News from the Statehouse: The Ohio House and Senate do not have sessions scheduled for this week, but some House committees are meeting. The House and Senate Education Committees are not meeting.
*All statewide officials were sworn into office last week, including Governor John Kasich, Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, State Auditor Dave Yost, State Treasurer Josh Mandel, Secretary of State Jon Husted, Attorney General Mike DeWine, Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court Maureen O’Connor, and Justices Yvette McGee Brown, Paul E. Pfeifer, and Evelyn Lundberg Stratton.
*House Republicans voted on January 11, 2011 to make three appointments to fill House seats vacant due to resignations. James Butler was selected to represent the 37th House District; Jim Buchy the 77th House District; and Richard Hollington the 98th House District.
*Last week Senate Republicans announced the selection of Representative Hite (76th House District) to fill the 5th Senate District seat, replacing Senator Steve Buehrer, who had resigned to accept the position of Director of the Bureau of Workers Compensation in the Kasich administration.
*In the Ohio Senate former Representative Peggy Lehner was elected to replace Senator Jon Husted (6th Senate District), who was elected Secretary of State. The Senate also rejected the appointments made in December 2010 by Governor Strickland to various agencies and boards, including the State Board of Education.
House Committees Selected: Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder announced last week the House committee structure for the 129th General Assembly, committee chairs, and committee membership.
The number of House committees will decrease to seventeen, compared to twenty-seven during the last legislative session, and there will be three new standing subcommittees: Health Subcommittee on Pension Reform (Representative Schuring, chair); Insurance Subcommittee on Workers’ Compensation (Representative Hackett chair); and State Government Subcommittee on Redistricting (Representative Huffman chair).
The following are membership rosters for selected House committees:
Majority: Representatives Stebelton (chair), Newbold (vice chair), Anielski, Baker, Brenner, Butler, Derickson, Hayes, Henne, Huffman, Kozlowski, Roegner, Thompson.
Minority: Representatives Luckie (ranking), Antonio, Cleleste, Driehaus, Fedor, Gerberry, Patmon, Phillips, Ramos.
Majority: Representatives Amstutz (chair), Carey (vice chair), D. Adams, Anielski, Balderson, Beck, Burke, Duffey, Gardner, Grossman, Hall, Hollington, Maag, McClain, McGregor, Mecklenborg, Peterson, Sears, Slaby, Stebelton.
Minority: Representatives Sykes (ranking), Boyd, Garland, Lundy, Reece, Slesnick, Carney, Clyde, Criehaus, Goyal, Phillips, Ashford.
-House Finance, Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education
Majority: Representatives Carey (chair), Maag, Stebelton
Minority: Representatives Lundy (ranking), and Phillips
-House Finance, Subcommittee on Higher Education (which includes the Ohio Arts Council)
Majority: Representatives Gardner (chair), Mecklenborg, Slaby
Minority: Representatives Garland (ranking), and Clyde
-House Ways and Means
Majority: Representatives Stautberg (chair), McClain (vice chair), Amstutz, Baker, Beck, Blair, Boose, Dovilla, Hayes, Maag
Minority: Representatives Letson (ranking), Barnes, Fende, Foley, Milkovich, Slesnick, Winburn.
News from the ODE: The following information was recently included in EdConnections and other news releases from the Ohio Department of Education.
*OhioLearns Expands Course Offerings: OhioLearns began in 1999 as the Gateway to Distance Learning in Ohio for anyone interested in college-level, distance-learning courses and degrees from the state’s two- and four-year colleges and universities. The addition of high school courses to Ohio Learns was established by the Ohio Board of Regents and is administered in collaboration with eTech Ohio by the Ohio Learning Network, an Ohio higher education consortium.
OhioLearns recently announced that 237 online courses are available for high school students, including advance placement (AP) and credit recovery courses.
Fee waivers are available for the 40 OhioLearns AP courses for both second semester this school year and throughout 2011-2012. Students who are eligible for AP courses at public schools may apply for fee waivers to assist with the cost of AP distance learning courses. To be eligible for the fee waiver, a student must be registered by a local school counselor or official who ascertains that the school will accept the grade and credit for the course. The fee waiver provides free tuition for the course, but does not cover books, lab fees or the AP exam.
For registration details and the online catalog please visit http://www.ohiolearns.org.
*Learn More About the Resident Educator Program: The Ohio Resident Educator Program is a four-year program of support and mentoring enacted in 2009 (HB1) and scheduled to begin in August 2011. The residency program is designed to be research-based and adaptable to the diverse contexts of Ohio’s districts, including rural, urban, and suburban settings.
Six Resident Educator Program information sessions are scheduled regionally for district teams comprised of the superintendent/designee, a principal, and the Resident Educator Program coordinator or lead mentor. The sessions will be held at the following locations:
-Jan. 25 – Butler County Educational Service Center (ESC);
-Feb. 1 – Lucas County ESC;
-Feb. 8 – ESC of Cuyahoga Co;
-Feb. 10 – Gallia-Vinton ESC;
-Feb. 16 – Malone University; and
-March 1 – ESC of Central Ohio
These information sessions will provide initial information to support the implementation of a resident educator program at the local level. Registration is through STARS at http://education.ohio.gov/GD/Templates/Pages/ODE/ODEDetail.aspx?page=3&TopicRelationID=1286&ContentID=3787.
State Board of Education to Meet: The State Board of Education, Debbie Cain president, will meet on January 18 and 19, 2011 at the Ohio School for the Deaf, 500 Morse Road in Columbus.
JANUARY 18, 2011
The Executive Committee, chaired by Debbie Cain, will meet at 3:00 PM to discuss the orientation, which will be held for Board members at the February 2011 meeting.
The Achievement Committee, chaired by Mike Collins, and the Capacity Committee, chaired by Rob Hovis, will meet at 3:30 PM.
The Achievement Committee will receive an update on the development of the Model Curricula; discuss proposed changes to OAC Rule 3301-58, Value-Added; and discuss proposed changes for the Gifted Spending Rule.
The Capacity Committee will discuss the Ohio Administrative Code rules related to bullying.
The Board will then adjourn.
At 5:15 PM the Board will hold a candidates forum to provide an opportunity for Board members, who want to be elected president or vice president of the Board, to present their qualifications and platforms.
JANUARY 19, 2011
On Wednesday, January 19, 2011 the State Board of Education will meet at 9:00 AM. The oath of office will be administered to newly elected and appointed members; the Board will receive an overview of the committee structure of the Board; and the Board will elect new officers. The Board will then move into executive session.
Following the executive session the State Board will receive reports from the Executive, Achievement, and Capacity committees; approve the minutes of the December 2010 Board meeting; receive the report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Deborah Delisle; accept public participation on agenda items; take action on eight personnel items and the recommendations of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, which are included below; consider old business, new business, and miscellaneous business; accept public participation on non-agenda items; and adjourn.
Resolutions to be considered by the State Board of Education on January 19, 2011:
#2 Resolution of Intent to amend Rules 3301-44-01 to 3301-44-03 and 3301-44-06 to 3301-44-09 of the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) regarding the post secondary enrollment options program.
#3 Resolution of Intent to amend Rules 3301-92-01 and 3301-92-02 regarding school district budgeting.
#4 Resolution to accept the recommendations of the hearing officer and to deny the transfer of school district territory from the Mansfield City School District, Richland County, to the Lexington Local School District, Richland County, pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.
#5 Resolution to deny the transfer of school district territory from the Columbus City School District, Franklin County to the Westerville City School District, Franklin County, pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.
#13 Resolution to adopt Rules 3301-24-19, 20, 21, and 22 of the OAC regarding resident and alternative resident educator licenses.
#14 Resolution to amend Rules 3301-35-11 of the OAC entitled Procedures for Evaluation and Intervention.
#15 Resolution to rescind Rule 3301-38-01 of the OAC entitled Transfer of Region within the Educational Regional Service System.
Coalitions Work to Influence the State Budget: Several statewide coalitions are working to influence the FY12-13 state budget, which Governor Kasich will introduce in the Ohio House in a few weeks. The following is information about two statewide coalitions: Advocates for Ohio’s Future and One Ohio Now:
*Advocates for Ohio’s Future, formerly known as the Campaign to Protect Ohio’s Future, includes individuals and organizations representing health, human services, early childhood education, and higher education. It is co-chaired by Margaret Hulbert of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati and Gayle Channing Tenenbaum. Some of the member organizations include the Center for Families and Children; the Children’s Defense Fund; Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio; Community Research Partners; groundWork; Legal Aid of Southwest Ohio; Ohio AARP; Association of Community Health Centers, Area Agencies on Aging, Child Caring Agencies, County Behavioral Health Authorities; the Ohio Catholic Conference; Policy Matters Ohio; Universal Health Care Action Network Ohio; University of Toledo; Voices for Ohio’s Children; and more.
According to their web site, Advocates for Ohio’s Future seeks to maintain vital public services – health, human services, and early care and education – at a level that meets people’s basic needs and protects our state’s most vulnerable populations by achieving the following goals:
-Making sure that the state budget priorities take into account the basic needs of the vulnerable and of those struggling because of the current recession;
-Raising awareness of the value of vital public services and the role they play in the lives of Ohio children and adults;
-Educating Ohioans about the interdependence between human services and economic stability;
-Building district-wide networks of supporters and organizations across the state willing to inform their families, friends, neighbors, and constituencies and to advocate for vital public services; and
-Working to make Ohio’s health and human service delivery system more streamlined and coordinated.
Information about Advocates for Ohio’s Future is available at http://www.advocatesforohio.org/default.htm.
*One Ohio Now held its kickoff event at the Statehouse on January 14, 2011. It is a non-partisan coalition of thirty organizations that support a “balanced approach” to the development of the FY12-13 state budget. A balanced approach means considering a variety of ways to balance the state budget, including raising revenue.
According to One Ohio Now documents, the current budget crisis was caused in part by a reduction in state tax revenue over the past years. For example, during FY06-07 Ohio collected $6 billion more in general revenue fund taxes than it will collect in FY12-13 as a result of changes in Ohio’s tax system approved by the General Assembly in 2005.
One Ohio Now is urging lawmakers to do the following to ensure that the next budget is fair:
-Strengthen major corporate taxes, which have dropped to 30 percent of state and local taxes today compared to nearly 40 percent in the 1970s.
-Reform the personal income tax to make it more equitable and adequate.
-Close tax loopholes. “The state allows over $7 million a year in exemptions, credits and reductions most of which have not been reexamined in years, if ever.”
One Ohio Now includes organizations such as the Children’s Defense Fund – Ohio; Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO); Legal Aid of Southwest Ohio; Ohio AFL-CIO; Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO); Ohio Federation of Teachers; the Ohio Poverty Law Center; the Ohio School Boards Association; Ohio Youth Voices; Policy Matters Ohio; UHCAN Ohio; and more. For more information please visit http://oneohionow.org/.
Education Week Releases Annual “Quality Counts” Report: Editorial Projects in Education (EPE), the publisher of Education Week, released on January 11, 2011 “Quality Counts 2011: Uncertain Forecast-Education Adjusts to a New Economic Reality”, the 15th annual assessment of the state of education in the U.S..
This year the report includes national and state grades in six policy areas; an update of the K-12 Achievement Index based on 18 indicators; and research articles on the impact of the economic downturn and stimulus dollars on education and education reform initiatives.
The Achievement Index, which was last published in 2008, includes data on current achievement, improvements over time, and poverty-based disparities or gaps.
Articles on the effect of the economic downturn and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) on education include research about the number of jobs saved as a result of the distribution of federal stimulus dollars (approved in February 2009), and the role of education in the economic recovery of the nation. The press release notes, “Education-related funding has also been the most efficient way to save or create jobs, on a jobs-per-dollar basis.” Approximately 337,000 education-related jobs were saved or created as a result of ARRA funds distributed through the U.S. Department of Education as of September 30, 2010.
According to the report, most states and the nation overall received a C rating across the six policy and performance areas tracked by Quality Counts. As in the past, only some of the categories are updated this year, and so some scores from last year are used to determine the ratings for this year. The six areas and information about which areas have been updated are described below:
-Chance for Success Index: Updated. The grade is based on thirteen indicators that “capture” factors such as early foundations; school years; and adult outcomes. The nation received a grade of C plus and the highest rated state is Massachusetts with an A.
-K-12 Achievement Index: Updated. The grade is based on 18 indicators that consider current levels of academic performance; improvement over time; and achievement gaps between poor and nonpoor students (equity). The nation received a grade of D plus and the highest rated state is Massachusetts with a grade of B.
-Standards, Assessments, and Accountability: The state and national grades are based on scores from 2010. The grade is based on twenty-three indicators in the areas of content standards; assessments; and accountability systems. The nation received a grade of B and the highest ranked state is West Virginia with an A.
-Transitions and Alignment: The grade is based on indicators that provides information about state efforts to coordinate the connections between K-12 schooling and other education systems in the state, such as early childhood education, higher education, adult education, etc. The nation received a grade of C plus, an improvement over 2009. Arkansas, Maryland. Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia earned an A grade.
-Teaching Profession: The state and national grades are based on scores from 2010. The grade is based on 44 indicators that address quality; incentives and allocation; and efforts to build and support the capacity of the teaching workforce. The nation received a grade of C and the highest rated state is South Carolina with an A.
-School Finance: Updated. The grade is based on eight indicators that capture spending patterns and how equitably dollars are distributed in a state. The nation earned a C grade, dropping from a C plus in 2009. The highest rated state is Wyoming with an A minus.
For the third year in a row Maryland is ranked first among the states with the highest overall grade of B-plus, with Massachusetts and New York both receiving a B.
Massachusetts received the highest ranking on the K-12 Achievement Index with a grade of B, followed by Maryland and New Jersey with a B minus. Overall the average state score on the index was D plus.
Ohio received the same B-minus rating as last year, but dropped its overall score to 79.8 and dropped in the state rankings, moving from 5th to 11th place. Ohio was rated lower than last year in the categories of school finance, moving from a C plus to a C grade, and transitions and alignment, moving from a B minus to a C plus. The following are the grades for Ohio in the other categories:
-Chance for Success Index: C plus
-K-12 Achievement Index: C minus
-Standards, Assessments, and Accountability: A
-Transitions and Alignment: C plus
-Teaching Profession: C plus
-School Finance: C
“Quality Counts” also includes survey results about how state education systems have adjusted to the economic downturn and the strategies they are using to sustain education reform. According to the report, states have responded to the pressures of the recession in the following ways:
-Twenty-nine states have enacted policies that offer local school systems some form of flexibility to meet the challenges posed by the economic crisis.
-Twenty-one states have broadened the eligible uses of education funds originally intended for a particular purpose. In 11 states, class-size requirements have been loosened; 10 states have offered the option of modifying the length of the school year, week, or day as a way to cut costs.
*Three states have waived protections on K-12 education funding since the start of the recession.
For more information about “Quality Counts 2011” please visit http://www.edweek.org/ew/toc/2011/01/13/index.html.
The 129th Ohio General Assembly opened for business last week with the introduction of 21 bills in the Ohio House. The first bill, House Bill 1 -JobsOhio, is a placeholder for legislation to convert the Ohio Department of Development into a nonprofit private sector/government organization.
The only bill introduced that relates to education so far is HB21 (Combs). The bill would allow new Internet- or computer-based community schools to open under certain conditions; require the use of student performance data in evaluating teachers and principals for licensure; and qualify participants in Teach for America for a professional educator license in Ohio.
*Using the Arts to Improve Writing: Todd Finley’s Blog in Edutopia on January 7, 2011 entitled “Have Students Sketch to Kill the Prewriting Jitters” by guest blogger Jonathan T Bartels, describes how directing students to sketch-out on paper a topic helps them overcome “writer’s block”.
According to the blog, even students who have a discomfort with drawing can follow some easy directions to help them become better writers using this pre-writing activity.
Sometimes the sketch is used to help students compare and contrast relationships by drawing maps or venn diagrams. Sometimes students draw scenes to help them visualize and identify details, and sometimes students draw comic strips to organize thoughts.
Bartels writes that using sketching as a pre-writing activity is described in a book by Patricia Dunn entitled, “Talking, sketching, moving: multiple literacies in the teaching of writing.” Sketching allows students to visualize images; gives students an opportunity to see a topic from a different perspective; and helps students to examine the purpose, structure, etc. of their writings.
The conversations that take place between the student and instructor after the sketch is made is an important component of this pre-writing activity. These conversations can help students identify purpose, actions, organization, details, and relationships in their writing. They also help the teacher understand what the student is really trying to say about a particular topic so that the teacher can help the student clarify their ideas and purpose.
The blog references a book by Patricia Dunn, entitled “Talking, sketching, moving: Multiple literacies in the teaching of writing”. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook Publishers, 2001.
The blog is available at http://www.edutopia.org/blog/sketching-through-prewriting-jitters.