The best Advance stories you might have missed in 2020

BY: - December 31, 2020

Quotable of the Year: “I have grave concerns about our legislators, and the press, everybody else who works at the Capitol. … I know that schools aren’t doing the same types of activities that they used to, but if things don’t change, I mean, my kids went and visited the state Capitol and I signed […]

‘It’s draining’: Teachers wrestle with burnout, health risks and no-show students

BY: - December 21, 2020

“Bueller …? Bueller …? Bueller …?” Todd Bloch, a science teacher at Warren Woods Middle School, jokes with his students who sit silently in his virtual classroom with their cameras off, making a reference to the ‘80s teen classic, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” — which most didn’t appear to have even heard of.  “That’s what […]

Michigan educators hope Biden admin will turn the page on DeVos policies

BY: - November 14, 2020

Many teachers and educational staff are feeling hopeful for change in education under President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration. After nearly four years of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ emphasis on school choice, voucher programs and charter schools, education advocates in Michigan are looking forward to public schools returning to the forefront of the conversation. […]

DPSCD, teachers union OK deal to avoid a strike, includes hazard pay

BY: - August 28, 2020

Detroit teachers reached a deal with Detroit Public School Community District (DPSCD) administrators Thursday that will put teachers in the classroom and puts an end to all talks of a strike.  On Aug. 20, the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) held an emergency meeting to vote on a potential “safety strike” if the state’s largest […]

Teachers feel ignored in school reopening decision-making

BY: - August 10, 2020

Amy Watkins, a high school English teacher at Van Buren Public Schools in Belleville, stood on the Capitol steps Thursday with a list of reasons why schools shouldn’t reopen for in-person learning this fall.  The points she made weren’t new to the other teachers in the crowd at the Michigan Caucus Of Rank-and-File Educators (MI […]


Education leaders need answers from state, feds in order to reopen during pandemic

BY: - August 7, 2020

Michigan education leaders and superintendents say they’re preparing for the school year the best they can, but they need better support from the state and federal government in order to do so.  During a “State of Michigan Schools” roundtable hosted by the Tri County Alliance for Public Education, leaders stressed the need for flexible legislation […]


Rep. Andy Levin: Here’s the missing link to school reopenings 

BY: - August 5, 2020

I just hosted a Zoom call with suburban Detroit educators. It was heart-wrenching.  They spoke of teachers asking about life insurance and legal services to ensure their wills are in order. They talked about administrators doing their best to prepare for fall, but unable — because of inaction from the Senate on additional federal relief—to […]


Column: Here’s what schools need during COVID-19 and beyond

BY: - August 3, 2020

As we begin to reimagine K-12 education in a post-COVID-19 world, it is imperative we use research to guide our decisions to help all students achieve and succeed. Just as research should inform public health policy, it should guide our decisions as we enter a new normal that could include in-person learning, remote learning or […]

Teachers finally invited to testify about school reopening concerns

BY: - July 29, 2020

Two teachers were asked to testify during the Senate Education and Career Readiness committee meeting Tuesday — the first time educators were able to share their perspectives on the state’s school reopening plans during a legislative hearing.  A number of Democratic legislators raised concerns during a July 15 state House and Senate joint Education Committee […]


Column: School funding must be prioritized as we make up lost ground during the pandemic

BY: and - July 27, 2020

As members of the Return to Learn Advisory Committee appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office, we are pleased with the framework that was presented earlier this month.  We can tell you as former public school educators, it was our goal from the beginning that the roadmap was based on what we know about best practices, […]


Column: Michigan legislators should heed the Constitution on school funding, in good times and bad

BY: - July 22, 2020

The Michigan Constitution, like its federal counterpart, was written to stand the test of time. It outlines, in largely broad form, the rights of the people, establishes the powers of our government and creates the foundation of our system of taxation and spending. While Michigan’s Legislature passes a budget each year that fits within the […]

Michigan teachers not invited to legislative hearing on reopening schools

BY: - July 15, 2020

The state House and Senate Education committees met Wednesday to discuss reopening plans for schools this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but an important perspective was left out of the conversation — teachers.  Conversations on safe reopening plans, and if in-person learning is a possibility at all this fall, are happening at federal, state and […]