Posted on 11/25/14 at 10:53am

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that the state has no legal obligation to provide a quality public education to struggling students in Highland Park schools. The court said Michigan has no constitutional requirement to make sure students learn reading skills. It is obligated, however, to establish and finance a public education system.

Posted on 11/17/14 at 2:57pm

Lack of adequate education funding has not only impacted class size, staffing and programs, it has also hit school transportation budgets. The result is more Michigan school buses flunking the latest round of state safety inspections.

Posted on 11/10/14 at 4:38pm

The Senate and the House are both considering legislation which would give high school students certification in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) on their diplomas. If such legislation becomes law, it would make Michigan the first state in the country to offer STEM certification. 

Posted on 11/10/14 at 4:39pm

Education Trust-Midwest, a non-partisan research, information and advocacy center, compiled a list of the most common myths about education in Michigan. Their list is a result of discussions with many organizations—both educational and non-educational—across the state.

Posted on 11/03/14 at 4:19pm

Eleven Michigan charter schools met the Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE) deadline for fixing administrative issues like posting documents on their websites, but they could still face suspension this month over academic performance. State Superintendent Flanagan plans to meet with the authorizers of those 11 schools before deciding whether authorizers would be barred from opening any new charter schools until all issues are addressed.

Posted on 11/03/14 at 4:20pm

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS) are promising to work together to improve assessments at the state and local levels. One of their specific commitments is to evaluate state assessment systems for quality and coherence. The two groups will partner with districts to review their assessments.

President Cook column highlights MEA's part in evaluation bills

The Sunday, July 13 edition of the Lansing State Journal covered the issue of teacher evaluations in its "A Greater Lansing Outlook" section. Included is a column by MEA President Steve Cook, "Teachers support bills for fair evaluations," highlighting MEA's involvement in writing HB 5223 and HB 5224. 

NEA Tele- town hall this week on 'toxic testing'

This Wednesday, July 16 from 7 to 8 p.m. (EDT) NEA is hosting a tele-town hall calling for legislation to end the over-testing of students. Dennis Van Roekel, outgoing NEA President, will be the host. Michigan members will be invited to participate and ask questions at the end of call.

Free Press report on charter schools prompts MDE, legislative responses

The week-long series last month by the Detroit Free Press on charter schools has caught the attention of State Superintendent Mike Flanagan and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville. The paper's investigative report found issues with charter schools' transparency and oversight.

Teacher certification changes now in effect

Changes in teacher certification affecting master’s degrees, professional learning hours, and DPPD certification went into effect June 2014. The changes affect renewing a Provisional certificate or progressing to a Professional certificate. They include:

Anti-teacher freeloaders

Full disclosure time. I am a proud teacher and a very proud union member. I realize that that’s a double whammy for a lot of you out there. Teachers have been demonized. Unions have been demonized. Sadly, a lot of folks have bought into that process — probably without thinking much about it. To be sure, public school teachers and union members pose a threat to the political agenda of some very rich and powerful people. As such, my profession is subjected to constant attacks by those for whom a good public education is problematic.

Superintendents: effectiveness, student engagement important in evaluation of teachers

Education Week commissioned Gallup to survey K-12 school district superintendents to help track and understand their opinions on important topics and issues facing education like teacher evaluations. 

Michigan ranks 4th nationally in instances of school crime

School crime has increased since 2010 according to a report by the U.S. Department of Education. "Indicators of School Crime," a report by the National Center for Education Statistics, showed that in 2012, even though the crime rate has increased over the past couple of years, it is still down from its highest rate of 81 victims of crimes per 1,000 students in 1992.

NEA launches campaign to end 'toxic testing'

NEA RA delegates voted to begin a campaign ending the "test blame and punish" system that has dominated public education for the past 10 years. The resolution to end "toxic testing" is meant to put the focus of assessments and accountability back on student learning instead of on continuous standardized testing.

We are the MEA!

I have been an MEA member since the Fall of 1998 when I was hired at Rochester High School to teach English and History. At the time, I didn't know much about what being in a union meant, except that the union reps were welcoming and some of most helpful people on the staff. One of them encouraged me to become a rep, also, so I did. Even as a probationary teacher, I felt confident in taking on this role and had a wonderful mentor on that path. I transferred to Stoney Creek High School in the Fall of 2002, and have continued in my role ever since.

Don't miss out on July 11 early registration for Summer Leadership

There's not much time left to take advantage of the reduced registration fee for MEA's 2014 Summer Leadership Conference, "When Leaders Lead, Members Thrive." If you register by July 11, informative and hands-on sessions, networking opportunities, and the chance to earn SCECHs are yours for a bargain price!

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