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. 

Collaboration made things better for Romulus Middle School

In just a short period of time, Romulus Middle School went from being one of the 108 Michigan schools labeled “Persistently Lowest Achieving Schools” to the center of national attention as an education reform success story.

Lansing politicians attack freedom of speech

With a 4-2 vote, the House Oversight, Reform and Ethics Committee adopted HB 4052 today and moved one step closer to restricting our rights to freedom of speech and association. The bill now goes to the full House.

Bolger vs. Snyder vs. Hammel

During a live call-in program on Michigan Public Radio, it was apparent there were marked differences of opinion between House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall), Minority Leader Richard Hammel (D-Mount Morris Township) and Gov. Snyder.

New report shows "Right to Work" is wrong for Michigan

In a new report released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI),  ‘Right to work’: The wrong answer for Michigan’s economy, Gordon Lafer, a labor economist with the University of Oregon, says such legislation does nothing to encourage job growth and ends up lowering wages by an average of $1,500 per year. This is the case for union and non-union workers in right-to-work-states.

MEA President Cook on "Off the Record"

MEA President Steven Cook

MEA President Steven Cook

MEA President Steve Cook appeared on Michigan Public Television’s “Off the Record” last week and called out Republicans for their harmful decisions regarding public education in Michigan and set the record straight on MEA’s involvement in recall elections. 

“It’s actions by Republicans that are driving the recalls; it’s not the MEA. The MEA is not their only problem. Their problem is constituents upset about a business tax cut that gutted public education by $1 billion,” said President Cook.

Last week Sen. Randy Richardville, Senate Majority Leader (R-Monroe), announced his push for “Right to Work FOR LESS” legislation for teachers. He singled out the MEA for failing to represent its membership and failing to make financial sacrifices in these tough economic times. 

Political insiders say this is all retribution for the recall of Scott who voted to cut education funding, played a key role in changing tenure policies and supported slashing collective bargaining rights.

House passes bills to block domestic partner medical benefits

On a 64-44 vote, the House also passed HB 4770 and 4771 today that would prohibit public employers from providing domestic partner medical benefits and makes it a prohibited subject of bargaining. The bill now moves to the Senate.

House passes HB 4929

On a close 55-53 vote today, the House passed HB 4929 which prohibits the deduction of union dues by public school employers.  The bill was fast-tracked through the House after being introduced Tuesday. The bill now goes to the Senate where SB 636, a comparable bill introduced by Sen. Meekhof (R-West Olive) on Sept. 8 sits.

Rep. Haveman (R-Holland), sponsor of the bill, said the legislation isn’t an attack on teachers. “It allows them to have more money in their pockets and that’s a good thing.”

Background

In the name of “education reform,” the Senate introduced a package of seven bills patterned after Gov. Snyder’s education message this spring. Senate Bills 618-624  effectively dismantle public education by increasing charter schools, privatizing teachers, mandating schools of choice, expanding cyber schools, using tax dollars to support private school students and allowing parents to convert their neighborhood school to a charter school.

Preliminary Analysis - SB 618 through SB 624

Read the preliminary analysis for each of the Senate Bills 618-624.

Talking Points

 

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