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.

'Stoplight' would rate schools under waiver request

Next month, the Department of Education (MDE) will submit a waiver request that proposes changes to how adequate yearly progress (AYP) is measured in Michigan.

New data lets districts link student performance to teacher

Through the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), school districts now have access to data that links students, their courses and the teacher of that course through the Teacher Student Data Link (TSDL). Currently, the data only reflects spring 2011 high school tests.

Nominations due for Human Rights and Excellence Awards

It's time to recognize outstanding achievement through the 2012 Human Rights and Excellence Awards. The awards honor outstanding programs, performance and service MEA members provide in meeting student needs.

Indiana likely to become a right-to-work state

Valiant efforts by Indiana House Democrats couldn’t stop their Republican majority from getting their way with anti-union, economy-killing, right-to-work legislation. 

Anti-union bills still in House Committee

The House Oversight, Reform and Ethics Committee heard testimony this week on HB 5023-5026, a package of anti-union bills meant to curtail the powers of labor unions. HB 5025—which requires annual written consent from employees to have union dues deducted from their paychecks—was the topic of most of the testimony.

Debate continues on cyber school expansion

With a committee room packed with cyber school supporters in yellow scarves in honor of National School Choice Week, the debate over SB 619—whether unlimited cyber schools is an element of sound education reform—continued in the House Education Committee. 

While the lineup of those testifying may change, the arguments don’t. Supporters continue to claim that cyber schools will provide more and better choices for a child’s education than a traditional school can. 
 
Critics aren’t necessarily condemning cyber schools, but they point to the lack of data to warrant the unlimited expansion of what is really an education experiment. They want the Legislature to wait until the two Michigan cyber schools have been in place for two years to study the effectiveness. The state Department of Education and the Governor agree.

Snyder gives himself an 'A' despite attacks on education

Governor Snyder used much of his State of the State address to pat himself and fellow Republicans on the back for their efforts to reinvent Michigan last year.  But his call to “finish what we started” lacked specifics—especially when it came to education.

Leaders Urge Governor to Reverse “Wrong Priorities, Wrong Direction” in 2012

Ahead of the Governor’s State of the State address on Wednesday, Michigan leaders are urging the Governor and Legislature to change direction in order to help our students and workers succeed, protect our families and revitalize our economy.

Senate education reform package still alive in House Education Committee

The Senate’s so-called education reform package (SB 618-624) is still being debated in the House Education Committee. On Wednesday, the Committee took up SB 621, 622, 709 and 710.

House Committee hears testimony restricting union dues collection, union activities

The House Oversight, Reform and Ethics Committee heard testimony Tuesday from union members who oppose HB 5023-5026, bills restricting union activities and punishing union members. And all of them pretty much said the same thing—the legislation is punitive, unnecessary, irrelevant and unconstitutional.

HB 5025, probably the most damaging piece of anti-union legislation in the package, requires an employee’s annual written authorization to have their union dues deducted from their paychecks. Supporters say this bill gives workers more opportunities to control whether money is collected for political activities or other functions—control workers already have, making this legislation just another attack on unions.

Union members repeatedly testified that PAC contributions do not come from dues; they are a voluntary contribution. They also stressed that no worker in Michigan is forced to join a union. Workers can opt to pay their fair share which only pays for the salary and benefits the union has negotiated for all workers.

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