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 06/29/15 at 12:27pm

Michigan delegates to NEA's Representative Assembly will join more than 7,000 educators on their way to Orlando to help set education policy and talk about what's best for students. The annual meeting starts July 3 and runs through July 6.

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:38pm

SaveOnEnergy.com is looking for the best lesson plans for teaching students about energy. By submitting your plan, you have a chance to win a $500 Teacher Grant for your classroom. Save On Energy.com will be awarding six $500 grants in the form of Visa Reward Cards to be used toward classroom materials and activities. SaveOnEnergy.com is a resource for consumers on all aspects of energy and sustainability.

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:25pm

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is holding meetings around the state with parents of special education students to gather input on their experiences with the state’s special education system. To reach even more parents, Calley also launched an online survey which will be available through August. 

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:31pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that teachers and educators should not be put in law enforcement roles when they carry out their duty of reporting suspected child abuse or neglect. The National Education Association (NEA) filed an amicus brief in the case, Ohio v. Clark, stating that “educators’ valuable role as mandatory reporters and caregivers should not be compromised.”

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.

Follow what's going on at the NEA RA

Michigan delegates to NEA's Representative Assembly will join more than 7,000 educators on their way to Orlando to help set education policy and talk about what's best for students. The annual meeting starts July 3 and runs through July 6.

New state superintendent begins his term July 1

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.

Snyder would support changes to SB 103

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.

A lesson plan on energy can earn you a $500 Teacher Grant

SaveOnEnergy.com is looking for the best lesson plans for teaching students about energy. By submitting your plan, you have a chance to win a $500 Teacher Grant for your classroom. Save On Energy.com will be awarding six $500 grants in the form of Visa Reward Cards to be used toward classroom materials and activities. SaveOnEnergy.com is a resource for consumers on all aspects of energy and sustainability.

Court rules that educators aren’t police officers when reporting abuse

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that teachers and educators should not be put in law enforcement roles when they carry out their duty of reporting suspected child abuse or neglect. The National Education Association (NEA) filed an amicus brief in the case, Ohio v. Clark, stating that “educators’ valuable role as mandatory reporters and caregivers should not be compromised.”

Calley gathers parent input on special education experiences

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is holding meetings around the state with parents of special education students to gather input on their experiences with the state’s special education system. To reach even more parents, Calley also launched an online survey which will be available through August. 

SAT replaces ACT next year as indicator of college readiness

More changes in testing are in store for Michigan students. This year it was the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP); next year, on April 12, 2016, high school  juniors will be taking the SAT for the first time, instead of the ACT, as an indicator of how prepared they are for college. Earlier this year, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) awarded a three-year contract to the College Board that will administer the SAT for free.

 

New state superintendent asks, 'If education is our highest priority, why aren't we paying our teachers as a highest priority?'

Incoming State Superintendent Brian Whiston told legislators last week that the state has to focus on training, evaluating and empowering teachers if we want better student outcomes in the classroom. Whiston answered questions on education and school aid from members of the House Education Committee and House Appropriation subcommittees. 

 

Mackinac Center claims MEA services not worth the dues, yet their new spokesperson benefitted from them

The Mackinac Center, known for its anti-public education, anti-union, and anti-public education employee tactics, has already begun its campaign to convince members to opt out of their MEA membership. Last year, they used full-page newspaper ads, mailings and robo calls to spread their message with little success.

SBE asked to reduce requirements for CTE teachers

Some intermediate school district superintendents want the State Board of Education (SBE) to waive certain certification standards for career and technical education (CTE) teachers so they can have an easier time attracting them for jobs. Without the waiver, the group says some CTE programs could close.

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