Action Alert from Americans for the Arts: The U.S. House of Representatives will soon be considering legislation entitled “Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act” (H.R. 1891), one of a series of House bills recently approved by the House Education and Workforce Committee, chaired by Representative John Kline, and one that addresses the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind. This legislation will eliminate 42 long-standing federal education programs, including the model projects grant program for arts education. The Arts in Education program funds professional development for arts teachers in high-poverty schools; replication of arts programs across school districts; and provides noncompetitive awards to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The program received $38.1 million in FY 2009, $40 million in FY 2010, and $27.4 million in FY 2011.
Please help arts education advocates to stop this bill by sending a customized message to oppose H.R. 1891 to your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives through American’s for the Arts E-Advocacy Center.
129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will hold sessions and committee hearings this week.
The Ohio House Republican Caucus selected retired Navy Commander Louis Terhar to replace Representative Mecklenborg (30th House District), who resigned from his seat. Representative Terher was sworn into office on September 14, 2011.
BOR Consolidates Technology Operations: Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents Jim Petro announced on September 15, 2011 the creation of the Ohio Technology Consortium – OH-TECH with the Ohio State University. The consortium will consolidate the administrative functions of the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet), the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), the Ohio Learning Network (OLN), and OhioLINK. More information is available.
This Week at the Statehouse
Monday, September 19, 2011
The House Legislative Study Committee on Ohio Tax Structure, chaired by Representative Adams, will meet at 10:00 AM at Ohio University Zanesville, Campus Center Conference Room (T430/431), 1425 Newark Road, Zanesville, OH 43701. The committee will receive testimony on the Commercial Activity Tax, tax expenditures, and sales and use taxes.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, will meet at 9:30 AM in the South Hearing Room. The Committee will receive testimony on the following bills:
- HB96 (Celeste/Brenner) Dyslexia: Specifies dyslexia as a specific learning disability and requires a pilot project to provide early screening and intervention services for children with dyslexia.
- HB157 (Schuring/Letson) Teacher Development on Dyslexia: Authorizes educational service centers to provide teacher professional development on dyslexia.
- HB116 (Barnes) Anti-bullying in Schools: Enacts 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.
- SB183 (Tavares) Community School Closure Exemption: Exempts from closure certain community schools that enroll students receiving behavioral health services.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Representative Beck, will meet at 3:30 PM in hearing room 114. The committee will hear testimony on HB258 (Grossman/Dovilla) Apprenticeship Programs. This legislation would exempt from taxation for five years the earned income of an individual who obtains journey-person status or a baccalaureate degree and works in Ohio, and prohibits adopting standards stricter than federal regulations for apprenticeship programs.
The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, will meet at 5:00 PM in hearing room 313. The committee will receive testimony on the following legislation:
- SB165 (Obhof/Grendell) Curriculum Requirements: Includes content on specified historical documents in the state academic standards and in the high school American history and government curriculum.
- SCR11 (Lehner) Graduation Rate Changes: Approve the Department of Education’s proposed graduation rate changes to the state accountability system for public schools.
- HB109 (Williams) Parent-Teacher Conference: Requires parents of students enrolled in school districts rated continuous improvement or lower to attend a parent-teacher conference.
- HB136 (Huffman) Parental Choice and Taxpayer Savings Scholarship Program: Replaces the Educational Choice and the Cleveland scholarship program with the Parental Choice and Taxpayer Savings Scholarship Program.
The House Legislative Study Committee on Ohio Tax Structure, chaired by Representative Adams, will meet at 10:00 AM in room 114 and receive testimony on the Commercial Activity Tax, tax expenditures, and sales and use taxes.
Update from Washington, D.C.
President’s Job Plan Supports Education: The American Jobs Act, introduced last week by President Obama, would provide $30 billion to prevent approximately 280,000 teacher layoffs; $25 billion to renovate K-12 schools; and $5 billion to renovate community colleges. States would be able to use the school construction funds for emergency repairs, energy efficiency, asbestos removal, new science and computer labs, and to update technology. Read about the proposed act.
House Approves First ESEA Revision: The U.S. House approved on September 14, 2011 the “Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act of 2011”, H.R. 2218 (Hunter) by a vote of 365 to 54. This bill is one of a series of bills that the U.S. House is considering to re-authorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also referred to as the No Child Left Behind Act.
The bill expands charter schools, increases federal aid for charter school facilities, addresses charter school quality, supports evaluation of charter schools’ impact on students, families and communities, and encourages sharing best practices between public charter schools and traditional public schools.
To become law the bill must be approved by the U.S. Senate, which is considering its own plan to re-authorize ESEA. Proposals to revise ESES have also been introduced by President Obama, and recently several Republican Senators, led by Senator Lamar Alexander, have introduced bills to re-authorize portions of the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act. The proposed legislation would address problems with the current law and provide states and local districts greater flexibility regarding accountability, teacher quality, meeting local needs, and expanding charter schools.
More information about the H.R. 2218 is available.
More information about President Obama’s proposal to revise ESEA is available.
More information about the proposal to revamp ESEA by Senate Republicans is available.
Blue Ribbon Schools Announced: U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, recognized 305 schools as 2011 Blue Ribbon Schools on September 15, 2011, including 18 schools in Ohio. The schools will be honored at the National Blue Ribbon Schools conference on November 14-15, 2011 in Washington, D.C.
The Blue Ribbon Schools program recognizes schools that are either high performing or have improved student achievement to high levels, especially among disadvantaged students. More information about the program is available.
The following schools in Ohio have been named Blue Ribbon Schools:
All Saints School – Cincinnati
Saint Angela Merici School – Fairview Park
Saint Barnabas Catholic School – Northfield
St. Columban School – Loveland
St. Francis Xavier School – Medina
St. Joan of Arc School – Chagrin Falls
Cardington-Lincoln Elementary School – Cardington
Kensington Intermediate School – Rocky River
Kings Mills Elementary School – Kings Mills
Lake Elementary School – Harville
Maplewood Elementary School – North Bloomfield
Putman Elementary School – Blanchester
South Range High School – Canfield, OH
Springboro High School – Springboro, OH
Timmons Elementary School – Chagrin Falls, OH
Union Elementary School – Upper Sandusky, OH
West Boulevard Elementary School – Youngstown, OH
Citizens Academy – Cleveland, OH
Ohio House Approves Redistricting Plan: The Ohio House approved on September 15, 2011 by a vote of 56 to 36 a congressional redistricting plan, HB319 (Huffman).
The redistricting plan reduces the number of congressional districts from 18 to 16 (as a result of the 2010 Census), and would create new districts in which current representatives in Congress (two Republicans, two Democrats, and a Republican and Democrat) would need to run against each other. The Ohio Senate is expected to consider this bill this week.
The Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting, Jim Slagle manager, announced on September 14, 2011 that the House redistricting plan would receive the lowest score when compared to 53 maps based on established criteria, such as fairness, competitiveness, compactness, and submitted to a redistricting competition. For example, the House plan packs Democratic voters into four districts, leaving eight districts favoring Republicans; only two districts are competitive, as opposed to 11 under the top-rated citizen plan; and the House plan creates 68 county fragments, compared to nine in the top-rated citizen plan.
The Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting is a coalition of 25 Ohio organizations, led by the League of Women Voters of Ohio and Ohio Citizen Action. Information about the citizen-developed plans is available.
See a map of the House plan for congressional districts.
The House also approved on September 15, 2011 by a vote of 63-28 a bill to move the 2012 primary from March to May, HB318 (O’Brien-Blessing). The bill failed to receive enough votes to go into effect immediately, and so the bill was amended to allow Congressional candidates to file for the primary election before the bill goes into effect, in order to meet a December 7, 2011 deadline for candidates to file for the primary election.
State Board of Education Meeting: The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, met on September 12 & 13, 2011 at the Ohio School for the Deaf, 500 Morse Rd, Columbus, OH.
On Monday, September 12, 2011, the Executive Committee of the State Board of Education discussed including a student on the State Board of Education; discussed the October retreat, which will be held at the Ohio School for the Deaf and will be facilitated by Mark Real; discussed and recommended the NASBE slate of officers; and discussed changes to NASBE’s positions on public education.
Legislative and Budget Committee: The Legislative and Budget Committee, chaired by C.Todd Jones, reviewed a draft of the proposed federal platform, which focuses on the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The committee had decided to develop a platform to address ESEA issues, and in the future develop platforms to address other topics, such as special education, vocational education, etc. Jeremy Marks provided a summary of recommendations for the ESEA platform in the following areas: standards and assessments; accountability; school improvement; great teachers and leaders; data systems and technology; cohesiveness of federal acts and collaboration with education partners; research, SEA capacity and burden relief; flexibility and consolidation; and compensation and innovation.
Members were not able to complete a review of the document before time ran out, but did make several suggestions. For example, board members were concerned about the following:
- how students in special education programs were assessed and counted in adequate yearly progress (AYP)
- why social studies was not an assessed content area
- the level of flexibility states and school districts have to transfer federal funding among federal programs
- establishing common assessments to determine AYP
- adding a value-added growth factor to ESEA
- allowing states to set accountability standards
- how to address student mobility
The discussion about the platform will continue in October when a new version of the document is available.
Technology and Education Systems: The Technology and Education Systems Committee, chaired by Dennis Shelton, received an update from John Childs, chief operating officer, and received updates about eTranscripts, student record exchange, IIS, and EMIS-R.
Recognition of Administrators: At 11:00 AM the Board recognized distinguished school administrators who have been selected by their professional associations to receive the following awards:
- Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) Betsy Cowles Award – Deborah S. Delisle
- Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) – Superintendent of the Year – Dr. Philip Price, Mayfield Heights City School (Cuyahoga County)
Distinguished Principals of the Year:
- Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators (OASSA) – Secondary Principal of the Year Roger Howard, Independence High School (Cuyahoga County)
- Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators (OAESA) – Distinguished Elementary Principal of the Year – Teresa Anderson, High Street Primary (Piqua, Miami County)
- Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators (OAESA) – Distinguished Middle School Principal of the Year – Heidi Kegley, Willis Intermediate School (Delaware, Delaware County)
- Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators (OASSA) – Middle School Principal of the Year – Matthew Lutz, formerly Walnut Springs Middle School (Westerville, Franklin County), currently Executive Director of Education for the Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center (MOESC).
Achievement Committee: The Achievement Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, vice chair, took the following actions:
- Approved a resolution of intent to adopt Rule 3301-16-02, Honors Diploma
- Approved a resolution of intent to adopt Rule 3301-16-03, Community Service Learning
- Discussed SB 210 – Healthy Choices for Healthy Children’s Act and incorporating an indicator on the report card.
- Discussed a performance indicator for gifted education. The indicator is under development by the ODE staff.
- Approved a resolution of intent to rescind Rule 3301-61-14, Provisions for the career-technical education construction and equipment loan fund.
The Capacity Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, considered the following:
- Accepted the Interim Report (September 12, 2011) on Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools submitted by the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University. The Capacity Committee will now consider how to implement the recommendations, and will develop a document to share with school districts to use as a framework for policy development.
- Approved a resolution to amend Rule 3301-24-18, Resident Educator License. This rule was amended to align with current statute regarding eligibility for a resident educator license for persons who are either assigned to teach in Ohio as a participant in the Teach for America program, or who have already completed at least two years of teaching in another state as a participant in the Teach for America program.
- Reviewed proposed new Rules 3301-101-01 to -12, Peterson Special Education Scholarship Program. This scholarship program was created in HB153 to offer scholarships to parents of students with disabilities to attend nonpublic schools. The rule provides information about the application process, the registration of providers, and the process of awarding scholarships. Committee members requested specific information be included in the draft rules.
- Approved the rescission of Rules 3301-104-01 to -03, Expenditures for Computer or Internet Based Schools. These rules do not align with current law as a result of the passage of HB153, which requires traditional and charter schools to report instructional expenditures under standards to be developed.
Approved a resolution to amend Rules 3301-11-01 to -04, -07, Ed Choice Scholarship Program. New rules need to be developed to comply with HB153 and the new criteria that designates students attending certain school buildings as eligible for Ed Choice scholarships.
Committee on Urban Education: The Select Committee on Urban Education, chaired by Joe Farmer, considered the following items:
Urban Schools Report Card Ratings: Dr. Jeannine Molock, Director of the Office of Accountability, presented information about the performance of urban districts on the 2011 LRC. According to the presentation, the different components of the Local Report Card (LRC) provide different and important information about the success of Ohio schools and students. Overall urban districts have improved their LRC designations since 2000: two districts are excellent; three districts are effective; over one-half are in continuous improvement.
Seventy-six percent of Urban 21 districts increased the number and percent of indicators met from the 2009-10 school year. Every Urban 21 district showed improvement in the Performance Index, and 90 percent improved their graduation rates. However, none of the urban districts met the federal requirements for adequate yearly progress (AYP), and so all remain in improvement status pursuant to the No Child Left Behind Act. Six urban districts achieved above expected value-added growth; 6 improved their value-added results; and 9 districts maintained their value added classification.
Dr. Molock also explained how the new four-year graduation rate will affect the next report card. The graduation rates of some urban districts would decrease more than ten percent; the graduation rate of eight urban school districts would decrease less than 10 percent; and Akron’s graduation rate would remain the same.
Choice Options for Urban Students: Eric Bode, Executive Director of Quality School Choice and Funding at the ODE, presented information about choice options available to students in Ohio. Currently one third of urban students attend schools of choice, including charter schools and voucher programs. Enrollment in the various programs follows:
- 1,771,144 students are enrolled in public schools
- 310,046 students are enrolled in the Urban 21 Schools
- 126,347 students are enrolled in Career Technical Education
- 99,726 students are enrolled in 354 Community Schools
- 64,240 community school students are assigned to the attendance area of Urban 21 Schools
- 181,340 students are enrolled in 757 chartered nonpublic schools. Enrollment in nonpublic schools had been decreasing over the past ten years, but Ohio’s scholarship programs (Ed Choice, Cleveland, and Autism scholarship programs) have been a “life-line” for certain chartered nonpublic schools, and for over one-half of private schools the state funds from these programs are the main source of income for the schools.
- 46,046 students from the Urban 21 school districts are enrolled in chartered nonpublic schools.
- 5,345 students are enrolled in 36 schools participating in the Cleveland Scholarship Program.
- 13,407 students participate in the Ed Choice Scholarship Program. Students in 521 public schools from 27 districts are eligible. 310 private schools participate.
- 2000 students participate in the Autism Scholarship Program. 200 providers participate in the program.
- 1,600 students are Home-schooled
- The number of students in non-chartered non-tax supported schools is unknown.
The Committee also noted that committee members Jeff Mims and Rob Hovis will be moderating a panel discussion on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 as part of Ohio School Boards Association’s Urban School District Advisory Meeting at the OSBA 2011 Capital Conference.
Presentation about the 2011 State Report Cards: The full Board convened to receive a presentation about the 2011 Local Report Cards results presented by Dr. Matt Cohen, Chief Research Officer, and Dr. Jeannine Molock, Director of the Office of Accountability.
According to the results of the Local Report Card, schools/districts have improved in several areas this year: The percentage of students scoring proficient on state tests increased on 21 of 26 indicators; the strongest gains were in grade 3 mathematics, eighth-grade math, and grade 10 writing; 89.3 percent of districts and 71 percent of schools improved their Performance Index scores; no school districts were rated in academic emergency; the number of schools in academic watch and academic emergency decreased; 79.5 percent of school districts met or exceeded value added expected growth.
Meeting the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets is still a challenge for schools and districts. Only 50.6 percent of districts and 59.9 percent of schools met this federal requirement this year. The new graduation rate might also be a challenge for school districts to meet in the future. Based on the existing formula the state’s graduation rate would be 84.6 percent, but is only 78 percent using the new four-year formula.
The presentation also included information about the new accountability provisions outlined in HB153, the FY12-13 budget bill. Matt Cohen, ODE Chief Research Officer, described a new vision for school/district accountability and the need to make the system more responsive to school planners and the public. The current system, which consists of yearly ratings of schools and districts, will be changed to an on-going continuous ranking system, that will consider academic performance and fiscal efficiency. The new system will combine expenditures per pupil, percentage of expenditures for classroom instruction, the performance index, student growth, performance measures for career tech, gifted students, and more, to rank schools and districts. The new ranking system will be used as a management tool to help schools and districts plan for improvement. Much of the data needed to implement this new accountability system is available through ODE’s Educational Management Information System, but must be better integrated and made more interactive.
State Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, September 13, 2011
The State Board meeting convened its business meeting at 8:30 AM and held an executive session.
After the executive session the Board received a presentation from Bob Sommers, Director of the Governor’s Office of 21st Century Education, and Barbara Mattei-Smith, Assistant Policy Director, Governor’s Education Office, about a new school funding system that is being developed. The General Assembly supported Governor Kasich’s recommendation to replace the Evidence-Based Model for funding schools, implemented by Governor Strickland and the 128th General Assembly, with a new state school funding formula through the passage of HB153, the FY12-13 budget. The Governor has announced his intention to introduce a new formula for FY13, which begins on July 1, 2012. School districts are currently being funded through a temporary state formula outlined in HB153. Legislation to implement the new formula must be approved in January/February 2012 in order for the new system to be implemented for FY13.
Ms. Mattei-Smith has been meeting with educators over the summer to gather feedback about how the new formula should work, and a draft of the new formula should be available for public feedback in mid October. Board members requested that meetings regarding the proposed new formula and drafts be publicized so that the public and educators can respond.
According to the presentation by Barb Mattei-Smith, the goal of the new state funding formula will be to prepare students in grades K-12 to be ready for further education, careers, and civic duties. The new system will be based on the principles of student-centered, equitable, and focused on the classroom. The new formula will also have to be flexible to support multiple ways in which students are educated in Ohio, such as through traditional schools, community schools, career-technical education, Educational Service Centers, online learning, blended learning systems, and also meet the needs of different types of students, such as those who are gifted, have special needs, or do not speak English.
State funding for schools is just one of the many obligations that the state must meet — with limited resources, and so there must be a balance between funding for schools and meeting other state budget priorities. An effective school funding system must meet the educational needs of students; provide incentives for performance and efficiency; include a local contribution that considers relative wealth of the community; and support multiple delivery systems.
According to Ms. Mattei-Smith, the new system must make sure that all schools can offer good quality to students and also must be an efficient system that combines quality at less cost.
Board members asked a variety of questions. A summary of the topics covered by the questions follows. Many of the questions, and much of the discussion, focused on the state’s tax structure and how school districts currently raise revenue locally to support schools, rather than the level of state funding for schools/districts.
- Will the new system be stable, and enable school districts to plan for up to five years.
- There should be a consistent revenue stream to fund schools.
- Will the new funding system be understandable to the public? The school funding formula combined with Ohio’s tax structure make it difficult to communicate with the public about why school districts need more money and how much it will cost.
- How will the new funding system align with Ohio’s tax system? Some board members believe that wealthier districts are providing a disproportionate share of the total cost of education through state income taxes and local property and income taxes. And, now that properties have lost value, the tax burden is increasing at the local level.
- Households without school-aged children sometimes do not support more funding for schools. How can this situation be addressed?
- What about raising taxes at the state level and redistributing them statewide to fund schools?
- How will the new funding system address the DeRolph decision of the Ohio Supreme Court regarding thorough and efficient; over-reliance on property taxes to support schools; residual budgeting; and phantom revenue?
- How are the components of a high quality education system being determined?
- How will the formula address the requirements in law for education, including the curriculum and mandates?
- Property taxes should follow the child, to traditional, charter, or private schools.
- Why not let boards of education set the tax rates?
- Will the new model be based on district consolidation? (Barb Mattei-Smith responded that consolidation had not been discussed in relationship to the funding formula.)
- Will the education challenge factor (ECF) from the evidence-based model of school funding be included? (No, was the response.)
- Will funding be tied to teacher evaluations? (No, was the response, but administrators and teachers have recommended that the cost of the evaluation be included in the state formula.)
- Resources for school districts have been fragmented and reduced as a result of expanding options such as charter schools and voucher programs. Before consolidating school districts we should look at the impact of charter schools, vouchers, on fragmenting resources for public schools. We should make what we have better.
- What is the feedback loop? How will stakeholders be involved.
At 11:30 AM the Board convened its business meeting, which included the swearing-in of Stan Heffner, State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The Board then received the report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, which included three items: a review of the Superintendent’s actions regarding Supplemental Educational Service Providers in Ohio; Ohio’s selection to participate in Achieve Inc’s “Future Ready Project” with Florida, Indiana, and Massachusetts; and a review of a meeting that Superintendent Heffner recently had with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. In the meeting with Secretary Duncan, Superintendent Heffner was able to communicate the following points:
- In the re-authorization of ESEA, Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) must be replaced with a growth model, and the accountability system should yield continuous information that districts can use as a management tool.
- The U.S. Department of Education should assure that states have adequate capacity for the online testing that will occur starting in the 2014-15 school year.
- The Secretary should support a public information campaign to support the new Common Core standards.
- The Secretary should plan to meet with the states’ chief education officers on a more regular basis.
Following the Superintendent’s report, the Board took action on the report and recommendations of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, which are included below; considered old business; new business; and miscellaneous business. Under public participation on non-agenda items, the board received testimony from Thomas Williamson and Robert Porter parents of students who are attending or have attended the Ohio School for the Deaf, concerning the quality of instructional program; the lack of a superintendent; and the need for the school to engage parents.
The Board then adjourned.
The September 2011 Report and Recommendations of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Board took the following actions at the September meeting:
#8 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rule 3301-16-02 of the Administrative Code entitled establishing criteria for awarding the diploma with honors.
#9 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Adopt Rule 3301-16-03 of the Administrative Code entitled community service learning.
#10 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Rescind Rule 3301-61-14 of the Administrative Code entitled Rule for the Provisions for the Career-Technical Education Construction and Equipment Loan Fund.
#11 Approved a Resolution to deny the proposed transfer of school district territory from the Hilliard City School District, Franklin County, to the Dublin City School District, Franklin County, pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.
#12 Approved a Resolution to deny the proposed transfer of school district territory from the Plain Local School District, Stark County, to the North Canton City School District, Stark County, pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.
#20 Approved a Resolution to confirm the findings of the Ohio Department of Education for the revocation of the approval of the Ashe Cultrue Center to sponsor community schools.
#21 Approved a Resolution to Accept the Interim Report on Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools submitted by the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University.
#22 Supported the Candidacy of Kristen McKinley as President-Elect and Rob Hovis as Secretary/Treasurer of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE).
#23 Approved the NASBE Education Positions
#24 Approved Kristen McKinley as a voting delegate to the NASBE annual meeting.
#25 Approved the Appointment of Michael Sawyers as Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction.
#26 Approved the Appointment of James Herrholz, Associate Superintendent for the Division of Learning.
#27 Approved a Commendation presented to Gail Davis for her service to the State Board of Education.
#28 Failed to Approve a Resolution to Request an Opinion from the Attorney General regarding the correctness of the decision by President Terhar at the July 12, 2011 board meeting to put to the board the question of appointing Stan W. Heffner as superintendent of pubic instruction without having the question brought to the floor as a motion properly moved and seconded, and denying a period of open debate on the question prior to the vote, as required by Roberts Rules of Order, which is the board’s parliamentary authority. The vote was 7 to 9 with one abstention.
College Board Releases SAT Results: The College Board released on September 14, 2011 the results of 2011 graduating class. Nearly 1.65 million students from the 2011 graduating class took the SAT. This is the largest number of students taking the SAT in its history, and the most diverse class. Forty-three percent of the 2011
college-bound seniors met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark (combined score of 1550), which means, according to the College Board, that the students are prepared academically and are likely to successfully complete college. Students in the class of 2011 who reported completing a core curriculum, defined as four or more years of English and three or more years of math, science, social studies, scored 143 points higher than students who did not.
According to the press release, this year’s college-bound seniors averaged 497 in critical reading, 514 in mathematics, and 489 in writing. Since 2007 – the first year for which June cohort data are available – students’ critical reading and writing scores have dropped by four-points, while mathematics scores have remained stable.
Total group mean scores for students who reported taking four years of the arts were 531 in critical reading; 534 in math; and 523 in writing.
The total group report is available.
The 2011 College Bound Seniors State Profile Report for Ohio shows that about 21 percent of Ohio’s graduating seniors took the SAT in 2011. Ohio students posted a mean reading score of 539, a math score of 545, and a writing score of 522, all higher than the national average. The Ohio SAT results show a one-point increase in the average reading score for 2011, no change in the writing score, and a two-point decline in the math score.
For Ohio students who reported taking four years of the arts, the mean scores were 560 in critical reading; 558 in math; and 544 in writing. As in the past, the mean scores for students taking four years of the arts are higher than for students taking four years of math: 539 in critical reading; 539 in math; 522 in writing.
The Ohio report is available.
- SB219 (Sawyer) Community Schools: Eliminates the exemption for community schools serving dropouts from the requirement to permanently close for poor academic performance,
- SB220 (Sawyer) Interdistrict Open Enrollment: Requires a study of interdistrict open enrollment, and repeals sections of the Revised Code effective July 1, 2015, to terminate interdistrict open enrollment on that date with the possibility of renewal following the study’s findings.
- SB221 (Sawyer) Elementary- Level Achievement Assessments: Makes the elementary-level achievement assessments public records.
NAfME Seeks Comments on Draft Position on Teacher Evaluations: The National Association for Music Education has developed a position statement on evaluations of music teachers. (The entire position statement is included below.) The issue is being brought to the attention of music educators (and all arts educators) in response to
the national discussion about using teacher quality as a criteria for determining compensation and continuing employment as a result of the Race to the Top grant competition; the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA); and state-based efforts to evaluate teachers based on student achievement.
Ohio has joined a number of states that are revising their teacher evaluation process. Recently approved HB153, the FY12-13 budget, requires the State Board of Education to develop a “standards-based framework” for the evaluation of teachers and principals by December 31, 2011. The framework should provide for multiple evaluation factors, including student academic growth as 50 percent of each evaluation; alignment with the Educator Standards Board’s standards for teachers; classroom walk-throughs and observations of the teacher on at least two occasions for 30 minutes each; a written report of the evaluation results; implementation of a classroom-level, value added program; and professional development to accelerate teacher growth and provide support to poorly performing teachers.
The State Board of Education is required to develop a list of student assessments that measure mastery of course content for courses not covered by state assessments and the value added progress dimension, including assessments for the arts. The list may include nationally normed standardized assessments, industry certification examinations, or end-of-course examinations.
Each community school and STEM school receiving Race to the Top funds, and each school district and ESCs, are required to adopt a teacher evaluation policy that conforms to the framework by July 1, 2013, and school districts are required to administer assessments from the ODE list to students. (R.C. 3319.111).
The draft position statement regarding teacher evaluations for music educators is included below. The draft statement identifies a number of points that should be considered as school districts develop their own teacher evaluation systems. Please respond to the draft by October 14, 2011.
NAfME Teacher Evaluation Position Statement Draft (The entire statement is included.)
The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has observed that much national dialogue, as well as extensive legislative and administrative action at the state and local level, has centered on the development of new protocols for the evaluation of teachers in our nation’s schools. In many cases, these protocols – which often are used to span all disciplines — seem to rely to a significant extent on measures of achievement attained by students.
We urge all involved in the construction and implementation of these protocols and systems to carefully consider the importance of basing evaluation decisions on valid information. It is important for music educators and others involved in our schools to be aware of the following issues, to avert potential damage to school programs, teachers, and most of all, to students.
Measures of student achievement used in teacher evaluation must:
- Be largely based on student achievement that is directly attributable to the individual teacher in question. Student achievement measures must be used with care, as there is no clear evidence that certain models accurately reflect a given teacher’s contributions.
- Measures such as: a status test score (using the average test scores of students of a given teacher at one point in time; a change measure (comparing the average test scores of students of that teacher in one year to those in a previous year); a growth measures (comparing the average of scores for a given teacher’s students to the same students’ scores in a previous year; the more sophisticated Value Added Modeling (VAM) approaches (looking at student achievement gains after adjusting for some student and school characteristics).
- Be largely based on student achievement in the subject area taught by that teacher. Use evaluation instruments that accurately reflect the achievements they purport to measure. This implies that the evaluation instruments are used by individuals with sufficient expertise to accurately observe and interpret the outcomes under measurement.
- Be created to collect information based on outcomes the curriculum is designed to deliver. This implies that national, state, and local standards and curricula must be at the basis of the measures, and the resources (especially instructional time) allotted to the teacher allow a reasonable chance of attaining the levels of achievement desired.
- Must take into account, if they are based on growth models, the beginning level of achievement from which growth is expected to take place. The growth level attainable over a year by a student starting with a measured ten percent level of mastery is probably greater than that attainable in the same time period by a student with a measured ninety- five percent level of mastery – if only because the evaluation instrument is not capable of capturing additional increments of achievement.
- Use a clear set of criteria, known to the teacher in advance. Further, any evaluation that will impact a teacher’s working status should work on a multi-year cycle, to allow for appropriate professional development.
While many of these factors are likely universal sources of concern for teachers of all subjects – and certainly sources of concern for subjects that are not universally and routinely tested – they are of particular concern for music teachers. This is because:
Some measures of student achievement use data from all students in a school. While there is evidence that strong music programs indeed contribute to the learning atmosphere of a school as a whole, music teachers in many schools (especially secondary schools) have actual instructional contact with only a segment of students in that school and so have direct instructional influence over only that percentage of students.
In some states and localities, measures of student achievement used in teacher evaluation have defaulted to standardized test results in the two common-core areas of English/Language Arts and Mathematics. While there is evidence that strong music programs contribute to student achievement in these areas, music teachers have limited ability to directly impact this achievement for individual students.
There is a significant measures of student attainment in music, and those should be considered. The 1997 National Assessment of Educational Progress in the Arts was based on a framework that evaluated student achievement in music creation, music performance, and in responding to music. States including Connecticut, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Colorado each have developed frameworks or evaluation rubrics in music.
But adequate evaluation of music instruction depends on some level of expertise on the part of the evaluator in the use of the test instrument and in the art of music itself. Added to this issue of expertise is one of time; music teachers often work with large numbers of students, a factor which may add to the amount of time required for adequate evaluation.
We have had voluntary National Standards in music since 1994, and those standards have been mirrored in state standards or curricula across the nation. However, the cultural value seen in music instruction by individual communities has led to a wide variety of music offerings in our varied school systems. Where the specific goals of music instruction vary, the evaluation of instruction toward those goals must vary. And, of course, a teacher’s evaluation must take into account the scope afforded that teacher in attaining specific instructional goals – especially in school systems that have suffered systematic cuts to the time and other resources that provide students with the opportunity to learn the discipline of music.
Music teachers teach in a variety of settings, to a diverse group of students with several of levels of competency. But to use but one example, teachers of secondary school ensembles who have spent years developing a strong, ongoing program that serves multiple years of students at the highest measurable level may not be able to demonstrate measurable growth in the students in that ensemble, simply because they are all performing at an exemplary level all the time.
Recent documents from the education and business fields are consistent in their recognition of the importance of broad 21st Century skills in the future workforce. These same sources agree that rich experiences in the arts are responsible for the development of creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication in all students. While student attainment of all these 21st Century skills should be factored in the evaluation of all teachers, assessment of these skills is especially essential in the discipline of music. Of course, pursuing this goal will require attention to the development of appropriate assessments for these skills.
Elements for Successful Music Teacher Evaluation Systems
To allay these concerns, the National Association for Music Education strongly recommends that systems for teacher evaluation be created in the context of overall student learning. When evaluation models are created, they should adopt the following elements:
A system for teacher evaluation must include a balanced, comprehensive assay of the teacher’s contributions to student learning through multiple measures. These measures can and should collect information on the various domains, such as:
- Planning and preparation
- The classroom environment
- Professional responsibilities
- Attainment of 21st century skills
Where measures of student achievement are used, they should be used, along with the above domains, as only one element of a teacher’s evaluation. For evaluation of music teachers, measurements of student achievement should include evaluation of that achievement in the three general areas of creation, performance, and responding. The
relative weighting of measures in these three areas should be carefully designed to be commensurate with the nature of the class taught and the express educational goals for that class. For example, it is logical and proper that evaluations for a high school class in composition largely measure creation, while evaluations for a high school band ensemble class largely measure performance.
Where the most easily observable outcomes of student learning are customarily measured in a collective manner (e.g., adjudicated ratings of large ensemble performances), those measures may form a part of a teacher’s evaluation, but should be subject to rigorous evaluation as to reliability of the measure, including such dimensions as inter-judge reliability and consistency of ratings. In any case, these ratings should be only one small part of a comprehensive picture in which teachers are allowed, but not mandated, to include such measures in submitting a portfolio of evidence of student outcomes in addition to measures of student achievement.
Measures based on school-wide attainment, particularly in subjects measured by large- scale, standardized tests in common-core subject areas, should be limited to a minimal portion of the music teacher’s evaluation score. This is because these scores are valid in teacher evaluation only if they form part of a properly constructed array of measures.
Any and all measures that depend on structured, but subjective judgments on the part of an observer should be carried out by an observer with adequate expertise in music and music education. Unstructured subjective judgments should never form part of a teacher or student evaluation system.
The Music Educator’s Role
Keep abreast of current educational thought on student, program, and teacher assessment. Seek, design, and use multiple measures that reflect student achievement in the domains of creation, performance, and responding in the formative and summative evaluation of students. (Refer to the NAfME web site for more information on measures, and links to resources such as the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.)
Engage with the National Association for Music Education and with your state Music Educators Association in the policy discussion surrounding proper music teacher evaluation.
State and local initiative are underway for sharing student work and benchmarking the outcomes of music instruction. Get involved – strategies for this are listed on the NAfME web site.
Know the developing policies in your state or locality, and based on the currents of change at those levels, consider the following:
- Look into the development of entrance/exit assessments to develop realistic and legitimate growth models for students in your classes.
- Take part in the construction of any of the measures that will have to be developed to meet your system’s needs, such as tracking artifacts of student work.
- Work with local institutions of higher education or your state Music Educators Association to develop a task force or other work group to delve into this area.
For Music Supervisors and Administrators
Get involved in developing principals’ knowledge of observing learning in music, and in understanding what learning in music really is. Help them carry out relevant and rigorous evaluations of music teachers and music learning.
Build a culture of professional development that is ongoing, and parallel to the evaluation period for any teacher.
Pro-actively work to provide an “easy button” for administrators who need to evaluate music teachers
- Pilot clear and accessible models for them to implement
- Share appropriate music assessments
- Show how these models are better than generic models for evaluation, and still meet the guidelines for Race To The Top and other Federal Programs
For Prospective/NEW Music Educators
- Ask the professors in your pre-service program about the current evaluation systems in use nationally and in your state.
- Check with the state department of education where you go to school or plan to teach.Check to see if they have an arts in education supervisor and speak with them as well.
- Continue to observe exemplary music teachers for ideas for meaningful student assessment.
- Stay in contact with cooperative teacher and other teacher mentors as resources for professional materials and literature.
- Look for inservice professional development experiences that address evaluation. Check the NAfME web site for materials and updates.
- Keep in mind that much teacher evaluation is moving from evaluation of teacher behavior to measures of student learning – and begin to think creatively and practically about how you will document student growth in your classroom.
Films that Support Arts Education: Americans for the Arts Action Fund has compiled a list of films that document the power of arts education in young people’s lives. The list includes an annotation about each film and web sites to find-out how to screen the films. The films on the list include “Trust”, “Thunder Soil”, “Dudamel: Let the Children Play”, and “Old School New School”, “Shakespeare High”. Readers are encouraged to add their own suggestions also. The films are listed films”>here.
Ohio Teacher’s Artwork is on Display at the Pentagon: An article in the Coshocton Tribune on September 11, 2011 by Hannah Sparling entitled “Teacher’s art symbolizes battle against terrorism” describes how a painting by Jeff Grier, a high school art teacher at Madison High School east of Cleveland, is now on display at the Pentagon. Inspired by the 9/11 tragedy Grier created “I’ll Take it From Here,” an image which depicts a firefighter passing an American flag to a soldier. The image was originally made for T-shirts to raise funds for a charity that helps families of soldiers who have been killed. Grier was then asked to display the image at the Pentagon, and so made an oil painting of the image on a wooden panel. The article is available.