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.

Senate ‘ed reform’ bills defy voter wishes, expert testimony

Outsourcing teachers.  Creating unlimited charter and cyber schools.  Mandating that schools participate in schools of choice.  Providing back-door vouchers to private- and home-schooled students.

Join live webcast on teacher evaluation and support systems

During an interactive webcast on Monday, Oct. 3, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards will release their report, "Getting it Right: A Comprehensive Guide to Developing and Sustaining Teacher Evaluation and Support Systems."

Listen to Obama's 'back-to-school' talk

President Obama will deliver his third annual back-to-school speech at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, to students at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C.

Will Michigan meet Obama's new NCLB relief mandates?

Michigan may have to reapply for a waiver to get relief from the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandate that all students be proficient on state tests by 2014. New waiver request forms are due Nov. 14; approval can be expected as early as January 2012. A second round of waivers is due February 2012.

Poll shows Michigan voters opposed to some Republican education proposals

An EPIC-MRA news release today reports that 68 percent of Michigan voters are clearly opposed to the outsourcing of teachers to private companies, part of a Senate package of education reforms (SB 618-624).  And with other reforms getting mixed reactions, it sets the stage for a divisive public conversation on proposals generated by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Whitmer calls GOP fall agenda 'divisive and ill-conceived'

Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing) criticized the Republican’s fall agenda as a “divisive and ill-conceived social agenda that again will do nothing to help get people back to work.”

Scott recall withstands racist claims, court appeal

Last week, Rep. Paul Scott (R-Grand Blanc) accused Citizens Against Government Overreach of racist attacks when they kicked off the next phase of Scott’s recall with a cake bearing Scott’s likeness.  He also questioned whether MEA was involved in the incident.

Senate, House Education Committees hear testimony on reform, technology

In testimony before the Senate Education Committee on SB 618-624, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said that while our education system was outdated and needed an overhaul, most teachers aren’t the problem. They’re just the scapegoats who—surprisingly—are feeling “bashed.”

“Teachers can be allies in reinventing education in Michigan, but when I’ve talked about the need for reforms, sometimes it’s taken as an indictment of teachers. People will resist change if they think we’re bashing them,” said Flanagan.

The Bullycide Project has Michigan roots

Fenton theatre teacher Lori Thompson is amazed at the attention her production, The Bullycide Project, has gotten.

Collaboration made things better for Romulus Middle School

In just a short period of time, Romulus Middle School went from being one of the 108 Michigan schools labeled “Persistently Lowest Achieving Schools” to the center of national attention as an education reform success story.

Pages