Arts On Line Update 11.21.2011

As Thanksgiving Day fast approaches it seems appropriate to reflect upon the people and things for which we are thankful.

At the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education we are thankful for you. The leadership and passion for the mission of our organization is exemplified through the generosity of your work with students, your volunteer time locally and at the state level, and the expertise you bring to the field of arts education.

A quote from Edward Stanford Martin sums up the holiday sentiment for me: “Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.”   Thank you for filling the hearts of children and families all year round through the arts.  From all of us at the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education we extend our warmest wishes to you and your family as you enjoy a lovely Thanksgiving holiday and a season of good health, peace, and prosperity.

Until Next Time,

Donna S. Collins, Executive Director

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education

129th General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate are not scheduled to hold hearings or sessions this week.

More Legislators Leaving the Statehouse: Governor Kasich appointed on November 18, 2011 Senator Wilson (30th Senate District) as the new director of the Office of Appalachia. The Senate Democratic Caucus has already announced a process to replace Senator Wilson.

Governor Kasich appointed on November 17, 2011 Representative Todd McKenney (34th House District) to a Summit County probate court judgeship.

Also leaving the Ohio House at the end of this year will be Representatives Richard Hollington (98th House District) and Tim DeGeeter (15th House District).  Both won mayoral races on Election Day.

Week Ends Without New Redistricting Plan: Members of the Ohio House continue to negotiate for a new congressional redistricting plan, but time is running out. The first plan was included in HB319 (Huffman), which was signed into law on September 26, 2011, but is currently being challenged through the referendum process. Lawmakers are now debating another redistricting plan developed by Republicans and included in HB369 (Huffman).  HB369 also consolidates the March and May 2012 primaries into one March 2012 primary. To avoid the two primaries lawmakers need to approve the new congressional redistricting map before the December 7, 2011 filing date for candidates for Congress for a March primary.

Appointments and Retirements:

  • Aristotle Hutras, executive director of the Ohio Retirement Study Council, announced on November 16, 2011 that he will be retiring at the end of the year.  He has served as council director for 22 years.
  • Laura Clemens will be leaving her position as House Clerk to become director of government affairs and the problem gambling coordinator for the Ohio Gaming Commission.  She has served as House Clerk and Deputy Clerk since 1999.

The Ohio House and Senate approved last week HB167 (Derickson & Mallory), Income Tax Deduction for Pell Grant.  HB167 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.

Capital Budget Guidelines Released:  The Ohio Office of Budget and Management, Tim Keen Director, released last week guidelines for state agencies to follow as they develop recommendations for a capital budget for next year.  The last capital budget was approved in September 23, 2008.

According to the guidelines, funding for “community projects”, such theaters, arts and sports facilities, will not be included this year:

“Capital bill appropriations directly impact operating budgets via debt service payments on the bond issuances used to support capital expenditures. Therefore, consistent with Governor Kasich’s commitment to restrain government spending, it is imperative that the FYs 2013-2014 capital bill also be restrained in size. Accordingly, the bill will focus on necessary maintenance and upkeep of the state’s current capital assets with an extremely high threshold that would have to be met in order to fund new construction. Under these circumstances, the bill will contain no community projects. Thus, all state agencies, colleges, and universities should use the preparation of their six-year capital plan and their two-year capital funding request as an opportunity to carefully review their capital needs and only request funding for those projects that are most essential.”

All agency capital requests are due to the Office of Budget and Management by December 16, 2011. A Capital Budget bill is expected to be introduced in the House in early 2012.

News from Washington, D.C.:
President Signs Appropriations and Extension Bill:  President Obama signed into law on November 18, 2011 H.R. 2112, the “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012.” The law provides FY12 full-year appropriations ($130.4 billion) through September 30, 2012, for the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services’, Food and Drug Administration, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Transportation; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies.  In addition, the law provides for continuing FY12 appropriations through December 16, 2011, for the remaining projects and activities of the Federal Government. Congress still must pass FY12 budgets for the other governmental departments and agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education.

Request for Waivers from NCLB Submitted: The U.S. Department of Education reported on November 17, 2011 that eleven states formally submitted requests for waivers from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act. The states are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

If granted, the waivers will allow states to set performance targets for students; design locally-tailored interventions for schools; measure school progress using multiple measures; and have more flexibility to spend Title 1 dollars.

The 11 states are expected to receive a decision on the waiver requests in mid-January.  Several other states, including Ohio. are expected to submit waiver requests by the second deadline in mid-February.

State Board of Education Meeting: The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, met on November 13-15, 2011 at the Ohio School Boards Association Capital Conference and at the Ohio School for the Deaf. On Sunday, 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, the Healthy Choices for Healthy Children Act; A Resolution of Intent to adopt the Gifted Performance Indicator; and received an update on Early Learning and School Readiness and the Early Learning Challenge Grant. The gifted performance indicator consists of the following: a report from districts about the number of students identified as gifted; the number of students identified as gifted served in a district; and the performance level of those gifted students. For the first two years in which information is collected about the gifted indicator, the information only will be reported on the Local Report Card.  In 2014-15 the indicator will begin to be factored into the local report card rating.

The Capacity Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, received an update about a requirement included in HB153 Biennial Budget for the State Board of Education to recommend an opportunity for adult learners (over 22 years of age) to receive a diploma; discussed Rules 3301-89-01 to -04, Territory Transfers; recommended the Praxis II tests and qualifying scores to upgrade the score; recommended Rules 3301-11-01, -02, -03, and -07, Ed Choice Scholarships; recommended Rules 3301-24-18 Resident Educator License to accommodate Teach for America candidates (HB 21 – Combs); 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 for students in grades 6-12.

Meeting on Monday, November 14, 2011 On November 14, 2011 Debe Terhar, President of the State Board of Education and Stan Heffner, Superintendent of Public Instruction presented opening remarks to the Ohio School Boards Association annual Capital Conference. The presentation is available through StateImpact: “Ohio’s Educational System Promotes a ‘False Sense of Achievement,’ Schools Chief Says” by Molly Bloom, NOVEMBER 16, 2011 | 12:15 PM.

The Legislative Budget Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, continued discussions about Ohio’s response to the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and received a briefing on HB136 (Huffman) Parent Choice and Taxpayer Savings Scholarship Program (PACT).

Update on the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) The State Board of Education then received an update about The Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) presented by Jim Herrholtz, Lori Lofton, and Julia Simmerer. The State Board of Education has developed a framework to guide local school boards in creating and refining their own local teacher evaluation system pursuant to §3319.112 and §3319.111 ORC.  According to Tom Gunlock, chair of the State Board of Education’s Capacity Committee, “This framework does not create a one-size fits all state imposed evaluation system.  Each district will customize the process at the local level.  This local control ensures that the ultimate responsibility, to ensure that every child is taught by a highly effective teacher, remains with local communities and boards of education.”

According to the presenters, the goal of the framework is to make quality instruction available to every child in every classroom and help every teacher improve. The proposed Ohio Teacher Evaluation System applies to traditional public schools and community schools that are participating in “Race to the Top”, but does not apply to other community schools or to private schools that accept public funds through voucher programs. (§3319.111 ORC and §3314.03 ORC)

The law (HB153) requires that teachers be evaluated using multiple factors. The OTES Framework includes an Evaluation Framework and an Evaluation Matrix and is aligned to the Standards for the Teaching Profession. Teachers will receive one of four ratings, accomplished, proficient, developing, and ineffective, based on the combined results of Teacher Performance (50 percent) and Student Growth Measures (50 percent). The framework is available and the matrix.

Teacher performance means meeting rubrics based on Ohio’s Standards for the Teaching Profession in the following areas:  students, effective learning environments, content knowledge, assessment, collaboration and communication, instruction, professional growth, and responsibility.

Student growth will be measured in three ways and factored into the evaluation through the Evaluation Matrix. The three categories are outlined in HB153 and include, -Value-added scores (where available) -Other assessments chosen by the Ohio Department of Education.  A cross-agency team at the ODE is currently identifying assessments that districts are already using, such as the Stanford or Terra Nova, that could also be used to collect data on student achievement to demonstrate student growth. -District determined assessments, such as pre and post tests or locally developed assessments.

Information regarding student academic growth for most teachers will be gathered in this way. The ODE has been working since January 2011 with the U.S. Department of Education and other states to develop a menu of valid options for school districts to use to measure student growth in non-tested areas. Local school districts will ultimately make the decision about what assessments to use to evaluate teachers. But, there is a concern about ensuring that there is consistency in how student academic growth is measured and how the results are used to evaluate teachers within school buildings; within districts; within a state; and among states.

Together, the results of the Teacher Performance Measures and the Student Growth Measures will be used to rate teachers as accomplished, proficient, developing, or ineffective.

By July 2013 each school district is required to develop their own evaluation policies and procedures for using the evaluation results for retention and promotion decisions, and for removal of poorly-performing teachers. Seniority will not be the basis for teacher retention decisions, except when deciding between teachers who have comparable evaluations.

The law requires that teachers receive two formal observations lasting at least thirty minutes as well as periodic classroom walk-throughs. Teachers will be provided a written report of the results.

The ODE has already begun training classroom observers to ensure that credentialed evaluators are prepared to evaluate teachers in this new system. The ODE recognizes that the evaluations could subjective, but will work to minimize subjectivity through intensive training and work with the rubrics.

The Ohio Teacher Evaluation System is currently being piloted by several school districts and also Race to the Top districts and schools. Pilot districts/schools (139 traditional and 17 community schools) will test the new system and propose adjustments. An external evaluation will also be conducted. The ODE will update the evaluation through feedback as time goes on.

911 Hearing Conducted:  The State Board also held a 911 Hearing on Rule 3301-16-02 Diploma with Honors; Rule 3301-16-03 Community Service Learning Special Certificate; and Rule 3301-61-14, Career Tech Education Construction and Equipment Loan Fund.  No one testified on the proposed rule changes.

November 15, 2011 The State Board of Education met on November 15, 2011 at the Ohio School Boards Association Capital Conference in Columbus.

The Board convened its business meeting after returning from an executive session, and received the report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Superintendent Heffner recommended that the State Board join the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and provided the Board with information about the advantages for Ohio to join PARCC.  In order to join PARCC the ODE also needs Governor Kasich’s approval, which is expected. The Board approved a resolution to join PARCC later during their meeting. (For more information about PARCC please visit http://www.parcconline.org/.)

Advantages for Joining PARCC:  According to Superintendent Heffner, Ohio’s public education system will experience a number of changes starting in the 2014-2015 school year when the Common Core Standards in language arts and mathematics, and revised standards in social studies and science become effective. The State Board approved the Common Core standards in June 2010, and the ODE is currently involved in a number of professional development activities to engage teachers in new classroom practices aligned to the new standards.

New student assessments aligned to the new standards to measure student achievement and demonstrate career and college readiness will also be developed and implemented.

Ohio has been a non-voting member in two consortia that have been funded by the U.S. Department of Education since 2010 to develop common assessments aligned to the Common Core Standards in English language arts and mathematics.  The two consortia are called the SMARTER Balance Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). The consortia were created so that state assessments of the Common Core Standards would be consistent,  so that there could be an apples to apples comparison of student achievement among the states.

Both consortia are now developing frameworks and assessments, and so Superintendent Heffner requested that the State Board join the PARCC consortium so that Ohio can become a voting member and a decision-maker in the development of the assessments.

According to Superintendent Heffner, there are several advantages for joining PARCC.  The mission and goals of PARCC, an alliance of 24 states, align with Ohio’s goals to help students achievement career and college readiness. Achieve, created by the National Governors Association, is managing the PARCC work and has worked with Ohio on a number of initiatives, including the development of an Algebra I and Algebra II end-of-course test; the American Diploma Project; and the creation of a college- and career-readiness agenda.

The data about student achievement generated by PARCC assessments will make comparisons of student achievement among states and other nations possible, and assessments will include all of the components of the Common Core Standards.  PARCC will also provide timely data on student achievement and growth measures.  The assessments will be delivered online and include short-answer items and technically enhanced items that include animation and other features. PARCC will provide early diagnostics; progress assessments; performance-based assessments; and at the end of school-year an online summative assessment.  The scores for the online assessments will be available immediately. The per test item cost will be reduced along with the cost of paper, printing, and shipping the assessments. There is no GRF money from the State involved at this time, because funding has been provided through the Race to the Top grant and supported by the U.S. Department of Education.

According to Superintendent Heffner, Ohio will play an important role in PARCC’s development of assessments, given the state’s experience with pilot programs in developing formative and performance-based assessments. Research, data collection, and field testing for the assessments are planned for 2012-2013.

State Board Business Meeting:  Following the presentation the Board voted on the Recommendations of the Superintendent, which are included below.

The Board then received public participation on non-agenda items from Colleen Grady, regarding the Peterson Scholarship Program; Thomas Williamson, parent, regarding the Ohio School for the Deaf; and Robert Porter, parent, regarding the Ohio School for the Deaf.

The Board then adjourned.

Resolutions Considered by the State Board of Education at their November 2011 Meeting.

The following are the non-personnel resolutions that were considered at the November 2011 State Board of Education meeting:

#3 Approved 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 Approved draft A: A Resolution of Intent to amend Rules 3301-24-18 of the Ohio Administrative Code entitled Resident Educator License.
#5 Approved 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 Approved a Resolution of Intent to adopt a physical education and wellness measure for the 2012-13 Local Report Card.
#7 Approved a Resolution of Intent to adopt a gifted education indicator.
#14 Approved a Resolution to adopt the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES). The Board substituted a new matrix as supporting documentation.
#15 Approved a Resolution to adopt the new Praxis II subject assessment for audiology and associated qualifying score for school audiologist licensure.
#16 Approved as an Emergency Resolution from the Superintendent the request that Ohio to join the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

News from the ODE:  This information was compiled from the Ohio Department of Education’s monthly publication entitled “Ides of ODE”, which is available.

Draft Standards in the Arts and World Languages Available for Comment:  Revised draft standards in world languages and the arts are available for public comment. The draft standards have been posted on ODE’s website for general public review and comment through January 6, 2012.

Those interested in world languages should click here to access a short, explanatory PowerPoint introduction, the draft standards document, and the survey that will be used to collect feedback.

Those interested in commenting about the standards for the arts can review the current drafts for either dance, drama/theatre, music, or visual art.

Grant funds awarded to create Advanced Placement Network:  ODE has announced that more than $400,000 in Race to the Top (RttT) funds will be used at 21 schools to create the Advanced Placement (AP) Network. Ohio schools were awarded a grant to participate in the network, which is committed to building, enhancing and expanding AP classes to prepare 21st century leaders. The funds will be used to increase access to AP classes for more students and to provide educators with professional development about AP programs. For more information about the AP Network Grant and its recipients, please contact here.

Workshops to Plan Gifted Curriculum:  ODE and the Ohio Association for Gifted Children will host a series of programs beginning December 2, 2011 entitled “Launching with the Tide: Comprehensive Strategies that Can Aid Gifted Education”. The series is planned for teams of teachers, intervention specialists, curriculum leaders, counselors and other administrators who are interested in exploring methods of differentiating instruction for gifted learners. By attending the series’ opening event in Columbus and/or one of several regional workshops during the winter, educators can learn new strategies for increasing the rigor of curriculum for gifted learners in both general and gifted classrooms.

The keynote event in Columbus, “Leaders in Gifted: Launching with the Tide”, will be led by Tamra Stambaugh, a research assistant professor of special education and director of talented youth programs at Vanderbilt University. Regional workshops in early 2012 will expand on the concepts presented during the keynote. During these programs, participants will share ideas appropriate for varied gifted service options related to the Ohio’s revised academic content standards and model curricula, Race to the Top, the Ohio Improvement Process or Response to Intervention approaches, and the ODE Javits professional development programs. The regional workshops also will include updates on gifted funding under the new state biennial budget bill. To register for the keynote event on December 2,2011 please visit the OAGC website. The late fee will be waived for all registrations made by Nov. 28. Schedules and locations for the regional workshops will be released soon.

Summit on 21st Century Skills to be Held on December 8, 2011:  Some of the world’s foremost thought leaders in education and technology are coming to Columbus December 8, 2011 for the “Summit on 21st Century Skills”. The agenda includes interaction with Karl Fisch, author of the “Did You Know” videos; Ewan McIntosh, considered one of Europe’s foremost experts on digital media; and Sarah Ippel, founder of the School for Global Citizenship. Stan Heffner, superintendent of public instruction, also will give a keynote presentation. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills and ODE, conference co-presenters, are planning learning labs at off-site locations, as well as sessions about the recently approved model curricula that supports Ohio’s revised content standards. For more information on speakers and the agenda, see the summit.

One of the workshops, “Thinking Like an Artist”, will be presented by the Columbus Museum of Art and the Columbus College of Art and Design. Participants will witness the ways artists think, through demonstration and observation, and then will engage in Studio Thinking* through exercises and projects that can be immediately applied in the classroom. Supporting research will demonstrate how arts learning and Studio Thinking can become a core strategy to foster your school’s 21st Century initiatives. The workshop will explore the concept of transforming a classroom into a studio, and support questioning over answering; curiosity (trans-disciplinary research); passion (project Based Learning); dealing with irrelevance – making work matter; play as process; persistence through failure; unhurried time to explore and do best work; and experimental execution.

OAGC Releases Report on Ohio’s Education Accountability System:  The Ohio Association for Gifted Children, Ann Sheldon executive director, released on November 11, 2011 a report entitled “Grading on a Curve:  The Illusion of Excellence in Ohio’s Schools” by Ann E. Sheldon and Colleen D. Grady.  The report examines school district ratings on Ohio’s Local Report Card based on Ohio’s accountability system for schools and school districts, and finds that the “….actual educational excellence may be far more elusive than our ratings would lead us to believe.”

According to the report, in the 2002-2003 school year, the Ohio Department of Education rated 85 districts as excellent. In the 2010-11 school year 352, almost 60 percent of all districts, were rated as excellent or excellent with distinction. But a closer examination of these school districts, using other criteria to determine student achievement, raises questions about the number of school districts that receive the “excellent” rating and the credibility of Ohio’s accountability system.

The report notes, for example, that 67 school districts rated excellent or excellent with distinction had zero students taking AP exams; 109 school districts rated excellent or excellent with distinction had average ACT scores below the state average; 160 school districts rated excellent or excellent with distinction had fewer than 20 percent of their graduating class receive diplomas with honors; 136 school districts rated excellent or excellent with distinction had college remediation rates above the state average; and 220 districts rated excellent or excellent with distinction serve fewer than 20 percent of their identified gifted students, with 85 of the highly rated districts reporting no gifted services at all.

The report recommends the following:

  • Incorporate high quality metrics such as college remediation rates, ACT/SAT scores, Advanced Placement performance and graduates qualifying for Honors Diplomas in Ohio’s Accountability System -Move to nationally normed or internationally benchmarked high school assessments such as the ACT or SAT.
  • Eliminate the labeling of districts until a meaningful system can be developed.
  • Incorporate an automatic trigger to increase cut scores as more districts receive higher ratings.
  • Reevaluate how the value-added growth measure is used and provide results by performance quintile.
  • Eliminate multiple pathways to ratings in favor of a single pathway with multiple components.

Download a copy of the report.

For more information, please contact Ann Sheldon at 614-325-1185 or anngift@aol.com or Colleen Grady at 440-376-1325 or cdg.gradyllc@gmail.com.

For more information about the Ohio Association for Gifted Children, please go to http://www.oagc.com/.

Early Warning Indicators and Intervention Systems: A new report from Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University entitled “On Track for Success” examines Early Warning Indicator and Intervention Systems (EWS), a collaborative approach by educators, administrators, parents, and communities that uses data to keep students on the path to graduation. (“The Use of Early Warning Indicator and Intervention Systems to Build a Grad Nation by Mary Bruce and John M. Bridgeland, Civic Enterprises, and Joanna Horning Fox and Robert Blafanz, The Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University.)

According to the report, one in four children fails to graduate from high school on time and even fewer finish college.  “A student’s decision to drop out of high school is not a sudden act, but a slow process of disengagement over a period of years.”

But, research also shows that students who are provided sustained appropriate supports early can be helped and will graduate. Researchers have used data to develop early warning indicators to identify those students who might drop out of school, and have developed appropriate interventions to keep students in school. These are referred to a EWS.

The best EWS enable rapid identification of students who are in trouble; rapid interventions that target students’ immediate and longer-term need for support, redirection, and success; frequent monitoring of interventions; rapid modification of interventions that are not working; and shared learning from outcomes.

The report provides an overview of the current research, including information from teachers, district and state officials in the process of building EWS, nonprofits working with school systems to implement EWS, and researchers working to refine and extend early-warning indicators. The report also outlines emerging best practices and policy recommendations, so that advocates can apply the best in data innovation to their work with the hope of accelerating high school graduation rates and improving college and work readiness. The report notes that EWS are rapidly evolving toward even broader usage, with efforts underway to integrate school readiness indicators at the start of student’s schooling, and college and career readiness indicators throughout K-12 schooling.

The report is available.

Early Warning Indicators and Intervention Systems (EWS) were identified several years ago by America’s Promise Alliance and researchers and advocates who have led the campaign for the Civic Marshall Plan (CMP) to build a Grad Nation. The CMP calls for EWS implementation and integration into schools across the country, including the over 1,600 “drop out factory high schools”.  A drop out factory is a school in which less than 60 percent of students graduate on time. The Civic Marshall Plan to Build a Grad Nation has two goals: 90 percent high school graduation rate by the Class of 2020-those starting fourth grade this year-and later years, and the highest college attainment rate in the world. For more information please visit http://www.americaspromise.org/.

What Are Public Schools?  In Education Week’s Bridging Differences Blog, Deborah Meier opines about the definition of “public schools”. (EducationWeek “What Do We Mean by ‘Public’?” by Deborah Meier November 17, 2011)

According to Ms. Meier, charter schools are not public schools because they are “…not accountable to the public they serve except in the sense that a consumer is — you’re free not to buy/use it.” Charter schools are overseen by privately chosen boards rather than locally elected individuals who live and work in a community.  Many charter schools are run by entrepreneurs and “well-meaning big shots”. Often the success of the school is based on a “fictional marketplace as the best judge of quality.” The author writes, “K-12 schools are too critical to democracy for them to be ruled by the whims of the marketplace.”

Read the blog post.

Bills Introduced:
HB381 (Slaby) School District Property: With respect to offering school district property to state universities.

FYI ARTS
ASCAP/Gibson Foundation: Young Jazz Composer Awards:  The ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Awards are presented annually to recognize and encourage talented young jazz composers. Applicants must submit a completed application form; an original score or chart of one composition accompanied by a CD indicating proper track (if applicable); biographical information listing prior music studies, background and
experience. Applicants must be citizens or permanent U.S. residents who have not reached their 30th birthday by December 31, 2011. The deadline is December 1, 2011.

Don’t Underestimate Arts Education:  Guest columnists Teri Hein and Darren Lay write in the Seattle Times that No Child Left Behind and the emphasis on STEM education have marginalized arts education and creativity. (“Don’t underestimate the empowerment of an arts education”, Seattle Times, November 13, 2011.)

The authors are directors of youth-based arts organizations in Seattle, WA and have noted that creative classes in theater and writing have been cut from many schools.  Their after school programs, 826 and Young Shakespeare Workshop, serve low-income students and make a difference in the lives of these students by helping them learn how to communicate, collaborate, write, and be creative.

According to the authors,”While math and science are vitally important subjects, the arts are equally essential. Many studies have shown that kids who participate in the arts are more likely to graduate from high school, go to college and find meaningful employment. In other words: Art keeps kids engaged in school and community.”

“If we are to raise children to become successful, well-adjusted adults, we need more than math and science to pave the way. We need innovation, curiosity, large thinking. We need compassionate children who can think creatively as they solve complex problems in our world. In short, we need to teach our children art – in school and out – in as many ways as we can imagine.”

The article is available.

Nancy Hanks Lecture — Arts Advocacy Day: Americans for the Arts announced last week that Alec Baldwin, acclaimed actor and arts advocate, will be the 25th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecturer on Arts and Public Policy at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall on April 16, 2012 at 6:30 PM.

The Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy is a leading national forum for arts policy.  The Lecture is intended to stimulate dialogue on policy and social issues affecting the arts, and is held each year on the evening before Arts Advocacy Day at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Previous Nancy Hanks Lecturers include Kevin Spacey (2011); Wynton Marsalis (2009); Robert MacNeil (2007); William Safire (2006); and more.

The annual lecture is named for Nancy Hanks, former president of Americans for the Arts and chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, who devoted 15 years of her professional life to bringing the arts to prominent national consciousness.

Americans for the Arts Advocacy Day will be held April 16-17, 2012.  As Congress focuses on creating jobs and reducing the federal deficit, the arts are being threatened. It is imperative that arts advocates come together through events like Arts Advocacy Day to help educate members of Congress about the role the arts play in spurring economic growth and job creation.

Register for Arts Advocacy Day.

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About OAAE

Since our founding in 1974, by Dr. Dick Shoup and Jerry Tollifson, our mission has always been to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Working at the local, state, and federal levels through the efforts of a highly qualified and elected Board of Directors, our members, and a professional staff we have four primary areas of focus: building collaborations, professional development, advocacy, and capacity building. The OAAE is funded in part for its day-to-day operation by the Ohio Arts Council. This support makes it possible for the OAAE to operate its office in Columbus and to work statewide to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Support for arts education projects comes from the Ohio Arts Council, The John F. Kennedy Center, Ohio Music Education Association, Ohio Art Education Association, Ohio Educational Theatre Association, VSA Ohio, and OhioDance. The Community Arts Education programs of Central Ohio are financially assisted by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. We gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the financial support received from each of these outstanding agencies and organizations.
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