Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:45pm

According to the latest KIDS COUNT Data Book published by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, Michigan ranks 32nd when it comes to a child's overall well-being compared to other states. Michigan dropped one slot in ranking from last year, making it the worst-performing state in the Great Lakes region. 

Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:46pm

Michigan isn't the only state looking to establish stricter guidelines for charter school authorizers. A policy brief by the Education Commission of the States (ECS), reports that while 42 states have charter school legislation, only  33 states have authorizing bodies that are responsible for approving and overseeing charters schools. But only 15 of those states have set standards for authorizers.

Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:47pm

More families will be able to qualify for free and reduced-priced meals with the new household income guidelines established by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). The guidelines will determine eligibility for the 2014-15 school year and will be effective through June 30, 2015.

Posted on 07/21/14 at 11:40pm

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is advising teachers not to change their lesson plans, despite the fact that the MEAP, instead of Smarter Balanced assessments, is being used next spring. The Legislature made that choice when they passed a state budget that requires the MEAP. MDE previously recommended Smarter Balanced.

Posted on 07/21/14 at 11:51pm

The Great Lakes Center annually releases a recommended "summer reading list" for educators. The list evaluates the so-called education reform movement and whether or not those reforms really work.

Posted on 07/15/14 at 11:23am

The Sunday, July 13 edition of the Lansing State Journal covered the issue of teacher evaluations in its "A Greater Lansing Outlook" section. Included is a column by MEA President Steve Cook, "Teachers support bills for fair evaluations," highlighting MEA's involvement in writing HB 5223 and HB 5224. 

Kidsnotceos.com has data for higher ed funding losses

Since Gov. Snyder took office, higher education has had to deal with a loss of $623,235,000 in funding. In addition to employees feeling the hit of wage and benefit cuts, students at Michigan’s colleges and universities are also being impacted with hikes to their tuition. According to the House Fiscal Agency, approximately 60 percent of the tuition increases students have experienced are due to legislative-directed budget cuts. 

MEA and Ed Trust call for more training and resources for teachers

MEA President Steve Cook and Amber Arellano, Education Trust-Midwest Executive Director, agree on what Michigan students need—teachers are the key to student success and they need resources and training to be most effective. That’s just one of the issues the two organizations support; the other issues are outlined in a Bridge magazine guest commentary, “Teachers need more training and resources to teach to higher standards.”

It’s National Teacher/School Employee Appreciation Week! Thank you for all you do!

This week is a celebration of all school employees and their contributions to public education, students, the community and society in general. 

“Each year schools and communities observe Teacher Day/School Family Day with local celebrations that pay tribute to the contributions school employees make to our communities. We at MEA invite you to observe this important date by continuing the traditions of celebratory activities,” said MEA President Steve Cook.

Several days this week are set aside to recognize specific groups of school employees. Tuesday, May 6 is designated Teacher Day/School Family Day and May 7 is National School Nurse Day. 

We asked MEA members to submit their suggestions for ways schools and the public can honor schools employees. Here’s what we heard:

Cathryn Therese, from Walden AGS Fenton Schools said, “I’d like to have people—students, parents, the media—ask candidates for governor if they support teacher retirement and medical coverage; allowing teachers to have their seniority back for jobs within their schools; union rights restored, and do away with taxing teacher retirement. Not just discuss restoring funding to schools. Teachers have taken huge hits while teacher certification requirements continue to demand high levels of education and skill.”

Spring RA delegates see premiere of new MEA video

“The Truth About School Funding” was a hit with the 2013 Spring RA audience. Delegates were the first to see the production narrated by MEA Labor Economist Ruth Beier.

New guide shows how school boards can help students and families

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is a partner in the release of released a report called“Partnerships, Not Pushouts: A Guide for School Board Members on Community Partnerships for Student Success” which highlights specific models of how school boards can better support students.

Use NEA’s GPS to get education updates, resources and promotional materials

The Great Public Schools Network (GPS) is NEA’s free tool where members can share educational resources, create and read blogs on educational issues like Common Core and leadership, and get updates on education news.

It’s MEAP vs. Smarter Balanced; state aid vs. NCLB waiver

Battle lines are being drawn between state lawmakers and State Superintendent Mike Flanagan over the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) tests. Lawmakers want the test to be given next year; Flanagan says it’s not an option.

What do teachers really do? Let the public know May 5-9

It’s not too late to make plans to honor you and your colleagues’ contributions to public education during May 5-9, National Teacher Appreciation Week and on Teacher/Day School Family Day, May 6.

Schauer, Brown put education funding first

Last week, Mark Schauer, the Democratic candidate challenging Gov. Snyder in the November election, unveiled his education plan and this week he got the chance to see public education in action when he visited West Bloomfield High School. Lisa Brown, his running mate for lieutenant governor, joined him on the tour.

President Steven Cook in the Detroit News: Michigan schools aren't moving forward

Michigan schools have been far too slow to adapt to the changing world, Cook writes. (Max Ortiz / The Detroit News)

The nonpartisan advocacy group, Education Trust-Midwest recently issued its “State of Michigan education report.” The findings are disturbing.

Pages