Posted on 08/20/14 at 9:48am

Fallout is still being felt two months after the release of the Detroit Free Press' report on the state's charter schools. The investigative report uncovered a general lack of accountability and transparency in how charter schools spend the more than $1 billion in state taxpayer money they receive.

Posted on 08/26/14 at 5:04pm

Michigan won a renewal of its waiver from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for the 2014-15 school year. Without the waiver, schools would have to follow NCLB standards that require 100 percent of students proficient in math and language arts.

Posted on 08/26/14 at 6:07pm

The U.S. Department of Education is giving states until the 2015-16 school year-a two-year delay-to use student test scores for teacher evaluations. Education Secretary Arne Duncan made the announcement after more than a year of NEA and other education groups calling for such action.

Posted on 08/26/14 at 6:10pm

Despite claims that charter schools lack financial and academic oversight, 18 new charter schools are opening this fall. With 11 charter schools closing at the end of the last school year, there are now a total of 303 charter schools in the state.

Posted on 08/26/14 at 6:13pm

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan will be retiring July 2015, and you can share your thoughts and recommendations on the qualities a new superintendent should have.

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.

Certification WebEX now on Members Only

The recording of the recent WebEx, “What Every Teacher Needs to Know about Certification” is now posted on the Members Only area of . The WebEx covered the new certification rules from the Department of Education which went into effect June 20.

Our Unions Are Our Power

My name is Jan York, and I’ve been an REA/MEA member since the 97-98 school year.  I go to work each day to teach my students knowing that I can teach what I have been endorsed to teach and knowing that my union will protect me if need be.  Mostly, teachers are creatures who love children and want to make some difference in their lives.  What better way to pass on knowledge to the coming generations and get them excited about learning something new than being a teacher.  I’ll bet most teachers had a special teacher in their lives that inspired them in some way.  We should want to be learnin

President Steven Cook in the Detroit News: Charter schools fail the test of time

Some 20 years ago, Michigan enacted legislation creating charter schools, with the goal of creating unique, innovative educational opportunities for students across the state. In the 20 years since, that goal has been replaced with a different goal: corporate profit.

For years, education experts have been critical of Michigan’s charter school laws, which have led to the creation of an industry generating hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate profits and less than stellar academic results.

Politicians have ignored critics who have pointed out massive failings in both the law charters operate under and the schools themselves — until now. The charter school industry in Michigan is fraught with wasteful spending, conflicts of interest and poor academic performance. . .

Click here to read the entire article

Great Lakes Center publishes its annual summer reading list

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.

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.

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