Opinion: Teachers say we need key steps to reopen schools

June 17, 2020 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association One of the most important decisions our state will make in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic is when and how to safely reopen our public schools. MEA recently completed a landmark survey on COVID-19’s impact on public education, with more than 15,000 responses from…

Opinion: Educators meet students’ needs amid COVID-19

Michigan Education Association member Sarah VanderMeer says her heart aches from missing her developmental kindergartners from Brown Elementary School in Byron Center, so she checks in via FaceTime to see how they’re doing, setting up appointments through parents. VanderMeer taps every tool at her disposal to keep kids connected and engaged during online chats and virtual…

Opinion: Michigan’s public schools face educator shortage crisis

February 19, 2020 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association There is a crisis in our public schools that threatens a generation of students. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Michigan has experienced a 70.7% decline in enrollment in teacher-education programs in the last decade. The only state with a worse decline in students studying to…

Opinion: To address literacy, understand link with poverty

December 18, 2019 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association Some of us remember the old “Reading is Fundamental” ad campaign, which encouraged parents to read to their children. Today, that fundamental is even more critical, especially in light of how poverty and lagging literacy levels intersect. Too often, lawmakers look for “silver bullet” solutions…

Opinion: Direct funds to needy students

September 18, 2019 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association We often hear politicians say, “It’s about the kids,” and, “The students of today are the leaders of tomorrow.” If they truly believe that, they need to craft a state education budget that recognizes a simple fact: Not all students are the same. Unfortunately, the Republican education…