Posted on 12/23/14 at 2:54pm

A cyberbullying bill that would require school districts and academies to change their existing anti-bullying policies to include electronic or online bullying passed during the lame duck session. SB 74 describes cyberbullying as "any electronic communication that is intended or that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm one or more pupils either directly or indirectly."

Posted on 12/23/14 at 2:57pm

The number of public schools and charters that are facing a financial deficit has risen to 55-up from 48 schools last year. On that list are schools that started the 2013-14 school year solvent, but after facing money problems during the year, are now part of the new list of deficit schools. The Education Achievement Authority is one of those schools newly added.

Posted on 12/23/14 at 2:58pm

The state Board of Education (BOE) has adopted its"Recommendations for Change to Michigan School Organization and Finance" calling for the state to make education funding a budget priority. Since January 2014, the BOE has been analyzing the issue of school funding and holding meetings to make its final recommendations.
 

Posted on 12/23/14 at 2:59pm

The 11 charter school authorizers named at-risk by State Superintendent Mike Flanagan have avoided suspension and still remain at-risk. In August, Flanagan required those authorizers to provide sufficient transparency and oversight of their operations or face suspension in October.
 

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 12/18/14 at 12:32pm

MEA member Ann Marie Borders has been named United Musical Society (UMS) DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year. Borders is a vocal music teacher at Carpenter Elementary School in Ann Arbor. Karen McDonald, a Carpenter art teacher, shares the award with Borders since the UMS selection committee declared a tie.

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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