SPECIAL REQUEST: Contact Ohio U.S. Senators to STOP Earmark Amendment!
The U.S. Senate is set to vote on an amendment (#4697) to S. 510 – FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, sponsored by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) on Monday, November 29, 2010. (Session starts at 2:00 PM.) The amendment would ban all earmarks in the FY2011, FY2012, and FY2013 appropriations bills. This could eliminate funding for The John F. Kennedy Center’s education programs and funding for VSA in the pending FY2011 omnibus appropriations bill. Senator Coburn’s amendment makes no distinction between previously authorized national projects, such as the Kennedy Center and VSA, and the local projects that most of us associate with the term “earmarks”.
Please contact Ohio’s Senators Voinovich and Brown today, Monday, November 29, 2010, and alert them to the Coburn amendment’s impact on arts education, the Kennedy Center, and VSA.
Senator George Voinovich (R) – 202.224.3353, Legislative Assistant Dana Smullen (email@example.com)
Senator Sherrod Brown (D) – 202.224.2315, Legislative Assistant Margie Glick (email: Margie_glick@brown.senate.gov)
The message is simple. Please ask your Senators to ·vote AGAINST the Coburn Amendment #4697 and ·explain that the elimination of funding for the Kennedy Center and VSA will negatively impact arts education programs in Ohio and services to persons with disabilities in Ohio.
News from the Statehouse: The Ohio House has cancelled voting sessions for November 30, 2010 and December 1, 2010. The House has scheduled some committee meetings this week, but the House Education Committee is not one of the committees that will be meeting. The Ohio House also announced that it will hold sessions on December
7 & 8, 2010, and designated December 9 & 14th as “if needed” sessions.
The Ohio Senate has cancelled its November 30, 2010 session, but the Republican Caucus will meet to select leaders for the 129th General Assembly.
The full Senate is still scheduled to meet on Wednesday, December 1, 2010.
The Ashtabula County Board of Elections announced on November 23, 2010 that Republican Casey Kozlowski is the winner of the 99th Ohio House District defeating Representative Deborah Newcomb. This brings the number of House Democrats in the next General Assembly to 40 and the number of Republicans to 59. There are a total of 99 representatives in the Ohio House.
Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has requested a recount, because the margin of the win was within one half of one percent of the number of votes cast.
The School Funding Advisory Council (SFAC), Superintendent Deborah Delisle chair, will meet on November 30, 2010 at 1:00 PM at the Ohio School Boards Association, 8050 N. High St., in Suite 100. The SFAC is reviewing its recommendations regarding Ohio’s school funding system, and finalizing a report that is due to the governor and members of the Ohio General Assembly on December 1, 2010.
The 28-member SFAC was established in 128- HB 1 to review the components of the school funding model also established in HB1. The SFAC is required to issue recommendations to the State Board of Education, the General Assembly, and the public on December 1, 2010 regarding the adequacy of the model’s financing for special education, gifted education services, career-technical education, arts education, services for limited English proficient students, early college high schools, and more.
A more detailed report about the SFAC’s recommendations will be presented next week. Included below are the recommendations (#22, 23, and 24) concerning arts education:
#22 -Include specific funding in the evidence-based school funding model (EBM) to support the purchase of arts supplies and equipment. Further research is needed to determine the exact amount.
#23 – Improve and standardize the reporting and availability of data on arts education programs and expenditures at the state and local levels.
#24 – Monitor the EBM’s effect on arts education programs with a biennial review as the model is phased in to ensure it is adequately supporting high quality arts education programs across the state.
News from Washington, D.C.
Another Continuing Resolution?? The continuing resolution (CR) that Congress approved in September 2010 to keep federal government agencies and departments operating at current levels is about to expire on Friday, December 3, 2010. Congress still has not approved the twelve annual appropriations bills for this fiscal year (October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011), and so another continuing resolution to extend current support for the government will need to be approved by lawmakers this week to avoid a “shut-down” of the government. Lawmakers are considering a resolution to extend federal funding through this fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2011, or extending funding for just a few months, which would mean that the new Congress and a Republican controlled House could be debating the unfinished FY11 appropriations along with the FY12 proposed budget in 2011. In any case, some reductions in federal funding are expected, as lawmakers work to reduce the trillion dollar federal budget deficit, and those reductions will impact funding for education programs and for the arts.
The Delaware State Board of Education recently approved a two-credit foreign language requirement for graduating seniors beginning with the graduating class of 2015. Credits in any language other than English and American Sign Language will meet the requirement.
NAEP Scores Improve Somewhat: The U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, released on November 18, 2010 the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results for 2009 in reading and math at the 12th grade. (“The Nation’s Report Card: Grade 12 Reading and Mathematics 2009 National and Pilot State Results”) The report is based on nationally representative samples of twelfth-graders from 1,670 public and private schools participating in the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Approximately 52,000 students were assessed in reading and 49,000 students were assessed in mathematics. The 2009 NAEP reading results are compared to results from five earlier assessment years going back to 1992. The 2009 NAEP mathematics results can only be compared to those from 2005, because of a change in the mathematics framework.
The results are reported as average scores and as percentages of students performing at or above three achievement levels, Basic, Proficient, and Advanced, for all students; students in eleven states participating in a pilot program; and by demographic category, such as race/ethnicity, gender, highest level of parental education.
The following are some of the highlights of the report according to the report’s summary:
READING: The overall average reading score for twelfth-graders was 2 points higher than in 2005, but 4 points lower than in 1992, when NAEP started reporting results in reading. Based on a 500 point scale, average student scores rose from 286 in 2005 to 288 in 2009. The percentage of students performing at or above the “proficient” level rose from 35 percent in 2005 to 38 percent in 2009. Seventy-four percent of high school seniors are performing at or above the “basic” level. There were no significant changes from 1992 to 2009 in the reading score gaps between White and Black students or between White and Hispanic students.
MATHEMATICS: The overall average score in mathematics was 3 points higher in 2009 than in 2005. Based on a 300 point scale, average student scores increased from 150 to 153. Twenty-six percent of students scored at or above proficient on the math assessment, and sixty-four percent of students performed at or above the basic level. There was no significant change from 2005 in the mathematics score gaps between White and Black students or between White and Hispanic students.
PILOT PROGRAM: Eleven states agreed to participate in a pilot program to compare NAEP results for 12th grade students in reading and math. This was the first time that NAEP results in the 12th grade could be compared across states, because unlike NAEP assessments in 4th and 9th grades, states are not required to participate in NAEP at the 12th grade as a condition for receiving funding from the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The states participating in the pilot program were Alaska, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Dakota, and West Virginia.
For the eleven participating states, average reading scores in seven states were higher than the score for the nation, and scores for three states were lower. In mathematics, the average scores for six states were higher than the nation, and scores for three states were lower.
For more information about this report, please visit this site.
OP-ED on Teaching for America: In an Op-Ed for the New York Times on November 20, 2010, “Teaching for America”, Thomas L. Friedman writes that our students are being “out-educated” by other countries, and in order to adequately prepare future generations to participate in the world our education system needs to be improved.
One of the most promising education reforms being considered is raising the status of the teaching profession. According to research, countries with the highest student achievement such as Finland, Singapore, South Korea, “…insist that their teachers come from the top one-third of their college graduating classes.” These countries also invest in recruiting, training, and supporting teachers to attract and retain the best. The National Teacher Campaign, recently launched by the U.S. Department of Education, Arne Duncan Secretary, is designed to elevate the teaching profession and challenge teachers to aspire to new levels of performance. But, as Friedman writes,
“All good ideas, but if we want better teachers we also need better parents – parents who turn off the TV and video games, make sure homework is completed, encourage reading and elevate learning as the most important life skill. The more we demand from teachers the more we have to demand from students and parents. That’s the Contract for America that will truly ensure our national security.”
A version of this op-ed appeared in print on November 21, 2010, on page WK8 of the New York edition.
HB603 (Seth Morgan) Hybrid Community Schools: Permits the establishment of hybrid community schools that provide both online and classroom-based instruction.
HB605 (Seth Morgan) Property for School Use: Exempts from property taxation real property procured for use by a school through a for-profit lease.
First Lady Honors Youth Arts Programs: First Lady Michelle Obama presented the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, formerly known as the Coming Up Taller Awards, on Wednesday, October 20, 2010. The award, which was first presented in 1998, recognizes organizations for encouraging and involving young people in music, writing, and the visual arts.
This year’s awards focused on how arts and humanities programs outside of the school setting can impact the lives of young people. Each recipient received a $10,000 cash grant and over the next year will receive support to develop their leadership capacity and raise the visibility of their program. The awards were presented to the following community organizations from the U.S. and one organization from Haiti:
- After-School Playwriting Program, Youth Playwrights’ Theater Inc., Washington
- Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Program, Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Center for Community Arts Partnerships, Chicago -Community MusicWorks, Providence, R.I.
- FACT After-School Programs, Santa Fe, N.M.
- Girlstories Theatre Project and Workshops, Tampa -New Directions YouthArts, Las Vegas -Project ALERTA, Boston -RiverzEdge Arts Project, Woonsocket, R.I.
- San Francisco WritersCorps, San Francisco -Scripps College Academy, Claremont, Calif.
- Mentors of Minorities in Education Inc., Washington
- Artists Collective’s Transforming the Lives of High Risk Youth: Training in the Arts & Culture of the African Diaspora, Hartford, Conn. -Urban Voices, New York
- YouthCAN, Seattle
- International Spotlight Award: The Jean Baptiste Dessaix Music School in Jacmel, Haiti
For more information about how to apply for this award, please visit http://www.nahyp.org/
ARTS DAY Set for May 11, 2011: The Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation will host the 2011 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio and the Arts Day Luncheon on May 11, 2010 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM in Columbus at the Columbus Athenaeum. The winners of the Governor’s Awards for the Arts are selected for outstanding contributions to the arts statewide, regionally, and nationally in the following categories: Arts Administration, Arts Education, Arts Patron, Business Support of the Arts, Community Development & Participation, and Individual Artist.
ARTS DAY also provides arts advocates an opportunity to network with policy makers and promote the benefits of the arts for Ohio’s citizens, culture, economy, and future.
Invitations to the Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio and Arts Day Luncheon for individuals will be available in early 2011. It is also possible for organizations and individuals to sponsor tables at the luncheon. For more information please visit this site.
Arts Organizations in Ohio are also invited to submit applications for the 2011 Ohio Arts Day Showcase, which provides arts organizations an opportunity to network with other organizations and individuals on Arts Day. For more information about the 2011 Showcase, formerly known as the trade show, contact Janelle Hallett at Janelle@OhioCitizensForTheArts.org
Applications Available for the Kennedy Center/National Symphony Orchestra National Trustees’ Summer Music Institute: The Kennedy Center/National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute is a 4-week program at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC for student instrumentalists. The program is designed for serious music students, ages 15 to 20. Each student accepted into the Summer Music Institute attends on full scholarship which includes housing, food allowance, and local transportation during their stay in our Nation’s Capital.
The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education will nominate up to five Ohio students who will be considered for the program. The final selection of participants is made by the National Symphony Orchestra. Applications are due by Friday, January 22, 2011. Contact the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education at 614.224.1060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.
News from the Ohio Arts Council: Jeff Hooper, Arts Learning Director for the Ohio Arts Council (OAC), recently reported the following:
Ohio Traditions Web site: The Ohio Arts Council, Julie Henahan Executive Director, and Cityfolk, Kathleen Alter Executive Director, announced on November 24, 2010 the launch of the Ohio Traditions web site, dedicated to broadening the awareness and understanding of Ohio’s folk and traditional arts. The web site will be a repository of artist profiles, reports on folk arts activities across the state, and links to information about funding programs for master traditional artists and young people who want to develop their skills in traditional art forms. The web site was developed with the support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The web site will be updated throughout the year. For example, the OAC will conduct a fieldwork project to document African immigrant groups in Ohio and will include information from project on the site. Interviews and photographs of recipients of OAC’s Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grants and Ohio Heritage Fellowships will also be featured on the site. The OAC is also seeking community groups and master artists who could be profiled on the site. The Ohio Traditions web site is available here.
Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grants: The OAC is accepting applications and nominations for the Folk and Traditional Arts Grant Program. This program provides awards that allow dedicated apprentices to follow a time-honored method to acquire an understanding of and proficiency in folk and traditional art forms. The deadline for draft applications is December 15, 2010. The final Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program deadline is January 15, 2011. For more information please visit this site.
Ohio Heritage Fellowship Program: The OAC is also accepting nominations for the Ohio Heritage Fellowship Program. This program recognizes dedicated individuals who work in the folk and traditional arts and are recognized within their communities as exemplary practitioners of an art form and produce work of the highest quality and authenticity. The deadline for submitting a nomination for the Ohio Heritage Fellowship is January 15, 2011. For more information please visit this site.
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).