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 06/29/15 at 12:27pm

Michigan delegates to NEA's Representative Assembly will join more than 7,000 educators on their way to Orlando to help set education policy and talk about what's best for students. The annual meeting starts July 3 and runs through July 6.

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:38pm

SaveOnEnergy.com is looking for the best lesson plans for teaching students about energy. By submitting your plan, you have a chance to win a $500 Teacher Grant for your classroom. Save On Energy.com will be awarding six $500 grants in the form of Visa Reward Cards to be used toward classroom materials and activities. SaveOnEnergy.com is a resource for consumers on all aspects of energy and sustainability.

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:25pm

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is holding meetings around the state with parents of special education students to gather input on their experiences with the state’s special education system. To reach even more parents, Calley also launched an online survey which will be available through August. 

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:31pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that teachers and educators should not be put in law enforcement roles when they carry out their duty of reporting suspected child abuse or neglect. The National Education Association (NEA) filed an amicus brief in the case, Ohio v. Clark, stating that “educators’ valuable role as mandatory reporters and caregivers should not be compromised.”

Posted on 06/16/15 at 4:28pm

Some intermediate school district superintendents want the State Board of Education (SBE) to waive certain certification standards for career and technical education (CTE) teachers so they can have an easier time attracting them for jobs. Without the waiver, the group says some CTE programs could close.

Just the facts on funding, salaries, pensions

Talk of education reform in Michigan eventually turns to per pupil funding and the salaries and benefits of school employees.  Budget talks this year showed legislators intent on reforming how the state funds its schools and how it pays its teacher. But the data shows that Michigan isn’t leading the pack when it comes to the funding of schools and pensions or teacher salaries.

700,000 voices need to be heard

Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution (CPMC) will take their opposition to the Protect Our Jobs petition to court to prevent the issue from being on the Nov. ballot after the Secretary of State (SOS) declined the group’s earlier request.

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.

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