Posted on 01/26/15 at 10:52am

​It’s not too early to start thinking about NEA’s 17th annual Read Across America Day celebration on March 2. This year’s theme honors the Dr. Seuss classic, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” And MEA is providing materials to help you showcase your efforts to promote reading.

Posted on 01/26/15 at 10:58am

With states across the country—including Michigan—debating whether to implement a system that ranks schools on letter grades, a report by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice shows that using an A-F letter-grade ranking is invalid and fails to provide important information about a school’s quality.

Posted on 01/20/15 at 12:06pm

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.

Posted on 01/20/15 at 12:10pm

MEA has secured special pricing for Detroit Pistons games that are not available to the general public. 

Posted on 01/20/15 at 12:12pm

The Library of Michigan (LM) released its 2015 Notable Book List which celebrates Michigan people, places and events.

Posted on 01/12/15 at 12:53pm

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.

House Education Committee hears presentation denouncing common core standards

The House Education Committee heard a presentation this week by Lindsay Burke of the Heritage Foundation regarding common core standards. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative research and educational think tank, has become a frequent policy source for some lawmakers.

MEAP replacement debuts in spring 2014

Student testing will look and feel very different in the 2014-15 school year. That’s when the Smarter Balanced testing kicks in and students will be taking computer adaptive assessments in the spring, instead of the MEAP in the fall.

Council recommends pilot for new statewide evaluation system

The Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness—charged with developing an evaluation system for Michigan teachers—is recommending that the state start with a pilot program for the 2012-13 school year, rather than rushing into a new, untested program. The pilot will cost the state approximately $6 million.

SB 1040 remains unchanged

So far, no substitute has been offered to SB 1040--a sweeping attack on school employee retirement benefits.

Senate K-12 budget is more of the same: CEO’s not kids

What a difference a day makes in the Legislature when it comes to the education budget!

On Wednesday, the Senate passed a $12.7 billion K-12 budget on a 25-13 vote that made changes to the Appropriations Committee version in school aid and funding for standardized testing.

Emergency Manager repeal likely headed to court

In a split 2-2 decision, the Board of State Canvassers failed to approve the Public Act 4 referendum that would have put the repeal of the controversial Emergency Manager law on the November ballot.  That tie likely means the proponents of the repeal –which MEA supports –will be taking their case to court for a final ruling.

House passes cyber school bill, other “ed reforms”

Update: Rep. Kate Segal (D-Battle Creek) lost her request to reconsider the vote on SB 619 to expand charter schools, but she was successful in her request for a roll call vote on the immediate effect of the bill. The 57-52 vote failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority, so SB 619 will not go into effect until next spring.

April 26, 2012—House Republicans managed to strong-arm enough votes to barely pass SB 619—legislation to expand cyber schools—on a 56-54 vote. Thanks to intense lobbying efforts from MEA members and many other groups, the bill was vastly improved from the original passed by the Senate.

Fifteen amendments were offered, but only six Republican ones were adopted. There was no debate or explanation of any of the amendments. 

With the amendments, the bill now reads:

  • Through Dec. 31, 2013, there can only be five statewide authorizing bodies for cyber schools. The number can double the following year, but there can be no more than 15 after Dec. 31, 2014.
  • Cyber school enrollment can’t exceed 2,500 in the first year; not more than 5,000 in the second year; and no more than 10,000 in the third year and beyond.
  • The Department of Education can stop the authorization of any new cyber schools if the number of students enrolled is more than 1 percent of the total student enrollment in public schools for the 2012-13 school year. In 2014, the limit is 2 percent.

Teacher Day/School Family Day is May 8

Each year schools and communities observe Teacher Day/School Family Day with local celebrations that pay tribute to the contributions school employees make to our communities and to society in general.

Constitutional amendment would require full disclosure from universities

What looks suspiciously like more retribution for universities, Rep. Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills), Chair of the House Oversight, Ethics and Reform Committee, is proposing a constitutional amendment (HJR PP)requiring state public universities to annually report every expenditure they make. Universities would then have to create an online report showing what was bought from whom and professors’ salaries.

Still no full replacement guarantee for personal property repeal

While reforming the personal property tax (SB 1065-1072) is taking a back seat to budget debates, the Senate Tax Policy Committee continues to take testimony.

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