Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:45pm

According to the latest KIDS COUNT Data Book published by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, Michigan ranks 32nd when it comes to a child's overall well-being compared to other states. Michigan dropped one slot in ranking from last year, making it the worst-performing state in the Great Lakes region. 

Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:46pm

Michigan isn't the only state looking to establish stricter guidelines for charter school authorizers. A policy brief by the Education Commission of the States (ECS), reports that while 42 states have charter school legislation, only  33 states have authorizing bodies that are responsible for approving and overseeing charters schools. But only 15 of those states have set standards for authorizers.

Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:47pm

More families will be able to qualify for free and reduced-priced meals with the new household income guidelines established by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). The guidelines will determine eligibility for the 2014-15 school year and will be effective through June 30, 2015.

Posted on 07/21/14 at 11:40pm

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is advising teachers not to change their lesson plans, despite the fact that the MEAP, instead of Smarter Balanced assessments, is being used next spring. The Legislature made that choice when they passed a state budget that requires the MEAP. MDE previously recommended Smarter Balanced.

Posted on 07/21/14 at 11:51pm

The Great Lakes Center annually releases a recommended "summer reading list" for educators. The list evaluates the so-called education reform movement and whether or not those reforms really work.

Posted on 07/15/14 at 11:23am

The Sunday, July 13 edition of the Lansing State Journal covered the issue of teacher evaluations in its "A Greater Lansing Outlook" section. Included is a column by MEA President Steve Cook, "Teachers support bills for fair evaluations," highlighting MEA's involvement in writing HB 5223 and HB 5224. 

Walled Lake teacher, MEA member named Michigan Teacher of the Year

Melody Arabo, Michigan Teacher of the Year
Melody Arabo, Michigan Teacher of the Year

Melody Arabo, a third grade teacher at Walled Lake’s Keith Elementary School and a member of the Walled Lake Education Association, was named the 2014-15 Michigan Teacher of the Year by State Superintendent Mike Flanagan at an afternoon assembly today. Arabo, a teacher at Keith for 12 years, was chosen from 238 applicants statewide.

Evaluation bills pass the House

On a 95-14 vote today, the House passed HB 5223, the bipartisan effort to establish a statewide teacher evaluation process. And with a 96-13 vote, the House also passed HB 5224 which creates an administrator evaluation system.

The bills represent several years of work and address the teacher tenure reforms the Legislature passed in 2011. Under that legislation, 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation would be based on student growth in the 2015-16 school year.

But thanks to the work of MEA lobbyists and other work group members, 25 percent of student growth will continue to be part of teacher evaluations through the 2016-17 school year. Beginning in 2017-18, the percentage would increase to 40 percent. That represents a significant change.

On the House floor today, the only change to the bill came in an amendment requiring the Department of Education to provide a report to the Legislature in 2018 that describes the impact of this new statewide evaluation process.

The bills will now go to the Senate for consideration.

An invitation for you: BE IN OUR PICTURE!

Have you ever had a secret desire to see your face on the cover of a magazine? Or how about having thousands of people see your picture every day?

If you have—we’ve got an opportunity to make you dreams come true!

On Saturday, May 17, 2014, we are shooting the picture that will be on the cover of the 2014-15 MEA calendar. This year’s theme, “We believe in  public education,” will be brought to life with a group shot of as many MEA members and their children who want to be a part of MEA history. We want to showcase you and your commitment to public education and students.

We need bright, shiny faces of members wearing bright colors—please no T-shirts with slogans or pictures—and dressed in your regular work clothes or uniforms. Diversity is our goal.  We want a representation of all of our MEA members—from gender to race to age to job classifications.

We also want to include students, so please bring your children with you to the photo shoot.

MEA President Steve Cook: ‘We’ve taken a large step backward in school funding.’

The State Board of Education (SBE) today heard MEA President Steve Cook tell them that Michigan is no longer a national leader when it comes to education systems because of its failure to adequately fund public education.

21 trends to watch for their impact on education

What’s driving the changes in education? What are the trends we should be watching?
“Twenty-One Trends for the 21st Century: Out of the Trenches and into the Future” may have the answers. Written by futurist Gary Marx, the book also provides real strategies to develop the leaders needed to manage these trends.

Sponsor a hole to support the MEA Scholarship Fund

Even if you don’t play golf, you can help build the MEA Scholarship Fund by sponsoring a hole at the 14th Annual MEA Scholarship Fund Golf Outing  at Forest Akers West Golf Course in Lansing on June 16, 2014.

Don’t throw away your MEAP test instruction book just yet

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has asked for a one-year extension on its No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver from the federal government so it can meet some of the act’s components. 

‘Take a Walk’ for Education on Saturday

Join the 12-B Coordinating Council and other friends of education in Midland on Saturday, May 17, for a “Walk for Education” to support adequate funding of our public schools.

LPA gives local leaders needed support, training so locals and members thrive

Strong, active local associations all seem to have one thing in common—well-trained presidents who have the resources, training and time necessary to do the jobs for which there were elected. 

Kidsnotceos.com has data for higher ed funding losses

Since Gov. Snyder took office, higher education has had to deal with a loss of $623,235,000 in funding. In addition to employees feeling the hit of wage and benefit cuts, students at Michigan’s colleges and universities are also being impacted with hikes to their tuition. According to the House Fiscal Agency, approximately 60 percent of the tuition increases students have experienced are due to legislative-directed budget cuts. 

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