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 06/29/15 at 12:27pm

Michigan delegates to NEA's Representative Assembly will join more than 7,000 educators on their way to Orlando to help set education policy and talk about what's best for students. The annual meeting starts July 3 and runs through July 6.

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:38pm

SaveOnEnergy.com is looking for the best lesson plans for teaching students about energy. By submitting your plan, you have a chance to win a $500 Teacher Grant for your classroom. Save On Energy.com will be awarding six $500 grants in the form of Visa Reward Cards to be used toward classroom materials and activities. SaveOnEnergy.com is a resource for consumers on all aspects of energy and sustainability.

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:25pm

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is holding meetings around the state with parents of special education students to gather input on their experiences with the state’s special education system. To reach even more parents, Calley also launched an online survey which will be available through August. 

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:31pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that teachers and educators should not be put in law enforcement roles when they carry out their duty of reporting suspected child abuse or neglect. The National Education Association (NEA) filed an amicus brief in the case, Ohio v. Clark, stating that “educators’ valuable role as mandatory reporters and caregivers should not be compromised.”

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.

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.

'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.

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