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.

Statement from MEA President Cook on passage of HB 4929 (ban on payroll deduction of dues)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 – The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steven Cook:

“Today the Michigan Legislature continued its assault on collective bargaining rights, passing legislation to prohibit school employees from paying their union dues through payroll deduction. This is a practice that has been used for years and is outlined in local collective bargaining agreements.  It is yet another case where lawmakers are restricting the rights of school employees and interfering in local control.

ACT NOW to stop attacks on dues deduction!

Urge the Governor to veto HB 4929, HB 4246

It didn't take long for Republican legislators to respond to yesterday's launch of the Protect Our Jobs campaign.

Just one day later, both the House and Senate passed HB 4929 restricting payroll deduction of union dues for school employees and then voted on an unconstitutional maneuver to avoid an immediate effect vote on banning graduate student research assistants from unionizing.

It's been said that an ineffective administration is the best organizing tool--it also applies to legislators whose only goal is to break unions and destroy the middle class instead of creating jobs. Legislative activity today is a prime example of why all MEA members need to be involved in the Protect Our Jobs campaign.

It was a busy day of union busting in Lansing. Just this morning the Senate Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee reported out an amended version of HB 4929. By this afternoon, the full Senate had taken up the bill, throwing out one of the amendments that would have allowed school employees to continue with automatic payroll deduction if their union paid school districts for the cost of doing so. Amendments did pass that require public posting of audits of union representation costs and provide $100,000 to cover the cost of data collection (that appropriation prevents the bill from being eligible for a voter referendum).

Federal court ruling strikes down anti-worker law

Last week, a federal judge ruled that the new state law banning local governments from mandating project labor agreements (PLA) on public construction projects violates federal labor law. A PLA is an agreement between municipal officials or school boards and hired contractors which defines wages and hours and sets safety standards and skills training for workers.

Bill silences voice of graduate research assistants

The latest legislative news provides reasons for supporting the Protect Our Jobs campaign to amend the state constitution and protect our collective bargaining rights.

Republican ESEA amendments pass

The Student Success Act (H.R. 3989) and Encouraging and Innovation and Effective Teachers Act (H.R. 3990) were approved along party lines last week during a House Education and Workforce Committee meeting. NEA opposed the bills because they give too much power to the states and undermine the federal role in ensuring equity for all students. 

Democrats offered two substitutes—one mandating a school accountability system in each state; the other requiring educators to be a part of the development of teacher and principal evaluation systems. Both amendments failed along party-lines.

Tell your story at WeRaisetheBar.Org

MEA members will be featured in new radio and online advertising that will run this spring in media markets throughout the state. Teachers, students and parents can share their own stories at www.WeRaisetheBar.org .

New call system for reporting abuse starts today

Today was the first day for a new call-in system for reporting abuse and neglect of children or adults.

MDE submits ESEA waiver

Michigan is among 26 states that have applied for waivers under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The waiver would free states from some ESEA requirements, in exchange for adopting key reforms. Eleven states have already received a waiver.

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax Stars Danny DeVito and Zac Efron kick off NEA's 15th annual Read Across America Day at The New York Public Library

The National Education Association (NEA) today hosted a national reading kickoff event at The New York Public Library where actors Danny DeVito and Zac Efron read Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” to 300 New York public school elementary students.

Statement from MEA President Cook on Feb. 28 election results

The following can be attributed to MEA President Steve Cook on tonight’s election results:

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