Posted on 09/02/14 at 2:21pm

The NEA Foundation has provided funding to educators in three Michigan school districts: Marine City, Mattawan and Muskegon. The $2,000 and $5,000 grants will be used to fund projects teachers and paraprofessionals submitted.

Posted on 09/02/14 at 2:23pm

The Muskegon Area ISD has created free, generic bus safety videos on YouTube designed to keep kids safe and remind drivers about the laws regarding sharing the road with school buses.

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 08/27/14 at 5:02pm

MEA is partnering with NEA to offer a series of 16 new online courses for MEA members. The courses will be offered through the MEA Online Learning Portal so MEA members can earn State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) for their coursework.

The NEA Foundation courses were developed to promote association/district collaboration when it comes to local level education reforms. While the courses have appeal for all members, some of the courses are geared to developing local leaders and enhancing the work of other MEA local leadership programs.

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 08/26/14 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.

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. 

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.

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