Arts on Line Education Update
February 7, 2011
129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House will hold sessions this week. The House and Senate Education committees will also meet this week.
*The membership of the Ohio House and Senate should stabilize for the immediate future with the swearing in of one new House member and two new Senate members this past week. In the Ohio House the oath of office was administered to Robert Sprague, who now represents the 76th House District. He replaced Cliff Hite, who took the oath of office in the Ohio Senate this past week and now represents the 1st Senate District. Hite replaced former Senator Steve Buehrer, who is now the administrator of the Bureau of Workers Compensation. Larry Obhof also took the oath of office in the Ohio Senate this past week. He replaced former Senator Bob Gibbs in the 22nd Senate District. Gibbs was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives last November.
*The Ohio Senate was up and running last week. Two new members were seated, and sixty bills were introduced.
Two bills that will have an impact on educators in Ohio are HB3 (Faber) Public Pension Systems and HB5 (Jones) Collective Bargaining Reform.
Senator Keith Faber introduced SB3, which would implement changes to Ohio’s five public pension systems to balance their income and expenditures within a 30 year time frame. The bill is before the Senate Government Oversight & Reform Committee, chaired by Senator Bill Seitz. A bill in the Ohio House, HB69 (Wacthmann) State Retirement Systems, also addresses the pension systems and will be heard in the House Health and Aging Retirement and Pensions subcommittee on February 9, 2011.
Senator Shannon Jones introduced SB5, which is currently a place-holder for legislation to change collective bargaining rules in Ohio. The bill currently states the following: “Section 1. It is the General Assembly’s intent that sections of the Revised Code be amended, enacted, or repealed to prohibit the state and state employees and state institutions of higher education and their employees from collectively bargaining, to abolish salary schedules for public employees and instead require merit pay, and to make various other changes to the Collective Bargaining Law.” The bill is before the Senate Insurance, Commerce & Labor Committee. The first hearing is scheduled for February 9, 2011.
The Senate version of HB1 – JobsOhio, SB1 (Wagoner), was also introduced this past week, and has been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee.
*The Ohio House approved on February 1, 2011 HB1 (Duffey) JobsOhio by a vote of 59 to 37. HB1 authorizes the Governor to create JobsOhio, a nonprofit economic development corporation. The bill will be heard next week by the Senate Finance Committee.
Summary of HB30 (Gardner) School Funding: The House and Senate Education committees met last week. The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, received an update from Superintendent of Public Instruction Deborah Delisle regarding the implementation of the revised academic content standards in math, Language Arts, social studies, and science, and the development of the model curricula in these areas.
The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, accepted Substitute HB30 (Gardner) School Funding. The substitute bill does the following:
-adds new Section 3301.96, which requires school districts participating in Ohio’s Race to the Top grant program to continue to comply with requirements for a family and civic engagement team
-changes the date (from July 1, 2011 to July 1, 2012) for the gifted expenditure and reporting rules to take effect (Section 3306.09)
-creates new Section 3306.09 (G) (2), which allows the amount that a school district spends for identified gifted students to be decreased in the same proportion as the school district’s decrease in total funding for that fiscal year
-creates a new Section 3315.18, and eliminates the textbook and instructional materials fund under the Capital and Maintenance Fund
-requires the financial forecast reports that school districts prepare to include projections for a minimum of three years, but allows school district projections to go beyond three years.
The OAAE has been working to clarify some of the provisions in HB30, and will keep members informed about the progress of the bill and if action is needed. The following is a summary of Sub. HB30 and its possible impact on arts education programs in Ohio:
Summary HB30 (Gardner) School Funding
HB30 (Gardner) was introduced on January 26, 2011 and makes a variety of changes in Ohio’s school financing system. The bill has had two hearings before the House Education Committee chaired by Representative Stebelton, and another hearing is scheduled for it this week.
The intent of HB30 is to relieve school districts from meeting certain requirements of the Evidence-Based Model (EBM), enacted in HB1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 budget bill of the 128th Ohio General Assembly. These include all-day Kindergarten, the School Funding Advisory Council, the FACT form, reporting and expenditure requirements for the EBM components, etc.
The bill also eliminates certain financial reporting requirements and spending requirements that were included in HB 1 and are believed to be burdensome and expensive for school districts to implement.
A provision that is already in law, but is modified in HB 30, authorizes the Superintendent of Public Instruction to grant waivers to school districts regarding certain reports and Administrative Code Rules referred to as “Operating Standards”. According to the bill the State Board of Education would be required to develop rules to implement this provision, but no timeline for implementing the rules is included in the proposed law.
The bill does not change current law regarding the prescribed curriculum, Section 3313.60. This provision requires boards of education to provide for the study of the fine arts, including music. (Section 3313.60(A)(7))
The OAAE has the following concerns about HB30:
(1) HB30 eliminates expenditure reporting requirements for state funds to support specialist teachers, which include teachers in the arts and PE and permits waivers from certain reporting requirements.
(2) HB30 modifies current law that authorizes the Superintendent of Public Instruction to grant waivers to school districts from Operating Standards, OAC Rules 3301-35-07 through 14, but does not include a mechanism for monitoring the waivers granted.
(3) HB30 eliminates the following provisions in law that require school districts to account separately for the expenditure of the amounts received to fund the components of the Evidence-Based Model, including expenditures for specialist teachers, which include arts and PE teachers, in Section 3306.05.
Section 3306.01 General provisions
Section 3306.02 Definitions
Section 3306.05 Instructional Services Support component
Section 3306.06 Additional Services Component and licensed nurse removed
Section 3306.07 Administrative Services component
Section 3306.08 Operations and Maintenance
The bill also permits school districts under Section 3301.07 (O) to apply to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for a waiver from Section 3301.07 (B)(2). This section in law requires school districts and ESCs to follow standards for financial reporting; to report financial information such as revenue by source, expenditures for salaries, wages, benefits of employees, expenditures for equipment, transportation, textbooks, extracurricular activities, and per pupil expenditures, and provide an annual report. Most of the reporting requirements included in this division were previously in law (before HB1), but are modified by HB30.
The OAAE supported the expenditure reporting requirements included in the EBM (enacted in HB1 of the 128th General Assembly), because we believe that when school districts received state funds for specialist teachers in the arts and PE (over $500 million last year), they should spend the money on specialist teachers. If school districts don’t spend the funds on specialist teachers, the public should be informed.
However, because the EBM was never fully funded in the last biennial budget, and, according to most reports, will not be fully funded this year, requiring school districts to report this information might not be practical at this time. It is understandable that school district personnel do not want to take precious time submitting reports that are not useful to the school district or the public.
But, most of Section 3301.07 (B)(2) was law before the Evidence-Based Model was adopted. It is not clear why school districts should be granted a waiver from this provision, which makes available to the public financial information about school district spending “Š.in a format understandable by the average citizen”.
And, it is not clear why certain reporting requirements are eliminated in HB30 while other laws require school districts to report similar information.
(2) HB30 modifies current law that authorizes the Superintendent of Public Instruction to grant waivers to school districts from Operating Standards, OAC Rules 3301-35-07 through 14, but does not include a mechanism for monitoring the waivers granted.
HB30 modifies Section 3301.07 M (which becomes new division “N” and O”), which authorizes the Superintendent of Public Instruction to grant waivers to school districts regarding Operating Standards for Public Schools. Operating Standards are understood to be Ohio Administrative Code Rules 3301-35-01 through 14, and include the rules that guarantee that students have access to “a general education of high quality.”
Such waivers have been allowed in the past, but there still isn’t any mechanism in law to collect and report data about how many and which districts have received waivers and which rules are being waived.
The authority for the Superintendent of Public Instruction to grant a waiver in Section 3301.07 (O) is also very broad. Operating Standards cover over thirty pages of the Ohio Administrative Code, and include rules that pertain to courses of study; sufficient opportunity to learn; stakeholder involvement; criteria of assessments; promotion of students; evaluation of school districts; etc.
The OAAE is concerned that during this difficult financial climate, more school districts will request and be granted waivers from Operating Standards, and information about which districts have been granted waivers will continue to be difficult to monitor for accountability purposes.
This Week at the Statehouse
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2011
*Senate Education Committee: The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, will meet on Tuesday, February 8, 2011 at 9:00 AM in the South Hearing Room. The committee will consider the appointments of Tess Elshoff, Joseph L. Farmer, Thomas W. Gunlock, C. Todd Jones, and Dennis Shelton to the State Board of Education, and the following bills:
-SB18 (Grendell) Extend Five Calamity Days: Excuse up to five, instead of three, school calamity days for the 2010-2011 school year; modify the manner in which schools may make up excess calamity days; and declare an emergency.
-SB15 (Turner) Education Performance Standards Dropout Prevention Schools: Require the State Board of Education to recommend performance standards for dropout programs operated by school districts.
-SB9 (Grendell) Eliminate All-Day Kindergarten: Eliminates the requirement that school districts offer all-day kindergarten and allows public schools to continue charging tuition for all-day kindergarten.
*Senate Finance Committee
The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Widener, will meet on Tuesday, February 8, 2011, at 2:30 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. The committee will hear sponsor testimony on HB1 JobsOhio (Duffey), and Mark Kvamme, Director of the Department of Development, will also testify on HB1. HB1 authorizes the Governor to create JobsOhio, a nonprofit economic development corporation.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2011
*Senate Finance Committee: The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Widener, will meet on Wednesday, February 9, 2011, at 9:30 AM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. The committee will hear testimony on HB1 JobsOhio (Duffey), which authorizes the Governor to create JobsOhio, a nonprofit economic development corporation.
*House Education Committee: The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, will meet at 7:00 PM, in hearing room 017. The committee will hear testimony on the following bills:
-HB36 (Kozlowski) School Calamity Days: Excuses up to five days, instead of three, calamity days for the 2010-2011 school year; broadens schools’ authority to make up calamity days by lengthening remaining days in the school year; and declares an emergency.
-HB21 (Combs) Education/Licensure/Evaluation: Allows new Internet- or computer-based community schools to open under certain conditions; requires the use of student performance data in evaluating teachers and principals for licensure; and qualifies participants in Teach for America for a professional educator license in Ohio.
-HB30 (Gardner) School Funding: Eliminates spending and reporting requirements related to the school funding system; abolishes the School Funding Advisory Council; eliminates the requirement that school districts offer all-day kindergarten; eliminates the requirement that schools establish family and civic engagement teams; and reduces to three years the period covered by financial forecasts of school districts, community schools, and STEM schools.
News from Washington, D.C.
*President Obama is expected to introduce the FY12 federal budget proposal on Monday, February 14, 2011. Congress has not adopted a FY11 federal budget yet, and the continuing resolution that is currently financing the federal government expires on March 4, 2011.
On February 3, 2011 Congressman Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, released a plan to reduce discretionary spending for FY11 by $74 billion and reduce non-security discretionary spending to pre-2008 levels. House Republicans are expected to introduce this legislation soon.
Also on February 3, 2011, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Hal Rogers, submitted an outline of proposed cuts in FY11 for each of the subcommittee budgets of the Appropriations Committee, and requested that each subcommittee identify specific programs and line items to be reduced to meet the funding limits.
According to this plan, the budget for the subcommittee for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education would lose $13.5 billion and the budget for the subcommittee for Interior and Environment, which includes the National Endowment for the Arts, would lose $2.7 billion. Limiting funding to 2008 levels would cut the National Endowment for the Arts by $27 million.
To read Chairman Ryan’s statement please visit this site. To read Chairman Roger’s statement please visit this site.
The Republican Study Committee (RSC), chaired by Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, introduced the
“Spending Reduction Act of 2011”, H.R. 408 and S. 178, on January 20, 2011. The RSC, which represents approximately 175 legislators, proposes to reduce the federal budget by $2.5 trillion by 2021 by making deeper cuts and eliminating government programs and agencies. Some of agencies that could be eliminated include the National Endowment for the Arts ($167.5 million); the National Endowment for the Humanities ($167.5 million); Arts Education programs in the Department of Education’s budget; and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
According to the summary of the RSC’s proposed reductions, the following is the rationale for eliminating the NEA: “The NEA funds art programs through grants to various entities. The arts receive tens of billions of dollars each year-the NEA subsidy represents less than 1% of this money. Support for the arts can easily be supported by state and local governments and private donations.”
For more information about the RSC’s proposal, please visit this site.
*U.S. DOE Resources for African American History Month: The U.S. Department of Education has developed a web site with 68 on-line resources for educators to use to celebrate African American History Month. Some of the resources include the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, the National Park Service, the Smithsonian, universities throughout the U.S., and more. The resources are arranged by topic, such as the “Frederick Douglas Papers” at the Library of Congress, or the “Civil Rights Act of 1964” at the National Archives.
Two resources on topics related to the arts are “Paintings of Selected African-American Arts” at the National Gallery of Art, and the “Shaw Memorial”, paintings by Saint-Gaudens to honor African American units in the Civil War. For more information please visit this page.
News from the ODE:
*Spending Rules Delayed: Superintendent of Public Instruction Deborah Delisle announced in her weekly newsletter EdConnections that she is delaying implementation of the spending requirements for the Evidence-Based Model (EBM) included in 128-HB1, the FY10-11 state budget bill. The delay will not affect spending requirements for gifted education.
The ODE is currently developing rules for the spending requirements for the EBM components and separately rules for gifted education. The draft spending rules for gifted education will be presented to the State Board of Education in February, and are to take effect no sooner than July 1, 2011.
According to the statement, the State Superintendent has the authority to delay EBM spending requirements until the 2012-2013 school year. “Given the possible passage of House Bill 30 and the uncertainty of the budget for FY 2012-2013, she will do so. This delay should allow districts to proceed with planning for next school year. ODE will continue to monitor House Bill 30 and notify districts if EBM spending requirements are completely eliminated or modified through this legislation.”
*Report on Extending Learning Opportunities Released: The Ohio Department of Education, Deborah Delisle Superintendent, recently released a report entitled “Extended Learning Opportunities for Students: A Summary of Research and Recommendations for Next Steps”. The report responds to a provision included in HB1 of the 128th General Assembly to “examine the issue of extending the school year in Ohio” and make recommendations to improve learning opportunities available for students in Ohio. The report also addresses the issue of calamity days.
According to the report, there are many shortcomings in research about extended learning time. Questions remain about how best to use extended time and how the rigor of the curriculum, the quality of educational opportunities, and what happens to students outside of school impact student achievement. The report includes the following findings:
-The reviewed research about extending the school day produced no rigorous evidence about the effects of extended learning time for all students especially when designed to be the same for all students.
-Increasing the time students spend on a specific subject in one day seems to have a positive impact on student achievement. As with all modifications to schedules, the quality of instruction and the rigor of the learning activities must be defined in order to achieve results.
-The possibilities inherent in extending a school year seem to favor students who struggle or who are not entering Kindergarten as prepared as their age mates.
-It is difficult to ascertain the depth of contribution an extended school year has on student achievement in international environments. The combination of the number of school days or hours and the quality of programs and instruction offered are interwoven.
-The positive impacts of extending learning time are dependent upon the rationale for the extension and the quality of experiences provided.
-Data should drive decisions about extended learning opportunities. Such programs must have definitive goals that are aligned with students’ needs and there must be a monitoring and accountability system in place to measure the effectiveness of the program and students’ response.
The report recommends further research using rigorous designs and identifying resources that can be used to finance extended learning opportunities.
The report also comments about the effects, financial and academic, of calamity days that are not made-up. The report notes, “For three calamity days not made up, assuming the district schedules the minimum 180 days per year, there would be a minimum aggregate of $1,178 per teacher being spent for instruction or services not being provided to students.”
The ODE is currently working with two school districts and a JVS to pilot electronic lessons for students to access on calamity days. This program could expand this spring to other districts. But, inherent in the program are allowances for students without access to the internet at home or when students lose the internet and electricity due to weather conditions.
Teacher Quality Report: The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), Kate Welsh president, released on January 27, 2011 its fourth annual review of state laws, rules, and regulations governing the teaching profession entitled, “2010 Blueprint for Change”. This report is designed as a companion to the “2009 State Teacher Policy Yearbook”, which is produced biennially and will be updated next year.
“Blueprint for Change” provides customized information for state policy makers about policies that need critical attention in each state in eleven specific areas, and also identifies policies that can be addressed quickly.
Overall, the report finds that state teacher policies –
-suffer from performance management policies that are disconnected from teacher effectiveness
-are vague and/or weak guidelines for teacher preparation
-are based on licensure requirements that do not ensure that teachers have appropriate content knowledge
-include obstacles that prevent the expansion of the teacher pipeline.
The report notes that 27 states need to address nine or more of the eleven critical areas. Massachusetts had the fewest critical attention areas, but states such as Colorado, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island have already addressed difficult areas such teacher evaluation, tenure, and dismissal policies, and are considered “states to watch.”
The report also notes that competing for federal “Race to the Top” grants inspired states to tackle some of the more difficult policy areas, including using evidence of student learning to evaluate teachers and holding teacher preparation programs accountable.
According to the report, Ohio received a D+ in 2009 and needs to focus on the following critical areas:
*Connecting teacher evaluation, tenure and dismissal to classroom effectiveness
*Ensuring that elementary teacher candidates are well prepared to teach reading and math
*Ensuring that teachers have adequate content knowledge by improving testing requirements
Examples of policy areas in which a small adjustment would result in significantly stronger policy in Ohio include the following:
*Making passing a basic skills test a requirement for entry into a teacher preparation program rather than a condition of receiving a license
*Strengthening the selectivity of alternate route programs
The Blueprint for Change also identified performance management, pension reform, and certification of special education teachers as longer term systemic issues that Ohio needs to address. The recommendations for Ohio are available here. The full report is available here.
Report Recommends Network to Assist Students: The Pathways to Prosperity Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, released on February 1, 2011 a new report entitled, “Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century”. The project is co-chaired by Robert Schwartz and Ronald Ferguson.
According to the report, our national strategy for education is too narrowly focused on measuring student success by how many students attend and graduate from a four-year college, and should include multiple pathways for young people to successfully transition from adolescence to adulthood.
Since only 30 percent of students graduate from college, and only a third of the 47 million jobs that are expected to be created require a college education, far more emphasis should be placed on apprenticeship programs, community colleges, and “on the job” training.
The report examines the reasons that so many young adults dropout of high school before graduating, fail to graduate from college, and are not employed, and proposes the development of a comprehensive pathways network to serve youth in high school and beyond.
The network proposed would be based on three elements: develop a broader vision of school reform “that embraces multiple pathways to help young people successfully navigate the journey from adolescence to adulthood”; ask our nation’s employers to play a greatly expanded role in supporting the pathways system, and in providing more opportunities for young adults to participate in work-based learning and actual jobs related to their programs of study; and develop a new social compact between society and our young people.
The compact would ensure that by the “……..time they reach their mid-20s, every young adult will be equipped with the education and experience he or she needs to lead a successful life as an adult. Achieving this goal would require far bigger contributions from the nation’s employers and governments.”
Report Examines the Impact of School District Consolidation: The National Education Policy Center released on February 1, 2011 a brief entitled “Consolidation of Schools and Districts: What the Research Says and What it Means” by Craig Howley, Jerry Johnson, and Jennifer Petrie, from Ohio University. The brief states that school consolidation, meaning merging schools or districts and centralizing management, is often proposed to increase fiscal efficiency and educational quality, but that contemporary research does not support the claims of the economic benefits, and impoverished areas often benefit from smaller schools and districts. In fact, the brief notes that “Econometric studies of district consolidation tend not to include the value of important educational contingencies such as extracurricular participation rates, parental involvement, and community support. These are what economists consider “externalities” — they don’t count in the analysis.”
The brief includes the following findings:
-In many places, schools and districts are already too large for fiscal efficiency or educational quality; deconsolidation is more likely than consolidation to achieve substantial efficiencies and yield improved outcomes.-Financial claims about widespread benefits of consolidation are unsubstantiated by contemporary research about cost savings and learning.
“The assumptions behind such claims are most often dangerous oversimplifications. For example, policymakers may believe “We’ll save money if we reduce the number of superintendents by consolidating districts”; larger districts, however, need-and usually hire-more mid-level administrators. School closures often result in extra costs due to added expenses of transportation, management, and the like.”
-Claims for educational benefits from systematic statewide school and district consolidation are vastly overestimated and have already been maximized. Schools that are too large result in diminished academic and social performance, and some evidence suggests that the same conclusion applies to districts that are too large.
-Which deconsolidations would likely produce improvement can be judged only on a case-by-case basis.
-Impoverished places, in particular, often benefit from smaller schools and districts, and can suffer irreversible damage if consolidation occurs.
-Overall, state-level consolidation proposals appear to serve a public relations purpose in times of fiscal crisis, rather than substantive fiscal or educational purposes.
The brief recommends that policy makers consider the following regarding consolidation:
-Closely question claims about presumed benefits of consolidation in their state. What reason is there to expect substantial improvements, given that current research suggests that savings for taxpayers, fiscal efficiencies, and curricular improvements are unlikely?
-Avoid statewide mandates for consolidation and steer clear of minimum sizes for schools and districts. These always prove arbitrary and often prove unworkable.
-Consider other measures to improve fiscal efficiency or educational services. Examples include cooperative purchasing agreements among districts, combined financial services, enhanced roles for Educational Service Agencies, state regulations that take account of the needs of small districts and schools, recruitment and retention of experienced teachers for low-wealth districts, distance learning options for advanced subjects in small rural schools, smaller class sizes for young students, and effective professional development programs.
-Investigate deconsolidation as a means of improving fiscal efficiency and improving learning outcomes.
The brief is available here.
HB69 (Wachtmann) State Retirement Systems: Regarding the state retirement systems. Introduced 02/02/2011
SB1 (Wagoner) JOBSOHIO: Authorizes the creation of JobsOhio, the non-profit economic development corporation. Introduced 02/02/2011
SB3 (Faber) Public Pension Systems: Implements changes to modernize Ohio’s five public pension systems, to balance their income and expenditures within a 30 year timeframe. Introduced 02/02/201
SB5 (Jones) Collective Bargaining Reform: Makes changes to Ohio’s Collective Bargaining Law, which was first enacted in 1983. Introduced 02/02/2011
SB9 (Grendell) Eliminate All Day Kindergarten: Eliminates the requirement that school districts offer all-day kindergarten and allows public schools to continue charging tuition for all-day kindergarten.
SB15 (Turner) Education Performance Standards Dropouts: Requires the State Board of Education to recommend performance standards for dropout programs operated by school districts.
SB18 (Grendell) Extend to Five Calamity Days: Excuses up to five, instead of three, school calamity days for the 2010-2011 school year; modifies the manner in which schools may make up excess calamity days; and declares an emergency. Introduced 02/02/2011
SB32 (Tavares) Trio Funds Appropriation: Makes an appropriation for the provision of state matching funds for federal TRIO programs at Ohio institutions of higher education for FY 2011 and FY 2012. Introduced 02/02/2011
SB45 (Kearney) Income Tax Deduction Teacher Expenses: Allows an income tax deduction for amounts spent by teachers for instructional materials. Introduced 02/02/2011
HB67 (McGregor) Capital Project Appropriations Web Site: Requires the Office of Budget and Management to maintain a web site showing capital project appropriations and re-appropriations and to submit a biennial report to the General Assembly. Introduced 02/01/2011
*The Arts and 21st Century Learning: Bruce D. Taylor, director of education for the Washington National Opera, writes on February 1, 2011 for Education Week that 21st century skills are “in reality, arts skills”. (“The Skills Connection Between the Arts and 21st-Century Learning) He proposes that students develop creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving using the artistic process in non-artistic contexts as well as artistic. He believes that the arts relate to the unique ways in which human beings think, and learning through the arts can help students develop the capabilities for success in the 21st century identified by Marc Hauser at Harvard University, such as generative computation, combination of ideas, mental symbols, and abstract thought. The article is available here.
*Evaluating All Teachers: An article published in the February 2, 2011 issue of Education Week, “Wanted: Ways to Assess the Majority of Teachers” by Stephen Sawchuk, describes several initiatives that are underway to examine teacher effectiveness in subject areas not usually tested, such as career technical education, art, music, history, etc.
Standardized tests are now being used to measure student achievement, assess student growth, and assess teacher effectiveness. But, according to the article, alternative ways to assess teacher effectiveness are necessary when 70 percent of what a student learns is in a non-tested area. For example, only 15 percent of teachers under the District of Columbia’s IMPACT teacher evaluation system have individual value-added data to use to assess their effectiveness.
The article discusses national efforts to assess the impact of teachers in non-tested areas on student achievement. The National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality and the American Federation of Teachers are working with states to find alternative measures of student achievement, such as projects, portfolios, and classroom-based assessments, to provide comparable information about the effect of all teachers on student learning. Finding appropriate techniques for assessing teachers working with students with disabilities is also a challenge. And, “collecting information on the validity and reliability of the measures will be especially important, given that many of them haven’t been used for teacher evaluation.” The article 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).