A Clarion Call

In the light of current national events, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor recently made a call for strengthening civics education. She made the statement as she announced her struggle with Alzheimer’s disease and planned withdrawal from public life. “It is my great hope that our nation will commit to educating our youth…

Member Wins National Award

MEA member Chad Downs almost left the field of education before he started. During his pre-student teaching at Eastern Michigan University, Downs said he couldn’t find a school or program that fit with his beliefs about education and creativity. Then an EMU advisor intervened and introduced him to Ann Arbor Open School, and the rest…

Retirees Lead on National Level

Every other Wednesday a group of silver-haired men sit around some pushed-together tables in a Brighton diner for breakfast and companionship, and their talk inevitably turns to the state of public education. They can’t help themselves. This gathering of more than a dozen regulars typically includes six former presidents of the Huron Valley Education Association…

Joe Macaluso

Are there political divisions or tribes at your school? Although our area of Northern Michigan is relatively conservative, divisions do not come through strongly at Cherryland Middle School in a normal election cycle. I’m not sure anyone would call the 2016 Presidential election normal, though. During the summer and fall of 2016, it was the…

Tak Ready

Are there political divisions or tribes at your school? There is definitely a mixture of political views. In the 2016 mock election at Traverse City West Senior High School, Hillary Clinton won by 1 vote out of approximately 500 votes cast. So the school is pretty evenly divided. What does student political involvement look like?…

Brian Taylor

What do you do to interest students in how government works? Students at my school—like other Michigan Merit Curriculum schools—are required to pass a government class to graduate. Having a captive audience, however, is not enough. I try to engage students in a variety of ways. I move the desks at least twice a week;…

Mike Weathers

What current events/arguments/court cases have you used to draw students into deeper learning and debate? I try to spend about 20 minutes per hour of AP Government every day to discuss current events to interest students in government. Students need to answer daily written warmup questions to show their opinions and knowledge about different topics.…

How to Build School Funding

An appeal for your activism What would it mean to have smaller class sizes in your school? Or to have additional counselors and social workers in your district to address students’ social-emotional and mental health needs? What about returning a certified librarian to every building? Equipping students with books, supplies and technology? Committing to the…

Breaking the Silence

New programs help schools address mental health, suicide crisis By Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor Right down to the buzz haircut, MEA member Keith Garrison looks every bit the part he plays at West Bloomfield High School. A 25-year physical education and health teacher in the district, Garrison tries to list all of the sports…