Arts on Line Update November 15, 2010

News from the Statehouse:  The Ohio House and Senate have canceled sessions for this week.

Senate President Harris and House Speaker Budish have not issued any statement about holding future legislative sessions, which are termed lame-duck sessions.  If that is the case, then legislation introduced in the 128th General Assembly will die and will need to be re-introduced in the next General Assembly, the 129th, in order to become law.  The 129th General Assembly begins on January 3, 2011, when newly elected and returning lawmakers and leadership in both the House and Senate are sworn into office.

House Republicans Choose Their Leaders:

The House Republican Caucus elected last week the following representatives for House leadership positions:

  • Representative William Batchelder as Speaker of the House. Currently Representative Batchelder is House Minority Leader.
  • Representative Matt Huffman, majority floor leader
  • Representative Barbara Sears, assistant majority floor leader
  • Representative Lou Blessing, speaker pro tem,
  • Representative John Adams, majority whip -Representative Cheryl Grossman, assistant majority whip

Senate Republicans have not elected their leadership team as yet.

Senate Democrats Choose Leaders:

The Senate Democratic Caucus elected last week the following Senators for leadership positions:

  • Senator Capri Cafaro as minority leader
  • Senator Shirley Smith, assistant minority leader
  • Senator – elect Edna Brown as minority whip
  • Senator Jason Wilson, assistant minority whip

The House Democratic Caucus is expected to meet this week to elect their leadership team.

Committee Chairs Selected:  House Speaker-elect William Batchelder announced that Representative Ron Amstutz will become chair and Representative-elect John Carey vice-chair of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee for the 129th General Assembly.  The House Finance and Appropriations Committee has the first opportunity to debate the biennial budget recommendations of the governor, and considers all legislation regarding revenue (taxes) and spending.

News from Washington D.C.:

Congress Returns: The U.S. House and Senate will convene this week, as lawmakers return to Washington for the first time following the November mid-term elections.  Congress has a number of legislative issues to address, including legislation to extend (or not) the Bush administration’s income tax cuts, the School Nutrition Act, and FY11 appropriation bills. Congress was unable to approve 2011 fiscal year appropriations ($1.1 trillion) by the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1, 2010, and so lawmakers approved a continuing resolution to keep government programs, departments, and agencies operating at FY10 levels. But, that resolution is due to expire on December 3, 2010.

If lawmakers are unable to agree on FY11 appropriations by December 3, 2010, they might do what they have done in the past and approve another continuing resolution, and deal with the appropriations bills when Republicans take over the U.S. House in January 2011. If that happens, however, there is little chance that the spending priorities of the Democrats will be enacted, including extension of federal jobless benefits and additional funding for educational initiatives.

National Technology Plan Released: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released on November 9, 2010 the U.S. Department of Education’s National Technology Plan (NETP).  The plan is entitled “Transforming American Education:  Learning Powered by Technology”, and was developed with stakeholder input by the U.S. DOE’s Office of Educational Technology.

The plan provides a comprehensive vision for helping classroom teachers transform student learning through technology in five areas, and is focused on supporting more individualized and real-world learning activities to ensure that students keep pace with the 21st century. The plan will support President Obama’s goal to increase college completion by 2020 and close the achievement gap, so that all students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and careers.

The plan sets out to do the following:

  • Learning: Change the learning process so it’s more engaging and tailored to students’ needs and interests.
  • Assessment: Measure student progress on the full range of college and career ready standards and use real time data for continuous improvement.
  • Teaching: Connect teachers to the tools, resources, experts and peers they need to be highly effective and supported.
  • Infrastructure: Provide broadband connectivity for all students, everywhere-in schools, throughout communities and in students’ homes.
  • Productivity: Use technology to help schools become more productive and accelerate student achievement while managing costs.

The NETP also includes plans to fund the creation of open-source resources for schools and online professional learning communities for teachers.

To learn more about the plan please visit this site.

FY12-13 State Aid Simulations Available: FY12-13 budget simulations for the State Board of Education’s FY12-13 budget recommendations, adopted by the State Board of Education in October 2010, are now posted on the web site of the Ohio Department of Education, Office of Budget and Planning, Kelly Weir Director.

The simulations provide the amount of state aid school districts and schools could receive in FY12 and FY13 based on three budget scenarios:  a flat-plus budget, which was recommended by the State Board of Education; and a flat funded-budget and a 90 percent-funded budget, required by the Office of Budget and Management.

According to the ODE, the simulations were developed to inform the development of the State Board of Education’s FY2012-13 budget recommendations, and school districts and schools should not use them to make decisions, “because it is far too early in the budget process to predict the eventual state budget outcome with any certainty.” The simulations are based on assumptions regarding average daily attendance; property valuation projections; and funding parameters, including continued funding of the evidence-based model (EBM).  The simulations also assume that students will be funded where they are educated, including students enrolled in traditional school districts, community schools, open enrollment, and the EdChoice and Autism scholarship programs.

The simulations are available by clicking here.

The State Board of Education November Meeting:  The State Board of Education, Debbie Cain president, met on November 8 & 9, 2010 at the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) Conference in Columbus.

Executive Committee: Ann Womer Benjamin, vice-president for the State Board, chaired the executive committee for President Cain, who was presenting at an OSBA program with Superintendent of Public Instruction Deb Delisle.

Vice-president Womer Benjamin introduced Kathleen McGervey (District 2) and Debe Terhar (District 4), two newly-elected State Board of Education members who were in the audience. Newly elected Board member Jeff Mims was not present at this time, but was introduced later in the morning.

The committee discussed a proposed framework for conducting an orientation for State Board members in January 2010.  The framework covers board operations and topics such as Board responsibilities, stakeholder involvement, mission and goals of the State Board, format of meetings, procedures handbook, regulatory and policy roles of the Board, communication, etc.

Committee Reports: President Cain reported that she and Superintendent of Public Instruction Deb Delisle had contacted Governor-elect Kasich to offer congratulations and extend to him and members of his administration the intent of the State Board of Education to work in partnership with the new governor-elect.

Achievement Committee:  Mike Collins, chair, reported that the committee reviewed the following two items, which the Board will consider at their December 2010 meeting:

  • An intent resolution regarding rules related to the Educational Choice Scholarship Program.  The proposed changes in rule align with Am. Sub. HB 1 (128th General Assembly).
  • The process that the ODE uses to approve non-public school charters.

The proposed changes in the rule align with HB 1 and streamline the approval process.

The committee also discussed the future work of the committee regarding implementation of the new content standards; development of the model curricula; and development of assessments and an accountability system, which will also need to include the development of measurements of student achievement.  The work also involves implementation of the Common Core standards in English-language arts and math. Ohio has joined most states to implement the Common Standards, and Ohio is now participating in the development of Common Core standards for science.

Capacity Committee: Rob Hovis, chair of the Capacity Committee, deferred to vice-chair Kristen McKinley to report on the activities of the Capacity Committee.  Vice-chair McKinley reported that the committee received an interim report, “Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools — Recommendations” from the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University. The SBE obtained a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation to revise its 1980 Equal Educational Opportunity Policy in response to recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions.  The Board received a draft of the policy recommendations in July; provided feedback; and the Kirwan Institute revised those recommendations, which were presented in the interim report.

The committee requested that the Kirwan Institute revise the recommendations to include diversity training and cultural awareness in Ohio’s model curriculum for students.

The Capacity Committee will consider approval of these recommendations at its December 2010 meeting and the full Board will receive a presentation on the recommendations at that time.  The SBE expects to adopt an “intent resolution” in January, 2011, and a final resolution in February 2011.

The committee also continued the discussion that it had started in October about State Board of Education priorities. The committee identified as priorities to review the logic model, the State Board vision document, and the Ohio Department of Education’s strategic plan.

MEETING ON NOVEMBER 9, 2010

President Cain called the meeting to order and then the Board convened into executive session.  Following the executive session President Cain introduced Senator Gary Cates, who is chair of the Ohio Senate’s Education Committee and an ex-officio member of the State Board of Education.

Report of the Early Childhood Education Subcommittee:  Kathy Leavenworth, chair of the subcommittee, reported that the subcommittee reviewed five policy questions developed by the subcommittee in October and gained a better understanding of the various issues that will be addressed by the Center for Early Childhood Education in Ohio when it is operational.  The subcommittee intends to invite representatives of other state agencies to future subcommittee meetings to discuss their role in Ohio’s system for early childhood education. Board member Roger McCauley recommended that members look at the BUILD web site, which includes information about the policy and operational issues that need to be addressed as the state consolidates current early childhood education programs and agencies into a seamless system for early childhood education aligned to the K-12 education system.

Report of the Superintendent: Superintendent of Public Instruction Deborah Delisle included in her report information about the following:

  • -The break-out session presented by the Superintendent and SBE President Cain at the OSBA conference
  • ODE/OSBA panel sessions about rural, urban, and suburban schools -ODE outreach to governor-elect Kasich
  • Participation in a discussion about school transformation sponsored by the Alliance for Excellent Education on October 15, 2010
  • The presentation of the Milken Family Foundation Education Award to Kristina Blair, a gifted education teacher at the Franklin Elementary School in the Massillon School District -Ohio’s participation in the Partnership for Next Generation Learning

Superintendent Delisle reported that during the OSBA Break-out session the audience asked questions about the future of state funding for schools in Ohio; changes in standards, model curricula, and assessments; the need for professional development; Race to the Top; etc.

She also explained that Ohio is one of six states selected by the Conference of Chief State School Officers and the Stupski Foundation to participate in the Partnership for Next Generation Learning. The purpose of the Partnership is to create innovative learning environments in specific areas to prepare students for work in the 21st century.

There was also an update about the federal Race to the Top grant (RttT).  The U.S. DOE has hired a consulting firm to provide technical assistance for states, and each state has a liaison at the U.S. DOE to facilitate RttT.  Local education associations (LEAs) were currently working on their RttT “Scope of Work Plans”, which the ODE was reviewing before submitting them to the U.S. DOE.

Board members asked questions about the process used to review the “Scope of Work” plans, and the amount of work that participating LEAs must do in order to receive the RttT federal funds, especially since some LEAs are receiving more federal funds than others.  There was also a question about what happens to the grant money if LEAs drop-out of the grant program. According to Superintendent Delisle, the U.S. DOE will make the final decision about the funds, but it is assumed that if an LEA drops-out, their portion of the RttT grant would be re-distributed to other Ohio LEAs.

There was also a discussion about the number of “Scope of Work” plans returned to LEAs for revisions after ODE review. Superintendent Delisle explained the process used to review the plans, and said that many of the returned plans needed minor adjustments.  There was a concern expressed that the number of returned plans would reflect negatively on the LEAs and the RttT grant, and that this process should be viewed as a capacity building effort for LEAs.

A Board member also requested that the SBE receive a briefing about the results of the 2009-2010 Local Report Card, and review how the rating categories are determined.  A concern was expressed that Ohio’s accountability system for schools and school districts might not be providing the public with accurate information about the performance of the schools and/or school districts. For example, one school district that met only two out of 26 indicators received a “Continuous Improvement” rating, which might be misleading to the public.

The Board then took action on seven personnel items and the resolutions included below.  The Board then considered old business, new business, and miscellaneous business, and adjourned.

Resolutions considered by the State Board of Education at the November meeting:

#4  Approved a Resolution of Intent to Rescind and Adopt Rule 3301-24-03 of the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) entitled Teacher Education Programs.

#5  Approved a Resolution to Accept the Recommendation of the Hearing Officer and to Deny the Transfer of School District Territory from the Mariemont City School District, Hamilton County to the Indian Hill Exempted Village School District, Hamilton County Pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.

#10 Approved a Resolution to Adopt Amended Section 3.1 of the Anti-Harassment, Anti-Intimidation, or Anti-Bullying Model Policy — violence within a dating relationship.

President Cain referred back to the Capacity Committee a concern expressed by several Board members to revise Section 4 of the policy.

#11 Approved a Resolution to Approve the Proposed Plan by Adams County/Ohio Valley Local School District and Manchester Local School District to Create a New Joint Vocational School District in Adams County.

#12 Approve a Resolution to Decline Confirmation of the Tipp City Exempted Village School District Board of Education’s Determination of Impractical Transportation of Certain Students Attending the Chaminade-Julienne Catholic High School, A Chartered Non-public School, Montgomery County.

DOC Survey Results: The Data Quality Campaign (DOC) released the results of its 2009-10 survey to assess the progress that states have made in implementing robust longitudinal data systems that track student achievement.

Longitudinal data is data gathered on the same student from year to year, and can be used to follow individual student academic growth, determine the value-added of specific programs, and identify consistently high-performing schools and systems.

The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) was started in 2005, and is a national, collaborative effort of over 50 organizations.  It encourages and supports ways to improve the availability and use of high-quality education data so that policy makers and educators have longitudinal data systems capable of providing timely, valid, and relevant data to inform decisions about improving student achievement.

The DOC provides tools and resources that help states implement and use longitudinal data systems, and has developed the following 10 essential elements that are “….the core components of a robust longitudinal data system”: Statewide Student Identifier; Student-Level Enrollment Data; Student-Level Test Data; Information on Untested Students; Statewide Teacher Identifier with a Teacher-Student Match; Student-Level Course Completion (Transcript) Data; Student-Level SAT, ACT, and Advanced Placement Exam Data; Student-Level Graduation and Dropout Data; Ability to Match Student-Level P-12 and Higher Education Data; and A State Data Audit System.

According to the 2009-2010 national survey results, twelve states have implemented the “10 essential elements”; 22 states have implemented 8-9 elements; and 18 states have implemented 1-7 elements. The elements that are least likely to be implemented by states include Statewide Teacher Identifier with a Teacher-Student Match; Student-Level Course Completion (Transcript) Data; and Ability to Match Student-Level P-12 and Higher Education Data.

Ohio indicated through the survey that its longitudinal student data system addresses nine of the ten essential elements.  The element that Ohio does not address is the ability to match student-level P-12 and Higher Education Data.

For more information about this report, please visit this site.

Report Released on Black Male Achievement in America: The Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS), Michael Casserly executive director, released on November 9, 2010 a report entitled, “A Call for Change:  The Social and Educational Factors Contributing to the Outcomes of Black Males in Urban Schools” by Sharon Lewis, Candace Simon, Renata Uzzell, Amanda Horwitz, and Michael Casserly. The report presents data on the differences between black and white academic and social achievement, and describes “comprehensive challenges” facing African-American males. It also profiles black males who are succeeding in urban public schools and in their chosen careers.

The report notes that there has been “…no concerted national effort to improve the education, social and employment outcomes of African-American males”, and, among several recommendations, calls for convening a panel of national experts to serve as a governing board to the CGCS and formulate national strategies to improve the quality of education for Black males.

According to the press-release, the report focuses on the following six areas:

  • Readiness to learn:  Black children were twice as likely to live in a household where no parent had a full-time or year-round employment in 2008, and in 2007 one out of every three black children lived in poverty compared to one out of ten white children.
  • Black male achievement at the national level:  Twelve percent of fourth grade black male students and nine percent of eighth grade black male students nationally performed at or above proficient levels on the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP)

2009 reading assessment. The results for math were similar.

“Moreover, the average African -American fourth- and eighth -grade male who is not poor does no better in reading and math on NAEP than white males who are poor; and black males without disabilities do no better than white males with disabilities.”

  • Black male achievement in selected big-city school districts:  Fifty percent of fourth- and eighth-grade black males in most urban districts and nationwide scored below Basic levels on NAEP.
  • College and career readiness:  Black male students were nearly twice as likely to drop-out of high school as white males. In 2008, nine percent of black males dropped-out of high school compared with five percent of white males. In addition, black male students nationally scored an average 104 points lower than white males on the SAT college- entrance examination in reading. And, black students generally were about one–third as likely to meet ACT college readiness benchmarks as white students.
  • School experience: Black students were less likely to participate in academic clubs, more likely to be suspended from school, and more likely to be retained in grade than their white peers.
  • Post-secondary experience: The unemployment rate among black males ages 20 and over (17.3 percent) was twice as high as the unemployment rate among white males of the same age (8.6 percent) earlier this year. In 2008, black males ages 18 and over accounted for five percent of the college population, while black males accounted for 36 percent of the nation’s prison population.

The study is available here.

FYI ARTS

Writers Sought for Re-vision of Ohio Academic Content Standards in the Arts: The Ohio Department of Education’s Division of the Arts is seeking fine arts educators from multiple disciplines to begin the process of revising Ohio’s fine arts academic content standards as required by House Bill 1 (128th General Assembly).

Selected K-12 educators in the visual and performing arts – dance, drama/theatre, music and visual art – will review feedback from the recently held focus-group discussions about the current arts standards. These arts educators will form a working group that will prepare revision drafts in the four arts areas for additional feedback and public input.

Working group participants will attend three separate full-day meetings held from December 2010 to June 2011. The first meeting will be Tuesday, December 14, 2010.  Selected participants will be reimbursed for travel to and from the meeting and for substitute teacher costs for the district.

In addition to a solid background in one of the arts areas, applicants should have interest and skill in writing and editing educational material as well as experience in implementing the current arts standards in schools.

The application deadline is Friday, November 26, 2010. Applicants who are selected to participate will receive written notification by December 7, 2010.

For the application and signature form, please visit ODE and search for keywords: ODE fine arts, or click here.

This update is written weekly by Joan Platz, Research and Knowledge Director 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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