Posted on 12/16/14 at 12:49pm

The Michigan Department of Education's (MDE) special education rule changes did not make it through a Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) and will have to be reintroduced next year. MDE wanted the rule changes to clarify language and help carry out federal law.

Posted on 12/16/14 at 12:52pm

How charter management companies spend more than $1 billion dollars in state taxpayer dollars is again the focus of a news article in the Detroit Free Press. "Public money for schools buys private property" uncovers the arrangement National Heritage Academies (NHA) has with its schools. NHA, not the school, owns the school buildings and the contents, even though that's all been purchased with taxpayer money.

Posted on 12/01/14 at 11:59am

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. 

Posted on 12/04/14 at 12:21pm

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.

 

Posted on 12/08/14 at 2:50pm

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.” 

Posted on 12/08/14 at 2:51pm

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.

NEA President tells Michigan, ‘I’m proud to tell your stories!’

Thanks to NEA members in Flint, at MSU, and in Livonia, Plymouth, and Wayne-Westland, NEA President Lily Eskelsen-Garcia left Michigan on Sept. 24 with a pretty good idea of the successes, the challenges, and the future of education in the state. Lilly made Michigan one of her last stops on her three-week Back-to School Tour which has given her a chance to connect with members across the country.

President Steven Cook in the Detroit News: Under GOP, Pure Michigan is in decline

Pure Michigan in pure decline. That is how one prominent writer described the state of our state.

After reading the facts spelled out in a report released by the East Lansing-based nonprofit group Prima Civitas, it would be hard to argue with that assessment. The group, which promotes competitiveness and innovation in government and industry, analyzed several aspects of Michigan’s economy. The report, “Michigan Dream at Risk,” should serve as a wake-up call to policymakers and voters in the fall election.

Read the entire article.

Schools falling victim to scam involving CCSS and fraudulent book orders

Schools across the country, including Michigan, are falling victim to a scam by a Las Vegas company sending phony invoices to schools for workbooks they never ordered. The company is called Scholastic School Supply, similar to Scholastic, Inc., which is a well-known publisher for educational books, magazines and other materials. Michigan is one of 22 states that have received the phony invoices.

Use your NEAMB discount to order classroom items

One of the advantages of your MEA/NEA membership is being able to order classroom items from Smile Makers, an official partner of NEA Member Benefits (NEAMB).

Free Press editorial calls for putting children first with charter school reforms

On Sept. 21, the Detroit Free Press published an editorial, “Put our children first,” urging lawmakers to consider reforms on how charter schools are authorized, operated and managed. Legislation has just been introduced which calls for a moratorium on the creation of any new charter schools until those issues are addressed.

NEA President making Michigan a stop on her Back-to-School Tour

On Wednesday, Sept. 24, NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia will be stopping in Flint, East Lansing, at MSU, and Plymouth. She is starting off her new term as president with visits to states to connect with members.

In Flint, Lily will be visiting Northwestern High School, once labeled a Priority School. Thanks to the efforts of the staff and students, and the partnerships with MEA, NEA and the school district, Northwestern no longer ranks in the bottom 5 percent when it comes to student achievement.  

At MSU, Lily will have the chance to meet with future educators to carry NEA’s message of “Degrees not Debt” that addresses the escalating cost of a college education. She will also meet with MEA members to discuss NEA’s role in fighting for more higher education funding.

Lily will finish her day with a meet-and-greet with Mark Schauer at the Plymouth MEA office. Members from Livonia, Plymouth and Wayne-Westland will hear from Lily and have the chance to learn more about Schauer, MEA’s recommended candidate for governor, and his plans for investing in public education.

You can follow Lily’s tour at “Lily’s blackboard”, on Twitter @lily NEA, or read her blog.

The Role of Standardized Testing

Teachers need tests to determine if students have learned what was expected of them and if it is the right time to move on to the next objective. 

The data gathered from tests identifies areas of difficulty, which can help teachers adjust instruction for subsequent cohorts of students. Tests show teachers which students are achieving and the instructional strategies that are effective. Results from standardized tests can help inform educational policy, school improvement, or instructional practice and develop an action plan.

Culture of Reading program offers free books to promote literacy

This year's Michigan Reads! Book of the Year, "Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band" is available for free to early childhood education and elementary school teachers through the Culture of Reading grant program. Students in selected early childhood through third grade will receive their own classroom copies.

 

Michigan Youth Arts offering grants for school art supplies and equipment

Grants of up to $2,500 for arts-related equipment or supplies to be used in schools are available through Michigan Youth Arts with assistance from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). "Art Equipment & Supplies Grant" applies to performing arts subjects like instrumental music, vocal music, theatre, dance, creative writing, media arts, special education and more.

SBE decides on job description for new superintendent of schools

State Board of Education (SBE) members are looking for someone with experience in education-perhaps a former local superintendent or teacher-to be the next state superintendent of instruction. Their search is expected to be completed by January 2015, well ahead of current Superintendent Mike Flanagan's retirement in July 2015.

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