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. 

Why right-to-work is wrong

The We Are the People coalition has released a Truth Squad video on why right-to-work is wrong.

Retiree groups challenge pension tax

The State Employee Retirement Association, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association and AARP have joined together on a brief before the Supreme Court arguing that the income tax on pensions that Snyder pushed is unconstitutional. In their amicus brief, the groups cite a constitutional guarantee exempting state worker pensions from taxes.

The Supreme Court has scheduled arguments on Sept. 7.

Snyder signs redistricting bills

About an hour before they would have taken effect without his signature, Gov. Snyder signed redistricting bills this week. The bills are now Public Acts 128 and 129.

Parental involvement focus of education reform meeting

Trying to find a legislative solution to a lack of parental involvement in schools, an education reform committee considered the idea of withholding public assistance payments if parents didn’t attend teacher conferences.

Rep. Tim Melton (D-Auburn) suggested the possibility at a legislative education reform meeting this week. This is not the first time Melton has made the suggestion. He considers a lack of parental involvement in schools a form of child neglect and believes Child Protective Services should be called in, especially for parents of students in kindergarten through fifth grade with a high percentage of absences.

Will waiving NCLB testing standards bring more 'reforms' or more honesty?

Just days after the state Board of Education asked the U.S. Department of Education for a waiver on No Child Left Behind testing standards so Michigan could boost student proficiency on state assessments, federal education officials announced they’ll waive the rule that calls for states to have 100 percent of students proficient on state tests by 2014.

Snyder names school takeover panel for lowest performing schools

Gov. Rick Snyder appointed 11 people to the board of the new Education Achievement System (EAS) which will take over and run Michigan’s lowest performing schools—starting with 45 failing Detroit public schools.

The 11-member board includes two members appointed by Detroit Public Schools, two members appointed by Eastern Michigan University, and seven members appointed by the governor.

Snyder signs anti-collective bargaining, anti-tenure bills into law

Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law a four-bill package that limits collective bargaining and changes how teachers are evaluated and dismissed in Michigan. Read the full press release sent from the State of Michigan Executive Office on July 19, 2011.

Under the new laws, formerly known as House Bills 4625-4628, teachers will have to wait five years instead of four to earn tenure. Educators will no longer be allowed to collectively bargain teacher placement and teachers at all levels can now be fired for almost any reason. Read more.

Related: Next step is recall of out-of-touch legislators

Teacher tenure reform signed into law

Press release from the State of Michigan Executive Office - July 19, 2011

Performance to replace use of seniority in staffing decisions

House workgroup hears business input on public education

“Businesses in Michigan…How Do They Want to See Us Educate Our Children” was the agenda description for Wednesday’s meeting of the House Education Reform Workgroup. The committee heard presentations by a number of business owners, human resource personnel and the Grand Rapids Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

Bill capping health insurance goes to conference committee

State of Michigan Capitol Building
State of Michigan Capitol Building

Senate, House set to work on differences in SB 7

In a surprising move, the Senate took up the House version of Senate Bill 7 on Wednesday (their only session day this week), unanimously rejecting the House’s changes to the bill that would cap employer contributions to health insurance.

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