129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate are back in business this week with hearings and sessions scheduled.
Changes in Governor’s MBR: House Republicans announced on April 12, 2012 that HB487 (Amstutz) Governo Kasich’s mid-biennium review (MBR), will be further divided into nine bills as follows:
- HB487 (Amstutz) – Medicaid, health and human services, and state government reorganization
- HB490 (Landis-Dovilla)- veterans services
- HB505 (Amstutz) – Board of Tax Appeals
- HB508 (Beck) – general tax law changes
- HB509 (Blair) – local government changes
- HB510 (Amstutz) – Financial Institutions Tax
- HB511 (Beck/Gonzales)- tax credits
- HB512 (Maag) – land conveyances
- HB513 (Maag) – lease/leaseback
- HB514 (Newbold) – real-time traffic (Traveler Information Program)
Some provisions of the Governor’s MBR have already been divided into separate legislation, including SB315 (Jones) energy policy; SB316 (Lehner), which includes education provisions; and newly introduced SB325 and HB506, which include provisions to implement the Cleveland Plan. Provisions regarding increases in the severance tax on natural gas extracted from shale were also removed, and will be introduced in separate legislation in the future.
Hearings on the MBR legislation are now divided among several House and Senate committees.
Changes in the Works for SB316: Senator Peggy Lehner, chair of the Senate Education Committee, also announced last week that parts of SB316 about digital learning, will be removed and considered as separate legislation at a later date.
Cleveland Plan Legislation to be Revised: According to an article on April 12, 2012 in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Cleveland Teachers Union (CTU), David Quolke president, Mayor Frank Jackson, and Cleveland District CEO Eric Gordon have reached an agreement on most components of a new plan to improve the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. (“Cleveland Teachers Union and Mayor Frank Jackson reach deal on mayor’s school plan” by Patrick O’Donnell, Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 12, 2012)
With a deal in place, substitute legislation is expected to be introduced in the House and Senate to replace SB325 and HB506.
The Cleveland Teachers Union and Mayor Jackson have been negotiating for several weeks changes in the proposed law regarding teacher assignment, seniority, pay, evaluations, reduction in force, and other provisions that would have given the district more flexibility to make changes in personnel. The teachers union argued that to improve the Cleveland schools the focus should be on implementing education reforms that are based on research and actually work, and represent the voice of all stakeholders in Cleveland.
According to the article the proposed Transformation Alliance, which would be appointed by the mayor and oversee partnering charter schools, would be subject to open records and meetings laws, one of the more criticized parts of the legislation.
Also removed was the “fresh start” provision, which would have required the teachers union to renegotiate every contract provision each time their contract was up for renewal. If an agreement could not be reached, the mayor would have been able to impose his contract changes, a provision that is similar to one that was struck-down in State Issue 2 in November 2011.
One of controversial provisions still included in the Cleveland Plan is the distribution of local tax revenue to partnering charter schools.
Read the article.
This Week at the Statehouse — Hearings for Education – Related Legislation
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Senate Education Committee, Senator Peggy Lehner chair The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9:30 AM in the South Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on SB316, MBR Mid-Biennium Review.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
House Education Committee, Representative Stebelton chair The House Education Committee will meet at 5:00 PM in Hearing Room 313. The committee will receive testimony on the following bills:
- HB466 (Paton) Child Abuse Prevention Training, which would require that employees and students at state institutions of higher education who work with children receive training in child abuse prevention.
- HB397 (Antonio) High School Physical Education: Specifies that school districts and chartered nonpublic schools may excuse from high school physical education students who play rugby in a school club.
- HB462 (Pelanda) Withholding Grades or Credits: Addresses situations in which a school district withholds or transfers to another district or school the grades and credits of a child who is alleged or adjudicated an abused, neglected, or dependent child.
- HB437 (Roegner/Patmon) School Board Vehicles-Out of State Travel: Increases the number of miles a school district board may authorize its motor vehicles for out-of-state travel.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Senate Education Committee, Senator Peggy Lehner chair The Senate Education Committee will meet at 10:30 AM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on SB316, MBR Mid-Biennium Review and provisions that address childcare, reporting of data of young children, and workforce development.
News from the ODE
Subsidy Grant Opportunity for SLO Development: The Ohio Department of Education is seeking proposals from LEAs, ESCs, and Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) that want to lead regional partnerships to develop examples of locally determined student growth measures using the Student Learning Objectives (SLO) process. The SLO process is designed to develop measures that are specific to relevant subject matter, such as the fine arts. Measures for SLOs must be district-approved and may include:
District-approved, locally developed assessments -Pre/Post assessments -Interim assessments -Performance-based assessments -Portfolios.
ODE will provide additional resources and tools for developing these measures to the fiscal agents selected for this project. Subsidy grant funds up to $25,000 per consortium are available to support this work at the local level. Applications must be received by April 30, 2012.
For additional information, go to the Educator Evaluation Systems in Ohio and look for Subsidy Grant.
Physical Education Measure on LRC: Senate Bill 210 identifies four components that will make up a new measure related to health and wellness that will appear on Local and State Report Cards for 2012-2013. Those components are benchmark evaluation, body mass index (BMI), physical activity, and compliance with local wellness policy.
To help teachers determine if the benchmarks of the first component are being met, ODE has developed an evaluation instrument that will measure student success in meeting targets contained in the physical education academic content standards. More information is available.
State Board of Education
The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, met on April 9 and 10, 2012 at the Ohio School for the Deaf.
MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2012
The Executive Committee, chaired by Debe Terhar, agreed to move the June retreat to July 2012, and discussed inviting Daniel Kim to facilitate. The annual evaluation of the State Superintendent will also be moved to July 2012.
The Achievement Committee, chaired by Angela Thi Bennett, discussed several topics regarding state standards for the fine arts, non-career technical business, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, social studies, science, and early learning.
Fine Arts Standards: Tom Rutan, Associate Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, and Nancy Pistone consultant for the fine arts, said that the work to revise the standards was continuing and the Board will consider an intent to adopt the standards later in the spring.
The current academic content standards for fine arts were approved by the State Board in 2003. For the past 15 months writing teams for each arts discipline have met to revise the standards, which have been reduced from five to three processes oriented standards. The standards reflect 21st century skills, and include board goals and progress points that teachers can use to assess student achievement in the arts.
The Achievement Committee received a one page document that describes the new framework for the fine arts standards. The one page document showed that edits have been made to the November 2011 drafts of the standards in the “Creative and Cognitive Processes”, which are now “Perceiving/Knowing; Producing/Performing; Responding/Reflecting”.
According to the presenters, there has been considerable positive responses (400 comments) to the draft revised fine arts standards through presentations and postings on the ODE website. Respondents have said that the revised standards are easier to use; indicate the knowledge and skills at each of the grade levels; and are more coherent. The process has been inclusive and as transparent as possible. Comments are still being integrated in the documents for the four arts disciplines, and so the edits have not been posted on the ODE website.
During discussion about the standards, Jeff Hardin asked about using the term “perceiving” rather than creating; how media arts was addressed in the standards; and how these standards align with the national standards?
The presenters said that “creating” was integrated throughout the standards, and that both terms perceiving and creating could be used. In fact discussions have continued with theater and drama teachers about using the term “creating”.
Nancy Pistone explained that she has had conversations with those working on the national standards, and they anticipate completing their work in 2013. She said that there is an indent at the national level to post the final revised national standards online, and include a link to the fine arts standards in other states, so that teachers can augment state standards with the national standards.
She also noted that the point about media arts is well-taken. At this time media arts is referenced throughout the standards, but according to Tom Rutan, this might be a good opportunity to create a 5th arts discipline in media arts.
Nancy Pistone said that there has been a tremendous investment of our teachers and curriculum coordinators in this work, and that many teachers are asking when they can start using the standards.
According to the ODE posted schedule, the State Board is expected to approve the revised standards in June 2012.
Standards for World Languages: Ryan Wertz, ODE consultant for World Languages, described the changes that have been made in the revised standards for World Languages. According to the presentation, Ohio’s current standards for World Languages are highly regarded nationally, and have been used as model for other states. The draft revised standards reduced the current five standards to two: communication and culture. The proposed changes have been communicated to the field through emails to teachers, newsletters, and have been posted on the ODE website. So far over 827 comments have been made about the standards, and these comments have been integrated into the current documents on the ODE website. The standards describe targeted proficiencies for students to meet based on when students begin instruction in a world language.
New Standards Developed: The committee received an update about new standards being developed for business education, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship. Experts and stakeholders in these fields have been greatly involved in the development of these standards, and over 1200 comments have been received about the standards for entrepreneurship. Edited versions of these standards will be posted on the ODE website for more comments in late April.
Early Learning Standards: Stephanie Siddens, Director Office of Early Learning & School Readiness Ohio Department of Education and Linda Norton Smith, consultant, Office of Early Learning, reported on the revision of Early Learning Standards. Ohio has been awarded almost $70 million for its application for funding for the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant. The grant will be used to improve the quality of programs that serve high-need children from birth to five years of age and to measure the results of programs by creating better metrics and coordination among agencies that serve young children.
One of the requirements of the grant is to expand Ohio’s Early Learning Standards to include all of the essential domains of readiness starting from birth: Language and Literacy Development; General Knowledge and Cognitive Development (includes Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies); Social and Emotional Development; Approaches Toward Learning; Physical Well-being and Motor Development.
The plan to revise and expand the domains also includes provisions to collaborate with Maryland to develop new assessments for early learning. A cross-agency state leadership team was formed to assist with the standards revision. A draft of the new standards will be posted online for public comment starting in mid April 2012. The ODE will present the results in mid summer, and expects the State Board to adopt them in September 2012.
Update on Science and Social Studies Standards: Ohio’s standards for science and social studies were approved in 2010, but changes are expected in both.
The National Research Council is working at the national level to develop new standards for science called “the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS).” Once completed, ODE will analyze Ohio’s science standards and determine a transition plan if Ohio adopts the NGSS.
Changes in the social studies standards will be made to align them with recently approved legislation, SB165 (Obhof), which requires specific instruction in historical documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Northwest Ordinance, etc.
The new law also requires an end of course exam in American History and American Government in 2014, which shall include 20 percent of questions on the founding documents. The social studies assessment in high school has been eliminated. (There is a concern about how world history fits into the new framework.) The ODE is now considering when assessments in social studies at other grades should be given. In May 2012 the ODE will conduct an online 8th grade social studies assessment pilot to provide the field an opportunity to interact with computer-based items.
The Capacity Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, discussed student growth measures; received an update on the college preparatory boarding school; discussed the alignment of teacher residency and resident educator license rules with House Bill 21 (ORC Section 3319.227); and received an overview of Rule and Statute related to Compulsory School Attendance and Excused Absences.
OTES Update: Teacher Performance and Student Growth Measures are now required as part of the Ohio’s Teacher Evaluation Framework. Student growth may include teacher value added data when available; ODE approved vendor assessment results; and also LEA determined measures.
The ODE is seeking proposals for LEAs, ESCs, and institutions of higher education (IHEs), to develop examples of locally determined student growth measures using the Student Learning Objectives process.
Boarding School Update: The ODE is currently reviewing an application by the SEED Foundation to operate a college preparatory boarding school in Ohio per HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget. The State Board of Education is required to select a private nonprofit corporation to operate a college preparatory boarding school by May 2012, or a new RFP will be released.
Resident Educator License: The Committee reviewed statutory language and administrative rules concerning the granting of years of teacher residency credit to incoming out of state teachers and qualifications for a resident educator license.
Compulsory School Attendance: The Committee requested that the ODE review how other states, such as California and Iowa, manage and enforce laws concerning attendance and habitual or chronic truancy.
The Select Committee on Urban Education, chaired by Joe Farmer, reviewed a schedule of visits to urban districts. Committee members have agreed to visit these schools over the next few weeks.
The Committee also received information from the ODE about efforts to improve low performing schools in Ohio, which is a component of Ohio’s Race to the Top Plan. Ohio’s RttT plan calls for the lowest performing schools to reduce performance gaps by 50 percent; increase high school graduation rates of .5 percent a year; reduce graduation gaps by 50 percent; more than double the increase in college enrollment for 18 and 19 year olds; and reduce the gap between Ohio and the best-performing states in the nation by 50 percent.
Update on the Kirwan Plan: The Executive Committee and other Board members convened to receive a presentation from Steve Menendian, senior legal research associate at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University on a document entitled “The Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools Policy and Guidance”.
The diversity strategies plan was recommended last month by the State Board of Education’s Select Committee on Urban Education. The policy guidances for schools/districts revises the State Board of Education’s “Equal Educational Opportunity in Ohio Schools” (EEO) policy, first adopted in 1980 and then suspended in 2008 following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2007 decisions that student assignment could not be made based on race. (Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District (2007) and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, Kentucky (2007))
The purpose of the proposed new diversity policy is to “…improve student achievement and promote successful schools by providing careful guidance to districts and by creating the infrastructure to allow existing diversity best practices to be lifted up and shared.”
The ODE contracted with the Kirwan Institute to conduct several phases of the project, which included a review of the 1980 policy and how it compared to the 2007 Supreme Court decisions; development of recommendations about how to support diversity in schools/district in alignment with federal law; and development of a state policy and guidances for schools/district to implement effective and legal diversity strategies.
To develop the policy recommendations and guidances, the Kirwan Institute worked with the Buckeye Association of School Administrators and held regional meetings with superintendents and administrators in 2009-10 to gather information about diversity issues and best practices to support diversity in Ohio. A report was presented to the Capacity Committee in May 2010 and final language to the State Board in February 2011. But, the recommendations were returned to the Capacity Committee for more work, and the final report was not adopted by the Board until October 2011.
The current document, before the State Board for an intent to adopt this month, includes the policy guidances for schools/districts to replace the 1980 EEO policy. Once adopted, the project will continue with the development of an online tool for teachers and administrators to use to implement the policy recommendations; organized regional leadership teams to facilitate implementation of the guidances; and an evaluation of how the guidance document helps schools/districts improve and support diversity.
Board members raised and discussed a variety of questions about how the diversity strategies could negatively affect gifted education programs; how religious differences and refugees are addressed through the strategies and guidances; how culture differences affect policy decisions; and more.
The Executive Committee then approved the diversity strategies document.
Legislative and Budget Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, received an update about HB262 (Pelanda) with-holding school records; received an update on Governor Kasich’s mid-biennial review (MBR) and discussed the education components which are included in two bills, HB487 (Amstutz) and SB316 (Lehner); and discussed legislation regarding the Cleveland Plan, included in two bills, SB375 and HB506.
Discussion About the MBR: State Superintendent Stan Heffner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 on SB316 (Lehner), which includes a variety of changes in education law recommended by Governor Kasich, along with some changes requested by the ODE.
Referring to the provision that requires third grade students to read at grade level in order to matriculate to fourth grade, Superintendent Heffner suggested that the summer school requirement in the bill for struggling readers is not as effective a way to help students learn to read as double blocking reading, individual tutoring, before and after-school programs, and other alternative programs. Children who cannot read on grade level could also be identified in earlier grades and receive expanded services or be held back earlier, rather than waiting until third grade. The summer school remediation option is more expensive and school districts must pay for it even if the students do not attend. Currently the legislation does not include additional funding for this provision. According to Superintendent Heffner, approximately 10,000 students in Ohio would be subject to this provision if enacted.
During the committee discussion about SB316 provisions Mike Collins moved that the State Board of Education recommend that SB316 be amended to say that community schools be included in Ohio’s Teacher Evaluation System. The motion was defeated by a tie four to four vote.
Discussion About the Cleveland Plan: After reviewing the components of two bills as “introduced”, SB325 (Turner/Lehner) and HB506 (Williams/Amstutz) regarding the Cleveland Plan, the committee discussed at length a resolution suggested by President Terhar, to urge stakeholders to continue collaborative and bipartisan talks to implement legislation to transform the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
Jeff Hardin voiced his disappointment with Mayor Jackson’s plan and especially provisions that weaken the autonomy of charter schools. He also noted that Cincinnati Public Schools has made great improvements in student achievement and should be used as a model by other school districts in the Ohio.
Mary Rose Oakar, an elected board member from Cleveland, stated her opposition to the plan and the proposed resolution. According to Ms. Oakar, the “Cleveland Plan” as developed by Mayor Jackson with business and foundation leaders, is another attempt to single-out Cleveland and take away the local control of schools from the citizens of Cleveland. Currently Cleveland is the only school district in Ohio without an elected board of education, and since “mayor control” was established by the General Assembly, the school district has gotten worse.
Other Board members expressed a concern that it was premature to vote on a resolution regarding the Cleveland Plan before hearings have been held in the legislature. SB325/HB506 are also expected to be changed as negotiations between the Cleveland Teachers Union and Mayor Jackson resolve issues.
Supporters of the resolution, including C. Todd Jones, Debe Terhar, and Bryan Williams, said that they wanted to see policy/law makers take some kind of action to improve the academic success of Cleveland students, and the resolution only supports collaboration and bipartisan support of continued negotiations to develop a plan that all stakeholders can support.
The Committee did not take any formal action on the resolution, and adjourned following the discussion.
TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
The Board received an update from Superintendent Heffner and Matt Cohen, executive director, Education Reform and Strategic Initiatives, about the ODE waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education regarding provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
Ohio’s waiver proposal, submitted in February 2012, requests more flexibility from certain federal rules in exchange for higher student achievement and greater school accountability. The ODE is currently discussing its application with the U.S. Department of Education, and expects to learn in May if the proposal has been accepted by the U.S. DOE.
Some of the changes included in the waiver request are also included in the Governor’s mid-biennial review legislation, SB316 (Lehner). Superintendent Heffner will address the Senate Education Committee on April 17, 2012 to explain how SB316 will facilitate those changes.
Superintendent Heffner also explained how he is communicating the proposed changes in accountability, ratings, assessments, standards, etc. included in the waiver request to school boards, administrators, teachers, the Board of Regents, and the public through regional meetings held throughout the state.
Overall the waiver proposal would do the following:
- Replaces the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measure with objectives to close the achievement gap in reading and mathematics by half over six years. The ODE estimates that 90 percent of Ohio’s schools/districts will not meet the Adequate Yearly Progress goals by 2014. The proposed change will increase rigor and also be more fair to schools.
- Replaces the existing system of rating schools a letter-grade system that, in conjunction with a new formula to calculate the ratings, will give a much more realistic and transparent picture of school performance. The system and formula would begin with the 2011-2012 Local Report Cards.
- The Performance Index becomes Student Performance -Value Added becomes Student Progress -Percent of Indicators Met becomes School/District Performance -Adequate Yearly Progress becomes Gap Closing
There is still considerable discussion within the ODE about whether or not it is necessary to give schools/districts a composite grade (A-F). Superintendent Heffner explained to the Board that he is not sold on the idea, but some believe that if the ODE does not give an overall grade, then newspapers or some other organizations will probably do so, and their composite rating might not be accurate.
Along with this discussion, the ODE is considering if certain components of the rating system, such as Student Progress or Student Performance, should receive more weight than others as the ratings are calculated. These are some of the policy decisions that the State Board will need to address.
Matt Cohen also suggested that through this new rating system there are also opportunities to increase the number of indicators to assess school/district performance, such as average ACT scores, remediation rate, Kindergarten readiness, gifted education programs, etc.
Reforms the controversial Supplemental Educational Services (SES) tutoring program that provides extra academic help to students in low-performing schools. Ohio’s waiver will give schools much greater control over which providers are hired to offer after-school help and the level of quality of their services to students.
Provides targeted assistance to low-performing schools, reduces paperwork, and gives local schools more flexibility in the use of federal funds.
Frees some schools from some reporting requirements, and provides them with greater flexibility in their use of federal funds for professional development and other purposes.
Following the presentation, Board members expressed support for some items, and also questioned how policy decisions were going to be made.
Mike Collins asked about what kind of data is available to look at remediation rates for students attending colleges/universities? Superintendent Heffner replied that the data is getting better, but Ohio only tracks students who attend public college/universities in Ohio.
Responding to a question from Mr. Collins about overall feedback about the proposed changes in Ohio’s rating system for schools/districts, Superintendent Heffner said that some stakeholders like the Student Achievement indicator while others like the Student Progress indicator, depending on how their school/district looks in the new system. Recently a group of superintendents from central Ohio released information about the proposed rating system, showing how rounding the numbers affects the ratings. This information will be useful to improve the proposal.
Superintendent Heffner said that he expects more technical discussions about the rating system with stakeholders and legislators, and that the Board will have an important role in the rule-making process.
Rob Hovis suggested some word changes for the draft report card. Instead of using the word “school” he suggested “building”, and suggested using the term “achievement gap” rather than “performance gap”. Instead of creating a composite rating Mr. Hovis suggested that each indicator include a numerical rating and letter grade.
He also recommended that if other indicators are added to the Local Report Card, they should provide a broader picture of how schools/districts are doing, and give additional credit to school districts that have not cut arts and gifted programs.
Dennis Reardon noted that throughout this discussion there hasn’t been any talk about the resources necessary to implement the rigorous new standards. Although he doesn’t believe that money is the only solution, when the expectations are increased and funding is reduced at the state level, he asked how are school districts were supposed to succeed? He mentioned that SB316 will require additional resources to implement the third-grade guarantee, and asked who is going to pay for it?
BUSINESS MEETING OF THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
The Board reconvened its business meeting from April 9, 2012.
Under “public participation” Ann Sheldon, executive director of the Ohio Association for Gifted Children, recommended several changes to the “The Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools Policy and Guidance” being considered for an “intent to adopt” by the State Board.
She recommended that the Board remove language referring to magnet school programs and a footnote referencing gifted programs; add a footnote describing the positive benefits of instructional grouping; remove language about tracking students; add language that urges schools/districts to “cast a wider net to ensure that they are identifying students with high academic potential from diverse populations; and recommend that school districts monitor for diversity the referrals of students in gifted programs.
Ms. Sheldon said that as written, the guidance would negatively affect gifted education programs and confuse districts about the instructional value of grouping students. She also said that educators need more training to be able to identify gifted students from under-represented student groups, so that more minority students and students with limited English proficiency, for example, receive gifted services.
Members of the Board suggested that Ms. Sheldon contact the Kirwan Institute about the recommended changes, and noted that changes could still be made to the guidance document.
The Board then took action on the resolutions included below:
Resolutions Considered by the State Board of Education on April 10, 2012:
#6 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rule 3301-51-08 of the Ohio Administrative Code entitled Parentally Placed Nonpublic School Children.
#7 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Consider the Proposed Transfer of School District Territory from the Bethel Local School District, Miami County to the Miami East Local School District, Miami County, Pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.
#8 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Adopt the State Board of Education’s Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools Policy.
#9 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Refer the Westerville City School District’s Determination of Impractical Transportation of Certain Students Attending Xenos Christian School in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio to a Hearing Officer.
#10 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Refer the Westerville City School District’s Determination of Impractical Transportation of Certain Students Attending Calumet Christian School in Columbus, Franklin county, Ohio to a Hearing Officer.
#11 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Refer the Westerville City School district’s Determination of Impractical Transportation of Certain Students Attending St. Frances De Sales School in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio to a Hearing Officer.
#17 Approved a Resolution to Amend Rules 3301-83-06 and 3301-83-14, and to Rescind and Adopt Rules 3301-83,-12,-13,-19, and -23 of the Administrative Code Regarding Pupil Transportation.
#18 Approved a Resolution to Amend Rules 3301-91-01, 3301-91-04, and 3301-91-09 of the Administrative Code Regarding School Breakfast and Lunch Programs.
#19 Approve a Resolution to Adopt New Praxis II Licensure Exams and Qualifying Scores for Arts Education, Technology Education, and the Principles of Learning and Teaching Exams.
#20 Approved a Resolution to Appoint Krista Tarachuk and Melissa Hendron Deters to the State Library Board.
#21 Under new business the SBE amended and then approved unanimously the following resolution regarding a plan proposed by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson to transform the Cleveland Metropolitan School District:
“RESOLUTION TO URGE ALL STAKEHOLDERS TO COLLABORATE AND REACH A CONSENSUS ON A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN TO SUPPORT THE SYSTEMIC IMPROVEMENT OF THE CLEVELAND METROPOLITAN SCHOOL DISTRICT
WHEREAS the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Ohio’s second largest district was rated in Academic Watch for the 2010-11 school year; and
WHEREAS the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s five-year forecast projects that the district faces a budget deficit of approximately $64.9 million for the 2012-13 school year; and
WHEREAS the mayor and CEO have proposed a plan to transform Cleveland schools; Therefore, Be It
RESOLVED that the State Board of Education supports a collaborative, bi-partisan process that involves all relevant stakeholders to create a framework to help produce dramatic improvement to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s academic and financial performance; and, Be It
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the State Board of Education urges all parties to continue their work to finalize a fair and effective comprehensive plan to transform Cleveland schools; and, Be It
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the State Board of Education and Ohio Department of Education offer any assistance that the parties may desire; and, Be It
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Ohio Department of Education will provide information when requested to help facilitate a reform agenda which seeks to improve educational opportunities in Cleveland.”
The resolution, as introduced by C. Todd Jones, was amended to remove references to pending “legislation” in the House and Senate to implement parts of the Cleveland Plan as proposed by Mayor Jackson. Before the amendment was proposed by SBE member Jeff Mims, Board members expressed their opinion about the resolution.
Todd Jones said that the resolution as introduced called for parties to reach a bipartisan consensus on the Cleveland Plan, which creates a framework to improve the academic and financial situation of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. And, states that the State Board of Education is ready to offer any assistance to support the reform agenda in Cleveland.
Jeff Hardin said that the plan would usurp the autonomy of charter schools and entangle them in the bureaucracy of Cleveland.
Ann Jacobs said that she did not support the resolution as introduced, because it was developed by Mayor Jackson and the business community/foundations without any teacher or stakeholder input. She noted that Cleveland schools have not improved under mayor control over the past several years.
Mary Rose Oakar listed several reasons for not supporting the resolution as introduced, including the fact that Cleveland really didn’t need any legislation to institute the educational reforms proposed. She also noted that since the district has been under the control of the mayor, more students have left the school district and many parents believe that they have no voice in the schools or their communities without an elected board of education.
She also questioned whether or not the State Board was setting a precedent by voting on a resolution before the legislation has had a hearing in the legislature.
Rob Hovis said that he supports the resolution with reservations, but also suggested that the State Board should be urging the General Assembly to return oversight of the district to a locally elected board of education, and that the district should be divided into smaller districts that might be more manageable and responsive to the public.
Dennis Reardon commented that he would support the resolution as introduced, but that he opposed sharing property tax levy revenue with charter schools.
Deborah Cain opined that she had mixed feelings about the resolution, and was concerned by how the financial situation in Cleveland would lead to even more layoffs of teachers.
Bryan Williams stated that he didn’t see “…what the big hang up is,” because the resolution basically supports stakeholders coming together to reach consensus.
After an hour or so of discussion, Jeff Mims moved to amend the resolution by removing some of the language referring to the proposed “legislation”. This change was accepted by the committee unanimously, and the Board then approved the resolution.
Children are Losing Early Learning Opportunities: The National Institute of Early Education Research (NIEER) released on April 10, 2012 a new report entitled “The State of Preschool 2011 Yearbook” by W. Steven Barnett, Ph.D., Megan E. Carolan, M.P.P., Jen Fitzgerald, MLIS, and James H. Squires, Ph.D.
The report, which is based on an analysis of NIEER’s data over the past 10 years, ranks states on funding for pre-K programs and the availability of programs for children using ten benchmarks for preschool quality standards:
- Comprehensive Early learning standards – 49 states met this indicator -Requires BA Teaching degree – 29 states met this indicator -Teachers specialized in pre-K – 45 states met this indicator -Assistant teacher degree/CDA or equivalent -16 states met this indicator -At least 15 hours/year teacher in-service – 43 states met this indicator -Maximum class size 20 or lower – 45 states met this indicator -Staff-child ratio – 1:10 or better – 45 states met this indicator -Screening/referral for Vision, hearing, health and at least one support services – 37 states met this indicator -Meals – At least 1/day – 24 states met this indicator -Monitoring – Site visits – 35 states met this indicator
According to the report, only 28 percent of all 4-year-olds and 4 percent of 3-year-olds are enrolled in preschool programs. Funding for state pre-K programs has dropped “…by more than $700 per child nationwide over the past decade — keeping the quality of many states’ preschools low even as enrollment has grown.” Per-student funding dropped by $145 in 2010-2011 alone compared with the previous year.
The following are some findings from the report:
- Five states met NIEER’s 10 benchmarks for quality: Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Rhode Island, and North Carolina -Maine, Kentucky, and Nebraska all raised per-child and total pre-K funding by more than 5 percent over the previous year.
- Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, West Virginia, and Wisconsin increased total funding by more than 5 percent from the previous year.
- Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Pennsylvania cut total state pre-K spending by 10 percent or more from the previous year.
- Nine states cut pre-K enrollment.
- Eleven states do not offer pre-K programs: Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
The report for Ohio: Ohio met only two of the State Pre-K Quality Standards and ranks 36th in access for 4 year olds: 2.4 percent of four year olds and 1.1 percent of 3 year olds are enrolled in state pre-kindergarten. Approximately 8,048 3 year olds and 10,313 of 4 year olds are not enrolled in pre-kindergarten programs.
In terms of per child resources for pre-kindergarten programs, Ohio ranks 20th, spending $3,942 per child. Overall Ohio spent over $22 million in preschool programs in 2010-11. Illinois spent $289 million; West Virginia $82 million; Kentucky $75 million; Pennsylvania $171 million; and Michigan $98 million.
The report recommends the following:
- States should set long-term goals for preschool just as they do for other long-term priorities such as major infrastructure projects. For example, resolving to achieve access to some public program for at least 40 percent of 4-year-olds and improving quality would be a realistic goal in every state over the next five years.
- The Obama administration’s Race to the Top: Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) assists states in systems building and quality improvement. A stable source of additional federal funding is needed to help offset interstate inequalities in financial capacity to support high-quality pre-K. Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) presents an opportunity to provide such funding.
- Every state should monitor and evaluate the performance of its pre-K program as part of a continuous improvement process. The cost of this proposal is minimal, but it is a key to obtaining a high return from an effective program.
- All 50 states should support a state-funded pre-K program. Although many of the states without programs are sparsely populated and largely rural, Alaska, Maine, and Nebraska have managed to develop and provide relatively high-quality programs.
- As state Early Learning Councils work to coordinate services across multiple federal, state, and local funding streams the federal government should provide increased flexibility that facilitates joint service provision by Head Start, education, and child care agencies.
- Given the current limits of access and quality, this calls for increased public investments in either public or private programs. As has been shown in a number of states, high-quality preschool education can be delivered through a variety of public-private partnerships.
The National Institute for Early Education Research (www.nieer.org), Steve Barnett director, is a unit of the Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, and supports early childhood education policy by providing objective, nonpartisan information based on research.
The report is available.
Report Finds Arts Industries Recovering: Americans for the Arts released on April 10, 2012 the “National Arts Index: An Annual Measure of the Vitality of Arts and Culture in the United States: 1998-2010” by Dr. Roland J. Kushner, an economist and assistant professor of business at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, and Randy Cohen, vice president of research and policy at Americans for the Arts.
The report shows that the arts industry is starting to recover from the 2009-10 recession based on an analysis of 83 national-level equally weighted indicators, set to a base score of 100 in 2003. The indicators are organized under the categories Financial Flows; Capacity; Arts Participation; and Competitiveness.
After reaching an all time low in 2009 of 96.3, the Art Index climbed to 96.7 in 2010, and half of the 83 indicators used to calculate the Index score increased in 2010. Arts attendance also increased from 28 percent in 2009 to 32 percent in 2010. This was the first increase noted in arts attendance since 2003. Thirteen percent of adults visited an art museum in 2010, up slightly from 12 percent in 2009.
The following are some of the key findings of the 2010 report:
- “The arts industries continue to follow the nation’s business cycle: The arts are an economic force of 113,000 nonprofit arts organizations and nearly 800,000 more arts businesses, 2.2 million artists in the workforce, plus $150 billion in consumer spending. The Index is strong when Consumer Confidence and GDP growth are strong.”
- “Significant growth in the number of nonprofit arts organizations: The number of nonprofit arts organizations continued to grow, reaching 113,000 in 2010. In the past decade, the number of nonprofit arts organizations grew 49 percent (76,000 to 113,000), a greater rate than all nonprofit organizations, which grew 32 percent (1.2 million to 1.6 million).”
- “Arts nonprofits show improvement, but continue to be challenged financially: The percentage of nonprofit arts organizations with an operating deficit (requiring them to amass debt or dip into cash reserves) declined for the first time since 2007. In 2010, 43 percent of nonprofit arts organizations had an operating deficit, down after steady increases during the Great Recession-36 percent in 2007, 41 percent in 2008, and 45 percent in 2009.”
- “America’s arts industries have a growing international audience: U.S. exports of arts goods (e.g., movies, paintings, jewelry) increased from $56 to $64 billion between 2009 and 2010, up 12 percent. With U.S. imports at just $23 billion, the arts achieved a $41 billion trade surplus in 2010.” In addition, the percent of international travelers who visit U.S. museums has increased annually since 2003 from 17 to 24 percent, and the percent of visitors attending concerts and theater performances has increased five of the past seven years (13 to 17 percent since 2003).
- “Arts organizations foster creativity and entrepreneurship through new work: Arts organizations are homes to new ideas and innovative leaders. One measure of the Index is the number of premiere performances and films. Between 2005 and 2010, there was a 14 percent increase in the number of new opera, theater, film, and symphony works-audiences were treated to an impressive 1,025 premieres in 2010 alone.”
- Almost half of the nation’s CD and record stores have disappeared since 2003, but online downloads of music singles have grown seven times to more than one billion units annually. In 2009, digital formats comprised 41 percent of total music sales in the U.S., up from 34 percent in 2008, and 25 percent in 2007.
- Nonprofit arts organizations are also using technology to expand their audience, providing calendars of arts events through iPhone Apps and reaching more people through simulcasts of events.
- Arts employment has remained steady, and from 1996 to 2010, the number of working artists rose from 1.9 to 2.2 million, a 15 percent increase. The number of self-employed artist-entrepreneurs, such as poets, painters, musicians, dancers, actors, etc. has increased from 509,000 in 2000 to 688,000 in 2009.
- The percentage of college-bound seniors with four years of arts or music grew over the past decade from 15 percent to 20 percent of all SAT test takers.
- Students with four years of arts or music averaged about 100 points better on the verbal and math portions of the SAT.
- The number of college arts degrees conferred annually have risen steadily from 75,000 to 129,000 over the past dozen years.
The report includes a tremendous amount of information based on the 83 indicators. Future issues of Arts on Line will examine some of the other results of the report in greater depth.
More information is available.