Posted on 12/16/14 at 12:49pm

The Michigan Department of Education's (MDE) special education rule changes did not make it through a Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) and will have to be reintroduced next year. MDE wanted the rule changes to clarify language and help carry out federal law.

Posted on 12/16/14 at 12:52pm

How charter management companies spend more than $1 billion dollars in state taxpayer dollars is again the focus of a news article in the Detroit Free Press. "Public money for schools buys private property" uncovers the arrangement National Heritage Academies (NHA) has with its schools. NHA, not the school, owns the school buildings and the contents, even though that's all been purchased with taxpayer money.

Posted on 12/01/14 at 11:59am

The University of Michigan's College of Education received a $1.1 million grant to improve how teachers are trained. U-M will use the money to work with other states to change what's required of new teachers and how they receive mentoring once they're in the classroom. Hopefully, Michigan will be one of those states. 

Posted on 12/04/14 at 12:21pm

In a letter to members of the House of Representatives today, MEA President Steve Cook and AFT-Michigan President David Hecker are urging members of the House of Representatives to oppose HB 5111 if it continues to require retention of third grade students who are not reading at grade level. Both MEA and AFT are instead recommending early intervention with a reading improvement plan that is adequately funded on a long-term basis.

 

Posted on 12/08/14 at 2:50pm

Too much time and too little money keep most college students from earning a degree in four years according to Complete College America’s report, “4-year degrees now a myth in American higher education.” 

Posted on 12/08/14 at 2:51pm

Don’t be taken in by a message to “coaches, teachers, and other interested parties” from a “Scholarship Selection Committee” offering scholarships to “Michigan High School Seniors.” MEA is not involved with nor endorses this program.

Flanagan wants more accountability from charter school authorizers

In a meeting last week, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan made it clear to Michigan's state school authorizers that he's going to hold them accountable-especially when it comes to poor performing authorizers opening up any new schools. In Michigan, local and intermediate school districts, community colleges and public universities can authorize charter schools.

Science students can now opt out of doing animal dissections

If the State Board of Education has its way, students won't have to dissect animals in their science classes if they have moral or religious objections or other reasons. The State Board adopted the policy in May and has since gained strong support from the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). 

Speakers tell MDE what new student assessments should look like

Last week during a public hearing, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) heard a variety of opinions on what the state should do next when it comes to statewide student assessments. State Superintendent Mike Flanagan told the crowded room that fairness-both for students taking the test and for teachers whose evaluations will be based on student scores-is key.

The MEA helps teachers

I’m a public school teacher and a member of the Michigan Education Association.

I’m also an independent with many conservative views.

Like many of my colleagues in public schools — Republicans, Democrats, independents — we’re appalled by attacks singling out our profession. We are outraged because these attacks ultimately hurt the children we have committed our lives to educating so they can learn and compete for jobs.

MDE announces new income guidelines for free and reduced-school meals

More families will be able to qualify for free and reduced-priced meals with the new household income guidelines established by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). The guidelines will determine eligibility for the 2014-15 school year and will be effective through June 30, 2015.

Other states besides Michigan reviewing charter school accountability

Michigan isn't the only state looking to establish stricter guidelines for charter school authorizers. A policy brief by the Education Commission of the States (ECS), reports that while 42 states have charter school legislation, only  33 states have authorizing bodies that are responsible for approving and overseeing charters schools. But only 15 of those states have set standards for authorizers.

Data shows Michigan ranks poorly when it comes to child well-being

According to the latest KIDS COUNT Data Book published by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, Michigan ranks 32nd when it comes to a child's overall well-being compared to other states. Michigan dropped one slot in ranking from last year, making it the worst-performing state in the Great Lakes region. 

Certification WebEX now on Members Only

The recording of the recent WebEx, “What Every Teacher Needs to Know about Certification” is now posted on the Members Only area of . The WebEx covered the new certification rules from the Department of Education which went into effect June 20.

Our Unions Are Our Power

My name is Jan York, and I’ve been an REA/MEA member since the 97-98 school year.  I go to work each day to teach my students knowing that I can teach what I have been endorsed to teach and knowing that my union will protect me if need be.  Mostly, teachers are creatures who love children and want to make some difference in their lives.  What better way to pass on knowledge to the coming generations and get them excited about learning something new than being a teacher.  I’ll bet most teachers had a special teacher in their lives that inspired them in some way.  We should want to be learnin

President Steven Cook in the Detroit News: Charter schools fail the test of time

Some 20 years ago, Michigan enacted legislation creating charter schools, with the goal of creating unique, innovative educational opportunities for students across the state. In the 20 years since, that goal has been replaced with a different goal: corporate profit.

For years, education experts have been critical of Michigan’s charter school laws, which have led to the creation of an industry generating hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate profits and less than stellar academic results.

Politicians have ignored critics who have pointed out massive failings in both the law charters operate under and the schools themselves — until now. The charter school industry in Michigan is fraught with wasteful spending, conflicts of interest and poor academic performance. . .

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