LANSING — State Representatives David Rutledge (D-Superior Township) and Adam F. Zemke (D-Ann Arbor) announced their recent appointments to a board tasked with finding real solutions to Michigan’s struggling schools. Created by the Michigan House Democrats, the task force is a response to Republicans’ efforts to expand the unproven Education Achievement Authority (EAA) statewide, compromising local control and imposing untested learning techniques on struggling schools.

“I truly believe that there is no issue more pressing to future generations, or more vital to economic development, than education,” said Zemke. “Districts throughout the state are struggling, and this issue needs deliberative discussion by state leaders and experts, so for that reason I’m very happy to be able to serve with my colleagues on this task force.”

Both Rutledge and Zemke voted against the EAA legislation when it was considered by the House last month, but House Bill 4369 passed on a 57-53 vote. The bill expands a program that has yet to complete a full year, and data is inconclusive and insufficient as to whether the new approach can be successful for student learning.�The task force will explore data-driven approaches to supporting Michigan’s struggling schools.

“I am so honored by the opportunity to serve on this important board,” Rutledge said. “After years of disinvesting in public education, some state leaders claim to be surprised when schools and districts are struggling. As state and community leaders, we should be coming together to find solutions and work toward education quality for all of our students.”

The 10-member task force will investigate education reform measures undertaken in other states, evaluate their success and determine whether those solutions could be implemented in Michigan.