129th General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will hold sessions this week. The Senate Education Committee will meet on February 22, 2011 and the House Education Committee will meet on Wednesday, February 23, 2011.
Lawmakers in the Ohio House will begin addressing this week budget bills with the introduction of the Transportation Budget in the House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, on February 23, 2011. The Transportation, Bureau of Workers Compensation, and the Ohio Industrial Commission budgets are the first budgets that lawmakers consider every two years, leading the way for the state operating budget, which will be introduced in the Ohio House in March.
Governor Kasich signed into law JobsOhio, HB1 (Duffey), on February 18, 2011. The law authorizes the governor to create JobsOhio, a private, non-profit economic development corporation that will oversee state efforts to create jobs and assist the Department of Development. The governor will be the head of the corporation, which has a board of eight members appointed by the governor.
The Ohio House approved on February 16, 2011 by a vote of 59-36 HB30 (Gardner) which does the following:
- eliminates spending and reporting requirements related to the school funding system
- abolishes the School Funding Advisory Council
- eliminates the prohibition on unit funding for gifted student services effective after fiscal year 2011
- eliminates the requirement that school districts offer all-day kindergarten
- eliminates the requirement that school districts annually set aside operating funds for textbooks and instructional materials
- eliminates the requirement that school districts establish family and civic engagement teams except as required for implementation of federal “Race to the Top” grants.
The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, accepted a substitute bill for HB21 (Combs) on February 16, 2011. The original bill included three topics: expansion of online charter schools; teacher evaluations using value added data: and Teach for America eligibility. The substitute bill only includes provisions regarding Teach for America. The bill enacts section 3319.227 of the ORC to qualify Teach for America participants for a resident educator license in Ohio, and requires them to complete the four-year residency program to obtain a professional license. The residency program requirements are waived for participants of Teach for America who have two years of teaching experience in another state.
The Senate Insurance, Commerce, and Labor Committee, chaired by Senator Bacon, accepted an amendment to SB5 (Jones) Collective Bargaining Reform on February 17, 2011, removing the prohibition in the bill for teachers to engage in collective bargaining for wages and salaries.
News from the U.S. Department of Education: Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced on February 17, 2011 the formation of the Equity and Excellence Commission and its first meeting on February 22, 2011 in Washington, D.C. The commission consists of 28 members, including researchers, corporate leaders, and lawyers, who will examine “the disparities in meaningful educational opportunities that give rise to the achievement gap, with a focus on systems of finance, and recommend ways in which federal policies could address such disparities.”
The co-chairmen of the commission are Christopher Edley, the dean of the law school at the University of California, Berkeley, and a co-founder of the Civil Rights Project, and Reed Hastings, an education philanthropist and co-founder of Netflix. The commission will hold public hearings, and two of the hearings have been tentatively scheduled to take place in California and Pennsylvania. The commission’s final report is to be delivered by December 2011. For more information please visit the commission’s web site.
Update on Ohio’s Economy: The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services recently released its report on “Leading Economic Indicators for December 2010”. The report shows that the composite index of leading indicators for Ohio held steady at 89.0 in November and December 2010, indicating continued economic recovery at a moderate rate of growth. The index is composed of data about initial claims for unemployment insurance; average weekly hours for manufacturing; the number of housing permits; and valuation of housing permits. The composite has been increasing since December 2009, and reached 89.1 in August, September, and October 2010.
The Monthly Financial Report (February 10, 2011) from the Office of Budget and Management, Tim Keen Director, finds that the unemployment rate in Ohio decreased for the ninth month in a row to 9.6 percent and employment increased 0.5 percent over the past twelve months compared with a 0.7 percent increase for all states outside the region combined. Ohio’s personal income also increased in the second and third quarters of 2010.
Tax receipts for January 2011 totaled $1.775 billion, $149 million above estimate. The report notes, “Combined with the positive August through December variances, tax receipts through the first seven months of the fiscal year are now $443.0 million (4.7%) above the estimate. On a year-over-year basis, total tax receipts for January were $207.4 million (13.2%) greater than they were in January 2010. For the year-to-date, tax collections in fiscal year 2011 are $718.5 million (7.8%) higher than for the same period a year ago. The largest contributors to this year-over-year growth are the non auto sales tax and personal income tax receipts. Personal income tax receipt growth was driven by strong performance in both the withholding and the estimated payment components, which are $274.1 million (6.8%) and $98.8 million (16.0%) above those at the same point in fiscal year 2010.”
Disbursements in January 2011 totaled $2.467 billion, which is $254.9 million below estimate for the month. Total General Revenue Fund disbursements are $17.112 billion and are $20.9 million below estimates, year to date.
According to the report, the General Revenue Fund’s ending balance for FY2011 is an estimated $153.9 million.
The report from the OBM is available at http://obm.ohio.gov/.
House Resolution Cuts NEA and DOE Budgets: The U.S. House of Representatives approved by a vote of 235 to 189 early on February 19, 2011, a continuing resolution, H.R. 1, that provides funding for federal programs and agencies through the remainder of fiscal year 2011. H.R. 1 also reduces approximately $61 billion from the $3.6 trillion federal budget. Reductions of $5 billion are included for the U.S. Department of Education, and the budgets of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Smithsonian are also reduced.
Action on H.R. 1 now moves to the U.S. Senate, where the Democratic majority has already voiced opposition to some of the proposed cuts and policy changes included in the resolution, and President Obama has indicated that he will veto the resolution in its current state. However, time is running out for the House and Senate to reach a compromise on the FY11 budget, because the continuing resolution that is currently financing the government expires on March 4, 2011, and Congress is taking a recess this week in observance of Presidents’ Day. Some members of the House and Senate are proposing that another temporary continuing resolution be approve until a spending plan for the remainder of FY11 can be fully negotiated.
According to a press release from Congressman Hal Rogers, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, H.R. 1 includes spending cuts for all federal programs. “We held no program harmless from our spending cuts, and virtually no area of government escaped this process unscathed. While these choices were difficult to make, we strived to spread the sacrifice fairly, weeding out waste and excess, with a razor-sharp focus on making the most out of every taxdollar.”
Part of the controversy surrounding H.R. 1 is the number of provisions included in the resolution that pertain to policy changes rather than appropriations. The press release from chairman Rogers states, “In addition to spending cuts, the legislation also contains multiple provisions to stop harmful regulations or programs that would hurt the nation’s economy and inhibit the ability of American businesses to create jobs, such as onerous EPA “greenhouse gas” regulations, the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility application process, and the Obama Administration’s health care reform act.”
By the time that H.R. 1 was passed sixty-seven amendments had been approved representing approximately $260 million in additional cuts to the FY11 federal budget. For example, an amendment by Representative Walberg (R-MI) was approved by a vote of 217 to 209 on February 17, 2011 to decrease funding for the Grants and Administration portion of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) by $20.5 million. NEA’s budget had already been reduced in H.R. 1 by $20 million, so the amendment lowered the total budget for the NEA to $125 million. An amendment by Representative Canseco (R-TX) was approved to eliminate $4.5 million from the National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs program, which has the primary purpose of providing grants to not-for-profit institutions for performing arts and exhibitions in Washington, DC.
Another approved amendment, offered by Representative McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), increases funding for Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) by $557.7 million. The IDEA’s budget was cut in H.R.1, and so this amendment restores IDEA funding to the current level of $11.5 billion. The increase is offset by a $500 million cut to the Improving Teacher Quality State Grants program and a $336.6 million cut to the Title I School Improvement Grants program.
The budget of the U.S. Department of Education was reduced by more than $5 billion and funding for 56 programs was eliminated, including Arts in Education ($40 million), Striving Readers, Even Start, Literacy through School Libraries, Math and Science Partnerships, Foreign Language Assistance, Teach for America, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Close-up, Reading is Fundamental, Parental Information Resource Centers, Women’s Educational Equity. Alcohol Abuse Reduction, Elementary and Secondary School Counseling, Civic Education, Tech Prep State Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants ($757.5 million), and more.
A chart showing the reductions and program eliminations for the U.S. Department of Education is available.
President Obama Introduces the FY12 Budget: Just to confuse everyone even more, while Congress was debating last week cuts to the remainder of the FY11 budget, President Obama introduced on February 14, 2011 his administration’s budget and policy priorities for fiscal year 2012, which begins on October 1, 2011. The $3.7 trillion spending plan includes $2.6 trillion for mandatory programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. and $1.3 trillion in discretionary programs. The proposal assumes $2.6 trillion in revenue, leaving a $1.1 trillion deficit.
According to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the challenges that our nation faces can be solved by making investments that “secure our future”. “We must educate our way to a better economy by investing responsibly, advancing reform and demanding results.”
The President’s $48.8 billion budget proposal for education includes “deep cuts and efficiencies in several key education programs”, but also $2 billion in new investments for the Early Learning Challenge Fund ($350 million), First in the World college completion program ($150 million), K-12 Race to the Top district-level grants ($900 million), and increases for Investing in Innovation, Title 1, IDEA, Promise Neighborhoods program, turn-around schools program, and more.
The proposed budget eliminates thirteen programs saving $146.8 million, and consolidates thirty-eight K-12 programs into eleven new programs as part of the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). According to documents provided about the budget, the Administration is recommending consolidations because, “The current program structure at the Department of Education is fragmented and ineffective. The Department operates dozens of grant programs under a framework that can assure compliance, but largely fails to ask for improvement in outcomes and build a knowledge base of what works. Some of these programs have little evidence of success, while others are demonstrably failing to improve student achievement. Even where programs are effective, the numerous funding streams with separate rules and requirements limit flexibility and innovation.”
Information about the eliminated and consolidated programs follows:
- Women’s Education Equity
- Training for Realtime Writers
- Underground Railroad Educational and Culture
- Emma Byrd Scholarship Program
- Byrd Honors Scholarships
- LEAP (Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Programs
- B.J. Stupak Olympic Scholarship
- College Textbook Rental Pilot Initiative
- Centers for Excellence for Veterans
- Off-Campus Community Service
- Exchanges with Historic Whaling and Trading Partners
- Recreational Programs
Excellent Instructional Teams (three programs). This proposal seeks to increase teacher effectiveness and reduce disparities in access to high-quality teachers and school leaders between disadvantaged students and their peers. It consolidates nine existing programs into three programs: Effective Teachers and Leaders; Teacher and Leader Innovation Fund; Teacher and Leader Pathways.
Effective Teaching and Learning for a Complete Education (three programs). This proposal builds on the Administration’s efforts to raise the quality and rigor of academic standards and instruction. It consolidates 15 existing programs into three new programs, each with a dedicated focus on one of the following academic areas: literacy; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); and other subjects that contribute to a well-rounded education, such as history, civics, arts, and foreign language.
Included in this program area is funding for Arts in Education, which supports noncompetitive awards to VSA Arts, a national organization that sponsors programs to encourage the involvement of, and foster greater awareness of the need for, arts programs for persons with disabilities, and to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for its arts education programs for children and youth. This program also provides competitive grants for the development of model arts education programs and for professional development for arts educators. The previous budget for Arts in Education is $40 million, which would be absorbed by the Effective Teaching and Learning for a Complete Education Program.
Expanding Educational Options. This proposal supports increasing the supply of high-quality educational options available to students in low-performing schools by creating and expanding effective charter schools and other effective, autonomous and accountable schools, and by implementing comprehensive systems of public school choice. It consolidates five existing programs into the new Expanding Educational Options program.
College Pathways and Accelerated Learning. This proposal provides accelerated courses and instruction in schools that enroll concentrations of students from low-income families. The proposed program consolidates three existing programs into the new College Pathways and Accelerated Learning program.
Supporting Student Success. This proposal promotes comprehensive strategies that create safe and drug-free learning environments for students. It consolidates six existing programs into the new Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students program. In addition to these consolidations, this proposal also includes two other programs, Promise Neighborhoods and a reformed 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
Race to the Top. This proposal permanently establishes the Race to the Top program, which was created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Race to the Top will expand to allow school districts to compete directly for funds.
Investing in Innovation. This proposal permanently establishes the Investing in Innovation program, which was created under the ARRA. It enables the Department to continue to invest in new and successful education interventions.
Information about the President’s FY12 budget proposal is available.
This Week at the Statehouse:
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2011
Senate Education Committee
The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, will meet on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 9:30 AM in the South Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on the following bills:
- SB65 (Cates) Eliminates the limit on the number of Educational Choice scholarships that can be awarded in a year, and declares an emergency.
- SB18 (Grendell) Extend 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.
- 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 Government Oversight and Reform Committee
The Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee, chaired by Senate Seitz, will meet on Tuesday, February 22, 2011, at 1:30 PM in the North Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on a number of bills including SB3 (Faber) Public Pension Systems, which would implement changes to Ohio’s five public pension systems, to balance their income and expenditures within the 30 year timeframe.
Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor
The Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee, chaired by Senator Bacon, will meet on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 4:00 PM in the South Hearing Room to receive testimony on SB5 (Jones) Collective Bargaining Reform. This bill makes changes to Ohio’s Collective Bargaining Law. Large crowds are expected.
House Health and Aging Retirement and Pensions Subcommittee
The House Health and Aging Retirement and Pensions Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Kirk Schuring, will meet on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 7:00 PM in room 313 to hear testimony on HB69 (Wachtmann) Pension Reform.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011
House Health and Aging Retirement and Pensions Subcommittee
The House Health and Aging Retirement and Pensions Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Kirk Schuring, will meet on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 2:30 PM in room 018 to hear testimony on HB69 (Wachtmann) Pension Reform.
The House Education Committee
The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton will meet on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 5:00 PM in Hearing Room 017. The committee will receive testimony on the following bills:
- HB96 (Celeste) Dyslexia: Specifies dyslexia as a specific learning disability and requires a pilot project to provide early screening and intervention services for children with dyslexia.
- HB36 (Kozlowski) School Calamity Days: Excuses up to five, instead of three, calamity days for the 2010-2011 school year, to broaden schools’ authority to make up calamity days by lengthening remaining days in the school year, and to declare an emergency.
- HB21 (Combs) Teach for America: Addresses the eligibility of participants in the Teach for America program to teach in Ohio’s schools.
The Educator Standards Board
The Standards and Licensure Committee and Licensure committees of the Educator Standards Board will meet on Monday, February 28, 2011 at 6:00 PM at 200 E. Wilson Bridge Rd., Worthington.
The Educator Standards Board will meet on March 1, 2011 at 9:00 AM at 200 E. Wilson Bridge Rd., Worthington, The business meeting will begin at 12:45 PM.
State Board of Education Meeting February 13 -15, 2011:
The State Board of Education, Rob Hovis president, announced on February 15, 2011 that it would re-vote its January 2011 election of officers in March 2011, and would postpone until the March meeting its vote on the Board’s business agenda for February until after the new Board officers are elected.
The validity of the January 2011 election has come under question when it was discovered that Martha Harris, a Board member who was appointed by Governor Strickland in 2008 for a term of four years, was not confirmed by the Ohio Senate, because the Senate did not receive her confirmation documents. According to the Ohio Attorney General’s office, because the appointment was not confirmed, the Board seat was considered vacant, and Governor Kasich appointed in February 2011 Angela Thi Bennett to the Board. However, Mrs. Harris was present at the January 2011 meeting and voted in the election of Rob Hovis president and Tom Gunlock vice president. Both Mr. Hovis and Mr. Gunlock won their elections through a secret ballot by one vote, bringing into question the validity of the results of the election. Mrs. Harris recently filed in U.S. District Court a lawsuit regarding the loss of her seat on the State Board of Education without due process, raising additional questions about the future work of the Board.
The following is a summary of the State Board of Education meetings on February 14 and February 15, 2011.
On Monday, February 14, 2011 the State Board of Education met at the Ohio School for the Deaf, 500 Morse Road, Columbus, Ohio. The Executive Committee, chaired by Rob Hovis, discussed committee assignments for this year. The Achievement and Capacity committees will continue to function along with a new committee, Urban Schools Committee, chaired Rob Hovis and co-chaired by Jeff Mims. The Next Generation Learning Committee will replace the 21st Century Learning Committee, and will be chaired by Dennis Reardon. The Advocacy and Outreach Committee will be chaired by Mary Rose Oakar. The Budget Committee, chaired by Dennis Reardon, a new School Choice Committee, chaired by Tammy O’Brien, and the Appointments Committee, chaired by Jeff Hardin, will meet on a “as needed” basis.
Dr. Marilyn Troyer also provided an overview of committees and task forces that include in their membership representatives of the State Board of Education.
The Executive Board also discussed a resolution to change the process used to hold Chapter 119 hearings on proposed rules. The proposal calls for the 119 hearings to be relocated at the Ohio Department of Education, rather than held during the State Board of Education meetings. There was a discussion about the proposed change, and it was determined that Board members are not required to attend Chapter 119 hearings. However, most Board members stay for the hearings when they are held at the same time and place as the State Board’s regular meetings. It was suggested that if the change in the Chapter 119 hearings is approved by the Board, then at least one Board member will attend the relocated hearings, and if the Board can anticipate public interest in a particular topic, the Board would schedule the hearing at a State Board meeting.
The Achievement Committee, Capacity Committee, and Urban Schools committees then met.
The Achievement Committee, chaired by Mike Collins and vice chair Tammy O’Brien, pulled from the agenda a discussion about Amended Rule 3301-51-15, Gifted Spending as a result of pending legislation regarding the rule. The committee discussed a Resolution of Intent to Adopt Amended Rules 3301-58 Value-Added, and voted to remove the resolution from the consent agenda this month so that committee members could have more time to have their questions addressed. The committee also received an update on the development of the Model Curricula from Denny Thompson, ODE Director of Curriculum and Instruction. He also provided an update about certain questions that had been compiled by the Achievement Committee during the development of the content standards. A Resolution of Intent to Adopt Model Curricula in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies was considered, but was not approved. Sandy Miller, ODE Director of Early Learning and School Readiness, also presented information about the preK standards in English language arts and mathematics, which the Board will be asked to approve. The preK standards for social studies and science were approved in the revision of the academic content standards in those areas. Work has also begun on the development of the model curricula for the preK content standards.
The Capacity Committee, chaired by Kristen McKinley and vice chair Ann Jacobs, discussed and approved a Resolution of Intent to approve Rule 3301-24-14 Supplemental Teaching License Rule; reviewed a proposed model policy for Tobacco Free Schools, and directed the ODE to prepare a proposed model policy for Tobacco Free Schools to present at the March meeting. It was the consensus of the committee that the policy would not be mandated in rule, but would be a recommendation. The committee continued its discussion about future priorities and successful schools and policies, and how to communicate strategies of successful schools to other schools and school districts.
The Urban Schools Committee Meeting, chaired by Rob Hovis, discussed perceptions about the issues surrounding urban centers and the work of the committee. The committee looked at data that highlighted conditions that are not representative in other school districts, such as poverty, unemployment, and attendance rates, and considered characteristics of successful schools. This is a newly created committee for the State Board of Education.
The Board received an update about legislative issues and recognized 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 received a presentation from the OSU Kirwan Institute and reviewed the diversity strategy recommendations.
FEBRUARY 15, 2011
The Board convened its business meeting on February 15, 2011 and immediately called for an executive session. Following the executive session President Hovis informed the audience that the Board would postpone action on its business agenda this month until it could conduct another election for Board officers at the March meeting.
The Board then resumed its meeting. Stan Heffner, Associate Superintendent for the Center for Curriculum and Assessment, provided the Board with an update about the Model Curricula in English language arts, math, science and social studies. 128- HB1 requires the State Board of Education to adopt a rigorous and focused model curricula to guide instruction based on Ohio’s standards by March 31, 2011. The ODE has worked with teams of teachers for over 18 months to develop a web-based model curricula that includes 779 lessons. The ODE conducted an online survey, focus groups, and surveys at meetings to gather feedback about the proposed model curricula, and according to reviews, between 66-75 percent of respondents reported that the model curricula is clearly written and an accessible tool. A kickoff meeting to roll-out the model curricula will be held on April 8, 2011 with representatives of educational service centers. A statewide transitions committee of thirty to forty members has also been formed to work on specific timelines for implementation, pacing guides, crosswalks and other tools, and plans for professional development opportunities to inform teachers about the new model. More information is available.
The report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Deborah Delisle, included information about Race to the Top grant, testimony on the model curricula, P-16 Councils, Advanced Placement, and the Ohio Economic Summit to be held on February 21-23, 2011 in Columbus. The report included information about the formation of the Race to the Top Steering Team, which is composed of legislators and representatives of education organizations, and will meet twice a year to review the implementation of the RttT grants and provide advice and direction. The first meeting of this panel will be March 3, 2011.
The Board also received public testimony from Melanie Elsey, who opposes the resolution that would change how the State Board of Education conducts Chapter 119 hearings, and Barbara Bodart, Sally Roberts, and Deborah Glynn, who spoke in support of gifted spending rules that hold schools accountable for gifted funding.
Center on Education Policy Report: The Center on Education Policy (CEP), Jack Jennings president and CEO, released on February 17, 2011 a report entitled “More to Do, But Less Capacity to Do It: States’ Progress in Implementing the Recovery Act Education Reforms” by Nancy Kober and Diane Stark Rentner. The report is based on an October 2010 survey of 42 state education officials and the District of Columbia, and examines the condition of state education funding in FY11 and FY12; the status of state reform efforts supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009; the influence of ARRA’s Race to the Top program on reform agendas in states that did not receive RttT grants; and the capacity of state education agencies to implement ARRA reforms. The survey also gathered information about common state standards and school improvement grants. The findings for those areas are included in other CEP reports.
ARRA provided $100 billion to states to avert teacher layoffs, stabilize state and local education budgets, and encourage education reforms to increase student achievement and ultimately strengthen the nation’s economy. States had to agree to make progress in four areas of K-12 education reform to participate in the ARRA’s State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. These four areas include implementing rigorous standards and aligned assessments; establishing longitudinal data systems to track student progress; improving teacher effectiveness and equitable distribution; and providing interventions to improve low-performing schools.
According to the report, the results of the survey “…..led to four broad conclusions that cut across the more detailed findings in specific sections of the survey.”
The ambitious agenda of education reform attached to ARRA might hit a wall in 2012. Four states are pilot testing and two are in the roll-out phase of teacher evaluation systems based on student achievement goals, while 38 states are still in the planning and development stages
The capacity of many states to implement ARRA reforms could be constrained by cuts in state education agencies’ operating budgets and limited staffing levels.
- 37 states reported that their funding for K-12 education decreased by 5 percent or more or remained flat in fiscal 2011 compared with the previous year.
- 36 states expect declining or stagnant K-12 budgets in fiscal 2012.
- 23 states projected decreases of 5 percent or more in their state education agency operating budgets for 2011, and six states project that those budgets will be flat.
States are responding sooner and more actively in some ARRA reform areas than in others.
- 36 states are rolling out student data systems that assign a unique identifier for each student
- 22 states are rolling out internationally benchmarked standards in math and 20 states are doing so in English language arts
- 19 states are in the roll-out stage of developing and disseminating guidance on school intervention models
ARRA has helped to create a common reform agenda for states based on broad federal goals.
- 13 states are starting to provide information on best practices for low-performing schools
- 16 of the 32 states, that did not win a Race to the Top grant, intend to use their Race to the Top grant application as their education reform plan anyway
For more information about the report, please visit http://www.cep-dc.org/
DQC Releases Latest Report on Data: The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) released on February 16, 2011 its sixth annual state analysis entitled “Data for Action 2010”. The DQC was founded in 2005 and is a national, collaborative effort to encourage and support state policymakers to improve the availability and use of high-quality education data to improve student achievement. Partnering organizations include Achieve, the Alliance for Excellent Education, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Education Commission of the States, the Education Trust, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the National Association of System Heads, the National Center for Educational Achievement, the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, the Schools Interoperability Framework Association, the State Educational Technology Directors Association, and the State Higher Education Executive Officers.
“Data for Action 2010” shows that states have made progress collecting longitudinal information about students based on ten criteria that the DQC has identified, referred to as the “Ten Essential Elements”. However, states have not necessarily taken the ten action steps to link the data across education systems; help educators increase their capacity to use the data to improve student achievement; and make the data accessible to stakeholders.
According to the report, there are a number of states that can determine or provide the following information based on their data:
- the percentage of students who graduate, using the federal four-year cohort graduation rate — all states
- the percentage of students who require remediation in postsecondary institutions –41 states
- which teachers consistently achieve the most individual student growth in their classrooms — 34 states
- which professional development programs have the greatest impact on the effectiveness of teachers as measured by student performance — 28 states
- student enrollment in courses – 35 states
Some states have also been able to
- link preK-20 data – 9 states
- provide access to student-level data for teachers (30 states); parents (13 states) and students (10 states)
- share teacher/student achievement data with teacher preparation programs – 2 states
- require pre-service teachers to graduate with knowledge about how to analyze and use data
According to the report, there are ten actions that states need to take to ensure that data is effectively used. These include the following:
- Link data systems preK-20
- Create stable sustained reporting
- Develop governance structures
- Build state data repositories
- Implement systems to provide timely access to information
- Create progress reports using individual student data to improve student achievement
- Create reports using longitudinal statistics to guide systemwide improvement efforts
- Develop a P-20 workforce research agenda
- Promote educator professional development and credentialing
- Promote strategies to raise awareness of available data
Texas has implemented eight of the action steps; nine states have implemented at least seven of the actions; and three states have implemented one or fewer of the actions.
According to the report, Ohio has implemented five of the action steps, but has not linked data systems preK-20; implemented systems to provide timely access to information; developed a P-20 workforce research agenda; promoted educator professional development and credentialing; and promoted strategies to raise awareness of available data
The report recommends that states take the following actions:
- Fulfill the 50-state commitment to implement the 10 Essential Elements by September 2011.
- Link K-12 with early childhood, postsecondary and workforce data to answer critical policy questions.
- Provide teachers, students and parents with access to longitudinal student-level data.
- Share data about teacher impact on student achievement with educator preparation institutions.
- Enact statewide pre-service policies, including certification and licensure, and program approval, to build educator capacity to use data
The report is available at http://www.dataqualitycampaign.org/.
Bills Introduced: SCR5 (Widener) Career & Technical Education: Declares February 2011 as Career and Technical Education Month in Ohio.
FYI ARTS: NPR’s “Studio 360” featured a story called “Arts on the Chopping Block” on February 18, 2011. The story includes information about the cuts proposed for the National Endowment for the Arts in President Obama’s proposed budget and in H.R. 1, the continuing resolution that the U.S. House approved on February 19, 2011. According to the story, the NEA’s budget, which is currently $167 million, is less than the $195 million allocated for army’s budget for military bands. Several states are contemplating eliminating funding for the arts, and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback recently approved an executive order to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission, which has a budget of $600,000 a year. Studio 360 interviewed Kansas State Senator Roger Reitz (R-Senate District 22), who is a doctor and also an advocate for the arts, and is trying to override the executive order. Senator Reitz states that the Kansas arts sector is a $153.3 million industry and creates 4000 jobs and generates over $15 million in state and local revenue. The loss of the Kansas Arts Commission would total $1.2 million a year in lost funds for the state and $778,000 in lost federal matching funds. Senator Reitz believes that the arts improve the quality of life for everyone in the state of Kansas, and should be protected, because the arts make things good in life. To listen to this show please visit http://www.studio360.org/.