Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:58pm

You only have until July 14-next Tuesday-- to register for MEA's 2015 Summer Leadership Conference, "Power from the Past-A Force for the Future." The Conference is scheduled for July 28-30 at Lake Superior State College in Sault Ste. Marie.

Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:57pm

Public Sector Consultants, a non-partisan public policy research firm in Lansing, has released a report offering financial recommendations and policy proposals to move Michigan forward. This comes on the heels of new State Superintendent Brian Whiston's goal of making Michigan one of the top 10 states in the next 10 years.

Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:56pm

The Senate's version of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) will finally get a hearing on the full U.S. Senate floor starting tomorrow on July 7. In mid-April, the Senate Education Committee approved the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) a week after it was introduced by co-sponsors Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). 

Posted on 06/29/15 at 12:25pm

Two weeks ago, Gov. Snyder's education advisor led House Education Committee members to believe that the Governor opposed SB 103, the teacher evaluation bill sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), chair of the Senate Education Committee. Under direct questioning, Karen McPhee replied that Snyder did not support the bill in its present form. 

However, last week his media spokesperson said that Gov. Snyder has taken no position on SB 103, but would support some changes to the bill. So far, the bill has had four hearings in Committee that still has not voted to discharge the bill.

Pavlov's bill emphasizes local control with districts allowed to choose whatever evaluation tool they wish. There are no provisions for training and no standards by which to judge those evaluation tools. MEA lobbyist Christina Canfield spoke in opposition to the bill, saying the bill is not in the best interest of teachers or children.

Last year, the House plan for teacher evaluations was very different from SB 103. That set of evaluation bills never made it through lame duck last year. Those bills set standards for the evaluation tools districts use; emphasized training for evaluators; and created a much fairer evaluation system for teachers. The MEA remains hopeful this year's House Education Committee will introduce similar amendments to SB 103.

Posted on 06/29/15 at 12:26pm

This Wednesday, Brian Whiston takes over as the new State Superintendent. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, he talks about standardized testing, school funding, charter and cyber schools, deficit schools and teacher evaluations.

Posted on 06/30/15 at 9:19am

With the passage of Michigan’s Public Employment Relations Act in 1965, teachers finally went from begging to bargaining. Thanks to PERA, all public school employees have the right to negotiate for fair wages, quality health care benefits and decent working conditions.

'Right to Work FOR LESS' introduced; only MEA affected

A “Right to Work FOR LESS” bill was introduced in the Senate today—but the proposed legislation only applies school employees represented by unions of more than 50,000 members. In practice, this applies only to MEA.

So-called “Right to Work” is wrong for Michigan

Statement from MEA President Steven Cook on introduction of Senate Bill 729

The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steven Cook in response to today’s introduction of a bill that would apply so-called “Right to Work” laws only to school employees represented by the Michigan Education Association:

“So-called ‘Right to Work’ efforts – whether they apply only to school employees or to all workers in this state – are the wrong approach to helping Michigan’s economy. This is an incredibly divisive issue that will do nothing to create jobs or help students.

MEA-Retired Board of Directors

2013

Harvey Miller

President

2013

Judy Foster

Vice President

2013

Dan Rudd

MEA’s ‘Kids not CEOs’ web ad reaches 10,000 views in just days

Satirical ad highlights very serious education cuts by Republicans

EAST LANSING, Mich., Oct. 5, 2011 — A new web ad from the Michigan Education Association showing rich CEOs ransacking a school has gone viral, logging more than 10,000 views in a matter of days. 

Senate vote ends lifetime lawmaker retiree health care benefits

A 37-1 Senate vote today ended retiree health care for lawmakers not vested in the plan by 2013.

Contact your state Senators now to oppose SB 618-624

There is a good chance that portions of the Senate “education reform” package, SB 618-624 will come up for a vote soon. 

Public schools lose too when online students fail

An investigative report on Colorado virtual schools shows that Colorado taxpayers will spend $100 million this year on online schools going to K-12 online students who are no longer participating in the program.

Charter schools spend less on students, the classroom

Charter schools spend more of their budgets on administrative and maintenance costs instead of in the classroom. Robert Burgess, the former president of the Michigan School Business Officers Association, presented the data from the 2009-10 school year which shows 22.5 percent of charter school budgets is spent on administrative costs while public schools spend 11.5 percent on the same costs.

Connecting anti-public school employee sentiment to education reform

The hate being spewed toward public school employees has an impact on the success of education reform in Michigan.

Contact your state Senators now to oppose SB 618

Senate Bill 618, which eliminates the cap on charter schools and allows for the outsourcing of teachers, was reported out of the Senate Education Committee and is now headed to the floor of the full Senate for a vote -- perhaps as early as next week.

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