Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:58pm

You only have until July 14-next Tuesday-- to register for MEA's 2015 Summer Leadership Conference, "Power from the Past-A Force for the Future." The Conference is scheduled for July 28-30 at Lake Superior State College in Sault Ste. Marie.

Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:57pm

Public Sector Consultants, a non-partisan public policy research firm in Lansing, has released a report offering financial recommendations and policy proposals to move Michigan forward. This comes on the heels of new State Superintendent Brian Whiston's goal of making Michigan one of the top 10 states in the next 10 years.

Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:56pm

The Senate's version of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) will finally get a hearing on the full U.S. Senate floor starting tomorrow on July 7. In mid-April, the Senate Education Committee approved the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) a week after it was introduced by co-sponsors Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). 

Posted on 06/29/15 at 12:25pm

Two weeks ago, Gov. Snyder's education advisor led House Education Committee members to believe that the Governor opposed SB 103, the teacher evaluation bill sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), chair of the Senate Education Committee. Under direct questioning, Karen McPhee replied that Snyder did not support the bill in its present form. 

However, last week his media spokesperson said that Gov. Snyder has taken no position on SB 103, but would support some changes to the bill. So far, the bill has had four hearings in Committee that still has not voted to discharge the bill.

Pavlov's bill emphasizes local control with districts allowed to choose whatever evaluation tool they wish. There are no provisions for training and no standards by which to judge those evaluation tools. MEA lobbyist Christina Canfield spoke in opposition to the bill, saying the bill is not in the best interest of teachers or children.

Last year, the House plan for teacher evaluations was very different from SB 103. That set of evaluation bills never made it through lame duck last year. Those bills set standards for the evaluation tools districts use; emphasized training for evaluators; and created a much fairer evaluation system for teachers. The MEA remains hopeful this year's House Education Committee will introduce similar amendments to SB 103.

Posted on 06/29/15 at 12:26pm

This Wednesday, Brian Whiston takes over as the new State Superintendent. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, he talks about standardized testing, school funding, charter and cyber schools, deficit schools and teacher evaluations.

Posted on 06/30/15 at 9:19am

With the passage of Michigan’s Public Employment Relations Act in 1965, teachers finally went from begging to bargaining. Thanks to PERA, all public school employees have the right to negotiate for fair wages, quality health care benefits and decent working conditions.

FAQ on MPSERA Litigation

For Members Only

We answer some of your Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement Act Litigation.

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Free to MEA members: WebEx on Certification this Wednesday

Considering the changes in the law regarding certification, there is nothing more important than keeping your certification up-to-date. Whether your certificate expires this summer or in five years—you need to develop a plan to protect your certification.

MEA can help!

Join the free WebEx workshop for MEA members on Wednesday, May 21 at 5 p.m.  (EDS). “What Every Teacher Needs to Know about Certification” will cover how to keep your certification current; how to renew and/or progress your certificate using the new certification rules; how to use District-Provided Professional Development and SCECHs; and how to use MOECS to complete the renewal process.

You can join the online workshop for free by going to https://mea.webex.com/mea/j.php?MTID=ma224c260e491ced484d1a33039bd8f74. When asked, enter your name and email address. If a password is required, enter 12345 and then click “Join.” The WebEx will also be recorded so MEA members can view it at a later date.

'3 percent case' sent back to MI Court of Appeals for reconsideration

The Michigan Supreme Court is sending the "3 percent case" back to the Michigan Court of Appeals for reconsideration. The case involves the constitutionality of PA 75 of 2010 to require all school employees to pay an extra 3 percent into a fund for retiree health insurance. The Court vacated the prior ruling of the Michigan Court of Appeals which agreed with the Court of Claims that the practice is unconstitutional. The state Supreme Court is sending the case back there for reconsideration.  

The Court of Appeals must also consider what issues in PA 75 have been superseded by the Supreme Court's decision in the PA 300 case. And they are to deal with any outstanding issues that may emerge regarding PA 75 that were not affected by PA 300.

Register now for SLC to become a force for the future

You only have until July 14-next Tuesday-- to register for MEA's 2015 Summer Leadership Conference, "Power from the Past-A Force for the Future." The Conference is scheduled for July 28-30 at Lake Superior State College in Sault Ste. Marie.

Report lays out plan for education reform in Michigan

Public Sector Consultants, a non-partisan public policy research firm in Lansing, has released a report offering financial recommendations and policy proposals to move Michigan forward. This comes on the heels of new State Superintendent Brian Whiston's goal of making Michigan one of the top 10 states in the next 10 years.

ESEA rewrite will finally get a hearing on U.S. Senate floor

The Senate's version of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) will finally get a hearing on the full U.S. Senate floor starting tomorrow on July 7. In mid-April, the Senate Education Committee approved the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) a week after it was introduced by co-sponsors Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). 

Cook: Why prospective teachers shy away from field

When it comes to teachers, parents want the best and the brightest teachers standing in the front of their child’s classroom.

Historically, Michigan public schools have been among the best in the nation. But outstanding public schools are the result of outstanding public school teachers. The vast majority of those highly skilled teachers are products of the colleges of education here in Michigan.

In the last four years, enrollment in teacher training programs has dropped by nearly 40 percent. This precipitous decline can be traced to a number of factors. Attacks on the teaching profession have not helped.

Prospective teachers see those attacks — cuts in salaries and benefits, deterioration of collective bargaining rights — and are dissuaded from pursuing careers in teaching. Those attacks are compounded by the continuing chorus of criticism directed at teachers when student performance expectations are not met. As one member of the State Board of Education put it: “Teachers are demoralized. They feel like they are blamed for everything.”

Click here to read the entire article

Building Full Capacity Locals

Resources and training designed to help strengthen your local association and get more members involved.

To qualify for funding, the association must take a self-assessment which will help you determine where your local  needs to strengthen. 

 

 

 


UPCOMING BFCL TRAINING!

 

MEA membership means better contracts together

With the passage of Michigan’s Public Employment Relations Act in 1965, teachers finally went from begging to bargaining. Thanks to PERA, all public school employees have the right to negotiate for fair wages, quality health care benefits and decent working conditions.

A chorus of 140,000 voices for public education

From the corridors of the state Capitol in Lansing to the halls of school buildings across Michigan, MEA staff members are hard at work advocating for students and employees at all levels of public education in Michigan.

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