Contents of this issue:

  • AFT wants to end to ‘high-stakes testing,’ increase taxes
  • Teachers unions give $1 million to 'Protect Our Jobs' initiative
  • Should U.S. math curriculum and standards be revised?
  • Michigan’s teaching population aging
  • Ann Arbor district balks at written superintendent evaluation

AFT Wants to End ‘High-Stakes Testing,’ Increase Taxes

DETROIT – At its annual meeting in Detroit, the American Federation of Teachers called for an end to what it calls “high-stakes testing,” according to MLive.

“It’s time to restore balance in our schools so that teaching and learning, not testing, are at the center of education,” AFT President Randi Weingarten told MLive.
According to MLive, the AFT also approved resolutions to support finding more money for public-sector employees “by advocating tax policies that force the wealthy and big corporations to contribute their fair share in taxes.”
SOURCE: MLive, “American Federation of Teachers in Detroit calls for an end to high-stakes testing,” July 29, 2012
FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Why ‘What’ Is Where It’s At,” July 12, 2012
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Teaching Requires Testing,” Oct. 8, 2009

Teachers Unions Give $1 Million to 'Protect Our Jobs' Initiative

LANSING, Mich. – The effort to limit legislative oversight of public-sector bargaining has received large financial support from labor and teacher unions, The Detroit News reports.

According to The News, the American Federation of Teachers contributed $460,000 and the Michigan Education Association contributed $500,000 to the Protect Our Jobs Amendment campaign.
The News reported that many MEA district-level affiliates have given tens of thousands of additional dollars.
SOURCE: Detroit News, “Special interests spend millions on Michigan ballot initiatives,” July 26, 2012
FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “‘Protect Our Jobs’ Would Protect the 3 Percent at the Expense of the 97 Percent," July 9, 2012

Should U.S. Math Curriculum and Standards be Revised?

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Commentary published in The New York Times proposes taking a closer look at how math is taught in U.S. schools.

Andrew Hacker, co-author of “Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids – and What We Can Do About It,” writes that mathematics education fails to match skills required in the workplace.
Hacker suggests that “quantitative literacy” courses be made available to students who are not pursuing careers that require an understanding of abstract mathematics. Those courses, he writes, would focus on critically examining statistics cited in news and politics.
SOURCE: The New York Times, “Is Algebra Necessary?” July 28, 2012
FURTHER READING: Michigan Education Report, “National Education Standards Will Stifle Innovation," April 26, 2011

Michigan’s Teaching Population Aging

DETROIT – Michigan teachers are staying in their jobs longer, leaving fewer jobs for new teachers, the Detroit News reported.

According to The News’ analysis, the percentage of teachers with size to 20 years of work experience grew from 52 percent to 57 percent during the past four years.
SOURCE: The Detroit News, “Few jobs for new teachers as veterans retain posts,” July 26, 2012
FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Michigan’s Teaching Population Aging,” July 27, 2012

Ann Arbor District Balks at Written Superintendent Evaluation

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Though Michigan law requires school districts to conduct written evaluations of employees, the Ann Arbor school board prefers its discussion-based approach, according to AnnArbor.com.

According to AnnArbor.com, the school board does not currently fill out or keep any documentation of the superintendent’s evaluation.
SOURCE: AnnArbor.com, “Ann Arbor school trustees wary of new state requirements for superintendent evaluations,” July 29, 2012
FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “School Board Prez Says State’s 3rd-Highest Paid Superintendent is ‘Worth It,’” Oct. 13, 2010
Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Many Michigan Public Employees Among Country’s Top Wage Earners,” Nov. 7, 2011

MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education Report, an online newspaper published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.

Contact Michigan Education Digest at mailto:med@educationreport.org

To subscribe or unsubscribe, go to http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/mer/listserver.aspx?Source=MED