Courtesy MSU College of Education

Ask a five year old what they want to be when they grow up and chances are you’ll hear things like a doctor, a teacher, and maybe Batman. Obviously, not many kids grow up to be Batman, but increasingly there are also fewer and fewer growing up to be teachers. Across the country and here in Michigan, the number of students choosing to go into teaching preparation programs is declining.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

What makes the difference between a successful and a struggling student? Research suggests one of the most important factors is the quality of that student’s teachers. And a big part of having effective teachers in the classroom is making sure they’re prepared before they get there. In 2013, as part of an effort to do just that, Michigan toughened teacher certification tests, but a recent Bridge Magazine article found that a majority of aspiring teachers failed the new exam.

Evaluating teacher effectiveness in Michigan

Aug 27, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

In two weeks, Michigan legislators will begin hearings on how to improve teacher evaluations in the state.  They’ll consider a new plan submitted recently by the Michigan Council on Educator Effectiveness.  That's an independent body created by Governor Rick Snyder and the legislature two years ago after the passage of teacher tenure reform in Michigan.

A state House panel has approved a plan to tie teachers’ pay to student performance.

New teachers in Michigan would be paid based primarily on student growth under a bill in Lansing.

Kevin Rosseel / morgueFile

A judge has temporarily blocked full implementation of a new law requiring Michigan public school employees to pay more for their pensions.

WKAR file photo

The return of children to classrooms on Tuesday coincided with Governor Rick Snyder approving some big changes to how teachers will save for retirement.

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Majority Republicans in the Michigan Legislature agree the weight of a $45 billion pension liability for public school employees will crush the system if left untended, but they differ on how to fix it.
The Senate is expected to consider a measure Wednesday that could be a compromise, pledging further action after the November election.

WKAR File Photo

State figures say Michigan schools are retaining more of their veteran K-12 educators, leaving fewer job openings for newcomers.

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Michigan's budget director says he doesn't want lawmakers to pass legislation next week putting new teachers into a 401(k)-style retirement plan.

WKAR file photo

New teachers in Michigan still would get hybrid pensions under changes made to a teacher benefits bill.

WKAR File Photo

A state House committee goes to work this morning on a plan that would force teachers and other school employees to pay more for their retirement benefits. 

Teachers turned out by the hundreds Wednesday to pack a hearing room in Lansing. They showed up to oppose a measure that would force them to pay more for their retirement health care and pension benefits.