Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:44am

According to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), there is no provision in state or federal law that allows parents to opt their children out of assessments, like the M-STEP currently being administered in schools, without it counting against their school and district’s participation rates. MDE offered its official position last week in a memo to ISD Superintendents, Local Agency Superintendents, and Public School Academy Directors.

Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:15am

MEA is partnering with NEA, the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to sponsor the Teaching Leadership Initiative (TLI) program. If you’re an MEA member and ready to take hold of your career and learn to lead in matters of practice and policy—if you’re an MEA member eager to make a difference in your classroom, but not sure where to begin—TLI is for you.

Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:33am

The two vendors who are currently administering the 2015 Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) assessments won a three-year contract to continue their work. Data Recognition Corporation, a Minnesota-based company, and North Carolina-based Measurement, Inc. were awarded the contract by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB). 

Posted on 03/25/15 at 10:10am

The Center for Michigan, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, is collecting feedback from Michigan citizens about the Michigan workforce experience through an online surveyThey’re specifically looking for information from educators like you about career navigation.

Posted on 03/25/15 at 1:20pm

The ice has melted and the roads are worse.

Michigan’s deteriorating roads and bridges pose a serious safety threat to drivers. Crater-size potholes are responsible for extensive damage to our automobiles.

Posted on 03/23/15 at 12:01pm

There is a push on for the next two weeks to ensure that reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is done right this time. It's expected that the Senate will take up the ESEA on April 14.

Federal suit filed against unconstitutional ban on payroll deduction of dues

Four unions representing Michigan school employees filed suit today in Michigan’s Eastern District federal court challenging the constitutionality of Public Act 53 of 2012, the recently enacted ban on payroll deduction of dues for public school employees only.

Tiger supporters show their commitment to the Heights

The orange and black balloons and signs said it all—“I’m committed to the Heights.”

And more than a thousand students, parents, school employees and community members came out in full force to pledge their commitment to Muskegon Heights schools at Tiger Pride Day on March 31. The tiger is the school mascot—a fitting symbol for the fighting spirit evident that day.

Is getting rid of the MEAP a mistake?

This week, the Senate K-12 Appropriations Subcommittee finally listened to education experts who have repeatedly said that the MEAP is not an accurate measure of student growth and pulled funding for it in favor of a new computer-adaptive test that would more accurately measure student growth. The new test is expected to cost $18 million as opposed to the $27 million for the MEAP. However, many education experts aren’t so sure this is a wise move.

House Democrats sue to restore voters’ voice

House Democrats have sued House Republicans to force them to recognize their requests for a roll call vote on the immediate effect of bills. House Minority Leader Richard Hammel (D-Mt. Morris Twp.), House Minority Floor Leader Kate Segal (D-Battle Creek), and Reps. Stanley (D-Flint), Meadows (D-East Lansing), Lindberg (D-Marquette) and Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) are plaintiffs in the suit.

School funding front and center in an election year

Spring has sprung.  Election season is underway. And, as usual, politicians are trying to shore up their record by allocating more money for public education.  However, after last year’s massive school budget cuts, voters won’t be tricked this year by politicians who are a day late and a dollar short.

Latest attack on retirement unveiled in Senate Bill 1040

The latest legislative assault on retirement was launched on Thursday in the form of Senate Bill 1040. The bill makes sweeping changes to limit the pension benefits received by employees while increasing the out-of-pocket costs for both active and retired members.

MEA members tell their stories at "WeRaisetheBar.org"

David Paul Rudzinzki, a sixth grade teacher at Utica Community Schools, says it's great when he sees "those light bulbs going off," and his students are finally understanding a new concept.

Governor signs dues deduction ban

Late last week before leaving for Europe, Gov. Snyder signed HB 4929, making it illegal for school districts to bargain with their employees' contract language allowing for payroll deduction of dues.

Walled Lake paraprofessional wins ESP Brunner Award

Denise Miller

Denise Miller, a paraprofessional and local union leader from Walled Lake, was named the 2012 recipient of the Leon A. Brunner Award. The award is given annually at MEA's Statewide Educational Support Professional Conference in recognition an ESP leader's significant contributions and commitment to ESP issues and concerns. 

During last year's recall petition drives, Miller worked tirelessly to collect signatures to hold lawmakers accountable for their decisions in Lansing. She gained notoriety after she filed suit against the Oakland County Parks for restricting her ability to circulate petitions at a local park, where the county had literally marked off a 12-by-12 foot square in which she was told she had to stand. In a huge victory for both the recall supporters and believers in our personal freedom to engage in political activity, Miller won the court case.

Miller is now looking forward to working hard in 2012 on the Protect Our Jobs campaign to protect collective bargaining rights in our state constitution.

Snyder wants elimination of some workplace safety rules to help businesses

If you haven't seen enough bills to provide reasons to get involved in the Protect Our Jobs campaign to preserve the right to collectively bargain over wages, benefits and working conditions, here is another.

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