Posted on 10/20/14 at 2:59pm

The Michigan Public Schools Partnership (MPSP) has launched InspirED, a newsletter featuring the innovative and inspiring stories happening every day for Michigan's 1.5 million public school students. 

Posted on 10/20/14 at 2:57pm

Michigan is one of 16 states that will probably be looking for flexibility from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) standards that call for using student test scores in teacher evaluations. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) is offering to give states that already have an NCLB waiver even longer to create new assessments. Currently, the state still doesn't have an assessment that measures student growth.

Posted on 10/20/14 at 2:56pm

According to a report released last month by the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE), nearly 1.26 million homeless students in primary and secondary grades across the country were enrolled in the 2012-13 school year. 

Posted on 10/14/14 at 9:53am

MEA members can now access MEA information and news via a new mobile app for iPhones and Android devices. You can link to the app or go into the iPhone "App Store" or Android's "Google Play" and search for "Michigan Education Association."

Posted on 10/14/14 at 9:04am

Amanda Erspamer-Berry, an MEA member and teacher in Marquette's Alternative High School, is one of 15 finalists for a $100,000 grant in Farmers Insurance "Dream Big Teacher Challenge." The grant is challenging educators from across the country to submit innovative proposals that would help students. Winners will be chosen based on the number of votes they receive. Your vote can help make Amanda's vision become a reality for her students.

Posted on 10/14/14 at 9:08am

NEA President Lily Eskelsen has finished her Back-to-School Tour and talks about "What I Saw, Who I Met and What You Should Know About My Back to School Tour" in her blog at LilysBlackboard.org.  She talks about her visit to Northwestern High School in Flint where students and staff worked hard to move the school off Michigan's Priority Schools list. Read what she learned from members across the country.

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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