MEA members making their voices heard on 'Voices from the Front Lines' website

Teachers and education support professionals from across the state are speaking out via MEA's new "Voices from the Front Lines" webpage, offering their ideas on how to improve public education for the sake of MEA members, students, families and communities.

The new website is designed to collect thoughts from MEA members on prominent education policy topics to share with legislators, experts, media and the general public.

Stockbridge Community Schools teacher Corey Peña writes: "I come from a school district that has recently been the focus of NPR's 'State of Opportunity.' We also have been granted 'Reward School' status for two of our buildings. One would suspect this would make us feel effective, but every day we are faced with the daunting task of trying to prepare our students to pass more narrowly defined achievement tests. If they don't succeed, we are all considered failures. . . . I don't want achievement measures to disappear, as I'm sure they won't, but they shouldn't hold all the weight when trying to measure the entire child."

On the issue of school safety, Mary Aldecoa, a teacher in Fowlerville Community Schools, writes: "The proposed policy of arming teachers will have the exact opposite of the intended effect. Specifically, instead of protecting students from the extremely rare incidents of armed intruders, it will, without any doubt, result in tragedy through accidental shootings of innocent children. One only needs to look at the statistics related to guns kept for home safety to draw this inescapable conclusion."

Lori Scott, a teacher in Pinckney Community Schools, writes: "Our state has too long existed with an inequity in district funding. Too many districts are entering deficit spending budgets due to their lack of equal funding for numerous years. My students and my own children deserve the same amount of money and percentage of support as those in other districts."

Do you agree? Disagree? Then it's time to speak up!

At a time when state policymakers are considering numerous "reforms" affecting public education, people need to hear from school employees. After all, Michigan school employees are on the front lines of education, making them the state's leading experts on education policy.

Please visit the Voices from the Front Lines website today to make your voice heard!