Arts On Line – Update – 02-14-2011

Happy Valentines Day!  Each February 14, across the US and many places around the world people are exchanging cards, gifts, flowers, and candy among their loved ones … we share this week’s Arts on Line as our token of love and appreciation to all our arts education colleagues and friends.

Take Action:  Oppose Cuts to the NEA!!!

A continuing resolution, H.R. 1, introduced on February 11, 2011 in the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, chaired by Congressman Hal Rogers, includes a reduction of $22.5 million from the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts.  The bill also includes reductions for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian; eliminates funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and reduces funding for education programs by $4.9 billion. This resolution will be considered by the U.S. House this week.

The proposed funding reductions for the NEA will have a direct impact on many arts organizations and programs in Ohio.  Stephen Koff writes in a February 12, 2011 article for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, that arts organizations in Ohio have received $8.8 million from the NEA since 2007, including $4.3 million for the Ohio Arts Council.  In 2010 the Ohio Arts Council received $1.4 million from the NEA to support arts programs and organizations in Ohio. (The article is entitled “National Endowment for the Arts facing cuts: local organizations would take hit“. A similar article entitled “Arts Groups in Ohio Watch Budget for NEA” was published in the Columbus Dispatch on February 13, 2011.)

Please contact your representatives in the U.S. House and Senate and tell them that you oppose the cuts to the NEA budget.  Contact can be made through the Americans for the Arts web site.  Explain how the cuts will affect arts education, folk and traditional arts, and underserved communities in Ohio.

For Talking Points about the social, economic, cultural, and educational impact of the arts in Ohio please visit Ohio Citizens for the Arts.

Thank you.

Background Regarding the FY11 Budget Cuts: President Barack Obama is expected to introduce the FY12 federal budget proposal on Monday, February 14, 2011. In the meantime, Congress has not adopted a federal budget for fiscal year 2011, which began on October 1, 2010.

The continuing resolution that is currently financing the federal government expires on March 4, 2011.  The House Appropriations Committee, chaired by Congressman Hal Rogers, introduced on February 11, 2011 a new Continuing Resolution (CR) H.R. 1 that would fund the federal government for the last seven months of FY11, but would also reduce spending by $100 billion from the President’s federal FY11 budget proposal. (Because the President’s FY11 budget was not implemented, the actual reduction in H.R. 1 is about $61 billion.) This CR will be considered by the House when it meets on February 15, 2011.

H.R. 1 includes a reduction of $22.5 million from the budget for the National Endowment for the Arts and reductions for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian.  It also eliminates funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The resolution reduces funding for the U.S. Department of Education by $4.9 billion from a total budget of $63.7 in FY10. Reductions include $693.5 million from Title 1; $557 million from Special Education (from a total of $11.5 billion in FY10); $1 billion for Head Start; $17.5 from Pell Grants; $18 million for Teach for America; and more.  At least 14 education programs are eliminated, including Striving Readers; Tech Prep State Grants; Education Technology State Grants; and more.

Read more about the proposed budget cuts.

More Cuts on the Horizon:  Many arts and arts education advocates believe that programs such as the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities might be eliminated as lawmakers in Washington, D.C. consider ways to reduce the federal deficit even more. For example, 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 in the budget and eliminating government programs and agencies.  Some of agencies that would be eliminated through the RSC plan 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; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds NPR and PBS stations; and more.

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.”

More information about the RSC’s proposed plan to reduce the deficit is available.

129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will hold sessions this week.  The House Education committee will also meet this week.

Governor John Kasich announced last week the appointment of Robert Sommers as director of the Office of 21st Century Education. Dr. Sommers is the former director of Butler Tech in Hamilton County and worked for the Ohio Department of Education as a director of Career Technical Education. Most recently he was the director of the Cornerstones Charter Schools in Detroit.

Governor Kasich also appointed Angela Thi Bennett to the State Board of Education to complete the term of Martha Harris.  Mrs. Harris’ term on the Board has recently been questioned, because, according to the Ohio Senate, documents supporting Harris’ appointment to the Board by Governor Strickland were never received by the Senate, which then did not take action to confirm the appointment. The Board meets on February 13-15, 2011.

The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, reported-out favorably HB30 (Gardner) along party lines on February 9, 2011.  HB30 eliminates the requirement that school districts provide all day Kindergarten, reduces the reporting and spending requirements for school districts prescribed in HB1 of the 128th General Assembly, and makes other changes in law regarding waivers and the Evidence-Based Funding Model implemented through 128-HB1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 budget bill.

Before reporting the bill the committee amended HB30 to require five year financial forecasts, rather than the minimum three year forecasts recommended in the bill; delay implementation of gifted spending rules by two years; and provide in 2010-11 an option for unit funding for gifted education.

Fixing Ohio’s Budget:  Piet van Lier from Policy Matters Ohio has created a video that presents information about the current budget crisis in Ohio through interviews of Ohioans involved in nonprofit and education organizations.  The video includes some recommendations from One Ohio Now to balance the FY12-13 state budget with revenue increases and spending cuts, referred to as a “balanced approach” to fixing Ohio’s budget. One Ohio Now is one of several statewide coalitions that is bringing together advocates for health care, housing, education, human services, rehabilitation, early learning, and more to influence the state budget process.  The video is available.

More information about the “balanced approach” and information about the work and research conducted by Policy Matters Ohio on the budget and workforce issues is available.

This Week at the Statehouse

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2011

The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Widener, will meet on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, at 9:30 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. The committee will receive sponsor testimony on HB1 JobsOhio (Duffey), which authorizes the Governor to create JobsOhio, a nonprofit economic development corporation.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2011

House Health:  Pension Reform Subcommittee The House Health:  Pension Reform Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Kirk Schuring, will meet on February 16, 2011 at 2:30 PM or after session in room 018 to hear testimony on HB69 (Wachtmann) Pension Reform.  Presentations will be made by STRS and SERS.

The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, will meet at 7:00 PM in hearing room 017.  The committee will receive testimony on the following bills:

  • HB39 (Luckie II C.) Proprietary Schools: Makes changes to the laws regarding proprietary schools.
  • 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.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2011

The Senate Ways and Means and Economic Development Committee, chaired by Senator Schaffer, will meet at 9:00 AM in the North Hearing Room.  Among the bills that the committee will consider is a bill, SB45 (Kearney) Income Tax Deduction Teacher Expenses, that allows an income tax deduction for amounts spent by teachers for instructional materials.

News from Washington, D.C.

As noted previously, President Barack Obama will submit his FY12 budget to Congress this week.

Conference on Labor-Management Collaboration: The U.S. Department of Education will host a Conference on Labor-Management Collaboration on February 15, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  This is the first conference of its kind to build a stronger partnership between labor and management to improve instruction and student achievement. The conference partners include the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, the National School Boards Association, the American Association of School Administrators, the Council of the Great City Schools, and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

Attending the conference will be teams from school districts that are working together to redefine the labor-management relationship in their communities. They’ll be asked to examine their unique relationships, policies, and agreements, and consider ways to promote them to support higher student achievement in all schools. Materials developed for the conference are available.

International Summit on the Teaching Profession: The U.S. Department of Education will host on March 16-17, 2011 in New York City the International Summit on the Teaching Profession. Partnering with the U.S. DOE to host this event are the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Education International (EI) and U.S.-based organizations – National Education Association (NEA), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), Asia Society, and WNET.

The summit is the first of its kind, and is designed to engage countries around the globe in an intensive discussion about promising practices for recruiting, preparing, developing, supporting, retaining, evaluating, and compensating world-class teachers.

More information is available.

House Education and Workforce Committee Holds Hearing:  The U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee, chaired by Congressman John Kline, met on February 10, 2011 and received presentations regarding the federal role in the day-to-day operation of the nation’s classrooms. Presenting to the committee were Dr. Tony Bennett, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, Lisa Graham Keegan, founder of the Education Breakthrough Network, and Andrew Coulson, director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute.  The hearings highlighted reforms at the state and federal levels to improve student achievement, but also considered the cost of education and how to maximize learning while using resources efficiently.  More information about the hearing is available.

News from the ODE

More Ohio Students Earn AP Credit:  The Ohio Department of Education, Deborah Delisle Superintendent, reported last week that according to the 7th Annual AP Report to the Nation from the College Board, more Ohio students are taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams, and more are scoring high enough to earn college credit for college-level coursework completed in high school.  The number of Ohio seniors taking Advanced Placement exams has increased from 12,923 in 2001 to 23,045 in 2010.  And, 14,323 students scored a three or higher on a scale from one to five, to receive, in most cases, college credit for the course.

The Advanced Placement Program, established by the College Board, allows high school students to take college-level coursework and earn college credit.  Students take comprehensive examinations in subject areas of their choosing. Most universities require a score of 3 or better, on a 5-point scale, to earn credit for a college-level course.

Even though the number of students taking AP courses has increased to 11.8 percent, Ohio’s percentage of participants is still below the national average participation rate of 16.9 percent.

To help increase the number of students taking AP courses in Ohio’s schools, the ODE has hired a full-time AP coordinator with funding from the Race to the Top (RttT) grant. The coordinator will build connections among the state’s AP teachers, enhance professional development, launch new AP courses at selected high schools, and create other strategies to increase AP participation.

More information about the AP results is available.

State Board of Education to Meet February 13 -15, 2011:

The State Board of Education, Rob Hovis president, will hold its monthly meeting on February 13 – 15, 2011.  On Sunday, February 13, 2011 the Board met at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 2700 Corporate Exchange Drive, Columbus, Ohio at 4:00 PM for an orientation for new Board members.

On Monday, February 14, 2011 the Board will meet at the Ohio School for the Deaf, 500 Morse Road, Columbus, Ohio.

The Executive Committee, chaired by Rob Hovis, will meet at 8:15 AM to discuss proposed committee assignments and changes to Chapter 119 hearings. There is a proposal to move the hearings to the Ohio Department of Education, rather than hold them during the State Board of Education meetings.

The Achievement, Capacity, and Urban Schools committees will meet at 8:45 AM.

The Achievement Committee, chaired by Mike Collins, will discuss and approve a Resolution of Intent to Adopt Amended Rules 3301-58, Value-Added, and a Resolution of Intent to Adopt Model Curricula in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.  The committee will also discuss Amended Rule 3301-51-15, Gifted Spending, and Content Standards for Pre-K English language arts and mathematics.

The Capacity Committee, chaired by Kristen McKinley, will discuss rule 3301-24-14 Supplemental Teaching License Rule, Tobacco Free Schools, and continue its discussion of the model policy.

The Urban Schools Committee Meeting, chaired by Rob Hovis, will discuss perceptions about the issues surrounding urban centers and the work of the committee. This is a newly created committee.

The Board will receive an update about legislative issues at 10:30 AM, and a presentation at 11:30 AM in recognition of Timothy Dove, 2011 Ohio Teacher of the Year.  Mr. Dove is a 29-year veteran of the Worthington City School District and currently teaches seventh-grade social studies at Phoenix Middle School. He is a graduate of Miami University with an education degree and he received a master’s degree from The Ohio State University.

Following lunch at 1:00 PM the Board will receive a presentation from the OSU Kirwan Institute and review diversity strategy recommendations.  The Board will also consider a resolution that declares the Board’s intent to adopt a Diversity Strategies Policy that includes recommendations for districts, and directs the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop an implementation strategy for review and approval by the board.

At 2:00 PM the Board will receive reports from the Executive, Achievement, Capacity, and Urban Schools committees; review reports; and review resolutions that will considered at the business meeting on February 15, 2011.

A Chapter 119 Hearing will be conducted at 4:00 PM regarding the following rules:

  • 3301-11-10, Ed Choice
  • 3301-24-03, Teacher Education Programs
  • 3301-39-01 to -04, Approval of Nonpublic Schools

On February 15, 2011 the Board will convene its business meeting at 8:30 AM and immediately proceed into executive session. Following the executive session the Board will begin its business meeting and receive a presentation about the Model Curriculum; the report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; and public participation on agenda items.  The Board will then take action on seven personnel items and the resolutions included below. The Board will then consider old, business, new business, and miscellaneous business, receive public participation on non-agenda items, and adjourn.

Resolutions to be Considered by the State Board of Education at their February 2011 Meeting

#3)  Approve a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rules 3301-58-01 and 3301-58-03 of the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC), Value-Added.
#4)  Approve a Resolution of Intent to Adopt Model Curricula in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies in accordance with the requirements of Revised Code Section 3301.079.
#5)  Approve a Resolution of Intent to Adopt the Diversity Strategy Recommendations set forth in the OSU Kirwan Institute’s Report and Recommendations on Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools, and to Direct the Development of an Implementation Plan.
#6)   Approve a 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.
#7a)  Approve a 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.
#7b)  Approve a Resolution to Approve 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.
#8)  Approve a Resolution to Accept the Recommendation of the Hearing Officer and to Deny the Transfer of School District Territory from the Bethel Local School District, Miami County, to the Miami East Local School District, Miami County, pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.
#9)  Approve a Resolution to Accept the Recommendation of the Hearing Officer and to Approve the Transfer of School District Territory from the Alexander Local School District, Athens County, to the Athens City School District, Athens County, pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.
#15) Approve a Motion to Relocate the State Board of Education’s Regularly Scheduled Administrative Rule Hearing from the Ohio School for the Deaf to the Ohio Department of Education, commencing with the Rule Hearings Scheduled for April 2011.
6) More States Reviewing Collective Bargaining Laws:  A February 7, 2011 article in Education Week examines efforts by lawmakers (generally Republican) in several states to reform, limit, or even abolish through new laws the right of teachers to bargain collectively. The states that are currently considering these laws are Idaho, Indiana, Tennessee, New Jersey, and Ohio. (“States Aim to Curb Collective Bargaining” by Stephen Sawchuk, February 7, 2011.)

According to the article, collective bargaining is prohibited in five states and mandatory in 35, but the scope of the bargaining differs in each state.  The proposed laws change collective bargaining by eliminating it entirely; placing limits on the kinds of issues that can be negotiated, such as removing teacher evaluations, curriculum, class size, or tenure from the scope of bargaining; or requiring information about contract negotiations, including wages and benefits, to be made public.

The article notes that, “If enacted, the proposals would tilt decisionmaking on policy decisively toward school leaders just as they are coming under increasing pressure to become more nimble and purposeful with spending.”  This effect could lead to reduced operational costs; provide more flexibility for school boards to dismiss teachers; and provide school districts flexibility to respond to budget deficits.

Advocates for collective bargaining say that it gives teachers a voice in policy-making and especially discussions about workplace conditions that also impact students.  Cornell University professor Richard W. Hurd, who was interviewed for the article, states another reason for being cautious when revising collective bargaining laws, “If you take power away from the unions, then the blame [for results] falls entirely on the superintendents and the school boards.”

The article is available.

New Analysis of LA Data Finds Different Results:  The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) released on February 8, 2011 an analysis of a report of teacher effectiveness released on August 14, 2010 by the Los Angeles Times and finds “serious weaknesses” in the Times report.

The NEPC report is entitled “Due Diligence and the Evaluation of Teachers: A review of the value-added analysis underlying the effectiveness rankings of Los Angeles Unified School District Teachers by the Los Angeles Times” by Derek Briggs and Ben Dominque, University of Colorado at Boulder.

The NEPC analysis reviews the statistical analysis published by the Los Angeles Times of student test data on the math and reading portions of the California Standardized Test from 2003 to 2009 to provide information about the effects of schools and their teachers on student performance in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).  The LA Times analysis was conducted by Richard Buddin at the RAND Corporation.  The NEPC analysis finds the following:

  • There is strong evidence that students are being sorted into elementary school classrooms in Los Angeles as a function of variables not controlled for in the Los Angeles value-added study (LAVAM).
  • The estimates of teacher effects are sensitive to the specification of the value-added model. When the LAVAM is compared relative to an alternative model (altVAM) with additional sets of variables that attempt to control for (i) a longer history of a student’s test performance, (ii) peer influence, and (iii) school-level factors, only between 46% and 61% of teachers maintain the same categorization of effectiveness.
  • The estimates of teacher effects appear to be considerably more biased by the sorting of students and teachers for reading test outcomes than they are for math test outcomes.
  • When a 95% confidence interval is placed around the teacher effects estimated by the LAVAM, between 43% and 52% of teachers cannot be distinguished from a teacher of “average” effectiveness.
  • There is agreement between the report prepared by Richard Buddin and the NEPC analysis that the differences in standard deviations between high- and low-performing teachers are significant.
  • There is evidence that teacher qualifications have a significant and meaningful associations between value-added estimates of teachers’ effectiveness and their experience and educational background. This finding differs from the report prepared by Richard Buddin.

The new analysis is available.

Is Competition Good For Education?:  A February 10, 2011 Blog on Edutopia by Maurice Elias opines that it is difficult to understand “why we want, need, or should tolerate competition for a public function such as education.”  (“Turning the Tide: Taking Competition Out of School Reform). Elias writes that education, like police and fire services, is a service that should be uniformly excellent and equitable. If these services need to be improved, then they should be improved directly and “not by siphoning funds for alternatives.” The article is available.

Bills Introduced:

  • SB65 (Cates) Educational Choice Scholarships: Eliminates the limit on the number of Educational Choice scholarships and declares an emergency.
  • SB67 (Cates) Public College Prep Boarding Schools: Permits the establishment of public college-preparatory boarding schools for at-risk students to be operated by private nonprofit entities.

FYI ARTS

National Symphony Selects Steve Reineke: The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Symphony Orchestra, announced on February 8, 2011 the selection of Steven Reineke as the new Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, effective September 2011. Reineke will oversee the NSO’s pops programming, will conduct a minimum of three of the NSO’s six pops weeks per season, and will appear in selected additional events, including the NSO’s September 4th performance during Labor Day Weekend at the U.S. Capitol.

Steven Reineke, who is currently in his second season as Music Director of The New York Pops, is a native of Ohio and a graduate of Miami University. He serves as Principal Pops Conductor of the Long Beach and Modesto Symphony Orchestras. Previously, he was Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, where for fifteen years he served as a composer, arranger and conducting protégé of the late celebrated pops conductor Erich Kunzel.

Reineke’s recent guest conducting appearances include the orchestras of National (Washington, D.C.), Houston, Toronto, Detroit, Indianapolis, Baltimore, and Edmonton. He returns to the Boston Pops and The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2011 and debuts with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center.

The OAAE congratulates Maestro Reineke on this tremendous appointment!

Students Prepare for Arts Day:  The OAAE is pleased to work each year with lawmakers, arts educators, and students from selected school districts and schools to prepare students to participate in Arts Day and the Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio luncheon.  Students are coached on how to advocate for the arts and arts education programs in their schools as they prepare to visit every member of Ohio House and Senate on Arts Day.

An article in the February 12, 2011 issue of The Wilmington News Journal highlights a recent visit that State Representative Cliff Rosenberger made to meet art and band students at Clinton-Massie High School.  This year six Clinton-Massie High School students will participate in Arts Day, which will be held in Columbus on May 11, 2011.

According to the article, Representative Rosenberger advised the students to “Stand up for the arts” and also become more involved in their communities.  Students asked questions about possible cuts to the state budget, and how to prioritize funding for arts education. Read the article.

Yamaha Young Performing Artists Award Program: The Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program (YYPA) recognizes outstanding young musicians from the world of classical, jazz, and contemporary music through an awards program.
Each year the YYPA finalists are invited to perform at the Music for All Summer Symposium held in late June. The maximum award for eligible students is $5,000 in retail credit toward a professional model Yamaha instrument and an invitation to participate in a series of clinics and master classes with renowned artists. Finalists will also receive a professional recording of their performances and national press coverage. Musicians ages 16-21 are eligible.  The deadline to submit an application is March 15, 2011.

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About OAAE

Since our founding in 1974, by Dr. Dick Shoup and Jerry Tollifson, our mission has always been to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Working at the local, state, and federal levels through the efforts of a highly qualified and elected Board of Directors, our members, and a professional staff we have four primary areas of focus: building collaborations, professional development, advocacy, and capacity building. The OAAE is funded in part for its day-to-day operation by the Ohio Arts Council. This support makes it possible for the OAAE to operate its office in Columbus and to work statewide to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Support for arts education projects comes from the Ohio Arts Council, The John F. Kennedy Center, Ohio Music Education Association, Ohio Art Education Association, Ohio Educational Theatre Association, VSA Ohio, and OhioDance. The Community Arts Education programs of Central Ohio are financially assisted by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. We gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the financial support received from each of these outstanding agencies and organizations.
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