Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:45pm

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. 

Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:46pm

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.

Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:47pm

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.

Posted on 07/21/14 at 11:40pm

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is advising teachers not to change their lesson plans, despite the fact that the MEAP, instead of Smarter Balanced assessments, is being used next spring. The Legislature made that choice when they passed a state budget that requires the MEAP. MDE previously recommended Smarter Balanced.

Posted on 07/21/14 at 11:51pm

The Great Lakes Center annually releases a recommended "summer reading list" for educators. The list evaluates the so-called education reform movement and whether or not those reforms really work.

Posted on 07/15/14 at 11:23am

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. 

More students are taking online classes—is that a good thing?


In the last three years, the number of K-12 students taking online courses has grown to 52 percent, according to a report to the Legislature prepared by the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute. The overall number of online courses has also more than doubled in the last three years. In 2011-12, 89,921 courses were taken; in 2012-13, 185,053 courses were taken overall.

The effectiveness of online courses gets mixed reviews. For students taking a blend of online and traditional classes, the completion or passing rate was 60 percent. The completion or passing rate for non-online courses was 72 percent.

The Institute analyzed data from students enrolled in courses through the Michigan Virtual University School, students who did all of their coursework online through a cyber school, and students who took online courses through other sources, such as through their school district. Most of the students taking online courses are students who are academically behind and need to catch up on credits.

They do the job for the love of it

In his March 30 entry, “Great teachers have a great impact,” Dale Hansen, political blogger for the Detroit News, recognizes the impact great teachers have on everyone’s lives—from students, to colleagues, and to the community as a whole.

Understanding the Michigan Online Educator Certification System

Understanding the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS) – Recorded WebEx, presented by the MEA Professional Development / Human Rights Department.

President Steve Cook in the Detroit News: Will Michigan schools run out of money?

March Madness.

For some, it means college basketball’s biggest tournament. For many Michigan drivers, March Madness has meant dodging crater-sized potholes as our roads continue to deteriorate. But for Michigan school districts, March Madness has taken on a new meaning: the growing fear that money will run out before the year ends.

Last year saw the tip of the iceberg with Saginaw Buena Vista closing its doors three weeks early. This year, many other districts are teetering on the brink of financial collapse. Just like Michigan’s roads, Michigan’s school districts have been denied adequate funding to sustain themselves.

To see just how badly each district in the state has been hurt by Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative leaders, the Michigan Education Association recently unveiled a new website, kidsnotceos.com. . . 

Click here to read the entire article.

Whittemore-Prescott Teachers Agree to Wage Cuts

Houghton Lake, Mich., March 7, 2014--Teachers in the Whittemore-Prescott school district recently agreed to significant wage reductions to keep schools open and prevent the district from going into deficit.

Putting the focus on education

In a Lansing State Journal opinion editorial, MEA members Lisa Crites from Okemos and Gini Larson from Waverly write, “As public educators, we believe that all children should have the opportunity to get a good, quality education in our public schools. And all students should have the opportunity to get a well-rounded education that includes extracurricular activities like arts, drama, athletics and clubs.”

Gini Larson and Lisa Crites: See what's happened to your schools' funding

As policymakers debate Michigan’s budget, politicians are rightfully focusing their attention on education. Frontline teachers like us welcome the focus — and urge legislators to fully fund our classrooms and restore resources to our kids after three years of going backwards on education.

Read the entire Lansing State Journal opinion editorial from two of our members

 

Michigan gets $16.7 million to help low achieving schools

Michigan will be receiving $16,757,681 to help the lowest performing schools in the state. The money is part of a “School Improvement Grants” program established by the U.S. Department of Education.

State Board wants schools to reduce number of suspensions, expulsions

The State Board of Education (SBE) wants schools districts to review their zero tolerance policies on suspensions and expulsions in an effort to reduce the number of times they are used to discipline students for minor problems.

Michigan will field test MEAP replacement

Today opens the window period for the field testing of the Smarter Balanced Assessment tests which will replace the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) next year. More than 120,000 students in 675 schools across the state are scheduled to participate in two field test windows.

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