Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:58pm

You only have until July 14-next Tuesday-- to register for MEA's 2015 Summer Leadership Conference, "Power from the Past-A Force for the Future." The Conference is scheduled for July 28-30 at Lake Superior State College in Sault Ste. Marie.

Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:57pm

Public Sector Consultants, a non-partisan public policy research firm in Lansing, has released a report offering financial recommendations and policy proposals to move Michigan forward. This comes on the heels of new State Superintendent Brian Whiston's goal of making Michigan one of the top 10 states in the next 10 years.

Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:56pm

The Senate's version of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) will finally get a hearing on the full U.S. Senate floor starting tomorrow on July 7. In mid-April, the Senate Education Committee approved the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) a week after it was introduced by co-sponsors Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). 

Posted on 06/29/15 at 12:25pm

Two weeks ago, Gov. Snyder's education advisor led House Education Committee members to believe that the Governor opposed SB 103, the teacher evaluation bill sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), chair of the Senate Education Committee. Under direct questioning, Karen McPhee replied that Snyder did not support the bill in its present form. 

However, last week his media spokesperson said that Gov. Snyder has taken no position on SB 103, but would support some changes to the bill. So far, the bill has had four hearings in Committee that still has not voted to discharge the bill.

Pavlov's bill emphasizes local control with districts allowed to choose whatever evaluation tool they wish. There are no provisions for training and no standards by which to judge those evaluation tools. MEA lobbyist Christina Canfield spoke in opposition to the bill, saying the bill is not in the best interest of teachers or children.

Last year, the House plan for teacher evaluations was very different from SB 103. That set of evaluation bills never made it through lame duck last year. Those bills set standards for the evaluation tools districts use; emphasized training for evaluators; and created a much fairer evaluation system for teachers. The MEA remains hopeful this year's House Education Committee will introduce similar amendments to SB 103.

Posted on 06/29/15 at 12:26pm

This Wednesday, Brian Whiston takes over as the new State Superintendent. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, he talks about standardized testing, school funding, charter and cyber schools, deficit schools and teacher evaluations.

Posted on 06/30/15 at 9:19am

With the passage of Michigan’s Public Employment Relations Act in 1965, teachers finally went from begging to bargaining. Thanks to PERA, all public school employees have the right to negotiate for fair wages, quality health care benefits and decent working conditions.

Celebrate Reading Month with Sen. Debbie Stabenow

Today and all this month, we encourage adults to pick up a book and read with a child. Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow did just that. She recorded two videos with her reading books written by Michigan authors—Grace for Presidentand Meteor!” Let her share her love of reading with your students. Everyone will enjoy the experience! 

Happy Read Across America Day!

However you’re celebrating reading today, you’re joining more than 45 million other readers across the country who are honoring Dr. Seuss and appreciating the joy and fun of reading.

This is NEA’s 18th year of promoting reading with a special one-day celebration that also kicks off March as Reading Month. This year’s featured book is the Dr. Seuss classic, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”

And today is also the start of a nationwide search for students 5 to 18 years of age who excel in STEAM—science, technology, engineering, arts and math. In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the book, Dr. Seuss Enterprises and NEA will offer a $10,000 STEAM scholarship through its “Kid, You’ll Move Mountains” promotion. Go to www.nea.org/grants to learn more.

And finally, let us know what you’re doing in your school to promote reading today, this month and all year. Share your ideas on MEA Facebook or send them to rcarey@mea.org

Cook: Vote yes on Prop 1, fix our roads

If you believe our schools and safer roads are important to the quality of life in Michigan, circle May 5 on your calendar. On that day, voters will be asked to vote on a proposal that would raise over $1 billion to repair Michigan’s dangerous roads and bridges, while raising $300 million in new revenue for Michigan public schools, funded by a 1-cent increase in the state sales tax.

Take action today! House ESEA rewrite expected to pass this week

The U.S. House is expected to pass a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) this Friday. Unfortunately, this rewrite does nothing to help students learn or teachers teach. The focus has shifted to more testing, labeling of schools and then punishing them for their “failure,” while doing nothing to close achievement gaps.

Number of children living in poverty, victims of abuse is increasing

More Michigan children are living in poverty according to the annualKids Count report by the Michigan League for Public Policy and  funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The number of children in poverty increased by 35 percent with one in four children living in poverty and one in three qualifying for food assistance because their families’ incomes are $23,600 or less a year.

ESEA waiver request could impact school accountability, evaluation timelines

Michigan is hoping to win another approval of an Elementary and Secondary Education Act’s (ESEA) waiver request which must be submitted by March 31. The state’s first waiver request was granted in July 2012.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation established one-size- fits-all requirements regarding student achievement, along with a strict timeline to meet those requirements.  ESEA waivers give states a chance to develop their own systems for ranking the academic performance of schools, what assessments to use to gather student data, and how to evaluate teachers and administrators. Since Michigan’s initial waiver expires at the end of this school year, the state is looking to again customize its approach to meeting NCLB requirements.

Higher Education Conference

October 23, 2015

MEA Headquarters, East Lansing

Conference information coming soon.

Annual MEA Scholarship Fund Golf Outing

Annual Golf Outing scheduled for June 22!

Register today to play in the fifteenth annual MEA Scholarship Fund Golf Outing. Space fills up quick – register today!

This year’s outing is slated for Monday, June 22, at the Forest Akers Golf Course in Lansing. This event gives players the chance to support an event that provides college scholarships to public school students across Michigan.

Cook: End Michigan’s charter school experiment already

When you find yourself in a hole, the first step to getting out is to stop digging.

The hole I am referring to is the $1 billion taxpayers spend each year on Michigan’s experiment with charter schools. A recent report by a pro charter school group ranks Michigan’s charter school accountability law last among similar states. 

Cook: End Michigan’s charter school experiment already

When you find yourself in a hole, the first step to getting out is to stop digging.

The hole I am referring to is the $1 billion taxpayers spend each year on Michigan’s experiment with charter schools. A recent report by a pro charter school group ranks Michigan’s charter school accountability law last among similar states. 

Pages