbor/U of M today).

That’s all fine and good and I support the basic cause here, to bring some sunshine to raising the minimum wage, but wouldn’t it be nice if Obama stopped off in a place like Ypsilanti where there are a ton more people actually trying to make ends meet working jobs (usually multiple jobs) where they’re getting paid the minimum wage? Wouldn’t it be nice if he visited a campus like EMU, where a large percentage of students really are working their asses off at crappy minimum wage jobs to put themselves through school, rather than one where somewhere north of 27% of the students come from families that have yearly income of $200K or more?

Just sayin’.

“Should We Rank Colleges Based on Their Graduates’ Earnings?”

A loyal EMUTalk.org reader sent me this piece from Slate, “Should We Rank Colleges Based on Their Graduates’ Earnings?” which is a follow-up/defense of that article about PayScale’s college rankings based on the earnings of graduates. Frankly, I don’t have the time or energy to explain once again what is wrong with this logic right now– lots of grading and such as we round the turn for the end of the semester– but I thought I’d share it in case anyone else wants to make the argument. Go ahead, dive in!

More EAA news

Two links/bits of information to pass along about the EAA and the general troubles in Detroit Public Schools. First, from the freep, “Detroit’s children continue to do worse in schools under state control (guest column),” which is by Wayne State University professor Tom Pedroni. A quote:

Students in DPS and EAA schools have declined precipitously relative to their state peers in every tested grade in reading, third through eighth. In third grade reading, the proficiency gap has widened by 7.3 points to 28.2; it widened 2.1 points in fourth grade, 1.7 points in fifth grade, 3.2 points in sixth grade, 3.8 points in seventh grade, and 4.7 in eighth grade.

In math, although students gained marginally on their state peers in sixth through eighth grades, students plummeted relative to their state peers in third, fourth, and fifth grade. In third grade, the math proficiency gap increased by 5.2 points to 26.6; in fourth grade it increased by 6.8 points to 29.2; and in fifth grade it increased by 8.0 points to 30.9.

For DPS and EAA students under state control, another year of educational possibility has been stolen.

And after the break comes a message from EMU professor Steve Wellinski, I think basically updates on College of Education actions in relation to the EAA.

By the way, I’d be happy to post something here that advocates for the EAA, but as far as I can tell, no one is really doing that. So why is this EAA thing still going on?

Continue reading

“Major Attack on Academic Freedom in Michigan”

Over at the blog “Academe Blog” comes “Major Attack on Academic Freedom in Michigan,” which is a post by Martin Kich. It’s a pretty short post, but here’s a quote:

In the Michigan Senate, the Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee included in its budget proposal a penalty against any public college or university that teaches a labor-related course or offers a labor-studies program.


Specifically, SB 768 prohibits “the encouragement or discouragement of union organizing of employees, including, but not limited to, participating with any business or union, or group of businesses or unions, in hosting, sponsoring, administering, or in any way facilitating an academy, seminar, class, course, conference, or program that provides instruction, in whole or in part, in techniques for encouraging or discouraging employees in regard to union organizing.”

Oh, and apparently Michigan Radio has a story about this too and how it would specifically impact Michigan State: “MSU could lose $500k for offering labor courses.” Seems like an oddly narrow law to impact a specific course like this.

PS: There’s this article in mLive too– I guess I missed all this earlier.