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. 

Keep children safe while they’re online

Michigan children are inundated with advertisements from alcohol, tobacco, pornography and gambling marketers through the Internet and cell phones.

The State of Michigan offers a free registry to stop adult advertisements from reaching emails, mobile phones, text messages and instant messenger addresses. At www.ProtectMichild.com, parents, educators, schools and families can sign up for this free do-not-contact service that MEA supports.

Help spread the word. Tell your colleagues, friends and school district how they can protect children and families from unwanted adult advertising.

EAA alternative bill discharged from Committee

Bills which provide an alternative to the expansion of the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) have been moved out of the House Education Committee and await action on the House floor. HB 5268 and HB 5269, sponsored by Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton (D-Huntington Woods) and Rep. Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids), will allow ISDs to have a part in assisting struggling schools.

New website shows impact Snyder’s education cuts has on every school district

Kids not CEOs

Thanks to a new online tool unveiled yesterday, parents, educators, teachers, school staff and policymakers can now see exactly how much Gov. Rick Snyder’s school cuts have hurt students in every school district across the state. Since Snyder became governor in 2011, his education cuts have impacted classroom sizes, courses and programs, staffing, and basic school supplies.

Despite Snyder’s proposed 2014-15 budget increase of an average of $111 per pupil, the new website, www.kidsnotceos.com shows that every Michigan child will still be hurt. The shortfall ranges from $129 per pupil in many districts to a high of $770 per pupil in Wayne-Westland schools. But big corporations are still enjoying Snyder’s billions of dollars in tax breaks while classrooms suffer from a lack of vital resources.

“Every Michigan parent, teacher and citizen concerned about the future of our children should go to www.kidsnotceos.com to see the facts for themselves,” said Okemos High School math teacher Lisa Crites. “Gov. Snyder’s fuzzy math shortchanges Michigan children and robs them of the chance to learn and succeed.”

In Okemos, class sizes have almost doubled and staff positions have been lost. The result is students losing out on needed individualized attention from teachers. And since budgets are tight, the district can no longer afford to purchase supplies, so Crites has spent more than $1,400 out of her own pocket to provide resources her students need.

New website shows exactly how much Snyder’s school cuts still shortchange MI kids in every district

LANSING – A new online tool unveiled today can help parents, educators, teachers, school staff and policymakers see exactly how much Gov. Rick Snyder’s school  cuts continue to shortchange Michigan children in every school district. Dating to Snyder’s first year as governor in 2011, the cuts affect everything from classroom sizes, courses and programs, and basic supplies.

Protect Children from Unwanted Adult Advertising

Help spread the word; keep children safe while online. Michigan families, especially minors, are becoming inundated with advertisements from alcohol, tobacco, pornography and gambling marketers through different internet and cell phone inboxes. 

NEA’s Cat-a-Van Reading Tour hits Grand Rapids to promote reading

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Hundreds of local students got some Seuss-style reading inspiration when they were paid a special visit by the famous feline, the Cat in the Hat, as part on NEA’s Read Across America Cat-a-Van Reading Tour. Designed to get kids excited about reading and sponsored by the National Education Association and Delta Dental of Michigan, NEA’s Cat-a-Van Reading Tour hit the road on February 24 and will conclude on March 14.

Summer training available for UniServ pre-employment

Are you committed to the cause of public education employees and to the mission of MEA? Are you skilled in membership recruitment and engagement? relational development? problem solving? leadership?

NEA adjusts its support on Common Core until implementation issues resolved

After listening to educators across the country, the National Education Association (NEA) is adjusting its support of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) until teachers have had the opportunity to share their expertise and advice on its implementation. As a result, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel is asking states and lawmakers to also make a "course correction" and "follow and implement educator's common sense recommendations to get implementation of CCSS on track."

There's still time to register for the MEA ESP Conference

ESP-coverIf you haven't registered yet for the MEA Statewide ESP Conference on March 14-15, there's still an opportunity to take advantage of sessions like "Fighting Privatization," "Grievance Processing," and "Workplace Bullying." 

Registration is $125 and financial assistance is available.

This year's Conference, "Together Everyone Achieves More. . .TEAM MEA ESP," will be held at the Somerset Inn in Troy, MI. The winner of the 2014 Leon Brunner Award will be presented at the ESP Dinner and Award Ceremony on Friday night. Bill Raabe, NEA's Senior Director of the Center for Great Public Schools will be the keynote speaker at Saturday's lunch.

Many of the sessions have been approved for Michigan ESP Center for Professional Learning credits which can be used toward MEA ESP Certification. 

Last year of MEAP testing shows continued improvement in fourth grade reading scores

Fourth graders improved their reading test scores for the fourth year in a row according to the Michigan Department of Education's release of the Fall 2013 MEAP scores. The scores show the reading levels of students at the end of third grade and are broken down by school districts. 

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