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.

Rochester MEA members make their money ‘talk’ to local businesses

Members of Rochester's North Hill Elementary School spent their money at Penny Black, a Rochester neighborhood restaurant.

Sometimes it takes a powerful visual to make the point that school employees are the backbone of a community’s economy. In Rochester, those employees let their money do the talking for them at their “Educator’s Cash Mob” on March 6.

Dexter custodian receives Leon Brunner Award at ESP Conference

Richard Wines of Dexter is the 2014 recipient of the Leon A. Brunner Award for his contributions to ESP.

Richard Wines, a custodian at Wylie Elementary School in Dexter, was honored with the ESP Caucus' highest award, the 2014 Leon A. Brunner Award at this year’s MEA ESP Statewide Conference. The award is given to an educational support professional who has made significant contributions to ESP and has exhibited a high degree of commitment to ESP issues and concerns.

Wines is president of his local, Coordinating Council Chair, and a Region 3 member of the ESP Caucus Executive Board.

In accepting his award, Wines described MEA and its members as a family and how “the family” is at a crossroads.

“Our family is being hurt. We need to sway our family to have a reunion and start rebuilding this union.  And we can do that by engaging each member of the family,” Wines said. 

MATE workshop designed for aspiring, practicing teachers

Are you feeling adrift in all that it takes to be a teacher today —struggling students, classroom management challenges?  technology? The Michigan Association of Teacher Educators (MATE) may be able to provide you with some guidance at its Spring 2014 Aspiring and Practicing Teacher Workshop, March 22, 2014 at Wayne State University.

Message on behalf of MEA President Steven Cook

You may be hearing about the “Classrooms and Kids” school funding proposal from your local superintendent. It is purported to put more money into the per-pupil foundation allowance. While it does increase the bottom line for per-pupil spending, the proposal gets its $186 million increase from eliminating a number of categorical aid line items.

You may not recognize the new SAT

The last major changes to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) came in 2005, but now the SAT to be released in spring 2016 will undergo major changes according to the College Board. 

MDE responding to complaints about school lunch periods being too short

In response to a "flood of complaints" from parents and school districts, the State Department of Education (MDE) is issuing recommendations to address the problem of students not having enough time to eat their lunch.

'Boost Breakfast' regional trainings feature national child nutritionist

Research shows that a successful school breakfast program improves student attendance, reduces classroom behavior problems, and help students do better academically. School employees are an integral part of such a program. That's why Michigan Team Nutrition and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan need your help.

Keep children safe while they’re online

Michigan children are inundated with advertisements from alcohol, tobacco, pornography and gambling marketers through the Internet and cell phones.

The State of Michigan offers a free registry to stop adult advertisements from reaching emails, mobile phones, text messages and instant messenger addresses. At www.ProtectMichild.com, parents, educators, schools and families can sign up for this free do-not-contact service that MEA supports.

Help spread the word. Tell your colleagues, friends and school district how they can protect children and families from unwanted adult advertising.

EAA alternative bill discharged from Committee

Bills which provide an alternative to the expansion of the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) have been moved out of the House Education Committee and await action on the House floor. HB 5268 and HB 5269, sponsored by Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton (D-Huntington Woods) and Rep. Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids), will allow ISDs to have a part in assisting struggling schools.

New website shows impact Snyder’s education cuts has on every school district

Kids not CEOs

Thanks to a new online tool unveiled yesterday, parents, educators, teachers, school staff and policymakers can now see exactly how much Gov. Rick Snyder’s school cuts have hurt students in every school district across the state. Since Snyder became governor in 2011, his education cuts have impacted classroom sizes, courses and programs, staffing, and basic school supplies.

Despite Snyder’s proposed 2014-15 budget increase of an average of $111 per pupil, the new website, www.kidsnotceos.com shows that every Michigan child will still be hurt. The shortfall ranges from $129 per pupil in many districts to a high of $770 per pupil in Wayne-Westland schools. But big corporations are still enjoying Snyder’s billions of dollars in tax breaks while classrooms suffer from a lack of vital resources.

“Every Michigan parent, teacher and citizen concerned about the future of our children should go to www.kidsnotceos.com to see the facts for themselves,” said Okemos High School math teacher Lisa Crites. “Gov. Snyder’s fuzzy math shortchanges Michigan children and robs them of the chance to learn and succeed.”

In Okemos, class sizes have almost doubled and staff positions have been lost. The result is students losing out on needed individualized attention from teachers. And since budgets are tight, the district can no longer afford to purchase supplies, so Crites has spent more than $1,400 out of her own pocket to provide resources her students need.

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