Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:44am

According to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), there is no provision in state or federal law that allows parents to opt their children out of assessments, like the M-STEP currently being administered in schools, without it counting against their school and district’s participation rates. MDE offered its official position last week in a memo to ISD Superintendents, Local Agency Superintendents, and Public School Academy Directors.

Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:15am

MEA is partnering with NEA, the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to sponsor the Teaching Leadership Initiative (TLI) program. If you’re an MEA member and ready to take hold of your career and learn to lead in matters of practice and policy—if you’re an MEA member eager to make a difference in your classroom, but not sure where to begin—TLI is for you.

Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:33am

The two vendors who are currently administering the 2015 Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) assessments won a three-year contract to continue their work. Data Recognition Corporation, a Minnesota-based company, and North Carolina-based Measurement, Inc. were awarded the contract by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB). 

Posted on 03/25/15 at 10:10am

The Center for Michigan, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, is collecting feedback from Michigan citizens about the Michigan workforce experience through an online surveyThey’re specifically looking for information from educators like you about career navigation.

Posted on 03/25/15 at 1:20pm

The ice has melted and the roads are worse.

Michigan’s deteriorating roads and bridges pose a serious safety threat to drivers. Crater-size potholes are responsible for extensive damage to our automobiles.

Posted on 03/23/15 at 12:01pm

There is a push on for the next two weeks to ensure that reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is done right this time. It's expected that the Senate will take up the ESEA on April 14.

Supreme Court finds only some parts of pension tax unconstitutional

The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that Gov. Snyder and the Republican-led Legislature could apply the state’s personal income tax to senior’s pension income. However, the court also ruled that basing exemptions on an individual’s wealth is unconstitutional since it could be considered a graduated tax, which is banned under the state constitution.

Keep an eye on education bills and keep in contact with legislators

The Legislature has only nine work days left in 2011 after it returns from break Nov. 29 to get key issues to the Governor for signature.

When it comes to education, the list of issues left to tackle include the collection of school employee union dues, so-called "education reform," and bullying.

While denying it is payback for the recall of Paul Scott, the Republican-led Legislature has SB 636 and HB 4588 on their agenda. Both bills prohibit public employers from collecting union dues via payroll deduction. MEA opposes the legislation. Contact your legislators and let them know that there must be an end to such partisan politics--especially when it doesn’t help kids or education and doesn’t create any new jobs.

State drops out – so MEA members step up for students, employees in Benton Harbor

Truckload of supplies, thousands in donations delivered to address supply shortages caused by $1 billion in education budget cuts

How would you solve the dropout problem?

Detroit Public Television (DPTV) is hosting a televised "Teacher Town Hall" on Friday, Nov. 18 to discuss the high school dropout crisis in American and they need your input.

Districts receiving "best practices" payments

Because they met four out of five of Gov. Snyder's "best practices," 177 school districts across the state were approved for an additional $100 per student in state aid designated as "incentive funds." Those districts began receiving installment payments on Oct. 20.

Help close the supply gap for Benton Harbor students

You have until Nov. 16 to help out Benton Harbor students with needed supplies. Legislative cuts to education have left them without basic classroom supplies. Since lawmakers won't help--MEA members are stepping up to close the supply gap.

After the victories--what's next?

MEA President Steve Cook weighed in on election victories last week.. So it’s no surprise that the opposition has an opinion on Rep. Paul Scott’s recall and the defeat of Ohio’s collective bargaining law.

Gov. Snyder led the Republican Party message on the recall saying that his administration will “forge ahead with our efforts,” and “This was not about Rick Snyder or the Republican agenda.”

When it came to the Ohio vote, he said, “The country needs a mellower, less confrontational approach to fiscal problems on the state and federal level.” He went on to claim that his new Republican administration has been able to avoid the rancor rocking other Republican governors “by steering clear of challenges to collective bargaining agreements with state employees. “I counseled dialogue and negotiations with union leaders,” he said.

School board election dates changed

With the passage this week of SB 427—along with the House passage of HB 4005—school  board elections will be held at the general election in November of even-numbered years, effective Jan. 1, 2012.

House will change Senate's anti-bullying bill

Senate Minority Floor Leader Gretchen Whitmer’s D-East Lansing) passionate speech against SB 137 went viral on YouTube with more than 300,000 hits.

Voters recall Paul Scott -- "This is what democracy looks like."

Alongside citizens on the ground in the 51st House District, MEA members, leaders and staff pulled off what hasn’t happened in this state for more than two decades—the recall of a sitting legislator. Last night’s recall of Rep. Paul Scott (R-Grand Blanc) marks the first time in state history that a Republican has been recalled.

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