Tag Archives | Teachers
Debunking the Mackinac Center's phony teachers union "pension spiking" scandal

Debunking the Mackinac Center’s phony teachers union “pension spiking” scandal

I recently wrote about Michigan teacher Mary Davenport, a woman who had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in support from her union, the Michigan Education Association (MEA), only to turn around and claim they “weren’t there when she needed them.” She was duped into being the poster child for the campaign by the corporate front group Mackinac Center to encourage teachers to leave their union.

In the letter Davenport signed that was sent to thousands of Michigan teachers using their taxpayer-funded work email addresses, Davenport railed against what Mackinac Center calls “pension spiking” by MEA president Steve Cook whose pension will be based on his MEA salary.…

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UPDATED x3: Mackinac Center dupes a world-class hypocrite into being the face of effort to convince teachers to leave their union

UPDATED x3: Mackinac Center dupes a world-class hypocrite into being the face of effort to convince teachers to leave their union

Each summer, the corporatist front group Mackinac Center for Public Policy funds a massive effort to convince teachers that they are better off without their union and that they should leave it. While complaining that unions are somehow getting rich off taxpayer dollars, the Mackinac Center uses the public schools email system to disseminate their anti-union propaganda at taxpayer expense. Last year they sent emails to teachers in no fewer than 54 school districts in Michigan, laughably claiming the effort wasn’t political.

The effort also includes a massive mailing of letters and cards to the homes of teachers and this year is no different.…

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Ann Arbor teachers file Unfair Labor Practice suit against school administration

Ann Arbor teachers file Unfair Labor Practice suit against school administration

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been traveling in China for work for the past two weeks. I’m now back in Michigan and have finally recovered from my jet lag and the 12-hour time difference. I appreciate your patience during my absence. Regular posting will now resume : )

Back in 2011, shortly after Republicans took control of our state government, one of the first things they did was to enact a series of laws designed to diminish the ability of teachers to bargain collectively for fair wages, benefits, and working conditions. The new laws created local boards that would govern teacher discipline, teacher evaluations, teacher tenure and strengthened a prohibition on strikes to further harm unions that encourage them.…

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

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

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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LOVETEACHING

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

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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Handshake

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

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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Corporatist profiteer Richard Berman attacks AFT President Randi Weingarten in Detroit News "Op-Ed"

Corporatist profiteer Richard Berman attacks AFT President Randi Weingarten in Detroit News “Op-Ed”

The Detroit News published an op-ed yesterday by a man so well-known for being a corporatist shill and profiteer that running it must have been a decision made by the News‘ advertising department. The piece was penned by a Richard Berman and attempts to lay the entire blame for the poor quality of Detroit Public schools at the feet of the teachers union and, more specifically, at the feet of Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

It hardly bears pointing out that Detroit schools didn’t get where they are because of greedy, self-interested teachers. You don’t go to work in Detroit public schools with the aim of becoming wealthy thanks to your cushy union job.…

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