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.

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!

DonorsChoose.org funds classroom projects when limited budgets can’t

Do you need more supplies or technology for your classroom? Do you have a project in mind for your students, but you don’t have the funding to do it because school budgets are so tight?

Calling all MEA members—We need bloggers!

We’re starting an MEA blog and we want to hear from you! Why is being an MEA member important to you? How have you benefitted from belonging to MEA? How important is the MEA to the work you do? How has being a part of the MEA impacted education in your district? This is your chance to let your voice be heard!

Education funding, curriculum changes get Governor’s signature

Gov. Snyder has signed the new 2014-15 education budget into law which provides $15.8 billion to all levels of education in Michigan. 

President Steven Cook in the Detroit News: Michigan Schools are hurting

After years of crippling budget cuts to public education, the Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder agreed to a small funding increase in the 2014-15 education budget. This increase, timed to coincide with the governor’s re-election campaign, seems more politically motivated than an act of generosity.

But a long record of deep cuts to public schools will not be erased with a miniscule election-year funding increase.

The foundation allowance increase varies by district from a low of 29 cents a day per student to about a dollar a day at the top end. This is hardly a windfall and doesn’t even keep pace with inflation.

Today, we have 50 school districts in deficit spending and facing financial collapse. A funding increase of a mere 29 cents a day will not change that. And it certainly won’t alleviate the financial strain on all school districts across the state — districts still coping with the $1 billion cut in funding Gov. Rick Snyder handed them in his first year in office.

Read entire article.

Who is the Mackinac Center?

First launched as a "non-partisan research and educational institute dedicated to improving the quality of Michigan residents by promoting sound solutions to state and local policy questions," the Mackinac Center now uses anti-union, anti-school employee, anti-public  education tactics to push its agenda. 

Take some time for PD reading on Common Core

Education Week Spotlight is a regular collection of articles by its editors on professional development topics. This week, the magazine features the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). 

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