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 08/26/14 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.

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 08/26/14 at 6:10pm

Despite claims that charter schools lack financial and academic oversight, 18 new charter schools are opening this fall. With 11 charter schools closing at the end of the last school year, there are now a total of 303 charter schools in the state.

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 08/11/14 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.

Walled Lake teacher, MEA member named Michigan Teacher of the Year

Melody Arabo, a third grade teacher at Walled Lake’s Keith Elementary School and a member of the Walled Lake Education Association, was named the 2014-15 Michigan Teacher of the Year by State Superintendent Mike Flanagan at an afternoon assembly at her school. Arabo, a teacher at Keith for 12 years, was chosen from 238 applicants statewide.

The announcement came as a complete surprise to her. Melody thought Superintendent Flanagan was at her school to celebrate Keith Elementary School’s 50th anniversary this year.

Utica teacher chosen for NEA’s State Network of Educators on CCSS

Cassandra Joss, a kindergarten teacher at Utica’s Burr Elementary School, has been chosen by NEA to participate in its State Network of Educators (SNE). As part of the Network, she will be helping teachers in Michigan and across the country prepare for Common Core.

Walled Lake teacher, MEA member named Michigan Teacher of the Year

Melody Arabo, Michigan Teacher of the Year
Melody Arabo, Michigan Teacher of the Year

Melody Arabo, a third grade teacher at Walled Lake’s Keith Elementary School and a member of the Walled Lake Education Association, was named the 2014-15 Michigan Teacher of the Year by State Superintendent Mike Flanagan at an afternoon assembly today. Arabo, a teacher at Keith for 12 years, was chosen from 238 applicants statewide.

Evaluation bills pass the House

On a 95-14 vote today, the House passed HB 5223, the bipartisan effort to establish a statewide teacher evaluation process. And with a 96-13 vote, the House also passed HB 5224 which creates an administrator evaluation system.

The bills represent several years of work and address the teacher tenure reforms the Legislature passed in 2011. Under that legislation, 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation would be based on student growth in the 2015-16 school year.

But thanks to the work of MEA lobbyists and other work group members, 25 percent of student growth will continue to be part of teacher evaluations through the 2016-17 school year. Beginning in 2017-18, the percentage would increase to 40 percent. That represents a significant change.

On the House floor today, the only change to the bill came in an amendment requiring the Department of Education to provide a report to the Legislature in 2018 that describes the impact of this new statewide evaluation process.

The bills will now go to the Senate for consideration.

An invitation for you: BE IN OUR PICTURE!

Have you ever had a secret desire to see your face on the cover of a magazine? Or how about having thousands of people see your picture every day?

If you have—we’ve got an opportunity to make you dreams come true!

On Saturday, May 17, 2014, we are shooting the picture that will be on the cover of the 2014-15 MEA calendar. This year’s theme, “We believe in  public education,” will be brought to life with a group shot of as many MEA members and their children who want to be a part of MEA history. We want to showcase you and your commitment to public education and students.

We need bright, shiny faces of members wearing bright colors—please no T-shirts with slogans or pictures—and dressed in your regular work clothes or uniforms. Diversity is our goal.  We want a representation of all of our MEA members—from gender to race to age to job classifications.

We also want to include students, so please bring your children with you to the photo shoot.

MEA President Steve Cook: ‘We’ve taken a large step backward in school funding.’

The State Board of Education (SBE) today heard MEA President Steve Cook tell them that Michigan is no longer a national leader when it comes to education systems because of its failure to adequately fund public education.

21 trends to watch for their impact on education

What’s driving the changes in education? What are the trends we should be watching?
“Twenty-One Trends for the 21st Century: Out of the Trenches and into the Future” may have the answers. Written by futurist Gary Marx, the book also provides real strategies to develop the leaders needed to manage these trends.

Sponsor a hole to support the MEA Scholarship Fund

Even if you don’t play golf, you can help build the MEA Scholarship Fund by sponsoring a hole at the 14th Annual MEA Scholarship Fund Golf Outing  at Forest Akers West Golf Course in Lansing on June 16, 2014.

Don’t throw away your MEAP test instruction book just yet

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has asked for a one-year extension on its No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver from the federal government so it can meet some of the act’s components. 

‘Take a Walk’ for Education on Saturday

Join the 12-B Coordinating Council and other friends of education in Midland on Saturday, May 17, for a “Walk for Education” to support adequate funding of our public schools.

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