Special Alert: Update on the Revised Academic Content Standards for the Fine Arts
Edited drafts of Ohio’s Academic Content Standards for Fine Arts are expected to be posted on the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) web site soon, as the State Board of Education is scheduled to consider an intent to adopt these standards at their meeting on May 15, 2012.
As of this writing, the draft standards from November 2011 are still posted on the ODE web site.
The OAAE will alert members when the “edited” standards are posted. If you would like to comment about the standards, please contact your representative on the State Board of Education.
Learn more about the draft revised standards.
129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will hold committee hearings and sessions this week.
- The House Ways and Means Committee reported out on May 2, 2012 HB521 (Dovilla) Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit. The bill would increase the maximum total amount of tax credits allowed per year for completion of motion pictures certified as tax credit-eligible productions.
- The Ohio Senate approved on May 3, 2012 SB331 (Patton) Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit (Patton), which would extend the motion picture tax credit program.
- The Ohio Senate approved on May 3, 2012 SCR14 (Jones), which recognizes the 2012 World Choir Games in Cincinnati, Ohio, as a global event of cultural significance to Ohio and the U.S. and expressing support by designating the month of July 2012 as “World Choir Games Month.”
WebSite Launched: The Constitutional Modernization Commission has started a web site at http://ocmc.ohio.gov/ocmc/. The site includes information about the commission’s meetings and membership.
News from Washington, D.C.
Career Tech Revamp: Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced on April 19, 2012 the Obama administration’s plans to revamp the Career Technical Education (CTE) program through reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006. The plan would make CTE more relevant to the employment needs of the 21st century and emphasizes learning as a life-long process.
According to a press release, the blueprint to revamp CTE is based on the following principles:
- Effective alignment between CTE and labor market needs to equip students with twenty-first-century skills and prepare them for in-demand occupations in high-growth industry sectors.
- Strong collaboration among secondary and post-secondary institutions, employers, and industry partners to improve the quality of CTE programs.
- Meaningful accountability for improving academic outcomes and building technical and employability skills in CTE programs, based upon common definitions and clear metrics for performance.
- Increased emphasis on innovation supported by systemic reform of state policies and practices to support CTE implementation of effective practices at the local level.
The proposed plan supports a structured sequence of CTE courses spanning secondary through post-secondary education, leading to an industry certification or license and a post-secondary certificate or degree. Secondary school teachers would be encouraged to work with college faculty to teach integrated academic, career, and technical content, and potential employers would provide more opportunities for students to participate in work-based learning experiences and receive credits.
More information about the CTE plan is available.
Groups Urge ESEA Reauthorization: Leaders of several organizations have signed a letter dated May 3, 2012 urging Congress to take action on bills that would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) before the 112th Congress adjourns. The organizations include the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the National Governor’s Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Association of Counties, the National League of Cities, the National Association of State Boards of Education, and the National School Boards Association.
The letter states that the last reauthorization, the No Child Left Behind Act, had “commendable intent” but was flawed and shifted “….too much control away from state and local elected officials, diluted the impact of federal resources, and relied on a method of identifying academic progress that focused on failure instead of rewarding excellence. Ten years later, it is past time to rewrite the law and correct its mistakes.”
The organizations believe that the flexibility offered states by the U.S. Department of Education through the waiver process provides temporary relief, but also imposes additional challenges for states/schools to meet, and not all states will be able to take advantage of the waivers. “Federal policy must not set up a system that disadvantages some states and some students,” the letter states.
The letter is available.
Budget and Appropriations Update: The U.S. Senate is supporting the $1.047 trillion budget for U.S. government departments and agencies negotiated in the Budget Control Act (BCA), a law passed by Congress and signed by President Obama on August 2, 2011. The U.S. House adopted on March 29, 2012 House Concurrent Resolution 112 (HCR112), establishing a $1.028 trillion FY13 budget and budgetary levels for FY14-22. The House budget plan is entitled “the Path to Prosperity” and was developed by Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin). It would reduce the size of government to 20 percent of the economy by 2015, and abandons the bipartisan Budget Control Act of 2011, which already includes non-discretionary spending caps.
The $19 billion difference between the House and Senate budgets means that lawmakers will need to compromise by October 1, 2012 on appropriation levels in order to avoid a government shut-down. In addition, if Congress does not approve appropriations for FY13, under the Budget Control Act of 2011, mandatory budget cuts of up to 7.8 percent will be made on January 2, 2013. In testimony before the House Appropriations Committee in March 2012, U.S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that “It would be impossible for us to manage cuts of that magnitude and still achieve our fundamental mission to prepare our students from the earliest ages for college and careers.”
The House and Senate are now working on allocations for government departments and agencies, referred to as FY13 302(b) allocations through House and Senate Appropriations Committees. So far the House has allocated $150.002 billion for Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, while the Senate set the level for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education at $157.7 billion, an increase of $1.5 billion over the current level.
This Week at the Statehouse
TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2012
Senate Education, Senator Lehner chair The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9:30 AM in the South Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on the following bills:
- HB375 (Butler) Property Sale by School Districts, which would allow school districts to sell real property to private, nonprofit institutions of higher education.
- SB316 (Lehner) Mid Biennium Review – Education
- SB335 (Turner/Lehner) Municipal School Districts/Community Schools, which would revise the management of school districts and community schools located within municipal school districts.
House Finance and Appropriations Committee, Representative Amstutz chair. The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, will meet at 1:30 PM in Hearing Room 313. Paolo DeMaria, a principal at Education First, will present information about local revenues for funding schools.
Senate Finance, Senator Widener chair The Senate Finance Committee will meet at 2:30 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room to receive testimony on HB487 (Amstutz) Mid Biennium Review, which makes operating and other appropriations, levies taxes and provides for implementation of those levies, and provides authorization and conditions for the operation of state programs.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2012
Senate Finance, Senator Widener chair The Senate Finance Committee will meet at 2:30 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room to receive testimony on HB487 (Amstutz) Mid Biennium Review, which makes operating and other appropriations, levies taxes, and provides for implementation of those levies, and provides authorization and conditions for the operation of state programs.
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 HB525 (Williams/Amstutz) Municipal School Districts-Community Schools.
THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2012
Senate Finance, Senator Widener chair The Senate Finance Committee will meet at 3:30 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room to receive testimony on HB487 (Amstutz) Mid Biennium Review, which makes operating and other appropriations, levies taxes, and provides for implementation of those levies, and provides authorization and conditions for the operation of state programs.
School Funding Hearings Begin: Paolo DeMaria, a principal of Education First, presented information to the House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, on May 1, and 2, 2012. (Please note: The following summary is made possible in part thanks to Susan Schwarz, who attended the first hearing and made available her notes.)
The presentations are part of an effort by the Ohio House to jump-start discussions about developing a new school funding formula for Ohio’s schools. Representative Ron Amstutz, chair of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee, announced in January 2012 that the House Finance Committee/Primary and Secondary Subcommittee would hold hearings and regional meetings about Ohio’s school funding system starting in May 2012. The subcommittee will gather information this year and align their findings with the recommendations of the Governor’s office to create a new state school funding formula for FY14-15. Membership on the subcommittee will be increased for this purpose. The members of the Extended Subcommittee for Primary and Secondary Education include Representatives Amstutz, McClain, Hayes, Maag, Stebelton, Sykes, Lundy, and Phillips.
Currently schools/districts in Ohio are funded through a temporary “bridge formula”, which was enacted in HB153, the FY 12-13 budget. Total State General Revenue Fund (GRF) for K-12 education is $7.5 billion for FY12 and $7.6 billion for FY13. This amount is comparable to the total GRF funding for K-12 education in FY08-09 of $15.8 billion. According to a Policy Matters Ohio analysis, state funding for schools is $1.8 billion less than the previous two years. (“The State Budget and Ohio’s Schools Big Cuts, Hard Choices, Local Impacts” by Wendy Patton, Piet van Lier, and Elizabeth Ginther, January 19, 2012)
The temporary formula included in HB153 replaced the “Evidence Based Model” (EBM) proposed by Governor Strickland and enacted by the 128th Ohio General Assembly through House Bill 1 (Sykes).
In Part 1 of the presentation on school funding, Mr. DeMaria reviewed the number and types of schools in Ohio and some basic statistics. According to the presentation, 90.1 percent of the 1.8 million students in grades K-12 are educated in traditional public schools; 6.3 percent in community schools; 2.3 percent in vocational schools; and 1.1 percent in private schools using a voucher.
K-12 education is a big business in Ohio. The largest share of the state’s General Revenue Fund is allocated for K-12 education (41.7 percent). Using data from the 2010-11 school year, overall funding for K-12 education equals $20.5 billion and includes revenue from local sources (44.6 percent); state sources (45.5 percent); and federal sources (9.9 percent). As a part of state aid, the Ohio Lottery provides about $650 million each year. To increase state funding by just 5 percent would require $1 billion.
School districts receive more or less state aid based on their local wealth, determined by property value and sometimes income value. Information from 2010-11 shows that the average amount of state aid that school districts in the lowest quintile based on wealth received is 60.8 percent, while school districts in the highest quintile based on wealth received on average 28.6 percent of funding from the state.
According to a map showing the amount of state aid a school district received as a share of total district revenue, most of the school districts receiving over 57.86 percent of their revenue from state aid are located in the southern counties of Ohio.
The per-pupil cost of education also varies in Ohio’s districts from a low of $7,000 to a high of $21,000 per pupil. Compared to other states Ohio ranks 25th in adjusted expenditure per pupil at $11,382.
Part 2 of Mr. DeMaria’s presentation on Ohio’s system of funding schools included information about school district expenditures, teacher salary levels, teacher experience, and more.
According to the presentation, about 77 percent of school district budgets support salaries and fringe benefits when examined by object. When the budget is examined by function, then about 55 percent of a school’s budget goes toward instructional costs that include personnel; 18.7 percent to building operations, 12.3 percent supports administrative costs; and 9.9 percent for pupil support. The average teacher salary in Ohio in FY10 was $55,958. Ohio ranked 14th in average teacher salary compared to other states. In response to questions about increasing student achievement, Mr. DeMaria said that researchers have had a hard time showing a strong correlations between per pupil state spending and increased student academic achievement.
Part 3 of the presentation focused on the components of a state school funding formula, which Mr. DeMaria described as the “assured available amount” minus the local contribution, with adjustments for guarantees, caps, and protection mechanisms.
The “assured available amount” is also based on components, such as a base amount, which has been determined in Ohio in several ways, plus factors such as the number of pupils enrolled and categorical funding to meet the needs of students, including special, gifted, career technical, English Language learners, and students from poverty backgrounds.
If you are interested in receiving copies of the presentations, please email email@example.com. A web site is being created to make available copies of the presentations and research.
How Should Principals Be Evaluated? The American Institutes for Research (AIR) released on May 1, 2012 a new report entitled “The Ripple Effect” by Matt Clifford. The report finds that principals and other school-based leaders are being left out of discussions about education reform and that principal evaluation systems should be based on the quality of school-level leadership and performance, rather than student assessment results.
The report notes that principals have an indirect influence on student learning, and so principal evaluations should be based on measuring outcomes that principals directly influence, such as work quality, school climate, and instructional quality. Work quality includes time management, modeling ethical and professional behaviors, showing initiative and persistence, engaging in ongoing reflection and learning, using data to inform strategies, allocating human and financial resources, and ensuring compliance with district, state, and federal policies.
The report also describes how the work of principals has changed and that the new demands include more emphasis on instructional leadership and monitoring student achievement, rather than the management of the school.
The report is available.
What do Charter Schools Spend? The National Education Policy Center released on May 5, 2012 a policy brief entitled “Spending by the Major Charter Management Organizations: Comparing Charter School and Local Public District Financial Resources in New York, Ohio, and Texas,” by Bruce D. Baker, Ken Libby, and Kathryn Wiley. The brief examines the claim that charter schools deliver higher student performance at a lower cost, by evaluating the per-pupil spending of charter schools operated by major charter management organizations (CMOs) in New York City, Texas, and Ohio (2008-2010), and comparing charter school expenditures to the expenditures of district schools of similar size, serving the same grade levels, and serving similar student populations.
The researchers found that spending varies greatly in charter schools and in traditional schools, and comparative spending is mixed. Many high profile charter networks outspend similar district schools in New York City and Texas, but in Ohio some network schools are spending less than similar district schools.
For example, in New York City, KIPP, Achievement First, and Uncommon Schools spend “substantially more” ($2000 to $4300 per pupil) than similar district schools. (Average per pupil spending is $12,000-14,000). In Ohio charter schools spend less than district schools in the same city.
The researchers suggest that charter schools such as KIPP, Achievement First, and Uncommon Schools, are using strategies that increase their marginal costs, including such strategies as after school tutoring, lower class size, wrap-around services, etc.
The researchers also noted, however, that they are not sure that all expenditures for charter schools are accounted for, even in New York City, where the annual financial reports of charter schools matched the best with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) non-profit financial filings (IRS 990) used by researchers to gather the expenditure data. In Ohio the researchers found that the IRS estimates on expenditures were “strikingly different” than the expenditure data reported by the state.
The report is available.
Strengthening Public Education? Education Week’s “Transforming Education Blog” published on May 3, 2012, included an article entitled “Ten Steps in the Right Direction: How the Feds Can Strengthen Public Education” by Dan Domenech, Executive Director of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA). The article includes the following recommendations that the federal government could make to invigorate schools and create an environment for positive change:
Provide regulatory relief from No Child Left Behind. The waiver process that the administration has implemented is no more than an exchange of old regulations for new ones. It replaces the depleted stimulus dollars with regulatory relief as the means to get states and districts to implement the administration’s policy. We certainly support accountability and the continued disaggregation of data for sub-groups of students, one of the few positive contributions of NCLB. We strongly support improving the lowest achieving schools, but at the same time we believe we must acknowledge the accomplishments of the vast majority of schools in America.
Allocate funds via formulas based on percentage of poverty. We continue to object to the use of ESEA dollars for competitive grants. The intent of ESEA is to level the playing field relative to poverty. Since the beginning of the current recession, school systems have seen dramatic increases in the number of children eligible for free and reduced lunches. All eligible children should benefit from all available funds, not just those in “winner” states and districts.
Set goals, hold districts accountable for them, but allow the localities the freedom to determine how to implement them. We are concerned about the growing intrusion of the federal government into state and local education issues. Any reduction in federal funds should be accompanied by a similar reduction in federal mandates. School systems should not be required to spend local and state funds to implement federal mandates. Accountability for effectiveness is a state and local responsibility, as are compensation decisions. The required use of the very standardized tests that have been labeled as not valid and reliable by the administration in order to evaluate teachers and principals is creating chaos in states and school systems throughout the country. Yes, student performance must be a key factor in the evaluation of teachers and administrators, but it must be left up to the states and localities to determine how, not forced upon them as a requirement for obtaining competitive federal dollars.
Fully fund and reauthorize the Rural Education Achievement Program Reauthorization Act (REAP) to maintain direct-to-district funding. AASA played a pivotal role in the original adoption of this program. The needs of our rural schools are often overlooked and, due to a lack of capacity and staffing, they tend to fair poorly in a competitive grant environment. REAP is a dedicated source of funds that they sorely need.
Continue to support the Common Core and state-developed standards. In a globally competitive world we cannot go against countries that have a set of national standards while we have a set of fifty standards. It is also difficult to assess our progress as a nation with fifty sets of tests whose results do not align well with the closest instrument we have to a national test, the National Assessment for Educational Progress.
Separate assessment for purposes of accountability from assessment for the purpose of informing instruction. A random sample of the nation, a la NAEP, would do for purposes of accountability with reduced costs and less intrusion on instruction and the number of children and subjects tested.
State interventions should concentrate on building capacity and focus on a broad range of evidence and practice- based turn-around models. Current requirements take judgment out of the hands of local administrators and force them to engage in the whole-scale removal of teachers and principals. We must stop the negative rhetoric that blankets all public schools and focus on the schools that need fixing.
Provide full funding of IDEA. AASA continues to advocate for full funding at the forty percent of the national average per-pupil expenditure and for allowing school districts to reduce local effort by up to one hundred percent of federal funding decreases.
Provide federal funding to address non-school barriers to student achievement. Wrap around programs continue to be essential to the education of the total child, and we support high quality childcare programs and tax incentives for employers to provide support for child care and after-school care. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) should be continued and schools should be permitted to claim reimbursement from Medicaid.
The funding cap for E-Rate should be raised to meet demand.
The author also noted that AASA opposes vouchers and federal funding for non-public schools, and that AASA will continue to be strong advocates for our public schools. AASA will continue to work with both houses of Congress to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and supports much of what is contained in the reauthorization bills that have emerged in the House and Senate.
The article is available.
SB339 (Schaffer) Fiscal Accountability Requirements: Establishes education programs and continuing education requirements for the fiscal officers of townships and municipal corporation, establishes procedures for removing those fiscal officers, county treasurers, and county auditors from office, and creates fiscal accountability requirements for public schools, counties, municipal corporations, and townships.
SCR30 (Widener) Central State University: Designates Central State University as Ohio’s 1890 land grant university and requests that the United States Congress pass legislation and the United States Department of Agriculture take steps to recognize that designation and provide the institution with all of the benefits of the designation.
Schools in PA Losing Arts and Music: An article published on April 30, 2012 in the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that many Pennsylvania elementary schools are eliminating instruction in art and music as school district budgets tighten. (“Music and art may soon join languages on the endangered list at Pennsylvania elementary schools” by Dan Hardy, April 30, 2012) Some districts report that “pressure to allocate more money and more classroom time to core academic subjects could trigger the elimination of elementary school music and art classes, physical-education teachers, and librarians this fall.”
In a survey conducted last summer 44 percent of school districts reported that they had reduced course offerings not required for graduation, including foreign languages, arts, music, physical education, and some electives. Some districts reported that they had cut every thing, and were “running out of options”. They are now forced to cut the arts and music programs in their schools. Some plan to integrate the arts in other classes, or provide enrichment on Saturdays at a minimum cost for parents.
Some advocates for the arts are using Facebook to mount a campaign to urge citizens to contact members of the boards of education of their school districts, to urge them to maintain the arts, while other advocates are focusing on the state legislature.
The article is available.
Governors Look to the Arts to Boost Economic Growth: The National Governor’s Association (NGA) released on April 30, 2012 a report that describes how governors are focusing on the role that the arts, culture, and design can play to create jobs in an innovation-based economy. (“New Engines of Growth: Five Roles for Arts, Culture, and Design,” prepared by Erin Sparks and Mary Jo Waits in collaboration with Bill Fulton of Solomar Research Group. National Governor’s Association, April 2012.)
Because state/national economies are so fragile, governors are examining all approaches to support economic development, and some are working with their state arts agency to advance strategies that support high-growth industries, innovation, entrepreneurial activity, building human capital, and reviving distressed areas.
The report suggests that the arts, culture, and design can boost economic growth because they can:
- Provide a fast-growth, dynamic industry cluster.
- Examining the economic importance of the creative industry cluster within the state by looking at the geographic proximity of creative enterprises, creative occupations, and associated institutions;
- Finding that the creative cluster is a vital source of jobs and income, as well as a way to distinguish the state in the highly competitive 21st-century economy;
- Crafting strategies to promote the growth and profitability of creative enterprises, as part of the state’s economic development strategy;
- Including state arts councils and similar organizations as part of the state’s economic development infrastructure; and
- Reviewing the business incentives, financing programs, and entrepreneurial assistance available in the state and refining guidelines to make them more available to the state’s artists and creative businesses.
- Help mature industries become more competitive
- Exploring the links between the creative talent in the state-artists, designers, new media entrepreneurs-and other important clusters to deepen those connections and improve the competitiveness of traditional industries, such as manufacturing;
- Creating dedicated units and expertise within community colleges, manufacturing extension centers, and agricultural extension services that focus on design; that is, they are adding design capabilities in firm assessments and providing access to technical assistance in the design of products, packaging, and branding; and
- Boosting tourism by leveraging and marketing the unique culture and food of regions.
- Provide the critical ingredients for innovative places
- Considering their universities and medical research institutions (“eds and meds”) and the spaces around them as places that can be designed to offer the ingredients for innovation-smart people, research institutions, professional networks, favorable intellectual property agreements, and other conditions that can help companies spur innovation;
- Finding that cities, through their zoning and land use authority and their vibrant arts and cultural organizations, can catalyze or rein- force high-quality places as a competitive advantage for states in a global economy;
- Using tax credits and other kinds of incentives to encourage cities and developers to create cultural districts, creative corridors, innovation hubs, and other places that will attract a critical mass of creative talent and facilitate co-location, or geographic clustering, of complementary businesses; and
- Starting to measure the effectiveness and communicate the progress of these zones and districts by tracking change in population, employment, property tax base, and taxable sales.
- Catalyze community revitalization
- Supporting the use of arts and design-combined with historic preservation efforts-to turn around distressed neighborhoods;
- Using tax incentives and grants to encourage private rehabilitation of historic buildings and the creation of arts districts where creative people and enterprises are encouraged to live, work, and collaborate; and
- Using public art programs to activate public locations in a way that engages all people in the creative process.
- Deliver a better-prepared workforce. To boost economic growth, states are Maintaining the inclusion of arts in state curriculum requirements -Integrating arts and design into technical and business programs in community colleges and universities -Mapping career paths in creative enterprises and occupations -Creating centers of excellence in higher education to recruit recognized faculty who can attract talented students and link the arts to technology to inspire innovation.
The report provides examples from communities across the country about how the arts have been used to reinvent, transform, revitalize communities, thus improving the economic conditions of states and communities.
The report is available.
Impact Creativity to Support Theatre Education: The National Corporate Theatre Fund (NCTF) announced on May 2, 2012 a new campaign called “Impact Creativity” to benefit theatre education programs. The campaign starts with a $200,000 gift from Ernst & Young LLP and its Partner Group, and will seek up to $5 million to support theatre education programs in 19 American cities.
Impact Creativity will raise corporate, foundation, and individual funds to preserve and sustain theater programs for students. According to the Impact Creativity web site, “Government and arts education groups, as well as the theatres themselves, have documented a nationwide decline in arts education programs of 15-25 percent over the last ten years; in minority communities, the decline approaches 40 percent.”
Corporate America recognizes that an education in theater and the arts provides students with opportunities to learn skills valued by employers, such as communication, problem-solving, and creativity. James S. Turley, chairman and CEO of the global Ernst & Young organization, recently said that “Tomorrow’s workforce must act confidently, communicate effectively and think creatively – all qualities that can be enhanced through arts and theatre education.”
For more information please visit http://impactcreativity.org.