Posted on 04/13/15 at 4:28pm

The Supreme Court is still holding off deciding whether school employees have to pay an extra 3 percent into a fund for retiree health insurance with no guarantee that the benefits will be available when they retire. 

Posted on 04/13/15 at 4:30pm

Saturday, April 11, marked the 50th anniversary of the signing into law of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by then President Lyndon B. Johnson as a part of his “War on Poverty” campaign. The law provided federal funds to support public education, especially in low income areas.

Posted on 04/13/15 at 4:32pm

​Education professionals are the top licensed foster care providers in the state, with approximately 13,000 Michigan children in foster care at any given time.

Posted on 04/10/15 at 11:06am

After three months, the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren issued its report for Gov. Snyder. The group was charged with coming up with ideas and recommendations to reform education in Detroit.

Posted on 04/10/15 at 11:09am

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.

Posted on 04/10/15 at 11:12am

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.

Small Business Support

Over the past 18 months, politicians in Lansing have made it more difficult for small businesses.  Although promising to reduce regulations and pass incentives to create jobs, they have, in fact, created an environment that reduces jobs and threatens the average worker’s ability to purchase goods and services from small businesses.  Decisions about wages, benefits and working conditions that were once made at the bargaining table between employers and employees have been taken out of their hands, causing workers to have less money available to spend at local businesses.

Just the facts on funding, salaries, pensions

Talk of education reform in Michigan eventually turns to per pupil funding and the salaries and benefits of school employees.  Budget talks this year showed legislators intent on reforming how the state funds its schools and how it pays its teacher. But the data shows that Michigan isn’t leading the pack when it comes to the funding of schools and pensions or teacher salaries.

700,000 voices need to be heard

Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution (CPMC) will take their opposition to the Protect Our Jobs petition to court to prevent the issue from being on the Nov. ballot after the Secretary of State (SOS) declined the group’s earlier request.

It must be an election year

Gov. Snyder spent the last several days signing--and, surprisingly, vetoing--legislation that supposedly helps Michigan's middle class and voters. But remember--this is an election year.

Snyder baits school districts again with more money

The stakes are higher and the "carrot" is less enticing this year, but school districts can still get a $52 per pupil reward for completing seven out of eight of the state’s best practices. Last year, schools got $100 per pupil for jumping through Gov. Snyder’s hoops.

Many of the best practices are the same as last year and include: acting as policy holder for health care benefits; bidding at least one non-instructional service; participating in Schools of Choice; measuring student growth twice a year and reporting to parents or providing MDE with a plan for developing the technology necessary to assess student growth; providing dual enrollment; providing online or blended learning opportunities; providing a dashboard for parents and the community; and providing state Board of Education-approved physical education and health classes.

Constitutional amendment to protect collective bargaining

Over the past 18 months, politicians in Lansing have attacked collective bargaining and the rights of workers. In doing so, they have attacked workers’ families and small businesses.  It’s time that middle class families speak out to protect the jobs, wages, benefits and safety of all working people by voting YES on the constitutional amendment to protect collective bargaining.

The constitutional amendment to protect collective bargaining will protect workers by:

Detroit EM imposes teacher contract

Roy Roberts, the state-appointed Emergency Manager for the Detroit public schools, has imposed a contract on teachers. According to PA 4, the Emergency Manager has the power to void current contracts and make changes to working conditions. Details of the new contract won't be available until AFT Michigan meets with its members.

Michigan loses out again in NCLB waiver request

Five more states are getting waivers to No Child Left Behind's mandate--Michigan isn't one of them. Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Virginia and Utah join 19 other states that won't have to meet the law's requirement that all students are proficient in math and reading by 2014.

Michigan NEA RA delegates in D.C. this week

The National Education Association Representative Assembly (NEA RA) in Washington, D.C. has been in full swing since last week with groups such as the National Council of Urban Education Association, NEA-Retired and NEA Student Leadership holding meetings.

MME scores report some good news, some not-so-good news

Michigan high school students generally improved over last year in most subject areas of the Michigan Merit Exam (MME)--but if you recalculate previous scores according to our new scoring system--achievement is still low.

The state Department of Education (MDE) adopted the new scoring system in 2010 to better gauge if students are ready for college and careers. Despite the higher cut scores to determine proficiency, most high school juniors scored "proficient" in math, reading, writing and science. The MDE sees the improvement in the latest test scores as a result of the new scoring system.

Students also scored slightly better on the ACT college-entrance exam which is a part of the MME. The composite mean ACT score was 19.6 for 2012, up from 19.4 in 2011.

However, the scores do show a disturbing trend. A significant achievement gaps still exists for minority and low-income students with many leaving high school unprepared for college.

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