For MSU student Zach Barnes, what started as an assignment to produce a short project in his documentary film class became a mission – to tell the story of how today’s climate of teacher bashing and underfunding public education has affected one Michigan community.
MEA today unveiled a new “Ask Me” video highlighting the determination of early career educators to pursue their passions and make a difference in the lives of students, despite current challenges facing Michigan educators.
NEA member classroom teachers who want to become a 2018 Global Learning Fellow can apply now for the yearlong opportunity. The NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellowship application is open through Feb. 5.
MEA recently hosted a live telephone town hall so our members could hear directly from the declared and prospective candidates for governor about their positions on education issues—Listen here now if you missed it live.
More schools are expected to be offered “partnership agreements” with the Michigan Department of Education this fall, based on last spring’s standardized test scores, the department announced recently.
The state Supreme Court this week issued notice that oral arguments will be heard in early November in the 3 percent retirement case that MEA has waged through seven years and several appeals by Gov. Rick Snyder. The court will hear arguments on November 7 or 8 in the union’s 2010 lawsuit seeking the return…
Rennee Alderman has worn different job titles in Cadillac Area Public Schools – recess aide, paraprofessional, secretary – but for MEA member Heidi Stange the most important role Alderman played over the years is “friend.”
Stange is now an instructional literacy coach for the district, but for many years she was a Title I reading specialist with Alderman tutoring kids alongside her. Children loved Alderman, Stange said, but so did adults—she brightened the lives of everyone with her cheery attitude and habit of calling everyone “Sunshine.”
“We’re providing her some sunshine now,” Stange said.
Alderman was forced to retire after 25 years in the district when a mystery illness zapped her energy and mobility – leaving her in constant pain. She has since been diagnosed with Lyme Disease, but treatments are not covered by insurance – so Stange has organized community fundraisers to rally some help.
Their story is yet another example of union members taking care of each other. Associations across the state routinely come together to take care of their own, as in Algonac, where members raised money and volunteered labor in a Habitat for Humanity home build for a member; and in Adrian where members donated to a union-administered sick day bank to help a new mom whose baby needed open heart surgery.
It wasn’t easy to convince Alderman to accept assistance, because she’s used to being the one caring for others, Stange said. Over the years, Alderman organized countless potlucks and supply drives to help families in need in the community.
By Brenda Ortega
OK, class. It’s time now for a very important… Question, Jimmy?… No, it’s not time for lunch yet… Yes, I know it’s chicken nugget day! You won’t be late if we start now, alright?
Today we’re going to practice for the big, long test that will be used to label you and your school and even our community and the whole of public education in Michigan and across the U.S. – above every truly wonderful thing we do and accomplish in our work together.
Curtis Kelenske: 5th/6th-grade Multi-age Teacher, Leland Public Schools Years in Education: 13 Type of non-union experience: 1 year in private Catholic school, 6 in a charter school What was it like working in a school without a union? The working conditions and work load in the charter school were very difficult. You had to do whatever…