Posted on 10/20/14 at 2:59pm

The Michigan Public Schools Partnership (MPSP) has launched InspirED, a newsletter featuring the innovative and inspiring stories happening every day for Michigan's 1.5 million public school students. 

Posted on 10/20/14 at 2:57pm

Michigan is one of 16 states that will probably be looking for flexibility from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) standards that call for using student test scores in teacher evaluations. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) is offering to give states that already have an NCLB waiver even longer to create new assessments. Currently, the state still doesn't have an assessment that measures student growth.

Posted on 10/20/14 at 2:56pm

According to a report released last month by the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE), nearly 1.26 million homeless students in primary and secondary grades across the country were enrolled in the 2012-13 school year. 

Posted on 10/14/14 at 9:53am

MEA members can now access MEA information and news via a new mobile app for iPhones and Android devices. You can link to the app or go into the iPhone "App Store" or Android's "Google Play" and search for "Michigan Education Association."

Posted on 10/14/14 at 9:04am

Amanda Erspamer-Berry, an MEA member and teacher in Marquette's Alternative High School, is one of 15 finalists for a $100,000 grant in Farmers Insurance "Dream Big Teacher Challenge." The grant is challenging educators from across the country to submit innovative proposals that would help students. Winners will be chosen based on the number of votes they receive. Your vote can help make Amanda's vision become a reality for her students.

Posted on 10/14/14 at 9:08am

NEA President Lily Eskelsen has finished her Back-to-School Tour and talks about "What I Saw, Who I Met and What You Should Know About My Back to School Tour" in her blog at LilysBlackboard.org.  She talks about her visit to Northwestern High School in Flint where students and staff worked hard to move the school off Michigan's Priority Schools list. Read what she learned from members across the country.

Small Business Support

Over the past 18 months, politicians in Lansing have made it more difficult for small businesses.  Although promising to reduce regulations and pass incentives to create jobs, they have, in fact, created an environment that reduces jobs and threatens the average worker’s ability to purchase goods and services from small businesses.  Decisions about wages, benefits and working conditions that were once made at the bargaining table between employers and employees have been taken out of their hands, causing workers to have less money available to spend at local businesses.

Just the facts on funding, salaries, pensions

Talk of education reform in Michigan eventually turns to per pupil funding and the salaries and benefits of school employees.  Budget talks this year showed legislators intent on reforming how the state funds its schools and how it pays its teacher. But the data shows that Michigan isn’t leading the pack when it comes to the funding of schools and pensions or teacher salaries.

700,000 voices need to be heard

Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution (CPMC) will take their opposition to the Protect Our Jobs petition to court to prevent the issue from being on the Nov. ballot after the Secretary of State (SOS) declined the group’s earlier request.

It must be an election year

Gov. Snyder spent the last several days signing--and, surprisingly, vetoing--legislation that supposedly helps Michigan's middle class and voters. But remember--this is an election year.

Snyder baits school districts again with more money

The stakes are higher and the "carrot" is less enticing this year, but school districts can still get a $52 per pupil reward for completing seven out of eight of the state’s best practices. Last year, schools got $100 per pupil for jumping through Gov. Snyder’s hoops.

Many of the best practices are the same as last year and include: acting as policy holder for health care benefits; bidding at least one non-instructional service; participating in Schools of Choice; measuring student growth twice a year and reporting to parents or providing MDE with a plan for developing the technology necessary to assess student growth; providing dual enrollment; providing online or blended learning opportunities; providing a dashboard for parents and the community; and providing state Board of Education-approved physical education and health classes.

Constitutional amendment to protect collective bargaining

Over the past 18 months, politicians in Lansing have attacked collective bargaining and the rights of workers. In doing so, they have attacked workers’ families and small businesses.  It’s time that middle class families speak out to protect the jobs, wages, benefits and safety of all working people by voting YES on the constitutional amendment to protect collective bargaining.

The constitutional amendment to protect collective bargaining will protect workers by:

Detroit EM imposes teacher contract

Roy Roberts, the state-appointed Emergency Manager for the Detroit public schools, has imposed a contract on teachers. According to PA 4, the Emergency Manager has the power to void current contracts and make changes to working conditions. Details of the new contract won't be available until AFT Michigan meets with its members.

Michigan loses out again in NCLB waiver request

Five more states are getting waivers to No Child Left Behind's mandate--Michigan isn't one of them. Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Virginia and Utah join 19 other states that won't have to meet the law's requirement that all students are proficient in math and reading by 2014.

Michigan NEA RA delegates in D.C. this week

The National Education Association Representative Assembly (NEA RA) in Washington, D.C. has been in full swing since last week with groups such as the National Council of Urban Education Association, NEA-Retired and NEA Student Leadership holding meetings.

MME scores report some good news, some not-so-good news

Michigan high school students generally improved over last year in most subject areas of the Michigan Merit Exam (MME)--but if you recalculate previous scores according to our new scoring system--achievement is still low.

The state Department of Education (MDE) adopted the new scoring system in 2010 to better gauge if students are ready for college and careers. Despite the higher cut scores to determine proficiency, most high school juniors scored "proficient" in math, reading, writing and science. The MDE sees the improvement in the latest test scores as a result of the new scoring system.

Students also scored slightly better on the ACT college-entrance exam which is a part of the MME. The composite mean ACT score was 19.6 for 2012, up from 19.4 in 2011.

However, the scores do show a disturbing trend. A significant achievement gaps still exists for minority and low-income students with many leaving high school unprepared for college.

Pages