Posted on 04/10/15 at 11:09am

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has introduced a new program aimed at encouraging students in grades four to eight to get more engaged in their classrooms. The Student Inspiration Project developed from the results of a September 2014 MDE survey of students in grades four through eight which showed that while 94 percent of students said motivation is essential to a great education, only 24 percent said they felt motivated to learn.

Posted on 04/10/15 at 11:12am

Make history come alive for your high school students by giving them the chance to collaborate on determining the best course of action for a governor during an actual historical event. "The Governor's Decision Room," presented through the Michigan Historical Center, can help you do that.

Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:33am

The two vendors who are currently administering the 2015 Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) assessments won a three-year contract to continue their work. Data Recognition Corporation, a Minnesota-based company, and North Carolina-based Measurement, Inc. were awarded the contract by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB). 

Posted on 03/25/15 at 10:10am

The Center for Michigan, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, is collecting feedback from Michigan citizens about the Michigan workforce experience through an online surveyThey’re specifically looking for information from educators like you about career navigation.

Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:15am

MEA is partnering with NEA, the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to sponsor the Teaching Leadership Initiative (TLI) program. If you’re an MEA member and ready to take hold of your career and learn to lead in matters of practice and policy—if you’re an MEA member eager to make a difference in your classroom, but not sure where to begin—TLI is for you.

Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:44am

According to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), there is no provision in state or federal law that allows parents to opt their children out of assessments, like the M-STEP currently being administered in schools, without it counting against their school and district’s participation rates. MDE offered its official position last week in a memo to ISD Superintendents, Local Agency Superintendents, and Public School Academy Directors.

Schools falling victim to scam involving CCSS and fraudulent book orders

Schools across the country, including Michigan, are falling victim to a scam by a Las Vegas company sending phony invoices to schools for workbooks they never ordered. The company is called Scholastic School Supply, similar to Scholastic, Inc., which is a well-known publisher for educational books, magazines and other materials. Michigan is one of 22 states that have received the phony invoices.

Use your NEAMB discount to order classroom items

One of the advantages of your MEA/NEA membership is being able to order classroom items from Smile Makers, an official partner of NEA Member Benefits (NEAMB).

Free Press editorial calls for putting children first with charter school reforms

On Sept. 21, the Detroit Free Press published an editorial, “Put our children first,” urging lawmakers to consider reforms on how charter schools are authorized, operated and managed. Legislation has just been introduced which calls for a moratorium on the creation of any new charter schools until those issues are addressed.

NEA President making Michigan a stop on her Back-to-School Tour

On Wednesday, Sept. 24, NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia will be stopping in Flint, East Lansing, at MSU, and Plymouth. She is starting off her new term as president with visits to states to connect with members.

In Flint, Lily will be visiting Northwestern High School, once labeled a Priority School. Thanks to the efforts of the staff and students, and the partnerships with MEA, NEA and the school district, Northwestern no longer ranks in the bottom 5 percent when it comes to student achievement.  

At MSU, Lily will have the chance to meet with future educators to carry NEA’s message of “Degrees not Debt” that addresses the escalating cost of a college education. She will also meet with MEA members to discuss NEA’s role in fighting for more higher education funding.

Lily will finish her day with a meet-and-greet with Mark Schauer at the Plymouth MEA office. Members from Livonia, Plymouth and Wayne-Westland will hear from Lily and have the chance to learn more about Schauer, MEA’s recommended candidate for governor, and his plans for investing in public education.

You can follow Lily’s tour at “Lily’s blackboard”, on Twitter @lily NEA, or read her blog.

The Role of Standardized Testing

Teachers need tests to determine if students have learned what was expected of them and if it is the right time to move on to the next objective. 

The data gathered from tests identifies areas of difficulty, which can help teachers adjust instruction for subsequent cohorts of students. Tests show teachers which students are achieving and the instructional strategies that are effective. Results from standardized tests can help inform educational policy, school improvement, or instructional practice and develop an action plan.

Culture of Reading program offers free books to promote literacy

This year's Michigan Reads! Book of the Year, "Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band" is available for free to early childhood education and elementary school teachers through the Culture of Reading grant program. Students in selected early childhood through third grade will receive their own classroom copies.

 

Michigan Youth Arts offering grants for school art supplies and equipment

Grants of up to $2,500 for arts-related equipment or supplies to be used in schools are available through Michigan Youth Arts with assistance from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). "Art Equipment & Supplies Grant" applies to performing arts subjects like instrumental music, vocal music, theatre, dance, creative writing, media arts, special education and more.

SBE decides on job description for new superintendent of schools

State Board of Education (SBE) members are looking for someone with experience in education-perhaps a former local superintendent or teacher-to be the next state superintendent of instruction. Their search is expected to be completed by January 2015, well ahead of current Superintendent Mike Flanagan's retirement in July 2015.

Save the date!

On Wednesday, Sept. 24, NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia is making Michigan a stop on her Back to School Tour! Location details are still being finalized, but put the date on your calendar.

As a public school teacher, I choose to be in my union

Teacher unions have received their share of accusations just like any other unionized workforce. There has been a push this year to get more teachers to opt out of union membership, which had to be done in August. In my experience, I have seen teacher unions do more to aid in the education of students than any politician. In a line, teacher unions give teachers a voice in the massive political wheel of education reform.

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