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.

House Education Committee votes on morality issue

In a heated discussion, the House Education Committee dealt another blow to universities' "local control" when it approved a bill and two resolutions that protect religious freedom for some.

Timing for MPSERS changes and budget may coincide

Look for legislation before spring break that would change retirement benefits for public school employees. An eight-member, all-Republican work group has been meeting for months looking to make reforms.

Petition rule changes move to Senate

A bill to change the rules on how petitions are circulated, HB 5063, passed the House on a 64-46 vote this week with an amendment that exempted current petition drives from mandatory Secretary of State approval. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Legislation affecting petition drives surfaces

Back in October 2011, a House bill was introduced that would affect the filing of petitions to initiate legislation or a constitutional amendment. That bill, HB 5063, could now have a dramatic impact on the Protect Our Jobs campaign to preserve collective bargaining rights and other ongoing petition drives.

Snyder signs ban on unionization of grad research assistants

Questionable legislative tactics moved HB 4246 through the Legislature and made the bill law today with Gov. Snyder's signature. The Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) was set to meet today to deal with the University of Michigan graduate research assistants' petition to unionize.

Cost of college education paid for with Democrat's proposed plan

Senate Democrats have introduced legislation that will pay for a Michigan high school graduates' college education. The ultimate goal of the "Michigan 2020 Plan" is to increase the number of college graduates needed to bring job-providers to the state.

Poll shows Americans believe in collective bargaining

In what is encouraging news for the Protect Our Jobs campaign, a Bloomberg News national poll shows 64 percent of Americans believe that public sector workers should have the right to collectively bargain. That number includes 55 percent of Republicans. In that same poll, 63 percent believe that states should not be able to break pension agreements they've made.  The poll of 1,001 adults was conducted March 4-7.

The poll comes after a number of Republican governors used budget problems to justify removing collective bargaining rights. Most poll respondents believed that those budget deficits were a result of years of tax cuts--not the actions of public employees.

As a result of that opinion, Bloomberg’s poll shows that 72 percent have a favorable view of public employees and see corporations wielding more political power than unions.

‘Protect Our Jobs’ campaign protects collective bargaining, middle class

MEA members Karen Kuciel and Jeff Bean were part of the Protect Our Jobs campaign launch at the Capitol.

Today, MEA members Jeff Bean and Karen Kuciel joined with other workers to mark the launch of the Protect Our Jobs campaign, with the goal of amending Michigan’s constitution to protect collective bargaining rights and strengthen the middle class.

'Bowling to Teachers' eases tight classroom budgets

If you're looking for ways to supplement your out-of-pocket classroom expenses, "Bowling to Teachers" may be of some help. The program represents a partnership between the "Kids Bowl Free" summer program and more than 1,000 bowling centers across the country.

"Bowling to Teachers" will award 400 $250 grants to K-8 teachers through the end of May. Go to www.BowlingtoTeachers.com to download a grant application.

"Kids Bowl Free" is an annual summer program that provides kids with two free games of bowling every day.

When did you realize you were an inspiration?

The Education section of the Huffington Post is looking for videos from educators detailing the moment they knew they could inspire others--whether it’s teacher to student, mentor to mentee or friend to friend.

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