News from the Statehouse: Both the Ohio House and Senate have scheduled committee hearings and sessions this week!!!
Some of the legislation that will be considered by committee has already been approved by at least one chamber, so there is a possibility that some bills could become law even in this Lame Duck session.
The House Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee will meet on December 8, 2010 at 9:00 AM in room 114. The Department of Education staff will present the report of the School Funding Advisory Council.
The House Elections and Ethics Committee, chaired by Representative Stewart, will meet on December 7, 2010 at 12:15 PM in room 122, or immediately after session. The committee will consider SJR5 (Husted) Redistricting Process, which would revise the redistricting process for the Ohio General Assembly and Congressional districts. Amendments will be accepted, and a vote is possible.
The House Criminal Justice Committee, chaired by Representative DeGeeter, will meet on December 7, 2010 at 4:00 PM in room 116, or immediately after session. The committee will consider SB235 (Fedor) Trafficking in Persons, which would create the offense of trafficking in persons. All testimony will be accepted, and a vote is possible.
News from Washington D.C.:
Nutrition Act Approved: Congress approved on December 2, 2010 the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (S. 3307). The Act re-authorizes the Child Nutrition Act and programs such as the National School Lunch program. The Act also does the following: increases healthy choices for students in school cafeterias; extends the school breakfast program and summer food service program; establishes performance benchmarks for states regarding school lunch programs; requires research about the causes of hunger; supports demonstration projects to end childhood hunger; updates nutrition standards for school lunch and breakfast programs; requires schools participating in the federal school lunch or breakfast programs to adopt school wellness policies; etc. For a summary of the bill please click here.
Report Ranks States for Innovation: The Information, Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation released on November 18, 2010 a report entitled “The 2010 State New Economy Index: Benchmarking Economic Transformation in the States” by Robert D. Atkinson and Scott M. Andes. The report ranks states for being globally competitive, entrepreneurial, innovative, IT-driven, and knowledge-based in the “New Economy”. The rankings are based on 26 indicators that assess states’ capacity for success in the New Economy. The indicators are divided into five categories: Knowledge Jobs; Globalization: Economic dynamism; Transformation to a Digital Economy; and Technological Innovation Capacity. This is the fifth state rankings report issued by ITIF. Others were published in 1999, 2002, 2007, and 2008, and the state rankings of the reports were based on similar indicators.
According to the report, the New Economy has “taken hold the strongest in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Mountain West and Pacific regions.”
Massachusetts, Washington, Maryland, New Jersey, and Connecticut are the top five states for the New Economy, while the lowest ranked states are Wyoming, Alabama, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Mississippi.
Ohio is ranked 25th, ahead of Indiana (#35) and Kentucky (#44). Michigan is rated #17 and Pennsylvania #22.
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit and non partisan think tank that develops policies and explores how advances in information technology will create new economic opportunities to improve the quality of life. ITIF was founded in 2006 and publishes policy reports, holds forums and policy debates, advises elected officials and their staff, and is an active resource for the media. The report is available here.
State Board of Education to Meet: The State Board of Education (SBE), Debbie Cain president, will meet on December 6 & 7, 2010 at the Ohio School for the Deaf, 500 Morse Road, Columbus, OH.
MEETING ON DECEMBER 6, 2010
The Executive Committee will meet at 8:30 AM to discuss the Capital Conference, the January 2011 Board Orientation, a candidate forum, and moving the 2011 SBE Retreat to June 5,6, and 7, 2011 to accommodate NASBE Study Groups.
The Achievement Committee, chaired by Mike Collins, and the Capacity Committee, chaired by Rob Hovis, will meet at 9:15 AM.
The Achievement Committee will consider a Resolution of Intent to Adopt Amended Rule 3301-11, Ed Choice Scholarship and a Resolution of Intent to Adopt Amended Rule 3301-39, Approval of Nonpublic Schools. The committee will receive an Update on Ohio’s Accountability System for schools, and conduct an overall discussion of committee work.
The Capacity Committee will discuss the diversity strategies outlined in the report “Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools — Recommendations” from the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University; discuss tobacco-free school campuses; review Rules 3301-44-01 to -09, Post-Secondary Enrollment Options; review Rules 3301-92-01 and -02, Textbooks and instructional materials; and conduct an overall discussion of committee work.
The full Board will meet at 11:00 AM and receive the following liaison reports:
- Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Council, Kathy Leavenworth
- State Advisory Panel for Exceptional Children, Mary Rose Oakar and Sam Schloemer
- Parent Advisory Council, Dannie Greene and Martha Harris
- NASBE, Rob Hovis and Kristen McKinley
- Ohio Leadership Advisory Council, Dennis Reardon
- International Education Advisory Council, Jeff Hardin, Ann Jacobs, and Steve Millett
- Gifted Advisory Committee, Kristen McKinley
The Board will then welcome the following guests from China: Mr. Huang Jian, Deputy Director of the Hubei Bureau of Education in Wuhan, Hubei Province and Ms. Sun Xiaoqing, Program Officer for CEAIE (China Education Association for International Exchange), Ministry of Education in Beijing.
Following lunch at 1:00 PM the Early Childhood Subcommittee, chaired by Kathy Leavenworth, will meet.
At 3:00 PM the Board’s Communication Task Force, chaired by Mike Collins, will make a presentation followed by reports from the Executive, Achievement, and Capacity Committees, and the Early Childhood Subcommittee.
MEETING ON DECEMBER 7, 2010
The full Board will meet at 9:00 AM and receive an update on the Transition Resident Educator Program and the development of the Ohio Resident Educator Program.
The SBE’s business meeting will convene at 10:15 AM, and the Board will immediately move into executive session. Following the executive session the Board will approve the minutes of the November 2010 meeting; receive the report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; accept public participation on agenda items; take action on 6 personnel items and the resolutions included below; accept public participation on on-agenda items; consider old, new, and miscellaneous business, and adjourn.
Resolutions to be Considered by the State Board of Education in December 2010:
#1. Resolution of Intent to Amend Rule 3301-11-10 of the Administrative Code entitled Payment of Scholarship Amounts.
#2. Resolution of Intent to Amend Rule 3301-39-01, to Rescind and Adopt Rules 3301-39-02 and 3301-39-03, and to Rescind Rule 3301-39-04 of the Administrative Code regarding approval of nonpublic schools.
#3. Resolution of Intent to Consider the Proposed Transfer of School District Territory from the Hilliard City School District, Franklin County to the Dublin City School District, Franklin County, Pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.
#11 Resolution to Appoint a Member of the State Library Board.
#12 Resolution to Appoint Scott Schaller Interim Superintendent of the Ohio School for the Deaf.
Report Shows Progress in the Graduation Rate: America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University released on November 30, 2010 a report entitled “Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic” by Robert Balfanz, John M. Bridgeland, Laura A. Moore, Joanna Hornig Fox.
The report provides information about the number of students graduating from U.S. public high schools and the progress that has been made to eliminate schools that are described as “dropout factories”, in which the ratio of 12th grade enrollment to 9th grade enrollment three years earlier is 60 percent or less.
The report is based on 2008 data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data (CCD) of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Researchers used two indicators to determine students’ progress through high school – the Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) and promoting power.
According to the report, the national graduation rate increased from 72 to 75 percent; 29 states increased statewide graduation rates from 2002 to 2008; and Tennessee and New York led the nation by increasing graduation rates 15 and 10 percentage points.
The number of “dropout factory” high schools decreased by 13 percent (2,007 in 2002 to 1,746 in 2008). These schools serve 2.2 million students, and account for about half of all high school dropouts in the country. The number of dropout factory schools declined the most in the South, but several states increased the graduation rate in their urban areas, which also led to a decline in the number of dropout schools.
For Ohio the report finds that the number of dropout schools decreased from 75 to 63. Ohio’s graduation rate decreased from 79 percent in 2002 to 77.5 percent in 2008.
The report notes that states are making progress to increase the graduation rate of students through a number of initiatives, including the following:
- Making quality education a top priority -Using accurate data, such as the “four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate”
- Using early warning and intervention systems to identify and help struggling students
- Setting high expectations by increasing compulsory attendance laws
- Setting higher standards, such as adopting the Common Core State Standards
- Increasing teacher effectiveness
- Increasing parent engagement
- Transforming the traditional high school by providing students with multiple pathways to graduate
- Re-enrolling students who have left high school
- Establishing coalitions within communities to support graduation
- Conducting research and finding strategies that work
General Colin Powell, USA (Ret.) is the founding chair of America’s Promise Alliance and Alma J. Powell is the current chair. America’s Promise Alliance and 450 national partners launched last year Grad Nation, a campaign to mobilize Americans to improve the high school graduation rate. The report calls upon organizations, policy makers, and educators to support a “Civic Marshall Plan” to build a “Grad Nation” to reach the national goal of having 90 percent of students graduating from high school and obtaining at least one year of postsecondary schooling or training by 2020. The campaign also outlines several strategies that have been successfully used to increase the graduation rate, including early reading, focusing on middle grades, and linking research to practice and policy. The report is available here.
Prospective Sponsor Can Appeal ODE Ruling: The Ohio Supreme Court released on November 30, 2010 a 5 to 2 ruling in the case Brookwood Presbyterian Church v. Ohio Department of Education (ODE). The decision affirmed the right of the Brookwood Presbyterian Church to appeal through the courts an ODE decision that denied the application of the Church to sponsor charter schools.
The Ohio Department of Education denied the Church’s applications in 2007 and 2008 based on information that the Church provided indicating that it was not an “education-oriented entity”, and therefore was ineligible to operate a publicly-funded charter school.
The Church and the Ohio Department of Education disagreed about whether or not the law allowed the Church to appeal the ODE decision through the courts under R.C. 119.12, the right to appeal administrative decisions of state agencies.
The ODE determined that the section of the law regarding charter school sponsors, R.C. 3314.015(B)(3), gave the ODE the final say in the matter.
However, another section of charter school law, R.C. 3314.015(D), permits appeals. The Brookwood Presbyterian Church subsequently appealed the decision of the ODE to deny the application based on 3314.015(B) (3) through the Franklin County Common Pleas, the 10th District Court of Appeal, and the Ohio Supreme Court.
The Ohio Supreme Court reversed the decision of the 10th District Court, which had found for the ODE. The Supreme Court decision sends the case back to the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, which will now consider the question about whether or not the Church meets the requirements in law to sponsor a charter school. The decision is available here.
Bill Gates and Education Reform: Stateline reporter David Harrison interviewed Bill Gates on November 19, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky. He includes in an article for Stateline, “School reform engine may be losing momentum” (November 24, 2010), excerpts from that interview covering a number of education reform topics.
According to the edited interview, Gates believes that measuring, rewarding, and transferring teacher effectiveness is the most important education reform. Teachers will accept a “new personnel system”, one based on teacher effectiveness, when they see that is “isn’t capricious”. Gates also believes that a well-functioning high school in 2020 will include teachers who receive feedback about how well they are doing; technology that extends the school day; and digital devices and online learning that replaces textbooks.
To read the article and the interview, please visit this site.
SB321 (Schuring) School Textbook Funds: Regarding annual deposits into a school district’s textbook and instructional materials fund.
Keep Arts in School Hosts Webinar December 7, 2010: Keep Arts in School is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm EST (10:00 am PST) entitled “Stronger Together: Creating a Collaborative Message on Arts in Education Policy and ESEA Reauthorization”.
The speakers for the webinar include Jennifer Hahn, Keep Arts in School, who will serve as host; Narric Rome, Director of Federal Affiars at Americans for the Arts; and Pam Bachilla, Alameda County California, Office of Education’s Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership Policy and Advocacy Consultant.
The panel will discuss how a diverse group of advocates for the arts in California developed a core message and tools to promote arts education; Americans for the Arts’ advocacy efforts in 50 states; and current policy agenda and strategies to shape and coordinate advocacy efforts.
To participate in the webinar please RSVP by e-mailing your name, title, and organization/affiliation to Rosslynn Pieters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News From the Kennedy Center National Partnerships. The following items were included in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, “December 2010 National Partnership Update” by Barbara Shepherd, Director; John Abodeely, Program Manager; Kelsey Mesa, Program Coordinator; Anthony Barbir, Program Assistant; Cecily Hart, Assistant; and Brooke LeBleu, Intern.
Tour ArtsEdge: The redesigned ArtsEdge website has new features including an extensive collection of multimedia resources and lesson plans. ArtsEdge is a K-12 arts education network which began in 1996 to provide printed materials, classroom support, and internet technologies for schools, communities, individuals, and families. The ArtsEdge collection includes free digital resources-including lesson plans, audio stories, video clips, and interactive online modules, and is based on best practices in educational media and multimedia-supported instruction.
To help ArtsEdge visitors navigate the new website, free webinars with Thinkfinity Trainer will be available through December 15, 2010.
To learn more about ArtsEdge please visit this site.
To learn more about the webinars, please visit this site.
The VSA Apprenticeship at the Williamstown Theatre Festival: VSA — the International Organization on Arts and Disability, will partner with the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Massachusetts, for the 2011 VSA Apprenticeship Program. This program provides undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities (ages 19-24) an opportunity to experience the world of a professional theater and expand their education and knowledge about the theater.
The Williamstown Theatre Festival Apprenticeship Program offers classes during the summer in acting, voice, and movement, and discussions and master classes with notable professionals. Apprentices also learn about the different components of a professional theater company by working in each of the various departments at the Festival on a rotating basis.
Applications for this program must be received by February 25, 2011. The selected apprentices will have all expenses covered by VSA. Official rules, guidelines, and application are all available here.
PBS Arts: PBS announced on August 23, 2010 the launch of the PBS Arts website supported by the Anne Ray Charitable Trust and the National Endowment for the Arts. The website provides virtual exhibits, videos from PBS national and local programs, and interactive features to strengthen public engagement with the arts, and bring more arts to the public. The website features at least one new exhibition each month spanning dance, drama/theater, music, and visual art. PBS Arts also takes visitors behind the scenes to explore the process of artistic creation directly with the artists. Users can also comment on the exhibitions and performances and share content with their friends, family, and followers on Facebook and Twitter.
Full episodes of – and additional footage from – upcoming PBS specials and series are also available.
The website is available 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).