With the start of a new year we find ourselves gearing up for the annual Ohio Music Education Association’s Professional Development Conference. This year OMEA invites you to “Discover Your Creative Capital” in Columbus! The schedule and registration information are on-line. The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education and Ohio Citizens for the Arts will be engaged in the full conference with specific work in the areas of arts and arts education advocacy and professional development. Take a moment to check out the schedule and make your plans to attend!
Check out a few of the advocacy sessions:
The Art of Advocacy, clinicians Bill Blair (Ohio Citizens for the Arts) and Chris Woodside (NAfME), Thursday, February 16th at 1:30 PM
Know Your Audience 101: A Primer on Advocacy Messaging, clinician Chris Woodside (NAfME), Friday, February 17th at 11:00 AM
The Informance: Educate and Advocate, clinician Sarah Fischer, Friday, February 17th at 2:45 PM
Ohio’s Value Added Accountability System and Teacher Merit Pay: Effects on Music Educators, clinicians Linda Hartley, Scott Edgar, and Ed Duling, Saturday, February 18th at 9:15 AM
Cathy Buchholz, Chair of OMEA Curriculum & Assessment Committee, and her team will present the 2012 High Quality Professional Development Pre-Conference with four levels of participation: Level 1 (focus on Ohio’s Academic Content Standards in Music), Level 2 (focus on Ohio’s Academic Content Standard 5: Connections, Relationships and Applications), Level 3 (focus on curriculum Integration), and Level 4 (focus on assessment). The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education is a proud partner in delivering this great series of professional development.
I’m looking forward to seeing you at the conference!
Donna S. Collins
Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio Senate will hold session this week. Some House and Senate committees are also meeting. The Ohio House and Senate education committees are not scheduled to meet this week.
The Senate failed on January 10, 2012 to agree to House amendments to SB165 (Obhof) Curriculum. This bill includes content on specific historical documents in the state academic content standards and in the high school American history and government curriculum. The bill will now go to a conference committee.
The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, accepted on January 10, 2012 several amendments and a substitute bill for HB116 (Barnes) the Jessica Logan Act (School Day Security and Anti-Bullying Act). The bill requires age-appropriate instruction on and parental notification of public schools policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying; includes cyberbullying in the definition of bullying; allows for the anonymous reporting of bullying; prohibits making false reports; and extends district anti-bullying policies to cover school buses. Another amendment allows students who are home-schooled and attend college in another state to attend a university in Ohio at the in-state tuition rate, if they later return to Ohio. The committee reported out the bill.
News from Washington, D.C.
Race to the Top Reports Released: The U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) released on January 10, 2012 state specific reports profiling first year progress on the $4 billion Race to the Top (RttT) grant program for the states of Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia. These states received RttT funding in 2010, and, according to the reports, most are making progress in meeting the goals outlined in their proposals in the four assurance areas: raising academic standards; building robust data systems to improve instruction; supporting great teachers and school leaders; and turning around persistently low-performing schools.
The reports include the accomplishments and challenges as states implemented the first year of the four-year project, and the strategies that states will use to keep moving forward. States have been working with the U.S. Department of Education’s Implementation and Support Unit (ISU) to address barriers and delays in the implementation of their proposals.
A total of 21 states and D.C. were awarded grants through three phases of Race to the Top and the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Fund. These states serve 65 percent of the nation’s children and 59 percent of the low-income students in the country. Congress provided an additional $550 million for Race to the Top in its FY12 budget, which includes language that will allow the U.S. DOE to create a district-level competition and continue the Early Learning Challenge.
While most states are making progress in implementing their RttT proposals, the U.S. DOE identified New York, Hawaii, and Florida as not on-track for implementing critical components of their RttT proposals. According to the Education Week Politics Blog (Michele McNeil and Alyson Klein January 10, 2012) most states have adopted common core standards, but are struggling with implementing the teacher/principal evaluation systems; hiring employees because of budget restraints; and maintaining momentum while facing turnovers in leadership. Maryland, Massachusetts, and Ohio seem to be making the most progress.
Update for Ohio: The state report for Ohio, “Race to the Top Ohio Report Year 1: School Year 2010-2011”, states that Ohio is making good progress to implement the initiatives included in its $400 million Race to the Top grant proposal in spite of leadership changes at the state level (governor, legislature, State Board of Education, and Superintendent of Public Instruction); retirements, resignations, and the reorganization of the ODE; state budget cutbacks; and the loss of some participants. Ohio accomplished the following in year one of the grant:
- Revised ODE job functions to improve alignment with the four Race to the Top education reform areas.
- Developed tools and processes to support LEAs in implementing their Race to the Top plans.
- Designated 6 RttT regions and assigned State and Education Service Centers (ESCs) coordinators and specialists to act as a primary resource and give targeted support to LEAs.
- Adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics and revised standards for science and social studies.
- Awarded LEAs competitive grants to create and implement innovative models for school reform efforts.
- Worked with participating LEAs and stakeholders to identify and validate requirements for a State standard instructional improvement system (IIS). This system will be completed in 2014, the IIS will benefit teachers, administrators, parents, policy makers, and other stakeholders by increasing the accessibility of student achievement data and linking those data to various professional development and support tools.
- Developed the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System and the Ohio Principal Evaluation System to inform professional development and human resource decisions, including retention, dismissal, tenure, and compensation. Currently 130 LEAs began piloting the teacher evaluation system in school year (SY) 2011-2012, and all participating LEAs will pilot the system in SY 2012-2013 with a goal of full implementation in SY 2013-2014. LEAs are increasingly implementing the principal evaluation system, piloted prior to the State’s receipt of the Race to the Top grant, leading up to full implementation of the system in SY 2013-2014.
- Worked with the Woodrow Wilson Foundation STEM Teacher Fellowship Program to recruit high-quality educators, including those in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, and to improve the equity of the distribution of effective educators,
- Implemented the Teach Ohio, and the Turnaround Principal and Teacher Leader programs.
- Identified 36 schools for intervention, and provided these schools with biweekly professional development about best practices for lowest-achieving schools.
- Awarded the contract for the Ohio Network for Education Transformation (ONET), which will support school reform efforts, provide technical assistance, produce reports, and connect and develop innovative school models. A second cohort of lowest-performing schools will be supported by ONET transformation specialists, who are developing work plans to turn those schools around.
Student Success Factors:
- The percentage of Ohio’s grade 4 students who were at or above Proficient in reading or math in 2011 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress was not significantly different than in 2009.
- The percentage of Ohio’s grade 8 students who were at or above Proficient in reading or math in 2011 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress was not significantly different than in 2009.
- Accept for students with limited English proficiency, the gap in student achievement in reading and math among several groups of students closed slightly. (The groups include White/Black; Not Low Income/Low Income; Children without Disabilities/Children with Disabilities; Not Limited English Proficient/Limited English Proficient; Female/Male Gap White/Hispanic)
The report identified the following challenges that Ohio faced while implementing its RttT plan:
- Delayed timeline for implementing some initiatives as a result of changes in ODE leadership, staffing, organizational transitions, and State and local budget deficits. Delays were made in the selection of an assessment consortium, the implementation of the kindergarten readiness assessment pilot; and the hiring of a lead for the work related to performance funding for successful educator preparation programs.
- Reduced the number of State-level ODE staff, as well as reduced the number of fellows it committed to in its Woodrow Wilson STEM Fellowship Program activities in order to ensure adequate support for each fellow, as a result of budget cuts.
- Lost some participating LEAs due to budget cuts at the state and local levels. The total number of participating LEAs decreased from 538 at the start of the grant period to 478 as of October 2011.
The report identified the following “Strategies for moving forward”: “To build upon its accomplishments, Ohio is developing a performance management structure to hold ODE leadership accountable for the progress and quality of implementation at the State level. The State is also refining and implementing a systematic process for improvement using feedback loops through multiple means, including LEA surveys, evaluations, and ongoing communication with stakeholders.”
The report is available.
Education Week Releases 2012 Quality Counts: The annual “Quality Counts” report card for each state, published by Education Week, was released on January 12, 2012. This year “Quality Counts 2012: The Global Challenge-Education in a Competitive World” also focuses on “American schooling’s international standing, the lessons to be learned from high-performing countries around the globe, and the implications for economic competitiveness in an interconnected world.”
“Quality Counts 2012” examines the extent to which high-profile international assessments can provide valid comparisons and lessons; which effective reform strategies here and abroad have gained traction and might be replicable; and the political and social challenges policy makers will face in improving American education to meet the demands of a 21st century work force.
“Quality Counts 2012” is published by Education Week, which is published by a nonprofit organization, Editorial Projects in Education.
The “Quality Counts State of the States” report card rates the nation and states in six areas of performance and policy: Chance-for-Success; the K-12 Achievement; the Teaching Profession; Standards, Assessments, and Accountability; Transitions and Alignment: and School Finance.
This year’s ratings have been updated for the categories Chance for Success; K-12 Achievement; Standards, Assessments, & Accountability; Teaching Profession; and School Finance. The ratings for 2011 are being used for the category Transitions and Alignment.
Overall the nation earned a C based on scores in the six distinct areas of policy and performance tracked by the report. For the fourth year in a row, Maryland’s education system was rated the top with an overall grade of B+. Other top-ranked states are Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia, each receiving a B. Ohio was rated C-, and is tied with West Virginia for 10th place. The following are some highlights of information in the reports for each category:
Chance-for-Success Index: This index measures how well states provide students with opportunities to succeed from childhood through college and work, and is composed of 13 indicators in the subcategories of early foundations; school years; and adult outcomes. State scores on the Chance-for-Success Index have dropped from pre-recession levels, and overall the nation received a C+. Massachusetts earned the only A followed by New Hampshire and New Jersey, each receiving grades of A-minus. Mississippi, New Mexico, and Nevada received the lowest scores, with grades of D+ or lower.
Ohio earned an overall C+ in this category. Ohio’s overall score was affected by low scores for the following indicators: the percent of children in families with incomes at least 200 percent of poverty level; the percent of children with at least one parent with a postsecondary degree; the percent of 4th grade public school students “proficient” on National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and the percent of 8th grade public school students “proficient” on NAEP.
K-12 Achievement Index: This index evaluates the overall strength of a state’s public school system compared to 18 individual indicators, such as current achievement, improvements over time, and poverty-based disparities or gaps. Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Maryland all earned a B in this category. Three states, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia and the District of Columbia, received grades of F on this index. Ohio received an overall score of C-.
Standards, Assessments, and School Accountability: The nation earns a B in this year’s report on indicators for standards for English/language arts, math, science, and social studies; supplemental guides for the standards; and support for particular student populations. Twelve states received an A, and nine states an A-. Scores in this category have improved in 20 states since 2010, when this category was last reported. Ohio earned an overall A in this category. (Please note: States are not recognized for having content standards for the arts.)
Teaching Profession: This index evaluates 44 individual state indicators. The nation earned a C in this area. Arkansas and South Carolina each earned a B+, the highest grade awarded this year; four states and the District of Columbia earned a D-. The impact of the recession has led to declines in this index, which includes indicators for teacher preparation; state policies for teachers who are teaching subjects for which they do not have a license; evaluating teaching performance; accountability for the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs; and data systems to monitor quality. The report shows that the Pay-Parity Index, the national pay-gap between teachers and other comparable workers, has narrowed in the past several years. “Public-school teachers earn about 94 cents for every dollar earned in similar occupations nationwide.” The median salary for public school teachers was $49,974 compared with $52,972 for comparable workers. Ohio earned a C in this category.
School Finance: This index evaluates state school finance systems for equity and spending per pupil and the percent of total taxable resources spent on education. The national grade in school finance held steady at a C for 2012, with seven states (Wyoming, New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Maryland) earning the top grade of B+. Overall since the onset of the recession in 2007, state scores have dropped. Ohio earned a C. According to this index, only 30.5 percent of Ohio students are in districts with a per pupil expenditure at or above the U.S. average (2009).
Quality Counts 2012 also includes the results of a survey by Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, which asked state officials about how they incorporated international practices into their programs and policies. The results of the survey show that most states (29) use international education comparisons to inform state policies so that students are prepared for working in a global economy. However, fewer states (8) are using international best practices to support teachers in their states.
The survey also found that the recession still impacts state decisions about education. States have had to scale back programs due to tight budgets, and schools have been affected by increased child poverty and parental unemployment. Support for programs for teachers, such as training and professional development, has dropped in 23 states.
A summary and press release of the report is available.
Quality Counts 2012 — OHIO: Ohio earned an overall C+ (79.5) and is ranked 10th with West Virginia. Ohio’s overall scores are based on individual scores in 6 categories. Ohio earned a C+ (27th place) for the Chance in Success Index; a C- (15th place) in K-12 Achievement; an A (4th place) in Standards, Assessments & Accountability; a C+ (22nd place) in Transitions & Alignment; a C (18th place) for Teaching Profession; and a C (20th place) for School Finance.
When the scores within each category are unpacked, Ohio earned high scores for Standards, Assessments, and Accountability, and low scores for K-12 Achievement, which includes ratings for achievement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress in math and reading (D+); Achievement Gains (D+); and Poverty Gap (B-). Under the category School Finance, Ohio earned a B+ for equity and a D for spending.
State Board of Education Meets
The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, met 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 met on January 9, 2012.
The Executive Committee, chaired by President Terhar, discussed Board norms and procedural protocols and the timeline for three special task forces to complete their work. The committee is considering developing more specific statements regarding Board relationships and incorporate the Board norms into the State Board’s Policies and Procedures Manual. This work will be considered by the newly created policies and procedures task force chaired by Rob Hovis.
The Achievement Committee, chaired by Angela Thi Bennett, discussed and approved a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rules 3301-91-01, -04, and -09, School Lunch and Breakfast programs; received an update on Standards and Model Curricula Rollout – Professional Development regarding the Common Core standards; and received an update on the work of the Assessment Consortium – PARCC.
The Capacity Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, discussed proposed Praxis II tests and qualifying scores; discussed eight Drop Out Prevention and Recovery School Performance Measures; discussed the new expenditure standards required by HB153; and approved Rules for the Peterson Special Education Scholarship.
The committee received information from Eric Bode, ODE executive director of Quality School Choice and Funding, regarding the expenditure standards for the new ranking system required through HB153 Biennial Budget FY11-12. The new ranking system will be included on the local report card for schools/districts next year. The ODE has been working with stakeholders to define the categories of expenditures that will be on the report card for “classroom instruction” and “non classroom expenditures”. The Board is required to adopt these standards by June 30, 2012, and is proposing the following for State Board review:
- Classroom expenditures, such as instruction for regular, special, and vocational education, would be based on salaries and benefits for instructional staff, and expenditures for textbooks and certain supplies, equipment, and purchased services. Other classroom expenditures included in this category are those for special education aides and attendants, instructional staff training, and other functions tied to improving instruction. Pupil support for guidance, educational media, teaching aides, attendance/social work, disabilities support, and other direct help to students would also count toward classroom-based expenses.
- Non classroom expenditures include building-level expenditures for administration, such as the principal and central office costs incurred by the board of education, superintendent’s office, fiscal services, business manager, and support services included in the administrative category. Expenditures for building and operating expenses, such as district and school housing, transportation, utilities, lunchroom operation, and other environmental support, would also be included in non classroom expenditures. Staff support that covers supervision/direction and training of non-instructional staff would be classified as non-classroom expenditures. Student services pertaining to extracurricular activities, health services, speech/audiology, psychological services, and supervision/direction would be considered non-classroom expenses.
Expenditures that would not be included in the rankings include funds for self-insurance or rotary funds; funds used to account for assets held by a district as an agent to individuals, private organizations, and other governmental units; funds to educate students elsewhere, such as in a private school; funds used to educate students outside the EMIS enrollment data, such as preschool students, or for non-educational purposes, such as community recreation or library services; and capital and other one-time expenditures.
The Select Committee, chaired by Joe Farmer, reviewed their work plan and discussed the site visit schedule to urban schools. The committee then received a presentation by Sharon Davies, executive director of the Kirwan Institute for Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University, and Steve Menendian, senior legal associate of the Kirwan Institute, regarding the report “Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools: Final Recommendations”, which was accepted by the State Board in September 2011.
The SBE received a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation in 2010 to work with the Kirwan Institute for Race and Ethnicity on a project (Diversity Strategies Project) to update its policy on diversity and bring it into compliance with current law. The State Board of Education adopted its original diversity and integration policy in 1980, entitled “Equal Educational Opportunities”.
The project was initiated in response to decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court (Seattle and Louisville, KY 2007) and new demographic realities for Ohio, that changed the way that schools/districts could address diversity. For example, the report states that, “Ohio is leading the nation in the increase in African American hyper-segregation in education with the percent of black students in nearly all minority schools (those where the student body is <5% white) increased 18 percentile points to 28 percent from 1993-1994 to 2005-2006. Ohio’s school systems remain segregated by race, which has a byproduct of concentrating non-white youth into high poverty environments.”
“In addition, the growth of charter schools may reduce the efficacy of district-wide or regional diversity policies. Charters not only draw students out of public schools, often within residentially isolated areas, but charter schools tend to be more segregated by race than their surrounding districts.”
Recently, the National Association of State Boards of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Education, Office of Equity (December 2011), released guidance documents for schools/districts regarding diversity. These new guidance documents support the decision by the State Board to adopt the new diversity guidelines, and align with the recommendations accepted by the Board in September 2011.
The Board is now in the final stages of this project, and can conclude the project by completing the following steps:
- Adopt policies and procedures to assist schools/districts implement diversity strategies
- Communicate the “guidance” to schools/districts and solicit best practices from schools/districts
- Develop online professional development tools and a clearinghouse at the ODE for best practices based on scientific research
- Conduct a survey of schools/districts to evaluate the policy
- Publish a final report on the project.
As one of the steps to complete the project, the State Board was presented a new draft Policy entitled, “Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools: Empowering School Districts to Promote Diversity and Reduce Racial Isolation in Ohio’s Schools”. According to the presenters, the draft Policy confronts the demographic and socioeconomic challenges to diversity and racial isolation occurring in Ohio’s schools in the 21st Century, and recognizes the economic realities and current restraints on school/district budgets. It gives local schools/districts the flexibility to achieve diversity goals without imposing requirements on each school/district. It also complies with current law and the U.S. DOE and Justice recent guidance document.
The draft Policy “…is intended to promote diversity by providing careful guidance to districts and by creating infrastructure to allow the existing diversity best practices to be lifted-up and shared.” Diversity is defined as “…a multi-dimensional concept that acknowledges and embraces the richness of human differences,” and encompasses, but is not limited to, race and ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, familial status, (dis)ability, and linguistic diversity. According to the draft Policy, diversity must not only be incorporated into a general set of educational values, but also into the curricula, instructional materials, and educational methodologies.
The draft Policy is divided into three parts:
- An overview of goals and purpose
- A statement on the educational and demographic benefits of diversity in promoting and sustaining educational success
- Eleven recommendations to guide and encourage diversity in schools/districts.
The department is planning to create a website to make ODE-developed resources on diversity available to schools/districts, and to solicit feedback on the state’s diversity policy.
Members of the Select committee had many questions about the draft Policy. Several members were concerned that the draft Policy didn’t include content that was in the recommendations adopted by the State Board in September 2011. Among suggestions, State Board members requested that the draft Policy include specific information about religious diversity and its implications for schools/districts, and include content about diversity in the overall curriculum so that students understand the value of diversity and are prepared to succeed in a diverse society.
The committee agreed to continue discussions about the draft Policy at the February 2012 Board meeting.
PRESENTATION ABOUT FEDERAL RttT EARLY LEARNING CHALLENGE GRANT
Stephanie Siddens, ODE Director of the Office of Early Learning and School Readiness, and Alicia Leatherman, Deputy Director of the Division of Child Care, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), presented to the State Board an update of the $70 million four-year Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, awarded to Ohio from the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services. The grant was prepared by the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, and the Early Childhood Advisory Council, the Ohio Business Roundtable, Battelle, and the Governor’s Office.
The Early Learning Challenge Grant is a federal competitive grant that will enable states to create a unified, effective, and systematic approach for early learning, birth through Kindergarten entry for children and their families. The purpose of the grant is to improve, link, and align what is happening in different agencies and funding streams in the states regarding early learning. The grant focuses on improving current programs for Kindergarten readiness for Ohio’s most vulnerable children, including children in poverty; English language learners; and children with disabilities.
The following goals were established to be achieved in the four years of the grant:
- Increase the number of highly rated quality settings to 1300. Currently there are 1100 highly rated settings.
- Close the readiness gap by 5 percent on Kindergarten readiness assessments.
- Require by 2020 that Ohio purchase all early education services from highly qualified providers.
The ODE and ODJFS will work together to schedule webinars to provide information about the progress of the implementation of this grant to stakeholders in the child care communities; finalize the scope of work of the grant to submit to the U.S. DOE; and collaborate with other agencies to implement the grant.
Information about the grant is available.
SBE BUSINESS MEETING
The State Board then convened its business meeting and immediately called an executive session. Following the executive session the Board held 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
No witnesses testified on the rules.
The three newly created task forces met 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
LEGISLATIVE AND BUDGET COMMITTEE
The Legislative and Budget Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, met and discussed the following:
- Agreed to develop a recommendation to add one or more student participant(s) to the State Board of Education by April 2012. Several states have student members on their Boards of Education, and in two states students have full voting rights.
- Finalized a detailed outline of the FY14-15 State Board Budget Process.
- Discussed the future of HB136 (Huffman) Parental Scholarship and Taxpayer Savings Plan. The sponsor of the bill, Representative Huffman, announced on December 12, 2011 that he was going to make changes in the bill in response to the public concerns. At this time HB136 will probably not go forward, but could be reintroduced as another bill, or could be included in a possible mid-year budget bill, or in a future school funding bill.
- Discussed the future of SB165 (Obhof and Grendell) historical documents in state standards. This bill was approved by the Senate and House, with amendments.
- Adopted a motion to take an interested party position on HB116 (Barnes) Anti-bullying and SB127 (Schiavoni) School Bullying Policies – Cyberbullying.
LEGISLATIVE AND BUDGET COMMITTEE PRESENTATION TO THE BOARD: ESEA Platform
The full Board received a presentation by the Legislative and Budget Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, about Board’s recommendations for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Jeremy Marks, ODE federal legislative liaison led the presentation in which 33 recommendations were described.
NCLB WAIVER REQUEST
Matt Cohen, ODE executive director for policy and accountability, and Cynthia Lemmerman ODE director of federal programs, then presented information to the Board about the ESEA Flexibility Waiver request that Ohio will submit to the U.S. Department of Education in February 2012.
The U.S. Department of Education notified states in September 2011 that they could request flexibility waivers from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) if states demonstrated to the federal government that they would commit to meeting certain goals in the areas of career and college ready expectations for all students; state-developed differentiated recognition, accountability, and support systems; effective instruction and leadership; and reducing duplications and burdens.
Ohio is requesting waivers in the following ten areas and one optional area: Adequate Yearly Progress, AYP; school sanctions and accountability; supplemental services; extending the school year; using data to support accountability; adapting school improvement plans; aligning federal funds to meet school needs; use 21st Century Grant funds to meet school needs; and develop one comprehensive plan for continuous improvement.
Currently through NCLB, all states are required to meet AYP targets by 2014-15 school year. Ohio is asking for waivers from AYP, and, in return, has recently adopted more rigorous Common Core Standards, is participating in national efforts to develop more rigorous national assessments, and has approved new school ratings based on performance index scores and expenditures.
Several education organizations have joined together to write a letter in support of the waiver request. The organizations include the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, Ohio Association of School Business Officials, Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators, Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators, Ohio Educational Service Center Association, and Ohio School Boards Association.
Several Board members expressed their reservations about Ohio’s waiver request. These members said that they did not believe that President Obama and U.S. Department of Education had the legal authority to waive federal laws, and urged other Board members to oppose the waiver request.
The ODE has established a website to receive feedback about the waiver process.
SBE BUSINESS MEETING
The State Board of reconvened its business meeting from January 9, 2012 and received the report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Stan Heffner. The report included information about the U.S. Department of Education’s progress report on Race to the Top; Ohio’s No Child Left Behind Act waiver request; an update on efforts in Ohio to prepare students to be college and career ready; and how the State Board can engage the public in efforts that will lead to greater student success.
RttT Update: Regarding the RttT progress report, Superintendent Heffner said that Ohio has made good progress on the implementation of its Race to the Top plan. He reviewed with the Board the Race to the Top initiatives that have been implemented so far and future efforts, including the Ohio Teacher/Principal Evaluation Systems; implementing the State’s Instructional Improvement System (IIS); finding teachers through Teach Ohio for hard to fill teaching positions; and implementing the early warning system for schools.
College and Career Ready Update: Superintendent Heffner then asked the Board to think about the Board’s vision statement and how Ohio’s schools can become more innovative to ensure that students are prepared for college and careers in an articulated preK-16 system. Superintendent Heffner said that school, or schooling, can take place anywhere now, and that the challenge for educators is how to facilitate learning, challenge and actively engage learners, and change classroom practices and the school day and school year to ensure that all students master content. The ODE needs to provide the means and mechanisms to help teachers deliver instruction differently.
Superintendent Heffner asked Board members to respond to this vision of education, and determine how the ODE should move forward to make this happen. There are exciting programs in Ohio schools and experts in Ohio who can inform the Board and provide exemplars about how to transform education. He recommended that the Board receive presentations about how to design education for the future.
The SBE reconvened its business meeting following lunch and received public participation on agenda items. Aimee Gilman, an attorney from Cleveland, asked the Board to address the issue of restraint and seclusion of students with disabilities in Ohio’s schools. In response to the presentation, several Board members asked for clarification about the State’s policies regarding the restraint and seclusion of students with disabilities. An interagency task force had been created by former Governor Strickland through an executive order, and had developed a new policy. No action has been taken on this proposed policy by Governor Kasich’s administration, and Superintendent Heffner was directed to contact the Kasich administration to determine the next steps. The State Board can go forward and develop its own policy, but Ms. Gilman cautioned that many school districts have excellent policies regarding the restraint and seclusion of students with disabilities, but the problem has been enforcing those policies.
The Board then took action on the resolutions included below, considered old business, new business, and miscellaneous business. There was no participation on non agenda items. The Board then adjourned.
State Board of Education Report and Recommendations of the Superintendent of Public Instruction January 10, 2012
#4 Approved 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 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rules 3301-91-01, -04, and -09 of the Administrative Code regarding School Breakfast and Lunch programs.
#5A Approved a Resolution of Intent to confirm the Westerville City School District’s determination impractical the transportation of students attending the FCI Academy. (This Resolution was added to the agenda on January 9, 2012, and was not included in the original Board Book.)
#5B Approved a Resolution of Intent to conduct a 119 Hearing on the proposed transfer of school district territory from the Little Miami Local School District, Warren County, to the Kings Local School District, Warren County. (This Resolution was added to the agenda on January 9, 2012, and was not included in the original Board Book.)
#8 Approved 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 Approved 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 Approved 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 Approved 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)
#12 Approved a Resolution to Re-file Rules 3301-101-01 through 13 for the Jon Peterson Special Education Scholarship. The State Board had approved an intent to adopt these rules and later voted to re-file them. Changes were made in them to make clear that multiple providers can be paid for with the scholarship; to ensure that parents understand that they will be responsible for selecting the services; to require applicants to inform the ODE about where the child is educated and what providers are being used; to ensure that services will be provided in Ohio, with some exceptions allowed; and to require the ODE to report certain information annually to the public school district of record and the State Board of Education.
#13 Approved a Motion from the Legislative and Budget Committee that the State Board of Education take an interested party position on HB116 (Barnes) Anti-bullying, as passed by the House, and SB127 (Schiavoni) Anti-bullying, as introduced. Emergency approval requested. (Volume 5, Page 32).
#14 Approved a Motion from the Legislative and Budget Committee that the State Board of Education adopt a Platform for the Reauthorization of ESEA. The platform includes the SBE’s policy and recommendations to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. (Volume 4 Pages 1-2, and 3-9).
Teacher Evaluations & MET Project Findings: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released on January 6, 2012, “Gathering Feedback for Teaching: Combining High-Quality Observations with Student Survey and Achievement Gains.”
This report summarizes the most recent findings from the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project, a partnership of academics, teachers, and education organizations working to investigate better ways to identify and develop effective teaching and improve teacher evaluation and feedback. The project is funded by the Gates Foundation. Participating in the project are Teachscape, the National Board for Professional Teaching, Westat, the American Institutes for Research, RAND, the National Math and Science Initiative, Educational Testing Services, the New Teacher Center, other organizations, and the following universities: Harvard, Rutgers, Stanford, Michigan, Dartmouth, Chicago, Virginia, Washington, Texas, and more.
This is the second MET report published (initial findings were published in December 2010), and two more reports are planned for mid-2012: one on the implications of assigning weights to different measures; another using random assignment to study the extent to which student assignment may affect teacher effectiveness results.
This report examines classroom practices through five nationally recognized teaching observation instruments. The report recommends the following six minimum requirements to guide high quality classroom observations:
- Choose an observation instrument and set clear goals.
- Require observers to demonstrate accuracy before they rate teacher practice.
- When high-stakes decisions are being made, multiple observations are necessary.
- Track system-level reliability by double scoring some teachers with impartial observers.
- Combine observations with student achievement gains and student feedback.
- Regularly verify that teachers with stronger observations scores also have stronger achievement gains on average.
Multiple measures of teaching take into consideration teacher content knowledge, student perceptions, the results of assessment of teachers and students, and classroom observations. The report found that five nationally used teacher observation instruments were positively associated with student achievement gains; multiple observations are necessary and increase reliability; and reliability improved when student achievement gains and feedback were combined with observation scores.
The report includes the following key findings:
- High-quality classroom observations will require clear standards, certified raters, and multiple observations per teacher.
- Combining the three approaches (classroom observations, student feedback, and value-added student achievement gains) capitalizes on the strengths and offsets the weaknesses of teacher evaluation instruments.
- Combining new approaches to measuring effective teaching, while not perfect, significantly outperforms traditional measures. Providing better evidence should lead to better decisions.
The full report is available.
Does Money Matter??? The Albert Shanker Institute released on January 6, 2012 a new policy brief entitled “Revisiting the Age-Old Question: Does Money Matter in Education?” by Rutgers University Professor Bruce Baker. The brief reviews research on spending and educational quality and examines three questions:
- does money in the aggregate matter?
- do specific schooling resources that cost money matter?
- do substantive and sustained state school finance reforms matter?
The author writes, “Increasingly, political rhetoric adheres to the unfounded certainty that money doesn’t make a difference in education, and that reduced funding is unlikely to harm educational quality. Such proclamations have even been used to justify large cuts to education budgets over the past few years. These positions, however, have little basis in the empirical research on the relationship between funding and school quality.”
The brief includes information about a number of research studies in peer reviewed academic journals and books that address the fore-mentioned questions, including a re-examination and analysis of the report by James Coleman, “Equality of Educational Opportunity” (1966); a re-examination and analysis of Eric Hanushek’s 1986 paper entitled “Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools, Journal of Economic Literature 24 (3) 1141-1177; the work of Harold Wenglinsky (1996); and recent studies that link financial resources and student outcomes. The brief includes the following findings:
- “Does money matter? Yes. On average, aggregate measures of per-pupil spending are positively associated with improved or higher student outcomes. In some studies, the size of this effect is larger than in others and, in some cases, additional funding appears to matter more for some students than others. Clearly, there are other factors that may moderate the influence of funding on student outcomes, such as how that money is spent – in other words, money must be spent wisely to yield benefits. But, on balance, in direct tests of the relationship between financial resources and student outcomes, money matters.”
- “Do schooling resources that cost money matter? Yes. Schooling resources which cost money, including class size reduction or higher teacher salaries, are positively associated with student outcomes. Again, in some cases, those effects are larger than others and there is also variation by student population and other contextual variables. On the whole, however, the things that cost money benefit students, and there is scarce evidence that there are more cost-effective alternatives.”
- “Do state school finance reforms matter? Yes. Sustained improvements to the level and distribution of funding across local public school districts can lead to improvements in the level and distribution of student outcomes. While money alone may not be the answer, more equitable and adequate allocation of financial inputs to schooling provide a necessary underlying condition for improving the equity and adequacy of outcomes. The available evidence suggests that appropriate combinations of more adequate funding with more accountability for its use may be most promising.”
The brief is available.
HB411 (Luckie) Student Athletes Stipends-Colleges: Authorizes stipends for student athletes attending public and private, nonprofit colleges, and universities.
HB412 (Antonio, Carney) Health Benefit Exchange Agency: Establishes the Ohio Health Benefit Exchange Agency and establishes the Ohio Health Benefit Exchange Program consisting of an exchange for individual coverage and a Small Business Health Options Program.
HB413 (Goyal, Murray) Supreme Court Justices-Campaign Financing System: Creates a public campaign financing system for candidates for the office of chief justice or justice of the Supreme Court.
Resources for Evaluating Music Teachers: The National Association for Music Education, Music Teacher Evaluation Task Force, chaired by Johanna J. Siebert, Ph.D., has made available on its website the Teacher Evaluation Forum to engage music leaders and teachers in discussions about state teacher evaluation systems. The site is available at http://www.nafme.org/forums/ or from the NAfME homepage under “Quick Links.
The Society for Music Teacher Education (SMTE) has also developed a webpage to link with this forum, and to share state documents already being implemented or being developed. It includes the NAfME position statements on music teacher evaluation and other updates. The webpage is at http://smte.us/teacher-evaluation/
Music educators are encouraged to participate on these forums and provide information developed at the district and state levels regarding evaluating music/arts educators.
Call For Applications: The 2012-2013 Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, DeVos Institute of Arts Management Fellowship is calling for applications. The application deadline is April 1, 2012. The Fellowship at the DeVos Institute for Arts Management is an immersive program in arts management strategy designed to prepare mid-career arts managers for executive positions in today’s complex arts environment.
The Fellowship was founded by Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser in 2001 and offers a structured blend of academic training, hands-on work experience, independent and collective learning opportunities, and personalized mentoring. Fellows develop close working relationships with Kennedy Center leadership, complete significant projects within the context of the Kennedy Center, and are connected to a vast network of DeVos Institute alumni throughout the United States and in 39 countries worldwide.
The nine-month, full-time program begins in September 2012. Please visit the website
for more information and application instructions.
Arts Education Webinar Series: Americans for the Arts is launching a series of webinars for arts education. This seven part series is based on Americans for the Arts’ new toolkit, The Arts Education Field Guide, which will be released during the first webinar.
The Field Guide will identify ways to navigate the complex web of citizens, policy makers, government entities, and organizations that influence arts education from the school house to the White House and from the living room to the board room.
Each webinar in this series is free to members of Americans for the Arts (a $245 dollar value for the entire series), or is available for $35.00 per webinar for non-members.
Become a AFA member today.
All webinars are one hour in length, starting at 3:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (2:00 PM CST, 1:00 PM MST, 12:00 PM PST). Register for the entire series.
The following topics will be covered by the webinars:
- Understanding Federal Constituents in Arts Education January 26, 2012 at 3:00 PM EST
- Understanding State Level Constituents in Arts Education February 23, 2012 at 3:00 PM EST
- Understanding School Boards’ Role in Arts Education March 22, 2012 at 3:00 PM EDT
- Understanding Superintendents’ Role in Arts Education May 24, 2012 at 3:00 PM EDT
- Understanding Business Partnerships for Arts Education July 26, 2012 at 3:00 PM EDT
- Understanding Principals’ Role in Arts Education September 27, 2012 at 3:00 PM EDT
- Understanding Parents’ Role in Arts Education November 15, 2012 at 3:00 PM EST
For more information, contact Kristen Engebretsen, Arts Education Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org