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Detroit Schools Emergency Manager announces plan to force teachers to reapply for jobs during Teacher Appreciation Week

Earlier this week, President Obama issued a proclamation regarding National Teacher Appreciation Week which runs from May 3rd through May 9th. In his proclamation, he wrote:

“On National Teacher Appreciation Day and during National Teacher Appreciation Week, we honor America’s outstanding teachers and the vital role they play in the lives of our children and the success of our country.

“In classrooms across America, talented and hardworking teachers are nurturing a new generation of thinkers, doers, and dreamers. They teach the subjects and skills that will fuel the next century of growth and innovation, as well as the virtues and values — like character, compassion, creativity, and resilience — that will prepare their students to take on the challenges of the future.

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Michigan Republicans: Teachers don’t need to be certified & education is to teach children to read the Scriptures

Ultra far right wing conservatives Todd Courser and Gary Glenn took steps this week that show beyond a shadow of a doubt that their views on education have more to do with people in the 18th Century than they do with any modern views on education today. In a Facebook post this week that he has since deleted, Courser describes our state’s education system as being run by “top down soviet style central planners” and says that the schools should be a “ministry of the church” to ensure that students can “read the scriptures” and not to prepare them for careers as adults.…

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Amidst all the challenges facing education today, teachers want you to know that they still #LoveTeaching

Pushing back against some of the narratives about job dissatisfaction and teachers quitting the profession, educators around the country are sharing their love of teaching through a social media campaign known as #LoveTeaching and you’re invited to join in with them.

By Gary Abud, Jr.

Teaching is a noble profession and arguably the one that gives rise to all others. A great teacher can change the life of a student and great teaching has the most in-school impact on student learning. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy or fun to teach, but it means that teachers are dedicating their work to the success of others; moreover, our kids.…

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Eclectablog’s 2014 Person of the Year: Michigan public school teachers

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that our team has great love for public education and public school educators. There are few groups in Michigan who are so unfairly maligned and held responsible for the failings of others – parents, administrators, and lawmakers, for example – than public school teachers. This heartbreaking situation propels me to write about their plight frequently and often with a great deal of passion and emotion. I make no apologies for that.

Something profound happened in 2014. Teachers really began to speak out on their own behalf in Michigan far more than they ever had before.…

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UPDATED: As Republicans continue to defund education, Michiganders support MORE funding and higher teacher pay

For the past four years, Michigan Republicans, taking their cues from the anti-teacher group Mackinac Center, have defunded education, gone after teacher pay and benefits, and done just about everything they could to put public education and public educators out of business. Their model is to make teaching so unattractive that the professionals abandon it as a career, leaving the job to those willing to be paid a pittance. The model also involves putting public schools in austerity mode and then forcing them to “compete” with for-profit charters that have lower costs and can cherry pick their students.

As it turns out, all of this hating on public education and the heroes that work in our public schools is not representative of how Michiganders view public education.…

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EVENT TONIGHT: Chelsea teachers to hold public forum in effort to secure contract

The teachers in the Chelsea Public Schools system have been working without a contract since June 30, 2014. Negotiations for a new contract began in the spring and continued throughout the spring and summer. However, the Chelsea Education Association (CEA) and the school board were unable to come to an agreement. As a next step, the CEA has requested a fact-finding process:

[T]he Chelsea Education Association requested that a third-party fact-finder be brought into the union’s negotiations with the Chelsea Board of Education. The school board is complying with the request.

Teachers have been working without a new contract since the school year started.

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After slashing teacher benefits, firing staff, and outsourcing “nearly everything”, Flint schools face Emergency Management

Welcome to Michigan under Republican rule

Flint schools have been in financial trouble since 2011 when it first went into debt. In 2012, they eliminated 460 teachers and staff positions. In May of this year, they laid off 91 more teachers and staff and slashed benefits of the remaining teachers as an alternative to a 19% pay cut. Later in the summer, another 12 teachers and 8 administrators were fired. In the meantime, they have “closed and sold off buildings, eliminated staff and outsourced nearly everything except instructional and administrative positions.”

The result? An increased deficit that now leaves Flint schools $21.9 million in the hole and facing an Emergency Manager.…

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Michigan for-profit charter schools industry fires up its propaganda machine

In the wake of the blistering multi-day expose by the Detroit Free Press detailing the failures of for-profit charters in Michigan and the astonishing lack of transparency and accountability they enjoy, the charter school industry is ramping up its propaganda machine. Just in the past few days, there have been two op-eds in The Detroit News promoting their for-profit-with-tax-dollars model as something good for public schools in Michigan and something requiring no oversight.

On November 12th, conservative colunist Dennis Lennox promoted the idea of abolishing the state Board of Education, the last remaining bulwark fighting for charter school accountability in Michigan and one of the very few remaining state government level bodies which Democrats have a majority.…

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Michigan school figures out how to tell a gun-toting bad guy from a gun-toting good guy: go into lockdown & call 911

Imagine this scenario: you’re taking your third-grader to school and you look over and there’s a guy in front of the school with a handgun strapped to his hip. What do you do? Is this a crazy guy who is going to start shooting the place up? Is it just a gun-loving lady making a point about her Second Amendment rights?

What if you’re a teacher or the principal of the school? Do you just let it go and hope everything turns out all right? After all, several hundred children are under your watch and their lives and safety are your responsibility for the next several hours.…

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Why I hate one-issue voters and why I am asking you to be one — just this once

According to Dictionary.com, hatred is defined in this way: verb (used without object), hated, hating. To feel intense dislike, or extreme aversion or hostility.

It is my firm belief that as a society we use the word hate too casually. I offer this preamble to my last shot at motivating you to vote, act, and make sure others vote tomorrow, but there is a twist to my message today and I am asking you to stay with me as I work though my rationale behind what I am about to ask of all of you, but it starts with something that I do hate.…

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