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U-M wins grant to change how new teachers are trained, mentored

The University of Michigan's College of Education received a $1.1 million grant to improve how teachers are trained. U-M will use the money to work with other states to change what's required of new teachers and how they receive mentoring once they're in the classroom. Hopefully, Michigan will be one of those states. 

New state science standards are 'Michigan-developed and Michigan-decided'

The State Board of Education (SBE) plans on considering the adoption of new state science standards next month which it emphasizes are "Michigan-developed and Michigan-decided." The SBE will be providing the Legislature with a report prior to approving the standards.

The Legislature was concerned with the 2010 adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English language arts and math. Fear over a loss of local control led lawmakers to freeze spending on CCSS until the Legislature approved them in 2013. They did not fund the Smarter Balanced assessment that supported CCSS and would replace the MEAP. As a result, a revised version of the MEAP will be administered online in the spring of 2015.

Magazine’s misrepresentation of tenure causes backlash

The November 3 issue of TIME hasn’t been out very long, but its cover story,“Rotten Apples: It’s Nearly Impossible to Fire a Bad Teacher,” is drawing criticism for its premise that there are many bad teachers in public schools and tenure and due process rights are making it impossible to get rid of them. 

State Board resolution highlights the need for strong school libraries

The Michigan State Board of Education recently passed a resolution in support of school libraries. The resolution reinforced the idea that strong school libraries staffed by certified school librarians are critical to student success. 

Number of homeless students hits record high

According to a report released last month by the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE), nearly 1.26 million homeless students in primary and secondary grades across the country were enrolled in the 2012-13 school year. 

Save the date!

On Wednesday, Sept. 24, NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia is making Michigan a stop on her Back to School Tour! Location details are still being finalized, but put the date on your calendar.

MEA statement on August window, MERC rulings

"Despite a relentless campaign by outside forces determined to discredit and destroy the MEA, more than 95 percent of our members stayed. This August, less than 5,000 members left the MEA out of about 110,000 active members. Our members’ message to these groups is that they believe in the MEA and no amount of outside rhetoric is going to dissuade them.

NEA wins delay on use of student test scores in teacher evaluations

The U.S. Department of Education is giving states until the 2015-16 school year-a two-year delay-to use student test scores for teacher evaluations. Education Secretary Arne Duncan made the announcement after more than a year of NEA and other education groups calling for such action.

Nominate your elementary, middle school principal for leadership award

If you consider the leadership of your elementary or middle school principal to be outstanding, then consider nominating your principal for the 2014 MEMSPA Outstanding Practicing Principal award.

Schools get money to try out a year-round calendar

Seven schools will benefit from a $2 million pilot program established in the new state education budget that helps them switch to an alternative school calendar. The State Board of Education is expected to approve five schools and two more schools will receive money through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to offset costs. All seven schools are moving to a year-round calendar.

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