For the past two years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Jazz Arts Group in Columbus, Ohio on a national study of the behaviors and attitudes of current and potential jazz ticket buyers. Jazz is original American music, yet it often lacks market share, and sometimes respect, among music purists and audiences. It strikes me that there are similarities between the place of jazz in the performing arts ecology, and the role of the arts in education.
We began the study with a hypothesis that people purchase tickets to see art forms they already know and love. Therefore, we were curious about the ways people learn about and experience new music. To our surprise, the data reveals that people are willing to listen to music outside their comfort zones or stated preferences, with a few conditions – 1) if they are invited by someone they know and trust; 2) if they can attend with someone who is knowledgeable about the music and will serve as a guide; and 3) if they can sample the new music before spending money on a ticket. The research shows very clearly that musical taste is socially transmitted.
It strikes me that this idea of “socially transmitting musical taste” can also be true in arts education. In what ways can we better engage people and “socially transmit” the importance of arts education? How can we get school leaders, teachers and parents out of their comfort zones of only supporting “the basics?” We must continually serve as trusted guides to arts education.
Last spring, I observed a teaching artist working with a science teacher on an arts-infused lesson. The artist was only scheduled to work with students in the afternoon. After observing the teaching artist the first morning, the science teacher saw the value of using the arts to teach the science lesson. She ventured outside her comfort zone to teach the art lesson by herself in the morning, without the teaching artist. The teaching artist served as the guide in helping the teacher get out of her comfort zone, building context and courage.
In what ways will you continue to serve as a “guide” for arts education?
President, Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will hold sessions and committee hearings this week.
Newest Senator Takes Oath: John Eklund (Chardon) took the oath of office last week in the Ohio Senate to serve as the new Senator representing the 18th Senate District. He replaces Senator Tim Grendell, who was appointed Geauga County Probate/Juvenile Court judge by Governor Kasich.
More Members Leaving the House: The Democratic and Republican caucuses in the Ohio House will be replacing two members in January 2012. Representatives Timothy DeGeeter and Richard Hollington were elected to other offices on November 8, 2011 and will be leaving the Ohio House at the end of 2011.
Organizations Discuss Tax Expenditures: The Senate Ways & Means & Economic Development Committee, chaired by Senator Schaffer, received presentations on November 10, 2011 about tax deductions, exemptions, and credits, known as tax expenditures, from Greg Lawson, the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Jon Honeck, the Center for Community Solutions, and Gene Krebs,the Greater Ohio Policy Center.
According to an article entitled “Tax loopholes undergo renewed scrutiny: Officials examining ways to cut superfluous breaks, reclaim revenue” by Jay Miller, (Crain’s Cleveland Business, October 24, 2011) the three organizations are advocating that 20 of 128 tax expenditures in the Ohio Tax Code be eliminated. Eliminating these loop holes could raise $300 million in tax revenue for the state. Among the list of tax expenditures targeted by the organizations are an exclusion from sales tax for flight simulators ($3.2 million); a sales tax cap on the purchase of fractional ownership in multimillion-dollar aircraft ($2 million); $36.5 million sales tax exemption for the purchase of catalogs used by retailers; an $11.7 million exemption for magazines bought by subscription; and more. The article is available.
The three organizations are also sponsoring a conference in Columbus on December 8, 2011 entitled “Across the Spectrum: The Future of Ohio and the Path to Prosperity”. More information is available.
Deductions for Student Scholarships Reported-Out of Committee: The Senate Ways & Means & Development Committee, chaired by Senator Schaffer, reported-out amended HB167 (Derickson) School Grant Deductions on November 10, 2011. The bill authorizes an income tax deduction for the otherwise taxable portion of a federal Pell grant or Ohio College Opportunity grant used to pay room and board for a post-secondary student.
Election Results. (What does it all mean??): Ohio voters sent a mixed message on November 8, 2011, defeating two and approving one of the three statewide issues, defeating most school levies for new-money, but also approving more levies for libraries and human services.
According to the Secretary of State’s web site, 46 percent of eligible voters participated in the election. Voters rejected State Issue 1 (a constitutional amendment to increase maximum age for judges) and Issue 2 (a referendum on SB5 (Jones) collective bargaining reform), but approved State Issue 3, a constitutional amendment that opposes implementation of parts of the federal Affordable Care Act.
According to the Ohio School Boards Association’s unofficial results, 94 of 187 school issues (50 percent) were approved. Most renewal levies (42 out of 44) and permanent improvement levies (19 of 21) were approved, but only 20 out of 87 new tax levies for operating expenses were approved, and only five of 21 construction issues were approved.
Information about specific school levies is available.
This Week at the Statehouse
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Senate Education Committee: 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:
- SB220 (Sawyer) Interdistrict Open Enrollment: Requires a study of interdistrict open enrollment, and repeals sections of the Revised Code effective July 1, 2015; terminates interdistrict open enrollment on that date with the possibility of renewal following the study’s findings.
- 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) Teacher Development on Dyslexia: Authorizes educational service centers to provide teacher professional development on dyslexia.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
House Ways and Means: The House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Representative Beck, will meet at 3:30 PM in Hearing Room 114. The committee will receive testimony on HB242 (Brenner/Patmon) Tax Credits for Nonpublic Schools, which would authorize non-refundable tax credits for donations to nonprofit entities providing scholarships to low-income students enrolling in chartered nonpublic schools.
House Education: 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 bills:
- HB205 (Derickson) Hybrid Community Schools: Permits the establishment of hybrid community schools that provide both remote technology-based and classroom-based instruction.
- HB375 (Butler) Property Sale by School Districts: Allows school districts to sell real property to private, nonprofit institutions of higher education.
- HB219 (McClain) Religious Courses-Public School Students: Permits public school students to attend and receive credit for released time courses in religious instruction conducted off school property during regular school hours.
News from Washington, D.C.
ESEA Re-authorization: The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, chaired by Senator Harkin, conducted a roundtable discussion, “Beyond NCLB: Views on the Elementary and Secondary Education Re-authorization Act” on November 8, 2011. Stakeholders were asked to speak about a bipartisan proposal to re-authorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (Harkin/Enzi). The measure was approved by the committee on October 20, 2011. This hearing was conducted to accommodate Senator Rand Paul who wanted to hear from more educators about the proposed plan. Senator Harkin has stated his intent to bring the measure before the Senate before the U.S. Department of Education grants state waivers from the current No Child Left Behind Act. However that seems unlikely, considering that the issues that the Senate must address over the next few weeks. For example, the Senate still hasn’t approved spending bills for FY12 (which began on October 1, 2011) and will also have to respond to any recommendations submitted by the “Super Committee” to address the deficit. Those recommendations are due before Thanksgiving.
More information is available.
New Head Start Regulations Announced: President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced on November 9, 2011 that new accountability rules will be implemented for Head Start programs. The new rules will require Head Start grantees to meet high quality-research based benchmarks for health, safety, fiscal integrity, and school readiness standards in order to receive federal funding, and will require low-performing Head Start grantees to compete for continued federal funding. All Head Start programs will be reviewed for performance and program quality in five-year cycles. Approximately 1600 Head Start and Early Head Start grantees are receiving federal grants to provide comprehensive child development services to nearly one million children from low-income families. Head Start was re-authorized in 2007 and these rules enforce the provisions of that law.
More information is available.
State Board of Education to Meet: The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, will meet on November 13-15, 2011 at the Ohio School Boards Association Capital Conference and at the Ohio School for the Deaf.
The Board Books for State Board of Education meetings are now available at the ODE website under “State Board”. These books provide minutes of the committee and board meetings; reports presented to the Board; background information about proposed rules; and more.
On November 13, 2011 the Achievement, Capacity, and Executive committees met at the Ohio School for the Deaf.
The Achievement Committee, chaired by Angela Thi Bennett discussed a Resolution of Intent to adopt a Physical Education and Wellness Measure for the 2012-13 Local Report Care pursuant to SB210, Healthy Choices for Healthy Children Act; a Resolution of Intent to adopt the Gifted Performance Indicator; and received an update on Early Learning.
The Capacity Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, discussed Rules 3301-89-01 to -04, Territory Transfers; the Praxis II tests and qualifying scores; Rules 3301-11-01, -02, -03, and -07 Ed Choice; Rules 3301-24-18 Resident Educator License; and received an update on HB153 and the State Board of Education’s requirement to issue an RFP for the establishment of college preparatory boarding schools.
The Executive Committee, chaired by President Debe Terhar, discussed the October retreat.
The State Board of Education will meet on November 14, 2011 at the Ohio School Boards Association Capital Conference in Columbus.
Superintendent Stan Heffner and President Terhar are scheduled to present opening remarks at 9:00 AM. At 10:30 AM the Legislative and Budget Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, will meet to discuss the Federal ESEA platform; receive an update on HB136; and discuss a proposal to add a student to the State Board of Education.
At 12:30 PM the State Board of Education will receive an update about The Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) presented by Jim Herrholtz, Lori Lofton, and Julia Simmerer.
At 2:00 PM board members will participate in several panel discussions on urban districts, rural districts, and suburban districts.
A 119 Hearing will be conducted at 4:00 PM regarding the following rules: Rule 3301-16-02 Diploma with Honors; Rule 3301-16-03 Community Service Learning Special Certificate; Rule 3301-61-14, Career Tech Education Construction and Equipment Loan Fund.
The State Board of Education will meet on November 15, 2011 at the Ohio School Boards Association Capital Conference in Columbus.
At 9:15 AM the Board will convene its business meeting and receive the report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, including a presentation and discussion on the Assessment Consortium. The Board will receive public participation on agenda and non agenda items, and vote on the Report and Recommendations of the Superintendent. The Board will then receive reports from board members and adjourn. The Select Committee on Urban Education, chaired by Joe Farmer, will participate in an OSBA panel discussion at 3:45 PM.
The following are the non-personnel resolutions that will be considered at the November 2011 State Board of Education meeting:
#3 Approve a Resolution of Intent to amend Rules 3301-11-01 through -03 and 3301-11-07 of the Administrative Code regarding the Educational Choice Scholarship Pilot Program.
#4 Approve a Resolution of Intent to amend Rules 3301-24-18 of the Ohio Administrative Code entitled Resident Educator License.
#5 Approve a Resolution of Intent to consider confirmation of the Willard City School District’s determination of impractical the transportation of certain students attending St. Paul Elementary and St. Paul High School in Norwalk, Ohio.
#6 Approve a Resolution of Intent to adopt a physical education and wellness measure for the 2012-13 Local Report Card.
#7 Approve a Resolution of Intent to adopt a gifted education indicator.
#14 Approve a Resolution to adopt the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES)
#15 Approve a Resolution to adopt the new Praxis II subject assessment for audiology and associated qualifying score for school audiologist licensure.
News from the ODE:
ODE Contacts: The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has issued another updated contact guide for the ODE. The new guide is more comprehensive and organized by areas.
Part 1 of School Rankings Issued: The ODE released on November 10, 2011 a preliminary list of school districts and schools ranked according to their performance index scores (PI) to partially meet the requirements outlined in HB153 (Amstutz), the biennial budget bill. The ODE is required to publish by September 2012 a list that ranks schools and districts by the performance index, the amount of money devoted to classroom instruction, and opportunities provided for gifted students. The ODE is also required to develop another measure of student academic performance in addition to the performance index, so that all school districts and school buildings can accurately be compared.
The performance index score is based on the levels that students achieve on Ohio Achievement Assessments in grades 3-8 and on the 10th grade Ohio Graduation Test. The levels are advanced, accelerated, proficient, basic and limited. The percentage of students scoring at each performance level is calculated and then multiplied by the point value assigned to that performance level. The points earned for each performance level are totaled to determine each schools performance index score, where applicable.
The ODE has published the rankings organized by school buildings; all districts; traditional districts only; high schools; middle schools; elementary schools; and community schools.
Not all schools are included in the rankings because they either serve students in untested grades; are not part of the state’s accountability system; are joint vocational school districts with students from different communities; or have fewer than 10 tested students. The department is developing rules for how to rank those schools.
The rankings are available.
Census Bureau Releases New Poverty Measure: The U.S. Census Bureau released on November 7, 2011 a new measure for poverty to complement the official measure and provide more information about federal programs for the poor. The new measure will provide a more comprehensive picture of the effects of housing, child care, and daily costs on families. It takes into account spending on basic necessities of food, clothing, shelter, and utilities, while also factoring into the calculation for determining poverty expenses for child care and medical bills; regional differences in the cost of living; alternative types of family structure; if a family rents or owns a home; income after required expenses; in-kind benefits, etc.
Using the new measure, the national poverty rate increased from 14.5 percent to 15.3 percent for 2009, but decreased for children, from 21.2 percent to 17.3 percent. The new measure still shows that the poverty is increasing for children, but the new measure now factors-in support from social services for children, such as health care and school breakfast programs.
Information about the new poverty measure is available.
PARCC Frameworks: The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) released on November 9, 2011 Model Content Frameworks that will be used to inform the development of item specifications and blueprints for K-12 assessments in English and math. The frameworks were created through a collaborative process that included state experts and writers of the Common Core State Standards and incorporate nearly 1,000 individual comments from K-12 educators, principals, superintendents, higher education faculty, school board members, parents, and students. The model frameworks will be used to support states and districts as they develop their own curriculum based on the Common Core State Standards, and serve as a bridge between the Common Core State Standards and the PARCC assessment system.
PARCC is an alliance of states working to develop common assessments to ensure that all students graduate from high school college- and career-ready. PARCC’s work is funded through a four-year, $185 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Partners include about 200 higher education institutions and systems that will help develop the high school component of the new assessment and student readiness indicator. PARCC is led by its member states and managed by Achieve, Inc. For more information, visit http://www.parcconline.org.
VUE Focuses on Civic Investment in Public Education: The Winter 2012 Issue of Voices for Urban Education (VUE) is entitled “Civic Investment in Public Education”. The Annenberg Institute for School Reform collaborated with the Public Education Network (PEN) to publish this issue, which grew out of the work of the National Commission on Civic Investment in Public Education, which was convened by PEN in 2009, and the Commission’s report, “An Appeal to All Americans” (Washington, D.C: Public Education Network, 2011).
According to the authors civic investment includes more than providing funding for the community’s public schools. It means becoming informed about the responsibilities, challenges, and accomplishments of public schools; putting in time by tutoring, mentoring, or volunteering to help a school or district; and getting political by working for school board candidates, supporting issues, running for office, etc.
The economic downturn and the budget shortfalls at the state and local levels have reduced funding for public schools at the worst time possible, when communities, families, and children are depending on education institutions, as “engines of opportunities”, to adequately prepare students for a better future. In order to sustain public schools, many communities are creating tax exempt nonprofit organizations, referred to as public education funds (PEFs), to provide external support to the schools and/or districts and to support whole-school and system reform. In 2007, for example, researcher Erwin de Leon found that 19,000 organizations devoted to supporting public education spent $4.3 billion, and 2,147 of those organizations were classified as public education funds.
This issue of VUE examines public education funds; how they are supporting public schools; how they are evolving; and the challenges (including public policy challenges) that they face. The issue includes the following articles:
- A Charge to Our Leaders and to the American People: Redouble Investment in Public Schools by Warren Simmons
- The National Commission for Civic Investment in Public Education by Wendy Puriefoy
- Reaffirming the Dream: The Case for Civic Investment by Richard W. Riley and Linda Darling-Hammond
- Ensuring Public Trust: Standards for Local Education Funds and Public Education Funds -Toward a Twenty-First-Century Education System by S. Paul Reville
- A Story of Civic Investment in Public Education by Susan V. Berresford; The Right Funds for Reinvestment by Erwin De Leon
- Community Support for Public Education in an Environment of Growing Demands and Shrinking Resources by Barbara Bartle
- Community Engagement in Bridgeport by Margaret Hiller -A failure of Philanthropy: American Charity Shortchanges the Poor and Public Policy is Partly to Blame by Rob Reich
- Smart Education Systems: Community-Centered School Reform by Warren Simmons.
The issue is available.
HB375 (Butler) Property Sale by School District: Allows school districts to sell real property to private, nonprofit institutions of higher education.
National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards Presented: First Lady Michelle Obama presented the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards on November 2, 2011 at a ceremony at the White House. The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program is part of a national initiative to celebrate the creativity of America’s young people and to support after-school and out-of-school programs that open new pathways to self-discovery and academic success. Twelve organizations were selected by a national jury from more than 471 nominations. The following are the 2011 winners:
- 826 Seattle Seattle, WA: www.826seattle.org
- Young Shakespeare Workshop Seattle, WA: http://www.youngshakespeare.org
- Young People’s Chorus of New York City, Inc. New York, NY: www.ypc.org
- Sojourn to the Past, San Bruno, CA: www.sojournproject.org
- Saturday Academies of American History, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History New York, NY: www.gilderlehrman.org/teachers/history4.html
- Positive Directions Through Dance, The Dance Institute of Washington, Washington, DC: www.danceinstitute.org
- Native American Composer Apprentice Project Grand Canyon Music Festival Grand Canyon, AZ: www.grandcanyonmusicfest.org
- Humanities Rock, Community Adolescent Resource and Education Center Holyoke, MA: www.carecenterholyoke.org
- HANDS-ON, ZUMIX, Boston, MA: www.zumix.org
- Fleisher Youth Art Programs, Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA: www.fleisher.org
- ArtWorks, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI: www.uica.org/youth
- ArtLab, PlatteForum, Denver, CO: www.platteforum.org
More information about these programs is available.
2011 Post-Election Impact on the Arts: Americans for the Arts posted on its website on November 9, 2011 a summary of the impact of the 2011 election on the arts. According to this report many candidates who are supportive of the arts were re-elected in state and local contests, including Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Mississippi Lt. Governor Phil Bryant, who was elected governor of Mississippi. The post also includes information about mayors who support the arts and have been elected/re-elected, including Mayor Michael Coleman of Columbus. View the Website.
Latest ODE Arts Update: The October 2011 “Arts Update — Get the Gist” has been posted on the Ohio Department of Education website.
The newsletter includes information about revising the standards for the arts; the Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition; information about Learning Made Visible — Understanding Eco-Systems, a photography/environmental studies project at Lima Middle School with teacher Mike Huffman; and information about a roundtable discussion about the future of dance education in Ohio.
CSU’s Music/Art Programs Named Ohio Center of Excellence: Central State University’s Center of Excellence in Fine and Performing Arts (CEFPA) was designated an Ohio Center of Excellence in Cultural and Societal Transformation on November 7, 2011 by the Ohio Board of Regents, Jim Petro Chancellor. The newly designated Center of Excellence is the second Center of Excellence designated at CSU, and will serve as a cultural center for promoting musical and artistic excellence in area schools and communities and local economic development.
According to the press release, the CEFPA will drive economic development and lead to collaboration with regional, national, and international fine arts organizations by attracting the “creative community” to Miami Valley.
The CEFPA will improve the cultural environment of the community; offer access to outstanding education in the arts for minority students; train and graduate students in music and fine arts; attract nationally known faculty and student talent to Ohio; promote local economic development; provide online course offerings; collaborate with local and international dance and music programs; host a world music festival; and more.
More information is available.
Cyberspace Safety Contest: Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine’s office is accepting student entries for the “2011 Take Action Video Contest” to promote Internet safety. Pupils in grades 9-12 must produce a 60-second video that encourages other students to protect themselves from scams and deceptive advertisements in cyberspace. Entrants must focus their message on one of these topics:
- Read the fine print
- Free isn’t always free
- Too good to be true? It probably is
- Research before you buy
- Guard your personal information
The video must encourage viewers to report consumer fraud to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office by calling 800-282-0515 or visiting www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/ConsumerComplaint.
The top three winners will receive $2,500, $1,500 and $1,000 scholarships, respectively. The deadline for submission is December 15, 2011. For more information please visit http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/takeactioncontest.