Posted on 08/20/14 at 9:48am

Fallout is still being felt two months after the release of the Detroit Free Press' report on the state's charter schools. The investigative report uncovered a general lack of accountability and transparency in how charter schools spend the more than $1 billion in state taxpayer money they receive.

Posted on 08/26/14 at 5:04pm

Michigan won a renewal of its waiver from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for the 2014-15 school year. Without the waiver, schools would have to follow NCLB standards that require 100 percent of students proficient in math and language arts.

Posted on 08/26/14 at 6:07pm

The U.S. Department of Education is giving states until the 2015-16 school year-a two-year delay-to use student test scores for teacher evaluations. Education Secretary Arne Duncan made the announcement after more than a year of NEA and other education groups calling for such action.

Posted on 08/26/14 at 6:10pm

Despite claims that charter schools lack financial and academic oversight, 18 new charter schools are opening this fall. With 11 charter schools closing at the end of the last school year, there are now a total of 303 charter schools in the state.

Posted on 08/26/14 at 6:13pm

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan will be retiring July 2015, and you can share your thoughts and recommendations on the qualities a new superintendent should have.

Posted on 08/11/14 at 10:10am

Schools across the state will be starting a new school year in less than a month, but there’s been no further legislative action on the adoption of a statewide teacher and administrator evaluation system. And the MEAP will still be used this school year since no new statewide student assessment has been chosen that will measure student growth—a measurement that will impact teacher and administrator evaluations.

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Senate Education Committee on SB 618-624, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said that while our education system was outdated and needed an overhaul, most teachers aren’t the problem.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.

The Bullycide Project has Michigan roots

Fenton theatre teacher Lori Thompson is amazed at the attention her production, The Bullycide Project, has gotten.

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.

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