Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:58pm

You only have until July 14-next Tuesday-- to register for MEA's 2015 Summer Leadership Conference, "Power from the Past-A Force for the Future." The Conference is scheduled for July 28-30 at Lake Superior State College in Sault Ste. Marie.

Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:57pm

Public Sector Consultants, a non-partisan public policy research firm in Lansing, has released a report offering financial recommendations and policy proposals to move Michigan forward. This comes on the heels of new State Superintendent Brian Whiston's goal of making Michigan one of the top 10 states in the next 10 years.

Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:56pm

The Senate's version of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) will finally get a hearing on the full U.S. Senate floor starting tomorrow on July 7. In mid-April, the Senate Education Committee approved the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) a week after it was introduced by co-sponsors Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). 

Posted on 06/29/15 at 12:25pm

Two weeks ago, Gov. Snyder's education advisor led House Education Committee members to believe that the Governor opposed SB 103, the teacher evaluation bill sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), chair of the Senate Education Committee. Under direct questioning, Karen McPhee replied that Snyder did not support the bill in its present form. 

However, last week his media spokesperson said that Gov. Snyder has taken no position on SB 103, but would support some changes to the bill. So far, the bill has had four hearings in Committee that still has not voted to discharge the bill.

Pavlov's bill emphasizes local control with districts allowed to choose whatever evaluation tool they wish. There are no provisions for training and no standards by which to judge those evaluation tools. MEA lobbyist Christina Canfield spoke in opposition to the bill, saying the bill is not in the best interest of teachers or children.

Last year, the House plan for teacher evaluations was very different from SB 103. That set of evaluation bills never made it through lame duck last year. Those bills set standards for the evaluation tools districts use; emphasized training for evaluators; and created a much fairer evaluation system for teachers. The MEA remains hopeful this year's House Education Committee will introduce similar amendments to SB 103.

Posted on 06/29/15 at 12:26pm

This Wednesday, Brian Whiston takes over as the new State Superintendent. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, he talks about standardized testing, school funding, charter and cyber schools, deficit schools and teacher evaluations.

Posted on 06/30/15 at 9:19am

With the passage of Michigan’s Public Employment Relations Act in 1965, teachers finally went from begging to bargaining. Thanks to PERA, all public school employees have the right to negotiate for fair wages, quality health care benefits and decent working conditions.

Republican ESEA amendments pass

The Student Success Act (H.R. 3989) and Encouraging and Innovation and Effective Teachers Act (H.R. 3990) were approved along party lines last week during a House Education and Workforce Committee meeting. NEA opposed the bills because they give too much power to the states and undermine the federal role in ensuring equity for all students. 

Democrats offered two substitutes—one mandating a school accountability system in each state; the other requiring educators to be a part of the development of teacher and principal evaluation systems. Both amendments failed along party-lines.

Tell your story at WeRaisetheBar.Org

MEA members will be featured in new radio and online advertising that will run this spring in media markets throughout the state. Teachers, students and parents can share their own stories at www.WeRaisetheBar.org .

New call system for reporting abuse starts today

Today was the first day for a new call-in system for reporting abuse and neglect of children or adults.

MDE submits ESEA waiver

Michigan is among 26 states that have applied for waivers under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The waiver would free states from some ESEA requirements, in exchange for adopting key reforms. Eleven states have already received a waiver.

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax Stars Danny DeVito and Zac Efron kick off NEA's 15th annual Read Across America Day at The New York Public Library

The National Education Association (NEA) today hosted a national reading kickoff event at The New York Public Library where actors Danny DeVito and Zac Efron read Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” to 300 New York public school elementary students.

Statement from MEA President Cook on Feb. 28 election results

The following can be attributed to MEA President Steve Cook on tonight’s election results:

Election results show voter discontent

Beyond the close numbers, yesterday’s election results said volumes about member commitment and voter discontent. It may have been a Republican presidential primary, but it didn’t stop voters—angry with what’s going on in Lansing—from making their voices heard at the ballot box.

Protect your job, your voice, your future

Here's something every MEA member knows all too well when it comes to protecting our jobs, our wages and our benefits--collective bargaining works. It gives every one of our members a voice and the ability to come together to negotiate a fair contract.

But Lansing politicians don’t know or care about this. They have introduced more than 100 anti-worker bills over the past year. And none of them have put Michigan back to work.

It's time to take action!

Visit www.ProtectOurJobs.com to sign our online petition and help take on the politicians and corporate special interests who continue to assault collective bargaining rights.

Remember--together we can protect our work, our voice and our future.

Speak out now for equity for all students

Members of the U.S. House Committee on Education debated amendments to two new ESEA reauthorization bills today—the Student Success Act (H.R. 3989) and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act (H.R. 3990).

Employees, students affected by Highland Park bailout

Gov. Snyder signed HB 4455 last week that allocates an additional $4 million to get Highland Park Schools’ students through the rest of the school year. However, the money does not go directly to the troubled school district. Rather, each student will receive $4,000 to either remain in Highland Park or go to another school district – a huge disruption midway through their academic year.

Pages