Arts on Line Education Update November 28, 2016

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
November 28, 2016
Joan Platz
131st OHIO GENERAL ASSEMBLY
This Week at the Statehouse: The Ohio House and Senate are holding hearings and sessions this week.
The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, will meet twice.
On November 28, 2016 the committee will meet at 2:00 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room and receive testimony on the following bills:
  • SB136 (Tavares) School Seclusion Rooms:  Requires the State Board of Education to update its policies and standards for student behavioral interventions and the use of physical restraint and seclusion to prohibit the use of seclusion on students.
  • SB346 (Manning)  School Year-Start Date:  Generally requires public and chartered nonpublic schools to open for instruction after Labor Day.
  • HB89 (Devitis) Medicaid School Program:  Revises laws governing the Medicaid School Program, which provides federal Medicaid Aid to qualifying schools and other providers of Medicaid services.
  • HB383 (Hagan) Informed Student Document:  Requires one-half unit of economic and financial literacy in the high school social studies curriculum; requires the Chancellor of Higher Education to prepare an informed student document for each state institution of higher education; requires the State Board of Education to include information about the informed student document in the standards and model curricula it creates for financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
  • HB85 (Ramos) Child Sexual Abuse Prevention:  Revises laws pertaining to age-appropriate student instruction in child sexual abuse and sexual violence prevention and in-service staff training in child sexual abuse prevention.
The Senate Education Committee will also meet on November 29, 2016 at 4:00 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room to receive a presentation by Superintendent Paolo DeMaria about revisions to the English and math standards, and receive testimony on the following bills:
  • HB410 (Rezabek, Hayes) Revises the laws pertaining to habitual and chronic truancy and compulsory school attendance.
  • HB89 (Devitis) Medicaid School Program:  Revises laws governing the Medicaid School Program, which provides federal Medicaid Aid to qualifying schools and other providers of Medicaid services.
  • SB126 (Sawyer) Interdistrict Open Enrollment:  Repeals interdistrict open enrollment laws; requires the Ohio Department of Education to study and determine the effectiveness of interdistrict open enrollment; and allows a repeal of laws prohibiting interdistrict open enrollment based on the outcome of the study.
The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Andrew Brenner, will meet on November 29, 2016 at 9:00 AM in hearing room 017.  The committee will receive testimony on HB498 (Kunze) Expulsion-Threat of Violence, and HB372 (Phillips) Educational Service Personnel.
The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, will meet on November 29, 2016 at 2:30 PM or after session in the Senate Finance Hearing Room.  The committee will receive testimony on SB230 (Schiavoni) Academic Distress Commission.
OHIO NEWS
ECOT Loses Appeal:  The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) won another round in its legal battle with the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), a statewide online charter school founded by William Lager.
ECOT had appealed a recent ruling by Judge Jenifer French of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, that allowed the ODE to use the amount of time students attending online schools were working online to determine student participation rates to calculate attendance. The ODE uses attendance data to calculate the amount of public funding charter schools receive.
Using this method, the ODE had found that about 60 percent of ECOT students were not meeting the requirement that students participate in 920 hours of learning opportunities during a school year. ECOT is in jeopardy of losing a portion of the $106 million it received from the ODE last year as a result.
The10th District Court of Appeals dismissed ECOT’s appeal of the ruling based on its lack of jurisdiction, because Judge French’s decision was not a “final” decision that could be appealed.  The case now returns to the lower court where a decision will be made.
ECOT’s administrative hearing before the State Board of Education is scheduled for December 5, 2016.
See “ECOT Loses Initial Appeal,” by Catherine Candisky, The Columbus Dispatch, November 24, 2016 at http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/11/23/ECOT_loses_appeal_in_state_attendance_audit.html
Changes Proposed for College Credit Plus Program:  Statewide education organizations have been working on a plan to address certain issues that school administrators have raised about the College Credit Plus (CCP) program.  The organizations include the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, and the Ohio School Boards Association.
Some of the issues were raised last May in testimony on HB474, the Higher Education Mid Biennial Review Bill.  The bill, which the organizations believe would expand a “government” entitlement program that is paid for by the taxpayers in their school districts, is not expected to pass this session, but the statewide organizations wanted to be on record about several of the proposed changes in law that they oppose.

Overall the organizations would like more flexibility to negotiate dual enrollment agreements with institutions of higher education (IHEs) as was done in the past.
They also would like to see more data collected about CCP to determine what barriers students face when trying to participate in college level courses.  Right now the only data available is about the former Post Secondary Enrollment Program (PSEO) and not dual enrollment programs initiated by school districts and IHEs.
The organizations also believe that there should be a way to keep the cost of textbooks and tuition down.  School districts should be allowed to charge some tuition and textbook costs to parents,  perhaps through means-testing, to determine if parents have the ability to pay.  In the past the cost of textbooks and tuition was part of the negotiated dual enrollment agreements between school districts and IHEs, and there were several ways used to reduce costs for school districts, IHEs, and parents.
School districts should also have the discretion to determine which students are eligible to participate in the CCP program.
The statewide organizations also reported widespread opposition to a HB474 proposal, which would allow students to take remediation courses at IHEs.
The following are some other recommendations that the education organizations support to improve CCP:
Negotiated Dual Enrollment Agreements
  • Require all school districts to enter into a minimum of one locally negotiated dual enrollment agreement with an institution of higher education, and eliminate the requirement that school districts participate with every IHEs in a district.  The education organizations believe that his provision would increase competition among IHEs to offer college courses to high school students, and find the best value for all parties, including students, parents, school districts, IHEs, and taxpayers, while still ensuring that qualified students have access to college credit programs.  A partnering secondary school could still enter into multiple agreements with IHEs, but they would not be required to do so.
  • Eliminate the funding floor requirement.  The education organizations believe that this provision would not be necessary if school districts could negotiate dual enrollment agreements with IHEs, as they did in the past.  The floor per credit hour rate is $41.50 for the 2016-17 school year, while the ceiling per credit hour rate is $166.  If the funding floor provision is not eliminated, the organizations oppose eliminating a provision in HB474 that allows the Chancellor of Higher Education to waive the funding floor requirement.
Textbooks
  • Develop standards for how to pay for textbooks.  These standards could require, for example, that textbooks be used for at least two years, and specify that the cost for one textbook should not exceed 25 percent of the “ceiling” amount for the course.  The standards should also require that textbooks have an ISBN#.  School districts should be allowed to charge parents for the cost of textbooks based on a sliding scale.  The state could also create a statewide textbook depository or a resource list for purchasing textbooks.  Restrictions about where or how the textbooks are purchased should also be eliminated, and IHE bookstores should not profit from textbooks purchased for high school students.
Student College Readiness
  • Convene stakeholders to develop uniform standards for college readiness to eliminate the inconsistencies in student participation in CCP.
  • Eliminate the requirement that permits students below the 9th grade to participate in college courses, but allow exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
  • Allow school districts to limit student participation in college courses to those deemed to be college ready.
College Courses
  • Require courses taught on the college campus to be at least equal in rigor to those available at the high school level.
  • Require school districts to agree with the IHEs determination of comparability, before students participate in the course.
  • Limit courses qualifying for college credit to core subject areas.
  • Require the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Providers (NACEP) to approve IHE courses, and assure the rigor of the courses.
  • Require school district policies about weighting grades to ensure that the college level courses are weighted the same as high school courses when they are comparable courses, and not simply courses in the same subject area (i.e., an algebra I course should not be equal to AP Calculus).
Teachers
  • Allow school districts more authority to determine the qualifications of teachers under local dual enrollment agreements, and require IHEs to allow qualified district teachers to provide instruction in college courses.
Equity
  • Ensure that CCP does not adversely affect the quality of the overall education program provided by the school district to the vast majority of students.  Allow the majority of dual enrollment courses to be offered at high schools, and permit schools to blend traditional and dual enrollment students in the same classes.  According to the education organizations, “Because some districts have such limited resources, the funds deducted for CCP has the effect of eating into the funds (resources for programs) meant for the students that are left in the district – those not wishing to take CCP courses. Therefore, the education opportunities for those students are affected.”
Communication Between Schools and IHEs
  • Require IHEs to inform secondary schools, school counselors, school districts, and parents, in a prescribed manner, about the students that have been admitted to their institutions and the courses that they are taking, and allow a means to enforce this provision.  Require the Chancellor to publish a list of IHEs suspended from participating in CCP due to noncompliance with this provision.
Joint Oversight of CCP
  • Establish a college credit plus advisory committee to assist in the development of performance metrics and monitor the CCP.  The committee shall include an equal number of representatives of partnering secondary schools and partnering colleges.
  • Drug Prevention Committee Examines SEL Standards:  Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Joint Study Committee on Drug Use Prevention Education met last week to review programs that support social and emotional learning in the Chicago Public Schools and the Illinois Social and Emotional Learning Standards (SEL).
Ohio lawmakers and policy makers are working on legislation and other strategies to eliminate Ohio’s drug abuse and addiction epidemic.  According to the Ohio Health Department 3,050 people died in 2015 of unintentional overdoses, the highest number on record for our state.
The 22 member joint study committee was appointed in August 2016, and is meeting with communities across the state to examine the status of drug use prevention education in Ohio schools in grades K-12.  According to the research, education programs that help students make positive choices and develop responsible behaviors are the most effective ways to combat drug abuse and addiction among young adults.

The Illinois Social and Emotional Learning Standards (SEL) support a process that helps children develop self-awareness and self-management skills to achieve school and life success; use social-awareness and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain positive relationships; and demonstrate decision making skills and responsible behaviors in personal, school, and community context.  The standards are supported by research that shows that SEL competencies “… improve students’ social/emotional development, readiness to learn, classroom behavior, and academic performance.”
Illinois’ SEL Standards are correlated with the Illinois Learning Standards, and especially align with the Illinois standards in health and social sciences, and can be integrated throughout all curricula.
The joint study committee expects to issue a report in January 2017 with recommendations to implement “…an effective drug abuse prevention curriculum for each grade level, from kindergarten to twelfth grade.”
NATIONAL NEWS
President Elect Nominates Secretary of Education:  President-Elect Donald Trump nominated on November 23, 2016 Betsy DeVos to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education.
Ms. DeVos is a billionaire from Michigan and the chairwomen of the American Federation for Children, an advocacy organization for school choice, charter schools, voucher programs, and tax-credit scholarships for students.
She also served as chair of the Michigan Republican Party for several years.
She and her husband Dick DeVos, the son of the founder of Amway, supported the passage of Michigan’s charter school law in 1993.  She has also headed a PAC that has directed funds to charter school and voucher advocates running for office.  According to an article by Stephen Dyer at Innovation Ohio, in 2008 Betsy DeVos’ Virginia-based All Children Matter PAC was fined $5.2 million by the Ohio Elections Commission for illegally funneling $870,000 into Ohio campaigns.  David Brennan, president of White Hat Management, a charter school operator, also donated $200,000 to the same Virginia PAC between 2004-2007.
The fine was the largest ever filed against a PAC by the Ohio Elections Commission, but, according to The Columbus Dispatch, was never paid.  Ms. DeVos is no longer the director of All Children Matter.
Her brother, Erik Prince, is the founder of Blackwater, a security firm that worked in Iraq during the war.  In 2007 Blackwater employees were involved in the shooting deaths of Iraqi civilians, and four of the employees were later found guilty in the deaths.  Erik Prince is currently the chairman of Frontier Services Group, and is reported to be under investigation by several federal agencies for alleged unlawful dealings with foreign governments.
The Washington Post also reports that from 2004-2010 Ms. DeVos served on the board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  She donated $22.5 million to support arts leaders, and created the DeVos Institute of Arts Management based at the University of Maryland.
See “Pac backed by Education pick owes Ohio millions,” by Randy Ludlow, The Columbus Dispatch, November 24, 2016 at http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODN/ColumbusDispatch/AfterLogin.ashx?id=platz.1%40osu.edu&d=2016-11-24&r=none&c=20df55f625e35deacbf606bf92b594fa
See “All Children Matter Hit with $5.2 Million Fine for Illegally Funneling Campaign Money,” One Wisconsin Now, April 8, 2008, at http://onewisconsinnow.org/press/all-children-matter-hit-with-5-2-million-fine-for-illegally-funneling-campaign-money/
See “Betsy DeVos:  Five Things to Know About Trump’s Pick for Education Secretary,” by Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week, November 23, 2016 at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2016/11/betsy_devos_education_secretary_five_things_to_know.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=campaignk-12
See “Trump picks billionaire Betsy DeVos, school voucher advocate, as education secretary,” by Emma Brown, The Washington Post, November 23, 2016 at
See “Is PAC skirting election limits? Charter-school operator used Virginia group to funnel cash to Ohio GOP races, state says,” by Jim Siegel and Mark Niquette, The Columbus Dispatch, August 12, 2017 at
See “Erik Prince in the hot seat,” by Matthew Cole and Jeremy Scahill, The Intercept, March 24, 2016 at https://theintercept.com/2016/03/24/blackwater-founder-erik-prince-under-federal-investigation/
REPORTS
Report Examines the School Privatization Movement:  A new report examines how billionaires and private school advocates have promoted the privatization of public schools by understating the performance of traditional public schools and undermining the value of locally elected boards of education.
The report traces the charter school movement and the legal and policy framework that supports parallel K-12 education systems, one of which is less regulated and transparent than traditional public schools. The report found that charter schools have become a multibillion-dollar industry dominated by large chains and franchises, prone to fraud, fiscal abuses, and overall poor student performance.
The report includes the following recommendations:
  • States should adopt a moratorium on charter school expansion.
  • State and federal authorities should conduct an audit and account for all public grants awarded to charter schools.  A recent investigation conducted by the Center for Media and Democracy identified unaccountable federal and state grants totaling millions of dollars.
  • Charter school governing boards should be subject to public meetings and open records laws, and should be required to post contracts and all financial information.
  • Charter operators and governing boards should comply with conflict of interest and ethical standards that prohibit self-enriching schemes and employment of family members.
  • Federal charter school grant programs should award grants based on research, best practices, and peer review.
  • Charter schools should adopt national standards for competitive bidding and contracting.
  • Local boards of education should oversee the charter schools in their districts.
  • Charter school enrollment policies should be open and inclusive, and prohibit discipline policies that exclude certain students.
  • Charter school trade associations and lobbyists should disclose political donors and activities.
  • Online charter schools should be banned, except for programs that are carefully overseen by local school districts and meet certain standards.
See “Who Controls Our Schools? The Privatization of American Public Education,” by Don Hazen, Elizabeth Hines, Steven Rosenfeld, and Stan Salett, The Independent Media Institute, at https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.alternet.org/images/Who_Controls_Our_Schools_PDF_Ebook_1_1.pdf
What Can the Expansion of English Academies Tell Us About US Charter Schools?:  A report by Professor Helen Ladd and Edward Fiske raises several questions about the expansion of charter schools in the United States.
Helen Ladd is the Susan B. King Professor of Public Policy Studies and economics at the Stanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, and Edward Fiske is the former education editor of The New York Times.
They have been studying the plan in England to replace schools governed by locally elected officials with charter schools, known in England as “academies,” and have identified some insights and lessons learned that can be applied to the charter school industry in the United States.
They found, for example, that managing a system in which two sets of schools operate under different rules created inefficiencies and challenges.
As more and more government funds were directed to the academies, the local schools in England lost revenue and were forced to reduce teachers and learning opportunities for students.  The public schools were left with the most needy students to educate, because the academies were not required to accept these students.
The expansion of the academies led to the proliferation of “relatively small primary schools operating in isolation.”  These small schools operated independently, which increased their costs.  The government encouraged these schools to form school networks, known as Multi Academy Trusts (MATs), to provide services more  efficiently, such as professional development.  Some of these MATs took over the role of the local school authorities, which had lost funding to provide these services, because the money was being directed to the academies instead.  While some of these networks were successful, others were not, and the authors are “….not optimistic about the success of this strategy.”
The role of the school in the social, economic, and cultural life of a community has also been threatened by the expansion of the academies, which, on the other hand, have no bond with communities or incentives to serve the best interests of the public.

The role of the elected school authorities has also been weakened, even though these authorities are still expected to provide certain services to students.  These include  “…assuring a place for every child, protecting the interests of vulnerable children, and championing the interests of children and families.”  The authors write that, “Weakened as they are by funding and personnel reductions, however, local authorities will struggle to carry out such responsibilities.”
The authors also found that the underlining reason for replacing the schools operated by local authorities with academies, the failure of the locally governed schools to educate children, was not justified by the evidence.  They write, “The academization plan seems to have been inspired less by reasoned policymaking than by an ideological belief in the weakness of bureaucratic systems and unshakeable faith in decentralization and autonomy as guiding principles for organizing the state education system.”
They authors report that a study about the academic performance of students attending the academies concluded that there is “no reason to believe that a fully academized system will be any better than the current one.”
The authors conclude that policymakers in the U.S. should consider the lessons learned from the English academy system, and select a different path to improve schools.
According to the report, “England’s experiences with academies, however, serves as a warning that promoting the development of large concentrations of charter schools operating independently of local school districts is a strategy fraught with risk for students and local communities.”
Instead the authors recommend that policymakers “devise democratic governance structures and systems of support that assure that both traditional public schools and charters promote broad public interests.”
See “Lessons for US charter schools from the growth of academies in England,” by Helen F. Ladd and Edward B. Fiske, Brookings Policy Brief, November 3, 2016 at
This brief is based on the authors’ study, England Confronts the Limits of School Autonomy, National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, Working Paper 232, October 2016. http://ncspe.tc.columbia.edu/working-papers/OP232.pdf
NEPC Recommends Better School Quality Indicators for State Accountability Systems:  A policy brief published by the National Education Policy Center provides “…guidance to states for selecting more inclusive school quality and student success indicators for accountability systems.”
Under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), in addition to three indicators specified in the law, states are required to include at least one “indicator of school quality or student success” in their accountability systems for schools.
The law also requires that this indicator be “valid, reliable, comparable, and statewide,” and can be used to distinguish performance among schools.
The policy brief suggests that when selecting this indicator states should consider the following criteria:
  • Identify indicators that signal the importance of equity, including opportunity to learn indicators, and/or indicators that measure safe and inclusive learning environments.
  • Adopt multiple non-academic indicators that states and schools can report on their annual report cards.
  • Carefully combine indicators to signal what is important and avoid perverse incentives for manipulating any one indicator.
  • Create reciprocal accountability in which district and state leaders have responsibility to provide resources and create conditions needed to improve quality and improve performance on the student success indicators.
  • Help schools make sense of data about quality and student success indicators by coupling them with opportunity and resource indicators.
  • Identify potential evidence-based resources ahead of time that can support schools to improve performance on the indicators.
  • Develop an accountability plan that funds and supports school improvement for schools that need it, such as professional development and resources for identifying, adopting, and studying evidence-based programs.
  • Plan for a multi-stage rollout that can make new measurement approaches more successful and manageable over time.
The policy brief recommends that states adopt an indicator that focuses on equity and improving school environments.

See “Making the Most of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) — Helping states Focus on School Equity, Quality and Climate, by William Penuel, Elizabeth Meyer, and Micchelle Renee Valladares, National Education Policy Center, University of Colorado Boulder, November 15, 2016 at
FYI ARTS
Museum Opens in Akron:  The Akron Children’s Museum held its grand opening on November 25, 2016.  The museum is located in city-owned space at Lock 3 Park in Akron, and includes interactive exhibits for children up to age 12.
The museum was designed to stimulate the imagination of children, and includes different stations featuring toys, car racing, scientific and environmental displays, and arts and crafts.
Ryan and Betsey Hartschuh envisioned the non-profit museum, which is based on the Greensboro Children’s Museum in North Carolina.   The museum is supported by 150 members and corporate sponsors, including Akron Children’s Hospital, the National Carpet Mill Outlet, Ernst & Young, the Acme Fresh Market, and GOJO Industries.
See “New Akron Children’s Museum filled with smiles and laughter,” by Rick Armon, The Akron Beacon Journal, November 25, 2016 at http://www.ohio.com/news/local/new-akron-children-s-museum-filled-with-smiles-and-laughter-1.729614

Arts On Line serves to keep arts education advocates informed about issues dealing with the arts, education, policy, research, and opportunities.

The distribution of this information is made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Music Education Association (www.omea-ohio.org), Ohio Art Education Association(www.oaea.org), Ohio Educational Theatre Association (www.ohedta.org);  OhioDance (www.ohiodance.org), and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (www.oaae.net).

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Arts on Line Education Update November 21, 2016

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
November 21, 2016
Joan Platz

131st GENERAL ASSEMBLY

This Week at the Statehouse:  A quiet pre-Thanksgiving Week at the Statehouse.

The House and Senate have no sessions planned this week, and there are only three committees meeting:  the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Senate State and Local Government Committee, and the Senate Insurance Committee.

Legislative Update:  The 131st Ohio General Assembly returned to Columbus last week to complete work on several bills as lawmakers prepare for the end of this legislative session in December 2016.

House and Senate leaders have identified bills addressing renewable energy standards, unemployment compensation, and addiction deterrents as priorities for this “lame duck” session.

The legislative schedule also includes a number of first-time hearings on bills, as committee chairs give lawmakers a chance to provide sponsor testimony on their bills before the session ends.

If bills do not pass by the end of this session, they will die, and will need to be reintroduced in the 132nd General Assembly, which begins on January 4, 2017.

Lawmakers are also expected to take action on two education bills during the lame duck session: SB3 (Hite-Faber) High Performing School District Exemptions and HB410 (Hayes-Rezabek) Truancy.

Hearings might also be scheduled for SB241 (LaRose), Employment of Educators.

So far no hearings are planned for SB298 (Schiavoni) Charter School Contracts, which would strengthen accountability requirements for charter schools.

-SB3 High Performing School Districts:  SB3 has been stalled in the House Education Committee for months, but both House and Senate leaders expect the bill to pass this session. The bill might also become a “vehicle” for changes in law that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) needs to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.  The bill might also include an amendment about how textbooks are purchased under the College Credit Plus program, and an amendment to extend the EMIS advisory board.

The current bill would exempt about 120 high-performing school districts from certain laws, including laws that affect teacher licenses:

-Section 3302.16 (A)(4) exempts high performing school districts from requiring teachers to be licensed specifically in the subject area or grade level in which they are teaching.

-Section §3302.16 (B) (1) allows the superintendent of a high performing school district, with board approval, to employ an individual “who is not licensed as required by sections 3319.22 to 3319.30 of the Revised Code, but who is otherwise qualified based on experience, to teach classes in the district.”

The bill was approved by the Ohio Senate on March 25, 2015, and received its fourth hearing in the House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Brenner, on January 27, 2016.

In February 2016 there was some push-back from those wanting to strengthen charter school law when charter school advocates tried to include some amendments in the bill to extend “safe harbor provisions” to charter school sponsors, and replace Ohio’s Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS) methodology for determining student progress with a “similar schools measure,” which is a method used in California to evaluate charter school performance.

Lawmakers are not expected to add these amendments to the bill at this time, but there is still some support for the “similar schools measure.” 131-HB2 (Dovilla, Roegner), which became law in February 2016, requires the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to study and make a recommendation by December 1, 2016 about using “a similar schools measure” to evaluate charter school sponsors, and HB524 (Cupp, Ryan) requires that a study be conducted about the efficacy of the EVAAS methodology.

-HB410 (Hayes) Habitual and Chronic Truancy: This bill was approved by the House on May 4, 2016 after a lengthy debate over the changes proposed for defining and addressing students who are truant.  Among other provisions, the bill requires schools to create an intervention team to work with families and students to resolve issues causing truancy.

The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, has held several hearings on the bill.  Some amendments have been proposed to require e-schools to take action earlier when students fail to participate in learning activities and are identified as truant. Currently e-schools can wait until students miss 105 consecutive hours of instruction before identifying a student as truant.

-SB241 (LaRose) Educational Opportunities: The Senate Education Committee has held two hearings on this bill, which was introduced in response to the State Board of Education’s decision in April 2015 to eliminate the “5 of 8 Rule” in Operating Standards for Ohio Schools.  This rule provided flexible staffing ratios in support of a well-rounded education and student access to licensed and certified school counselors, school nurses, library media specialists, school social workers, and elementary art, music, and physical education teachers.

SB241 requires that school districts provide students in grades K-12 with an education that includes the fine arts, music, and physical education, and the comprehensive services of counselors, librarians or library media specialists, school nurses, and school social workers.

SB241 also requires the ODE to report on the state report card for the 2015-16 school year the number of licensed teachers employed in fine arts, music, physical education, and as counselors, school nurses, school social workers, and librarians/media specialists per one thousand students.

The bill also requires the ODE to report the number of these professionals per 1,000 students employed by school districts in five of the seven categories, and recognize school districts that are meeting this threshold.

The ODE’s most recent local report card includes similar information under located under District Details.

-SB298 (Schiavoni) Community School Contracts: In spite of ODE’s determination that ECOT and some other e-schools are over-reporting enrollment and are being over paid, lawmakers are not expected to take action on SB298 (Schiavoni), a bill that would strengthen accountability requirements for charter schools.

The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, has held three hearings on SB298, the last being held on May 17, 2016.

New House Members Take Office:  Representatives Wes Goodman (R-87th) and Candice Keller (R-53rd) were sworn into office last week after winning elections in their districts on November 8, 2016. The House seats have been vacant due to the resignations of former Representative Jeff McClain (87th) and former Representative Tim Derickson (53rd).

Senate and House Leaders Selected:  The Senate Republican Caucus has elected Senator Larry Obhof to be President of the Ohio Senate when the 132nd General Assembly convenes on January 4, 2017.  The current Senate President, Senator Keith Faber, was term limited, and was elected to the Ohio House on November 8, 2016.

To fill out the rest of the leadership team for the majority Republicans, Senator Bob Peterson was elected President Pro Tempore, Senator Randy Gardner was elected Majority Floor Leader, and Senator Gayle Manning was elected Majority Whip.

The Senate Democrats elected Senator Joe Schiavoni as Minority Leader, Senator Charleta Tavares as Assistant Minority Leader, Senator Edna Brown as Minority Whip, and Senator Cecil Thomas as Assistant Minority Whip.

In the House, Representative Fred Strahorn was elected House Minority Leader for the 132nd Ohio House.  Joining him on the Democratic leadership team will be Representative Nicholas J. Celebrezze – Assistant Minority Leader, Representative Nickie J. Antonio – Minority Whip, and Representative Emilia Strong Sykes – Assistant Minority Whip.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

SBE Member A.J. Wagner Resigns:  State Board of Education (SBE) member A. J. Wagner (District 3) resigned from the State Board on November 18, 2016.

In a letter to SBE President Tom Gunlock, former Judge Wagner cited personal family reasons for the decision.

The vacancy will be filled by Governor Kasich.  Since this is one of the elected positions on the SBE, whoever is appointed will eventually have to stand for election.

Gifted Standards:  The State Board of Education’s (SBE) Achievement Committee approved “Operating Standards for Identifying and Serving Gifted Students”, Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 3301-51-15 on November 14, 2016.  The State Board will take action on the proposed standards at their meeting in December 2016.

The latest draft of the gifted standards is the result of three years of negotiations.  The Ohio Association for Gifted Children supports the standards, although they believe that the accountability and reporting requirements should be strengthened.

The November 2016 draft standards are available under the State Board of Education November 2016 Meeting – Meeting Materials – Achievement Committee at http://education.ohio.gov/State-Board/State-Board-Meetings/State-Board-Meetings-for-2016

See a “recap” of the November 14, 2016 Achievement Committee meeting from the Ohio Association for Gifted Children at http://www.oagc.com/advocacyAlerts.asp

Graduation Requirements: The State Board of Education will consider a proposal at their December 2016 meeting to temporarily ease high school graduation requirements.

Superintendents and educators across the state have evaluated student progress in meeting the new graduation requirements, and have been warning members of the legislature and the State Board for months that graduation rates could drop. According to the ODE’s own preliminary research, 29 percent of 11th grade students are not on track to graduate in 2018.

The graduation standards for the Class of 2018 and beyond were approved by the legislature in 2014.  In addition to meeting certain course requirements in law, Ohio students in the Class of 2018 can earn a high school diploma in the following three ways:

1) Earn 18 points on 7 end of course exams in English I and English II; algebra I and geometry or integrated math I and II; biology; and American history and American government. Students must earn a minimum of four points in math, four points in English, and six points across science and social studies.

Students studying Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses in biology, American history, or American government can substitute test scores in these subjects for end of course state exams.  Students also may substitute grades from College Credit Plus courses in science and social studies subjects for end of course state exams.

2) Earn a “remediation-free” score on a college entrance exam, such as the ACT or the SAT, in English language arts and mathematics.

3) Earn an industry credential and workforce readiness certificate.  Students are required to earn 12 points through a State Board of Education approved industry-recognized credential or group of credentials in a single career field, and achieve a workforce readiness score on the WorkKeys assessment.

The proposal to ease the graduation requirements was offered by SBE Vice President Tess Elshoff, and would require students in the Class of 2018 to earn 15 points on end of course exams.  The number of test points required to graduate would increase by one point each year until it reached 18 in 2022. The requirement that the points be earned in different subjects would be waived until 2022.

See  “A third of high school juniors might not graduate next year, officials warn,” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, November 13, 2016 at http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/11/a_third_of_high_school_juniors_might_not_graduate_next_year_officials_warn.html

Stakeholder Responses to ESSA:  Over the past months the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has conducted regional meetings, held webinars, met with the leaders of education organizations, and posted an online survey to gather information from stakeholders about what should be included in Ohio’s plan to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The federal law requires Title I state plans to be developed by the State Education Agency (SEA) “with timely and meaningful consultation” with the Governor, members of the State legislature and State board of education, local educational agencies, teachers, principals, other school leaders, charter school leaders, specialized instructional support personnel, paraprofessionals, administrators, other staff, and parents.

The ESSA template also requires that a state education agency explain how it used feedback in completing their ESSA compliance plan.

See http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/secletter/160622.html

Colleen Grady, ODE Senior Policy Advisor, and Lisa Gray from Philanthropy Ohio, which hosted the regional meetings, presented a summary of the results of the meetings and survey at the November 2016 State Board of Education meeting. The results will be shared with the ODE staff, who are currently working on Ohio’s ESSA template.  A draft ESSA plan for Ohio should be available for public review in January 2017.

The following is a summary of the results of the ESSA Online Survey, conducted by the ODE between August 24, 2016 and October 7, 2016. About 11,287 participants completed the survey, including parents (22 percent); educators (55 percent); students (3.8 percent); and public (2 percent).

ESSA Online Survey Results

Expectations for Schools:  When asked what is the most important expectation for schools, 43 percent of respondents reported that schools should prepare students for college, careers, and life; 20 percent selected a safe, welcoming environment; 15 percent selected preparing students to be good citizens; 14 percent selected varied options; and 8 percent selected rigorous academics.

Respondents reported that they liked best the teachers and students; the cohesiveness of the community; and small schools and classes.

Respondents would change “…the amount of testing students are subjected to, the amount of funding available, the conditions of buildings, the lack of certain curricular and extracurricular offerings such as music, art, and physical education, and the lack of technology.”

School Quality:  When asked to select the three most important factors that contribute to school quality, 60 percent selected qualified teachers and administrators; 42 percent selected safe school environment; 40 percent selected rigorous core curriculum; 39 percent selected small class size; and 18 percent selected arts opportunities and career technical training.

Other important factors that contribute to school quality are less emphasis on testing, supportive and engaged parents, meeting the diverse needs of students, caring, supportive educators, and less homework.

Measuring Student Success:  Respondents recommended that the best way to measure student success was through goal-based measures (58 percent); class grade (24 percent); standardized test scores (8 percent); district tests (7 percent); and attendance (3 percent).

Other ways to measure student success include portfolios and projects, graduates’ postsecondary success, attendance, children’s happiness, and class grades.

Local Report Card:  Most respondents (79.8 percent) reported that they had viewed their local school district’s report card.  To improve the report cards, respondents reported that similar grade scales should be included along with consistent growth measures.  The state should also stop switching assessments so often.

Some participants also recommended eliminating standardized test measures, school and district rankings, and value added; making it easier to compare similar districts; making the report card more parent friendly, and making the results available more quickly.

A majority of respondents (65 percent) identified the student growth model as the “best” measure of school success.  Less than 15 percent of respondents identified graduation rates, attendance rates, and college admission/remediation rates as the best measures to determine school success.

When asked about which report card measures were difficult to understand, respondents identified value-added, gap closing, and K-3 literacy measures. The “Prepared for Success” indicator and the gifted education indicator were also found difficult to understand or unfair by some respondents.

Improving Schools:  Respondents reported that to ensure the success of students and/or schools, there should be more teaching and support personnel (30 percent); increased school funding (25.4 percent); more student access to school-based supportive services (11 percent); and expanded school choice options (5 percent).

Respondents also reported that the Ohio Department of Education could support more schools and students by providing tools and training for school-based health and mental health services, additional nurses and counselors, more curricular resources and access to technology, professional development, and extracurricular activities.

Teachers:  Most respondents (52 percent) reported that overall the teachers in their schools are doing a good job.  Another 15 percent said that the teachers are great.  About 27 percent had mixed feelings; 4 percent said that there was room for improvement, and 2 percent had no opinion.

Overall growth, not just academic performance, was reported by 68 percent of respondents as a way to evaluate the effectiveness of a teacher.  Other ways identified to evaluate the effectiveness of teachers are student in-class performance (24 percent); student scores on standardized tests (4 percent); and the happiness of the children (3 percent).

Most of the respondents who work in schools also reported that student test scores should not be used to evaluate teachers, and some recommended that OTES be eliminated.

When asked about ways to ensure equitable access to effective teachers, respondents recommended that teacher preparation programs should “weed out” less effective teachers, districts should provide incentives to attract teachers to struggling schools, and teachers need more professional development opportunities.

Major Challenges for Students:  Respondents identified poverty, homelessness, hunger, addiction, unstable homes, lack of foster homes, bullying, and mental illness as challenges for vulnerable students.

According to respondents, vulnerable students should receive more specialized services, including special education services and personnel, mental health services, access to food and affordable housing, tutoring, parent education programs, career exploration, and before and after-school programs.

See http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Every-Student-Succeeds-Act-ESSA

ESSA Stakeholder Meeting Results Similar to ESSA Survey Results:

Recommendations about what should be included in Ohio’s ESSA plan were also gathered from 1,500 participants at 10 regional meetings held between August 31, 2016 and October 6, 2016.

According to a report prepared by Philanthropy Ohio, the recommendations for Ohio’s ESSA plan gathered from these regional meetings were consistent with the results from the ESSA Online Survey.

The following is a summary of Philanthropy Ohio’s report and the ESSA recommendations:

Most Important Issue Facing Students and Schools:  Participants at the regional meetings identified poverty and homelessness as the most important issue facing our students and schools today.

Following poverty and homelessness, participants at the regional meetings identified as important school funding and resources; family engagement and home life; equitable access to resources, too much state and local testing; and preparing all students for college and careers.

Strong Broad Support:  There was strong broad support for increasing quality early childhood education opportunities; wrap round services to help students; librarians, counselors, school nurses, school social workers, and after-school programs.

Ohio Standards:  Although there was support for Ohio’s learning standards, some participants expressed concerns about the developmental appropriateness of the standards, the levels of expectations, and the number of standards.

Ohio’s Assessment System:  Participants expressed the most concern about Ohio’s assessment system, especially about how often the state tests have been changed; the number of assessments; the amount of time used to administer the assessments; and the delay in the results.

Graduation Requirements:  Concerns about the graduation requirements and end of course exams were also expressed at the regional meetings.  Participants opined that the expectations were too high, considering that some students have only been working on the new standards for five years.

Although some participants recommended that the ACT and SAT be used as a substitute for the end of course exams, some educators questioned if these college readiness exams were aligned with Ohio’s standards, and worried that meeting a “college readiness” standard was not fair for students who do not intend to go on to college.

Report Cards:  Participants questioned the validity and reliability of the local report card and the individual measures, that seem to change constantly.  Some participants called for eliminating the report cards.  Others said that the report cards are too complicated, include too much data, and the letter grades provide little information.  Overall participants said that the report cards seem “more punitive in nature, rather than diagnostic.”

Participants recommended that the “Measure of School Success” indicator should reflect the whole school, including student achievement, growth, and growth in multiple subjects for all students.  Information about poverty levels, school culture, school climate, extra-curricular activities, attendance, achievement gaps should also be included.

Teacher Evaluations:  According to the report, there was no consensus about how teachers should be evaluated.  Educators said that the current system (Ohio Teacher Evaluation System) was time consuming, complicated, and cumbersome.  Participants distrust student growth measures and student learning objectives, and oppose basing a large part of an evaluation on them.

Professional Development:  There was strong support for more resources for professional development and mentorship programs to help teachers improve.

Improving Low Performing Schools:  Most participants recognized the need for additional supports for students and schools in order to improve schools.  The supports include “more funding, building-based wraparound and support services, aligned and coordinated community partnerships and engagement, family involvement, cultural competency and awareness, and interventions and trainings for anti-bullying and harassment, drug and alcohol addiction, truancy and suspensions.”

Charter Schools:  Participants at every regional meeting “…expressed concern about the quality of Ohio’s charter schools, especially the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.”

See “Shaping Ohio’s ESSA Plan, Philanthropy Ohio, November 14, 2016 at

https://www.philanthropyohio.org/sites/default/files/White%20Paper_11.11_lr_FINAL.pdf

Superintendent Summarizes Stakeholder Feedback:  Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria updated the Joint Education Oversight Committee last week about the status of Ohio’s ESSA plan, and some of the key decisions that Ohio policy-makers must address in Ohio’s plan.

According to the presentation, the Ohio Department of Education will release Ohio’s draft ESSA plan for public comment in early January 2017.  After compiling public feedback and updating the draft, the plan will be presented to Governor Kasich for review.  The plan will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in March 2017, and will go into effect in July 2017.

After describing the various methods the ODE used to gather stakeholder comments, Superintendent DeMaria told the committee that stakeholders want less testing, more stability, more funding, better and more support services, better parent engagement and education, and changes in Ohio’s teacher evaluation system.

Stakeholder priorities include expanding early childhood education, expanding specialized services for students with disabilities and gifted students, expanding arts instruction and media services, expanding mental health and medical services, and keeping the current academic content standards.

He also summarized some of the decisions that must be made to finalize Ohio’s ESSA plan:

-How will Ohio’s plan address adaptive testing, alternative assessments, selecting a nationally-recognized high school assessments, and participation in the innovative assessment pilot?

-What “measure of school quality or student success” will be selected for inclusion on the local report card, and how will the state address enhanced accountability requirements for English learners and students in other subgroups?

-What revisions should be made to Ohio’s educator equity plan to ensure that low-income and minority students have effective and experiences teachers?

-How will Ohio define struggling schools and evidenced-based strategies for improvement, and how will ODE organize to provide supports and wraparound services?

-Should Ohio use up to 3 percent of Title I funds to provide direct services to students, and how much should be set aside?  How will school improvement dollars be distributed, and what about competitive grants?

-How will Ohio’s plan address homeless students, students in the foster care system, and military dependents?

See http://jeoc.ohio.gov/meetings?6&pageSize=10&sort=NewToOld&start=11

NATIONAL NEWS

Congress Also Faces Lame Duck Session: Congress returned to Washington, D.C. last week to complete work on legislation and elect new leadership for the 115th Congress, which begins in January 2017.

One of the first items on their agenda will be to approve FY17 appropriations.  The temporary spending bill approved last September to avoid a government shutdown on October 1, 2016 expires on December 9, 2016.  Some Republicans want to pass another temporary measure, and deal with a more detailed appropriation bill when the new Congress convenes.

Congress could also reauthorize the Carl S. Perkins Career Technical Education Act, which has already been approved by the U.S. House, and has some support in the U.S. Senate.

Leadership Teams Elected: The U.S. Senate Republican Caucus re-elected Senator Mitch McConnell (KY) last week to be majority leader in the 115th Congress. Senator John Cornyn (TX) will stay on as whip and Senator John Thune (SD) will serve as number three.

Democrats elected Senator Chuck Schumer (NY) as minority leader, replacing Senator Harry Reid who didn’t run for re-election.  Senator Richard J. Durbin (IL) will serve as party whip, and Senator Patty Murray (WA) will serve as assistance Democratic leader.

Senator Schumer also appointed a leadership team, which includes Senators Elizabeth Warren (MA), Bernie Sanders (VT), Joe Manchin (WV), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Mark Warner (VA), and Debbi Stabenow (MI).

The Republican Conference in the U.S. House re-nominated Representative Paul Ryan (WI) as House Speaker, who must be confirmed by a floor vote in January 2017.  Representative Kevin McCarthy (CA) was nominated majority leader, and Representative Steve Scalise (LA) House Whip.

House Democrats postponed voting on their leadership team until November 30, 2016.  Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan is now formally challenging House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA), who has been the Democratic leader in the House since 2003, for the minority leadership position.

FYI ARTS

Ohio Arts Council: Governor Kasich has appointed William B. White of Marietta to the Ohio Arts Council for a term beginning November 15, 2016 and ending July 1, 2019.

Mr. White co-founded a marketing consulting firm called OffWhite in 1985.  The firm has worked with local, national, and international clients, and provides technical assistance for the biomedical, life sciences, and industrial laboratory fields.

As a musician and songwriter, Mr. White performs with a classic rock band called The Fossils and with an acoustics group called the JW3 Trio.  In February 2007 Mr. White was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Foundation for Music Education, and served as its president until February 2016.

He is expected to bring attention to the economic development in Ohio as a result of investments in the arts while on the Arts Council Board.

See http://www.oac.ohio.gov/News-Events/OAC-News/ArticleId/39/governor-kasich-appoints-william-b-white-to-oac-board

Youth Arts Programs Recognized: First Lady Michelle Obama hosted at the White House on November 15, 2016 a reception and performance honoring the 2016 recipients of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards.

The awards are presented by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to after-school and out-of-school programs that provide arts and humanities learning opportunities for young people.  These programs enrich the lives of students by teaching them new skills, nurturing creativity, and building self-confidence in a safe environment. The following programs were recognized this year:

-Ailey Camp, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami, FL

-Baranov Museum Youth history & Film Summer Intensive, Kodiak historical Society, Kodiak, AK

-IBA’s Youth Development Program, Inquilinos Boricuas an Accion, Boston, MA

-Next Gen, bay Area Video Coalition, San Francisco, CA

-Screen It!, Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, TX

-Sphinx Overture, Sphinx Organization, Detroit, MI

-St. Louis ArtWorks, St. Louis, MO

-Subway Sleuths, New York Transit Museum, Brooklyn, NY

-Teen Arts + Tech Program, Western Michigan Center for Arts and Technology (WMCAT), Grand Rapids, MI

-The Reading Road Show- Gus Bus, Office on Children & Youth, Institute for Innovation in Health & Human Services, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

-Tribal Youth Ambassadors, California Indian Museum and Cultural Center, Santa Rosa, CA

-True Colors: Out Youth Theatre, The Theatre Offensive, Boston, MA

See http://www.americansforthearts.org/news-room/art-in-the-news/national-arts-and-humanities-youth-program-awardees-announced?utm_source=MagnetMail&utm_medium=email&utm_term=joan.platz@gmail.com&utm_content=creativity%5Fconnection%5F11%5F16&utm_campaign=Creativity%20Connection%3A%20November%2016


Arts On Line serves to keep arts education advocates informed about issues dealing with the arts, education, policy, research, and opportunities.

The distribution of this information is made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Music Education Association (www.omea-ohio.org), Ohio Art Education Association(www.oaea.org), Ohio Educational Theatre Association (www.ohedta.org);  OhioDance (www.ohiodance.org), and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (www.oaae.net).

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Arts on Line Education Update November 14, 2016

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
November 14, 2016
Joan Platz

131st OHIO GENERAL ASSEMBLY

This Week at the Statehouse:  The Ohio House will meet in session on November 16 and 17, 2016 at 1:00 PM, while the Ohio Senate has canceled its sessions.  Both the House and Senate will hold committee meetings this week.

The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Brenner, will meet on November 15, 2016 at 1:00 PM in hearing room 121.  The committee will receive testimony on the following bills:

-SB168 (LaRose) Student Violent Behavior:  Require the Education Management Information System to include information regarding persons at whom a student’s violent behavior that resulted in discipline was directed.

-HB426 (Antani) Career Colleges-Job Placement:  Requires the State Board of Career Colleges and Schools to report and post job placement information.

-HB560 (Hambley) Community School Enrollment:  Regarding verification of community school enrollments.

-HB498 (Kunze) Expulsion-Threat of Violence:  With respect to the expulsion of a student from a school district, community school, or STEM school for communicating a threat of violence to occur on school grounds.

The House Finance Committee, chaired by Representative Smith, will meet on November 15, 2016 at 1:30 PM in hearing room 131.  The committee will receive testimony on several bills, including the following bills related to education:

-HB346 (Brenner) Per-pupil State Funding, which would require that each city, local, and exempted village school district receive a per-pupil amount of state funding that is at least as much as the statewide per pupil amount paid for chartered nonpublic schools in Auxiliary Services funds and for administrative cost reimbursement.

-SB235 (Beagle-Coley) Increased Value-Property Tax, which would exempt from property tax the increased value of property on which industrial or commercial development is planned, until construction of new commercial or industrial facilities at the property commences.  The House Finance Committee will also receive testimony on this bill on November 16, 2016.

The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, will meet on November 13, 2016 at 4:00 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room.  The committee will receive testimony on the following bills:

-HB383 (Hagan) Informed Student Document:  Requires one-half unit of economic and financial literacy in the high school social studies curriculum; requires the Chancellor of Higher Education to prepare an informed student document for each state institution of higher education, requires the State Board of Education to include information on the informed student document in the standards and model curricula it creates for financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

-HB438 (Patterson) Week Designation:  Designates the week prior to the week of Thanksgiving Day as “Ohio Public Education Appreciation Week.”

-HB441 (McColley) Interscholastic Activities:  Permits a student enrolled in a nonpublic school to participate in interscholastic activities at a school district that is not the student’s resident district under certain circumstances, and prohibits a student who participates in the College Credit Plus program from being denied the opportunity to participate in interscholastic athletics solely due to participation in the program.

-HB85 (Ramos) Child Sexual Abuse Prevention:  Regarding age-appropriate student instruction in child sexual abuse and sexual violence prevention and in-service staff training in child sexual abuse prevention.

-HB89 (Devitis) Medicaid School Program:  Regarding the Medicaid School Program.

-HB410 (Rezabek-Hayes) Truancy:  Regarding habitual and chronic truancy and compulsory school attendance.

House Leadership Team Announced: The Republican majority caucus elected on November 10, 2016 their leadership team for the 132st Ohio General Assembly.  Representative Cliff Rosenberger will continue to serve as House Speaker; Representative Kirk Schuring will serve as speaker pro tem; Representative Dorothy Pelanda will be the majority floor leader; Representative Sarah LaTourette will be assistant majority floor leader; Senator Tom Patton, who was elected to the House, will serve as majority whip; and Representative Rob McColley will be assistant majority whip.

Legislative Update:

The following bills have been assigned to the House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Andrew Brenner:

-HB544 (Koehler-Landis) High School Civics Assessment:  Permits high school students to take a civics assessment instead of the American government end of-course examination.

-HB550 (Arndt) School Facilities-Technology Purchasing:  Requires the Ohio School Facilities Commission to establish a program assisting school districts in purchasing technology and making physical alterations to improve technology infrastructure and school safety and security.

-HB560 (Hambley) Community School Enrollment:  Establishes policies to verify community school enrollments.

-HB570 (Hill) Interdistrict-Open Enrollment:  Regarding student enrollment in charter schools, STEM schools, and other districts through interdistrict open enrollment.

-HB571 (Duffey-Boggs) Career Information-Students:  Regarding the presentation of career information to students.

-SB247 (Brown-Lehner) School District-Summer Meals:  Requires school districts to allow alternative summer meal sponsors to use school facilities to provide food service for summer intervention services under certain conditions.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO MEET

The State Board of Education, Tom Gunlock president, will meet on November 14-15, 2016 at the Department of Education building, 25 South Front Street in Columbus.

On November 14, 2016, the State Board’s meeting will begin at 8:00 AM, when the Board will conduct a Chapter 119 Hearing on three proposed rules:

-OAC 3301-11-01 to -11 and -13: EdChoice Scholarship Program

-OAC 3301-24-08, -25, -26: Licensing & Education Programs

-OAC 3301-106-01: Community Learning Centers

The Executive Committee and Urban and Rural Renewal Committee will then meet, followed by the convening of the State Board’s business meeting, which will include the report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.  The Board will then hold an executive session.

The Achievement and Capacity committees will convene following lunch.

The Achievement Committee will discuss and approve OAC Rule 3301-61-07 and -10 Vocational Education, and discuss OAC Rule 3301-51-15:  Operating Standards for Identifying and Serving Gifted Students.

The Capacity Committee will discuss OAC Rule 3301-91-01, 04, 07, 08, 09 Standards for School Lunch and Breakfast Programs; discuss and approve OAC Rule 3301-24-18 to 21, Licensing & Education Programs & OAC Rule 3301-25-09 Educational Aid Permits; discuss OAC Rule 3301-102-02 to 05, 07, 08 Community Schools; and discuss OAC Rule 3301-40 to 07:  Rules on Nonpublic Schools Administrative Cost Reimbursement.

On November 15, 2016 the Standards and Graduation Committee will meet at 8:00 AM and discuss and approve OAC Rule 3301-41-01: Standard for Issuing and Ohio Certificate of High School Equivalence; discuss graduation requirements; and discuss the revised content standards for English language arts and math.

The State Board will then reconvene; recognize Dustin Weaver of Chillicothe High School, the 2016 Ohio Teacher of the Year; receive public participation on agenda and non agenda items; and take action on the following resolutions:

1)  Approve a Resolution to Rescind and Amend Rule 3301-5-01 of the Ohio Administrative Code Regarding the Requirements for the Emergency Management Plan and Test.

2)  Approve a Resolution to File As No Change Rule 3301-24-18 of the Ohio Administrative Code Entitled Resident Educator License.

3)  Approve a Resolution to File As No Change Rule 3301-24-19 of the Administrative Code Entitled Alternative Resident Educator License for Teaching A Designated Subject in Grades Kindergarten to Twelve.

4)  Approve a Resolution to File As No Change Rule 3301-24-20 of the Administrative Code Entitled Alternative License for Teaching World Languages in Grades Pre Kindergarten to Twelve.

5)  Approve a Resolution to File As No Change Rule 3301-24-21 of the Administrative Code Entitled Alternative License for Intervention Specialist in Grades Kindergarten to Twelve.

6)  Approve a Resolution to Amend Rule 3301-24-22 of the Administrative Code Entitled Alternative Resident Educator License for Career Technical Workforce Development Programs.

7)  Approve a Resolution to File As No Change Rule 3301-25-09 of the Administrative Code Entitled Two-Year School Speech-Language Pathology Student Permit.

8)  Approve a Resolution to Rescind and Restate Rule 3301-41-01 of the Administrative Code, Certificate of High School Equivalence.

9)  Approve Resolution to File As No Change Rules 3301- 61-07 and 3301-61-10 of the Administrative Code Entitled Provisions for Non Public School Students.

10)  Approve a Resolution to File As No Change Rule 3301-91-01, 3301-91-04, 3301-91-07, 3301-91-08, 3301-91-09 of the Administrative Code Entitled Standards for School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.

17) Approve a Resolution to Clarify Intent of Student Suspensions for Ohio School Districts.

18) Approve a Resolution to Confirm the Dublin City School District Board of Education’s Determination of Impractical Transportation of Certain Students Attending Haughland Learning Center in Columbus, Franklin County.

19)  Approve a Resolution to Grant Student’s Right to Participate in the College Credit Plus Program Pursuant to R.C. 3365.03(A)(1)(a).

ELECTION NEWS

Donald Trump won the presidential race with a projected 276 electoral votes, and on January 20, 2017 will become the 45th President of the United States.

According to unofficial results, 5.3 million Ohioans cast a ballot this year, which is less than in 2008, when 5.8 million Ohioans voted, and less than in 2012, when 5.6 million Ohioans voted.

115th U.S. Congress:  The membership of the U.S. Senate will include 51 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and two independents.  The final breakdown of the Senate could change, however, because there is a run-off in the Louisiana Senate race. None of the candidates had won 50 percent of the votes, which was needed to declare a winner.

Not all races have been decided, but so far the U.S. House of Representatives will have 239 Republicans and 193 Democrats.

All of Ohio’s representatives to the U.S. House won re-election.  Republicans retained control of 12 of Ohio’s congressional seats, while Democrats retained control of 4 seats.

U.S. Senator Rob Portman also retained his seat in the U.S. Senate, defeating former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland.

Governors:  Nationwide there were 12 governor races on November 8, 2016 ballot.  Republicans won in the states of Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Utah, and Vermont, while Democrats won in Delaware, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia.  The race between Governor Pat McCorory (D) and Roy Cooper (R) in North Carolina is still too close to call, but Roy Cooper has a slight lead.

ELECTION IN OHIO

132st Ohio General Assembly:  Republicans will extend their majority by one in both the Ohio House (66 – 33) and the Ohio Senate (24-9) due to Republican wins in two districts currently held by Democrats.  In the House, Democrat Sarah Grace lost to Republican Jay Edwards in the 94th House District, which is currently held by Representative Debbie Phillips (D), and in the Ohio Senate, Senator Lou Gentile (D) lost to Frank Hoagland (R) in the 30th Senate District race.

Ohio House:  There will be 22 new members in the Ohio House, including four members who are currently serving in the Ohio Senate. They are Senators Tom Patton (R-7), Jim Hughes (R-24), Bill Seitz (R-30, and Keith Faber (R-84).

Other new House members are Scott Wiggam (R-1); Adam Miller (D-17); David Greenspan (R-16); Laura Lanese (R-23); Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-25); Brigid Kelly (D-31); Catherine Ingram (D-32); Thomas West (D-49); Candice Keller (R-53); Dick Stein (R-57); Scott Lipps (R-62); Glenn Holmes (D-63); Rick Carfagna (R-68); Darrell Kick (R-70); Larry Householder (R-72); Craig Riedel R-82); Wes Goodman (R-87); and Jay Edwards (R-94).

Who is leaving the Ohio House in December 2016?  The following lawmakers will be completing their terms in the Ohio House at the end of this session, and will not be returning:

Representative Ron Amstutz (R-1)

Representative Mike Dovilla (R-7)

Representative Nan Baker (R-16)

Representative Mike Curtin (D-17)

Representative Cheryl Grossman (R-23)

Representative Stephanie Kunze (R-24) Elected to the Ohio Senate

Representative Kevin Boyce (D-25)

Representative Louis Terhar (R-30) Elected to the Ohio Senate District

Representative Denise Driehaus (D-31)

Representative Christine Byrant Kuhns (D-32)

Representative Stephen Slesnick (D-49)

Representative Terry Boose (R-57)

Representative Ron Maag (R-62)

Representative Sean O’Brian (D-63) Elected to the Ohio Senate

Representative Margaret Ruhl (R-68)

Representative Dave Hall (R-70)

Representative Bill Hayes (R-72)

Representative Jim Buchy (R-84)

Representative Debbie Phillips (D-94)

See the election results at https://vote.ohio.gov

Ohio Senate:  The four-year terms of Ohio Senators are staggered, so that half of the Senate faces an election every two years. Elections were held in 16 of the 33 Ohio Senate Districts on November 8, 2016.

New faces in the Ohio Senate include Sean O’Brien (D-32), who moves from the House to the Senate; Frank Hoagland (R-30), who defeated current Senator Lou Gentile (D); Vernon Sykes (D-28), who formerly served in the Ohio House; Matt Dolan (R-24), who formerly served in the Ohio House; Stephanie Kunze (R-16), who currently serves in the Ohio House; Matt Huffman (R-12), who formerly served in the Ohio House; and Louis Terhar (R-8), who currently serves in the House.

Incumbents who were re-elected include Senators Randy Gardner (R-2), Bill Coley (R-4), Peggy Lehner (R-6), Bob Hackett (R-10), Joe Uecker (R-14), John Eklund (R-18), Troy Balderson (R-20), Larry Obhof (R-22), and Dave Burke (R-26).

Who is leaving the Ohio Senate in December 2016?  The following lawmakers will be completing their terms in the Ohio Senate at the end of this session, and will not be returning.

Senator Tom Patton (R-24) – Elected to the Ohio House

Senator Jim Hughes (R-16) – Elected to the Ohio House

Senator Bill Seitz (R-8) – Elected to the Ohio House

Senator Keith Faber (R-12) – Elected to the Ohio House

Senator Shannon Jones (R-7)

Senator Tom Sawyer (D-28)

Senator Capri Cafaro (D-32)

Senator Lou Gentile (D-30)

See the current members of the Ohio Senate at http://www.senate.state.oh.us/members/senate-directory

See the election results at https://vote.ohio.gov

Ohio Supreme Court: Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, ran unopposed for the office of Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court.

In races for the two other seats open on the Ohio Supreme Court, Pat DeWine (R) defeated Cynthia Rice (D), and, in a tight race, unofficial results show Pat Fischer (R) defeating John O’Donnell (D).

See the election results at https://vote.ohio.gov

State Board of Education:  The State Board of Education includes 11 elected members and 8 members appointed by the governor.  The four-year terms are staggered, so that half of the board is elected every two years. Both elected and appointed members are limited to two terms.

The terms of five elected members of the current State Board of Education, Michael Collins (District 3), Mary Rose Oakar (District 11), Ann Jacobs (District 1), Roslyn Painter-Goffi (District 5), and Ron Rudduck (District 10), will end on December 31, 2016.

The following are the newly elected members:

District 1  Linda Haycock will replace Ann Jacobs

District 5: Lisa Woods defeated incumbent Roslyn Painter-Goffi

District 8: Nancy Hollister, retains the seat. The term ends on December 31, 2018.

District 6:  Antoinette Miranda, who is a psychology professor OSU, replaces Mike Collins.

District 9:  Stephanie Dodd, retains the seat. She ran unopposed.

District 10: Nick Owens defeated Braydon Bevins to replace Ron Ruddick

District 11: Meryl Johnson, a retired teacher in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District replaces Mary Rose Oakar.

See election results at https://vote.ohio.gov

School Issues:  Ohio voters approved 115 (77 percent) of the 150 school tax issues on the ballot.  About 56 percent of new tax issues passed, and 96 percent of renewal tax issues passed.

See http://fm.ohioschoolboards.org/fmi/webd#Levy%20database

NATIONAL ELECTION’S IMPACT ON K-12 EDUCATION POLICIES

According to unofficial election results, Republicans will keep control of the U.S. House and Senate.

The House Education and Workforce Committee will have a new chairman in the 115th Congress.  The current chair, Representative John Kline (R-MN), will retire at the end of his term in December 2016.   North Carolina Representative Virginia Foxx (R) is likely to become the new chair, and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) is likely to be the ranking minority member.

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is expected to retain the chairmanship of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) is expected to be the ranking minority member.

K-12 education was not a hot topic during the presidential campaign and few issues were debated.  It is likely, however, to assume that conservative education policies, that support less federal involvement in K-12 education, and more school choice, will be implemented during the Trump administration.

The next Congress will also continue to work on the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and the Higher Education Act.

The following summary of president-elect Trump’s views about education policies is based on information prepared by Education Week from candidate statements and campaign documents:

Academic Standards:  The president-elect has called the “common core” a disaster.  The bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act, however, requires states to adopt academic content standards, but leaves it up to the states to decide the content of those standards.  Since states, and not the federal government, are responsible for setting state standards, no action is expected, unless the Trump administration wants to change the law.

College Access:  This is a topic that has been discussed by president-elect Trump.  He has proposed a 12.5 percent cap on the percentage of a person’s income used to pay back a student loan, and would support legislation to forgive loans for some students after 15 years, in certain cases. He also supports lessening the role of the federal government in giving out student loans, which he believes should be handled by banks.

Early Childhood Education:  President-elect Trump supports six weeks of paid maternity leave; allowing “earned income tax credit” to be used for private school tuition; deducting child care costs from taxes, in certain cases; providing federal support for “dependent-care” savings accounts; and creating tax deductions for employers who provide child care.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):  The controversial ESSA regulations proposed for “supplement not supplant”, which are still in development, could be changed by the new administration, since so many current Republican, and some Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate oppose the prescriptive requirements for spending.

School Choice:  President-elect Trump has proposed a plan to allocate $20 billion in federal funds to fund school choice programs for public and private schools. He also has said that competition among schools is the American way.

K-12 Costs:  The president-elect believes that the U.S, spends too much for education.

Teachers: The president-elect supports merit pay for teachers and opposes tenure.

U.S. Department of Education:  The role of the U.S. Department of Education in education policy is expected to be curtailed in the Trump administration.  The president-elect has pledged to streamline, or even eliminate, the U.S. Department of Education.

See “Trump Set to Shift Gears on Civil Rights, ESSA, Says a K-12 Transition-Team Leader,” by Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week, November 9, 2016 at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2016/11/trump_ESSA_civil_rights_transition_education.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=campaignk-12

See http://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/president-candidates-trump-clinton-education.html

RESULTS OF STATE EDUCATION ISSUES

Several states had significant education policy issues on the November 8, 2016 ballot.

In Massachusetts, a controversial referendum, Question 2, to increase the number of charter schools in the state was defeated.

Voters in Georgia defeated a constitutional amendment to create an “Opportunity School District” to take-over low performing schools, based on a model used in Louisiana and Tennessee.

California voters approved three education-related issues: to allow school districts to create multilingual education programs (Proposition 58); to authorize $9 billion in bonds for school/higher education construction projects (Proposition 51); and to extend the income tax on wealthy Californians to support schools and higher education (Proposition 55).

Voters in Oklahoma defeated a 1 percent sales tax increase for education.  The funds would have been used to expand early childhood education programs and increase teacher salaries.

In Oregon voters approved an issue to compel the state Legislature to fund dropout-prevention and career readiness programs in high schools.

An increase in Missouri’s state tobacco tax to fund early-childhood education was defeated.

The result in Maine of a ballot initiative to enact a 3 percent income tax surcharge on incomes over $200,000 to fund public education is still too close to call, but the voters were leaning toward approval.

Voters in Louisiana defeated a ballot initiative that would have allowed colleges and universities to determine tuition levels, rather than the legislature.

A state effort to raise funds through the sale of bonds to support a student loan program was defeated by voters in Alaska.

See “Local decisions reflect larger national debates — and, in some cases, could influence policy beyond their states’ borders,” by Poger Riddell, Education Dive, November 3, 2016 at

http://www.educationdive.com/news/4-states-with-ballot-initiatives-set-to-impact-k-12/429606/

REPORTS

Report Details Investigation of Cyber Schools:  Education Week released on November 3, 2016 the results of an eight-month investigation of online charter schools (cyber schools) in the United States.

According to the report, there are about 200 cyber charter schools in 26 states and they serve 200,000 students.  The schools are publicly funded, but privately operated, mainly by for-profit companies.  The Virginia-based K-12 is the largest online charter school network, with 70 online schools.

Investigative reporters for Education Week examined hundreds of media stories and audits over the past 15 years about online charter schools, and found widespread misuse of public funds, nepotism, and a lack of transparency and accountability to the public.   Online schools also have a poor track record for improving student achievement, and report a high number of dropouts, low graduation rates, high student to teacher ratios, and a lack of qualified personnel.

According to the report, cyber schools are “…based on an educational model that doesn’t work for most kids.  Many cyber operators have cashed in anyway, expanding aggressively, often with the help of their boards.  Rather than pump the brakes, cyber authorizers have frequently gone along for the ride.  And state lawmakers have repeatedly looked the other way, usually at the urging of lobbyists who fight tooth and nail against even modest attempts to improve oversight or limit growth.”

The report concludes that school officials and state officials are to blame, and the lack of transparency makes it difficult to hold cyber schools accountable.

For example, at one Colorado online school network called GOAL, 45.8 percent of students did not log-on and use any learning software the week of April 4, 2016.  Only 0.1 percent of students used online software for 20 hours that week, although students are urged to “dedicate at least 25-30 hours each week” to coursework. Still the school collected $28.3 million in public funds to operate.

According to the report, GOAL school officials responded saying that the low number of students who are engaged in online learning is due to the “high risk factors” in their daily lives, including parenting, drug abuse, health issues, jobs, etc.

The report found that the students who succeed in online charter schools are motivated, and often seek these schools because they were held-back by the pace of the curriculum or bullied in traditional public school setting.

However, the report also notes that, “The problem is that such student success stories are the exception, not the rule.”

The full report includes the following articles:

-A Virtual Mess:  Inside Colorado’s Largest Online Charter School

-Outsized Influence:  Online Charters Bring Lobbying ‘A’ Game to States

-Cyber Charters:  Widespread Reports of Trouble

-Tracking Attendance in Online Schools

-Problems With For-Profit Management of PA Cybers

-Cyber Charters vs. ‘Multi-District Online Schools’

-Online Charters Cause Rift Among Supporters of School Choice

-Connections Education:  A Defense of Cyber Charters

See” Rewarding Failure:  An Education Week Investigation of the Cyber Charter Industry,” by Benjamin Herold and Arianna Prothero, and Education Week Staff, Education Week, November 3, 2016 at http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/11/03/a-virtual-mess-colorados-largest-cyber-charter.html

FYI ARTS

Students Create a Human Rights Garden: According to an article in the Portsmouth Daily Times students, teachers, and artists are coming together in the Portsmouth City School District to create a Human Rights Garden funded by the Ohio Arts Council’s TeachArtsOhio Initiative.

The concept for the project was created by April Deacon, an art teacher in the school district.  Students are working with visiting artists Kevin Lyles and Welsh artist Bryan Thomas to create a permanent outdoor sculpture and plant garden on Applegate Green in Portsmouth.  The sculpture garden will be based upon the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and is one of several multi-phase projects that the Portsmouth City School District is undertaking to engage students with hands-on learning experiences.  Future plans include a student-created outdoor physical fitness area, a vegetable garden, gazebos, and an outdoor exhibition space for displaying art.

After studying human rights issues and selecting human rights themes for the garden, seventh grade students are working with visiting artist Kevin Lyles to create paper castings of the sculptures that will eventually be featured in the garden, while high students in the Three-Dimensional Art course are working on the preliminary designs for three large-scale bronze, aluminum, and stone sculptures.  Students will also design and build benches for the garden, and will work with educators and designers from the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus to select plans for the garden. Visiting Welsh artist, Bryan Thomas, is helping students create molds for sculptures that will serve as paving stones or decorative pieces for the benches.

The Human Rights Garden is scheduled to be completed in May of 2017.

See “Students at Portsmouth begin the sculpting process for the Human Rights Garden,” by Ciara Conley, Portsmouth Daily Times, November 11, 2016 at  http://portsmouth-dailytimes.com/news/11782/students-at-portsmouth-begin-the-sculpting-process-for-the-human-rights-garden


Arts On Line serves to keep arts education advocates informed about issues dealing with the arts, education, policy, research, and opportunities.

The distribution of this information is made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Music Education Association (www.omea-ohio.org), Ohio Art Education Association(www.oaea.org), Ohio Educational Theatre Association (www.ohedta.org);  OhioDance (www.ohiodance.org), and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (www.oaae.net).

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Arts on Line Education Update November 7, 2016

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
Joan Platz
November 7, 2016

131st OHIO GENERAL ASSEMBLY

This Week at the Statehouse: The Ohio House is not meeting this week, and the Ohio Senate has canceled two “if needed” Senate session scheduled for Wednesday, November 9 and Thursday, November 10, 2016.

The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission’s, Education, Public Institutions and Local Government Committee, will meet on November 10, 2016 at 9:30 AM in hearing room 017.

Coalition Pushing for Constitutional Amendment to Change Congressional Boundaries: A coalition called Fair Districts=Fair Elections announced on October 31, 2016 that it is seeking public input on a proposed constitutional amendment to change the way Ohio draws congressional boundaries. The coalition hopes to have the issue on the ballot in 2017.

The coalition includes Common Cause, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, AAUW of Ohio, America Votes, the Ohio Council of Churches, the Ohio Farmers Union, ProgessOhio, and about 10 other organizations.

Coalition members are frustrated with Ohio lawmakers who have not taken action on proposed HJR2 (Clyde-Curtain) or SJR2 (LaRose-Sawyer). These resolutions would revise the congressional redistricting process included in Article XIX of the Ohio Constitution to make congressional boundaries fairer.  Some of the current Congressional districts in Ohio are oddly shaped, referred to as “gerrymandered,” to benefit candidates from certain political parties.  While the popular vote in Ohio is split evenly between both political parties, Ohio’s Congressional delegation includes 12 Republicans and 4 Democrats.

In 2015 voters approved Issue 1 a bipartisan effort to change the apportionment process, which creates the districts for the Ohio House and Senate.

But voters have rejected issues on the ballot in 2005 and 2012 to reform congressional redistricting.

The coalition’s proposal would amend Article XI of the Ohio Constitution, which now refers to the state apportionment process.  The amendment would create a seven-member congressional redistricting commission, which would adopt a congressional district map by September 1st in each year ending with the numeral one.  At least four members of the commission would need to approve the map, including two members of the minority party.  The map would also have to meet certain criteria designed to curtail gerrymandering to benefit one political party.

The proposal also allows any U.S. citizen living in Ohio to submit a redistricting proposal to the commission for consideration.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

CCSSO Recommends an Alternative to a Controversial Proposed Regulation: The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) issued on November 1, 2016 an “alternative” for a proposed regulation published by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) in August 2016.

The regulation clarifies the “supplement, not supplant” provision of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

School officials have expressed concern about the proposed regulation and have testified against it in hearings held by the U.S. House and Senate education committees.

The proposed regulation would require local education agencies, (LEAs) to choose a methodology among four options to show that state and local funds are equitably distributed to Title I schools, which serve students from low income families.

LEAs could show compliance with “supplement not supplant” by equalizing spending between Title I and non Title I schools; adopt a weighted per-student formula; adopt a method that considers personnel and non-personnel spending; or a state could develop another methodology, with the approval of the USDOE.

In a letter to the USDOE, Chris Minnich, Executive Director of the CCSSO, writes, “ensuring an equitable education for every child” is a “serious concern and one that state chiefs are committed to addressing.”

The letter goes on to say that the proposed regulation goes beyond the law, which “does not prescribe a specific funding formula for state and local funds…”

The CCSSO letter then explains the problems with each option.  For example, the equalized spending option doesn’t define “high proportion” of disadvantaged students; the weighted per student formula doesn’t account for centralized district spending; the combined personnel and non personnel spending method is vague; and states do not have the capacity to develop a new spending formula for Title I, when ESSA requires new accountability and oversight responsibilities.

The CCSSO “alternative” would require local education agencies (LEAs) to implement a methodology to distribute state and local funds to schools without taking into account Title I status.  The LEAs would be required to publish the methodology, and demonstrate that the methodology was followed.  LEAs with Title I schools identified for comprehensive support and improvement (CSI) would be required to consider the effect of their methodology on the schools when developing support and improvement plans.

President Hears Concerns About ESSA Rules: The Washington Post reports that a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has written a letter asking the Obama administration to ensure that the U.S. Department of Education’s regulations, under the Every Student Succeeds Act, stay within the statutory intent of the law.

The five Republican and four Democratic Senators, who signed the letter, object to two provisions in the proposed regulations.  One provision outlines how Title I funds are distributed to “supplement and not supplant,” local and state funding.  The other provision addresses how states determine which schools are failing, and how to improve them.

The Senators write, “Unfortunately, the Department has proposed two regulations that do not comply with the plain language of the statute and Congressional intent.  One regulation, concerning fiscal requirements known as “supplement, not supplant,” would order states to spend their own state and local school funds in a way that is expressly prohibited by the new law.  The other regulation, concerning state accountability systems, would take away flexibility that Congress clearly gave state, undermining what Congress intended in moving away form the test-based systems of accountability that No Child Left Behind required and violating explicit prohibitions written into the statute.”

Bipartisan group of senators asks Obama to rein in Education Department proposals,” by Emma Brown, The Washington Post, November 3, 2016.

OHIO NEWS

State Revenues Down:  According to an article in the Columbus Dispatch the Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM), Tim Keen director, reported last week that state revenues are $160 million below estimates for FY17 so far this year, with a shortfall of $88.1 million occurring in October.

Total state revenues so far this year are $7.1 billion, which is $108.5 million less than total state revenues for this time last year.

Shortfalls in the state’s sales tax, personal income tax, and Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) contributed to the lower than estimated October report.  The OBM also had to pay more than expected to banks for tax credits under the Financial Institutions Tax. The OBM had estimated that the tax credit would be much lower at $1.6 million, but the credits actually totaled $10.7 million.

According to the article, Director Keen reported that he expects the FY17 budget to be balanced at the end of the fiscal year in June 2017, but doesn’t advise further tax cuts this legislative session, which ends December 31, 2016. The  FY18-19 biennial budget will likely be tight, because of the drop in state revenue.

Governor Kasich is currently working on FY18-19 budget recommendations, which will be introduced in the Ohio House early next year.

In addition to the tight budget outlook, lawmakers will need to address a number of issues as they prepare the next state budget.  These include replacing an estimated $1.5 billion loss in revenue from the Medicaid managed care sales tax, which affects revenues for state and local governments; fully funding the state’s school funding formula, which was underfunded in the last budget; and adjusting for increases in prison costs, due to the growing number of inmates, and medicaid spending.

Today’s Ohio revenue shortfall is tomorrow’s tight budget,” by Jim Siegel, The Columbus Dispatch, November 4, 2016.

State Might Soften Graduation Requirements: Jeremy P. Kelley of The Dayton Daily News reports that the State Board of Education might “revisit” at their November 14-15, 2016 meeting graduation requirements that go into effect for the Class of 2018.

Tom Gunlock, President of the State Board of Education, said in an interview with the newspaper, that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is looking at data about how many end of course exams and points toward graduation juniors in high schools are currently earning, to see if there is a way to “soften” the new graduation requirements.

According to the article, the State Board must weigh the desire to prepare students to meet higher standards, verses the prospect that some students might fail to graduate, because of the higher standards.

Over the past few months the State Board has received feedback from a number of school district superintendents with concerns about number of students who are currently not on track to graduate.

Starting with the Class of 2018, students will no longer have to pass the Ohio Graduation Test, but will have three ways to earn an Ohio diploma:  earn 18 out of a possible 35 points on seven end-of-course exams; earn a “remediation-free” score on a college entrance exam, such as the ACT or SAT; or earn an industry credential to show job readiness.

The State Board could recommend lowering the number of points that students need to earn on the end-of-course exams; phase-in the new requirements, which will give school districts more time to adjust to the new requirements; reduce the remediation-free scores required on the ACT and SAT; or make another changes.

The Columbus Dispatch published a similar article last week, and also reported that school superintendents, school board members and other school administrators will meet in Columbus on November 15, 2016, to speak with lawmakers about testing, local control, and other education policies, including the graduation requirements.

State may soften graduation requirements,” by Jeremy Kelly, The Dayton Daily News, November 1, 2016.

State may ease graduation standards,” by Catherine Candisky and Shannon Gilchrist, The Columbus Dispatch, November 4, 2016.

REPORTS

Number of Students who are Home-Schooled Increases:  American Institutes for Research prepared for the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) a new report on home schooling entitled, “Homeschooling in the United States:  2012.”

The report is based on the results of the Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey in 2012, which is part of the National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES), conducted by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) housed in the Institute of Education Sciences.

Estimates of the number, percentage, and characteristics of students, between the ages of 5-17, who are home-schooled in the United States have been published in 1999, 2003, and 2007.

This new report provides a historical perspective about home-schooling; reports parental reasons for home-schooling; and reports where parents find curriculum and support for home-schooling, including information about online courses.

According to the report, there are an estimated 1.8 million students who are home-schooled in the United States.  This is an increase from 850,000 students in 1999, and represents about 3.4 percent of the U.S. student population.

Most students who are home-schooled are white (83 percent); nonpoor (89 percent); and live in cities (28 percent), suburbs (34 percent), and rural areas (31 percent).

Parents reported that their most important reason for home-schooling was concern about the school environment (25 percent); dissatisfaction with the academic instruction (19 percent); and religious instruction (17 percent).

Homeschooling in the United States:  2012,” by Jeremy Redford, Danielle Battle, Stacey Bielick, and Sarah Grady, (NCES 2016-096). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC. October 2016.

Comparison of Charters and Traditional Schools in Chicago: An analysis of charter schools in Chicago for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years shows that, “… after controlling for the mix of students and challenges faced by individual schools, Chicago’s charter schools underperform their traditional counterparts in most measurable ways.”

The analysis was conducted by Myron Orfield, Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, and Thomas Luce, Research Director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity, University of Minnesota Law School.

The report compares the performance of 140 charter schools that have opened in Chicago between 2000 – 2014 with the performance of traditional public schools in Chicago.

According to the report, “Reading and math pass rates, reading and math growth rates, graduation rates, and average ACT scores (in one of the two years) are lower in charters all else equal, than in traditional neighborhood schools. The results for the two years also imply that the gap between charters and traditionals widened in the second year for most of the measures. The findings are strengthened by the fact that self-selection by parents and students into the charter system biases the results in favor of charter schools.”

The report recommends that Chicago’s leaders enact a “moratorium” on new charter schools, and complete an impact study on how charter school policies affect traditional public schools in Chicago.

An Analysis of Student Performance in Chicago’s Charter Schools,” by Myron Orfield and Thomas Luce, Education Policy Analysis Archives, October 31, 2016.

Does Positive School Climate Affect Student Academic Achievement?:  Researchers at the University of Southern California, University of Haifa, and Bar Ilan University recently published a review of studies that examined the success of positive climate programs in schools.

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act provides states and school districts with more flexibility to pursue innovative strategies to improve student achievement.  Creating a supportive and positive school environment has been proposed to reduce academic achievement gaps among students with different socioeconomic status (SES).

Researchers for this study reviewed school climate studies dating back to the year 2000, and found that these programs do mitigate the negative effects of low socioeconomic status on student academic achievement, but the relationship is not direct or causal.

The researchers recommend additional research to determine which aspect of a positive school climate is impacting student academic achievement.

A Research Synthesis of the Associations Between Socioeconomic Background, Inequity, School climate, and Academic Achievement,” by Ruth Berkowitz, Hadass Moore, Ron Avi Astor, and Rami Benbenishty, Educational Research Month, October 21, 2016.

FYI ARTS

AEP Resources for Student Success: About 200 arts and arts education experts attended the “2016 Arts Education Partnership National Forum:  The arts leading the way to student success,” on October 5-7, 2016 in Denver.

The topics included engaging youth in identifying, developing, and animating civic spaces through both visual and performing arts; expanding arts education opportunities through ESSA; and the role of the arts in shaping education in America.

Videos about the forum topics are available on the Arts Education Partnership website at http://www.aep-arts.org/events/2016nationalforum-2/


Arts On Line serves to keep arts education advocates informed about issues dealing with the arts, education, policy, research, and opportunities.

The distribution of this information is made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Music Education Association (www.omea-ohio.org), Ohio Art Education Association(www.oaea.org), Ohio Educational Theatre Association (www.ohedta.org);  OhioDance (www.ohiodance.org), and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (www.oaae.net).

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Arts on Line Education Update October 31, 2016

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
October 31, 2016

131st OHIO GENERAL ASSEMBLY:

This Week at the Statehouse:  The 2020 Tax Policy Study Commission, chaired by Senator Peterson, will meet on October 31, 2016 at 10:00 AM in the South Hearing Room.  The seven-member commission will discuss state tax policies and receive a report about the Historic Preservation Tax Credit.

The Ohio 2020 Tax Policy Study Commission was created in HB64 (Biennial Budget Bill) and is reviewing Ohio’s tax structure and policies.  The purpose of the commission is to make recommendations to the General Assembly about increasing Ohio’s competitiveness by the year 2020 and reducing Ohio’s personal income tax to a 3.5 percent or 3.75 percent flat tax by tax year 2018.  The commission will also review the severance tax, state tax credits, and study the effectiveness of the Historic Preservation Tax Credit.

NATIONAL NEWS

NAEP Scores in Science Released:  The latest assessment results in science from the 2015 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) show some improvement compared to the 2009 results, but most students are still achieving below proficient levels.

The NAEP assessment was administered to more than 237,000 students from 46 states, and U.S. Department of Defense schools in 2015.  The science assessment measures student knowledge in physical science, life science, Earth and space science in grades 4, 8, and 12th grade.

According to the report, the national average scores for students in 4th and 8th grades on the NAEP science exam improved by 4 points to 154, while the national average scores of high school seniors remained the same.

Average scores on the NAEP science exam for Black and Hispanic students also improved, narrowing the achievement gap between groups of students in 4th and 8th grades.

However, the report also notes that most students are achieving below the “NAEP proficient levels”.  Only 37 percent of 4th graders, 33 percent of 8th graders, and 22 percent of 12th graders scored at or above the NAEP proficient levels in science.

The percent of students in Ohio reaching the NAEP proficient levels on the science exams were higher than the nation.  Forty-one percent of Ohio students in the 4th grade and 38 percent of 8th grade students scored at or above the proficient level on the science exam.

According to the report, the average score on the NAEP science exam for students in Ohio for 4th grade (157) hasn’t changed since 2009, and the average score for 8th grade students (157) hasn’t changed much since 2011 (158) and 2009 (158).

It should be noted that the proficient level on the NAEP assessments is considered more challenging than other tests, and is defined as, “Solid academic performance for each grade assessed.  Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter, including subject-matter knowledge, application of such knowledge to real-world situations, and analytical skills appropriate to the subject matter.”

See http://www.nationsreportcard.gov/science_2015/#state/acl/chart_loc_2?grade=4

Arizona Releases Draft ESSA Plan:  The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) released on September 7, 2016 a first draft of its Consolidated State Plan for the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act.

The draft plan addresses five components required in the federal law:  consultation and coordination; challenging academic standards and assessments; accountability, support and improvement for schools; supporting excellent educators; and supporting all students.

The report is organized so that the federal requirements are highlighted in blue followed by Arizona’s recommendations.

According to the draft, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) will engage in a Comprehensive Strategic Plan process “…driven by a local Comprehensive Needs Assessment process to support the development of local school and Local Education Agency (LEA) strategic plans that also meet statutory and regulatory requirements.”

To meet the federal requirement that a state accountability system provide a way to “meaningfully differentiate all public schools in the State”, Arizona intends to include “explicitly required indicators as outlined in the ACT as well as a measure of well-rounded education and course access to indicate school quality.”

Beyond a summative rating through an A-F Letter Grade Accountability System, the ADE will include on its website searchable comprehensive information about academic and other programs and options offered by a school or district, including information about Career and Technical Education, health and wellness programs, advanced and accelerated learning options, gifted education options, arts and music programs, athletics and physical education programs, and educational technology options.

The ADE recognizes the need to support schools and LEAs in their efforts to provide a well-rounded eduction, including the arts and music, and will ensure that LEA curriculum and instruction is aligned to challenging academic standards in all areas.

Arizona’s draft plan also describes how subgrants will be awarded to LEAs under Title IV-A, Student Achievement and Enrichment Grants.  LEAs applying for Title IV-A grants will have to show that subgrant proposals are aligned with their Comprehensive Needs Assessment, are based on current successful programs and initiatives, and the proposed strategies will deepen, accelerate, enhance, or integrate current successful programs.

The Arizona State Board of Education is tasked in the draft with adopting certain policies to implement the federal requirements for an A-F Letter Grade Accountability System, including policies for the summative rating of schools and districts, requiring 95 percent student participation in assessments, calculating distinct levels of school performance, etc.

It is unclear when the Ohio Department of Education will release a draft ESSA consolidated plan.  The State Board of Education will receive a presentation at their November 14-15, 2016 board meeting highlighting stakeholder feedback about what should be included in Ohio’s plan. It is expected that a draft will be posted soon after.  States are expected to submit their draft plans to the USDOE in early March 2017, and adopt final plans by July 2017.  The plans go into effect for the 2017-18 school year.

See https://cms.azed.gov/home/GetDocumentFile?id=57d09772aadebe06703c0494

School Improvement Grants: The U.S. Department of Education released $427 million in the last round of School Improvement Grants (SIG) on October 25, 2016. The grants are awarded to states, which then award competitive subgrants to schools with the greatest needs.

School Improvement grants were first awarded in 2009 and now total over $7 billion, reaching 1,800 low achieving schools. Ohio will receive $16,304,274 this year.

The SIG program was not extended by the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  However, states are required through ESSA to identify and support the lowest-performing schools (five percent), and set aside seven percent of Title I funds for districts to implement evidence-based interventions to turn these schools around.

See http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-awards-427-million-school-improvement-grants-states-territories-turn-around-lowest-performing-schools

What do Conservatives Want ESSA Plans to Look Like?: A group of conservative Republican lawmakers, school board members, and others formed the Conservative Leaders for Education (CL4E) last July 2016.

The group is led by former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett, and includes lawmakers from Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Utah, and Wisconsin, including Ohio State Senator Peggy Lehner.  Most members are chairs of the education committees in their respective state legislatures.

According to an article in Education Week, the CL4E is focusing on the state plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act.  The organization supports high academic standards, local control, accountability, and parent choice. Its purpose is to influence development of state ESSA plans, and how states approach transparency, accountability, and school improvement.

Last week CL4E released a video series outlining its policy priorities for ESSA state plans.  So far Arizona, Illinois, North Carolina, New York, and Louisiana have released ESSA draft plans or frameworks. According to the CL4E, the deadline for all states to release their draft plans is March 6, 2017.

See http://conservativeleaders4ed.org

See “Conservative Group Pushes ESSA Agenda Among State Leaders,” by Daarel Burnette II, Education Week, October 24, 2016 at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/state_edwatch/2016/10/conservative_group_pushes_essa_agenda_among_state_leaders.html

OHIO NEWS

GCSAN Recommendations for Ohio’s ESSA Plan: The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has concluded its stakeholder outreach meetings to gather feedback about what should be included in Ohio’s plan for implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The host of the 10 statewide stakeholder sessions, Philanthropy Ohio, is preparing a report, which will be presented to the State Board of Education at their November 14-15, 2016 meeting.

The Greater Cincinnati School Advocacy Network (GCSAN) recently developed its own recommendations for implementing ESSA, and sent a letter to Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction, Paolo DeMaria on October 12, 2016. The GCSAN, which includes school superintendents from 52 school districts in Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren counties, is recommending the following:

  • Testing
    • Students should be tested in grades 3-8 in reading/math, and in science in grades 5 and 8 only, pursuant to the law.
    • The ACT/SAT should be used as the high school assessment, and “end of course” tests should be eliminated.
    • The State of Ohio should set a “high school” graduation standard for passing the ACT/SAT, rather than use the college readiness standard, because not all students will pursue a career that needs post-secondary education.
    • The State of Ohio should clarify the use of career technical/industry credentialing as a pathway to graduation.
    • The results of state tests should be reported back to school districts in a “timelier manner.”
    • The results should not be used to rank and grade districts.
    • Educators should have access to an item analysis for each question to help individual teachers improve instruction.
  • Value Added
    • The student growth aspect of the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System should be removed.
  • Local Report Card
    • The A-F grading system for schools and districts on the Local Report Card should be eliminated.

See https://littlemiamisuper1.wordpress.com

PEP Rally Recognizes Lawmakers: The Public Education Partners Rally (PEP) in Dublin, Ohio on October 22, 2016 recognized Senator Peggy Lehner and Senator Joe Shiavoni for their advocacy for public education.

PEP also recognized Public Education Protectors, 75 Boards of Education that have passed resolutions to invoice the Ohio Department of Education for charter school deductions, and inform taxpayers about Ohio school funding inequities.

Bill Phillis, Executive Director of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy, presented opening remarks, which included an historical and philosophical analysis of the status of public education in Ohio in an era of privatization.

According to Mr. Phillis, the common school has unique characteristics that are aligned with democratic principles.  The common school is a state responsibility and a function of government.  The common school is governed by a democratically elected board of education and is a vital part of the community.  As a public entity the common school is open to all, tax supported, and regulated to ensure transparency and accountability.

Mr. Phillis describes school choice programs, such as voucher programs and charter schools, as part of a national movement to privatize public education and undo the common school system.  School choice programs do not meet the “thorough and efficient” standard in the Ohio Constitution, because they are not regulated, not governed by elected boards of education, not open to all, are not transparent or accountable, and contribute to segregation.

As the privatization of public schools spreads by organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), hedge-fund managers, and pro-privatization foundations, Mr. Phillis sees the need for pro-public education organizations, such as PEP, to mobilize Ohio citizens to challenge pro-privatization policies, laws, and lawmakers.

Public school leaders, for example, are holding meetings about advocating for more “local control” throughout Ohio, and on November 15, 2016 school superintendents will hold a Public Education Rally on the grounds of the Statehouse in Columbus.

Mr. Phillis outlines several actions that proponents of public schools can take to build support for public schools.  These include spreading information about privatizers and their agenda; sharing information about the poor performance of students attending charter schools and participating in voucher programs; challenging state officials who support privatization efforts and condone wasting tax dollars; encouraging school leaders to advocate for the traditional public school system; and urging boards of education to pass resolutions in support of local control.

See https://publiceducationpartners.org/news/

See https://publiceducationpartners.org/2016/10/25/grandeur-common-school-system-can-reclaimed/

REPORTS

Final Evaluation of RTT released: The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) released on October 26, 2016 a final evaluation of the federal Race to the Top (RTT) grant program conducted for the Institute of Education Science.

The report is entitled Race to the Top:  Implementation and Relationship to Student Outcomes, and examines the implementation of state policies and practices promoted by RTT; state efforts to meet the needs of English language learners (ELLs); and student outcomes. The report also compares the outcomes of RTT and non-RTT states.

The $4.35 billion Race to the Top Grant program was included in the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to implement education policies and practices to improve student outcomes for high-need students, especially English language learners (ELLs).  The grant coincided with a down turn in the economy and declining revenues during the Great Recession. Eleven states and the District of Columbia were awarded the grants.

This final report on RTT builds on previous RTT evaluations published in 2012, 2014, and 2015, and includes an additional year of data (spring 2013) and information about student achievement over time.

In general the evaluation found that most RTT states and non-RTT states reported implementing similar RTT policies and practices regarding building state capacity, data systems, and school turnaround strategies; and most RTT and non-RTT states reported using similar policies and practices for working with ELL students.

But the authors of the evaluation go on to say that the “relationship between RTT and student outcomes was not clear.”

According to the report, “In sum, it is not clear whether the RTT grants influenced the policies and practices used by states or whether they improved student outcomes. RTT states differed from other states prior to receiving the grants, and other changes taking place at the same time as RTT reforms may also have affected student outcomes. Therefore, differences between RTT states and other states may be due to these other factors and not to RTT. Furthermore, readers should use caution when interpreting the results because the findings are based on self-reported use of policies and practices.”

See “Race to the Top:  Implementation and Relationship to Student Outcomes,” by Lisa Dragoset, Jaime Thomas, Mariesa Herrmann, John Deke, Susanne James-Burdumy, Cheryl Graczewski, Andrea Boyle, Courtney Tanenbaum, Jessica Giffin, Rachel Upton and Thomas E. Wei Project Officer Institute of Education Sciences, The Institute of Education Science, The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, October 26, 2016 at

http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20174001/pdf/20174001.pdf

FYI ARTS

AEP Publishes Guidelines to Support the Arts in ESSA Plans: The Arts Education Partnership (AEP) and the Education Commission of the States (ECS) published on October 4, 2016 a report entitled “ESSA:  Mapping Opportunities for the Arts.”

The report identifies several opportunities to include arts education in state and local ESSA plans in the areas of Title I Part A, Accountability, Assessment, and State Plans.

ESSA, which stands for the Every Student Succeeds Act, reauthorizes the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and provides state and local leaders with increased flexibility to meet the educational needs of students.  ESSA supports policy makers and educators, who want to explore non traditional methods to engage students, and provides more support for states, schools, and districts to strengthen or expand student access to a well-rounded education, including the arts and humanities.

According to the AEP report, there are many opportunities to include the arts in state plans, measures of equity, Schoolwide Programs, Targeted Assistance Schools, and Parent and Family Engagement under Title I, Part A of ESSA.

Student access to arts education programs could be used to measure School Quality and Student Success in state accountability systems in the areas of “student engagement, educator engagement, student access to and completion of advanced coursework, postsecondary readiness, school climate and safety, and any other indicator the state chooses…”

The report notes that Connecticut and New Jersey already include measures of student participation in the arts in their state accountability systems, and report the results on report cards for schools and districts.  In Kentucky the state Department of Education is required to conduct a review of every school’s arts and humanities programs every two years.  The reviews are then incorporated into the accountability reports for the schools and districts. (Kentucky Revised Statutes 158.6453).

There are also opportunities for states to use federal funding to develop and implement assessments to improve student learning in the arts.  (Title I, Part B, Section 1201.)  States can also pilot new assessment systems that include competency-based and performance-based assessments.

Title IV, Part A, Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, requires states to submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Education to receive funding under this grant program, which can be used to help districts and schools provide students with a well-rounded education, which includes the arts and music.  To receive the funds, districts must first complete a needs assessment to identify gaps in how they provide a well-rounded education, and develop a plan to address those gaps.

See http://www.ecs.org/essa-mapping-opportunities-for-the-arts/

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Arts on Line Education Update October 24, 2016

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
Joan Platz
October 24, 2016

131st OHIO GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Lame Duck Session Update:  Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger made changes last week to the Ohio House schedule for the remainder of this legislative session, which ends in December 2016.

The new schedule includes “if needed sessions” on November 9, 10, 15, 22, and 30, and December 13 and 14.

The House has sessions scheduled for November 16, 17, 29, and December 6-8, 2016.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

The State Board of Education (SBE), Tom Gunlock president, met on October 16, 17 & 18, 2016 in Columbus.

Among the action items for this month, the SBE approved a resolution of intent to adopt new criteria for awarding honors diplomas; a resolution to adopt cut scores for the third grade reading test; and approved the SBE’s 2018-19 biennial budget recommendations.

Honors Diplomas: A proposed new rule would create the criteria for new honors diplomas in the arts, STEM, and social science/civic engagement, and update the criteria for existing honors diplomas in academics, International Baccalaureate, and career-tech education.

To earn an honors diploma, students would first have to meet all state and local high school graduation requirements, and meet all but one of the criteria for earning an honors diploma.

The new rule would require students to earn a 27 on the ACT or 1280 on the SAT, and in most cases, complete a “field experience” and document their experiences in a portfolio to earn an honors diploma.  All honors diplomas would also include a world language requirement of some sort.

The changes would go into effect for students entering 9th grade on or after July 1, 2017, but students applying for an academic, International Baccalaureate, or career-tech honors diploma between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2017 would be able to choose to meet the new requirements.

See

http://education.ohio.gov/State-Board/State-Board-Meetings/State-Board-Meetings-for-2016

Third Grade Promotion Sub Score: The SBE voted 9 to 8 to raise the promotion sub score for the Third Grade Reading Guarantee assessment from 42 to 44 for the 2016-17 school year.  The sub score is used to determine if third grade students are proficient in reading and can be promoted to the 4th grade.

The SBE has been increasing the proficient sub score for the third grade reading assessment over the past years, and the difficulty of the test has also been increasing.  As a result some Board members were uncomfortable raising the sub score at this time.

Students who earn a 44 on the test are actually reading at a “basic” level. The proficient score is 50, and so the Board will be considering more adjustments to the sub score in the future.

See http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Early-Learning/Third-Grade-Reading-Guarantee/Third-Grade-Reading-Guarantee-District-Resources

2018-19 Budget Recommendations: The SBE approved two versions of its 2018-19 budget recommendations for the Ohio Department of Education.

The current FY17 appropriation for the ODE is $7,923,837,629.  This includes over $6.6 billion for the school foundation program, which is the primary subsidy funding for school districts and is distributed through the state foundation formula. In fact, 98 percent of the ODE’s budget is a subsidy for schools.

One version of the proposed budget complies with the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) budget guidelines, and reduces proposed allocations by 10 percent ($52.4 million) to $7,873,665,215.

The 10 percent reduction is achieved through budget reductions ($3.6 million), under spending ($34 million), program reductions ($7.8 million), and the elimination of earmarks ($4.9 million), such as the Teach for America subsidy of $2 million.

Some line items were exempt from budget cuts, including early childhood education, EMIS, the Tech-Prep Consortia, the Ohio Educational Computer Network, student assessment, accountability and report cards, EdChoice expansion, funding for nonpublic schools, and the school lunch match.

The second version of the proposed budget is slightly less than the current appropriation for FY17 and totals $7,923,834,834 in FY18 and $7,923,836,014 in FY19.

Most of the proposed line items are based on the current funding levels, with some changes, and $15.5 million to support SBE priorities.  The proposal also eliminates certain earmarks, and also takes advantage of under spending.

This version includes increases for several programs, including the new Office of Innovation, Career-Tech Enhancements, Health and Community Partners, InfOhio, community schools, educator preparation and school improvement, Medicaid in School, school psychologist interns, Information Technology, Policy Analysis, Academic Standards, Student Assessment, and Accountability/Report Cards.

The SBE also identified programs that the governor and General Assembly should target for additional funding above current levels.  These include early childhood education, school improvement, teacher professional development and supports, transportation, adult education initiatives, community and wraparound services, and professional development for educators teaching gifted students.

See Budget Document under October Meeting Materials at http://education.ohio.gov/State-Board/State-Board-Meetings/State-Board-Meetings-for-2016

Gifted Standards: The SBE’s Achievement Committee continued discussions about OAC Rule 3301-51-15:  Operating Standards for Identifying and Serving Gifted Students.

A new October 2016 draft of the proposed standards includes a number of changes in the areas of Identification, Service Options, Teacher Qualifications, Written Education Plans, Accountability, and the Gifted Advisory Council.  Overall the changes provide more details and specificity in the rule.

See the Achievement Committee Board Book under October Meeting Materials at

http://education.ohio.gov/State-Board/State-Board-Meetings/State-Board-Meetings-for-2016

NATIONAL NEWS

Graduation Rates Continue to Increase:  The national average high school graduation rate has increased since 2010-11 from 79 to 83.2 percent for the class of 2014-15.

President Obama announced the latest results for the class of 2014-15 compiled by the National Center for Educational Statistics on October 17, 2016. The President attributed the increase to a number of federal policies, including support for early childhood education, college and career ready standards, STEM, computer science, and grant programs for school improvement and innovation.

According to the data, high school graduation rates have been increasing since the 2010-11 school year, the same year that states started to use a four-year adjusted measure for graduation.

Graduation rates have also increased for groups of students, including students of color, low-income students, students with disabilities, and English language learners, although achievement gaps still persist.

For the class of 2014-15, Asian/Pacific Islander students posted the highest graduation rate of 90.2 percent, and students with disabilities the lowest graduation rate of 64.6 percent.

Graduation rates for Black students increased from 67 percent in 2010-11 to 74.6 percent in 2014-15.

The rate for Hispanic students increased from 71 percent in 2010-11 to 77.8 percent.

Graduation rates have also increased in nearly every state since 2010-11.

The states with the highest graduation rates are Iowa (90.8 percent), Texas (89.0 percent), New Jersey (89.7 percent), and Alabama (89.3 percent).

Alabama posted the greatest increase in its graduation rate, moving from 72 percent in 2010-11 to 89.3 percent in 2014-15, an increase of 17 percentage points.

The rates in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Wyoming dropped since 2010-11.

The graduation rate in Ohio dropped from 81.8 percent in 2013-14 to 80.7 percent in 2014-15.

See https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/images/State%20by%20State%20Graduation%20Rates.pdf

See

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/10/17/fact-sheet-president-obama-announces-high-school-graduation-rate-has

Guidance on Well-Rounded Education:  The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) released on October 21, 2016 non-regulatory guidance for states, districts, and schools to implement Title IV, Part A Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (SSAEG) of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

According to the document, the SSAE grant program provides states, districts, and schools with flexibility to target investment based on the unique needs of students.  Grants can be used to support safe and healthy students, integrate technology, and provide students with access to a well-rounded education, which includes music, the arts, languages, social studies, science, environmental education, computer science, advanced coursework and civics.

The guidance document provides examples of acceptable uses of SSAE grants; discusses the role of state education agencies; provides details about ensuring fiscal responsibility; and identifies local application requirements.

The section pertaining to a well-rounded education states the following about music and arts education:

“Music and arts (ESEA section 4107(a)(3)(B)). An LEA may use funds for programs and activities that use music and the arts, which may include dance, media arts, theater, and visual arts, as tools to support student success through the promotion of constructive student engagement, problem solving, and conflict resolution. ArtsEdSearch, a clearinghouse of rigorously reviewed evaluation research concerning the effects of arts on teaching and learning, contains a growing body of research22 that affirms when part of a well-rounded education in schools, arts learning contributes to increased academic achievement and student success in preparation for college, career, and life. (See also ESEA section 4107(a)(3)(I)).” (Page 20.)

See http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/essa/essassaegrantguid10212016.pdf

OHIO NEWS

Purged Voters Will Be Able to Cast Provisional Ballots:  Judge George Smith from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio directed on October 18, 2016 Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and county elections officials to allow voters, whose registrations were canceled through the “supplemental process”, to cast provisional ballots in the November 8, 2016 election, and count those ballots if a voter still lives in the same county, and meets other qualifications.

The order came just weeks after the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found that Ohio had violated the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, when the Ohio Secretary of State’s office used infrequent voting as a trigger to remove the names of voters from registration rolls. (Ohio A. Phillip Randolph Institute v. Jon Husted)

Ohio canceled voter registrations in 2011, 2013, and 2015 through the “supplemental process.”

See “Federal judge orders Ohio to allow unlawfully purged voters to vote in November,”  by Ashley Hogan, Jurist, October 20, 2016 at http://www.jurist.org/paperchase/2016/10/federal-judge-orders-ohio-to-allow-unlawfully-purged-voters-to-vote-in-november.php

ECOT Legal Fees Costing State: The Controlling Board approved on October 18, 2016 $500,000 for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office to pay attorneys for the ongoing litigation with the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT).

A decision in the Franklin Court of Common Pleas in September 2016 rejected ECOT’s request for a preliminary injunction to stop the ODE’s efforts to collect student records documenting attendance and learning opportunities, but ECOT is appealing the ruling.

The lawsuit stems from ODE’s efforts to audit ECOT’s student attendance documents to verify that students participated in educational opportunities to justify $106 million allocated to ECOT last year.

According to a report in The Columbus Dispatch, the state has already spent $121,000 on legal fees.

See “State to spend $500,000 in online schools legal fight,” by Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatch, October 18, 2016 at http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/10/17/state-to-spend-500000-in-online-schools-legal-fight.html

Online Charter Schools Appeal Data Reports: In addition to ECOT, six online charter schools are appealing the results of their 2015-16 attendance audits to the State Board of Education.

The audits were released by the ODE in September, 2016, and showed discrepancies between student participation in learning opportunities and attendance reports from the schools.  The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) has filed a similar appeal with the State Board of Education.

The schools filing an appeal are Findlay Digital Academy, Quaker Digital Academy, Virtual Community School of Ohio, Akron Digital Academy, Polly Fox Academy, Buckeye Online School for Success.

Audits of three of the schools showed zero attendance, because of a lack of records to document students participating in learning activities.

The appeals will be assigned to a hearing officer, who will conduct an investigation and make a recommendation to the State Board of Education.

See “Eschools say they will appeal audits determining inflated attendance,” by Catherine Candisky and Jim Siegel, The Columbus Dispatch, October 4, 2016 at http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/10/03/eschools-say-they-will-appeal-audits-determining-inflated-attendance.html

REPORTS

Some States Still Investing Less in K-12 Education: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released on October 20, 2016 a report entitled “After Nearly a Decade, School Investments Still Way Down in Some States,” by Michael Leachman, Kathleen Masterson, and Marlana Wallace.

The study is based on a survey of state and local funding for schools in 48 states, based on 2014 data, which is the most recent data available.  No data was available for Hawai’i and Indiana.

According to the report, while most states increased per pupil funding for education this year, 23 states will provide less state general funding per student (adjusted for inflation) in FY2017 than in 2008, the beginning of the Great Recession.  On average, state funding per student decreased by $750 per student from 2008 to 2010, and is about $600 per pupil less in 2014.

Eight states have reduced state aid by about 10 percent and 19 states reduced per pupil funding this year.

In addition, five states, Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, have reduced state revenue by millions of dollars through tax cuts, rather than restoring funding that schools lost during the recession.

Ohio lawmakers increased state per student funding by 6.8 percent between 2008-2017.  Ohio increased state funding per student in FY2016-17, but only by .9 percent.

The survey also found that local funding per student fell in 27 states. On average, local funding has dropped about $200 per student since 2008.  According to the report, however, “In states where local funding rose, those increases rarely made up for cuts in state support.”

In response to the recession school districts cut about 351,000 education jobs by mid-2012, and as of 2014 the number of education jobs is still down by 221,000.

According to the report, “Our country’s future depends heavily on the quality of its schools. Increasing financial support can help K-12 schools implement proven reforms such as hiring and retaining excellent teachers, reducing class sizes, and expanding the availability of high-quality early education. So it’s problematic that so many states have headed in the opposite direction over the last decade. These cuts risk undermining schools’ capacity to develop the intelligence and creativity of the next generation of workers and entrepreneurs.”

See “After Nearly a Decade, School Investments Still Way Down in Some States,” by Michael Leachman, Kathleen Masterson, and Marlana Wallace, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, October 20, 2016 at

http://www.cbpp.org/research/state-budget-and-tax/after-nearly-a-decade-school-investments-still-way-down-in-some-states

See “Most states spend less on schools than pre-recession,” by Daarel Burnette II, Education Week, October 21, 2016 at 2016http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/state_edwatch/2016/10/study_most_states_spend_less_on_schools_than_pre-recession.html?qs=State+Ed+Watch

Researchers Find New Measure to Understand Achievement Gaps: The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) released a working paper in July 2016 that examined the achievement gaps among students in Michigan from high and low-income families, to find a proxy for family income data.

School officials do not have access to datasets about the income level of the families in their communities, but they do have information about students who qualify for meal subsidies (free or reduced price lunch).

School officials need information about family income levels to develop strategies that direct limited resources more effectively to students who are from the poorest families and need the most help.

The researchers found that students who “…qualified for meal subsidies at least once between kindergarten and eighth grade were an average of two grades behind their affluent peers in terms of academic performance. The very poorest, the 14 percent who got free meals every year, were three grades behind.”

The very poorest students “score 0.94 standard deviations below those never eligible for subsidies and 0.23 below those occasionally eligible.”

The researchers concluded that the number of years in which students are eligible for subsidized meals can be used as a “reasonable proxy” for income, and can provide school officials and policy makers with better information to target resources to improve student achievement.

See “The Gap within the Gap: Using Longitudinal Data to Understand Income Differences in Student Achievement,” by Katherine Michelmore and Susan Dynarski, NBER Working Paper No. 22474, July 2016.

The Value of Evaluating TPP: Researchers from the University of Texas-Austin, Duke University, and Tulane University recently published an analysis of statistical methods for estimating teacher quality in teacher preparation programs (TPPs).

The study, included in the journal Education of Economics Review, notes that 16 states are already using value-added measures based on student test scores to rate TPPs.

Although the researchers, who reviewed data on TPPs in Texas, found that some statistical techniques and accommodations of a value added model to measure student achievement and teacher quality improved the results for estimating TPP quality, overall they found that it is “not easy to identify TPPs whose teachers are substantially better or worse than average.”

The researchers found that the differences among TPPs are not large; that estimates of quality are not reliable, and might be biased in some cases; and it is difficult to identify which TPPs differ from the average.

See “The Differences Between Teacher Preparation Programs:  How Big?  How Reliable?  Which Programs Are Different?” by Paul T. von Hippel, Laura Bellows, Cynthia Osborne, Jane Arnold Lincove, Nicholas Mills, Economics of Education Review, Vol. 53, pp. 31-45, 2016 at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2506935

FYI ARTS

Data Released About Student Access to the Arts in California: The National Arts Education Data Project released on October 20, 2016 an analysis of the availability of arts education programs in schools in California entitled The California Arts Education Data Project.

The National Arts Education Data Project is led by Lynn Tuttle and Marcia McCaffrey of SEADAE (State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education) and Robert Morrison and Pat Cirillo of Quadrant Research.

The purpose of the project is to “gather, analyze, report and disseminate school level data on the status and condition of arts education in every state covering every student in the nation.”

The analysis is reported on a dashboard that includes information about student enrollment in arts courses; the availability of arts courses at each school; the type of arts courses offered; and more.

The California Arts Education Data Project analyzes school level data on arts education courses in grades 6-12 for the 2014-15 school year.

According to the dashboard, nearly 97 percent of students in California have access to some level of arts instruction; 86 percent of schools reported offering at least one arts course; 38 percent of students are enrolled in some arts course; and 26 percent of all students and 12 percent of all schools offer the required four arts disciplines.

The California project also includes a Roadmap for School Districts to analyze their data, and a Communication Tool Kit.

See http://www.createca.dreamhosters.com/artsed-dataproject/

Ohio is also participating in the National Arts Education Project, and the development of a dashboard for Ohio’s schools is currently underway.

A dashboard featuring Ohio arts education data from 2009-2010 is available on the SEADAE website at

http://www.artseddata.org/ohio-example/


Arts On Line serves to keep arts education advocates informed about issues dealing with the arts, education, policy, research, and opportunities.

The distribution of this information is made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Music Education Association (www.omea-ohio.org), Ohio Art Education Association(www.oaea.org), Ohio Educational Theatre Association(www.ohedta.org); OhioDance (www.ohiodance.org), and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (www.oaae.net).

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Arts on Line Education Update October 17, 2016

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
Joan Platz
October 17, 2016

131st OHIO GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Pupil Transportation First Issue JEOC Tackles: The Joint Education Oversight Committee (JEOC), chaired by Senator cliff Hite, met on October 13, 2016 to approve a list of research projects and receive testimony about pupil transportation issues.

The JEOC was created in the biennial budget bill, HB64 (June 2015), to provide lawmakers with a way review and discuss critical education issues facing Ohio’s schools.  Committee members include Senators Cliff Hite, Randy Gardner, Peggy Lehner, Tom Sawyer, and Sandra Williams, and Representatives John Patterson, Andrew Brenner, Bob Cupp, Teresa Fedor, and Ryan Smith. Lauren Monowar-Jones serves as the JEOC executive director.

The committee approved a list that includes research projects about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), educational choice, assessments, accountability, early childhood education, value added, and career technical education.  The committee will release reports after studying the issues, and might add more projects to the list.

The committee also received testimony from a number of school district leaders about pupil transportation issues in the state.

School representatives told the committee that they need funds to buy new buses, which are more efficient and cheaper to maintain.  A new bus costs $90,000, and so some school districts cannot afford to replace a bus, but are using permanent improvement funds to repair old buses.

The state stopped providing separate funds for bus purchases about ten years ago.  Districts still receive some state aid for transportation through the line item for Pupil Transportation in the budget, but the presenters said that the pupil transportation formula needs to be updated, and more money needs to be put into the budget.

See http://jeoc.ohio.gov

Update on School District Ballot Issues: According to the Secretary of State’s website, there will be 150 school tax issues on the November 8, 2016 ballot.

About half of the school districts are asking voters to approve new money, while others are asking voters to renew or continue existing levels.

The Columbus City School District is among 70 school districts that are asking voters to approve a combination levy/bond issue for school safety and security, permanent improvements, and current operating expenses.

There are also 35 districts seeking voter approval for emergency levies and 10 school income tax issues on the ballot.

The number of levies on ballot is higher than last year’s number of 110, but lower than in years past.

See http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/elections/Voters/aboutThisElection.aspx

Tax Revenue Drops But the State’s Budget Should be OK: As state departments and agencies prepare budget recommendations for 2018-19, the Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM), Tim Keen executive director, reports a $34.6 million drop in total tax revenue for the first quarter of FY17 when compared to FY16.

Lower than expected collections for the personal income tax, corporate franchise tax, public utility tax, cigarette tax, and other tobacco taxes are contributing to the shortfall.

The current revenue shortfall is not expected to cause any budget woes for the FY17 budget cycle, however, because the state has a sizeable carryover and has budgeted conservatively.

Still, the shortfall could affect budget negotiations going into FY2018-19, especially if state leaders want to expand early childhood education, career tech, or increase funding for the Straight A Fund and other programs.

See http://www.obm.ohio.gov/budget/monthlyfinancial/doc/2016-10_mfr.pdf

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

The State Board of Education (SBE), Tom Gunlock president, will meet on October 16, 17 & 18, 2016 at the Ohio Department of Education, 25 S. Front Street, Columbus, OH.

The SBE’s Standards and Graduation Requirements Committee approved last month changes for academic honors, International Baccalaureate, and career-tech diplomas, and added new honors diplomas for the arts, STEM, and social science/civic engagement. This month the full SBE will consider a resolution of intent to adopt the new criteria for awarding honors diplomas.

The SBE will also consider resolutions to adopt cut scores for the third grade reading test; approve the FY2018-19 biennial budget recommendations; adopt alternative performance standards and criteria to close charter schools primarily serving students with disabilities; and appoint eleven members to the Educator Standards Board.

The SBE’s Achievement Committee will continue discussions about OAC Rule 3301-51-15:  Operating Standards for Identifying and Serving Gifted Students, and the Standards and Graduation Requirements Committee will discuss OAC Rule 3301-41-01:  Standards for Issuing an Ohio Certificate of High School Equivalence and the revised English language arts and mathematics standards. The final drafts of the revised standards for mathematics and English language arts are posted on the ODE’s web site at

http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Ohios-Learning-Standards/Standard-Revision-Overview/Standards-Revision-English-Language-Arts-and-Mathe

NATIONAL NEWS

School Choice is not a Constitutional Right in MA: The Suffolk, Massachusetts Superior Court dismissed on October 4, 2016 a lawsuit, Jane Doe v. James A. Peyser, as Secretary of Education, & others, filed by the parents of five school age children in Boston, Massachusetts.  The lawsuit was filed on September 15, 2015 by the law firms Paul F. Ware, Jr., Michael B. Keating, and William F. Lee.

The lawsuit argued that the children were denied their “constitutional right to an adequate public education because of a cap limiting the number of charter schools in Massachusetts and a cap limiting the amount of funding that can be allocated to those charter schools.”

The plaintiffs also claimed that the students had been denied equal protection under the U.S. Constitution, because of the failure of the Commonwealth to treat similarly situated persons alike.

The decision, written by Associate Justice Heidi Brieger, dismissed the plaintiffs’ argument that the children had been “deprived of a constitutionally adequate education,” because they were assigned to lower performing schools, which had “failed to teach a significant portion of students to be “proficient or higher” on Massachusetts state exams (MCAS).

Instead, the judge found that schools identified as low performing in Massachusetts are targeted by the state for extra assistance, which is a policy decision by the state to ensure that the Commonwealth is fulfilling its constitutional requirement to provide a “public education system of sufficient quality”.

The judge also found that school choice is not part of Massachusetts’ constitutional, “public education obligation”.

According to the decision, the state constitution “obligates the Commonwealth to educate all its children,” but, “This obligation does not mean that Plaintiffs have the constitutional right to choose a particular flavor of education, whether it be a trade school, a sports academy, an arts school, or a charter school.”

The judge left it up to the state legislature to decide the details about school choice options “amongst the multitude” of possibilities.

Regarding the violation of the equal protection clause, Judge Brieger found that the Massachusetts Constitution does not guarantee each individual student the fundamental right to an education.  Therefore, the court needed to examine the rationale for the state to cap funding for some charter schools.

The court concluded that the Massachusetts legislature caps state funding for certain charter schools, because there is a limit to state funds for education, and spending more money on charter schools leaves fewer state funds for non-charter schools.

The court determined that there is a rational basis and a legitimate state interest for capping charter school funds, and therefore there is not a violation of the equal protection clause.

The lawyers for the plaintiffs intend to file an appeal of the decision.

The decision might have an immediate effect on Massachusetts voters.  Advocates for charter schools were successful in placing Question 2 on the November 8, 2016 ballot in Massachusetts.  Question 2 would raise the cap on certain types of charter schools in future years, but does not include additional funding.

See “Judge dismisses lawsuit aimed at lifting Massachusetts charter school cap,” AP, October 4, 2016, at https://www.boston.com/news/education/2016/10/04/judge-dismisses-lawsuit-aimed-at-lifting-massachusetts-charter-school-cap

Final Teacher Preparation Program Rules Released: The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) released on October 12, 2016 final rules for assessing the performance of teacher preparation programs under Title II of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965.

According to the USDOE, the reporting requirements will provide the public, prospective teachers, employers, and state policy makers with information about the quality of the teacher preparation programs.

The rules regulate traditional, alternative, and distance learning teacher preparation programs, and would require states to rate the programs as effective, at-risk, or low performing based on certain indicators of quality.  The regulations require states to develop measures for assessing teacher preparation performance based on quality indicators, and establish the actions that states must take to improve low-performing or at-risk programs.

The indicators to assess teacher preparation programs include student learning outcomes, employment outcomes, and survey outcomes.

States will have flexibility in measuring student achievement, which could be based on student growth, a teacher evaluation measure, another state-determined measure that is relevant to calculating student learning outcomes, or a combination of all three.  (See page 670 of the rules.)

When the teacher preparation program rules were first proposed in 2014, stakeholders opposed linking student test scores back to the effectiveness of the programs, but it is not clear if there is enough flexibility in the proposed rule to placate those concerns.

The rules go into effect for the 2018-19 school year.

The USDOE also released changes in the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant program under Title IV of the HEA to align with the new rules for teacher preparation programs.

Eligibility for TEACH grants will now be linked to the assessment of the teacher preparation programs. The TEACH grants will be limited to teacher preparation programs that have been identified as “effective” for two years in a row.

Reaction

-Representative John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, released a statement on October 12, 2016 in response to the final rules, saying that the USDOE was taking a “one-size-fits-all approach that will lead to unintended consequences.”

He called the rules a “vast regulatory scheme” that might lead to fewer teachers.

He called upon policymakers to discuss and resolve the issues raised in the rules through reforms of the Higher Education Act, rather than actions taken by the USDOE.

See http://edworkforce.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=401114

-Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, criticized the regulations and called the framework flawed.

According to a press release, she said, “The final regulations could harm students who would benefit the most from consistent, high-quality standards for teacher preparation programs. The regulations will create enormous difficulty for teacher prep programs and place an unnecessary burden on institutions and states, which are also in the process of implementing ESSA.”

See http://www.aft.org/press-release/afts-weingarten-teacher-preparation-programs-regulations

-Chris Minnich, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, said that his group is pleased with the new regulations which reflect the feedback from stakeholders.

See http://www.ccsso.org/News_and_Events/Press_Releases/CCSSO_Releases_Statement_on_Higher_Education_Act_Regulations.html

See the final regulations starting on page 651 at http://www2.ed.gov/documents/teaching/teacher-prep-final-regs.pdf.

See “Test scores get less emphasis in final federal teacher-preparation rules,” by Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week, October 12, 2016 at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2016/10/test_scores_less_emphasis_teacher_preparation.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=campaignk-12.

OHIO NEWS

Are State Graduation Standards Too High?:  Butler County superintendents are speaking out about the state’s graduation requirements, which they believe will be difficult for some students to meet.

In an article in the Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News school district administrators from Hamilton City Schools, Middletown City Schools, and Fairfield City Schools say that they are worried that some students will not be able to graduate starting in 2018, because of the new state graduation requirements.

Starting in the 2017-2018 school year, Ohio students will be required to earn 18 points on seven tests covering English, math, social studies, and science in order to graduate.  The points will be awarded based on how well the students do on the tests.

Students can by-pass earning the graduation points by scoring a “remediation free” score on the ACT or SAT college entrance tests, or earning an approved job credential and a passing score on the job readiness test in career tech programs.

Although the students can take the tests over, school leaders are concerned that students are not prepared, because of the changes in expectations and the amount of time devoted to testing rather than instruction.

The school administrators say that they are working on an alternative graduation framework.  About 200 superintendents plan to meet with lawmakers in Columbus to lobby for changes.

See “High school seniors heading for a cliff warns Hamilton school leader,” by Michael D. Clark, Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News, October 9, 2016 at http://www.journal-news.com/news/high-school-juniors-headed-toward-cliff-warns-hamilton-school-leader/DPDOYyx4BE1pKmrWD8YZEI/

Most Charter School Sponsors Rated as “Ineffective”:  After months of debate and controversy, including the rejection of a proposed rule by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCAAR), the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) released on October 13, 2016 ratings for 65 out of 67 charter school sponsors for 2014-15 and 2015-16.

The new evaluation rates charter school sponsors as exemplary, effective, ineffective, or poor based on three measures: academic performance, compliance with laws and rules, and quality practices.

According to the 2015-16 evaluation report on the ODE website, no sponsors were rated exemplary; five were rated effective; 39 were rated ineffective; and 21 sponsors were rated poor.

The list of effective sponsors includes the Buckeye Community Hope Foundation, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, St. Aloysius Orphanage, ESC of Central Ohio, and Jefferson County ESC.

Charter school sponsors are responsible for overseeing the operations and quality of community schools.  Sponsors rated ineffective are not allowed to sponsor new charter schools and must develop a plan to improve effectiveness.  If rated ineffective for three years in a row, the sponsor will lose its authority to sponsor charter schools.

Sponsors rated poor will no longer be able to serve as sponsors, unless they are reprieved through an appeals process.  The ODE is gearing-up to take over the sponsorship of charter schools now being sponsored by the 21 sponsors rated poor.

The measures and rating categories for the new evaluation were developed by an independent panel after the USDOE threatened to withhold a $35 million federal charter school grant awarded to Ohio in 2015.   The USDOE questioned Ohio’s grant application, after it became known that data from certain online charter schools and dropout recovery charter schools were omitted from charter school sponsor evaluations included in the grant application.  The ODE had to assure the USDOE officials that it would implement a new charter school sponsor evaluation and report the results in October 2016, and meet other requirements to eventually receive the grant, which was awarded last month.

The sponsor evaluation process was almost derailed in August 2016 when the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) rejected a proposed rule that outlined how charter school sponsors would demonstrate compliance with laws and rules.  Instead of revising and resubmitting the rule, which would have delayed the evaluations, Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria opted to use a current rule, to meet the October 15, 2016 deadline.

See http://education.ohio.gov/Media/Media-Releases/Community-School-Sponsor-Evaluations-Released#.WAKDIDKZNMY

Complaint Filed Against Charter School Network:  A law firm representing the Turkish government filed a complaint on October 11, 2016 asking State Auditor David Yost to investigate 17 charter schools allegedly linked to Fethulluh Gulen, a Turkish spiritual leader, who has been living in seclusion in Pennsylvania for years. The charter schools operate in Ohio under the brands Horizon Science Academies and Noble Academies, and are affiliated with the Concept Schools management company.

The schools are allegedly associated with a global organization known as the Gulen movement. The network includes about 150 schools throughout the United States operating under a variety of names.  For example, in California the schools are called Magnolia Science Academies, while in Texas the schools operate under the name Harmony Schools or Science Academies.

The Turkish government hired Robert Amsterdam and his Washington-based law firm, Amsterdam and Partners, to conduct an investigation of the Gulen network, and turn the Ohio results over to Ohio State Auditor David Yost.  The results of the investigation were shared at a news conference held in Columbus and hosted by ProgressOhio on October 11, 2016.

The investigation found examples of fraud, conflicts of interest, and misuse of tax dollars at the charter schools.

According to the law firm’s report, the schools in Ohio generate $19 million in profits from taxpayer revenue through real estate deals and other business transactions. The investigation found that some of the members of the schools’ governing boards have ties to the real estate company, and serve on multiple school governing boards.

The Turkish government, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has asked the U.S. government to extradite Fethulluh Gulen, who the government believes is behind a failed coup in Turkey last summer.

According to The Columbus Dispatch, Auditor Yost said that his office will review the complaint, in the same manner as they do all complaints.

See “Lawyer for Turkey refers Ohio charter schools to auditor,” by Julie Carr Smyth, The Washington Post, October 11, 2016 at https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/lawyer-for-turkey-refers-ohio-charter-schools-to-auditor/2016/10/11/e4be116a-8fbe-11e6-bc00-1a9756d4111b_story.html

See “Turkey wants schools in Ohio investigated,” by Catherine Candisky, The Columbus Dispatch, October 12, 2016 at http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/10/11/charter-school-chain-fleecing-taxpayers-attorneys-for-the-turkish-government-alleged.html

ECOT Files Appeals: Lawyers for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), an online charter school in central Ohio, appealed last week a recent court decision and the results of an attendance audit conducted by the ODE.

The court ruling was appealed to the 10th District Court of Appeals and the audit was appealed to the State Board of Education.

The Ohio Department of Education released on September 26, 2016 the results of an attendance audit, which found that the school was overpaid $64 million for 9,000 students that were not in attendance.

Judge Jenifer French with the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas denied on September 30, 2016 ECOT’s request for a preliminary injunction to halt the ODE’s attendance audit of the school.

See “ECOT online charter school appeals two rulings that threaten $60 million in funding,” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, October 12, 2016 at http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/10/ecot_online_charter_school_appeals_two_rulings_that_threaten_60_million_in_funding.html

FYI ARTS

Makerspace Includes the Arts: Patrick Waters, a science and math teacher at the Monarch School of Houston, Texas, writes about creating a space for his students with disabilities to learn by creating and experimenting.

He created a makerspace called STEAMworks, that integrates the arts and STEM subjects.  For example, one of his students designed and made prototype chocolate bars using a 3D printer.  Then working with students in a graphic arts class, the students collaborated to design the labeling and packaging for the chocolate bars.

Working with a theatre company the students created props and puppets for a performance and a 15 minute video.

According to the article, “Maker education, and makerspaces in general, open up incredible avenues for STEAM education.”

The article includes tips and resources for learning more about maker education.

See “Tips for taking STEM to STEAM,” by Patrick Waters, SmartBrief, October 10, 2016 at http://smartbrief.com/original/2016/10/stem-steam


Arts On Line serves to keep arts education advocates informed about issues dealing with the arts, education, policy, research, and opportunities.

The distribution of this information is made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Music Education Association (www.omea-ohio.org), Ohio Art Education Association(www.oaea.org), Ohio Educational Theatre Association(www.ohedta.org); OhioDance (www.ohiodance.org), and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (www.oaae.net).

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