129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio Senate is holding session on January 10, 2012, and the House and Senate are holding some committee meetings this week.
State District Maps Challenged: The House and Senate Democratic caucuses filed on January 4, 2012 a lawsuit challenging the district maps for the Ohio House and Senate created by the Ohio Apportionment Board. The Ohio Supreme Court will consider the case through an expedited schedule. The Democratic caucuses allege that the new House and Senate districts are unconstitutional because they divide 51 counties, 108 townships, 55 cities, and 41 wards, and were developed using criteria not included in the Ohio Constitution to maximize a political advantage for the Republicans.
This Week at the Statehouse
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Senate Education Committee, Senator Lehner, chair The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9:30 AM in the South Hearing Room. The committee will hear testimony on HB116 (Barnes) School Anti-Bullying Act, which would enact the School Day Security and Anti-Bullying Act to require age-appropriate instruction on and parental notification of public schools’ policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Senate Ways and Means and Economic Development, Senator Schaffer chair. The Senate Ways and Means and Economic Development Committee will meet at 9:00 AM in the North Hearing Room. The committee will receive public testimony on tax expenditures. According to the Ohio Department of Taxation’s March 11, 2011 report on tax expenditures, the number of exemptions and other tax breaks will be $7.75 billion in FY13, an increase over the FY10 level of $6.851 billion. The report is available.
News from Washington, D.C.
House Committee to Tackle Accountability and Teacher Effectiveness Legislation: Congressman John Kline (R-MN) released on January 6, 2012 two drafts of legislation to reform the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as the No Child Left Behind Act. The draft legislation, The Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act, focuses on accountability and teacher effectiveness. The drafts will be considered by the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline chair.
According to a press release about the legislation, The Student Success Act does the following:
- Returns responsibility for student achievement to states, school districts, and parents, and maintains high expectations.
- Provides states and school districts greater flexibility to meet students’ unique needs.
- Invests limited taxpayer dollars wisely.
- Strengthens programs for schools and targeted populations.
- Maintains and strengthens long-standing protections for state and local autonomy.
The Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act does the following:
- Provides information to parents on teacher effectiveness.
- Increases school choice and engaging parents in their child’s education.
- Increases state and local innovation to reform public education.
- Eliminates unnecessary and ineffective federal programs.
- Supports Impact Aid.
More information about the proposed legislation is available.
Ten Year Anniversary of NCLB: Several articles have been posted recently about the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in recognition of its tenth year anniversary. President George W. Bush signed the NCLB, the latest version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, into law on January 8, 2002, but efforts to reauthorize it since in 2007 have failed. NCLB expanded the federal role in education and required schools receiving federal dollars to set student achievement targets, known as Adequate Yearly Progress, for all students and groups of students, such as students with special needs, students who are disadvantaged, and students with English as a second language.
For a comprehensive review of the law and its impact, please visit Education Week.
Washington State Supreme Court Decision on School Funding: The Supreme Court of the State of Washington ruled on January 5, 2012 that the state had failed to meet its constitutional obligation to “make ample provision for basic education of all children in Washington” in the case McCleary v. State of Washington. The Justices said that the legislative reforms adopted in 2009 to improve the way the state funds education were promising if fully funded by 2018. The lawsuit was filed on January 11, 2007. Read the decision.
State Board of Education to Meet
The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, will meet on January 9-10, 2012 at the Ohio School for the Deaf, 500 Morse Road, Columbus, OH.
SBE Meeting on Monday, January 9, 2012
The Executive, Achievement, and Capacity committees and the Select Committee on Urban Education will meet starting at 8:30 AM.
The Executive Committee, chaired by President Terhar, will discuss Board norms and procedural protocols and the timeline for three special task forces to complete work.
The Achievement Committee, chaired by Angela Thi Bennett, will discuss and approve a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rules 3301-91-01, -04, and -09, School lunch and breakfast programs; receive an update on Standards and Model Curricula Rollout – Professional Development; and receive an update on the work of the Assessment Consortium – PARCC.
The Capacity Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, will discuss proposed Praxis II tests and qualifying scores; discuss Drop Out Prevention and Recovery School Performance Measures; and discuss new expenditure standards required by HB 153.
The Select Committee, chaired by Joe Farmer, will discuss the “Diversity Strategies Policy Implementation Plan”; review the Work Plan and Progress To-Date; discuss the presentation of committee’s report to full board; review the OSBA Urban Panel; and review the site visit schedule to urban schools.
The full Board will receive at 11:00 AM a presentation by the Legislative and Budget Committee about the ESEA Platform and receive an update about the committee meetings held in the morning.
Following lunch at 1:15 PM the full Board will receive a presentation on the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, and then review the business meeting agenda.
The Board will convene its business meeting at 2:45 PM and immediately call an executive session. The Board will recess at 4:00 PM and hold a Chapter 119 Hearing on the following rules:
- Ohio Administrative Rule 3301-11-01,-02, -03,-07, Ed Choice
- Ohio Administrative Rule 3301-24-18, Resident Educator License
The three newly created task forces will meet following the 119 hearing:
- The Ohio School for the Blind and Ohio School for the Deaf Governance Task Force chaired by Dannie Greene.
- The Policy and Procedures Task Force chaired by Rob Hovis.
- The Superintendent Evaluation Task Force chaired by Dennis Reardon.
SBE Meeting on Tuesday, January 10, 2012
The Legislative and Budget Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, will meet at 8:30 AM and discuss adding a student member on the State Board; the FY 14-15 State Board Budget Process; HB 136 (Huffman) Parental Scholarship and Taxpayer Savings Plan; SB 165 (Obhof and Grendell) Include specific historical documents in state standards; and school bullying.
The SBE will reconvene its business meeting at 10:00 AM. The full Board will receive a report from the Legislative and Budget Committee; receive public participation on Agenda items; receive a report from the Superintendent of Public Instruction entitled “College and Career Readiness, Next Steps”; and consider the Report and Recommendations of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Board will then consider old business, new business, miscellaneous business, and adjourn.
State Board of Education Report and Recommendations of the Superintendent of Public Instruction January 10, 2012
#4 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rules 3301-83-06 and 3301-83-14 and to Rescind and Adopt Rules 3301-83-07,-12,-13,-19, and -23 of the Administrative Code regarding pupil transportation. (Volume 2, page 13)
#5 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rules 3301-91-01, -04, and -09 of the Administrative Code regarding School Breakfast and Lunch programs. (Volume 2, page 81)
#8 Approve a Resolution to Amend Rules 3301-41-01 of the Administrative Code entitled Standard for Issuing an Ohio High School Equivalence Diploma. (Volume 3, page 1)
#9 Approve a Resolution to Amend Rules 3301-44-03 and 3301-83-14 of the Administrative Code entitled Information and Counseling. (Volume 3, page 7)
#10 Approve a Resolution to Rescind Rules 3301-104-01 to 3301-104-03 of the Administrative Code regarding expenditures for pupil instruction for internet or computer based community schools. (Volume 3, page 15)
#11 Approve a Resolution to Adopt new Praxis II subject assessments and qualifying scores for licensure in the areas of business education, teaching reading, and special education (intervention specialist mild/moderate and moderate/intensive. (Volume 4, page 1)
Report on EMOs Released: The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) released on January 6, 2012 a report entitled “Profiles of For-Profit and Nonprofit Education Management Organizations: 13th Annual Report – 2010-2011” by Gary Miron, Jessica L. Urschel, Mayra A. Yat Aguilar, and Breanna Dailey, Western Michigan University. The report provides information about over 99 for-profit and 197 nonprofit companies (EMOs) that are receiving public funds to manage and operate schools, including traditional, charter, and virtual schools.
EMOs emerged in the 1990s as a “market-based” school reform strategy to improve schools through “entrepreneurial know-how and competition”. An EMO contracts with a school district or charter school to operate the school in exchange for meeting certain academic targets. Some of the more commonly known for-profit EMOs are Connections Academy, Imagine Schools, K-12 Inc., Edison Schools Inc., and White Hat Management. The largest of the non-profit EMOs is KIPP, with 109 schools and 32,000 students in 20 states and the District of Columbia.
The researchers found the following:
“We believe our key finding from the past three years, that the for-profit school management sector has leveled off and that many for-profit companies are expanding into supplemental services, continued in the 2010-2011 school year. The nonprofit management sector’s growth remains steady, both in terms of new nonprofit EMOs and new managed schools. While the number of new schools under for-profit EMO management has slowed, enrollments in all managed schools continue to grow at a rapid pace.”
According to the report 778,000 students attend schools operated by private education management organizations, including 40 percent of all students in charter schools. For-profit EMOs operate 758 schools. Nonprofit EMOs operate 1,170 schools.
When the academic status of the schools that these management companies operate is examined, the researchers found that 48.2 percent of schools managed by for-profit EMOs achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP); 27.4 percent of online schools run by for-profit companies achieved AYP; and 56.4 percent of nonprofit EMOs schools achieved AYP.
The report is available.
Poverty Among Children Increases: The Brookings Institute released on December 20, 2011 a report entitled “The Recession’s Ongoing Impact on America’s Children: INDICATORS OF CHILDREN’S ECONOMIC WELL-BEING THROUGH 2011 by Julia B. Isaacs. The report is based on several data sources that provide information about three indicators of child well-being: children with an unemployed parent, individuals receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, and child poverty indicators.
According to the report, the nation’s child poverty rate increased from 18 to 22 percent from 2007 to 2010, affecting 16 million children. Mississippi had the highest child poverty rate, at 32.5 percent, while New Hampshire’s rate was the lowest at 10 percent. Ohio’s poverty rate for children was about 24 percent, which is above the national average of 21 percent. Ohio was also one of several states which fell into high poverty status (child poverty greater than 20 percent) in 2009.
The author writes, “Children’s economic well-being has deteriorated between 2010 and 2011, according to two of the three indicators tracked in this analysis. One positive trend is that the number of children with an unemployed parent is lower than a year ago. However, SNAP caseloads continue to rise, and, according to the predictions presented here, child poverty also continues to rise. The economy may have begun its slow recovery, but conditions are not yet improving for children in the most vulnerable families.”
The report is available.
Winners for the 2012 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio Announced: The Ohio Arts Council announced on January 5, 2012 the winners of the 2012 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio. The eight winners were chosen from 67 nominations submitted by individuals and organizations throughout the state. Each winner will receive an original work of art by Pataskala artist Debra Joyce Dawson at a luncheon ceremony on May 9, 2012 at the Columbus Athenaeum.
Award categories and recipients are:
- Arts Administration, Ed Stern & Buzz Ward, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (Cincinnati)
- Arts Education, Toledo School for the Arts (Toledo)
- Arts Patron, Louise D. Nippert (Cincinnati)
- Business Support of the Arts, Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio (Dayton)
- Community Development & Participation, ArtsinStark (Canton)
- Individual Artist, Michael Jerome Bashaw (Kettering)
- Irma Lazarus Award, Barbara S. Robinson (Cleveland)
The 2012 Governor’s Awards ceremony and luncheon will be held in conjunction with Arts Day on Wednesday, May 9, 2012. This day-long event demonstrating public value and support for the arts, is sponsored by Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation and will include an arts advocacy briefing, legislative visits, tours of the Ohio Statehouse, and student performances.
This annual event is hosted by the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation. For more information on the luncheon, including how to purchase tickets and how to advertise in the event program, visit the Ohio Arts Council’s website.
OAC Hires New Arts Learning Program Coordinator: The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) announced last week that Chiquita Mullins Lee has been hired as the Ohio Arts Council’s new Arts Learning program coordinator. Mullins Lee is already familiar with the OAC’s Arts Learning work, having served as a teaching artist for the agency since 2007. Since 2006 she also has coordinated the OAC’s annual Poetry Out Loud statewide program and competition. In addition to her OAC work, Mullins Lee is an accomplished writer and communications professional. She has published poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of literary journals, and has written many plays, including Pierce to the Soul, her critically-acclaimed work on the life of renowned wood-carver Elijah Pierce.
Website Created to Support Westerville’s Music Programs: Advocates for the Westerville City School District’s music programs have created a website to provide information about the Westerville Board of Education’s proposed cuts to the district’s music and arts program. The website also has a petition in support of the performing arts in the Westerville City School District. The proposed budget-reducing plan, which the Westerville Board will vote on during their January 23, 2012 Board of Education meeting, would eliminate music specialists from elementary and middle schools and severely cut support for the high school music programs.
According to the website, “By cutting music so severely, you will be so dramatically limiting opportunities for our students that we can foresee even more flight to private and charter schools than ever before.”
Advocates for music and the arts are encouraged to attend the board of education meeting at 6:00 PM on January 23, 2012.
The website is at http://www.savethemusicwesterville.org/.
For information about the board of education meeting please visit http://www.westerville.k12.oh.us.
Poetry Out Loud Registration: Registration for Ohio’s Poetry Out Loud competition is still open! Register online.
Participants receive free materials, including a comprehensive toolkit, audio CD, DVD and anthology of 100 poems. Hundreds of poems by classic and contemporary poets are also available on the national Poetry Out Loud website at http://www.poetryoutloud.org/.
The Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest is now entering its seventh exciting year! Poetry Out Loud brings the arts to life in classrooms across the nation while enhancing students’ communication skills, building self-confidence and re-emphasizing the relevance of poetry.
Students who compete in classroom and school-wide Poetry Out Loud competitions recite poems from memory and are judged on their recitations. School champions compete at the state finals for cash prizes for themselves and their school libraries. Ohio’s finals are scheduled for Saturday, March 24, 2012 at Ohio Dominican University. The state champion will compete for the chance to win $20,000 cash at the Poetry Out Loud national finals in Washington, D.C., on May 15, 2012.
School Using Music to Support At-Risk Students: An article in the Orlando Sentinel posted on January 2, 2012 (“Pre-K Violinists Hone Skills that Can Aid in Math, Reading” by David Breen) describes a new instrumental music program for at-risk preschool students in Osceola County, Florida. The program is aimed at helping 80 children develop language, motor, social and other skills to prepare them for school. The students receive instruction from a professional violinist during 20-minute sessions held twice a week and practice with their teacher at other times.
The article is available.