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. 

SB 7 becomes law

Yesterday, Gov. Snyder signed into law PA 152 which requires public school employees to pay more for their health care coverage.

Experts support MEA position on SB 618-624

The Senate Education Committee heard testimony yesterday—both pro and con—on its so-called education reform package, SB 618-624. MEA’s opposition to the legislation was supported with testimony from Gary Miron, Western Michigan University education professor and national charter school expert, and Barbara Bonsignore, the Public Policy Director of Michigan AAUW.

Senate ‘ed reform’ bills defy voter wishes, expert testimony

Outsourcing teachers.  Creating unlimited charter and cyber schools.  Mandating that schools participate in schools of choice.  Providing back-door vouchers to private- and home-schooled students.

Join live webcast on teacher evaluation and support systems

During an interactive webcast on Monday, Oct. 3, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards will release their report, "Getting it Right: A Comprehensive Guide to Developing and Sustaining Teacher Evaluation and Support Systems."

Listen to Obama's 'back-to-school' talk

President Obama will deliver his third annual back-to-school speech at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, to students at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C.

Will Michigan meet Obama's new NCLB relief mandates?

Michigan may have to reapply for a waiver to get relief from the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandate that all students be proficient on state tests by 2014. New waiver request forms are due Nov. 14; approval can be expected as early as January 2012. A second round of waivers is due February 2012.

Poll shows Michigan voters opposed to some Republican education proposals

An EPIC-MRA news release today reports that 68 percent of Michigan voters are clearly opposed to the outsourcing of teachers to private companies, part of a Senate package of education reforms (SB 618-624).  And with other reforms getting mixed reactions, it sets the stage for a divisive public conversation on proposals generated by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Whitmer calls GOP fall agenda 'divisive and ill-conceived'

Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing) criticized the Republican’s fall agenda as a “divisive and ill-conceived social agenda that again will do nothing to help get people back to work.”

Scott recall withstands racist claims, court appeal

Last week, Rep. Paul Scott (R-Grand Blanc) accused Citizens Against Government Overreach of racist attacks when they kicked off the next phase of Scott’s recall with a cake bearing Scott’s likeness.  He also questioned whether MEA was involved in the incident.

Senate, House Education Committees hear testimony on reform, technology

In testimony before the Senate Education Committee on SB 618-624, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said that while our education system was outdated and needed an overhaul, most teachers aren’t the problem. They’re just the scapegoats who—surprisingly—are feeling “bashed.”

“Teachers can be allies in reinventing education in Michigan, but when I’ve talked about the need for reforms, sometimes it’s taken as an indictment of teachers. People will resist change if they think we’re bashing them,” said Flanagan.

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