Posted on 05/26/15 at 12:45pm

Three out of 10 K-12 students failed all of their online courses last year and more than 50 percent failed at least one of their virtual classes, according to Michigan Virtual University (MVU). In the 2013-14 school year, 76,122 students took online classes. 

Posted on 05/26/15 at 12:56pm

With national opposition to the overuse of standardized testing increasing, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) consortium is cutting 90 minutes off its 11-hour-long assessment. It has also decided to start the testing period later in the school year. PARCC’s tests are aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Posted on 05/18/15 at 3:02pm

Michigan ranks 29th when it comes to the number of high schools earning gold and silver medals according to U.S. News and World Report. Out of 834 eligible high schools, Michigan has 10 gold medal high schools and 68 silver medal schools. 

Posted on 05/11/15 at 3:02pm

If you’re a local president looking for guidance and support, there’s still time to get the training you and your local need through the 2015-16 Local Presidents Academy (LPA). The deadline has been extended to June 15 and all local presidents—new, experienced, EA, ESP, higher ed, with or without release time—can benefit from the program at little or no cost to participants or to the local.

Posted on 05/11/15 at 3:04pm

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is hosting the last in a series of webinars featuring models of Personalized Learning on May 21 from 4 to 5 p.m. Nicholas Provenzono, a Grosse Pointe Public Schools teacher and MEA member, will be presenting “Creating a Genius in Every Hour.”

Posted on 05/18/15 at 12:10pm

Since 1852, when 20 teachers came together in Ypsilanti to form what would eventually become the MEA, public school employees have joined together to win and protect basic rights that help ensure they are treated with the fairness, respect and dignity they’ve earned. 

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.

Read ten books--get a deal on Tigers tickets!

The Detroit Tigers are once again sponsoring the Michigan Reads Summer Reading program that makes any Michigan K-12 student who reads 10 books eligible for discounted Detroit Tiger tickets.

Processing of POJ petitions can continue--for now

The Bureau of Elections has rejected the request filed by the Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution (CPMC) to stop processing the Protect Our Jobs petitions. 

MSU concedes health insurance requirement

Rather than risk losing funding, Michigan State University has decided to drop its requirement that students have health insurance. The University is still going ahead, however, with a 3.5 percent hike in tuition--still below the 4 percent requirement to receive aid.

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