Category: MEA-EdWatch
Comments: 1



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

Category: MEA-EdWatch
Comments: 0

By Brenda Ortega
MEA Editor

Never underestimate the importance of a great secretary.

I already knew that was true, but a recent interview with Joan Crampton – an office secretary at Greenfield Elementary in Birmingham Schools – confirmed it a thousand times over.

Few people know the full scope of Crampton’s job as the school’s gatekeeper, enrolling students, ordering supplies, handling the budget, operating as school nurse, coordinating substitutes, and working for the principal.

Category: MEA-EdWatch
Comments: 3

By Brenda Ortega
MEA Editor

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.