Posted on 09/02/14 at 2:21pm

The NEA Foundation has provided funding to educators in three Michigan school districts: Marine City, Mattawan and Muskegon. The $2,000 and $5,000 grants will be used to fund projects teachers and paraprofessionals submitted.

Posted on 09/02/14 at 2:23pm

The Muskegon Area ISD has created free, generic bus safety videos on YouTube designed to keep kids safe and remind drivers about the laws regarding sharing the road with school buses.

Posted on 08/26/14 at 6:07pm

The U.S. Department of Education is giving states until the 2015-16 school year-a two-year delay-to use student test scores for teacher evaluations. Education Secretary Arne Duncan made the announcement after more than a year of NEA and other education groups calling for such action.

Posted on 08/27/14 at 5:02pm

MEA is partnering with NEA to offer a series of 16 new online courses for MEA members. The courses will be offered through the MEA Online Learning Portal so MEA members can earn State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) for their coursework.

The NEA Foundation courses were developed to promote association/district collaboration when it comes to local level education reforms. While the courses have appeal for all members, some of the courses are geared to developing local leaders and enhancing the work of other MEA local leadership programs.

Posted on 08/26/14 at 6:13pm

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan will be retiring July 2015, and you can share your thoughts and recommendations on the qualities a new superintendent should have.

Posted on 08/26/14 at 5:04pm

Michigan won a renewal of its waiver from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for the 2014-15 school year. Without the waiver, schools would have to follow NCLB standards that require 100 percent of students proficient in math and language arts.

Income, education level should be part of "education reform" debate

More schools failing to meet AYP, a huge jump in child poverty, and an increase in the jobless rate—what’s the impact on education and “education reform” in Michigan with a new legislative session and a new school year getting ready to start?

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.

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