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. 

Help for Common Core available through MEA Cadre

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has an impact on virtually every facet of education, but there are still members needing assistance putting them into practice in their classrooms. Now, there’s professional development help available with the MEA Leading with Common Core Leadership and Advocacy Cadre (CCLAC). 

Through the efforts of MEA’s Professional Development/Human Rights Department, 26 MEA members were invited to join CCLAC to assist teachers across the state in dealing with the instructional and policy implications of CCSS. The Cadre is made up of teachers from across the state and will be providing professional development through online and face-to-face trainings.

Melanie Waltz, Field Services Consultant and organizer of the program, said, “The Cadre will have the opportunity to work with teachers across the state to advocate and support CCSS in a way that will have a positive impact on teachers and students.”

Groups blame policymakers for skyrocketing cost of higher education

According to the Consumer Price Index, college costs across the country have doubled. Michigan is not exception and the reason can be traced back to budget decisions being made by our legislators. In Michigan, the cost of a college education is more and more being shifted to students since legislative support for higher education has been dwindling.

Rochester MEA members make their money ‘talk’ to local businesses

Members of Rochester's North Hill Elementary School spent their money at Penny Black, a Rochester neighborhood restaurant.

Sometimes it takes a powerful visual to make the point that school employees are the backbone of a community’s economy. In Rochester, those employees let their money do the talking for them at their “Educator’s Cash Mob” on March 6.

Dexter custodian receives Leon Brunner Award at ESP Conference

Richard Wines of Dexter is the 2014 recipient of the Leon A. Brunner Award for his contributions to ESP.

Richard Wines, a custodian at Wylie Elementary School in Dexter, was honored with the ESP Caucus' highest award, the 2014 Leon A. Brunner Award at this year’s MEA ESP Statewide Conference. The award is given to an educational support professional who has made significant contributions to ESP and has exhibited a high degree of commitment to ESP issues and concerns.

Wines is president of his local, Coordinating Council Chair, and a Region 3 member of the ESP Caucus Executive Board.

In accepting his award, Wines described MEA and its members as a family and how “the family” is at a crossroads.

“Our family is being hurt. We need to sway our family to have a reunion and start rebuilding this union.  And we can do that by engaging each member of the family,” Wines said. 

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Frequented Asked Questions regarding Professional Development and Teacher Certification. 

Since the final approval of the Administrative Rules Governing Michigan Teacher Certification on May 18, 2012, the Michigan Department of Education has put in place new procedures regarding Teaching Certificates.  Teachers may now progress to the Professional Certificate or renew the Professional Certificate with District Provided Professional Development (DPPD).

MATE workshop designed for aspiring, practicing teachers

Are you feeling adrift in all that it takes to be a teacher today —struggling students, classroom management challenges?  technology? The Michigan Association of Teacher Educators (MATE) may be able to provide you with some guidance at its Spring 2014 Aspiring and Practicing Teacher Workshop, March 22, 2014 at Wayne State University.

Message on behalf of MEA President Steven Cook

You may be hearing about the “Classrooms and Kids” school funding proposal from your local superintendent. It is purported to put more money into the per-pupil foundation allowance. While it does increase the bottom line for per-pupil spending, the proposal gets its $186 million increase from eliminating a number of categorical aid line items.

You may not recognize the new SAT

The last major changes to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) came in 2005, but now the SAT to be released in spring 2016 will undergo major changes according to the College Board. 

MDE responding to complaints about school lunch periods being too short

In response to a "flood of complaints" from parents and school districts, the State Department of Education (MDE) is issuing recommendations to address the problem of students not having enough time to eat their lunch.

'Boost Breakfast' regional trainings feature national child nutritionist

Research shows that a successful school breakfast program improves student attendance, reduces classroom behavior problems, and help students do better academically. School employees are an integral part of such a program. That's why Michigan Team Nutrition and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan need your help.

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