As many of you already know from earlier emails and phone calls – Jerry Tollifson, Co-Founder of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education passed away on December 27, 2011. Jerry was a much loved and respected leader in arts education. His inspirations, teachings, and passion for arts education will be remembered … always.
Thomas Gerald “Jerry” Tollifson, age 86, passed away Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at St. Ann’s Hospital in Westerville, OH. He was born February 4, 1925 in Austin, MN. He retired from the Ohio Department of Education in the position of State Visual Arts Consultant for 28 years. He was proud to graduate from Albert Lea High School in 1943, from the University of Minnesota with his BA Degree and The Ohio State University with his MA and PHD. He was a much loved teacher through his career. His accomplishments and group affiliations included: Founder of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education. Jerry founded the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education in 1974 with Dr. Richard Shoup. Jerry has been a Board member of the organization since 1974. Steering Committee Member for the Ohio Arts Education Assessment Project of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, Steering Committee Member for the Status of Arts Education in Ohio Schools Report of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education. Winner of the 2000 Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio, presented by the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation. Board Member of the Ohio Art Education Association. Founder of the Jerry Tollifson Art Criticism Open, Ohio Art Education Association. Winner of the 2010 WOSU ArtZine contest. State juror for the Ohio PTA Reflections program for children in grades K-12. Advisory Board of Directors’ Member for the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition. Jerry was also presented with the Distinguished Service Within the Profession Award from the National Art Education Association in 1990, and the National Supervision/Administration Art Educator Award, from the National Art Education Association in 1995. Jerry was a member of the First Community Church and associated book club, Torch Club, Columbus Museum of Art, and Ohio Art League. Jerry wrote many articles and books on Art Education throughout his career as well. He also served in the United States Army during WWII and contributed to several groups for veterans of the war. He was an avid Buckeye Fan. Jerry is preceded in death by his parents, Virgil, Sr. and Lucille. Jeannine, his wife of 50 years. His sisters, Dorothy Walker and Virginia Stevens; niece Ann Stevens, and brother-in-law, John Dill, Sr. He is survived by his brother Virgil (Patricia)Tollifson, Jr. His brothers-in-law, Harold Walker and William Stevens, Sr. His sisters-in-law, Joyce Stumpf and Judy Dill. His nephews, Thomas (Kellie)Tollifson, Rick (Lori) Walker, William (Esther) Stevens, Jr., Bret (Sunny) Stumpf, Brian Stumpf, and John Dill, Jr. His nieces, Pamela (Ben) Gardner, Alison (Carl) Nelson, and Kim Dill, His great nephew, Seth Stumpf. His great niece, Ashley (Frank) Lemak, and his great great nephew Lex Lemak. He will be missed greatly by his friends and family, and his ability to discuss anything and everything will be remembered with great love.
The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education is accepting memorial contributions which will be used to further the good work Jerry started with the organization nearly four decades ago:
Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Memorial Contribution – Jerry Tollifson
77 South High Street, 2nd floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-6108
129th General Assembly: The second half of the 129th General Assembly begins in January 2012. The Ohio Senate has scheduled session for January 10, 2012, but Senate President Tom Niehaus is considering canceling that session and bringing the Senate back on January 18, 2012. The Ohio House is not scheduled to meet until January 24, 2012.
SBE Capacity Committee to Meet: The State Board of Education’s Capacity Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, will meet on Friday, January 5, 2012 at 1:00 PM at 25 S. Front Street, Columbus, OH. The purpose of the meeting is to receive public comment concerning the proposed Peterson Special Education Scholarship Program rules
(3301-101-01 to -13) and to make a recommendation to the full State Board concerning the adoption of the proposed rules.
New Laws: Governor John Kasich signed in December 2011 thirteen bills into law, including two education-related bills about dyslexia,HB96 and HB157. 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.
Funding for TFA Made Available: According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, more than $2 million in grants will be made available for schools in Ohio to hire individuals in the “Teach for America” (TFA) program. (“Teach for American aiming to be in Ohio in the fall” by Patrick O’Donnell, Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 16, 2011.) The funds are being provided by the Cleveland, George Gund, Nord, and Stocker foundations with a contribution from the Lennon Trust.
TFA, founded by Wendy S. Kopp, recruits and trains individuals who have graduated from the nation’s top colleges to teach in struggling schools for up to two years. TFA is currently operating in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Governor Kasich signed into law on April 27, 2011 HB21 (Combs) which waives some of Ohio’s teacher licensure requirements for individuals in TFA so that they qualify for a resident teachers license in Ohio and can, therefore, teach in Ohio.
Studies about the impact of the program on student achievement have been mixed, and schools that participate in the program must pay TFA between $2000 – $5000 per participant in addition to paying the salaries and other contract obligations for the TFA participants. TFA participants also qualify for additional financial support from Americorps and often receive help to pay back student loans.
Read the story.
Read a review of research on Teach for America.
Governor Kasich Reviews 2011 and Previews 2012: Governor Kasich held a news conference on December 13, 2011 to highlight accomplishments of the past year and provide a preview of the priorities that his administration will focus on for 2012.
In his remarks about education the Governor said that more work must be done to connect Ohio’s education system with workforce needs; high school students need to be better prepared to succeed in college without remediation; colleges and universities must graduate more students; and that his administration is not ready to unveil a new state school funding formula continues. He said that the capital appropriations bill will not include funding for community projects, and that legislation will be introduced in early 2012 with additional reforms for government and energy policies. The Governor referred to this legislation as a “mid-biennial review bill”, but it could also be interpreted as a “corrections bill” since some agencies, including the Ohio Department of Education, have requested that recently passed legislation be amended.
Education stakeholders are anxiously waiting for the governor to introduce a new school funding formula after “deadlines” for its release in October and December were passed. The Evidence-Based School Funding formula developed and implemented by Governor Strickland for the FY10-11 school year was replaced by a temporary “bridge” formula in HB153, the biennial budget for FY12-13. If the new formula is to be implemented for FY13, the Ohio Department of Education and schools must know in early spring 2012. In anticipation of the governor’s new formula, the State Board of Education, which will begin deliberations on its FY14-15 budget and legislative recommendations in January 2012, has decided this budget cycle to propose policy guidelines rather than a specific school funding formula and funding targets for the Foundation Program line items. The State Board’s budget and legislative policy recommendations will be considered by the Board during the summer and adopted in September 2012.
See a video of the Governor’s conference.
Ohio Constitutional Commission Meets: The 32 member Constitutional Modernization Commission was created through HB188 (Batchelder) to facilitate revising the Ohio Constitution, if, in November 2012, voters approve a question to call a constitutional convention. A panel of 12 legislative members of the commission (6 Republican and 6 Democratic members) met on December 28, 2011 to begin the process of selecting additional members and outlining how the commission will work.
Based on the 1912 Ohio Constitution, Ohio voters are asked every twenty years if they want to call a constitutional convention to revise the state’s constitution. The purpose of this commission is to identify parts of the constitution that could be clarified, eliminated, amended, etc. and make recommendations. For example, the commission could recommend that the state’s redistricting process be changed.
Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder (R-Medina) and Representative Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) were selected as co-chairs of the commission. Applications for the 20 other members of the commission will be accepted through January 31, 2012. The panel also adopted rules, and will require a two-thirds vote of the Commission to approve any recommendations. The commission is required to report to the General Assembly by January 1, 2013, and will dissolve by July 1, 2021.
The legislative members of the commission include House Speaker William Batchelder (R-Medina), and Representatives Matt Huffman (R-Lima), Lynn Slaby (R-Copley). Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent), Dennis Murray (D-Sandusky), and Vernon Sykes (D-Akron).
Members from the Ohio Senate include Senators Shannon Jones (R-Springboro), Larry Obhof (R-Medina), Mark Wagoner (R-Toledo), Eric Kearney (D-Cincinnati), Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus), and Mike Skindell (D-Lakewood).
News from Washington, D.C.
U.S. DOE Focuses on Civil Rights: According to an article in Education Week advocates for students are applauding efforts by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to increase its “reviews” of civil rights complaints filed since 2010. (“Civil Rights Office Expands Its Reach Into Schools: Agency expands scope and number of reviews” by Lesli A. Maxwel, December 19, 2011)
The ORC, Russlynn H. Ali assistant secretary, has initiated 74 reviews of complaints that include student access to charter schools; discipline rates for certain groups of students; graduation rates at community colleges; student access to college-preparatory curriculum, advanced courses, and other academic opportunities, etc.
The Education Week article is available.
More Race to the Top Grantees Selected: Seven additional states have qualified to receive grants through the U.S. DOE’s Race to the Top program. The states are Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, and Kentucky were awarded grants. The states will share $200 million in funds to improve academic achievement. Information about the grants is available.
Grants to Fund Community and School Partnerships Awarded: The U.S. Department of Education announced on December 19, 2011 that five organizations will receive grants through the Promise Neighborhoods Program to link schools with health and community services to support students and families. The recipients are the Westminister Foundation of Buffalo, N.Y.; Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, which will work with Clay, Jackson, and Owsley counties in that state; United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County in San Antonio, Texas; California State University – East Bay in Hayward, Calif., and Northside Academy, in Minneapolis. Fifteen new communities will receive planning grants through the Promise Neighborhoods Program to conduct needs assessments of their communities. Information about the grants is available.
AYP Failure Rate at 48 Percent. The Center on Education Policy (CEP) released on December 15, 2011 a new report entitled “AYP Results for 2010-11” by Alexandra Usher. The report estimates that 48 percent of U.S. public schools failed to make adequate yearly progress (AYP) under No Child Left Behind Act in 2011. In 2010 39 percent of schools did not make AYP. AYP targets are based on students achieving the proficient level on state tests in math and English language arts in grades 3-8. Schools that fail to meet AYP for two consecutive years or more are required through the No Child Left Behind Act to implement certain interventions. The report is available.
FY 2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012: On December 23,2011 the President signed into law H.R. 2055, providing appropriations for the Department of Education for fiscal year 2012 through September 30, 2012. The total budget of $71.3 billion includes a decrease of $153 million for education compared to FY11 levels. But, there are slight increases for Title 1 grants for disadvantaged students and special education. Title 1 increases by $60 million to $15.7 billion and funds for special education increase by $100 million to $11.6 billion.
Funds are included to continue support for School Improvement Programs ($4.5 billion); Innovation and Improvement ($1.5 billion), and Career, Technical, and Adult Education ($1.7 billion).
Under School Improvement Programs funds are allocated for Improving Teacher Quality ($2.4 billion). Under Innovation and Improvement funds are allocated for President Obama’s Race to the Top initiative (RttT) ($548.7 million) and Investing in Innovation ($149 million), Promise Neighborhood program ($59 million) are funded through Safe Schools and Citizenship Education.
According to the legislation, RttT will now require a component for early education and funds will be made available to school districts and states. Head Start, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will be funded at $8 billion. The maximum level for Pell Grants will continue to be $5,550.
Funding was eliminated for the Foreign Language Assistance Program, Teaching American History program, Voluntary Public School Choice, Excellence in Economic Education, and more.
Funds for the “Arts in Education” program, which is included in the appropriations for Innovation and Improvement, were reduced from $27 million in FY11 to $25 million in FY12.
Information about the budget line items is available.
Another Ruling Issued in Charter School Lawsuit, And More to Come: In the ongoing lawsuit pitting ten charter schools against their management company, White Hat Management, LLC, Judge John Bender of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas ruled that the Court of Common Pleas does have jurisdiction over the matter, and ordered Plaintiffs to submit a modified discovery request, identifying the financial information that they wish to receive from White Hat Management by January 6, 2012, and allows White Hat to submit objections by January 13, 2012. (Hope Academy Broadway Campus, et al v White Hat Management, LLC. issued on December 23, 2011.)
This is one of several rulings that have been made in this complicated lawsuit, filed by ten charter schools on May 17, 2010. Originally the lawsuit asked the Court to sort-out the rights and liabilities of charter schools (the plaintiffs) under the contracts that they had with White Hat Management, LLC (the defendant); require White Hat to account for the state and federal funds that it had received to operate the schools; and declare moot or unconstitutional the right of a management company to replace a community school’s governing authority under certain conditions. (R.C. 3314.026).
A ruling issued in August 10, 2011 by Judge Bender declared as moot the issue regarding the unconstitutionality of the law, because the contracts that these schools had with White Hat preceded the effective date of the law, and so the Judge ruled that the law allowing White Hat to replace the governing boards did not apply to these schools. The judge also allowed to go forward the Plaintiff’s request for certain additional financial information from White Hat Management. However, White Hat then challenged the Court’s jurisdiction over the case, and asked that the case be dismissed. In October 2011 Judge Bender asked the interested parties to submit more briefs regarding the court’s jurisdiction over the issues.
According to the December ruling, Judge Bender requested an opinion from the Auditor of State and the Department of Education regarding jurisdiction over this matter. The Auditor responded that the court of common pleas “is a court of general jurisdiction” and has the right to “declare the Plaintiff Schools’ rights under Ohio law, and under their management agreements with the White Hat defendants”. The ruling states,”When a community school hires a management company and pays it significant amounts of public funds, it is incumbent upon the management company to property account to the community school for those funds because the community school must account for them to the Auditor. Thus, a detailed accounting is necessary when a management company receives significant amounts of public funds from a community school.”
“Therefore, the law entitles the Plaintiff Schools to all information that White Hat Defendants used to prepare them.”
Information about this decision and other related legal documents about this decision is available.
CER Releases Report on Charter Schools: The Center for Education Reform, Jeanne Allen president, released on December 14, 2011 a report entitled “The State of Charter Schools — What We Know and What We Do Not — About Performance and Accountability”, Alison Consolletti vice president of research. The CER is a pro-charter and choice advocacy organization that annually publishes updates about charter school laws, legislation, and the status of charter schools in the U.S.
To prepare the report the authors examined information about charter schools and identified some of the reasons that led 1,036 charter schools to close between 1992 and 2010. According to the report about 15 percent of charter schools, out of an approximate total 6,700 schools, have closed nationwide since 1992. Of the 15 percent that have closed, most have closed for financial deficiencies (41.7 percent) and mismanagement (24 percent), and 18 percent have closed due to academic under-performance. Other reasons for closing include facilities, district “obstacles”, and other/unknown.
The results of this report have raised questions about how states are holding charter schools accountable for academic achievement. Even though research reports show that charter schools are not performing any better than traditional public schools, only three percent of the total number of charter schools have closed due to academic reasons. (The report states that Florida, Ohio, Arizona, and Texas have the highest number of closures for academic reasons.)
Charter schools were created and granted more flexibility from state laws and rules in exchange for higher student achievement. Charter school laws in Ohio, for example, exempt charter schools from laws and rules regarding a prescribed curriculum, and therefore, unlike traditional public schools, charter schools do not have to provide instruction in the arts, foreign languages, etc. Although charter school teachers in Ohio must have a valid teaching license, unlike teachers in traditional public schools, they do not have to have a valid license in the subjects that they are teaching. Charter schools are not required to identify students who are gifted, and charter schools that are categorized as “drop-out prevention schools” are even exempt from Ohio’s newer laws to close charter schools. And, until 2011, students graduating from charter schools did not have to meet the same graduation requirements as students graduating from traditional public schools.
But, if charter schools are not performing any better than traditional public schools why aren’t more closing?
The authors write, “There is no question that academic performance is the most important factor in whether a charter school succeeds or fails. But how that performance is determined and by whom-and whether the performance of every child can influence whether a parent retains a critical choice of a school that is working for their child-is often ignored in today’s quality debate.”
One of the conclusions of the report states, “Conventional public schools are not held to the same standards. Public school districts should take a page out of the charter school playbook and begin to hold all conventional schools accountable for their successes and failures. This is the only way to improve public education-having viable educational options for parents that are held accountable for their results.”
The report is available.
Deadline to Respond to Draft Standards in the Arts is January 6, 2012: If you haven’t already done so, please take some time this week to review and comment upon the draft standards for the arts posted on ODE’s website for general public review and comment through January 6, 2012.
According to a supplemental document, the updated draft of Ohio’s arts standards reorganizes the content of the current five standard goals into three process goals: perceiving, producing/performing, and reflecting.
The proposed standards retain the content “most valued in arts education” while streamlining them. The knowledge, skills, and understandings students need to know are organized into grade clusters of K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and high school.
The new standards framework includes the following elements: Enduring understandings; progress points; cognitive and creative processes (perceiving, producing/performing and reflecting) and content statements by grade levels.
The supplemental document includes definitions and further information about the elements.
The State Board of Education is expected to adopt the standards in July 2012.
Update on the Revision of the National Standards for the Arts: The revision of Ohio’s standards is preceding the revision of the National Academic Standards for the Arts by a few months. The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) Arts Task Force is now developing draft national standards that will be ready by December 2012 and available online in 2013.
The task force consists of representatives of State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) and representatives of the Arts Education Partnership, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, the Educational Theatre Association, the National Arts Education Association, the National Association for Music Education, the National Dance Education Organization, and The College Board.
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) brought SEADAE and other arts leaders together in May 2010 to plan how to revise national arts education standards. SEADAE was already engaged in the National Expectations for Learning in Arts Education, a comprehensive project that encompasses standards in the arts, curriculum, assessments, professional development, and leadership. The following is a timeline explaining the next steps of the NCCAS:
September 2011: NCCAS hired a Project Director November 2011: NCCAS discussed guiding principles in the form of a conceptual framework December 2011: NCCAS established the standards writing teams January 2012-June, 2012: The Project Director manages the writing and revision of Standards draft.
July 2012: NCCAS releases a draft version of revised standards document for gathering public comment.
September – November 2012: NCCAS reviews and responds to revised arts standards public comment; revisions are made to standards by writing teams led by Project Director.
December 2012 – January 2013: Release of revised arts standards.
Members of the NCCAS writing teams for dance, drama/theater, music, and visual art were announced on December 16, 2011. Congratulations to Loren E. Bucek who is from Easthaven Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio and will serve on the writing team for dance.
The next meeting of the NCCAS leadership chairs will be January 23 – 24, in Reston, VA. At that meeting the learning framework that will guide the writers will be finalized, and the task force will discuss the project’s timeline and plans to include media arts as a discrete fifth arts discipline in the next generation standards. Currently “create, perform, and respond” are the proposed basic framework of the standards. Ohio’s standards are proposing “perceiving, producing/performing, and reflecting”.
The meeting will include a streaming public Q&A period on January 24. Links to the interactive blog and available video streams will be posted the day of the event on the NCCAS website.
The NCCAS web site also includes video of the sessions and research findings conducted by the College Board about international standards for the arts; how standards for the arts align with 21st Century knowledge and skills; and alignment of standards for the arts with career and college readiness standards.
To follow the progress of this work, please visit http://nccas.wikispaces.com
C-SPAN StudentCam: C-SPAN’s StudentCam is an annual national video documentary competition that encourages students to think seriously about issues that affect our communities and our nation. Students are asked to create a short (5-8 minute) video documentary on a topic related to the competition theme “The Constitution and You.” Documentary may focus on any section of the Preamble, Articles, or Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The maximum award is $5,000, plus $1,000 in digital equipment for school. Individuals or teams of two to three students in grades 6-8 or grades 9- 12 are eligible. The deadline to submit a video is January 20, 2012. For more information please visit http://www.studentcam.org/.