Posted on 12/16/14 at 12:49pm

The Michigan Department of Education's (MDE) special education rule changes did not make it through a Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) and will have to be reintroduced next year. MDE wanted the rule changes to clarify language and help carry out federal law.

Posted on 12/16/14 at 12:52pm

How charter management companies spend more than $1 billion dollars in state taxpayer dollars is again the focus of a news article in the Detroit Free Press. "Public money for schools buys private property" uncovers the arrangement National Heritage Academies (NHA) has with its schools. NHA, not the school, owns the school buildings and the contents, even though that's all been purchased with taxpayer money.

Posted on 12/01/14 at 11:59am

The University of Michigan's College of Education received a $1.1 million grant to improve how teachers are trained. U-M will use the money to work with other states to change what's required of new teachers and how they receive mentoring once they're in the classroom. Hopefully, Michigan will be one of those states. 

Posted on 12/04/14 at 12:21pm

In a letter to members of the House of Representatives today, MEA President Steve Cook and AFT-Michigan President David Hecker are urging members of the House of Representatives to oppose HB 5111 if it continues to require retention of third grade students who are not reading at grade level. Both MEA and AFT are instead recommending early intervention with a reading improvement plan that is adequately funded on a long-term basis.

 

Posted on 12/08/14 at 2:50pm

Too much time and too little money keep most college students from earning a degree in four years according to Complete College America’s report, “4-year degrees now a myth in American higher education.” 

Posted on 12/08/14 at 2:51pm

Don’t be taken in by a message to “coaches, teachers, and other interested parties” from a “Scholarship Selection Committee” offering scholarships to “Michigan High School Seniors.” MEA is not involved with nor endorses this program.

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.

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.

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