Arts On Line Update – 2.28.2011

March is……Music in Our Schools Month

Welcome March with a salute to Music in Our Schools!  To ensure that all students have access to comprehensive, sequential music education taught by exemplary music educators, advocates for the arts are urged to find time this month to meet with policy makers, such as members of boards of education, and lawmakers, and explain to them how music programs in our schools can change the lives of children in so many ways.

Parents are important partners to advocate for music and the arts in our schools, but they need to be invited and informed to become better advocates for the arts. Music in Our Schools Month provides an opportunity to talk with parents about the budget challenges that our public schools are facing, and how music education engages students in rigorous academic study; provides students with ways to demonstrate 21st Century Skills; prepares students for careers and higher education; and can be an lifelong asset.

Learn more about how your school and community can celebrate Music in Our Schools Month.

129th Ohio General Assembly:  The Ohio House and Senate will hold hearings and sessions this week.  The House and Senate education committees will also be meeting.

State of the State Address:  The Ohio House and Senate will hold a joint session on March 8, 2011 to receive the “State of the State” address from Governor John Kasich at noon at the Statehouse in Columbus.

Traditionally the “State of the State” precedes the introduction of the state biennial budget in mid March, and provides a preview of the goals, priorities, and new initiatives that the administration will advocate for during the budget process.

This year is no exception.  Deep cuts are expected in the state’s next biennial budget to address a state deficit estimated to be over $8 billion, and Governor Kasich has already announced that in addition to reforming collective bargaining and the public pension systems, his administration will propose other “reforms” to stabilize the state’s economy and create more jobs.  More details on the other reforms are expected to be included in the State of the State Address.

Eric Fingerhut Resigns:  Chancellor of the Board of Regents, Eric Fingerhut, announced on February 24, 2011, that he will be resigning from the Board of Regents effective March 13, 2011.  Chancellor Fingerhut was appointed chancellor in March 2007 after state law regarding the responsibilities of the Ohio Board of Regents was changed, giving the governor and chancellor more authority.

New Director of School Facilities Commission Appointed:  The Ohio School Facilities Commission, State Budget Director Tim Keen chair, named Richard Hickman Jr. its executive director on February 4, 2011. Mr. Hickman, who replaces Richard Murray, was the director of the Ohio School Facilities Commission under the Taft Administration.

The Ohio Senate confirmed on February 25, 2011 Angela Thi Bennett to the State Board of Education. Ms. Bennett was appointed to the State Board by Governor Kasich in February 2011. The appointment is being challenged in federal court by Martha Harris, who held the position until recently.  She was appointed by Governor Strickland to the State Board in 2008 for a four year term, and contents that her term will not be finished until 2012.

Update on Legislation:  The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, reported out favorably last week two bills, HB36 (Kozlowski) School Calamity Days and HB21 (Combs) Teach for America.

Senator Bacon, chair of the Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee, announced last week that the committee was accepting amendments to SB5 (Jones) Collective Bargaining, and that a substitute bill was being developed.  Some of the contentious issues that might be addressed in the sub bill include allowing public employees to bargain for wages and salaries, but not for benefits or conditions of work. The Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee has scheduled three hearings on the bill this week.

This Week at the Statehouse
TUESDAY, March 1, 2011
Statehood Day:  Ohioans will commemorate Ohio’s founding as the nation’s 17th state in 1803 on Statehood Day, which will be held on March 1, 2011. Several activities are planned at the Statehouse that day to celebrate Ohio history and the preservation of Ohio’s culture and heritage.  More information is available.

Senate Education Committee: The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, will meet on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 9:30 AM in the South Hearing Room.  The committee will receive testimony on the following bills:

  • SB86 (Sawyer) Community School – DYS Adults:  Permits the establishment of a community school to serve adults of school age who are incarcerated or who have been released from the custody of the Department of Youth Services and to declare an emergency.
  • SB81 (Cates) Educator License:  Qualifies Teach for America participants for a resident educator license.
  • SCR5 (Widener) Career and Technical Education Month:  Declares February 2011 as Career and Technical Education Month in Ohio.
  • SB65 (Cates) Educational Choice Scholarships:  Eliminates the limit on the number of Educational Choice scholarships that can be awarded in a year, 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.
  • HB30 School Funding (Gardner) 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.

Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee: The Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee, chaired by Senator Bacon, will meet at 10:00 AM in the South Hearing Room to accept amendments on SB5 (Jones) Collective Bargaining Reform.

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, March 1, 2011 at 7:00 PM in room 114 to receive testimony on HB69 (Wachtmann) Pension Reform. Testimony will be presented on the Highway Patrol Retirement System.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2011

House Finance and Appropriations: The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, will meet on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 9:00 AM in hearing room 313.  The committee will receive testimony on HB114 Transportation Budget (McGregor), which makes appropriations for programs related to transportation and public safety for the biennium beginning July 1, 2011, and ending June 30, 2013, and to provide authorization and conditions for the operation of those programs.

Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee: The Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee, chaired by Senator Bacon, will meet at 10:00 AM in the South Hearing Room to accept amendments on SB5 (Jones) Collective Bargaining Reform.

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, March 2, 2011 at 2:30 PM in room 018 to receive testimony on HB69 (Wachtmann) Pension Reform. A presentation will be made by the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund.

The House Education Committee: The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton will meet on Wednesday, March 1, 2011 at 5:00 PM in Hearing Room 017. The committee will receive testimony on the following bills:

  • HB115 (Stebelton) Educational Choice Scholarships:  To gradually increase to 20,000 the number of Educational Choice Scholarships awarded annually.
  • HB116 (Barnes) School Anti-bullying Act:  Enacts the School Day Security and Anti-Bullying Act to require age-appropriate instruction on the parental notification of public schools’ policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
  • 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.

THURSDAY, MARCH 3, 2011

State Government Oversight & Reform: The State Government Oversight & Reform Committee, chaired by Representative Seitz, will meet on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 9:30 AM in the South Hearing Room.  The committee will hold a question and answer session with the directors of the five state pension systems.

Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee: The Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee, chaired by Senator Bacon, will meet at 10:00 AM in the South Hearing Room to accept amendments on SB5 (Jones) Collective Bargaining Reform.

Update from Washington: Government Shut-down Averted?  Stay-Tuned!  At the time of this writing, House and Senate leaders are reviewing a Republican-proposed plan to continue funding the federal government, which is scheduled to shut-down on March 4, 2011. A proposed continuing resolution (CR), released on February 25, 2011 by the House Appropriations Committee, chaired by Congressman Hal Rogers, extends funding for most federal programs and agencies through March 18, 2011, and includes $4 billion in cuts to current FY2011 spending levels for selected programs. Some of the cuts are similar to those proposed by President Obama in his administration’s FY2012 budget, introduced on February 14, 2011, and so it is possible that Democrats will support the resolution. The continuing resolution will be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 1, 2011.

The proposed cuts include $30 million from the Smithsonian Institute Legacy Fund; $468 million from the budget of the U.S. Department of Education for Even Start, Striving Readers, LEAP, Smaller Learning Communities; $2.7 in earmarks; and other programs.

The following education programs will also be affected by the cuts in earmarks: Children and Families Service Program – $21 million; Child Care Development Block Grants – $1 million; School Improvement Programs – $5 million; Innovation and Improvement – $229 million: Safe Schools and Citizenship Education – $32 million; Special Education – $22 million; Higher Education – $129 million; Institute of Museum and Library Services – $16 million; and more.

More information is available

Hearing on Education Regulations Scheduled:  The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Representative Kline, will hold a hearing on March 1, 2011 entitled “Education Regulations: Weighing the Burden on Schools and Students.”  The Committee will examine the scope of federal education mandates, including data collection requirements and paperwork burdens.  The witness list includes Gene Wilhoit, Executive Director, Council of Chief State School Officers; Edgar Hatrick, Superintendent, Loudoun County Public Schools VA; Christopher Nelson, President, St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD; Kati Haycock, President, The Education Trust, Washington, DC.

More information is available

Update from the ODE: Transitioning to the New Standards:  The Ohio Department of Education is planning to roll-out the new academic content standards in language arts and math (common core) and science and social studies standards through a series of regional meetings that will assist teachers in the transition to the new standards.  The meetings will begin in April and run through September, and will be facilitated by Educational Service Centers (ESCs).

These meetings will feature question-and-answer periods to promote dialogue, which will be used to develop a “frequently asked question” document. Meeting participants will also work together to suggest future professional development activities. During open forums, educators will be encouraged to share effective ideas and lessons learned during previous standards transition meetings held last fall and winter.

An advisory committee, comprised of district and ESC curriculum leaders, has also been formed to guide the transition process, More information about the meetings will be provided in the ODE’s Ides of ODE.

Connecticut’s NCLB Challenge Declined:  The U.S. Supreme Court announced on February 22, 2011 that it had declined to hear a lawsuit that the state of Connection had filed against the U.S. Department of Education regarding the No Child Left Behind Act in 2005. (Connecticut v. Duncan)

The legal action was taken to protest the extra costs required to implement the testing and other mandates in NCLB.  The lawsuit charged that the requirements were unfunded federal mandates, prohibited under the law.

The lawsuit had been dismissed by a federal district court in Hartford, CT in 2006 and by the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals Second Circuit in New York in July 2010 before it was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Measuring the Quality of Teacher Performance:  The Alliance for Excellent Education, Bob Wise president, published a comprehensive brief on February 8, 2011 entitled “Transforming High Schools: Performance Systems for Powerful Teaching” by Mariana Haynes. The brief describes the history and current types of teacher preparation and licensing systems, which rely on academic degrees, years of experience, and paper and pencil exams to demonstrate teacher effectiveness, and recommends the development of a standards-based approach that defines a common vision of skilled teaching and ongoing training to measure the quality of teacher performance.

The brief highlights several examples of performance-based licensure programs in development around the country.  These include the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA), an initiative led by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Council of Chief State School Officers, and Stanford University; the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT); and teacher performance assessments used by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which has granted advanced certification to more than 91,000 teachers nationwide since its inception.

The brief recommends federal and state policy makers do the following to support educator development in high schools:

  • Embrace high expectations and goals for students by establishing college and career readiness as the core mission of the K-12 education system.
  • Encourage states working with practitioners to create standards of practice that define quality teaching based on what teachers need to know and be able to do to elicit targeted student performances embodied in common standards and assessments.
  • Support the development of rigorous assessments that incorporate observational and other performance measures of teaching for the purpose of evaluating, developing, and recognizing teacher effectiveness, and informing professional preparation and development.

According to the brief, “The pending reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as NCLB, offers an opportunity to improve high schools by ensuring that systems are in place to build the teaching profession based on validated performance measures.”

The brief is available.

NAGC: Passow Classroom Teacher Scholarship: The National Association for Gifted Children annually awards the A. Harry Passow Classroom Teacher Scholarship to teachers of grades K-12 who have shown excellence in teaching gifted students, the ability to meet the needs of gifted students, and commitment to furthering the development of their teaching skills.

The scholarship is designed to reimburse/defray the costs of continuing education for up to two eligible teachers currently teaching gifted students in a variety of educational settings ranging from a homogeneous or full-day special class to a heterogeneous classroom.

The maximum award is $2,000. Teachers K-12 who have been members of NAGC for at least one year are eligible.  Application deadline is April 18, 2011. More information is available.

Bills Introduced

  • SB81 (Cates) Educator License:  Qualifies Teach for America participants for a resident educator license.
  • HB115 (Stebelton) (Educational Choice Scholarships): Gradually increase to 20,000 the number of Educational Choice Scholarships awarded annually.
  • HB116 (Barnes) School Anti-bullying Act: Enact the School Day Security and Anti-Bullying Act to require age-appropriate instruction on and parental notification of public schools’ policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
  • SB86 (Sawyer) Community School:  Permit the establishment of a community school to serve adults of school age children who are incarcerated or who have been released from the custody of the Department of Youth Services abed to declare an emergency.
  • HB109 (Williams) Parent-Teacher Conference:  Requires parents of students enrolled in school districts rated continuous improvement or lower to attend a parent-teacher conference.
  • HB113 (Lundy) Taxpayer’s Right to Know Act: Enacts “The Taxpayer’s Right to Know Act,” specifying that records of public-private partnerships that perform or assist with state functions are public records, and such entities must conduct business in open meetings.

FYI ARTS

EdSteps launches Work Collection for Creativity:  EdSteps is led by the Council of Chief State School Officers and seeks to give teachers, parents, and students a Web-based resource for comparing their student work to that of other students. It is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The goal of Edsteps is to create a large, public library of student work samples in key skill areas (writing, global competence, creativity, problem solving, and analyzing information), that are typically difficult and costly to assess. For each skill area, student work will be presented in a continuum – a gradual progression – from emerging to accomplished work.

EdSteps is currently collecting examples of work in CREATIVITY and GLOBAL COMPETENCE. EdSteps welcomes work samples from teachers and other adults, as well as students of all ability levels from Pre-K through graduate school. Works may be in any form, genre or media – including writing, videos, images or graphics – in any subject area. An educator or student may submit works one at a time or in batches if a free online account is created. Work samples will not include author names or schools, but must be submitted with parental permission if the works were created by minors.

More information about how to participate is available.

Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences:  The President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Leslie C. Berlowitz, announced on February 25, 2011 the creation of a national commission to bolster teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences, fields that are critical to culture, education, and to America’s economic competitiveness.

The Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences will be chaired by Richard H. Brodhead, President of Duke University, and John W. Rowe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Exelon Corporation, and includes prominent Americans from the humanities, the social sciences, the physical and life sciences, business, law, philanthropy, the arts, and the media.

Representatives of the arts include the following:

  • Louise H. Bryson, Chair Emerita, J. Paul Getty Trust
  • Ken Burns, Director and Producer, Florentine Films
  • G. Wayne Clough, Secretary, Smithsonian Institute
  • James Cuno, Director and President, Art Institute of Chicago
  • Emmylou Harris, Musican/Songwriter
  • John Lithgow, Actor
  • George Lucas, Producer, screenwriter, director and founder, chairman of Lucasfilm, Ltd.

The Commission was formed in response to a bipartisan request from United States Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) and Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Representatives Tom Petri (R-Wisconsin) and David Price (D-North Carolina). The commission has been asked by Congress to respond to the following charge:

What are the top ten actions that Congress, state governments, universities, foundations, educators, individual benefactors, and others should take now to maintain national excellence in humanities and social scientific scholarship and education, and to achieve long-term national goals for our intellectual and economic well-being; for a stronger, more vibrant civil society; and for the success of cultural diplomacy in the 21st century?

The findings of the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences will serve as a companion to a forthcoming report of the National Academies on the future of the research university and ways to strengthen the American scientific enterprise. The American Academy Commission will draw on past research efforts, data from its http://www.humanitiesIndicators.org, and the experience and expertise of a multidisciplinary group of national leaders to recommend specific, actionable steps to maintain the nation’s excellence in the humanities and the social sciences. The work of the Commission is being funded initially by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Commission expects to complete its work over the next 18 to 24 months.

For more information about the commission, please visit http://www.humanitiesCommission.org/

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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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