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. 

Message to MEA Members on Officers’ salaries

Last week the Mackinac Center was at it again, and this week the Detroit Free Press joined it in pushing anti-MEA propaganda for the sole purpose of sowing suspicion, doubt and disunity among MEA members.  Not unlike the Mackinac Center’s hugely expensive effort this summer to get members to leave their union, it has been a failure. The policy of my office remains clear—any dues paying MEA member who wishes to learn exactly what their officers make—has only to ask.

It’s not MEA! Be careful of a questionable scholarship offer

Don’t be taken in by a message to “coaches, teachers, and other interested parties” from a “Scholarship Selection Committee” offering scholarships to “Michigan High School Seniors.” MEA is not involved with nor endorses this program.

Students taking longer than four years to get their college degrees

Too much time and too little money keep most college students from earning a degree in four years according to Complete College America’s report, “4-year degrees now a myth in American higher education.” 

Michigan’s ranks low on its record of charter school oversight

Michigan may lead the nation in the number of charter schools it authorizes, but it ranks at the bottom among states when it comes to oversight of those authorizers. That finding in a report by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) supports efforts by some lawmakers and the state school Superintendent Mike Flanagan to strengthen the oversight and accountability of the state’s charter school operators.

Currently, Michigan has 136,850 students attending 297 charter schools with 39 authorizers. The number of charter schools, along with student enrollment, has grown rapidly since the authorizing of charter schools 20 years ago this year. 

The report, “On the Road to Better Accountability: an Analysis of State Charter Schools,” specifically faults the state for not automatically closing academically failing charters; for not setting quality standards for authorizers; for not requiring annual reports on academic performance; and for not having an evaluation process in place for authorizers. 

NACSA recommends a revamping of the state’s charter school laws that includes the ability to revoke the authority of a charter school authorizer to open any new schools; enforce oversight standards of current charter schools; and strengthen requirements for charter renewals. 

Flanagan threatened to suspend the ability of authorizers to open new charter schools unless they met similar standards. And a package of House bills—HB 5852HB 5915HB 5918—would keep authorizers from giving a contract to charter schools that have been closed for academic performance, and prohibit authorizers from giving contracts to new charter schools if the authorizer is not doing enough oversight on current charter schools.

Bill Tracker

 

Bill Tracker - (PDF)

 

MEA and AFT urge House to oppose third-grade reading bills

In a letter to members of the House of Representatives today, MEA President Steve Cook and AFT-Michigan President David Hecker are urging members of the House of Representatives to oppose HB 5111 if it continues to require retention of third grade students who are not reading at grade level. Both MEA and AFT are instead recommending early intervention with a reading improvement plan that is adequately funded on a long-term basis.

 

Arts educators receive $40,000 in grants for classroom supplies

In its first cycle, Michigan Youth Arts, on behalf of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA), has provided $40,000 to 43 elementary, middle, and high schools across the state.

MDE continues to deal with EAA special education complaints

The State Board of Education (MDE) continues to field concerns over how it handles special education complaints. Issues have been raised about MDE's responsiveness and effectiveness in dealing with concerns, especially those regarding special education at the Education Achievement Authority (EAA).

U-M wins grant to change how new teachers are trained, mentored

The University of Michigan's College of Education received a $1.1 million grant to improve how teachers are trained. U-M will use the money to work with other states to change what's required of new teachers and how they receive mentoring once they're in the classroom. Hopefully, Michigan will be one of those states. 

Art Acquisitions Purchase Exhibition

MEA members entered more than 100 pieces of art for the 2013 MEA/Michigan Art Education Association Art Acquisitions Purchase Exhibition, with the “Best in Show” award going to Colleen Redfield, an education support professional from Stockbridge.

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