Newsroom

Latest news releases and President's column.

MEA and AFT-Michigan form formal partnership to advocate for students and education employees

LANSING, Mich., Oct. 15, 2013 — In an effort to protect and strengthen public education in Michigan, the Michigan Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers-Michigan have formed a formal partnership, leaders of both unions announced Tuesday.

President Steve Cook in the Detroit News: OK-2-SAY hotline would protect Michigan kids

Recent violent attacks in schools — including last week’s shootings outside Sexton High School in Lansing — emphasize the need for a comprehensive system for addressing threats to student safety.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130925/OPINION01/309250007#ixzz2fubv006e

MEA urges state Legislature to take swift action on Student Safety Act

EAST LANSING, Mich., Sept. 19, 2013 — The Michigan Education Association is urging state lawmakers to take immediate action and pass the Student Safety Act, which would establish a new tip line and an online interface to allow students to anonymously report safety threats.

This week’s shooting near Lansing’s Sexton High School emphasizes the need for a comprehensive program to address threats to student safety.

The state Senate in June unanimously passed legislation to create the program, dubbed “OK-2-SAY.” Since then, Senate Bill 374 has sat dormant in the House Appropriations Committee.

 “Safety is one of the most pressing issues facing our schools, and indeed our society,” MEA President Steve Cook said. “Teachers and education support professionals can’t help students reach their full academic potential without a safe learning environment in place. MEA strongly supports the Student Safety Act and urges Michigan lawmakers to make its passage a top priority.”

6 Michigan teachers chosen for elite U.S. group to build model lesson plans, help kids and educators succeed

EAST LANSING, Mich., Sept. 17, 2013—  Six Michigan teachers have been tapped to share their cutting-edge lesson plans, methods, observations and other tips with other teachers across the nation.

State education cuts help drive financial emergency in Pontiac School District


PONTIAC, Mich., Aug. 2, 2013 — The Pontiac School District faces a state takeover after a review team on Friday found the district to be in a financial emergency.

Pontiac Education Association urges school district to pay its health insurance provider

PONTIAC, Mich., June 25, 2013 — With a critical deadline fast approaching, the president of the Pontiac Education Association is calling on the school district to pay what it owes to its health insurance provider, so that school employees and their families can continue receiving health care.

Michigan Merit Exam is outdated; state leaders must implement new Common Core standards

“The Michigan Merit Exam is outdated and doesn’t reflect the curriculum that is being taught in classrooms throughout the state, yet students and educators are unfairly being evaluated based on MME scores,” MEA President Steve Cook said.

EAST LANSING, Mich., June 25, 2013 — This week’s release of the Michigan Merit Exam results reinforces the need for lawmakers to scrap the obsolete standardized test and instead fully implement the Common Core State Standards, the president of the Michigan Education Association said today.

The MME results showed a slight decline in student test scores this year, yet a trend of improved scores over the last four years. Proficiency scores in reading, writing, social studies, math and science have swung back and forth each year, making the exam unpredictable and unreliable.

“The Michigan Merit Exam is outdated and doesn’t reflect the curriculum that is being taught in classrooms throughout the state, yet students and educators are unfairly being evaluated based on MME scores,” MEA President Steve Cook said. “It’s time for our state’s leaders to get rid of the Michigan Merit Exam and implement the Common Core State Standards.”

Michigan educators, administrators and policymakers began the process of implementing the Common Core State Standards in 2009. States must adopt the national standards in order to receive federal education funds.

Despite the fact that educators have spent the better part of three years preparing for its launch, the Legislature earlier this month irresponsibly stripped funding for Common Core implementation. Legislators left Lansing last Thursday to begin their summer vacations.

Despite help from state, Buena Vista School District refuses to pay its teachers Friday

Without warning, the Buena Vista School District did not pay its 28 teachers Friday — despite it being a pay day and despite the state of Michigan’s sending $400,000 to the struggling district to keep it open for the remainder of the school year.

“The teachers in the Buena Vista School District have made numerous sacrifices on behalf of their students, and they deserve to get paid for the work they do so they can feed their families,” MEA Executive Director Gretchen Dziadosz said. “Teachers and their students should not be made to suffer for the school district’s financial mismanagement and Gov. Rick Snyder’s lack of support for public education.”

Friday was a scheduled pay day for the teachers, who haven’t been paid since May 10.

Sick teachers have also been barred by the district from calling substitute teachers, resulting in crowded classrooms.

Students and school employees in the Buena Vista School District are innocent victims of gross financial mismanagement by district and state administrators, as well as Gov. Rick Snyder’s reckless $1 billion in cuts to school funding.

Statement by MEA President Steve Cook on Oklahoma tornado and school employees' heroism

(The Oklahoma Education Association has set up a relief fund to assist teachers, education support professionals and school administrators impacted by the tornado that struck Moore. Click here to donate to the OEA Tornado Relief Fund.)

EAST LANSING, Mich., May 22, 2013 — The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steven Cook in reaction to Monday’s tragic tornado that struck Moore, Okla.:

“At least 24 people — including nine children — are dead, following the devastating tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., wiping out most of the town. Some of the dead children were students at Plaza Towers Elementary School, which was flattened by the storm.

“In the midst of this tragedy, I want to convey how proud MEA’s 150,000 members are of our colleagues in Oklahoma.

Statement by MEA President Steve Cook on Oklahoma tornado and school employees’ heroism

EAST LANSING, Mich., May 21, 2013 — The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steven Cook in reaction to Monday’s tragic tornado that struck Moore, Okla.:

“As I write this, at least 51 people — including 20 children — are dead, following the devastating tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., wiping out most of the town. At least seven of the dead children were students at Plaza Towers Elementary School, which was flattened by the storm. The death toll is expected to rise.

“In the midst of this tragedy, I want to convey how proud MEA’s 150,000 members are of our colleagues in Oklahoma.

“Reports continue to pour in of school employees in Moore who put themselves in harm’s way to save their students. Some used their bodies as human shields to protect children from falling rubble. Others carried children in their arms and out of collapsing schools.

“Still others lost their lives inside of their schools — a horrible end to what began as a routine day in the classroom."

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