Posted on 11/17/14 at 2:56pm

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has given the okay for school districts to move ahead with their plans for the new statewide student assessment to be given in the spring of 2015. M-STEP, the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress, meets the requirements mandated by the Legislature to update the MEAP.

Posted on 11/17/14 at 2:57pm

Lack of adequate education funding has not only impacted class size, staffing and programs, it has also hit school transportation budgets. The result is more Michigan school buses flunking the latest round of state safety inspections.

Posted on 11/10/14 at 4:38pm

The Senate and the House are both considering legislation which would give high school students certification in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) on their diplomas. If such legislation becomes law, it would make Michigan the first state in the country to offer STEM certification. 

Posted on 11/10/14 at 4:39pm

Education Trust-Midwest, a non-partisan research, information and advocacy center, compiled a list of the most common myths about education in Michigan. Their list is a result of discussions with many organizations—both educational and non-educational—across the state.

Posted on 11/03/14 at 4:19pm

Eleven Michigan charter schools met the Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE) deadline for fixing administrative issues like posting documents on their websites, but they could still face suspension this month over academic performance. State Superintendent Flanagan plans to meet with the authorizers of those 11 schools before deciding whether authorizers would be barred from opening any new charter schools until all issues are addressed.

Posted on 11/03/14 at 4:20pm

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS) are promising to work together to improve assessments at the state and local levels. One of their specific commitments is to evaluate state assessment systems for quality and coherence. The two groups will partner with districts to review their assessments.

President Steve Cook in the Detroit News: Will Michigan schools run out of money?

March Madness.

For some, it means college basketball’s biggest tournament. For many Michigan drivers, March Madness has meant dodging crater-sized potholes as our roads continue to deteriorate. But for Michigan school districts, March Madness has taken on a new meaning: the growing fear that money will run out before the year ends.

Last year saw the tip of the iceberg with Saginaw Buena Vista closing its doors three weeks early. This year, many other districts are teetering on the brink of financial collapse. Just like Michigan’s roads, Michigan’s school districts have been denied adequate funding to sustain themselves.

To see just how badly each district in the state has been hurt by Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative leaders, the Michigan Education Association recently unveiled a new website, kidsnotceos.com. . . 

Click here to read the entire article.

Whittemore-Prescott Teachers Agree to Wage Cuts

Houghton Lake, Mich., March 7, 2014--Teachers in the Whittemore-Prescott school district recently agreed to significant wage reductions to keep schools open and prevent the district from going into deficit.

Putting the focus on education

In a Lansing State Journal opinion editorial, MEA members Lisa Crites from Okemos and Gini Larson from Waverly write, “As public educators, we believe that all children should have the opportunity to get a good, quality education in our public schools. And all students should have the opportunity to get a well-rounded education that includes extracurricular activities like arts, drama, athletics and clubs.”

Gini Larson and Lisa Crites: See what's happened to your schools' funding

As policymakers debate Michigan’s budget, politicians are rightfully focusing their attention on education. Frontline teachers like us welcome the focus — and urge legislators to fully fund our classrooms and restore resources to our kids after three years of going backwards on education.

Read the entire Lansing State Journal opinion editorial from two of our members

 

Michigan gets $16.7 million to help low achieving schools

Michigan will be receiving $16,757,681 to help the lowest performing schools in the state. The money is part of a “School Improvement Grants” program established by the U.S. Department of Education.

State Board wants schools to reduce number of suspensions, expulsions

The State Board of Education (SBE) wants schools districts to review their zero tolerance policies on suspensions and expulsions in an effort to reduce the number of times they are used to discipline students for minor problems.

Michigan will field test MEAP replacement

Today opens the window period for the field testing of the Smarter Balanced Assessment tests which will replace the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) next year. More than 120,000 students in 675 schools across the state are scheduled to participate in two field test windows.

Help for Common Core available through MEA Cadre

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has an impact on virtually every facet of education, but there are still members needing assistance putting them into practice in their classrooms. Now, there’s professional development help available with the MEA Leading with Common Core Leadership and Advocacy Cadre (CCLAC). 

Through the efforts of MEA’s Professional Development/Human Rights Department, 26 MEA members were invited to join CCLAC to assist teachers across the state in dealing with the instructional and policy implications of CCSS. The Cadre is made up of teachers from across the state and will be providing professional development through online and face-to-face trainings.

Melanie Waltz, Field Services Consultant and organizer of the program, said, “The Cadre will have the opportunity to work with teachers across the state to advocate and support CCSS in a way that will have a positive impact on teachers and students.”

SMEA Conference

March 21, 2015

Please check back for information on the 2015 SMEA Conference.

Groups blame policymakers for skyrocketing cost of higher education

According to the Consumer Price Index, college costs across the country have doubled. Michigan is not exception and the reason can be traced back to budget decisions being made by our legislators. In Michigan, the cost of a college education is more and more being shifted to students since legislative support for higher education has been dwindling.

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