Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:44am

According to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), there is no provision in state or federal law that allows parents to opt their children out of assessments, like the M-STEP currently being administered in schools, without it counting against their school and district’s participation rates. MDE offered its official position last week in a memo to ISD Superintendents, Local Agency Superintendents, and Public School Academy Directors.

Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:15am

MEA is partnering with NEA, the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to sponsor the Teaching Leadership Initiative (TLI) program. If you’re an MEA member and ready to take hold of your career and learn to lead in matters of practice and policy—if you’re an MEA member eager to make a difference in your classroom, but not sure where to begin—TLI is for you.

Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:33am

The two vendors who are currently administering the 2015 Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) assessments won a three-year contract to continue their work. Data Recognition Corporation, a Minnesota-based company, and North Carolina-based Measurement, Inc. were awarded the contract by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB). 

Posted on 03/25/15 at 10:10am

The Center for Michigan, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, is collecting feedback from Michigan citizens about the Michigan workforce experience through an online surveyThey’re specifically looking for information from educators like you about career navigation.

Posted on 03/25/15 at 1:20pm

The ice has melted and the roads are worse.

Michigan’s deteriorating roads and bridges pose a serious safety threat to drivers. Crater-size potholes are responsible for extensive damage to our automobiles.

Posted on 03/23/15 at 12:01pm

There is a push on for the next two weeks to ensure that reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is done right this time. It's expected that the Senate will take up the ESEA on April 14.

Read for the Trees on March 2

NEA's Read Across America Day--March 2--is going green this year to showcase the opening of The Lorax, the new animated version of the book by Dr. Seuss--whose birthday is celebrated with the Read Across America Day.

MEAP scores show mixed results

Despite the warnings that Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) scores released publicly last week would be drastically impacted by a new grading scale, state Department of Education (MDE) officials are now saying that Michigan elementary and middle school students showed improvement in their math and reading scores.

Snyder's education budget--an increase or a cut?

Gov. Snyder promoted his 2013 budget proposal for K-12 funding as a boost to education, but information from the House Fiscal Agency shows something different. The "boost" is only a mere .2 percent from 2012 funding levels. And for 2014, schools will see a .7 percent decrease.

Senate passes election reform bills

Yesterday, the Senate passed 11 Republican-sponsored election reform bills that impact voting.

Two of the bills--HB 5085 and 5086--are anti-union bills that prevent a public employer from automatically deducting PAC contributions from an employee’s paycheck.

The bills put into law a 2010 state Supreme Court ruling on the issue. In MEA v. Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, the Court ruled that public school districts cannot administer payroll deduction plans that send money to a political action fund.

New budget proposal no real investment in education

Gov. Snyder presented his 2013 budget today, but while schools will see more money--there are strings attached. And it still isn't enough of a boost to make up for the $1 billion cut schools saw last year.

In a news release today, MEA President Steve Cook said, "Putting a fraction of that $1 billion back into schools doesn't fix the problems that such a massive cut caused last year--it only continues to enrich the corporate special interests who benefitted from the $1.8 billion tax cut that the education cuts enabled."

Statement from MEA President on Snyder budget proposal

The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steven Cook in response to today’s education budget proposals from Gov. Rick Snyder: 

Governor wants to give more money to schools

When Gov. Snyder presents his budget proposal to the Legislature tomorrow, schools are expected to see a 2.8 to 3 percent increase in state funding—still not enough to make up for a $1 billion cut to schools last year so corporate special interests could enjoy a $1.8 billion tax cut.

Cyber school bill moves to House floor

This morning, the House Education Committee reported out SB 619-623 and 709-710 with amendments that differ from the original Senate-approved bills.

House committee passes more anti-union bills--Call your state representative!

On a party line vote, the House Oversight, Reform and Ethics Committee passed on Tuesday House Bills 5023-5026, a package of anti-union bills meant to curtail the powers of labor unions:

  • HB 5023--fines striking public employees one day's pay and their union $5,000 for each day of the strike, expanding the penalties beyond the current rules that only apply to public school employees.

  • HB 5024--sets fines and restrictions on members and their unions for mass picketing.

  • HB 5025--requires an employee's annual written authorization to have their union dues deducted from their paycheck by employers.

  • HB 5026--eliminates the prohibition against employers advertising for strike breakers.

Scores of districts request teacher evaluation waiver

More than 344 public and charter school districts across the state are already asking the Governor's Council on Education Effectiveness for exemptions from adopting a uniform teacher evaluation system by 2013. The deadline for filing was Nov. 1.

The Council is charged with making recommendations for a new state evaluation system that includes a student growth component. Now they'll also be deciding which school districts will be granted a waiver.

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