Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:58pm

You only have until July 14-next Tuesday-- to register for MEA's 2015 Summer Leadership Conference, "Power from the Past-A Force for the Future." The Conference is scheduled for July 28-30 at Lake Superior State College in Sault Ste. Marie.

Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:57pm

Public Sector Consultants, a non-partisan public policy research firm in Lansing, has released a report offering financial recommendations and policy proposals to move Michigan forward. This comes on the heels of new State Superintendent Brian Whiston's goal of making Michigan one of the top 10 states in the next 10 years.

Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:56pm

The Senate's version of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) will finally get a hearing on the full U.S. Senate floor starting tomorrow on July 7. In mid-April, the Senate Education Committee approved the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) a week after it was introduced by co-sponsors Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). 

Posted on 06/29/15 at 12:25pm

Two weeks ago, Gov. Snyder's education advisor led House Education Committee members to believe that the Governor opposed SB 103, the teacher evaluation bill sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), chair of the Senate Education Committee. Under direct questioning, Karen McPhee replied that Snyder did not support the bill in its present form. 

However, last week his media spokesperson said that Gov. Snyder has taken no position on SB 103, but would support some changes to the bill. So far, the bill has had four hearings in Committee that still has not voted to discharge the bill.

Pavlov's bill emphasizes local control with districts allowed to choose whatever evaluation tool they wish. There are no provisions for training and no standards by which to judge those evaluation tools. MEA lobbyist Christina Canfield spoke in opposition to the bill, saying the bill is not in the best interest of teachers or children.

Last year, the House plan for teacher evaluations was very different from SB 103. That set of evaluation bills never made it through lame duck last year. Those bills set standards for the evaluation tools districts use; emphasized training for evaluators; and created a much fairer evaluation system for teachers. The MEA remains hopeful this year's House Education Committee will introduce similar amendments to SB 103.

Posted on 06/29/15 at 12:26pm

This Wednesday, Brian Whiston takes over as the new State Superintendent. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, he talks about standardized testing, school funding, charter and cyber schools, deficit schools and teacher evaluations.

Posted on 06/30/15 at 9:19am

With the passage of Michigan’s Public Employment Relations Act in 1965, teachers finally went from begging to bargaining. Thanks to PERA, all public school employees have the right to negotiate for fair wages, quality health care benefits and decent working conditions.

MDE can’t agree on charter school recommendations for Legislature

The Legislature won’t be getting advice any time soon from the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) regarding expanding charter schools and other elements of the so-called education reform package (SB 618-624).

Senate committee passes substitutes to so-called education reform package

After hearing brief testimony from community college representatives on SB 622-623 and SB 709-10—all of which expand dual enrollment—the Senate Education Committee passed a series of amendments to SB 620, 623, 709-10 in the so-called education reform package.

Strong voter support for replacing lost PPT revenue; Snyder says ‘no’

Gov. Snyder said that he has no intention of fully replacing personal property tax (PPT) revenue if the tax is repealed, yet 61 percent of voters oppose an outright appeal of the PPT. The PPT generates approximately $1.27 billion statewide for schools and local governments.

Kids Not CEOs clears 35k hits -- share your story today!

 

Since the launch of www.KidsNotCEOs.com, more than 35,000 people have viewed the satirical web video on YouTube!  Please, keep sharing it with your friends who may not have seen it yet.

More important than just the video, however, are the stories being shared on the site.  Parents and school employees have been visiting and telling their stories about the devastating effects of education cuts on their schools and communities.  Here are just a few of their stories:

“I’ve been a teacher for 16 years. I have never been so frustrated and frightened for my future, not to mention the future of our children in the state of Michigan…The government, both on a state and national level, talks about how we need to compete with the rest of the world, yet instead of investing more in education our country and our state continue to chip away at education.” - Matthias Krenzer, Teacher, Sterling Heights

Do you know where your MEA membership card is?

Your card provides discounts on everything from oil changes to vacations, so be sure to use it. The card includes your unique MEA membership number.

First NEA bullying brief provides tips for bus drivers

"Bus Drivers and Bullying Prevention" is the first in a series of briefs based on the findings from NEA's "2010 Nationwide Study of Bullying: Teachers and ESP Perspective."

NEA Foundation Grants available

The NEA Foundation has introduced a web-based application process for grants to support public school educator's ideas to improve teaching and learning.

MEA, Red Wings team up for discount offer

As an MEA member, you can take advantage of special ticket savings throughout the 2011-12 Detroit Red Wings season. MEA and the Detroit Red Wings/Olympia Entertainment are offering discounts not available to the general public.

No surprise--Public Acts 54, 152 changed the bargaining climate

Labor law experts at a Mackinac Center luncheon called PA 152 (formerly SB 7) “a huge wave change” because it forced unions to get to the bargaining table faster. That law mandates either a hard cap or a 20 percent insurance premium share for employees.  The effects of PA 54 (formerly HB 4152) were also discussed – that law banned salary step increases and health premium increases once a contract expires, if no new agreement is in place, and also banned retroactive bargaining.

Amended version of SB 618 passes Senate; other pieces of education reform package moving

The full Senate passed a version of SB 618 by a 20-18 vote this afternoon that removed the cap on charter schools. 

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