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 08/20/14 at 9:50am

The State Board of Education (SBE) has unanimously approved the Model Code of Student Conduct 2014. (It's at the Michigan Department of Education website. SBE held several hearings before deciding on a revised Code that would ensure students were educated in a "safe and supportive environment that fosters academic success and healthy development." The current Student Conduct Code dates back to July 2001.

Posted on 08/20/14 at 9:51am

If you consider the leadership of your elementary or middle school principal to be outstanding, then consider nominating your principal for the 2014 MEMSPA Outstanding Practicing Principal award.

Posted on 08/11/14 at 10:05am

While MEA members support the concept of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), many are finding it difficult to effectively implement it in their classrooms because of a lack of training or adequate resources. If you’re an MEA/NEA member, there is help.

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.

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.

Legislators set to return--what's on their agenda?

Vacationing legislators will be back at work soon. Up until their summer break, they were busy focusing on attacking school employees and the middle class. And the picture doesn’t look much brighter when they return.

Expected on their agenda is:

  • SB 7 which requires public employees to pay a portion of their health insurance. The legislation was moved to a joint House/Senate conference committee where debate over an 80/20 contribution versus a hard cap has been taking place. The bill is on a fast track with a goal of getting it through the Legislature Aug. 24.
  • Right-to-Work would allow workers who don’t want to pay union dues the right to freeload—they would get the same benefits as union members without paying any union dues. Back in February, Republicans introduced HB 4054, SB 116 and SB 120 establishing “Right to Work” zones. A new group, Michigan Freedom to Work, has emerged in support of a statewide law. Gov. Snyder claims the issue is not on his agenda but he would sign it. With anti-union sentiment running so strong, he may get that chance.

Latest AYP results posted on new state website

AYP results released this week are posted on the new education information website, MI School Data.

Lansing teachers lose appeal in assault case

The Court of Appeals ruled against three Lansing teachers who wanted a group of Lansing students expelled because of the students’ alleged assault on them.

New school data ‘dashboard’ one of five financial best practices

MI School Data, a new education information website, was launched this week to provide information on K-12 schools and school districts across the state.

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.

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