Arts on Line Update April 13, 2009

128th General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate are on recess this week, but committee hearings are planned for the Senate.

The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Sykes, has canceled this week’s hearings on Sub. HB1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 budget bill. Amendments for HB1 were expected to be introduced this week, but are now expected to be introduced the week of April 20, 2009. These amendments are likely to address a variety of issues related to the proposed education reform plan, such as the average teacher salary level used in the new evidence-based model funding system; the Instructional Quality Index; the amount of increase school districts will be allowed as a result of the new funding system; a phase-in of the reduction in the charge-off; funding for special education and gifted education programs; the accountability provisions; and more.  The House Committee is also likely to address how funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will be accounted for in the budget to ensure that state general revenue funding for Title 1 and IDEA programs are separated from the federal stimulus funds.

State Budget News: The Office of Budget and Management, J. Pari Sabety director, released on April 10, 2009 the monthly financial report for the state. According to the report, the OBM may need to make further budget adjustments before this fiscal year ends on June 30, 2009, but will make that decision after income tax receipts are tallied. To close a projected $2 billion deficit, the state has already reduced spending and made other adjustments to the FY09 budget, which ends on June 30, 2009. State receipts for March (tax and nontax) were $53.9 million below revised budget estimates, and total GRF revenues were $471.9 million below revised estimates for the fiscal year to date.

Tax receipts for March totaled $1.2 billion. Receipts were down in sales tax and personal income tax, and up slightly for the auto sales tax and corporate franchise tax. The Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) rebounded in March, but is still $63.7 million below estimates for the fiscal year.

The report also notes that the U.S. economy continued to decline in March, and unemployment in Ohio reached 9.4 percent in February, the highest that it has been since 1984.

With all of the bad news there was a “glimmer” of good news for consumer spending, which stabilized in January and February. “Consumer spending has never (dating back to 1948) declined for three consecutive quarters”, according to the report, and there are indications for a positive first quarter this year.

The report is available at http://obm.ohio.gov/

OEBM Reviewed: Nationally known school funding experts, Lawrence Picus and Allen Odden, released this week a report called “Review and Analysis of Ohio’s Evidence-Based Model” (OEBM).  The OEBM is the school funding model included in Sub. HB1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 budget bill.  Governor Strickland and his administration developed the OEBM plan over the past year based on school funding research, reports, and studies; input from business, education, and community stakeholder groups; and input from the public through several community forums. The plan is now being revised by the House Finance and Appropriations Committee, as it debates the components of the state’s biennial budget bill, Sub. HB1 (Sykes).  Several amendments regarding the OEBM are expected to be introduced next week.

The authors of this report designed and developed the “evidence-based model” (EBM) to determine the components and cost of a quality K-12 education system. Other models for reforming state school funding systems are the professional judgment model, successful schools model, and cost function model. Ohio’s current school funding system is somewhat based on the successful schools model.  The evidence-based model has been used by policy makers in Wyoming and Arkansas to change their state school funding systems, and other states have used the EBM to evaluate their school funding systems.

This review of Ohio’s EBM includes background information about the design and development of the evidence-based model and other approaches to school funding reform; a line-by-line comparison of Ohio’s EBM and the author’s EBM; other issues regarding Ohio’s EBM; and an appendix with a complete bibliography, which was prepared for a study of North Dakota’s school funding system.

According to this report, “This evidence-based approach to estimating the resources needed for a high quality education program is a widely accepted method of estimating school funding needs and for establishing a description of the resources needed to help all children meet their state’s educational proficiency standards.
Moreover, there is growing evidence that implementation of all the educational strategies embedded in and funded by the evidence based model can lead to dramatic improvements in student learning in four to six years (Odden and Archibald, 2009).”

The proposed OEBM supports a number of education initiatives that the Strickland administration believes will transform Ohio’s education system and prepare students for life and careers in the 21st century.
These include increasing the length of the school year to 200 days; providing full day kindergarten to all students; providing support for nurses, counselors, and community engagement; improving educator quality; increasing stability and transparency; and establishing an effective accountability system.

Overall Ohio’s evidence-based plan is similar to the plan outlined by Odden and Picus.  However, the authors identify some differences regarding personnel support, organizational units, the instructional quality index, teacher pupil ratios, special education, professional development, support for central office, transportation, etc. The authors state that resources for central administration “appears to be severely underfunded”, and identifies three areas related to professional development in which the OEBM plan differs from the evidence-based model supported by the authors.

Personnel costs are a key component in the OEBM.  “There is some concern in Ohio that the average teacher salary used in OEBM models is too low, which, if true would cause system underfunding.”

These and other education related issues are being considered by the House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Sykes, as it debates the proposed biennial budget included in Sub. HB 1 (Sykes).  Over the next week amendments are expected to be added to Sub. HB1 to address these concerns.

This report was prepared for the KnowledgeWorks Foundation, with support from Cleveland Foundation and Education Tax Policy Institute. The report is available at
http://www.schoolfundingmatters.org/files/folders/publications/entry167.aspx

This Week at the Statehouse
TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2009
*The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Cates (614-466-8072), will meet at 9:30 AM in the Senate Finance hearing room to hear public testimony on Sub. HB1 (Sykes) related to special education; gifted education; all-day Kindergarten; and early childhood education.
*The Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee, chaired by Senator Carey (614-466-8156), will meet at 1:30 PM in the Senate Finance hearing room.  The committee will hear testimony on Sub. HB1 (Sykes) from Pari Sabety, director of the Office of Budget and Management, and Mark Flanders, director of the Legislative Service Commission.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2009
*The Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee, chaired by Senator Carey (614-466-8156), will meet at 9:30 AM and reconvene at 1:30 PM in the Senate Finance hearing room.  The committee will hear testimony on Sub. HB1 (Sykes) from Douglas Lumpkin, director of the Department of Job and Family Services; Richard Levin, director of the Ohio Department of Taxation, and Eric Fingerhut, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents.
*The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Cates (614-466-8072), will meet at 4:00 PM in the Senate Finance hearing room to hear public testimony on Sub. HB1 (Sykes). Presenting to the committee will be George Espy and Ann Mullins from the Ohio Grantmakers Forum, and Dr. Sandra Stotsky, University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform.

News from the ODE: The Ohio Department of Education has created a website called the “Stimulus Update” to provide information about the disbursement of federal education stimulus funds provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The web site will provide information about how to apply for the competitive grants; federal and state guidelines for using the funds; allocations for school districts and community schools; and accountability requirements for school districts and community schools.  According to information released by the US Department of Education, accountability for the stimulus funds will be documented through the Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP) for school districts and schools.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan also released information last week about changes to the Title I regulations issued in October 2008.  The changes would remove the requirement that states must review the minimum student group size (N size) for adequate yearly progress (AYP) purposes; would allow districts and schools identified in improvement status to provide supplemental education services (SES); and would allow a “one-time” waiver for states, for the 2009-10 school year, regarding the requirement that school districts notify parents of school choice options no later than 14 days before the start of school.

To learn more about the ODE web site, please visit http://education.ohio.gov/GD/Templates/Pages/ODE/ODEDetail.aspx?page=520.

State Board of Education to Meet: The State Board of Education, Jennifer Sheets president, will meet on April 13-14, 2009 at the Ohio School for the Deaf, 500 Morse Road, Columbus, OH.

MEETING ON MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2009
The 21st Century Learning Subcommittee, co-chaired by Debbie Cain and Steve Millett, will meet at 8:30 AM to discuss planning for the July 2009 State Board retreat.

The Advocacy and Outreach Subcommittee, co-chaired by John Bender and Carl Wick, will also meet at 8:30 AM to discuss the charge and work of the subcommittee.

The Achievement Committee, chaired by Ann Womer-Benjamin, and the Capacity Committee, chaired by Rob Hovis, will meet at 10:15 AM.

The Achievement Committee will hear an update on Financial Literacy, a presentation on the NASBE Grant for High School Reform, and hear an update on the development of benchmarks and indicators for Physical Education Standards.

The Capacity Committee will discuss rules for employee/applicant rehabilitation standards, and discuss rules for pupil activity program.

The State Board will recognize National Title 1 Schools at 11:30 AM.

Following lunch at 1:15 PM the Board will hear reports from the Achievement Committee and Capacity Committee.

There will be a full Board discussion about the establishment of guidelines for the evaluation of principals, a discussion about a standard method for documenting high school credit, an update on the Ohio School Facilities Commission, presented by Mike Shoemaker, Executive Director, and a review of written reports and items for vote.

A Chapter 119 Hearing will be held at 4:00 PM on the following proposed rules:
*Rule 3301-18-01, Calculation of Student Attendance *Rule 3301-29-01, Community School EMIS *Rule 3301-61-03, Criteria for Secondary Workforce Development Program *Rule 3301-61-18, criteria for career based intervention/family and consumer studies programs, and to adopt new Rules 3301-61-04, Criteria for Family and Consumer Sciences Programs and 3301-61-05, Criteria for Career Based Intervention *Rule 3301-68-01, Criteria for Career Development Programs *Rules 3301-73-01 to -06, -08 to -10, -13, -16, -20 to -26, Professional Conduct

MEETING ON TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2009
The State Board of Education will meet on April 14, 2009 starting at 8:30 AM, when the Board will participate in Ethics Training.

The business meeting will be called to order at 10:30 AM, and the Board will immediately convene into executive session.  After the executive session, the Board will hear the report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Deborah Delisle; hear an update on legislative issues; and accept public participation on agenda items.

The Board will then take action on thirteen personnel items, and the resolutions included below. The Board will then consider new business, old business, and public participation on non agenda items.
The Board will then adjourn.  The next SBE meeting will be held on May 11-12, 2009 at the Ohio School for the Deaf.

SBE BUSINESS AGENDA
*Approve a Resolution to amend OAC Rule 3301-14-01 for the operation of the Education Management Information System *Approve a Resolution to amend OAC Rule Rules 3301-19-01 and -03, Expenditure Flow Reports *Approve a Resolution to rescind and adopt Rules 3301-21-05 to -07, Preparing Teachers for Associate Licensure.

Are Learning Teams the Next Wave of the Future?: The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, Tom Carroll president, released on April 7, 2009 a new report called “Learning Teams:
Creating What’s Next.”

This report proposes a restructuring of school personnel, and replacing the solo classroom teacher with a team of cross generational educators, including veteran and novice teachers, interns, adjunct members, and online educators.

The report notes that hundreds of veteran teachers will be retiring over the next few years, and new teachers are leaving the profession at a high rate for a variety of reasons. “Teacher turnover forces schools and districts to invest vast quantities of time and money in hiring and replacing staff, particularly in high-poverty schools where attrition is greatest.”

The learning team model provides individuals interested in education more support and flexibility to work in schools. The learning team would include veteran teachers, new teachers, and “encore” teachers, who are individuals with expertise in a particular area, and want to start new careers in education. Working in collaboration, the teams are a cost-effective way to provide instruction.

2008 State of Preschool Released: The National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University (NIEER), Steve Barnett director, released on April 8, 2009 “The State of Preschool 2008” by W. Steven Barnett, Dale J. Epstein, Allison H. Friedman, Judi Stevenson Boyd, and Jason T. Hustedt.

This report profiles state-funded prekindergarten programs for children ages 3 & 4 in the U.S. through a summary of national data and trends; detailed profiles of state preschool policies, standards, and resources; and appendices with data on Head Start, child care, and special education. The first annual report issued in 2001-2002 established a baseline to measure progress of prekindergarten programs over future years. The following key findings are provided in this report for 2008:

*Enrollment increased by more than 108,000 children. More than 1.1 million children attended state-funded preschool education, 973,178 at age 4 alone.
*Thirty-three of the 38 states with state-funded programs increased enrollment.
*Based on NIEER’s Quality Standards Checklist, 11 states improved the quality of their preschool programs. Only one fell back.
*State funding for pre-K rose to almost $4.6 billion. Funding for state pre-K from all reported sources exceeded $5.2 billion, an increase of nearly $1 billion (23 percent) over the previous year.
*Twelve states provided no state-funded preschool in 2008.
*Nine states plan major cuts in preschool programs in the coming years, including Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
*$4 billion in federal dollars has been allocated for Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

The report notes that the average state spending per child enrolled increased for the second consecutive year to $4,061, which is an increase of $419 per child without adjusting for inflation (an increase of $204 when adjusted for inflation). New Jersey was the top ranked state, spending $10,989 per child, while Maine and South Carolina, spent less than $2,000 per child.

According to the report, Ohio improved its ranking (moving from 32nd to 4th) for state-funded spending for prekindergarten programs, which averaged $7260 per child.  Ohio ranked 29th for access for four-year olds and 15th in access for three-year olds to preK programs. Also, Ohio’s preK programs met 4.3 out of 10 quality standards established by NIEER. Approximately 18,277 three and four year olds were enrolled in state preK programs in 2007-2008. If enrollment in Head Start and special education preK programs are included, the enrollment in preK programs in Ohio increases to 50,490.

The report proposes that the federal government provide up to $2500 for each enrolled child in state pre-K programs meeting quality standards, so that by 2020 all four-year olds will have access to quality early education programs. The federal government should also help to integrate child care, Head Start, and state pre-K programs.

The report is available at http://nieer.org/.

Report on NCLB Restructuring Released: The success rate of restructuring failing schools under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is examined in a policy brief entitled, “NCLB’s Ultimate Restructuring Alternatives: Do They Improve the Quality of Education?” by William J. Mathis from the University of Vermont. This brief was published on April 8, 2009 by the Education and the Public Interest Center, at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and by the Education Policy Research Unit, at Arizona State University, with the support of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

According to the brief, schools are required under NCLB to restructure if they fail to make adequate yearly progress for six consecutive years. The law includes several ways for restructuring to occur, such as through a state takeover of the school, turning the school operations over to a private firm, reopening the school as a charter school, and replacing all or some of a school’s staff.

After reviewing the independent research on these practices, the author found that state takeovers and private management of schools by companies, known as EMOs Education Management Organizations, are rare, and neither approach has improved achievement as measured by standardized test scores. School districts rarely select charter schools as a restructuring model, and the research shows no advantage for student achievement. Replacing the schools’ administrators, faculty, and staff has not been done often, and no substantial evidence exists to indicate that this model works.  Several other practices were included in a general category, but judging their effectiveness was difficult.

The author writes, “Overall, there is little or no evidence to suggest that any of these options delivers the promised improvements in academic achievement.”

The following are some recommendations the author includes in the brief regarding school restructuring:
*Restructuring sanctions (takeovers, private management, charters, and re-constitutions) have produced negative by-products without yielding systemic positive effects.
*Evidence indicates that, on average, charter schools do not improve test scores or spawn the promised innovative practices. Furthermore, they may increase socioeconomic or ethnic segregation.
*The effectiveness of alternative improvement strategies or “best practices” have not to date been supported by careful study. These include school planning, turn-around specialists, data analysis, and instructional coaches.
*Technical assistance must be mandated so that districts have the capacity to implement, support and sustain improvements.
*There are support strategies that have been empirically demonstrated to yield significant school improvement. These include early education, longer school years and days, small school communities, intense personal intervention, strong counseling, and social support systems.

The full report is available at http://epicpolicy.org/publication/nclb-ultimate-restructuring.

Bills Introduced:
*SB102 (Turner) School Dropout Programs: Require the State Board of Education to recommend performance standards for dropout programs operated by school districts.

*SB99 (Grendell) County Government:  Permits an alternative form of county government in a county having a population of 1.2 million or more.

FYI ARTS

*Arts Advocacy Day 2009: Five hundred arts education advocates representing 83 civic and cultural organizations in the U.S. participated in Arts Advocacy Day 2009, held in Washington, D.C. on April 3, 2009. This annual event, sponsored by Americans for the Arts, brings arts advocates together with the members of the Congressional Arts Caucus to advocate for arts-friendly legislation and policies. The day includes meetings with members of Congress, a congressional hearing, and a performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Arts advocates provided members of Congress with copies of the “2009 Congressional Arts Handbook”, which includes information about national issues that have an impact on the arts and arts education.  The handbook is available from Americans for the Arts at http://www.artsusa.org/get_involved/advocacy/aad/handbook/2009.asp.

The following are the key policy requests from Americans for the Arts:

-Promote Creativity and Public Access to the Arts through Support for the National Endowment for the Arts. Support a budget of $200 million for the NEA in the FY10 Interior Appropriations bill to restore funding for the creation, preservation, and presentation of the arts in America through the NEA’s core programs-Access to Artistic Excellence, Challenge America: Reaching Every Community, Federal/State Partnerships, and Learning in the Arts.

-Recognize the Value of the Arts and Creative Industries in Stimulating the Economy.  Invest in the creative industries to strengthen our country’s workforce and economy. Recognize the arts as businesses, and support them through specific provisions, such as including arts projects in Community Development Block Grants, including cultural planning in the Economic Development Administration, and making human capital investments in arts job training.

-Develop Access to Arts Education for All Students through Arts Education Funding and Research through the U.S. Department of Education. Allocate $53 million for the Arts in Education programs in the FY10 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. Require the U.S. Department of Education to produce timely and comprehensive reports on the status of arts education in America’s public schools when implementing the Fast Response Statistical Survey and the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

This year arts advocates presented testimony entitled “The Arts = Jobs” before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, chaired by Congressman Norm Dicks.  A panel of arts advocates, including Wynton Marsalis, Josh Groban, Linda Ronstadt, Jeremy Nowak, and Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, requested that Congress support policies that strengthen the arts, and increase public funding for the arts.

One of the many scheduled events during Arts Advocacy Day is the Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy.  This year’s Nancy Hanks lecturer was Wynton Marsalis, world renown musician and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center.  The lecture, which was presented at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on March 30, 2009, was entitled “The Ballad of the American Arts,” and provided a musical illustration of how the arts have brought Americans together and how they “teach us who we are.” The lecture also called for a greater prominence for the arts in America.

For more information about Arts Advocacy Day, please visit Americans for the Arts at http://www.artsusa.org/news/afta_news/default.asp.

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This update is written weekly by Joan Platz, Information Coordinator for the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education.  The purpose of the update is 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.Ohioedta.org); OhioDance (www.ohiodance.org), and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (www.OAAE.net).

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About OAAE

Since our founding in 1974, by Dr. Dick Shoup and Jerry Tollifson, our mission has always been to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Working at the local, state, and federal levels through the efforts of a highly qualified and elected Board of Directors, our members, and a professional staff we have four primary areas of focus: building collaborations, professional development, advocacy, and capacity building. The OAAE is funded in part for its day-to-day operation by the Ohio Arts Council. This support makes it possible for the OAAE to operate its office in Columbus and to work statewide to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Support for arts education projects comes from the Ohio Arts Council, Ohio Music Education Association, Ohio Art Education Association, Ohio Educational Theatre Association, VSA Ohio, and OhioDance. The Community Arts Education programs of Central Ohio are financially assisted by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. We gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the financial support received from each of these outstanding agencies and organizations.
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