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FAQ on MPSERA Litigation

For Members Only

We answer some of your Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement Act Litigation.

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Free to MEA members: WebEx on Certification this Wednesday

Considering the changes in the law regarding certification, there is nothing more important than keeping your certification up-to-date. Whether your certificate expires this summer or in five years—you need to develop a plan to protect your certification.

MEA can help!

Join the free WebEx workshop for MEA members on Wednesday, May 21 at 5 p.m.  (EDS). “What Every Teacher Needs to Know about Certification” will cover how to keep your certification current; how to renew and/or progress your certificate using the new certification rules; how to use District-Provided Professional Development and SCECHs; and how to use MOECS to complete the renewal process.

You can join the online workshop for free by going to https://mea.webex.com/mea/j.php?MTID=ma224c260e491ced484d1a33039bd8f74. When asked, enter your name and email address. If a password is required, enter 12345 and then click “Join.” The WebEx will also be recorded so MEA members can view it at a later date.

MDE to teachers: 'Don't change your lessons plans!'

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is advising teachers not to change their lesson plans, despite the fact that the MEAP, instead of Smarter Balanced assessments, is being used next spring. The Legislature made that choice when they passed a state budget that requires the MEAP. MDE previously recommended Smarter Balanced.

The "new" MEAP will be given online with a paper and pencil option, but there's still no decision on what the test will look like. Last year, teachers incorporated the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) into their lessons plans, expecting to use Smarter Balanced assessments this year since they are more in line with CCSS. With the start of school approaching, it may leave teachers and administrators wondering how to prepare students.

According to MDE's advice, "Educators and administrators should continue with the lesson plans they have been preparing over the past few years, to ready students for a more rigorous assessment that will measure Michigan's standards."

The MEAP could include questions from the Smarter Balanced tests since Michigan has led the development of those tests over the last three years.

WebEx will cover new teacher certification rules'

Free for Members Only

On Monday, July 21, at 10 a.m., MEA will be hosting a WebEx for members only on the new teacher certification rules from the Department of Education which went into effect June 20, 2014. 

"What Every Teacher Needs to Know about Certification" will cover the new rules-and the current ones--so that you can keep up-to-date on your teacher certification.

Contact your local UniServ office for WebEx login information.

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.

It’s National Teacher/School Employee Appreciation Week! Thank you for all you do!

This week is a celebration of all school employees and their contributions to public education, students, the community and society in general. 

“Each year schools and communities observe Teacher Day/School Family Day with local celebrations that pay tribute to the contributions school employees make to our communities. We at MEA invite you to observe this important date by continuing the traditions of celebratory activities,” said MEA President Steve Cook.

Several days this week are set aside to recognize specific groups of school employees. Tuesday, May 6 is designated Teacher Day/School Family Day and May 7 is National School Nurse Day. 

We asked MEA members to submit their suggestions for ways schools and the public can honor schools employees. Here’s what we heard:

Cathryn Therese, from Walden AGS Fenton Schools said, “I’d like to have people—students, parents, the media—ask candidates for governor if they support teacher retirement and medical coverage; allowing teachers to have their seniority back for jobs within their schools; union rights restored, and do away with taxing teacher retirement. Not just discuss restoring funding to schools. Teachers have taken huge hits while teacher certification requirements continue to demand high levels of education and skill.”

STOP EAA EXPANSION! Sign the petition now!

Despite powerful testimony from EAA teachers, education experts and parents yesterday at a special hearing with Senate Democrats at the Capitol, Republicans legislators are refusing to listen and right now are doing all they can to get enough votes to expand the EAA.

You can help stop this dangerous legislation by signing the petition at www.senatedems.com/StopEAA now and tell Republicans to vote NO on EAA.

 

Fellowship recognizes leaders in educational excellence

Have you created a successful Common Core lesson? Has student achievement in your school reached new levels? Are you looking to influence public policy on education?

American Achieves is looking for candidates for its America Achieves Fellowship for Teachers that recognizes successful teachers or principals who have proven outstanding results for students, demonstrated leadership in their school communities, and seek to expand their voice in public policy.

Consider nominating one of your colleagues, administrators or yourself for this honor. Applications must be submitted by May 18.

How should we show our appreciation to school employees?

There’s a lot of news and information out there already in preparation for May 4-11 designated as National Teacher Appreciation Week when teachers and all school employees are recognized for their contributions to public education.

But has anybody asked you lately how we should show appreciation to you for all the time and effort you put in to make sure students receive a quality education? That communities understand what great work is going on in their schools every day—and not just during school hours? That legislators realize you are not the enemy of public education?

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