Happy New Year from the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education! We look forward to our continued work to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan!
News from the Statehouse: The 129th Ohio General Assembly convenes on January 3, 2011 in Columbus at 1:30 PM for the Ohio Senate and 2:00 PM for the Ohio House. A joint session is scheduled at 4:00 PM. Representative William Batchelder, as Speaker of the House, will open the session in the Ohio House. Senator Tom Niehaus, as President of the Ohio Senate, will open the session for the Senate.
The legislative schedule for the first half of 2011 (January through June 2011) has been posted, but session times and dates are subject to change. The Ohio Senate will hold sessions starting at 1:30 PM on Tuesdays and Wednesday, and at 9:00 AM on Thursdays. The Ohio House will hold sessions at 11:00 AM on Tuesdays; 1:30 PM on Wednesdays; and 1:00 PM on Thursdays. Committee hearings are scheduled to start on January 18, 2011!
The Inauguration of Governor-elect John Kasich will take place on January 10, 2011.
The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, Richard Finan chair, recently announced activities, events, and exhibits to celebrate the Ohio Statehouse’s Sesquicentennial (150 years) throughout 2011.
The Statehouse was completed in 1861 after twenty-two years of construction, and was renovated between 1989-1996 to restore its original Greek Revival Doric architectural features.
Educators should note that the Ohio Statehouse Sesquicentennial celebration includes a yearlong creativity challenge for students in grades K-12 based on the theme “Picture Yourself at the People’s House.” Students will be able to submit works of art based on the theme, and all submissions will be featured online. A rotating exhibit of the art work will also be hosted at the Statehouse.
To learn more about the creativity challenge and other events planned to celebrate the Sesquicentennial, please visit this site.
News from Washington D.C.: The 112th Congress is set to convene on January 5, 2011. Representative John Boehner will serve as Speaker of the House, and Representative Nancy Pelosi will serve as House Minority Leader.
In the Senate Vice President Joe Biden will serve as Senate President, Senator Daniel Inouye, will serve as President Pro Tempore, and Senator Mitch McConnell will serve as Senate Minority Leader.
U.S. Census Bureau Data: The U.S. Census Bureau, Robert Groves director, released on December 21, 2010 the first results of the 2010 U.S. Census. Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution calls for a census of the nation’s population to be conducted every ten years in order to apportion the House seats among the states. The 2010 Census is the 23rd census in our nation’s history. Beginning in February and wrapping up by March 31, 2011, the Census Bureau will release demographic data to the states on a rolling basis so state governments can start the redistricting process.
According to the first report, the U.S. population on April 1, 2010, was 308,745,538, an increase of 9.7 percent over the 2000.
The most populous state was California (37,253,956); the least populous, Wyoming (563,626). The state that gained the most numerically since the 2000 Census was Texas (up 4,293,741 to 25,145,561), and the state that gained the most as a percentage of its 2000 Census count was Nevada (up 35.1% to 2,700,551).
Regionally, the South and the West picked up the bulk of the population increase, 14,318,924 and 8,747,621, respectively. But the Northeast and the Midwest also grew: 1,722,862 and 2,534,225.
According to the analysis the country is growing more slowly than in any period since the Great Depression, and is migrating toward the South and West.
The report also included the apportionment counts, which were presented to President Obama. These counts are calculated by a congressionally defined formula in accordance with Title 2 of the U.S. Code, and divide among the states the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. According to the counts, each member of the House will represent, on average, about 710,767 people. The populations of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are excluded from the apportionment population, as they do not have voting seats in Congress. Ohio and New York are the only states that will lose two seats in the House of Representatives as a result of the new census data.
President Obama will transmit the apportionment counts to the 112th Congress during the first week of its first regular session in January 2011. The next reapportioned Congress will be the 113th, which convenes in January 2013.
For more information about the 2010 Census results please visit this site.
America COMPETES Act Approved: H.R. 5116, the America COMPETES Act, was presented to President Obama to sign on December 28, 2010. The Act supports scientific research and innovations in technology to maintain America’s global competitiveness and improve science education.
The Act also includes provisions that support STEM — science, technology, engineering, and math education, such as requiring greater coordination across federal agencies to advance STEM education; encouraging institutions of higher education to participate in the Noyce teacher scholarship program; and expanding the training models for math and science teachers. A White House panel that will include the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, and NASA, will be created to coordinate federal programs and activities in support of STEM education. The Act also authorizes $10 million per year, with funds issued on a competitive basis to universities, to develop undergraduate programs, such as UTeach, to produce high-quality elementary and secondary STEM teachers.
Federal Budget to be Released in February: According to an article in the Washington Post, (“Obama’s budget proposal will be delayed a bit” by Karen Tumulty, 12/29/10), President Obama is expected to release his administration’s FY2012 budget in mid-February 2011, a week later than usual. Congress has yet to approve all of the appropriations bills for this fiscal year (2011), which were due for passage back on October 1, 2010. Instead, to keep the federal government operating, Congress has approved four continuing resolutions since September 2010. The latest resolution, H. R. 3082, was approved on December 22, 2010 and will end March 4, 2011. President Obama signed the bill into law on December 23, 2010 as P.L. 111-322.
These continuing resolutions generally maintain spending for federal programs and agencies at FY10 levels, but in most cases do not include funding for newly approved federal programs, such as provisions included in the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (health care reform), the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act” (financial reform of Wall Street and the banks), or increases for the U.S. Department of Education to support programs such as “Race to the Top”, Investing in Innovation, the Early Learning Challenge Fund, etc.
H.R. 3082 did include an additional $5.7 billion to cover a shortage in the federal Pell Grant Program, and also changed the definition of “highly qualified teacher” originally included in the No Child Left Behind Act. The change allows teachers in alternative teacher training programs, such as Teach for America, to be considered “highly qualified”, by inserting in law a 2002 government regulation with the same intent. This regulation was recently declared to be illegal by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. If this issue had not been addressed by Congress through H.R. 3082, then schools employing teachers trained through some alternative teacher preparation programs would have been required to acknowledge that these teachers were not “highly qualified” and would have been required to notify parents of that fact.
News from the ODE:
eTech Conference in January 2011: The Ohio Educational Technology Conference sponsored by the eTech Ohio Commission will be held January 31, 2011 to February 2, 2011 in Columbus. The conference will offer more than 500 sessions and displays that illustrate the latest trends in emerging technologies. The ODE will present sessions that describe the Instructional Improvement System (IIS), a technology for transforming classroom instruction and supporting school districts and schools participating in the “Race to the Top” grant program.
Using IIS, educators will be able to create IIS cycles that drive individualized instruction for each student.
In addition to the concurrent sessions, the conference will offer a three-day Prototype Design Camp for 11th- and 12th-grade students who will tackle questions related to the future of learning. Teams of students will develop prototype solutions to the challenges presented and share them with conference participants. There is no fee for student participants, but they must attend a preliminary training program in January.
For complete details and additional information about the 2011 Ohio Educational Technology Conference, please visit the eTech Ohio Conference page or contact eTech at (877) 383-2406.
2010 School District Fiscal Benchmark Report Available: Am. Sub. H.B. 119 (FY08-09 budget bill) funded an ODE research and development effort to “work with school districts and entities that serve school districts to develop and deploy analytical tools that allow districts and other stakeholders to analyze more thoroughly district spending patterns in order to promote more effective and efficient use of resources.”
The results of this project, the “2010 School District Fiscal Benchmark Report”, include reports and documents designed to better understand and subsequently improve the collection and use of financial data by school districts. This report is posted on the ODE website and provides a framework for school districts to evaluate their educational and operational costs, and to identify possible areas for improvement in allocating resources. The report allows its users to better understand where current education dollars are spent and brings together various data sources in a single, interactive tool.
The report is intended for district administrators and treasurers to review and analyze district data, which can be compared to county, statewide, and similar district averages. Information used to populate the report’s spreadsheets and create its calculations was extracted from the Education Management Information System’s financial, five-year forecasts, and Local Report Card data submissions.
The report’s Data Information tab provides details on data sources and calculations and information about the following:
- Performance index under the Academic Performance Measures section
- Personal services as a percentage of operating revenue under the General Financial Condition section
- District Demographics section that includes information about median income, local tax effort index, headcount of home-educated students, ADM of students attending a community school, ADM of students participating in EdChoice, and net ADM of open enrollment students.
The District Fiscal Benchmark Report will be updated annually as data from future years become available. Trend data also will be added to future updates. Please direct related questions to Barbara Mattei-Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or (614) 752-1219. The report is available here.
Groups Call for Review of the Texas’ Curriculum Changes: The Texas State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Texas League of United Latin American Citizens requested on December 19, 2010 that the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights undertake a “compliance review” of the actions of the Texas State Board of Education regarding the revisions that have been made to the Texas social studies curriculum and education standards regarding accountability. The request was also made on behalf of African American and Latino students in grades K-12 in Texas public schools.
Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas NAACP and Joey D. Cardenas Jr., director of Texas LULAC submitted the request, which charges the state of Texas, the Texas Education Agency, and the Texas State Board of Education with violating Title VI of the U.S. Civil Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in federally supported programs, and the 13th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution.
According to the NAACP press release and the compliance complaint, the recent changes implemented by the Texas State Board of Education (SBE) could lead to the mis-education of minority students, and the new discipline and accountability measures could harm minority students and schools with high populations of minority students. The complaint also raises concerns about the under-representation of minority students in Gifted and Talented Programs in Texas schools and notes that the rules for operating these programs might lead to or contribute to discrimination.
According to the complaint, “It is our contention that the SBOE curriculum changes were made with the intention to discriminate, and that the SBOE curriculum and other areas raised in this complaint were either the result of unnecessary policies that have a disparate or stigmatizing impact on African-Americans and Latinos, or reflect disparate treatment or neglect.
The complaint includes several comments from scholars regarding the recent changes to the state curriculum enacted by the Texas State Board of Education. The comments describe the changes as historically inaccurate, politicized, racially biased, unbalanced, and state that facts have been omitted or deleted that were previously included in the curriculum. For example, the new curriculum teaches students that there are positive sides to slavery, and replaces the term “reconstruction” with the year “1877”. The complaint notes that the changes were approved by a panel appointed by the Texas SBE, but that the panel did not include historians, sociologists, or economists.
The complaint requests that the SBE and the Texas Education Agency “cease and disist” with the implementation of the curriculum; that the inaccuracies be corrected; and that the state adopt a plan to correct problems associated with the mis-education of students, the gifted and talented program, discipline, and the state’s accountability system. To review the complaint, please visit this site.
What is the Parent Trigger and the Parent Revolution? California’s “Parent Trigger” law (adopted by the California State Legislature on January 7, 2010) allows parents who want to reform poor performing schools to band together to force their school districts to take action. According to the law, fifty-one percent of parents must sign a petition in order for the Parent Trigger to go into effect. Some of the reform options that parents can select include closing a school, replacing the school’s principal, replacing all or most of the staff, or reorganizing into a charter school. The Parent Trigger law can be applied to a total of 75 of the worst performing schools in California, but can only be used to improve academic achievement or pupil safety.
According to the LA Weekly News (California’s Parent Trigger” by Patrick Range McDonald 12/9/10), parents in Compton, California recently used the Parent Trigger to force their school district to take action to improve their own school, McKinley Elementary School, by submitting a petition with the signatures of 61 percent of McKinley parents to the school district on December 7, 2010.
Parents in Compton were helped by an organization called Parent Revolution, Ben Austin executive director. Parent Revolution is a project of the Los Angles Parents Union, founded by Green Dot charter schools. Parent Revolution helped to pass the Parent Trigger Law in the California State Legislature and organized and tracked-down parents of McKinley students to sign the Parent Trigger petition.
Efforts are underway to expand Parent Trigger legislation in other states. To read the article please visit this page.
What do Grantmakers Do? Grantmakers for Education (GFE), Chris Tebben executive director, recently published its annual “Benchmarking 2010 Report: Trends in Education Philanthropy”. GFE is the largest network of education funders, and works to increase the impact of philanthropy on education policy and coordinate education investments among grant makers and with stakeholders. The report is based on the results of a survey of 164 education grant making organizations-approximately two-thirds of GFE’s network of grant makers.
The report provides “…. insights into the current priorities, practices, and concerns of education grantmakers”, including information about the types, sizes, and priorities, and geographic distribution of education grant makers; strategies to leverage greater impact; and trends in education funding.
According to the report the following areas receive the most support from grant makers in education:
- 87 percent of grant makers provide funding to increase outcomes and opportunities for the most disadvantaged students, including programs that focus on dropout prevention and English language learners
- 72 percent of grant makers provide funding to improve the teaching profession, such as teacher preparation, merit-based pay and tenure policies, and professional development
- 67 percent of grant makers provide funding to improve reading/literacy skills, support innovative models for learning, and out of school/after school programs
Grant makers were also asked to identify significant trends in education. Respondents identified as important education trends the following:
- building stronger cradle-to-career pathways -using accountability measures to determine what is working in education and improving what is not -improving student assessments
- implementing the Common Core standards
- improving teacher performance
- developing new school models to improve student achievement, and
- sustaining school reform efforts during this national economic crisis, which is jeopardizing efforts to deliver quality education.
One respondent noted, for example, “With major state cuts, how will schools meet standards, especially in the arts?” The report is available here.
2011 Unsung Heroes Award Applications Available: The ING Unsung Heroes awards program has recognized innovative and progressive thinking in education for more than ten years and the program’s “alumni” have inspired success in the classroom and impacted countless numbers of students.
Each year, 100 educators are selected to receive $2,000 to help fund their innovative class projects, and three of those applicants are chosen to receive the top awards of an additional $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000.
Applications for the 2011 ING Unsung Heroes awards are now available. To make it easier for applicants to fill in the required information, the non-essay portion of the application is now a fillable PDF. All that an applicant needs to do is download the PDF and type in that information directly. Applicants still need to complete the essay and budget sections in a separate Word document or other word processing program, and submit all application materials following the process outlined in the application.
The maximum award is $25,000. Full-time educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, or classified staff members with effective projects that improve student learning at an accredited K-12 public or private school are eligible to apply for the award. The deadline is April 30, 2011. For more information click here.
The Greater Cincinnati Alliance for Arts Education (GCAAE is an affiliate of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education) is offering a professional development opportunity for teachers and advance education students called IDEA: In-Depth Exploration of the Arts. IDEA is an opportunity to become immersed in a variety of arts experiences to learn how to incorporate the arts into teaching and develop a closer working relationship with GCAAE member organizations.
Participants must attend all four sessions, which focus on one art form, such as dance, music, theatre or visual art, and attend a performance or exhibition. Prior to or after each designated event, participants will have the opportunity to speak with the education staff members from arts organizations specializing in that art form.
The discussion with arts education staff will focus on incorporating arts into the classroom, using the performance or exhibition as a catalyst.
The program can only accept a limited number of participants. Teachers may earn CEUs. Participants will receive a certificate at the end of the program stating total contact hours of 10.5. The cost of the program is $20, which covers attendance/tickets to events and CEUs.
The application deadline for Spring 2011 is February 1, 2011. To download a schedule and application please visit this site.
NYC Middle School Improves Using the Arts: An article in the December 22, 2010 online issue of the GothamSchools by Kate Schimel (To turn her middle school around, a principal invests in the arts) describes how the Ron Brown Academy, a middle school in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn is implementing the School Arts Support Initiative, a project of the Center for Arts Education, to increase student attendance and test scores.
Since 2007 the school has been using the arts to engage students with the support of a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The program uses art classes to reinforce student learning in other areas and supports teachers as they integrate the learning standards in all areas with the artistic process.
The results include increased student attendance, increased parental involvement, improved discipline, and improved test scores. Several students are also applying for competitive arts programs in high school. To read the article 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).