Newsroom

Latest news releases and President's column.

Cook: End Michigan’s charter school experiment already

When you find yourself in a hole, the first step to getting out is to stop digging.

The hole I am referring to is the $1 billion taxpayers spend each year on Michigan’s experiment with charter schools. 

President Steven Cook in the Detroit News: Be, see the good in the world

“Believe there is good in the world.”

That is the motto of Yale Education Association as teachers in this small district in St. Clair County seek to fulfill Gandhi’s dream and “be the change you wish to see in the world.” Their goal: raise $50,000 to build a home for a family in need in their community. Yale teachers have recruited students and community members in their mission and are partnering with the Blue Water Habitat for Humanity to achieve their goal.

The Heartlands Institute of Technology is a career tech center run by the Ionia Intermediate School District.

Students not only get hands-on experience in a number of fields, but are able to give back to the community as well; in the Dental Occupations program they use that experience to help provide free dental care to patients who lack insurance. Teachers set up the program, recruit dentists to provide free services and teach students the necessary skills to assist with the procedures.

These are just a few examples of school employees across the state going above and beyond to improve the learning experiences of their students, the communities they live and work in and, along the way, teach lessons that can’t be taught with a textbook or a computer. These efforts won’t show up on student standardized test scores or teacher evaluation forms, but they are essential lessons nonetheless.

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Statement correcting misinformation in Detroit News about MEA exec as a potential State Superintendent

EAST LANSING, Mich., Feb. 26, 2013 — The following statement can be attributed to MEA Executive Director Gretchen Dziadosz in response to a Detroit News column this morning listing her as a potential candidate as Michigan’s next State Superintendent of Public Instruction:

President Steven Cook in the Detroit News: Gov. Snyder’s karma: Elections have consequences

Four years ago, Rick Snyder was elected governor and the Republicans won complete control of the Legislature. One-party control has created clear-cut winners and losers. The winners, large corporations and CEOs, have been given huge tax cuts, while the consequences for the losers — senior citizens, middle-class families, public school students and low income workers — have been devastating.

Want the truth about funding cuts? Ask educators!

Poll: 4 out of 5 educators have witnessed
school funding cuts in past four years
                                                                         

EAST LANSING, Mich., Oct. 15, 2014 — Roughly four out of five Michigan educators have experienced funding cuts at their school in the past four years, according to a member poll released today by the Michigan Education Association.

“If you want to know the truth about what’s really happening with education funding in our state, the people to ask are Michigan’s educators,” said MEA President Steven Cook.  “Cuts to K-12 and higher education aren’t just campaign rhetoric – they are reality experienced every day by MEA members across the state.”

In response to the question, “Thinking about the last four years, have you witnessed funding cuts to your local school district and school?", 78 percent responded that they had witnessed cuts, with 11 percent saying they had not and another 11 percent saying they were unsure. 

President Steven Cook in the Detroit News: Under GOP, Pure Michigan is in decline

Pure Michigan in pure decline. That is how one prominent writer described the state of our state.

After reading the facts spelled out in a report released by the East Lansing-based nonprofit group Prima Civitas, it would be hard to argue with that assessment. The group, which promotes competitiveness and innovation in government and industry, analyzed several aspects of Michigan’s economy. The report, “Michigan Dream at Risk,” should serve as a wake-up call to policymakers and voters in the fall election.

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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.

MEA’s new ‘Kids Not CEOs’ video highlights Snyder school cuts – and what they’ve forced kids to do

EAST LANSING, Sept. 2, 2014 —The Michigan Education Association today launched a new Web video that highlights Gov. Rick Snyder’s and the Republican Legislature’s $1.8-billion tax break to corporate special interests – and what those cuts have done to Michigan students.

President Steven Cook in the Detroit News: Charter schools fail the test of time

Some 20 years ago, Michigan enacted legislation creating charter schools, with the goal of creating unique, innovative educational opportunities for students across the state. In the 20 years since, that goal has been replaced with a different goal: corporate profit.

For years, education experts have been critical of Michigan’s charter school laws, which have led to the creation of an industry generating hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate profits and less than stellar academic results.

Politicians have ignored critics who have pointed out massive failings in both the law charters operate under and the schools themselves — until now. The charter school industry in Michigan is fraught with wasteful spending, conflicts of interest and poor academic performance. . .

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President Steven Cook in the Detroit News: Michigan Schools are hurting

After years of crippling budget cuts to public education, the Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder agreed to a small funding increase in the 2014-15 education budget. This increase, timed to coincide with the governor’s re-election campaign, seems more politically motivated than an act of generosity.

But a long record of deep cuts to public schools will not be erased with a miniscule election-year funding increase.

The foundation allowance increase varies by district from a low of 29 cents a day per student to about a dollar a day at the top end. This is hardly a windfall and doesn’t even keep pace with inflation.

Today, we have 50 school districts in deficit spending and facing financial collapse. A funding increase of a mere 29 cents a day will not change that. And it certainly won’t alleviate the financial strain on all school districts across the state — districts still coping with the $1 billion cut in funding Gov. Rick Snyder handed them in his first year in office.

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