Unintended? Consequences

By Jason Stidham Livingston County Resident Re-employed Washtenaw County Teacher Last year was set to be extra special for my family. It marked my 20th anniversary teaching at the same district, and after helping more than 1,500 students move toward graduation at my school, it was now MY daughter’s turn to graduate from the neighboring district…

Fear, Mistrust, Frustration: A Look into Michigan’s Punishing Teacher Evaluation Experiment

Stories by Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor MEA member Corey O’Bryan never planned to be a teacher. A self-proclaimed nerd in high school, he entered Western Michigan University to study engineering—until discovering he wanted to share his love of math and science more than he wished to pursue his childhood dream of designing robotics for military…

Veteran Teacher: ‘At the wrong place at the wrong time’

Jason Stidham has lived every educator’s nightmare. A high school English teacher for 20 years, he was laid off last June—despite his “Effective” rating—when his Michigan district needed to make staffing cuts. His evaluation score was two-one-hundredths of a point lower than a newer, younger colleague, and suddenly, “My district was no longer obligated to honor the commitment…

MEA Legal Update: Evaluations and Due Process

It’s not over yet, but a seven-year court battle by MEA over a tenured teacher’s termination has so far provided some clarity in what’s required of school districts before they make a layoff decision based on an educator’s evaluation. In March, the Michigan Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that the case of Summer…

Find Help from MEA

MEA tools and training can assist members in navigating the teacher evaluation system. A training cadre is available to visit local associations to deliver the latest information about the law’s requirements and specific state-approved tools used by local districts, and to provide access to Michigan Department of Education resources related to evaluation. The training includes…

Act Now to Change Student Growth Percentage

MEA lobbyists have been pushing for changes to the state’s evaluation law for more than a year. As of press time, House Bill 4221 and Senate Bill 122 were under consideration in the state Legislature. The measures would return the percentage of an educator’s annual evaluation that is tied to student growth measures to 25…

Who Will Listen To Educators?

Only 25 percent of all Michigan educators—and just 20 percent of teachers—would recommend a career in education to a young person they know, according to results from Launch Michigan’s 2019 Statewide Educator Survey. The top driver of dissatisfaction in their profession? Seventy-two percent say it’s “lack of support from policy-makers and politicians.” “Teaching is a…

Labor Voices Opinion: Educators rate evaluation ‘ineffective’

April 17, 2019 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association For some time, Michigan educators have been ringing the alarm bell about our broken evaluation system. It’s time for policymakers to listen. A recent survey of nearly 17,000 educators by Launch Michigan — a coalition of education, labor, business and philanthropic organizations — found only…

MEA calls on Legislature to pass Senate Bill 122, keep broken evaluation system from getting worse

EAST LANSING – The Michigan Education Association today called on lawmakers in the state House to take swift action and pass Senate Bill 122, which would delay a drastic increase in the weight student test scores have on teachers’ evaluations, making the current broken evaluations system worse. “Michigan educators have been demoralized by the current…