The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education invites you to join us for the 2012 Arts Education Virtuoso Awards, recognizing the work of outstanding individuals and organizations who support arts education in Ohio. The awards event will be held on Saturday, June 2nd at 2:00 PM in Columbus at the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts, 77 South High Street. A fabulous reception honoring the award winners will be a special part of the afternoon. In addition to the awards ceremony (2:00 PM), there will be a 2:30 PM performance of CATCO’s The 39 Steps, Alfred Hitchcock’s film adaptation of John Buchan’s novel recreated by four actors in this Monty Python-esque stage homage. Actors play heroes, villains, sweethearts, children, and the occasional inanimate object. Hurling puns and allusions to other Hitchcock films, this farce is an award-winning afternoon of hilarity.
Award recipients are:
• Steve and Joy Kaser of Delaware, Ohio, for their lifetime of philanthropic contribution to the arts and arts education;
• Superintendent Camille Nasbe and Fine Arts Director David Bell, of Winton Woods City Schools, Cincinnati, for support of arts education in curricula;
• Santina Protopapa executive director and founder of Progressive Arts Alliance, Cleveland, for her grassroots community arts education work;
• Jackie Calderone director of Calderone Arts, and founding director of TRANSIT ARTS, Columbus, for her innovative programs for central Ohio youth;
• AEP Foundation, Columbus, for their strong commitment to the arts and arts education in Ohio.
• Lima City Schools Board of Education, Lima, Ohio, will be recognized as Ohio’s nominee to the national Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network and National School Board Association Annual Award.
Click here for a sneak peak at the show! To order tickets (just $40 each) contact Janelle or Donna at the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education’s office at 614.224.1060.
We look forward to seeing you at the show!
Until next time,
129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will hold sessions and hearings this week.
HB194 Repealed: Governor Kasich signed into law on May 15, 2012. SB295 (Coley), which repeals HB194 (Blessing/Mecklenborg), a controversial elections reform bill signed into law July 1, 2011. A referendum on HB194 is currently on the November 2012 ballot, sponsored by Fair Elections Ohio. Last week Secretary of State Jon Husted issued a statement saying that the referendum was no longer needed. However, SB295 does not return election law to pre-HB194 status, because other changes were made through another law HB224 (Dovilla/Stinziano), and so Fair Elections Ohio is considering its options. Stay tuned for further developments.
More information is available on the Secretary of State’s website.
Fair Elections Ohio at http://www.fairelectionsohio.com/
Update on HB487 (Amstutz) MBR: The Ohio Senate approved on May 16, 2012 by a vote of 25 to 8 Am. Sub. HB487 (Amstutz) Mid-Biennial Review (MBR). A number of provisions were removed/added before the bill was approved. The following are some of the changes:
- Removed a controversial testing plan for participants in the Ohio Works First program.
- Removed a provision that would have required General Assembly approval of transfers by the Office of Budget and Management of funds from the General Revenue Fund to the Budget Stabilization Fund (rainy day fund).
- Changed the deadline for a report of the Legislative Task Force on Redistricting from June 30, 2012 to December 15, 2012.
- Deletes House changes that abolished the eTech Commission and increases the appropriation authority of line item 935402 by $300,000 in FY13.
- Creates a STEM agriculture schools and directs the ODE to find $600,000 to support it from unencumbered and un-obligated funds.
- Clarifies that the net tuition amount of the Cleveland Scholarship Pilot Program factors-into any financial aid, discounts, and adjustments.
- Deletes changes to the Ohio School Facilities Commission’s Expedited Local Partnership Program.
The Ohio House rejected on May 16, 2012 Senate amendments to Am. Sub. HB487, which sets up a conference committee on the bill. The members of the conference committee are Representatives Ron Amstutz , Jeffrey McClain, and Vern Sykes, and Senators Chris Widener, Shannon Jones, and Tom Sawyer.
Pension Bills Pass Senate: The Ohio Senate approved changes to Ohio’s pension systems on May 16, 2012. The changes have been debated over several years by the pension systems’ governing boards.
The changes address contributions, retirement eligibility, the benefit calculation, final average salary, cost of living adjustments, credit for part time work, purchase of service credit, deferred retirement option plans, disability benefits, health care coverage, and inter-system transfers. The changes are included in the following bills:
- SB340 (Niehaus/Kearney) Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund;
- SB341 (Niehaus/Kearney) School Employees Retirement System;
- SB342 (Niehaus/Kearney) State Teachers Retirement System
- SB343 (Niehaus/Kearney) Public Employees Retirement System
Film Tax Credit Added to Tax MBR: The Senate Ways and Means and Economic Development Committee, chaired by Senator Schaffer, reported HB508 (Beck) Mid Biennium Review — Tax Changes on May 17, 2012. The bill was amended to include SB331 (Patton) film tax credit. Two separate bills dealing with the film tax credit, SB331 (Patton) and HB521 (Dovilla), have been approved by their respective chambers.
The Committee also removed from HB508 a provision that would have changed how the Ohio School Facilities Commission calculated a school district’s local share to participate in the Expedited Local Partnership Program, if the district’s tangible personal property valuation (not including public utility personal property) made up 18 percent or more of its total taxable value for tax year 2005.
News from Washington, D.C.
RESPECT Project: Several documents have been posted on the U.S. Department of Education website outlining the vision and goals of The RESPECT Project: Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence, and Collaborative Teaching.
The project’s goal is to transform the teaching profession by recruiting top students; increasing the potential earnings of teachers; creating career and leadership opportunities; linking compensation to the quality and the scope of professional responsibilities of teachers; and ensuring that teachers are supported by principals and work in a positive school culture that values their expertise.
To accomplish the goal, the U.S. DOE has been engaging educators-teachers, school and district leaders, teachers’ associations and unions, and state and national education organizations in conversations about how to transform teaching for the 21st century.
More information about the project is available.
Science Standards Draft Released: The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has posted on its website a draft of the new science standards, referred to as the Next Generation Science Standards. Twenty-six states have participated in the development of the standards guided by Achieve, Inc. The standards are based on “A Framework for K-12 Science Education”, issued by the National Research Council last year. The framework defines major practices, concepts, and core ideas that all students should be familiar with by the time they finish high school. According to NSTA, “A Framework for K-12 Science Education offers a new vision for K-12 education in science and engineering, and represents a significant shift in how these subjects are viewed and taught.”
More information and to comment about the draft standards is available.
This Week at the Statehouse
TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2012
House Education Committee, Representative Stebelton chair. The House Education Committee will meet at 1:00 PM in Hearing Room 313. The committee will receive testimony on HB525 (Williams/Amstutz) Municipal School Districts-Community Schools and SB316 (Lehner) MBR-Mid Biennium Review – Education. A vote is possible on both bills.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2012
House State Government and Elections Committee, chaired by Representative Maag The House State Government and Elections Committee will meet at 9:00 AM in Hearing Room 017, and receive testimony on SCR14 (Jones) World Choir Games, which would recognize 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.”
If Needed: House Education Committee, Representative Stebelton chair. The House Education Committee will meet at 9:30 AM in Hearing Room 313. The committee will receive testimony on HB525 (Williams/Amstutz) Municipal School Districts-Community Schools and SB316 (Lehner) MBR-Mid Biennium Review – Education. A vote is possible on both bills.
Senate Education Committee, Senator Lehner chair. The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9:30 AM in the South Hearing Room. There will be an informal hearing on HB525 (Amstutz/Williams) Cleveland Plan/Municipal School District, and the committee will receive testimony on HB437 (Roegner) School Board Vehicles-Out of State Travel.
THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2012
Senate Education Committee, Senator Lehner chair. The Senate Education Committee will meet at 11:30 AM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on HB525 (Amstutz/Williams) Cleveland Plan/Municipal School District. A vote is possible.
More Changes in Store for SB316 (Lehner) MBR: The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, met three times last week to receive testimony on SB316 (Lehner) Mid Biennium Review – Education. The committee also accepted on May 16, 2012, a substitute bill that removed a number of provisions added or amended by the Senate Education Committee a week earlier.
State Board of Education member C. Todd Jones testified before the House Education Committee on May 17, 2012 about the changes that have been made in the SB316 concerning Ohio’s Local Report Card for schools/districts, and how those changes affect a waiver proposal submitted to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) in February 2012 by the Ohio Department of Education.
The waiver proposal requests flexibility regarding certain provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), also known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. In return, the ODE proposed more rigorous accountability standards for schools/districts and a new ranking system for the Local Report Cards using letter grades, A-D, and F.
As introduced, SB316 included provisions that reflected the changes for the accountability system proposed by the DOE, but the Senate passed version of SB316 created a task force to make legislative recommendations for a new accountability and rating system by October 2012. The new system would be implemented in 2012-13.
The House Education Committee’s substitute version of SB316 removes the Senate changes for the Local Report Card and rating system, with the intent that a new rating system will be worked-out in separate legislation.
This action means that a significant provision in Ohio’s ESEA waiver request will not be implemented this school year. Mr. Jones said in his testimony that Ohio could still obtain a “conditional” one year waiver from the U.S. DOE even without the proposed changes for the school/district rating system, as long as the General Assembly and the governor indicate that a more rigorous A-F system will be adopted.
The Committee will meet this week to hear more testimony on the SB316. Read C. Todd Jones’ testimony.
The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, met on May 14 and 15, 2012 at the Ohio School for the Deaf.
State Board of Education Meeting on MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012
Executive Committee: The Executive Committee, chaired by Debe Terhar, discussed the July 2012 Retreat and the annual evaluation of the State Superintendent. The committee agreed to invite Kathy LaSota, director of School Board Services at the Ohio School Boards Association, to facilitate the meeting. The retreat will be held at the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio.
Achievement Committee, chaired by Angela Thi Bennett, The Achievement Committee received an update from Tom Rutan, Associate Director Office of Curriculum and Instruction, about the revised standards for the fine arts and world languages, and the development of standards for financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and non career-tech business education, as mandated by 128-Am. Sub. HB1.
According to Mr. Rutan, the standards for fine arts and world languages have undergone a comprehensive review and revision by the writing teams and through public comment and feedback over the past year and a half. He reported that in response to a question at the April meeting about the inclusion of Media Arts in the fine arts standards as a fifth arts discipline, Nancy Pistone, ODE fine arts consultant, had contacted the group developing the national standards. They reported that there are some “second thoughts” about writing separate standards for media arts.
Writing teams were assembled to create the standards for financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and non career-tech business education. These teams and advisory groups included content area specialists and representatives from the public and private sectors, and higher education professionals. The new standards have been posted online for public comments and feedback.
Final adoption of all of these standards is scheduled for June 2012.
During the discussion about the standards, State Board member Jeff Hardin again raised a question that he asked in April: why the creative and cognitive processes for fine arts standards include “perceiving” rather than “creating”, especially for music? He acknowledged that the creative and cognitive process for drama/theater had changed “perceiving” to “creating”, but he stated that he couldn’t support an intent resolution until some changes were made in response to the comments that he has received from music educators. After some explanation and discussion, the committee, including Mr. Hardin, agreed to add “creating/perceiving” to the creative and cognitive processes for music. The committee then approved an “Intent to Adopt” resolution for each of the content areas.
Stephanie Siddons, Director, Office of Early Learning & School Readiness Ohio Department of Education and Linda Norton Smith, consultant, Office of Early Learning, presented information to the committee about the revisions for the Early Learning Standards. As part of its Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, the ODE is required to expand its Early Learning Standards from birth to Kindergarten in five areas: Language and Literacy, Cognitive Development, Approaches Toward Learning, Social and Emotional Development, and Physical Well-Being and Motor Development.
Ms. Siddons said that a draft of the revised standards had been posted online for public comment. After reviewing the comments and incorporating the feedback, the Achievement Committee will be asked to consider a resolution of intent to adopt the revised standards at their June 2012 meeting, with final adoption scheduled for September 2012.
Tom Rutan shared with the committee a document comparing the new requirements for social studies through SB165 and existing legislation and rules. The new law and rules require the teaching of American history and American government based on the Founding Documents in grades 4-12; one half credit of American history and one half credit of American government, including the study of the U.S. and Ohio Constitutions, and allows students to demonstrate “mastery” of the content.
To conform with the new law, changes will need to be made in the current social studies requirements and in the graduation requirements for the diploma with honors. The three required units of social studies for graduation will need to change to two social studies units and one half unit of American History and one half unit of American Government. No changes will be needed in teacher licensure, since social studies teachers can also teach history. The Ohio Graduation Test in social studies is being phased out, and new end of course exams in American History and American Government will be developed. Twenty percent of the assessment for American Government will be based on the Founding Documents. Mr. Rutan also reported that as part of Ohio’s participation in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), several schools in Ohio will be participating in an online assessment pilot project for 8th grade social studies in May.
Capacity Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock The Capacity Committee discussed the College-Preparatory Boarding Schools-Recommendation for Selection of School Operator under Chapter 3328 of the Revised Code. Bill Zelei, ODE Associate Superintendent for the Division of Accountability and Quality Schools and P.R. Casey, ODE Chief Legal Counsel, provided an overview of the requirements in law to select an operator for the new boarding school. The SEED Foundation has been recommended by the ODE, contingent upon certain conditions being met. The committee approved the ODE’s authority to negotiate a contract with the SEED Foundation to operate the school, and requested that any other issues be reviewed by the Committee at their June meeting.
The Committee also discussed the changes to the ODE’s Anti-Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) Model Policy made through HB116, the Jessica Logan Act. ODE’s HIB Model Policy was adopted in 2007 and changes were made to it again in 2010. The policy changes to be made by November 4, 2012 include adding language that addresses violence within a dating relationship; prohibiting harassment, intimidation and bullying incidents on a school bus, requiring districts to provide a means to make anonymous reports of incidents, and establishing a process to notify and educate students and parents about these policies. Discussions about the policies will continue in June.
The committee then discussed the process the ODE is using to update OAC Rule 3301-24-05, Licensure, to bring it up to date with current statutes for initial teacher licenses and the resident educator license. Similar rules regarding the principal license are also being updated. The committee approved the proposed rule changes.
The committee also received information about the policies in other states regarding compulsory attendance and truancy laws.
Select Committee chaired by Joe Farmer: The Select Committee on Urban Education received an overview about special education services and the needs of students with disabilities in Ohio’s urban areas presented by Mary Ey, chief officer of Student Support Services for the Columbus City Schools, Margaret Burley, Executive Director of the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities, and Sue Zake, Director of the Office of Exceptional Children at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).
Ms. Zake presented a number of alarming statistics about the number of children with learning and other disabilities in Ohio and in Ohio’s urban 21 school districts. According to her presentation,
- 21.3 percent of students in the urban 21 school districts have been identified with disabilities and that number has been increasing
- 14.8 percent of students statewide are identified as needing special education services, but the percentage is as high as 20 percent in some schools/districts -Ohio is slightly ahead of the nation in the percent of students identified with disabilities -Most students are identified in the “Specific Learning Disabilities” (SLD) category of disabilities
- African Americans are three times more likely to be identified with disabilities than their peers -Where students with disabilities attend school makes a difference in their academic achievement. (Based on 4th grade achievement in math and reading.) 42 percent of students with disabilities in urban areas are achieving the proficient level in reading compared to 60 percent of students with disabilities in non-urban districts.
- There is a significant learning gap between students with disabilities and those without disabilities
Ms. Zake shared some observations about serving students with disabilities from her experiences working in the Toledo area and Toledo Public Schools. She said that some of the concerns and issues for special education students in the urban 21 districts are around how the problem is framed. She believes that the students are not the problem. The challenge is how adults and educators honor the culture, ethnicity, and diversity of students with disabilities while challenging them, providing them with rigorous curriculum, instruction, and raising expectations.
Another challenge is how to help teachers understand that there are different ways to deliver instruction and it is up to all adults to ensure that students have hope for a future and experience success.
In looking at the resources available Ms. Zake said that educators should be asking if the resources that they have are getting the best results.
Another challenge is how to design and implement high quality professional development to make it systematic and systemic.
She also noted that the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs is looking at changing how they monitor states, which will have an impact within Ohio. The monitoring will move from a focus on meeting compliance indicators to a focus on impact and results.
Recognition of Title 1 Schools: The State Board of Education recognized Lincoln Elementary (Seneca County) and Maplewood Middle School (Trumbull County) as 2011 National Title 1 Distinguished Schools.
Legislative and Budget Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones Kelly Weir, Jennifer Hogue, and Emily Gephart led the Legislative and Budget Committee in discussions about the timeline for the State Board to approve its budget and legislative recommendations and pending legislation, including the Mid-Biennium Budget Review Bills and legislation to implement the Cleveland Plan: HB525 (Amstutz/Williams) and SB335 (Lehner/Turner).
The committee discussed the timeline for the State Board to receive information about the Superintendent’s budget and policy recommendations for FY14-15. Packets about the proposed budget will be sent to Board members in early June. The Board will have opportunities to discuss the budget in June and at the July retreat, and additional meetings in August could be planned if necessary. The proposal will not include the funding recommendations for basic aid, but will include principles that could guide the development of a new state school funding system for schools/districts. The timeline calls for the Board to adopt the budget recommendations in September to conform with the Office of Budget and Management’s timetable for state departments and agencies to submit their budget requests. Governor Kasich will introduce his FY14-15 budget in late January 2013.
The committee also discussed the changes that affect education included in Am. Sub. HB487 (Amstutz) Mid-Biennium Review and SB316 (Lehner) Mid-Biennium Review — Education.
Most of the discussion with Board members focused on the Senate changes to SB316 regarding the third grade reading guarantee and the A-D, F rating system for schools/districts, and the impact of the changes for the rating system on ODE’s ESEA waiver request.
The committee approved a motion directing Mr. Jones to present testimony to the House Education Committee stating that the State Board of Education supports the new accountability system proposed by SB316 as introduced, and opposes any provision that might undermine the Superintendent’s ability to achieve some flexibility from ESEA and implement a new A to F accountability system. Without the waiver, 90 percent of Ohio’s schools will be identified as failing next school year and face costly consequences.
During discussions about the changes in the third grade guarantee most committee members expressed support for students to read at the proficient level in third grade. The Senate version of SB316 had reduced the level at which third grade students would be subject to retention to “limited”.
Senator Lehner, who attended the meeting as an ex-officio member, said that many legislators are disappointed about lowering the reading level to “limited”, but if the minimum standard for reading is set at the proficient level then 65 percent of students could fail the reading assessment in 2014, compared to 20 percent of students who could fail at the limited level.
Superintendent Heffner reminded the committee that the reading levels that Ohio uses now, limited, basic, proficient, etc. will likely change anyway, because Ohio is participating in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) with several other states, and the reading levels will be calibrated to the new assessments developed by PARCC.
Committee members agreed that to really address the reading crisis, students need to be enrolled in quality preK programs and all teachers need to be trained to teach reading.
State Board of Education Meeting on TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2012
James Herrholz, Assistant Superintendent, and Sasheen Phillips, Executive director of Curriculum and Assessment presented information about the communication plan and implementation plan for the Common Core standards entitled “Start Ready, Leave Ready, Ohio’s College and Career Reading Standards Implementation Plan.”
The first phase of the plan will build support and capacity for educators and begin outreach to the public. Phase 2 will continue development and support for educators and expand outreach and engagement with non-educators.
Methods of outreach include Tools for Teachers, Ed Connections, IDES of ODE, Social Media, Webinars/Webcasts, App/E-Reader, ODE-delivered presentations at educational organizations and conferences, Future Ready Project, Regional ESC meetings, and Regional SBOE meetings.
Different types of social media outreach will also be used, such as Twitter, Linked In, Facebook, etc.
A train the trainer model will be used to expand outreach with educators. Professional development opportunities for 2012-2013 include PARCC Educator Leader Cadres, regional targeted and differentiated professional development for teachers of SWD, ELL and Gifted, Online modules on Students with Disabilities, and Formative Instruction Content-Specific Modules.
Board members were asked to identify stakeholders and groups that should also be included in the communication plan and ways for Board members to assist the ODE to communicate the Common Core to various stakeholder groups.
A handout was distributed entitled “Are You Ready for 2014-2015?” with tips for how teachers, administrators, and school board members can become more knowledgeable about the Common Core standards.
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION BUSINESS MEETING The Board reconvened its business meeting and took action on the resolutions included below.
The Board then discussed old business, new business, and miscellaneous business. Three individuals presented during public participation on non-agenda items: Charlotte Andrist, President of the Central Office Branch of International Dyslexia Association and Sean Stevens spoke about dyslexia, and Eric Price, spoke to the Board about the importance of civics education.
Dr. Andrist’s presentation explained the relationship between literacy and dyslexia. According to the presentation, dyslexia is the principal cause of reading difficulties and illiteracy in the U.S. “80-85 percent of students with an identified specific learning disability have a primary problem with reading and/or language consistent with dyslexia.”
Dyslexia is often assumed to mean that students see letters backward when they are reading, but it actually is the inability to recognize, decode, and/or spell written words accurately and quickly, and difficulty with the phonological component of language. Dyslexia is a Greek word meaning “difficulty with letters”. Between 5-15 percent of students or approximately 1 of every 10 students has dyslexia.
Dr. Andrist said that for many years students with dyslexia were not diagnosed and teachers are still not trained to identify or help students with dyslexia.
Students with dyslexia need systematic intensive instruction to become better readers. Several initiatives are underway in Ohio to address the dyslexia problem. In the fall pre-service teachers will be required to learn about dyslexia through several options, and some teachers will be able to receive a certificate as a dyslexia specialist.
The Board then adjourned.
Resolutions Considered by the State Board of Education on May 15, 2012:
#6 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Adopt Academic Content Standards for the Fine Arts and World Languages. The standards were amended by the Achievement Committee to include “creating” in the creative and cognitive processes for music.
#7 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Adopt Academic Content Standards in Financial Literacy, Entrepreneurship and Business.
#11 Approved a Resolution to Appoint the following individuals to the Educator Standards Board: The following eight educators were elected to the Educator Standards Board:
Heather N. Henkel
#12 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Adopt the State Board of Education’s Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools Policy.
#13 Approved a Resolution to Select the SEED Foundation as the Operator for the SEED School of Cincinnati, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 3328.11.
Pulled #14 A Resolution to Delegate to the Superintendent of Public Instruction the Responsibility for Negotiating and Entering into an Operator Contract with the SEED Foundation for the Operation of the SEED School of Cincinnati.
#15 Approved a Resolution to Approve the Plan of the Governing Board for the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center to Appoint Additional Members to the Board, pursuant to Section 3311.056 of the Ohio Revised Code.
#16 Approved a motion to enter into a contract with Kathy LaSota, Director of Board Services for the Ohio School Boards Association, to facilitate the July Retreat of the State Board of Education.
#17 Approved a motion presented by Rose Mary Oakar to allow the State Board of Education to occasionally pass non-binding resolutions about significant issues, to inform the state legislature and governors office about the views of the State Board of Education.
#18 Approved a motion to direct C. Todd Jones to present testimony to the House Education Committee concerning the ODE’s waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education for flexibility regarding the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and the impact of the changes in Ohio’s rating system for schools included in SB316 on the waiver request.
#19 Approved a motion in support of legislation to establish a minimum school year based on hours rather than days.
#20 Mrs. Cain requested that the State Board of Education send a letter congratulating former Superintendent of Public Instruction Deb Delisle on her new position as Assistant Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education.
View the State Board of Education’s schedule.
Gifted Education: An article in Education Week on May 15, 2012 states that support for gifted education is lacking at the same time that the Obama administration is calling for more innovation to keep the U.S. globally competitive and turn the economy around. (“Gifted Programs Fight to Regain Their Toehold in the Federal Budget Efforts lack Obama administration’s backing” by Nirvi Shah).
According to the article, funding for the 24-year old Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program, which is focused on serving underrepresented students in gifted and talented programs, was eliminated in FY11 leaving several ongoing research projects unfunded. The House approved “Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act” also eliminates funding for the Javits program.
In a letter dated March 29, 2012 Senators Grassley, Blumenthal, Lieberman, Casey, and Mikulski requested that the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, chaired by Senator Harkins, work to restore funding for the Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act in FY13, or require the Institute for Education Sciences to support research and development that directly supports gifted and talented students and a National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. A similar letter has been sent to the House committee overseeing education.
The U.S. Department of Education points to President Obama’s College Pathways and Accelerated Learning program as a way to expand more opportunities for gifted and talented students. This program would provide college level courses in high-poverty middle and high schools, including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses. However, advocates for gifted education note that President’s plan does not mandate funds to serve gifted students.
Another proposal, the TALENT Act, would expand federal funding for gifted education through Title 1 programs for disadvantaged students. The TALENT Act was introduced in the House (H.R. 1674) and Senate (S.857) by Representatives Elton Gallegly and Donald Payne and Senators Chuck Grassley and Bob Casey. The Act, supported by the National Association for Gifted Children, would require states to make changes in assessment and accountability systems, classroom practices, focus on underserved populations, and emphasize research about gifted education. The intent of advocates for gifted education is to include the TALENT Act in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Overall advocates for gifted education want a national commitment to develop the talents and gifts of students.
The article is available.
- HB553 (Phillips/Driehaus) Kids and Communities First Grant Program: Create Kids and Communities First Grant Program and makes an appropriation.
- HCR47 (Phillips/Stinziano) Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act: Urges the Congress of the United States to pass S. 2343, the Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act of 2012.
New Growth Theory Connects the Arts and Economic Development: The Brookings Institute and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) hosted on May 10, 2012 a symposium to discuss how the new growth theory could be used as a tool for assessing the impact of art and culture on the U.S. economy. The symposium featured papers jointly commissioned by the NEA Office of Research and Analysis and Michael Rushton, the co-editor of the Journal of Cultural Economics.
According to the highlights of the symposium, a new growth theory is now being used to explain how in advanced economies, “…economic growth stems less from the acquisition of additional capital and more from innovation and new ideas.”
The symposium included five panels that discussed Creative Clustering, Economic Growth and Innovation, Capital Investment and Cultural Consumption, Case Studies on the Arts and Economic Development, and Arts and Economic Well-Being.
Ed Glaeser, Harvard economist and author of “Triumph of the City” (Penguin Press, 2011), gave the keynote remarks. Other speakers included Rocco Landesman, National Endowment for the Arts, Bruce Katz, vice president and co-director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, and economists and researchers from across the country.
The symposium’s panels are available online.
Juilliard launches E-Learning music program: The Juilliard Schools in New York City and Baltimore’s Connections Education announced on May 16, 2012 a partnership to provide online music education to K-12 students called Juilliard eLearning. The partnership will begin in 2012-13 to develop online courses for K-12 educators and students, with distribution and implementation through Connections Education, which is a part of Pearson.
Juilliard eLearning will link Juilliard’s expertise in performing arts education and Connections Education’s expertise in high-quality online learning. The program will begin at Connections Academy virtual public schools, which nationally educates 40,000+ students in grades K-12, and will also be marketed to educational institutions and directly to K-12 students and adults.
The first courses to be offered by Juilliard eLearning in the 2012-2013 school year will include elementary, middle and high school music, aligned to the National Standards. In subsequent years, courses such as music theory, music history, drama history, or dance history, are being considered.
Juilliard eLearning courses and learning materials will feature exclusive music, video, animations, and other immersive content, plus synchronous and a-synchronous learning opportunities from both Juilliard’s experts and Connections Education’s certified teachers.
For more information about Juilliard eLearning, call 888-440-2890. A public website with more information will be available soon.
Program Takes Students to the Arts: An article published in the Huffington Post on May 15, 2012 describes the non-profit program “The Time In Children’s Arts Initiative”, a new program in New York City that provides young children with experiences in the arts. (“Innovative Educational Program ‘HiArt!’ Immerses Little Kids In High Art” by Priscilla Frank, The Huffington Post.)
The “Time In” program is an off-shoot of “HiArt!”, a fifteen year old program in New York City founded and directed by Cyndie Bellen-Berthezene. The “Time In” program provides students in underserved schools in the New York City school district in grades preK-1 with a half day per week of instruction in dance, opera, theater, visual art, etc. at the program’s studio, and at galleries, museums, etc.
According to the web site, “Time In” is about opening doors for kids in underserved schools and letting them know that the whole incredible world out there also belongs to them. That there is a way- through the arts – in which imagination and reality can work together – for them! So that before you know it, we will have created a whole a new generation of wonderful thinkers, arts lovers and young artists, each of whom will be poised to enrich the world around them with their unique insights and talents.”
Read the article.
Learn more about “Time In“.