Posted on 03/23/15 at 12:00pm

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) recognized 15 high-performing Reward schools at the 2015 AdvanceED Michigan/MDE Spring School Improvement Conference where they also presented their best practices. Reward schools are in the top 5 percent of schools on MDE’s annual Top-to-Bottom ranking.

Posted on 03/23/15 at 12:01pm

There is a push on for the next two weeks to ensure that reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is done right this time. It's expected that the Senate will take up the ESEA on April 14.

Posted on 03/17/15 at 11:29am

The Safe Roads Yes! campaign has released its third ad in support of Proposal 1. The ad continues the theme that Michigan roads are hazardous with a first-hand account of what happened when a piece of road went flying through a driver’s windshield. Take a look at the ad to see the latest reason why Proposal 1 deserves a “yes” vote on May 5.

Posted on 03/25/15 at 10:10am

The Center for Michigan, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, is collecting feedback from Michigan citizens about the Michigan workforce experience through an online surveyThey’re specifically looking for information from educators like you about career navigation.

Posted on 03/25/15 at 1:20pm

The ice has melted and the roads are worse.

Michigan’s deteriorating roads and bridges pose a serious safety threat to drivers. Crater-size potholes are responsible for extensive damage to our automobiles.

Posted on 03/09/15 at 3:12pm

More Michigan students are graduating from high school on time, according to the state's Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI). The 2013-14 high school graduation rate was 78.58 percent, which is an increase of 1.6 percentage points over last year. 

Cyberbullying among education bills signed into law by Gov. Snyder

School districts now have six months to update their bullying policies to include cyberbullying since last month Gov. Snyder signed Public Act 478 into law. This adds another dimension to anti-bullying efforts in schools.

Obama’s free community college tuition eliminates financial barriers to higher education for many in Michigan

Only one in three people in Michigan has an associate’s degree or higher so President Obama’s proposal to provide free community college tuition for the first two years could take away the financial barrier that keeps many students from going to school beyond high school. The plan could save each student an average of $3,800 annually if a student takes advantage of the offer.

MEA offers new training program for leaders and members

Take advantage of MEA’s new Leadership and Member Training Program which has been designed with your needs in mind and will be presented to you wherever you are. The program will run through August 2016 and will bring more than 20 various training modules to Coordinating Councils, MABOs, and regions.

Certification

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Frequently Asked Questions regarding Professional Development and Teacher Certification.

Since the final approval of the Administrative Rules Governing Michigan Teacher Certification on May 18, 2012, the Michigan Department of Education has put in place new procedures regarding Teaching Certificates.  Teachers may now progress to the Professional Certificate or renew the Professional Certificate with District Provided Professional Development (DPPD).

Human Rights and Excellence Awards

The Human Rights and Excellence Awards are presented at the MEA Human Rights and Excellence Awards Banquet in conjunction with the Spring RA.

Deadline is February 15, 2015.

2015 Human Rights and Excellence Awards Nomination Form

Register now for the 2015 NEA National Leadership Summit

Don’t miss the chance to connect with other education leaders from across the country at the second annual NEA National Leadership Summit, Feb. 27 through March 1, 2015 in Anaheim, CA. It’s an opportunity to learn more about and engage in discussions on critical issues like professional empowerment, teacher engagement, and student-centered techniques for academic improvement.

President Steven Cook in the Detroit News: Be, see the good in the world

“Believe there is good in the world.”

That is the motto of Yale Education Association as teachers in this small district in St. Clair County seek to fulfill Gandhi’s dream and “be the change you wish to see in the world.” Their goal: raise $50,000 to build a home for a family in need in their community. Yale teachers have recruited students and community members in their mission and are partnering with the Blue Water Habitat for Humanity to achieve their goal.

The Heartlands Institute of Technology is a career tech center run by the Ionia Intermediate School District.

Students not only get hands-on experience in a number of fields, but are able to give back to the community as well; in the Dental Occupations program they use that experience to help provide free dental care to patients who lack insurance. Teachers set up the program, recruit dentists to provide free services and teach students the necessary skills to assist with the procedures.

These are just a few examples of school employees across the state going above and beyond to improve the learning experiences of their students, the communities they live and work in and, along the way, teach lessons that can’t be taught with a textbook or a computer. These efforts won’t show up on student standardized test scores or teacher evaluation forms, but they are essential lessons nonetheless.

Click here to read the entire article

Michigan faced some of the same issues as in NEA’s biggest education story choices

NEA has selected “The 5 Biggest Education Stories of 2014”, reflecting education issues impacting members across the country—including Michigan. The stories deal with standardized testing, the student debt crisis, the assault on teacher due process, zero tolerance discipline policies and Common Core.
 

Supreme Court dismisses school districts’ suit claiming state underfunding

Last month, the Michigan Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit alleging that school districts were underfunded for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years. More than 450 local school districts brought the suit.

Using the Headlee Amendment, the districts claimed that the state of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Education, state budget director, state treasurer and state superintendent of public instruction didn’t provide enough compensation to school districts for the new and increased costs of reporting information to the Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI). Under the Headlee Amendment, the Michigan Constitution prohibits the state from requiring new or expanded activities by local governments and school districts without full state funding.

The Supreme Court dismissed the cases on the grounds that the districts didn’t attempt to prove a specific amount of underfunding. The Court’s ruling agreed with the decision of a special master appointed by the Michigan Court of Appeals to review the case before it went to the Supreme Court.

In its opinion, the Court said, “A plaintiff claiming that the Legislature’s appropriation failed to fully fund the cost of a new or increased service or activity must allege and prove the specific amount of the shortfall. Plaintiffs failed to offer any proofs that could entitle them to relief.”

No action taken on charter authorizers on at-risk list

The 11 charter school authorizers named at-risk by State Superintendent Mike Flanagan have avoided suspension and still remain at-risk. In August, Flanagan required those authorizers to provide sufficient transparency and oversight of their operations or face suspension in October.
 

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