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Cook: End Michigan’s charter school experiment already

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. 

Cyberbullying among education bills signed into law by Gov. Snyder

School districts now have six months to update their bullying policies to include cyberbullying since last month Gov. Snyder signed Public Act 478 into law. This adds another dimension to anti-bullying efforts in schools.

BOE Report calls for making school funding a budget priority

The state Board of Education (BOE) has adopted its"Recommendations for Change to Michigan School Organization and Finance" calling for the state to make education funding a budget priority. Since January 2014, the BOE has been analyzing the issue of school funding and holding meetings to make its final recommendations.
 

Anti-bullying law expanded to include cyberbullying

A cyberbullying bill that would require school districts and academies to change their existing anti-bullying policies to include electronic or online bullying passed during the lame duck session. SB 74 describes cyberbullying as "any electronic communication that is intended or that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm one or more pupils either directly or indirectly."

U-M wins grant to change how new teachers are trained, mentored

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. 

New state science standards are 'Michigan-developed and Michigan-decided'

The State Board of Education (SBE) plans on considering the adoption of new state science standards next month which it emphasizes are "Michigan-developed and Michigan-decided." The SBE will be providing the Legislature with a report prior to approving the standards.

The Legislature was concerned with the 2010 adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English language arts and math. Fear over a loss of local control led lawmakers to freeze spending on CCSS until the Legislature approved them in 2013. They did not fund the Smarter Balanced assessment that supported CCSS and would replace the MEAP. As a result, a revised version of the MEAP will be administered online in the spring of 2015.

Magazine’s misrepresentation of tenure causes backlash

The November 3 issue of TIME hasn’t been out very long, but its cover story,“Rotten Apples: It’s Nearly Impossible to Fire a Bad Teacher,” is drawing criticism for its premise that there are many bad teachers in public schools and tenure and due process rights are making it impossible to get rid of them. 

State Board resolution highlights the need for strong school libraries

The Michigan State Board of Education recently passed a resolution in support of school libraries. The resolution reinforced the idea that strong school libraries staffed by certified school librarians are critical to student success. 

Number of homeless students hits record high

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. 

Save the date!

On Wednesday, Sept. 24, NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia is making Michigan a stop on her Back to School Tour! Location details are still being finalized, but put the date on your calendar.

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