Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:45pm

According to the latest KIDS COUNT Data Book published by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, Michigan ranks 32nd when it comes to a child's overall well-being compared to other states. Michigan dropped one slot in ranking from last year, making it the worst-performing state in the Great Lakes region. 

Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:46pm

Michigan isn't the only state looking to establish stricter guidelines for charter school authorizers. A policy brief by the Education Commission of the States (ECS), reports that while 42 states have charter school legislation, only  33 states have authorizing bodies that are responsible for approving and overseeing charters schools. But only 15 of those states have set standards for authorizers.

Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:47pm

More families will be able to qualify for free and reduced-priced meals with the new household income guidelines established by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). The guidelines will determine eligibility for the 2014-15 school year and will be effective through June 30, 2015.

Posted on 07/21/14 at 11:40pm

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is advising teachers not to change their lesson plans, despite the fact that the MEAP, instead of Smarter Balanced assessments, is being used next spring. The Legislature made that choice when they passed a state budget that requires the MEAP. MDE previously recommended Smarter Balanced.

Posted on 07/21/14 at 11:51pm

The Great Lakes Center annually releases a recommended "summer reading list" for educators. The list evaluates the so-called education reform movement and whether or not those reforms really work.

Posted on 07/15/14 at 11:23am

The Sunday, July 13 edition of the Lansing State Journal covered the issue of teacher evaluations in its "A Greater Lansing Outlook" section. Included is a column by MEA President Steve Cook, "Teachers support bills for fair evaluations," highlighting MEA's involvement in writing HB 5223 and HB 5224. 

Educators raising their hands on National Day of Action

Parents, students, educators and community leaders across the country are raising their hands and demanding more for America’s children. 

Dec. 9 is the National Day of Action, with the slogan of "Raise Your Hand for our Schools and our Solutions." Communities are demanding that those who know students best devise and implement community-driven solutions to tackle the opportunity gaps in American education.

The day of action is an outgrowth of ongoing collaboration among the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and several key community partners to mobilize support for public education, pushing back against the corporate takeover of our public schools and lifting up the voices of practitioners and communities about what is best for our students.

Together, the groups have developed "The Principles that Unite Us"—a common vision for public education. It stands in sharp contrast to the corporate agenda for public schools, market driven reform that attempts to impose a system of winners and losers. More than 100 community groups and unions have already endorsed the principles.

Paula Maurer-Westbook: Talked into a distinguished career

MEA members get free and discounted life insurance

It pays to plan ahead -- and MEA members don’t have to pay much to do just that.

Every MEA member is eligible for free life insurance through NEA Member Benefits, as well as deep discounts on group term and individual life insurance plans through MEA Financial Services.

Member Voice: Why we should support MEA

All four of my grandparents came to Flint on trains and ships to pursue a living wage and a brighter future for their families.

School employees explain why they’re sticking with MEA

MEA recently announced that despite Michigan’s so-called “right-to-work” law’s taking effect, 99 percent of MEA members have decided to remain with their union.

Teachers, education support professionals and higher-education employees who remain members enjoy numerous member-only advantages for their careers, for their rights, for their wallets and for public education.

MEA Voice asked members to explain why they decided to stick with their union. Here is a sample of responses:

  • Julie Brill, Kentwood Public Schools: “To me, my union is my family. I will stick with them through thick and thin. I also believe that collective bargaining rights are the only way to keep education strong and solid as we move forward. Having my working conditions protected means that the learning conditions for kids are protected.”

MEA members and supporters share what they’re thankful for

With Thanksgiving coming up, MEA asked subscribers to its Facebook page what they’re thankful for this holiday season. Here are a few of their responses:

Increasing number of school districts facing credit rating downgrades

The proliferation of charter schools throughout Michigan has left many school districts in serious financial trouble, according to a new report from Wall Street, leaving thousands of children without critical classroom resources.

MEA members have access to employee rights experts

One of the biggest advantages of MEA membership is the service provided directly to members by MEA’s local UniServ directors.

These highly trained professional labor relations consultants help teachers, education support professionals and higher education employees access a wide variety of services available only to members.

MEA Scholarship nominations now open

Haslett and Lansing members honored with ‘Building Leaders’ award

Haslett Public Schools teacher Wendy McCann and Lansing School District teacher Dan Boggan recently were recently presented with the “Building Leaders” award from WVFN-AM’s “The Drive with Jack Ebling.”

MEA and Home Management Company co-sponsor the award, which recognizes Mid-Michigan school employees who have gone above and beyond to help student athletes.

McCann serves as head volleyball coach at Haslett High School, while Boggan is head football coach at Lansing’s Sexton High.

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