It seems to me that the kind of innovative thinking Steve Jobs did as the creator of iPod, iPhone, iPad, and a host of things we didn’t even know we needed, may well count as art. After all, we like to talk about art and arts education in terms of problem solving, higher-level thinking, and seeing the world through a creative lens.
Steve Jobs was the guy who made computer animation what it is today, bringing together the team to develop the Pixar Image Computer (maybe you’re familiar with Toy Story…). Steve Jobs was the guy who made it possible to carry your entire music library in your hand, and changed the music industry, making everything from pop songs to Beethoven instantly downloadable. Steve Jobs saw challenges people didn’t even know they had and created solutions. Here’s what he had to say about creativity:
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.
I love the idea of connection and synthesis. I believe in providing a wealth of experiences for all kinds of students. We arts educators can provide experiences that help students to reframe what they see in the world. We can guide them to think about their experiences in different and innovative ways. In a time when budgets are tight, testing stakes high, and field trip experiences outside of school are limited, I fear we risk losing the best and most interesting parts of a well-rounded (we used to call it liberal arts) education. That said, I have to trust that our music, art, theater and dance educators will dig even deeper to find their own creativity and innovation to connect the arts to as many students as they can reach. If we do that, we and they can someday change the world…just like Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs – technology guru, genius, creative force, artist…artist?
Sr. Director of Community Engagement & Learning at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Ohio Alliance for Arts Education Board Member
129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio Retirement Study Council and the Senate Health, Human Services & Aging Committee will meet this week. The House and Senate do not have any sessions scheduled.
*The deadline to register to vote is October 11, 2011. Early voting is now underway. Contact local boards of elections for more information.
News from Washington, D.C.
Trio Awards Announced: The U.S. Department of Education announced on October 6, 2011 that it has awarded $47,676,723 million in TRIO Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) program grants to 128 grantees in 44 states and Puerto Rico. Trio grants support counseling and information on college admissions to qualified individuals who want to enter, or continue, a program of postsecondary education.
The following Ohio institutions/partnerships will receive awards: Shawnee State University, Educational Partners, Inc., Cuyahoga Community College, Eastern Gateway Community College, University of Cincinnati, and Cincinnati State Tech./Community College. For more information please visit this site.
Plan to Reform Teacher Prep Programs: In remarks made at the Education Sector Forum on September 30, 2011, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan elaborated on a plan to reform and strengthen teacher preparation programs.
According to Secretary Duncan, “Our plan has three core elements. First, it would reduce the reporting burden on states, but help them build an effective data and accountability system, driven by essential indicators of quality. Second, it would reform financing of students who are preparing to become teachers and direct scholarship aid to higher-performing teacher preparation programs. And third, it would provide more support for institutions that prepare high-quality teachers from diverse backgrounds.”
The plan would require states to track teachers’ success based on student academic growth, and then use that information to evaluate teacher preparation programs. States would collect data on student growth for graduates of different preparation programs; job placement and retention rates of teachers, especially in shortage areas; and survey graduates and principals about the quality of the teacher preparation programs.
The plan includes a $185 million grant program for states called the Presidential Teaching Fellows program, which would provide scholarships for future teachers to attend top teacher programs and funds to support statewide reforms, such as upgrading teacher licensure and certification standards.
The plan also would provide a $40 million budget request to support the Augustus Hawkins Centers of Excellence teacher preparation programs at minority serving institutions.
Student test scores are already linked to teacher preparation programs in Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee, and through the Race to the Top program eleven states and the District of Columbia have also committed to linking student achievement to teachers and their training programs. To read the remarks please click here.
Voting Law Changes Affect Millions: The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, released on October 3, 2011 a report that provides an analysis of new state laws about voting, including a compilation of potentially vote-suppressing legislation in 14 states. (“Voting Law Changes in 2012” by Wendy R. Weiser and Lawrence Norden). Overall the report estimates that more than five million eligible voters could have a harder time voting in 2012, because of the new voting laws passed by states, and that number of voters is larger than the margin of victory of the last three presidential elections.
The actions reviewed in the report, 19 new laws and two executive actions, were passed in the first three quarters of 2011, and restrict voting by requiring voters to show a government-issued photo ID (one in ten voters do not have an ID); reducing the number of early voting days; disenfranchising persons who have been in prison; restricting voter registration drives; eliminating election-day registration and voting; and creating new citizenship laws that could make it more difficult for citizens to register to vote. At least 42 bills affecting voting are still pending in state legislatures.
The states that have approved new voting laws, including Ohio (HB194 – Mecklenborg), will provide 171 electoral votes (63 percent) in the 2012 election and include five of the 12 battleground states.
The report provides a description of the changes in law, the debate about the changes, and how they could affect millions of voters and the outcome of the 2012 election.
The authors note, “As detailed in this report, the extent to which states have made voting more difficult is unprecedented in the last several decades, and comes after a dramatic shift in political power following the 2010 election. The battles over these laws were-and, in states where they are not yet over, continue to be-extremely partisan and among the most contentious in this year’s legislative session.
Proponents of the laws have offered several reasons for their passage: to prevent fraud, to ease administrative burden, to save money. Opponents have focused on the fact that the new laws will make it much more difficult for eligible citizens to vote and to ensure that their votes are counted. In particular, they have pointed out that many of these laws will disproportionately impact low-income and minority citizens, renters, and students-eligible voters who already face the biggest hurdles to voting.”
Ohio’s new election law, HB194 (Mecklenborg/Blessing) Election Reform, is being challenged through the referendum process, and so its provisions have not gone into effect yet. The report notes that Ohio is unique among most states because voters can use the referendum process to repeal a law.
One of the authors of the report, Lawrence Norden, chaired the Ohio Secretary of State’s bipartisan Election Summit and Conference in April 2009, and authored a report that recommended several changes to Ohio’s election administration practices and laws. The report is available here.
News from the ODE
Charter School Sponsors Ranked: The Ohio Department of Education released on October 4, 2011 a list of 47 charter school sponsors ranked according to the Performance Index Scores (PI) of the schools that they sponsor, pursuant to HB153 (Amstutz) the biennial budget.
There are currently 69 sponsors and 354 charter schools in Ohio.
Nine of the sponsors, which are ranked at the bottom 20 percent of the list, will be prohibited from sponsoring new charter schools until the PI scores of the schools that they sponsor improve.
Exempted from the rankings are charter schools that serve students with disabilities or students who are enrolled in dropout prevention charter schools.
The nine sponsors include 6 school districts: Marion City, Upper Scioto Valley, Van Wert City, Rittman Exempted Village, Mansfield City, Ridgedale Local; two educational service centers: Hardin County Educational Service Center, and Portage County Educational Service Center; and Richland Academy, which sponsors seven schools.
The list of charter school sponsors and their rank (entitled Sponsor Composite Performance Index & Reporting Compliance) is available here.
New EMIS Reporting System: The Ohio Department of Education launched on October 3, 2011 the updated Education Management Information System, which is referred to an EMIS-R. Districts will find data submission faster and easier thanks to improved EMIS reports and error feedback. Districts also will benefit from changes that allow them to submit, and ODE to process, data several times a week.
New ODE Contacts Posted: The ODE has made available a new organizational chart (includes photos) and list of contacts for programs. The previous Center for School Options and Finance, which was under the Operations division, is now the Office of Quality School Choice and Funding headed by Eric Bode, executive director, under the Center for Student Support and Education Options (SSEO).
The areas of Finance Program Services (including the area coordinators and fiscal consultants), Policy and Payments, Transportation, Community Schools and Nonpublic Educational Options all continue to be part of the office. The Center for SSEO is led by Kathy Shibley, senior executive director, who has worked extensively during many years at ODE to build linkages between workforce education and the business world. She also has experience directing educational organizations, providing national and state leadership for career-technical education and training, and providing technical assistance for school improvement efforts.
Ohio Digital Learning Task Force: The Ohio Digital Learning Task Force, led by Dr. Bob Sommers, director of the Governor’s Office of 21st Century Education, met on October 5, 2011 at the State Library.
The Task Force was created through HB153 (Amstutz) the biennial budget and is charged to advise on changes needed in legislation, rules, and educational practices, and promote high quality digital options that all schools can consider in their efforts to improve student performance.
The following are members of the Task Force: Senator Peggy Lehner, chair of the Senate Education Committee, Chancellor Jim Petro, Senior Vice Chancellor Gary Cates, Chief Financial Officer Scott Kern of the Education Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), Superintendent Eric Gordon of Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Superintendent David Axner of Dublin City Schools, Principal Troy McIntosh of Worthington Christian School, Vice President of State Relations Susan Stagner of Connections Academy, Superintendent John Marschhausen of Loveland School District, and technology consultant Dan Badea of the Ohio Department of Education.
The next meeting of Ohio’s Digital Learning Taskforce will be held on Friday, October 21, 2011. For more information about the Task Force, please visit this page.
State Board of Education to Meet: The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, will hold a business meeting/retreat this month at the Ohio School for the Deaf, 500 Morse Road, Columbus, OH, on Sunday, October 9 – October 11, 2011.
The Executive, Achievement, Capacity, and Select Committee on Urban Education committees were scheduled to meet on October 9, 2011.
On Monday, October 10, 2011 the State Board will convene its business meeting at 8:15 AM and call for an executive session. Following the executive session at 9:00 AM the State Board will receive public participation on agenda items; receive the report and recommendations of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; consider old, new, and miscellaneous business; receive public participation on non-agenda items; and adjourn. The resolutions that the State Board will consider are included below.
The State Board of Education’s retreat will begin at 10:30 AM, and will include an address to the Board from Superintendent Stan Heffner. The State Board will consider and deliberate on the following questions:
-What is the Policy role of the State Board among the Governor, Legislature, and local school boards?
-What two or three policy priorities will the State Board of Education focus upon for the next 12 months?
-How will the State Board of Education hold the Ohio Department of Education accountable through periodic evaluations of the effectiveness of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction?
On Tuesday, October 11, 2011 the State Board will continue discussions about the questions, and develop recommendations, and adjourn.
The following are the resolutions to be considered by the State Board of Education at their October 2011 Meeting:
#4 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rules 3301-11-01, 3301-11-02, 3301-11-03 AND 3301-11-07 of the Administrative Code regarding the Educational Choice Scholarship Pilot Program. (VOLUME 2, PAGE 11)
#5 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rules 3301-24-18 of the Administrative Code Entitled Resident Educator License. (VOLUME 2, PAGE 21)
#6 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rule 3301-41-01 of the Administrative Code entitled Standard for Issuing an Ohio High School Equivalence Diploma (VOLUME 2, PAGE 29)
#7 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rules 3301-44-03 of the Administrative Code entitled Information and Counseling. (VOLUME 2, PAGE 33)
#8 Approve a Resolution to Adopt Rules 3301-101-01 TO 3301-101-13 of the Administrative Code regarding the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program. (VOLUME 2, PAGE 39)
#9 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Rescind Rules 3301-104-01 through 3301-104-03 of the Administrative Code regarding Expenditures for Pupil Instruction for Internet – or – Computer-based Community Schools (VOLUME 2, PAGE 65)
#10 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Adopt A Physical Education and Wellness Measure for the 2012-2013 Local Report Card and Beyond.
(VOLUME 2, PAGE 71)
#11 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Adopt The Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) Framework (VOLUME 2, PAGE 75)
#14 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Rescind and Adopt Rule
3301-24-04 of the Administrative Code entitled Entry Year. (VOLUME 3, PAGE 1)
NEPC Launches IDEAL to Promote Diversity and Student Success: The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado at Boulder announced on September 28, 2011 that it had received a $1 million grant from the Ford Foundation, and will launch an initiative to make available to the public high-quality research to promote school diversity and student achievement.
The Initiative on Diversity, Equity, and Learning (IDEAL) will serve as a clearinghouse for ideas from across the country related to school diversity and student achievement, and explain existing research and develop new research and ideas. IDEAL’s website will allow parents, students, educators and the general public to learn and share ideas about practical, evidence-based ways to increase diversity and success in classrooms and schools. IDEAL is funded through a million-dollar grant from the Ford Foundation and Professor Kevin G. Welner will serve as director.
The mission of the Initiative on Diversity, Equity and Learning is to promote educational opportunities and school success for all students by fostering collaborative relationships and strategically communicating high-quality research evidence on equity, diversity, and school achievement to policy makers, educators, the media, and the general public.
The mission of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions, and guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence.
For more information about this project, please visit this site.
IDEAL Releases First Report on Diversity: The Initiative on Diversity, Equity, and Learning (IDEAL) at the University of Colorado released on October 5, 2011 the first of four reports about how existing state policies can be improved to promote equity, diversity, and academic achievement.
The policy brief, entitled “Discipline Policies, Successful Schools, and Racial Justice” by Daniel Losen of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, explores the impact of school discipline policies and practices, and describes concrete ways for school districts to exercise more effective and fair approaches to school discipline.
The author shows how large numbers of minority students across the nation are being removed from schools for relatively minor infractions as a result of the misuse of zero tolerance policies.
For example, the data shows that African American students and students with disabilities often receive harsher punishment for minor offenses than white students. As a result, these students lose instructional time and could experience a decline in academic achievement. In addition, the researcher could find no evidence that other students benefited from the removal of their classmates.
An accompanying document, “Good Discipline: Legislation for Education Reform”, also by Daniel Losen, provides model statutory language to bring federal, state and district policies in line with the research.
This report identifies more effective discipline alternatives and provides examples of states, such as Maryland and Connecticut, that have approved legislation to keep kids in school. Maryland, for example, passed a law in 2004 that requires elementary schools to engage in Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support Program, if suspensions reach 10 percent of an elementary school’s enrollment.
Connecticut law requires that schools employ in-school suspension for most disciplinary incidents when the student does not pose a threat to himself or others.
Losen also recommends that states and the federal government collect better data to further study how discipline policies are implemented across lines of race, gender, and student ability. Improved collection of such information is critical to having fair discipline policies nationally and reducing the number of dropouts.
The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado Boulder produced the two reports with funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice. The Ford Foundation provided funding for the policy report, “Discipline Policies, Successful Schools, and Racial Justice.”
The reports are both available on the National Education Policy Center website.
Future reports in this IDEAL series will focus on teacher incentives, school choice, and data-driven accountability and school reform.
HB342 (Pillich) Agreements to Privatize State Property: Limits agreements to privatize state property, facilities, services, or functions.
HB338 (Slesnick) Comprehensive Sexual Health Education: Establishes statutory standards for comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention education in public schools, and designates section 3313.6011 of the Revised Code as the “Act for Our Children’s Future.”
SCR17 (Cafaro) American Jobs Act: Urges Congress to pass the “American Jobs Act of 2011.”
El Sistema Partnership Created: An article in the New York Times (“Los Angeles Orchestra to Lead Youth Effort” by Daniel J. Wakin, October 4, 2011), describes efforts by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Bard College, and the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to create a master’s degree program in teaching music based on El Sistema, the Venezuelan-based movement that links music teaching and social work. The program will be called “Take a Stand”.
The El Sistema movement has involved over 400,000 youth in Venezuela and uses the teaching of classical music to improve the lives of poor children in underprivileged neighborhoods.
Take a Stand will host a conference in Los Angeles in January 2012 with partners, and start training music teachers in June. The participants will work with the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles and at a charter school.
According to the article, there are several efforts in the U.S. to re-create the El Sistema model and mission, and there is a need for more music teachers trained in this methodology to prepare teachers to work in the community.
The article is available here.
Webinar on ADA Regulations and the Arts: The Great Lakes Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center in collaboration with the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD), will host a series of 5 FREE webinars entitled “2010 ADA Regulations and the Arts: Focus on Ticketing Webinar Series”. The webinars will address issues about compliance with the 2010 ADA Regulations for accessible seating and ticketing. The focus is on arts venues, but is applicable to other venues as well.
This series will take place over 5 weeks starting Wednesday, October 12, 2011 through November 9, 2011. Those interested can register for one or all 5 sessions. The sessions are 1 hour in length and run from 2:00-3:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. All sessions will be recorded and archived.
The program will be delivered via the ElluminateLive! Webinar platform and are accessible to individuals who use screen readers, require real-time captioning, or utilize assistive technology to access a computer.
On September 15, 2010, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) published revised Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations to update and amend the provisions in the original 1991 ADA regulations. These 2010 Regulations include new language regarding ticketing that has changed the way that arts organizations need to shape ticketing policy. The webinars will provide information on the following topics:
Session 1: October 12, 2011 2:00-3:00 PM EST An Overview of the 2010 Regulations, including service animals, mobility devices, ticketing, the 2010 standards for accessible design, safe harbor, reduction of elements.
Session 2: October 19, 2011 2:00-3:00 PM EST Focus on Ticketing (Part1): What is Accessible Seating, How Should Accessible Seats be Sold and Who Can Buy Them?
Session 3: October 26, 2011 2:00-3:00 PM EST Focus on Ticketing (Part 2): Pricing and Purchasing Multiple Tickets. What should you do if you have multiple prices in one section of the theater, but the accessible locations are only in one area? What is a companion seat and how many can one person buy? The patron on the phone is bringing a group of 6 and one person needs an accessible seat? Should you sell all six in the accessible seating section? What happens if there are no companion seats left?
Session 4: November 1, 2011 2:00-3:00 PM EST Focus on Ticketing (Part 3): Releasing Wheelchair Locations.
Session 5: November 9, 2011 2:00-3:00 PM EST Ticket Transfers and the Secondary Market.
For more information and/or to register go to this page. Questions should be directed to 877-232-1990 (V/TTY) and/or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
News from the Kennedy Center: The following information was prepared from The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Partnerships Update for October 2011, which is available here.
-Kennedy Center Arts Integration Conference: June 25-28, 2012 The Kennedy Center will host an Arts Integration Conference from June 25-28, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Conference participants will include teachers, principals, district administrators, arts organization staff, and teaching artists. Details will be forthcoming. For questions, contact Michelle Carney, CETA Program Coordinator, at MLCarney@kennedy-center.org.
-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 are presented each year on Sondheim’s birthday – March 22. The awards were initiated and are funded through the support of Freddie and Myrna Gershon. Selected teachers receive a $10,000 award and are showcased on the Kennedy Center website.
Candidates for the awards are nominated via 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 this page.
Nominations for Governor’s Awards for the Arts: The Ohio Arts Council is accepting online nominations for the 2012 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio. The annual awards are given to Ohio individuals and organizations in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the arts statewide, regionally, and nationally.
Awards are given for Arts Administration, Arts Education, Arts Patron, Business Support of the Arts, Community Development & Participation and Individual Artist. The deadline for nominations is Friday, October 14, 2011 at 5:00 PM and the deadline for support letters is Friday, October 21, 2011 at 5:00 PM. Nominations will be accepted online only. To submit a nomination, or for a complete explanation of the nomination process, please visit this site.
For more information, please contact Amy McKay at the Ohio Arts Council at email@example.com
The 2012 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio & Arts Day Luncheon, presented by the Ohio Arts Council and the Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation, will be held Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at noon at the Columbus Athenaeum in downtown Columbus. Winners will receive an original work of art by Ohio painter Debra Joyce Dawson at a public ceremony held during the luncheon.