Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:44am

According to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), there is no provision in state or federal law that allows parents to opt their children out of assessments, like the M-STEP currently being administered in schools, without it counting against their school and district’s participation rates. MDE offered its official position last week in a memo to ISD Superintendents, Local Agency Superintendents, and Public School Academy Directors.

Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:15am

MEA is partnering with NEA, the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to sponsor the Teaching Leadership Initiative (TLI) program. If you’re an MEA member and ready to take hold of your career and learn to lead in matters of practice and policy—if you’re an MEA member eager to make a difference in your classroom, but not sure where to begin—TLI is for you.

Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:33am

The two vendors who are currently administering the 2015 Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) assessments won a three-year contract to continue their work. Data Recognition Corporation, a Minnesota-based company, and North Carolina-based Measurement, Inc. were awarded the contract by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB). 

Posted on 03/25/15 at 10:10am

The Center for Michigan, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, is collecting feedback from Michigan citizens about the Michigan workforce experience through an online surveyThey’re specifically looking for information from educators like you about career navigation.

Posted on 03/25/15 at 1:20pm

The ice has melted and the roads are worse.

Michigan’s deteriorating roads and bridges pose a serious safety threat to drivers. Crater-size potholes are responsible for extensive damage to our automobiles.

Posted on 03/23/15 at 12:01pm

There is a push on for the next two weeks to ensure that reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is done right this time. It's expected that the Senate will take up the ESEA on April 14.

President Steven Cook in the Detroit News: Michigan Schools are hurting

After years of crippling budget cuts to public education, the Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder agreed to a small funding increase in the 2014-15 education budget. This increase, timed to coincide with the governor’s re-election campaign, seems more politically motivated than an act of generosity.

But a long record of deep cuts to public schools will not be erased with a miniscule election-year funding increase.

The foundation allowance increase varies by district from a low of 29 cents a day per student to about a dollar a day at the top end. This is hardly a windfall and doesn’t even keep pace with inflation.

Today, we have 50 school districts in deficit spending and facing financial collapse. A funding increase of a mere 29 cents a day will not change that. And it certainly won’t alleviate the financial strain on all school districts across the state — districts still coping with the $1 billion cut in funding Gov. Rick Snyder handed them in his first year in office.

Read entire article.

Who is the Mackinac Center?

First launched as a "non-partisan research and educational institute dedicated to improving the quality of Michigan residents by promoting sound solutions to state and local policy questions," the Mackinac Center now uses anti-union, anti-school employee, anti-public  education tactics to push its agenda. 

Take some time for PD reading on Common Core

Education Week Spotlight is a regular collection of articles by its editors on professional development topics. This week, the magazine features the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). 

After 20 years, what’s going on with charter schools in Michigan?

The June 22 edition of the Detroit Free Press began an extensive special report on charter schools in Michigan. "State of Charter Schools: After 2 Decades, Michigan Has Promises to Keep" is the result of a year-long investigation into what’s been going on since the first charter schools opened 20 years ago. Today, the charters spend almost $1 billion in state money—with little oversight--for the more than 140,000 students enrolled in charter schools.  

Support arts education—become an assessment developer or content reviewer

The Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment Project (MAEIA) is looking for members this summer to support the development of two arts education projects.

Michigan teacher inducted into National Teacher Hall of Fame

Gary Koppelman

Gary Koppelmann, a long-time Blissfield Community Schools teacher, is one of five teachers inducted into the 2014 National Teachers Hall of Fame. The National Teachers Hall of Fame honors five individuals from more than 7 million great teachers in the United States.

Who’s really looking out for your best interest?

The school year is over and it’s tempting to just put aside the memories of all the attacks on school employees by those with an anti-education agenda. Unfortunately, our enemies aren’t taking a break this summer. Leading the pack is the Mackinac Center that’s making sure you question your commitment to public education and your union.

Education funding levels decided by Legislature; waiting for Gov.’s signature

Funding for all levels of education was decided by the Legislature this week when HB 5314 passed the Senate. Funding levels are set for K-12, community colleges and universities.  The legislation is now on its way to Gov. Snyder for his signature.

What did you learn in school today, Mr. Schauer?

Plenty--according to his opinion editorial, “Day at school highlights need to reverse school cuts,” which appeared in the Macomb Daily. Schauer, the Democratic candidate for governor, spent the day at Armada High School learning first-hand what it means to be a student and a teacher in a Michigan public school.

48 school districts end the year with a budget deficit

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) identified 48 Michigan school districts and charters operating with a budget deficit. State Superintendent Mike Flanagan released the names of those districts in his quarterly report to the Legislature on the financial health of the state’s public schools.

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