Posted on 08/11/14 at 10:10am

Schools across the state will be starting a new school year in less than a month, but there’s been no further legislative action on the adoption of a statewide teacher and administrator evaluation system. And the MEAP will still be used this school year since no new statewide student assessment has been chosen that will measure student growth—a measurement that will impact teacher and administrator evaluations.

Posted on 06/09/14 at 10:26am

Three MEA members have been chosen to be a part of the inaugural April 2014 class of NEA’s Great Public Schools (GPS) Network Facilitators. Annette Christiansen of Utica, Cassandra Joss of Utica and Shawn Shivnen of Romulus will serve as online community facilitators to promote online discussions on professional development issues.

Posted on 08/11/14 at 10:11am

Seven schools will benefit from a $2 million pilot program established in the new state education budget that helps them switch to an alternative school calendar. The State Board of Education is expected to approve five schools and two more schools will receive money through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to offset costs. All seven schools are moving to a year-round calendar.

Posted on 08/04/14 at 3:06pm

If the State Board of Education has its way, students won't have to dissect animals in their science classes if they have moral or religious objections or other reasons. The State Board adopted the policy in May and has since gained strong support from the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). 

Posted on 08/04/14 at 3:09pm

In a meeting last week, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan made it clear to Michigan's state school authorizers that he's going to hold them accountable-especially when it comes to poor performing authorizers opening up any new schools. In Michigan, local and intermediate school districts, community colleges and public universities can authorize charter schools.

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.

Wisconsin changes its mind on Common Core

Last week, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declared that the state will write new state standards after lawmakers pass a bill next year to repeal the Common Core State Standards.

MDE to teachers: 'Don't change your lessons plans!'

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.

What does the MEA do for me?

Everyone thinks of the “union” as your particular “local” but that is only the closest layer and the one that is in direct contact with the members and the district. However, the local is backed by the MEA.

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.

WebEx will cover new teacher certification rules'

Free for Members Only

On Monday, July 21, at 10 a.m., MEA will be hosting a WebEx for members only on the new teacher certification rules from the Department of Education which went into effect June 20, 2014. 

"What Every Teacher Needs to Know about Certification" will cover the new rules-and the current ones--so that you can keep up-to-date on your teacher certification.

Contact your local UniServ office for WebEx login information.

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. 

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