129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate are on spring break until April 29, 2011, although the House Finance and Appropriations Committee has scheduled meetings at the end of the week.
Representatives Ron Amstutz and Christina Hagen have scheduled a news conference on the state budget on Monday, April 25, 2011 at 9:30 AM in Statehouse Room 121.
The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, is scheduled to meet at 4:30 PM in room 313 on April 28, 2011 to consider a substitute bill for HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget. Public testimony will be accepted on the bill on April 29 through May 1, 2011. Hearings on April 29, 2011 are scheduled for 9:00 AM; on April 30, 2011 at 10:00 AM; and May 2, 2011 at 10:00 AM. The committee might be ready to vote on the proposed budget on May 3, 2011, with a vote in the Ohio House possible on May 5, 2011.
A new coalition, Ohio’s Campaign for Jobs, Linda Woggon spokesperson, was launched on April 19, 2011. The purpose of the coalition is to “secure passage of the major reforms contained in the Jobs Budget now before the Ohio General Assembly”. (Jobs Ohio is included in HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget). The coalition includes mostly business organizations, such as ABC of Ohio; Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber; Columbus Partnership; Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce; Greater Cleveland Partnership; NFIB-Ohio; Ohio Business Roundtable; Ohio Council of Retail Merchants; Ohio Chamber of Commerce; Ohio Grocers Association; Ohio Society of CPAs; and the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce. The campaign is funded by the “Partnership for Ohio’s Future”, a not-for-profit organization formed in 2006 to promote public policies that support jobs. According to its web site, Ohio’s Campaign for Jobs will build a grassroots network and media campaign to help strengthen Ohio economy.
More information is available.
The Zanesville Times reported on April 16, 2011 that the Ohio House State Government and Elections Redistricting Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Matt Huffman, intends to meet in mid May after the Ohio House approves the biennial budget (HB153 – Amstutz) to begin the process of revamping Ohio’s congressional districts. Ohio will lose two congressional districts this year as a result of a decrease in the state’s population based on the 2010 census. The redistricting subcommittee is expected to hold hearings around the state to develop 16 congressional districts for the state. The subcommittee includes five members, three Republican and two Democrat. The members of the subcommittee are Representatives Matt Huffman, Courtney Combs, Mike Dovilla, Tom Letson, and Kathleen Clyde. After the subcommittee completes its plan, the full House State Government and Elections Committee will vote. The Ohio House and Senate must agree on a redistricting plan, which is subject to a veto by the governor.
State legislative districts will be redrawn by a committee, which includes Governor Kasich, Auditor David Yost, Secretary of State Jon Husted, and one member appointed by each of the major parties.
News from Washington, D.C.: Update on ESEA Re-authorization: According to press reports, discussions about the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) are continuing within both parties, but the outcome of these discussions is uncertain. Both the U.S. House and Senate education committees are expected to consider legislation to re-authorize ESEA at some time, but some experts do not believe that both parties can agree on changes in the law before the 2012 presidential campaign begins. A group of Democratic senators released on March 2, 2011 a set of principles for revising ESEA based on the “blueprint” for reform proposed by the White House, and in the House, Representative John Kline, chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, recently announced that the committee will consider several bills that address various ESEA provisions and provide more flexibility for local educational agencies (LEAs) to meet accountability standards.
Parents Across America has posted on its website a “blueprint” for reforming ESEA entitled “What Public School Parents Want in a New Federal Education Law”. The blueprint calls for the following be included in ESEA:
- Sufficient and equitable resources in all public schools, so that every child receives a high-quality education.
- Improving schools rather than closing them, by means of evidence-based solutions backed by parents and other stakeholders.
- Less standardized testing and more reliable accountability and assessment practices.
- Programs that encourage the retention of professional, experienced teachers.
- A full range of parent involvement opportunities including a stronger parent voice in decision making at the school, district, state, and national levels.
- The right of parents to opt their children out of standardized tests.
U.S. DOE Rep States “Every Child Needs the Arts”: Peter Cunningham, assistant secretary for communication and outreach at the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), expressed support for arts education at an April 6, 2011 event held at the U.S. DOE. Mr. Cunningham noted that the arts are an essential part of a well-rounded education that prepares students for success in the 21st Century workforce.
The event included educators, artists, and representatives of nonprofit organizations from New Jersey (Educational Arts Team) and California (Dramatic Results Team), and focused on how integrating the arts into the core curriculum can raise academic achievement and foster skills that the U.S. needs in future leaders. The Educational Arts Team, a Jersey-City (N.J.) based nonprofit, works with Jersey City Public Schools and the Dramatic Results Team, a community-based nonprofit, works with the Long Beach Unified School District in Long Beach, California.
Both nonprofit groups are grantees under the U.S. DOE’s “Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Program”. Teachers from both districts and evaluation experts explained that infusing the arts into the core academic curriculum engages students; addresses learning styles; helps develop higher-order thinking skills; and results in more active participation and collaboration in class. Both of the programs have been evaluated using control groups. These evaluations show that student achievement increases in language arts and mathematics for students who participate in the program compared to students in traditional education programs.
More information on the evidence behind the success of the Arts-Integration Grantee program is available.
Impact of Education Cuts: Policy Matters Ohio released on April 8, 2011 a “Budget Brief” of the economic impact of HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget. (“Economic Impact of Education Cuts in the Kasich Budget Proposal: An Input-Output Analysis” by Wendy Patton.)
According to the Budget Brief, the proposed FY12-13 budget (included in HB153 – Amstutz) reduces funding for primary, secondary, and higher education by $2 billion, compared to funding in 2011. “In addition to hurting the quality of education cuts of this magnitude in a labor-intensive sector will have an economic impact felt in every school district and college town as teachers, professors, cafeteria workers, school bus drivers, janitors, coaches and ground crew workers lose their jobs.”
According to a commissioned input-output study, the economic impact of these possible cuts could result in the loss of 47,291 direct, indirect, and induced full time equivalent jobs in Ohio. The study was conducted by the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), University of Massachusetts-Amherst, March 31, 2011.
The study found that the greatest impact will occur in FY12, when the cuts are the deepest totaling $1.593 billion. These cuts could lead to the possible loss of 37,279 direct, indirect, and induced jobs.
The proposed cuts are smaller in FY13, and would lead to a loss of an additional 10,031 jobs.
The brief also notes that an increase in tax revenues would also have an impact on jobs, “…but numerous studies have found that far fewer jobs are lost when revenues are raised than when spending is cut.” The brief recommends, “A smarter approach to this budget shortfall in Ohio is a balanced one that includes revenues and addresses the budget shortfall on both sides of the ledger.”
The budget brief is available.
NCSL Report Finds State Economies Improving, But Slowly: The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), William Pound executive director, released on April 19, 2011 “State Budget Update: March 2011”, which includes information about the fiscal condition of the 50 states. According to a summary of the report, state finances are stabilizing and in some cases growing, but budget gaps remain due to the significant drop in state revenue collections over the previous two years. Steady growth in state revenues from a recovering economy has not been enough to offset the loss of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, or the increases in cost due to Medicaid and K-12 education.
With revenue from personal income tax and sales tax growing, leaders in most states expressed more confidence about the growth in their state economies, but the large budget deficits are going to be difficult to close. For example, only two states reported that they expect revenue collections to return to peak levels this fiscal year. Nine states expect a rebound in FY12, but almost half of the states reported that they do not expect revenues to return to peak levels until sometime between FY13-FY16.
According to the report, the states reporting the highest budget deficits in FY11 are Illinois
(12.2 percent) and Alabama (8 percent). Pennsylvania reported a budget gap of .2 percent, while Massachusetts reported a gap of 5 percent. Nine states have closed their budget deficits.
While states reported that personal income and sales tax revenue has been recovering, corporate income taxes have remained below estimates in fifteen states. Three states, New York, Hawaii, and Vermont, reported that personal income taxes had dropped below estimates.
In terms of spending, twenty states reported that Medicaid or other health care programs were over budget; corrections was above budget in seven states; and five states reported that the cost for social service programs had exceeded budget estimates. Texas reported that spending for K-12 education was $600 million over budget.
The report notes that officials in Ohio reported that they expect to finish FY11 with a “larger end of year balance than originally estimated”.
For FY12 thirty-one states project budget deficits in FY12 totaling $86.1 billion. The largest shortfalls are projected for Alabama(33.7 percent); Nevada (31 percent); California(28 percent); Minnesota (18.8 percent); and Oregon (18.6 percent). Eighteen states did not report a projected budget gap for FY12.
For FY13 nineteen states are projecting budget deficits totaling $30.9 billion. Nevada (35 percent) and Oregon (18.6 percent) are the largest being reported.
As state economies recover, states project revenues from taxes to return to peak levels. Delaware and New York are projecting that revenues will return to peak levels in FY11; nine states, including Ohio, expect a return to peak levels in FY12. Eight states expect a return to peak levels in FY13. Ten states expect to return to peak levels in FY14.
More information about the report is available.
Who Are the Education Reformers? An article in the New York Times on April 17, 2011 by Michael Winerip entitled “In Public School Efforts, a Common Background: Private Education” examines the educational background of some of the leaders in the current education reform movement, and finds that many attended or graduated from private schools.
The author describes the reforms included in the signature reform legislation, “The No Child Left Behind Act”, promoted by these education reformers, and how the law has increased student testing, increased school accountability, and increased questions about teacher effectiveness. When the law was approved in 2001 the hope was that it would increase rigor and student achievement, but recently U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, announced that 82 percent of schools might be labeled as failures this year.
The author asks the reader to decide the following: “Does a private school background give them a much-needed distance and fresh perspective to better critique and remake traditional public schools? Does it make them distrust public schools – or even worse – poison their perception of them? Or does it make any difference?”
The article includes a list of education reformers and the private schools that they attended, including the following:
- Senator Judd Gregg – Phillips Exeter, Exeter, N.H.
- Edward M. Kennedy – Milton Academy, Milton, Mass.
- Representative John A. Boehner – Archbishop Moeller High School, Cincinnati -President George Bush – Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.
- President Obama – Punahou School, Honolulu -Michelle A. Rhee – Maumee Valley Country Day School, Toledo, Ohio -Mitt Romney – Cranbrook School, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
- Bill Gates – Lakeside School, Seattle. (The article notes that in November 2010 Mr. Gates called upon public school leaders to increase class size to reduce costs, while his school’s web site promotes the benefits of its small classes of 16 students.) -Jeb Bush – Phillips Andover -Chester E. Finn Jr. – Phillips Exeter -David Levin – Riverdale Country School, the Bronx. He is co-founder of KIPP, the nation’s biggest charter chain.
- Steven Brill – Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Mass. He is an advocate of the charter school movement.
- Davis Guggenheim – Sidwell Friends School, Washington. He is the producer and director of “Waiting for Superman”.
The article is available.
Implementing Revised Standards: The Ohio Department of Education’s web site includes information about meetings planned to help teachers implement revised standards in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The ODE has developed a transition roadmap to implement the standards, and has held meetings with representatives of Educational Service Centers (ESCs) to discuss implementation strategies and ways to share these strategies with classroom teachers. The ODE will also be gathering suggestions for future professional development, related information resources, and effective planning strategies. Those who have not been able to attend the first two meetings are encouraged to indicate their interest in participating in future meetings by contacting Lisa Simpson at email@example.com.
Update on Revisions Process for Content Standards in the Arts: Keep up to date about information on the revised standards for the arts by following updates on the ODE web site.
The update for Spring includes information about the third writing team meeting held on April 5, 2011. At this meeting the writing teams convened by disciplines and grade clusters and continued to revise the new content statements, paying particular attention to addressing 21st-century learning skills. Writers also examined the recently revised art education standards in Oregon, California, and Colorado. The writing teams have developed frameworks for three strands of standards for the arts: perceiving, producing/performing, and reflecting.
The first draft of the revised standards for fine arts will be finalized over the summer, and will be available for public comment online in the fall 2011, and then presented to statewide professional organizations.
- HB203 (R. Hagen/M.Foley) Recalling Elected Officials: Establishes a process for recalling statewide elected officials and members of the General Assembly.
- SB146 (Schaffer) Tax Credit for Teachers-Instructional Materials: Allows a credit against the personal income tax for amounts spent by teachers for instructional materials.
- SB148 (Wagoner) Election Law: Revises the Election Law.
- HB194 (Mecklenborg) Election Law: Revises the Election Law.
- HB199 (Beck) State Budget- Aggregate Revenue: Prohibits the Governor from proposing and the General Assembly from enacting a state budget with aggregate general revenue fund appropriations that exceed ninety-five per cent of the total money received in aggregate revenue.
- HB202 (Hollington) Retirement Benefits – Public Employees: Limits the retirement benefit of a re-employed retiree of a public retirement system, and eliminates the deferred retirement option plan in the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund and State Highway Patrol Retirement System.
Call for Teachers!: The Ohio Historical Society (OHS) is hosting a National Endowment for the Humanities “Picturing America” program called “American Transitions from Rural to Urban Life” through the spring and summer of 2011 for social studies and arts teachers. The project will consist of 2-full day, in-person seminars and three evening webinars, and will explore key topics and issues during the American Industrial Revolution using the Picturing America collection. Participants will receive a stipend to cover food and mileage; a set of books and articles; a CD of primary source materials for OHS collections; access to content presentations by top scholars; and introduction to hands-on interdisciplinary activities for the classroom. For more information please visit:
The Ohio Humanities Council (OHC) is accepting applications for K-12 teachers to attend free summer institutes to study with scholars in several content areas. One of the institutes is entitled “Picturing History: Editorial Cartooning in America, 1754-2011”, and will be held on August 1-5, 2011 at The Ohio State University (OSU Columbus). The program will allow teachers to explore the history of American editorial cartooning and provide access to primary source materials at the OSU Cartoon Library and Museum. The application deadline is May 2, 2011. Registration details and more information are available.
Grantees of the “Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) Grants” Share Successes: The Jersey City Public School District, and the Long Beach, California Public School District shared on April 6, 2011 information about the success of their projects funded through the “Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) Grants” at an Education Policy Briefing held at the U.S. Department of Education.
The school districts implemented their AEMDD programs between 2005-2009 in elementary classrooms. The program in New Jersey integrated the curriculum through a theater program developed by the non-profit Educational Arts Team. The program evaluation showed a 16-point increase in student achievement on the Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge for students participating in the arts-integrated program compared to a control group of students who did not participate.
The Long Beach Public School District partnered with a non-profit organization Dramatic Results to integrate visual art in the elementary school curriculum, and measured student achievement of participating and a control group of non-participating students in the program using a standardized assessment in math. The results of an evaluation of this program showed that participating students had statistically significant higher scores than non-participating students, and also outperformed students in their knowledge of arts-related concepts; arts interpretation; the elements of art.
In addition to student achievement, both schools reported that student attendance increased; students learned to work together in groups; and students demonstrated increased confidence and engagement in their work.
LWVO Executive Director Position: The League of Women Voters of Ohio/ Education Fund recently announced that it is seeking an executive director. The executive director works closely with members of the Board to carry out the mission and goals of the League and reports to the President of the Board. The executive director is responsible for the overall administration and management of the League of Women Voters of Ohio/Education Fund, including membership and programming, advocacy, fundraising and organizational operations.
Key areas of responsibilities: Oversees organizational operations, including planning, financial management, and supervision of personnel -Manages a small office in Columbus -Assists with development and implementation of strategic plan -Develops an active planning process and organizational goals consistent with the mission -Develops, recommend, and monitor annual and other budgets; Coordinate annual audit -Oversees fiscal record-keeping and reporting -Oversees member activities and events, including Statehouse Day and Convention -Coordinates advocacy activities of the League with an emphasis in promoting reform in the areas of election administration, campaign finance, judicial selection, redistricting and accountability -Leads fundraising efforts including foundation grants, major donor solicitation and growth of individual donor base -Communicates the League’s mission and priorities to the League’s constituencies through strategic use of print and electronic media -Manages and cultivates positive working relationships with staff, board, League members and volunteers, donors, media and community leaders -Other duties as assigned
Job Qualifications: BA required, Masters preferred. Five years management experience in non-profit sector. Previous executive director experience a plus.
Knowledge: Understanding of the workings of a non-profit, membership organization. Business operational knowledge including management and budget. Familiarity with role of advocacy organization.
Skills/Competencies: Action-oriented with a commitment to excellence and the mission of the League. Able to develop and implement a strategic plan. Effective leader with the ability to motivate a diverse group of volunteers, staff and community partners. Strong fundraiser with the skills to build and allocate resources. Able to prioritize and set measurable goals. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Able to be the face of the League as appropriate.
Technical Skills: Proficiency with MS Office products and ability to quickly learn and apply new technology skills.
To apply, please submit cover letter and resume to:
Nancy Brown, LWVOEF Board member, at firstname.lastname@example.org, by May 6, 2011.
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS® OF OHIO EDUCATION FUND
17 South High Street, Suite 650 * Columbus, Ohio 43215 Phone (614) 469-1505 * Fax (614) 469-7918 www.lwvohio.org
Ohio Arts Presenters Network is Searching for the Next Young Artist Initiative Winner!: With the addition of the Ohio Arts Presenters Network (OAPN) Young Artist Initiative (YAI), Ohio’s most promising young artists will be celebrated by and introduced to OAPN’s role in the development of Ohio’s arts communities. Categories include: Dance, Music, Young Audience, Theatre & Beyond. One entrant from each category will be chosen by an adjudication panel as a YAI Selected Artist. Of these four selected artists, one will be chosen as the YAI Featured Artist and will be invited to perform during the Opening Dinner/ Awards Ceremony at the 2011 OAPN Annual Showcase Conference in Columbus on Monday, October 24. This will give the artist an opportunity to be seen by presenters from all over the state of Ohio and allow an inside look at the business side of being a performing artist. Applicants must be Ohio residents or attend an Ohio school and must be 18-25 years of age to apply. Deadline for submissions-Friday, September 2, 2011 Visit the OAPN website for additional eligibility rules and application.
SAVE THE DATE! 2011 OAPN Annual Showcase Conference The Annual Showcase Conference is a three day event that has 36 showcases, an exhibit hall, professional development workshops and lots of networking opportunities. Attendees to the Annual Showcase Conference include Presenters, Performing Artists, Agents, Service Organizations and Consultants who reside in and outside of Ohio.
CATCO/Phoenix jumps into the world of technology through the 2011 Virtual Writing Institute, a professional development opportunity geared toward today’s classroom teacher!: Join us as we explore how integration and differentiated instruction can impact student learning across the curriculum. The course is designed for your convenience. Through a series of pod casts and on-line discussions participants will explore assessment, integration, lesson development, and standards alignment. Starting with an introductory podcast and/or webinar participants will have an introduction to the Virtual Writing Institute and be given resources and tools to work through at their leisure: examples of integrated lessons in real classrooms in a video format, actual lessons to review and adapt, and on-line discussions about today’s learner and the opportunities that integration bring to the learner and the teacher!
Participation is easy and hassle-free. The 2011 Virtual Writing Institute: no fees, no travel, no worries! The 2011 Virtual Writing Institute: engage from where you are, participate at times during the day (or night) that work for you, receive a certificate of completion at the end of the Institute! Simply email the following information and we’ll get you signed up! Email to: Heather Burley, email@example.com, subject line: 2011 Virtual Writing Institute.
Preferred Emails (work) (home)
Telephone with area code
School and District Names
Grades and Subjects you teach
Registration deadline is May 15, 2011.