Posted on 06/29/15 at 12:26pm

This Wednesday, Brian Whiston takes over as the new State Superintendent. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, he talks about standardized testing, school funding, charter and cyber schools, deficit schools and teacher evaluations.

Posted on 06/29/15 at 12:27pm

Michigan delegates to NEA's Representative Assembly will join more than 7,000 educators on their way to Orlando to help set education policy and talk about what's best for students. The annual meeting starts July 3 and runs through July 6.

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:38pm

SaveOnEnergy.com is looking for the best lesson plans for teaching students about energy. By submitting your plan, you have a chance to win a $500 Teacher Grant for your classroom. Save On Energy.com will be awarding six $500 grants in the form of Visa Reward Cards to be used toward classroom materials and activities. SaveOnEnergy.com is a resource for consumers on all aspects of energy and sustainability.

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:25pm

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is holding meetings around the state with parents of special education students to gather input on their experiences with the state’s special education system. To reach even more parents, Calley also launched an online survey which will be available through August. 

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:31pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that teachers and educators should not be put in law enforcement roles when they carry out their duty of reporting suspected child abuse or neglect. The National Education Association (NEA) filed an amicus brief in the case, Ohio v. Clark, stating that “educators’ valuable role as mandatory reporters and caregivers should not be compromised.”

Posted on 06/16/15 at 4:28pm

Some intermediate school district superintendents want the State Board of Education (SBE) to waive certain certification standards for career and technical education (CTE) teachers so they can have an easier time attracting them for jobs. Without the waiver, the group says some CTE programs could close.

President Cook sends members’ comments on M-STEP testing to State Board of Education

In a memo to the State Board of Education, MEA President Steve Cook again addresses the continued issues members are having trying to implement the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP). Accompanying the memo is a sample of some of the hundreds of comments MEA members provided about their experience with the testing. The memo is a follow-up to Cook’s open letter last week to Gov. Snyder.

Cook: Pass Prop 1, fix Michigan’s roads

“Michigan’s road quality is among the worst in the nation,” according to a study done by the East Lansing-based Anderson Economic Group.

Urban charter schools don’t perform significantly better than traditional public schools

Charter schools in urban areas don’t generate better outcomes than traditional public schools according to Andrew Maul, assistant professor at the University of California Santa Barbara. Maul reviewed the Urban Charter School Study  done by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University which states “charter schools in urban environments provide a slightly greater test score advantage than those in non-urban environments.

Thank you for all you do! Celebrate Teacher Day/School Family Day on May 5

Tuesday, May 5, is Teacher Day/School Family Day when schools and communities pay tribute to the lasting contributions all school employees make to public education. It’s part of a week-long celebration honoring educators.

Join the rally to save Waterford support staff from privatization

Waterford child care workers, custodians, bus drivers, bus driver aides and maintenance employees are being threatened with privatization. You can show support for them at a rally and school board meeting on Thursday, May 7.

Former chair of teacher evaluation workgroup says, ‘We will pay for our lack of respect for teachers.’

Deborah Loewenberg Ball is the dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan. A former math teacher, she is a nationally recognized expert on teacher education and was chair of the Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness (MCEE) charged with creating a statewide teacher evaluation system.

Human Rights and Excellence Awards

Six MEA members received Human Rights and Excellence Awards at MEA’s Human Rights Banquet over the weekend. MEA also recognized Saginaw pastor and activist, Dr. Hurley J. Coleman, Jr. for his work in the field of human and civil rights with the David McMahon Human Rights Award.

MEA urges postponement in using M-STEP results because of testing problems

EAST LANSING, Mich., April 21, 2015 — In an open letter to Gov. Snyder and state education stakeholders, MEA President Steve Cook is asking that data from the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) not be used this year in teacher evaluations, district rankings, or for any other purposes. The letter details numerous problems associated with the test, which is now in its second week of implementation in school districts across the state.

Cook said, “After just five days, we’re hearing loud and clear from our members just some of the many problems associated with M-STEP. It’s impossible to believe that this test could be an accurate measure of student growth. We can’t use unreliable data to judge teachers and school districts.”

The letter points out that M-STEP is taking huge amounts of time away from classroom instruction and curriculum. In some cases, a whole school day is absorbed with testing, when only a few hours were scheduled. Teachers reported that students are not finishing the test and were “locked out” of completing the test later.

Since M-STEP is an online test, computers and computer labs are unavailable to other students and classes to do their work. In many schools, computer labs are in school libraries which are now off limits during the testing period.

In too many cases, a school district’s infrastructure isn’t able to provide the technology needed for administration of M-STEP. A middle school test coordinator spent the first days of the testing window working with computers locking up or crashing; insufficient server capacity, equipment failures, and software issues. “It seemed M-STEP became an assessment of a student’s ability to manipulate the technology, and less a test of what a student learned.”

Students can decide how Michigan historical events should have turned out

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.

Join MDE's project to create enthusiasm for learning among your students

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.

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