May 19, 2003
Contact: Ward Mullens

EMU Dean to Testify About Education Before Congressional Subcommittee

YPSILANTI – Jerry Robbins, dean of Eastern Michigan University’s College of Education, will testify May 20 before the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness.

The subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Howard P. McKeon (R-CA) will conduct a hearing entitled “America’s Teacher Colleges: Are They Making the Grade?” The purpose of the hearing will be to examine the state of teacher colleges and other teacher preparation programs in America.

“This is an informational session about how teachers are prepared,” said Robbins, who will travel to Washington D.C. to give his testimony.
Robbins said his purpose at the hearing is to give a first-hand account of what EMU is doing in its teacher preparation program.

“I hope that we (EMU) will be their reality check,” Robbins said of his appearance.

To help provide insights into the state of teacher education, Robbins has invited recent EMU graduate Sergio Garcia, of Texas, to go with him.
Robbins said EMU’s reputation as one of the largest producers of educational personnel may have played a role in its selection as a participant in the hearing.

“The ranking Democrat (Dale Kildee, 5th District, Michigan) specifically asked for a Michigan school,” Robbins said.
Robbins said his message to the subcommittee is simple.

“My message is that EMU and many other institutions are doing a good job preparing teachers with the resources we have,” said Robbins.

Others testifying are Kati Haycock, director of The Education Trust; Arthur Wise, president of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE); Dr. Louanne Kennedy, provost and vice president for academic affairs for California State University-Northridge; and Dr. Joyce R. Coppin, chief executive of human resources for New York City Department of Education.

Eastern Michigan University ( is a public comprehensive, metropolitan university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.