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When state lawmakers got rid of Michigan's "last-in, first-out" teacher tenure law four years ago, a new commission was created to craft a report on how public school teachers across the state should be graded.
After all, if school districts are allowed to fire ineffective teachers, what makes an ineffective teacher?
Instead of having each district create its own teacher grading system, shouldn't the state create one standard every district can use?
However, the Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness (MCEE) charged with making recommendations on that one system issued its report and disbanded two years ago. And the Legislature is still deadlocked on the extent to which its report will be used in any future law.
Why have teacher evaluations become such a contentious topic? One that is splitting Republican caucuses, causing Gov. Rick SNYDER to walk the tightrope of standing up for the MCEE, which he appointed, while not offending conservative legislators who don't support it's recommendations?
Rep. Adam Zemke (D-Ann Arbor) said last week "politics" is to blame. Bridge Magazine, a product financed by the Center for Michigan, published a report laying the blame squarely at the feet of Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), the chair of the Senate Education Committee -- that Pavlov's strident quest for local control is getting in the way of meaningful reform that's produced positive results in states like Massachusetts and Tennessee.
For the full article, see "Why Has Teacher Evaluation Bill Become So Political?", Inside MIRS Today, July 2, 2015.
Other topics covered include:
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Gay state workers in Michigan who get hitched in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage have 31 days to enroll their spouse for state benefits, officials say.
State employees with a same-sex spouse from a marriage in another jurisdiction entered before June 26 – the date of the high court's ruling – are also eligible for a special enrollment period through July 27, according to Gov. Rick Snyder's office.
The Civil Service Commission, which oversees employment conditions for classified state employees, posted an advisory about the deadlines on its website.
"If these windows are missed, changes cannot be made until the annual open-enrollment process," the advisory says. Regular open enrollment begins Aug. 3.
For the full article, see Melissa Nann Burke, "Gay state workers can enroll spouses for benefits", The Detroit News, July 2, 2015
Gov. Rick Snyder Thursday appointed a team to review Wayne County’s finances, a day after state officials said the county is in probable financial distress and put it the study of its books on a fast track.
About two weeks ago, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans asked Michigan’s Department of Treasury to declare a financial emergency in the county and support his request to enter into a consent agreement.
For the full article, see Charles E. Ramirez, "Snyder names Wayne Co. financial review team", The Detroit News, July 2, 2015
Operations were back to normal Thursday at Alger Correctional Facility in Munising, a day after prison food service workers found a maggot next to a cutting machine in the kitchen.
The single maggot was found after breakfast time, Wednesday, July 1, near a cutting machine being used to slice turkey. Prisoners at the time were helping to prepare lunch, Michigan Department of Corrections Spokesman Chris Gautz said.
Meal preparations were immediately suspended, the food was thrown out as a precaution and the kitchen thoroughly cleaned and sanitized throughout the day, Gautz said. Prisoners were given sack meals for lunch and dinner.
For the full article, see Heidi Fenton, "Maggot found in Upper Peninsula prison kitchen", MLive, July 2, 2015.
Mike Wilkinson, "Could a good deal for Detroit drivers spell the end of Michigan no-fault?" : Mayor Mike Duggan’s fight against insanely high auto insurance rates is winning fans in the city. With a skeptical Legislature, though, that may not be enough.
Mike Wilkinson, "Seeing red: some of the state’s poorest pay the highest insurance rates" : Personal injury protection rates on auto insurance vary wildly across the state, which one state senator blasts as “redlining.” Use our interactive map to see who’s getting a good deal, and who’s, um, not.
Charles Honey, "How Kent County is trying to improve the odds for low-income students" : The cold realities of poverty are met with a team approach to community.
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