MDE Seeks “Partnership” with 40 More Schools

Two dozen Michigan schools from 21 districts will be newly offered a “Partnership Agreement” with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to improve academic performance over the next few years or face additional consequences.

The “partnership agreement” model of addressing schools with low test scores began one year ago to avoid the controversial move of closing down neighborhood schools. This year’s list includes 16 charter schools.

Art Show Winner Gets ‘Moving’ Shot

MEA-Retired member Lynn Gregg, whose photography entry won this year’s “Best in Show” award at the MEA-MAEA Art Exhibition, says he captured the winning shot while aboard a moving train. Gregg was touring Saint Kitts Island in the Caribbean from an open-air train when he saw a smiling mother holding her baby and waving from…

Build Your Skills and Spirit—Register for Our Biggest Conference of the Year!

Less than one week remains to register for MEA’s biggest conference of the year at early-bird rates. Don’t miss out on the 2018 Bargaining, Public Affairs & Professional Development Conference. The Feb. 8-9 event at Cobo Center in Detroit will feature training sessions in advocacy, negotiations, communications, member engagement, political action, and professional development. This year’s…

Inspiring Former Aide, Secretary Helped in Illness

Rennee Alderman has worn different job titles in Cadillac Area Public Schools – recess aide, paraprofessional, secretary – but for MEA member Heidi Stange the most important role Alderman played over the years is “friend.”

Stange is now an instructional literacy coach for the district, but for many years she was a Title I reading specialist with Alderman tutoring kids alongside her. Children loved Alderman, Stange said, but so did adults—she brightened the lives of everyone with her cheery attitude and habit of calling everyone “Sunshine.”

“We’re providing her some sunshine now,” Stange said.

Alderman was forced to retire after 25 years in the district when a mystery illness zapped her energy and mobility – leaving her in constant pain. She has since been diagnosed with Lyme Disease, but treatments are not covered by insurance – so Stange has organized community fundraisers to rally some help.

Their story is yet another example of union members taking care of each other. Associations across the state routinely come together to take care of their own, as in Algonac, where members raised money and volunteered labor in a Habitat for Humanity home build for a member; and in Adrian where members donated to a union-administered sick day bank to help a new mom whose baby needed open heart surgery.

It wasn’t easy to convince Alderman to accept assistance, because she’s used to being the one caring for others, Stange said. Over the years, Alderman organized countless potlucks and supply drives to help families in need in the community.