Celebrate Arts in Education Week September 11-18, 2011: Governor John Kasich and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor have officially recognized September 11-17, 2011 as Arts in Education Week in Ohio. In an official proclamation given to the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, it states, “During this week we encourage Ohioans to promote and showcase the immense role arts education has in producing engaged, successful college and career-ready students. Arts Education, comprising a rich array of disciplines including dance, music, theatre, media arts, literature, design, and visual arts, is a core academic subject and an essential element of a complete and balanced education for all students.”
Arts in Education Week provides an opportunity for arts education advocates to promote and showcase the immense role arts education has in producing engaged, successful, and college and career-ready students.
What is your school and community doing to showcase arts education programs in your schools??? Let us know and we will include your Arts in Education Week event in Arts on Line over the next weeks!!!
129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will not hold sessions this week. The House State Government and Elections Committee, chaired by Representative Huffman, will meet on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 10:00 AM in hearing room 116.
The following is the schedule for the Ohio General Assembly for September 2011:
Tuesday, September 13 – Sessions (if needed) Wednesday, September 14 – Sessions (if needed) Tuesday, September 20 – Sessions Wednesday, September 21 – Sessions Thursday, September 22 – Committee Hearings Tuesday, September 27 – Sessions
Ohio Senate Approves SB165: The Ohio Senate approved SB165 (Obhof and Grendell) by a vote of 29-0 on July 13, 2011. This legislation requires that content on specified historical documents be included in the state academic standards and in the high school American history and government curriculum.
Statewide Issues on the November Ballot: The following issues will be on the November 8, 2011 ballot:
Issue 1: A proposed Constitutional amendment by Joint Resolution of the General Assembly to amend Section 6 of Article IV and to repeal Sections 19 and 22 of Article IV of the Constitution of the State of Ohio to do the following:
1. Increase the maximum age for assuming elected or appointed judicial office from seventy to seventy-five.
2. Eliminate the General Assembly’s authority to establish courts of conciliation.
3. Eliminate the Governor’s authority to appoint members to a Supreme Court Commission.
Issue 2: A Referendum to approve or reject Amended Substitute Senate Bill No. 5, which is a new law relative to government union contracts and other government employment contracts and policies.
Issue 3: A proposed Constitutional Amendment by Initiative Petition to adopt Section 21 of Article I of the Constitution of the State of Ohio to do the following:
1. In Ohio, no law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system.
2. In Ohio, no law or rule shall prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or health insurance.
3. In Ohio, no law or rule shall impose a penalty or fine for the sale or purchase of health care or health insurance.
The proposed amendment would not:
1. Affect laws or rules in effect as of March 19, 2010.
2. Affect which services a health care provider or hospital is required to perform or provide.
3. Affect terms and conditions of government employment.
4. Affect any laws calculated to deter fraud or punish wrongdoing in the health care industry.
News from Washington D.C.
New Version of ED Data Express: The U.S. Department of Education introduced on August 25, 2011 the latest version of ED Data Express, an interactive Web site that provides timely K-12 education data to the public. The upgraded site adds new data visualization tools, enhanced documentation, and social networking options for users. ED Data Express, launched in August 2010, consolidates relevant data collected by U.S.DOE from several different sources and provides a variety of tools that allow users to explore the data and create individualized reports. Data is available from the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Performance Management Information Services Division of the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, the National Center for Education Statistics, and The College Board. It also includes information about state assessment results, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, graduation rates, and school accountability information, budgets, and demographics. The upgraded ED Data Express Web site, is available at http://www.eddataexpress.ed.gov.
U.S. DOE Response to IDEA Raises Questions: The U.S. Department of Education’s “informal letter” (which is not legally binding) to an inquiry regarding a question about special education “maintenance of effort” (MOE) has raised even more questions. In a June 2011 letter, Dr. Melody Musgrove, Director of the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education, responded to a February 2011 inquiry from Dr. Bill East of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education about the obligation of a school district to meet its maintenance-of-effort requirement for special education expenditures after a school district reduced its budget for special education.
According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), school districts are required to expend the amount of money for special education expended in the previous fiscal year. When school districts do not maintain the same level of support, the school district is required to repay the State education agency (and therefore the U.S. DOE) an amount equal to the shortage.
A question was raised about the level of spending that would be required the following year in order to meet the maintenance of effort standard, when a school district failed to expend less on special education the previous year. Would the MOE level be the amount the district actually spent or the amount spent plus the shortage?
According to the U.S. DOE’s informal letter, the new lower amount would become the maintenance of effort target, which means that school districts could essentially lower their special education MOE.
According to Education Week (“Feds Loosen Rules on Cutting Special Ed. Spending” by Nirvi Shah: August 31, 2011) Kathleen B. Boundy, a co-director of the Center for Law and Education, based in Boston, has requested that the U.S. DOE rescind the informal letter. More information about this new interpretation of MOE is available.
The U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee approved on July 13, 2011 H.R. 2445, the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act, the third bill approved in series of bills to re-authorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). H.R. 2445 would provide state and local school districts increased flexibility when using federal education funds. More information about this bill is available. Read opposition to this bill.
News from the ODE: The following topics were recently included in EdConnections, a publication of the Ohio Department of Education and available.
ODE will Increase Oversight of Tutoring Program: Superintendent of Public Instruction Stan Heffner directed the Ohio Department of Education on September 3, 2011 to strengthen oversight and management of Supplemental Educational Services, a federally funded tutoring program created through the No Child Left Behind Act for students in certain low-performing schools.
The directive came after the release of an internal ODE audit that found that tutors participating in the program had not complied with a number of requirements. The 270 tutors currently participating in the program will be decertified effective June 30, 2012 and must reapply for the school year. According to a press release from the ODE, to be re-certified, tutors must demonstrate that they can appropriately and transparently manage their invoicing and accounting and reaffirm this ability annually. The ODE will post provider effectiveness ratings received from schools annually for parents to know the quality of services being provided for students throughout Ohio; survey participating families about the quality of tutoring services received; create a model agreement outlining tutor performance requirements for any school to use when contracting with a provider for services; increase the resources it devotes to investigating complaints of irregularities from local school districts, parents or interested parties; and work with schools to share best practices for managing and policing their tutoring programs to help them more quickly catch problem tutors and report them for investigation.
What’s New for the School Year? The ODE has created a new webpage, “What’s New for the School Year” to provide information for families and educators about standards guides for families, testing dates, state identification cards for students, and other topics.
ODE Resources for HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget: The ODE has included on its website a number of resources to provide information about House Bill 153, the state’s FY12-13 budget, including the following:
- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delivers Presentation at the Budget Analysis and Discussion (BAD) Workshop, including talking points on available waivers
- Senior Executive Director of Accountability and Continuous Improvement, Adrian Allison, Delivers Presentation on HB 153 Rankings and Reporting
- New ODE Responsibilities under HB 153
- New Local Responsibilities and Permissions
- Eliminated Local Responsibilities and Permissions
- Summary of Budget and Proposed Policy Changes
The information is available.
Transition to New Academic Standards: School districts will be transitioning to the revised academic content standards over the next three school years. The ODE has posted content-specific crosswalks on each of the content area pages to support this work. An additional Comparative Analysis tool will also be available to assist in comparing the new and current standards. Some districts have already completed the necessary curriculum realignment and are ready for implementation of the new standards this year. These districts are encouraged to begin with the K-2 grade band, as this is the first group of students who will be subject to the new assessments in the 2014-2015 school year. ODE is realigning the current K-2 diagnostics to the revised standards, and plans to have them available for use by next fall for the 2012-2013 school year.
Webinar series offered to combat bullying and improve school climate: The ODE has joined several other state agencies to form the Ohio Anti-Harassment, Anti-Intimidation and Anti-Bullying (Anti-HIB) Initiative, and will be sponsoring a series of one-hour webinars during the current school year to help schools improve school climate. The webinars will be presented by experts from each sponsoring agency on topics including: policy implementation and supports; cyber safety; legal ramifications; school-wide interventions; teen dating violence prevention; and girl aggression.
In addition to ODE, speakers will represent the Attorney General, eTech Ohio, the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, and the departments of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Health, and Mental Health.
Each webinar is open to the first 100 participants, with registration open 30 minutes before each program. The webinars will be recorded and posted the same day on the ODE web page for viewing at a later time. The next webinar is Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 3:00 PM.
More information is available.
Public Education Under Fire: Authors of a New York Times Op Ed article published on August 25, 2011 (When Schools Depend on Handouts by Michael A. Rebell and Jessica R. Wolff) opine that it is “disgraceful that essential components of our public education system now depend on the charitable impulses of wealthy citizens”. The op ed was in response to a $1.5 million donation that was made to reinstate the January New York State Regents exams, which were recently eliminated to reduce the state budget. The donation, made by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and five other individuals, is one of many private resources that now supports vital components of state public education systems, and illustrates how public education and its original purpose are being undermined today.
The purpose of public education, which was a concept championed by school reformer Horace Mann, was to create an education system “one and the same for both rich and poor” with “all citizens on the same footing of equality before the law of land.”
The authors, who are with the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University, note that public education, the system created to provide equal access to an education for all, is now in jeopardy, as “anti-union sentiment continues to spread” and school budgets are cut across the country.
The authors write, “Most state constitutions, in fact, guarantee all students a sound, basic public education. These constitutional rights cannot be put on hold, even in tough times. It is unconstitutional to call on parents to pay for textbooks and lab fees for required courses. And art, music, sports, basic educational support services and many extracurricular activities that promote learning, creativity and character are not luxuries; they, too, are essential features of a sound, basic education.”
Although some courts, (California, New Jersey, and North Carolina) are responding to lawsuits filed to protect education funding in some areas, litigation is time-consuming and expensive. The authors write, “Politicians have a constitutional obligation to protect public education. They need to ensure that adequate public funds are available, and the people need to hold them accountable for doing so.”
The article is available.
Policy Matters Reports: Two recent reports published by Policy Matters Ohio provide information about the impact of HB153 (the state’s biennial budget) on local governments and the impact of charter school law on Ohio’s traditional public schools. Both reports are available at http://www.policymattersohio.org/.
“A Thousand Blows: State Budget Slashes Funding for a Broad Swath of Local Government Services” by Wendy Patton: August 31, 2011, describes the impact of the $1 billion cut for funding local government included in the biennial budget HB153 and how the cuts will affect public services that support and protect the public in counties, cities, villages, townships, parks, port authorities, police and fire funds, and health and human service levies. The Appendix of the report contains county-by-county and some municipal data and details on how the cuts will reduce support for senior and children’s services, mental health, developmental disabilities, and other services. HB153 contains many cuts to local services, but the primary losses are in the Local Government Fund ($411 million), a revenue sharing program which is cut in half by the end of the biennium, and in tax reimbursements promised to local government as local taxes were eliminated, such as tax reimbursements for Public Utility Tangible Property taxes (PUTP) ($138 million) and tangible personal property taxes (TPP) ($483 million), and the estate tax (in 2010 $230 million).
“The State Budget’s Impact on Ohio Charter and Voucher Policy” by Piet van Lier, August 12, 2011, describes the impact of HB153, the state’s FY12-13 biennial budget on traditional public schools, including policies to expand privatization of education through charter schools and voucher programs.
According to the policy brief, HB 153 reduced funding for public K-12 education by $1.8 billion over the biennium, and included a number of changes in law that will impact traditional public schools, including expanding privatization by increasing the number of charter schools and school vouchers; restructuring seniority, tenure, and pay for teachers; establishing new ratings measures for schools; and expanding the role of regional Educational Service Centers. Some of these issues will be examined in future reports.
While the new law allows charter schools to expand, the author notes that HB153 did “…little to strengthen the quality of the charter sector in Ohio”. For example, new sponsor requirements might be “too weak to have a significant impact”; the number of districts in which start-up charters can be created was expanded in the bill; the number of schools that sponsors can sponsor was increased; “state law continues to allow unchecked and un-examined growth of charters in districts rated as challenged”; efforts to close low performing charter schools have been side-stepped by some charter school operators; management companies (some for-profit) are still able to open new charter schools; the new law authorizes the ODE to sponsor charter schools while continuing to oversee charter-school sponsors; and the new law expands the number of students who can receive vouchers to attend private schools, and even creates a new kind of publicly funded boarding school.
The author writes, “As a result of the low bar for entry into Ohio’s charter sector, profit-seeking operators or those unprepared for the challenges of running a school end up playing games of chance with the futures of too many Ohio children.”
The complete report includes a number of graphs and details about the status of charter schools in Ohio, and is available.
Seven Steps to Becoming a 21st Century School: Ken Kay, former president of the Partnership for 21st Century Schools and currently CEO of EdLeader21, describes in a blog for Edutopia seven steps that will infuse the 4Cs (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity) with the 3Rs to provide a framework for becoming 21st Century schools. The seven steps include:
- Adopt your vision: Use the 4C’s and more.
- Create a community consensus around the 4C’s.
- Align your system with the 4C’s.
- Use the 4C’s to build professional capacity around the 4C’s.
- Embed the 4C’s into curriculum and assessment.
- Use the 4C’s to support teachers.
- Improve and innovate: Create a 4C’s organization.
The author will include more details about the seven steps over the next seven weeks. The blog is available.
Big Name Change for MENC: On September 1, 2011, MENC officially changed its name to the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). The National Executive Board of MENC, which is the acronym for Music Educators National Conference, had changed to the National Association for Music Education in 1998. According to Michael A. Butera, executive director, the new acronym (NAfME) will be more easily-recognizable and instantly-understood when working with Congress, raising funds, recruiting teachers, and promoting music education in our schools and communities.
Update from the National Partnerships, Education Department of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: The September 2011 issue of the National Partnerships Update included the following information:
Any Given Child Expands to Austin, Texas: The Kennedy Center has chosen Austin, Texas as the seventh partner city for Any Given Child, a program that creates a long-range arts education plan for students in grades K-8. The program will incorporate existing resources of the Austin Independent School District, along with those of local arts organizations and the Kennedy Center to create a plan for arts education specific to the city. The city joins partnerships in Sacramento, California; Springfield, Missouri; Portland, Oregon; Las Vegas, Nevada; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Sarasota, Florida.
Any Given Child seeks to bring access, balance, and equity to each child’s arts education, using an affordable model that combines the resources of the school district, local arts groups, and the Kennedy Center. With the assistance of consultation services provided by Kennedy Center staff and other professionals, community leaders develop a long-range plan for arts education that is tailor-made for the school district and community.
Partners in Education Accepting Applications for 2012 Institute: The Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program is accepting applications for new teams interested in joining the program at the 2012 Institute, which will take place April 25-28, 2012 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The four-day Institute is designed for arts organizations and school districts interested in partnering together to initiate or expand professional development programs for teachers. The Kennedy Center will select up to 14 two-person teams from around the country, each consisting of an administrator from an arts organization and an administrator from a neighboring school district. At the Institute, each team develops a plan that specifies how the partners will establish or expand arts-based professional development programs for teachers in their communities. Presenters will include dance educator Randy Barron and performance poet Glenis Redmond.
Suggestions of arts organizations and school districts that would make good candidates for the Partners in Education program should be sent to Kelsey at KRMesa@kennedy-center.org. The application and further information is available online at http://www.kennedy-center.org/partners. Applications must be received by October 31, 2011. Successful applicants will be notified in January 2012. Call (202) 416-8806 with any questions.
The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards: The Kennedy Center is accepting nominations for the 2012 Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards – a series of annual grants that recognize inspiring teachers across the United States. The awards were created in honor of Stephen Sondheim’s 80th birthday and were initiated and funded through the support of Freddie and Myrna Gershon. Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim frequently attributes his success to the teachers in his life. The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards are presented each year on Sondheim’s birthday – March 22 – to a handful of teachers, kindergarten through college, who are nominated via the Kennedy Center website. Selected teachers receive a $10,000 award and are showcased on the Kennedy Center website.
Nominees must be living, legal residents of the United States who currently teach or have taught in a K-12 school, college, or university in the United States. Teachers of all grade levels and subject areas are eligible. To nominate a teacher, you must be at least 18 years of age and must have been the Nominee’s student. Nominations can be a written, audio, or video story. All required materials must be submitted online or postmarked by Friday, December 16, 2011. For more information, official rules, and nomination information, visit http://www.kennedy-center.org/sondheimteacherawards.
Nomination Review Committee: Partners in Education needs to fill vacant positions on the 2011-12 Nomination Review Committee. This Committee reviews nominations for the Partners in Education Advisory Committee and narrows the slate to seven representatives (comprised of current returning Advisory Committee members and new nominees).
Partnership Team members may indicate their interest in serving on the Nomination Review Committee by calling (202) 416-8806 or e-mailing KRMesa@kennedy-center.org and submitting a short bio. The deadline for response is October 3, 2011.
New NEA Grant for Researchers: The National Endowment for the Arts’
(NEA) Office of Research & Analysis is offering grant opportunities to support investigation of novel and significant research questions about the value and impact of the U.S. arts sector through the analysis of existing and/or newly established datasets. The NEA anticipates awarding roughly 25 grants, ranging from $10,000 to $30,000. At the end of the award period, grantees will submit a research report to post on the NEA website. The application deadline is November 8, 2011. The application and guidelines can be found online.
Forum to Discuss Arts and Economic Development Planned: Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Mayor Michael Coleman, and Les Wexner will participate in a panel discussion entitled, “A Way Forward: Arts and Economic Development” on Monday, September 19, 2011 at 4:00 PM at the Wexner Center for the Arts’ Mershon Auditorium in Columbus, Ohio. The panel will discuss the value of the creative sector in building attractive and competitive cities and how the arts can become a priority in planning our communities. More information is available.
AGI: A World of Change in My Community: The American Geological Institute (AGI) is sponsoring a photography contest to celebrate Earth Science Week 2011. The photography theme for this year is “A World of Change in My Community.” The maximum award is $300, a copy of AGI’s Faces of Earth DVD, and the winner’s photograph on the Earth Science Week website. Interested residents of the United States of any age are eligible to enter. The deadline is October 14, 2011. For information about the contest please visit http://www.earthsciweek.org/contests/photography/index.html