Category: MEA-EdWatch
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Editor's Note: For anyone worried about the state of public education—especially if worry is accompanied by a feeling of powerlessness—today’s guest post accomplishes two different goals remarkably well: It entertains and inspires.

Ken Ferguson is a husband, dad, West Bloomfield School Board trustee, and a teacher/consultant for visually impaired students in Grosse Pointe Public School System. He also is a committed MEA member who signed on to be a Political Action Leader in his region. 

By Brenda Ortega
MEA Editor

I remember in June 2013 when Republican lawmaker – now candidate for lieutenant governor – Lisa Posthumus Lyons stood on the floor of the state House of Representatives and derided school employees with an offensive animal metaphor to portray them as greedy and lazy.

A bill was under consideration to dissolve two financially struggling school districts in cities hard hit by job and population losses – Inkster and Buena Vista near Saginaw – and disperse those students to neighboring districts.

Parents and children were about to lose their community schools, and school employees were poised to lose their jobs.

Category: MEA-EdWatch
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By Brenda Ortega
MEA Editor

Sarah Foster easily spends $500 out-of-pocket every year buying supplies and teaching materials for her students at Andrew G. Schmidt Middle School in Fenton. “So do the other 39 other teachers here; we all do it,” the eighth-grade math teacher says.

“We shouldn’t have to, but we do.”

They do it because they care. Because they hope kids will feel safe and loved in their classrooms. Because they want to give kids the best shot at learning. Because children – especially at-risk students – should not have to go without at school.

“I teach kids who are mostly at-risk, and

Category: MEA-EdWatch
Comments: 1

By Brenda Ortega
MEA Editor

I’m appalled, angry and saddened by recent news stories and editorials about teacher absences – bashing educators again – based on one nakedly faulty and politicized “study.” 

Where do I begin? By pointing out the falsehoods and misrepresentations? Explaining why teachers need sick days? Shouting from the rooftops how the public must demand an end to political attacks that continue to drive dedicated educators out of the classroom?

In my last job as an English teacher, I asked my senior honors students to grapple with Jonathan Swift, the 18th-century political satirist who combined sharp wit and intellectual courage to