Helping Students See CTE Possibilities

By Madonna Jackson, EdD Disadvantaged/LEP Coordinator Mott Community College Treasurer, Professional Technical Unit (Pro-Tech) It is wonderful to hear policymakers such as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer echoing what individuals working within career technical education have known for a long time—opportunity abounds for people who complete quality job skills training through degree and certificate programs. Students, both…

Unintended? Consequences

By Jason Stidham Livingston County Resident Re-employed Washtenaw County Teacher Last year was set to be extra special for my family. It marked my 20th anniversary teaching at the same district, and after helping more than 1,500 students move toward graduation at my school, it was now MY daughter’s turn to graduate from the neighboring district…

Fear, Mistrust, Frustration: A Look into Michigan’s Punishing Teacher Evaluation Experiment

Stories by Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor MEA member Corey O’Bryan never planned to be a teacher. A self-proclaimed nerd in high school, he entered Western Michigan University to study engineering—until discovering he wanted to share his love of math and science more than he wished to pursue his childhood dream of designing robotics for military…

Veteran Teacher: ‘At the wrong place at the wrong time’

Jason Stidham has lived every educator’s nightmare. A high school English teacher for 20 years, he was laid off last June—despite his “Effective” rating—when his Michigan district needed to make staffing cuts. His evaluation score was two-one-hundredths of a point lower than a newer, younger colleague, and suddenly, “My district was no longer obligated to honor the commitment…

MEA Legal Update: Evaluations and Due Process

It’s not over yet, but a seven-year court battle by MEA over a tenured teacher’s termination has so far provided some clarity in what’s required of school districts before they make a layoff decision based on an educator’s evaluation. In March, the Michigan Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that the case of Summer…

Find Help from MEA

MEA tools and training can assist members in navigating the teacher evaluation system. A training cadre is available to visit local associations to deliver the latest information about the law’s requirements and specific state-approved tools used by local districts, and to provide access to Michigan Department of Education resources related to evaluation. The training includes…

Act Now to Change Student Growth Percentage

MEA lobbyists have been pushing for changes to the state’s evaluation law for more than a year. As of press time, House Bill 4221 and Senate Bill 122 were under consideration in the state Legislature. The measures would return the percentage of an educator’s annual evaluation that is tied to student growth measures to 25…