Posted on 02/23/15 at 3:31pm

More Michigan children are living in poverty according to the annualKids Count report by the Michigan League for Public Policy and  funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The number of children in poverty increased by 35 percent with one in four children living in poverty and one in three qualifying for food assistance because their families’ incomes are $23,600 or less a year.

Posted on 02/23/15 at 3:32pm

The U.S. House is expected to pass a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) this Friday. Unfortunately, this rewrite does nothing to help students learn or teachers teach. The focus has shifted to more testing, labeling of schools and then punishing them for their “failure,” while doing nothing to close achievement gaps.

Posted on 02/25/15 at 9:21am

If you believe our schools and safer roads are important to the quality of life in Michigan, circle May 5 on your calendar. On that day, voters will be asked to vote on a proposal that would raise over $1 billion to repair Michigan’s dangerous roads and bridges, while raising $300 million in new revenue for Michigan public schools, funded by a 1-cent increase in the state sales tax.

Posted on 02/18/15 at 3:01pm

MEA members Marcia Hudson and Linda Maniago of Avondale were awarded a $5,000 Learning and Leadership Grant from NEA for their Teacher Lab project. In this latest round, NEA awarded 16 Learning and Leadership Grants. 

Posted on 02/18/15 at 3:02pm

Michigan State University scholars have created a financial health-indicator system for school districts that could be facing financial stress. The proactive system uses research and information from other states to analyze the fiscal health of school districts and is outlined in a white paper, “Knowledgeable Navigation to Avoid the Iceberg.”

Posted on 02/18/15 at 3:06pm

When you find yourself in a hole, the first step to getting out is to stop digging.

The hole I am referring to is the $1 billion taxpayers spend each year on Michigan’s experiment with charter schools. A recent report by a pro charter school group ranks Michigan’s charter school accountability law last among similar states. 

Utica teacher chosen for NEA’s State Network of Educators on CCSS

Cassandra Joss, a kindergarten teacher at Utica’s Burr Elementary School, has been chosen by NEA to participate in its State Network of Educators (SNE). As part of the Network, she will be helping teachers in Michigan and across the country prepare for Common Core.

Walled Lake teacher, MEA member named Michigan Teacher of the Year

Melody Arabo, Michigan Teacher of the Year
Melody Arabo, Michigan Teacher of the Year

Melody Arabo, a third grade teacher at Walled Lake’s Keith Elementary School and a member of the Walled Lake Education Association, was named the 2014-15 Michigan Teacher of the Year by State Superintendent Mike Flanagan at an afternoon assembly today. Arabo, a teacher at Keith for 12 years, was chosen from 238 applicants statewide.

Evaluation bills pass the House

On a 95-14 vote today, the House passed HB 5223, the bipartisan effort to establish a statewide teacher evaluation process. And with a 96-13 vote, the House also passed HB 5224 which creates an administrator evaluation system.

The bills represent several years of work and address the teacher tenure reforms the Legislature passed in 2011. Under that legislation, 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation would be based on student growth in the 2015-16 school year.

But thanks to the work of MEA lobbyists and other work group members, 25 percent of student growth will continue to be part of teacher evaluations through the 2016-17 school year. Beginning in 2017-18, the percentage would increase to 40 percent. That represents a significant change.

On the House floor today, the only change to the bill came in an amendment requiring the Department of Education to provide a report to the Legislature in 2018 that describes the impact of this new statewide evaluation process.

The bills will now go to the Senate for consideration.

An invitation for you: BE IN OUR PICTURE!

Have you ever had a secret desire to see your face on the cover of a magazine? Or how about having thousands of people see your picture every day?

If you have—we’ve got an opportunity to make you dreams come true!

On Saturday, May 17, 2014, we are shooting the picture that will be on the cover of the 2014-15 MEA calendar. This year’s theme, “We believe in  public education,” will be brought to life with a group shot of as many MEA members and their children who want to be a part of MEA history. We want to showcase you and your commitment to public education and students.

We need bright, shiny faces of members wearing bright colors—please no T-shirts with slogans or pictures—and dressed in your regular work clothes or uniforms. Diversity is our goal.  We want a representation of all of our MEA members—from gender to race to age to job classifications.

We also want to include students, so please bring your children with you to the photo shoot.

MEA President Steve Cook: ‘We’ve taken a large step backward in school funding.’

The State Board of Education (SBE) today heard MEA President Steve Cook tell them that Michigan is no longer a national leader when it comes to education systems because of its failure to adequately fund public education.

21 trends to watch for their impact on education

What’s driving the changes in education? What are the trends we should be watching?
“Twenty-One Trends for the 21st Century: Out of the Trenches and into the Future” may have the answers. Written by futurist Gary Marx, the book also provides real strategies to develop the leaders needed to manage these trends.

Sponsor a hole to support the MEA Scholarship Fund

Even if you don’t play golf, you can help build the MEA Scholarship Fund by sponsoring a hole at the 14th Annual MEA Scholarship Fund Golf Outing  at Forest Akers West Golf Course in Lansing on June 16, 2014.

Don’t throw away your MEAP test instruction book just yet

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has asked for a one-year extension on its No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver from the federal government so it can meet some of the act’s components. 

‘Take a Walk’ for Education on Saturday

Join the 12-B Coordinating Council and other friends of education in Midland on Saturday, May 17, for a “Walk for Education” to support adequate funding of our public schools.

LPA gives local leaders needed support, training so locals and members thrive

Strong, active local associations all seem to have one thing in common—well-trained presidents who have the resources, training and time necessary to do the jobs for which there were elected. 

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