Arts On Line Update 05.29.2012

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,
Donna

129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will not hold sessions this week, and most committees, including the House and Senate education committees, are not scheduled to meet due to Memorial Day.

Members of the Ohio House and Senate worked last week at a feverish pace to complete work on the package of bills introduced by Governor Kasich and referred to at the Mid Biennium Review (MBR) bills, before the Memorial Day break.

The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, reworked SB316 (Lehner) MBR – Education Reform, but the full House then informally passed the bill, so that lawmakers could work-out the differences between the Senate and House versions and avoid a conference committee. The expectation is for the House and Senate to complete work on the SB316 in mid June.

The House and Senate education committees also slowed down work on HB525 (Amstutz/Williams) and SB335 (Lehner/Turner), which would implement Mayor Jackson’s Cleveland Plan to reform the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD). Simultaneous hearings in the House and Senate education committees have been conducted on both bills, with HB525 seeming to be the vehicle. On May 25, 2012 the Governor, House Speaker Batchelder, the bill’s sponsors, and Mayor Jackson announced new provisions that will be added to the bills when the House and Senate convene again in June. The provisions make changes to the Cleveland Plan regarding the authority of the Transformation Alliance to approve charter schools and sponsors in Cleveland; the authority of the CMSD to share/distribute local tax revenue with partnering community schools; waivers from laws and rules; school facilities; and student performance measures. More information about these changes will be posted once the actual language of the bills is available.

The Ohio House also adopted on May 24, 2012 Senate Concurrent Resolution 14 (Jones), which recognizes July 2012 as “World Choir Games Month” in recognition of Cincinnati being selected to host the games. The Ohio Senate adopted the resolution on May 3, 2012.

Update on Statewide Educator Evaluation Symposium: The Ohio Department of Education sponsored on May 25, 2012 a symposium on Ohio’s Teacher Evaluation System and the new laws that affect teacher evaluation in Ohio. Information about the presentations is available under Sessions/Breakout.

News from Washington, D.C.

New Race to the Top Competition Announced: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced on May 22, 2012 the criteria for the 2012 Race to the Top (RTT) program. The program will make available nearly $400 million in competitive grants for school districts to create plans for individualized classroom instruction to close the achievement gaps and prepare all students for college and careers.

The new competitive grant will be available for districts or groups of districts serving at least 2,500 students with 40 percent or more qualifying for free or reduced price lunch. Districts will choose to apply for funding to support learning strategies that personalize education in all or a set of schools, within specific grade levels, or selected subjects.

Eligibility will be determined by a district’s demonstrated commitment to RTT’s four core reform areas. The criteria has been designed to ensure no district is at a disadvantage-including those already participating in a RTT grant awarded through one of the first three phases, districts not currently participating, and rural districts. Awards will range from $15 million to $25 million, depending on the population of students served through the plan.

Preference will go to applicants that form partnerships with public and private organizations to sustain their work and offer services that help meet students’ academic, social, and emotional needs, and enhance their ability to succeed.

According to the press release, “The Race to the Top district-level competition will encourage transformative change within schools, targeted toward leveraging, enhancing, and improving classroom practices and resources. School leaders will have the ability and flexibility to strategize how best to use time, staff the school, and manage the school budget.”

Read or comment on the Race to the Top district-level proposal. Public comment ends June 8, 2012. The U.S.DOE plans to release the application in July with an October submission deadline. Awards will be announced no later than December 31, 2012.

Review of MBR Legislation HB487: There are several provisions related to education included in the Am. Sub. HB487 (Amstutz), Governor Kasich’s original Mid Biennium Review bill. A conference committee met last week to work-out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The conference committee report on HB487 was approved by the House and Senate on May 23, 2012.

The following is a summary of the education provisions included in the bill. The summary is prepared from the Legislative Service Commission’s comparison document.

  • Requires each early childhood education program that receives state funding through GRF appropriation item, 200408, Early Childhood Education, to participate in the Step Up to Quality Program administered by the Department of Job and Family Services, and to be rated in the Program by July 1, 2016.
  • Requires school districts, educational service centers, and county DD boards serving preschool children with disabilities to participate in the Step Up to Quality Program administered by the Department of Job and Family Services, and the Program by July 1, 2018.
  • Eliminates the income-based reduction required by current law for scholarships under the Cleveland Scholarship Program. Currently, each scholarship award is reduced by either 10 percent or 25 percent, depending upon the student’s family income, with the balance of the award to be paid by a political subdivision, a private entity, or an individual.
  • Specifies that the net tuition amount is the tuition amount minus any financial aid, tuition discounts, and adjustments to which the student is entitled. Further specifies that, if tuition discounts are offered to multiple students from the same family, but not all of the students are scholarship recipients, the scholarship amount is based on the lowest tuition to which the family is entitled.
  • Increases the appropriation for 200550, Foundation Funding, by an additional $3.9 million in FY 2013 and no longer appropriates any additional amount needed to fund the scholarships.
  • Authorizes ODE, upon approval by the U.S. Department of Education of the state’s application for a waiver from certain requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), to implement the changes contained in the application, except for any changes related to the school district and building report cards.
  • Removes provisions that eliminated the eTech Commission.
  • Extends from March 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012 the existence of the Digital Learning Task Force, and requires a report by June 30, 2012.
  • Makes adjustments to laws regarding the sale of school district real property for specific school districts and specific circumstances.
  • Consolidates some line items in the Ohio Department of Education’s budget.
  • Provides STEM schools with matching funds for industry workforce development initiatives. Re-appropriates up to $600,000 to GRF appropriation item 200455, Community Schools and Choice Programs, for FY 2013.
  • Permits an earmark of $18,713,327 for GRF appropriation item 200550, Foundation Funding, to be used for school choice programs, rather than the Cleveland school choice program.
  • Requires Fund 7018 (Lottery Profits Education Reserve Fund) appropriation item 200686, Third Grade Reading Guarantee, to be used to make competitive grants in an aggregate amount of up to $13 million to school districts and community schools to support reading intervention efforts that assist students in meeting the third grade reading guarantee. Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to administer and award the grants pursuant to procedures and a competitive process that the Superintendent establishes, subject to certain specified criteria.
  • Makes changes in the law regarding the operations of the Ohio School Facilities Commission.

Update on Other MBR Bills: The following is an update on several bills which include provisions originally introduced in mid March by Governor Kasich in HB487 (Amstutz) Mid Biennium Review:

  • HB505 (Amstutz) – Small Claims Division-Board of Tax Appeals. Referred to House Ways and Means Committee
  • HB508 (Beck) – General tax law changes. The House concurred with Senate amendments to the bill on May 24, 2012.
  • HB509 (Blair) – Local Government Law. Makes changes in local government laws; modifies the requirements of arresting authorities and courts regarding testing of individuals; modifies the manner in which funds are allocated from the Ohio Legal Aid Fund, and expands the ability of counties to form joint county boards of job and family services. Informally passed by the Senate on May 24, 2012.
  • HB510 (Amstutz) – Financial Institutions Tax. Imposes a new tax on financial institutions, effective January 1, 2014, and provides that such institutions are no longer subject to the corporate franchise tax or dealers in intangibles tax after 2013. Approved by the Ohio House on May 16, 2012. Hearings in the Senate Ways and Means and Economic Development Committee.
  • HB511 (Beck/Gonzales)- Tax Credit Administration Changes. Makes changes to the administration of the investment tax credit, the venture capital loan loss tax credit, and the New Markets tax credit.  Approved by the Ohio House on May 23, 2012.
  • HB512 (Maag) – State Property Conveyances. Corrects the legal property description in a previous authorized conveyance of state-owned real estate and authorizes other conveyances. Hearings in the House State Government and Elections Committee.
  • HB513 (Maag) – lease/leaseback. Hearings in the House State Government and Elections Committee.
  • HB514 (Newbold) – Authorizes the Director of Transportation to enter into an agreement or contract with any entity to establish a traveler information program to provide real-time traffic conditions and travel time information at no cost to the traveler. Approved by the Ohio House on May 23, 2012.
  • SB315 (Jones) Energy Policy. Makes changes to the energy and natural resources laws and related programs. The Senate on May 24, 2012 concurred with House amendments to the bill.

Update on SB316 (Lehner): The House informally approved SB316 (Lehner) Education Reform on May 24, 2012. This allows lawmakers to informally work on the bill, which includes several new House-added provisions. Some SB316 provisions were also removed and then added to Am. Sub. HB487, including funding for the third grade guarantee reading program grants and authority for the ODE to implement some provisions of its No Child Left Behind waiver request, if approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Both the House and Senate have agreed on May 23, 2012 to the Conference Committee Report on HB487.

The following is a summary of some of the changes in SB316 as reported by the House Education Committee. (Please note: This is just a summary of the changes in the bill as reported by the House, and not a complete analysis of all of the provisions in the bill. A more complete analysis will be provided after the House and Senate agree on the bill, because more changes are expected.)

  • Third-Grade Reading Guarantee: Requires students in the third grade to obtain a “cut” score of proficient on the third grade reading assessment, for promotion to fourth grade effective for the 2013-14 school year. (The cut score goes into effect in 2012-13 school year.)
  • Exempts from the Third Grade Reading Guarantee students with limited English language proficiency; students with special needs who meet certain requirements; students who meet certain criteria set by the Ohio Department of Education; students previously retained, who are receiving intensive reading instruction, and are making progress.
  • Requires school districts and community schools to provide retained third-graders who have been identified as gifted in fields other than reading with instruction in those fields that is commensurate with the students’ achievement levels.
  • Removes language that calls for “intensive, explicit, and systematic instruction” and a curriculum that “provides skill development in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.”
  • Requires service providers to be screened.
  • Moves an appropriation of $13 million from the Lottery Profits Education Reserve Fund to HB487 to support the third grade guarantee.
  • Requires the State Board of Education and the Early Childhood Advisory Council to develop legislative recommendations by February 28, 2013 to improve literacy education for children birth to grade three.

District and Building Academic Performance Ratings: Includes no provisions for changing the report card rating system for school districts/schools in Ohio to letter grades. Lawmakers added to Am. Sub. HB487 a provision that authorizes the ODE, upon approval by the U.S. Department of Education of Ohio’s application for a waiver from certain requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), to implement the changes contained in the application, except for any changes related to the school district and building report cards. Both the House and Senate approved on May 23, 2012 the Conference Committee Report on HB487.

Representative Stebelton also introduced HB555 which states the General Assembly’s intent to revise by December 31, 2012 the current academic performance rating system for school districts, individual buildings of districts, community schools, and STEM schools, and to implement a rating system using letter grades.

Joint Vocational School Districts: Requires the State Board of Education, in consultation with the Chancellor of the Board of Regents, the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, the Ohio Association of Career and Technical Education and the Ohio Association of Career-Technical Superintendents to develop a separate report card for joint vocational school districts and career-technical planning districts (CTPD) and to begin issuing the report card for the 2012-2013 school year.

Performance Indicators for Dropout Prevention and Recovery Programs: Establishes a separate rating system specifically for community schools that operate dropout prevention and recovery programs, to be used beginning with the 2014-2015 school year. The State Board of Education is required by December 31, 2014 to adopt the rules for the new rating system, which includes four-year, five-year, six-year, seven-year, and eight-year graduation rates; the percentage of twelfth-grade students currently enrolled in a school who are within three months of their 22nd birthday and have attained the passing score on all of the applicable state high school achievement assessments by their 22nd birthday; and growth in annual student achievement in reading and math as measured by separate nationally norm-referenced assessments prescribed by the State Board.

  • Prohibits the ODE from applying the current report card rating system to community schools that operate dropout prevention and recovery programs for the 2012-2013 and 2013-14 school years, but states that these community schools must still comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
  • Retains the exemption from closure for community schools with dropout prevention and recovery which fail to meet academic performance criteria.

School Report Cards for Parents: Removes a Senate provision that requires schools (traditional, community, STEM, college-preparatory boarding school) to provide a parent with a copy of the school’s latest report card when students were enrolling in the school.

Reports of District and School Spending: Requires the State Board of Education to adopt standards for determining and comparing district and school operating expenditures for classroom instructional purposes with those for non-classroom purposes by December 31, 2012. Requires the standards to be aligned with the expenditure categories required for reporting data to the U.S. Department of Education.

Teacher Evaluations: Exempts substitute teachers from the teacher evaluation requirements.

  • Requires student academic growth for the purpose of teacher evaluations, excludes students with 60 or more excused or unexcused absences for the school year. Eliminates references to “habitual truants”.
  • Allows persons designated in a peer review agreement and administrative specialists to conduct teacher evaluations, if they work for the teacher’s employer or for a third party hired by the employer to do evaluations.
  • Requires all authorized evaluators to obtain a credential established by the ODE before doing teacher evaluations.
  • Requires one annual evaluation and at least three classroom observations of teachers on limited or extended limited contracts as part of the evaluation process.
  • Extends from April 1 to May 1 the deadline for employers to complete teacher evaluations.
  • Specifies that the statutory requirements regarding teacher evaluations prevail over collective bargaining agreements entered into on or after the bill’s effective date.
  • Authorizes the State Board of Education by resolution to periodically update the state framework for evaluating public school teachers.
  • Directs the State Board to develop, by June 30, 2013, a standards-based teacher evaluation framework for state agencies, and requires each state agency that employs teachers to adopt a teacher evaluation policy that conforms to the framework.

Retesting Teachers: Retains the provision of the bill as introduced rather than the Senate provision. Revises the circumstances triggering the requirement that teachers of core subject areas take exams to prove their knowledge, so that it applies to teachers employed by school districts when the teacher has been rated “ineffective” on evaluations for two of the three most recent years, and to teachers employed by community schools and STEM schools when the teacher’s building is ranked by performance index score in the lowest 10 percent of all public schools.

  • Applies the exam requirement to teachers who are currently teaching a core subject when they become subject to the provision.
  • Specifies that the exams the teachers must take are content knowledge exams selected by the Department of Education to determine expertise to teach the teacher’s subject area and grade level rather than content knowledge and pedagogy exams needed for licensure in that subject area and grade level, as in current law.

Teacher Evaluation Data: Requires the Chancellor of the Board of Regents to annually by December 31, 2014 report the number and percentage of graduates of each Ohio teacher preparation program and how they were rated on evaluations conducted by their employers in the previous school year.

  • Directs the ODE, instead of the State Board of Education, to establish guidelines for preparing a report on teacher evaluations from each school district, community school, and STEM school, based on the aggregate of teachers who have graduated from teacher preparation programs.

Gifted Education: NEW provision added by the House: Repeals the provision that was enacted in HB153 (Amstutz) that authorizes a school district principal or any other person employed by and assigned to a school district school to also serve as a school district’s gifted education coordinator, if qualified to do so under the State Board of Education rules.

School Business Manager: Removes provisions in the introduced version of the bill regarding the assignment of persons as business managers in a school district.

Hybrid Community Schools: NEW provision added by the House. Authorizes the establishment of hybrid community schools that provide both remote, technology-based instruction and classroom-based instruction, so long as the governing authority of that school has entered into a contract with an operator that has operated a community school in the state for not less than five continuous school years.

  • Permits existing community schools to restructure themselves as hybrid community schools if the school has entered into a contract with an operator that has operated a community school for at least five continuous school years.
  • Requires that students of a hybrid community school “primarily” attend a designated site to receive instruction, and that the allocation of each hybrid community school’s student’s instructional time between traditional classroom-based and technology-based instruction be determined individually by the student’s education team.
  • Requires that the designated site for instruction be located either in a “challenged” school or in an adjacent school district, and within a 20-mile radius of each student’s resident district.
  • Specifies that school districts are responsible for transporting their resident students to the classroom-learning sites in the same manner as other community school students.
  • Specifies that a hybrid community school is not an Internet or computer-based school (e-school) and still requires hybrid schools to comply with all community school law provisions, including most that apply only to e-schools.
  • Specifies that state payments to hybrid community schools are to be structured like payments to “brick and mortar” community schools, not e-schools.

Digital Learning and Blended Learning: Defines “blended learning” as “a formal education program in which a student learns in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace, and primarily at a supervised location away from home.”

  • Directs the State Board of Education to adopt standards for the operation of blended learning classrooms, and revise its existing operating standards for school districts and chartered nonpublic schools to include standards for blended learning programs.
  • Provides for “exemptions from student-to-teacher ratios for traditional classrooms.”
  • Lists standards that the State Board should include in operating standards for digital learning and blended learning, and exemptions from those standards.
  • Requires school districts, community schools, STEM schools, and public college-preparatory boarding schools, and chartered nonpublic schools that operate a blended learning school, or that plan to cease operating one, to notify the Department of Education by July 1 of the school year for which the change is effective.
  • Permits a school, including a chartered non-public school already operating a blended learning program, to notify the Department of Education within 90 days after the bill’s effective date and request classification as a blended learning school.

eTech Ohio: Removes a provision that modified the earmark for GRF appropriation item 935409, Technology Operations, established by HB153, to permit funds designated to cover the costs of public school students taking advanced placement or postsecondary courses through the OhioLearns Gateway to also be available to chartered nonpublic school students.

EdChoice Eligibility: NEW provision added by the House: Allows an Educational Choice Scholarship to be used at an “approved nonpublic school” in addition to a chartered nonpublic school as under current law, and defines “an approved nonpublic school” as a school that is in the process of becoming a chartered nonpublic school and has received a letter of preliminary approval to operate from the ODE.

  • Allows students to be eligible for an Ed Choice scholarship if they have moved into Ohio and are assigned to a school in which students are eligible for the Ed Choice scholarship.

Achievement Test Scores: NEW provision added by the House. For the 2012-2013 school year, extends from 60 to 75 days after administration of the state achievement assessments the deadline to report individual scores to school districts, but still requires scores to be reported no later than June 15, 2013.

Eye Exams for Students: Requires the ODE by December 31, 2012 to issue a report to the Governor and the General Assembly on the compliance of school districts and community schools with the requirement to have students with disabilities undergo a comprehensive eye exam within three months after beginning to receive special education and related services.

Community School Rankings: Reinstates current law requiring the ODE to create a single list of sponsors, including conversion charter school sponsors and start-up community school sponsors, when ranking sponsors by their composite performance index scores. Prescribes that sponsors ranking in the lowest 20 percent are prohibited from sponsoring an additional community school.

  • Makes permanent the exclusion from the ranking calculations of community schools that primarily serve students with disabilities and those that operate dropout prevention and recovery programs.

Community School Sponsorship by Educational Service Centers: Removes a provision added by the Senate that allows the governing board of any educational service center (ESC) to sponsor a start-up community school, regardless of the geographic location of the proposed school.

Community School New Sponsor: Removes a provision added by the Senate that authorizes a nonprofit organization whose members include community school sponsors to sponsor community schools.

Community School ODE Sponsor: Removes provisions added by the Senate that require the Office of School Sponsorship within the Department of Education to adopt application and ratings procedures; allow the selection process to be selective rather than chronological; and not allow for an appeal of ODE decisions regarding sponsorship.

Combining Community School and District Report Card Data: Removes provisions added by the Senate regarding combining data of community schools and school districts under certain conditions.

Community School Governing Authority Membership: Allows a person to serve on three governing authorities of start-up community schools rather than two, in current law.

Single Sex Community School: Removes a provision added by the Senate that allows a governing authority of a community school to establish a single-gender school without establishing a comparable school for the other gender.

Community Schools for Gifted Students: NEW provision added by the House. Requires the ODE to issue a request for proposals for the establishment of a start-up community school in each of the 16 education regions of the state to serve primarily identified gifted students.

  • Requires the Department to select an educational service center (ESC), school district, another community school, STEM school, institution of higher education, or a consortium of such entities to establish and operate each of the new community schools based on certain criteria.
  • Allows the schools to operate under an alternate funding formula or alternate method to transmit payment for students enrolled in the school approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. States that the deduction from a student’s resident school district cannot be greater than it would be under current law, and prohibits charging tuition, or denying admission to any gifted student in the state.
  • Allows the ODE to select an operator of the regional schools, if no entity applies, and allows the ODE to be the school’s sponsor.
  • Allows these schools to operate in multiple facilities in more than one school district and to operate in a school district that is not “a challenged school district”.

Community Schools: Permits a community school to operate from or in a residential care facility.

  • Eliminates a Senate provision that requires the ODE to make available on its web site a copy of every approved community school contract filed with the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
  • Eliminates a Senate provision that creates the Community School Mandate Review Panel.

Access to School District Property: Expands access to school district property to community schools and college-preparatory boarding schools.

  • Eliminates a provision that required unused property that a school district was required to lease or sell to a community school or proposed community school be used only for operating a community school. In other words, community schools can buy or lease school property and use them for other purposes.

NEW House provision. Adds nonprofit private colleges and universities and chartered nonpublic (primary and secondary) schools to the list of entities that may purchase real (or personal) property of a school district directly without purchasing it at a public auction.

STEM Schools: NEW House provision. Allows the STEM Committee to approve one or more STEM schools to serve only gifted students, and exempts STEM schools, and STEM programs awarded grants by the STEM Committee, from the prohibitions in current law against restricting participation based on intellectual ability or other measures of achievement or aptitude, if the schools or programs serve only gifted students.

Educational Service Centers: NEW House provision: Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, permits a school district with more than 16,000 students that enters into an agreement with an educational service center for services for which the state provides per-pupil funding, to opt out of receiving supervisory services (such as supervisors for the district’s teachers). If a district opts out of those services, it is not required to pay for them through the deduction of supervisory units from the district’s state aid account.

Coursework credits required for graduation: Eliminates a Senate provision that would allow the study of history and government, other than American history and government, to count toward the two units of social studies required in grades 9-12 for graduation from high school.

Early Admission to Kindergarten or First Grade: NEW House provision. Permits a school district or community school to admit to kindergarten or first grade a child who is not yet the required age, if the child is recommended for early admission in accordance with the district’s or school’s acceleration policy.

  • Requires a school district to evaluate a child for early admission upon referral by an educator employed by the district or school, a preschool educator who knows the child, or a pediatrician or psychologist who knows the child.
  • Repeals provisions of current law that require a child to be issued a waiver by a pupil personnel services committee in order to be admitted to first grade without completing kindergarten; and authorizes early admission for children who meet established standards on standardized tests.

School Facilities: Removes language that gives school districts in the Expedited Local Partnership program (ELLP) priority over the “next ten” districts and conditioned priority for lapsed districts over districts on the lapsed districts’ list having received new conditional approvals from the Commission.

State Board of Education Meetings: New House provision. Repeals the requirement of current law that the State Board of Education hold regular meetings every three months, and instead requires the State Board to annually adopt a calendar by March 31 indicating the dates on which it will hold its regular meetings for the following fiscal year.

  • Allows notice of special meetings of the State Board to be delivered to Board members electronically or by regular mail (instead of by registered mail, as in current law), and permits a designee of the Board president to give the notice.

TIF notification to joint vocational school districts. NEW House provision. States that the legislative authority enacting a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) resolution must notify a joint vocational school district of pending TIF legislation according to the same time requirements as apply to other school districts.

See the LSC comparison document of Introduced, Senate, and House Committee-approved provisions of SB316.

The Condition of Education Released: The National Center for Education Statistics released on May 24, 2012 “The Condition of Education 2012”, a congressionally mandated annual report that summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available statistics.

The report presents 49 indicators on the status and condition of education, in addition to a closer look at high schools in the United States over the past twenty years. The 2012 print edition includes indicators in three main areas: participation in education; elementary and secondary education and outcomes; and postsecondary education and outcomes. For each indicator the report includes additional data and an analysis including graphs.

The following are some of the findings included in the “Overview”:

Indicator 2: The percentage of 3- to 5-year-olds enrolled in full-day pre-primary programs increased from 32 percent in 1980 to 58 percent in 2010.

Indicator 3: From school years 2010-11 through 2021-22, public elementary and secondary school enrollment is projected to increase by 7 percent from 49.5 to 53.1 million students, but with changes across states ranging from an increase of 22 percent to a decrease of 15 percent.

Indicator 4: From 1999-2000 to 2009-10, the number of students enrolled in public charter schools more than quadrupled from 0.3 million to 1.6 million students. In 2009-10, some 5 percent of all public schools were charter schools.

Indicator 5: Private school enrollment in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 increased from 5.9 million in 1995-96 to 6.3 million in 2001-02 then decreased to 5.5 million in 2009-10. Some 10 percent of all elementary and secondary school students were in private schools in 2009-10.

Indicator 9: The number of children and youth ages 3-21 receiving special education services was 6.5 million in 2009-10, or about 13 percent of all public school students. Some 38 percent of the students receiving special education services had specific learning disabilities.

Indicator 13: Among public school students in 2009-10, higher percentages of Hispanic (37 percent), Black (37 percent), and American Indian/Alaska Native students (29 percent) attended high-poverty schools than did Asian/Pacific Islander (12 percent) and White students (6 percent).

Indicator 21: After increasing every year from 1997-98 to 2007-08, total variation in instruction expenditures per student was lower among public school districts in 2008-09 than in 2007-08.

Indicator 26: In 2009, the percentage of high-performing 15-year olds in the United States was higher in reading literacy, lower in mathematics literacy, and not measurably different in science literacy than the respective percentages in the Economic Co-operation and Development OECD countries on average.

Indicator 27: In 2010, some 40 percent of high school seniors participated in athletics as an extracurricular activity, which was higher than the percentage who participated in other school clubs/activities (32 percent), music/ performing arts (23 percent), academic clubs (14 percent), newspaper/yearbook (10 percent), and student council/ government (9 percent) (see table A-27-1). Since 1990, there has been no measurable change in the participation of high school seniors in the extracurricular activities of newspaper/yearbook, music/performing arts, academic clubs, and other school clubs/activities. However, the percentage of high school seniors who participated in athletics in 2010 (40 percent) was higher than the percentage who participated in 1990 (36 percent), and the percentage who participated in student council/ government was lower in 2010 (9 percent) than in 1990 (11 percent).

Indicator 32: In school year 2008-09, more than three-quarters of public high school students graduated on time with a regular diploma.

Indicator 34: Over the 35-year period between 1975 and 2010, the rate of immediate college enrollment after high school ranged from a low of 49 percent in 1979 and 1980, to a high of 70 percent in 2009. This rate increased most recently from 2001 to 2009.

The full report is available.

Brown v Board of Education Anniversary: David L. Kirp writes in an opinion piece for the New York Times that efforts to close the achievement gap among students through integrated schools is “effectively dead” as the nation marked the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education on May 17th. (“Making Schools Work” by David L. Kirp, New York Times, May 19, 2012.)

According to the article the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education spurred civil rights activists across the country to demand an end to racially segregated schools and the unequal educational opportunities that these schools provided students.

As a result, a generation of African-American students attended integrated schools, and according to several research studies, “fared better academically than those left behind in segregated schools.”

The author notes that, “Between 1970 and 1990, the black-white gap in educational attainment shrank – not because white youngsters did worse but because black youngsters did better.” Students attending integrated schools were more likely to graduate from high school, and attend and graduate from college, and were more successful in life, according to a 2011 study by Rucker C. Johnson, University of California at Berkeley.

African-American students were more successful because “the fate of black and white students became intertwined”. School systems invested more and expectations of teachers and parents increased for all students.

But as the opposition to desegregating schools increased, supported by Supreme Court decisions in 1974 and the 2006 Parents United decision, increasingly segregated cities looked to other options to improve student achievement, with marginal success.

The author writes, “And in the 1990s, when the courts stopped overseeing desegregation plans, black students in those communities seem to have done worse. The failure of the No Child Left Behind regimen to narrow the achievement gap offers the sobering lesson that closing under performing public schools, setting high expectations for students, getting tough with teachers and opening a raft of charter schools isn’t the answer. If we’re serious about improving educational opportunities, we need to revisit the abandoned policy of school integration.”

The article is available.

School Attendance Matters: Johns Hopkins University recently released a report that estimates between 5-7.5 million students are chronically absent during the school year based on attendance data from six states. Chronic absenteeism means that students miss 10-15 percent of the school year or miss a month or more of school. (“The Importance of Being in School: A Report on Absenteeism in the Nation’s Public Schools” by Robert Balfanz and Vaughan Byrnes, The John Hopkins University School of Education, Center for Social Organization of Schools, Everyone Graduates Center in partnership with Get Schooled, May 2012.)

According to the report, “Chronic absenteeism is not the same as truancy or average daily attendance – the attendance rate schools use for state report cards and federal accountability. Chronic absenteeism means missing 10 percent of a school year for any reason. A school can have average daily attendance of 90 percent and still have 40 percent of its students chronically absent, because on different days, different students make up that 90 percent.”

Data on chronic absenteeism is collected in only six states, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Nebraska, Oregon, and Rhode Island, and each state defines chronic absenteeism differently making comparisons difficult.  Generally these states report rates of 6 to 23 percent of students missing school (excused and unexcused absences), with high poverty urban areas reporting up to one-third of students chronically absent. Students who are chronically absent from school in one school year are often chronically absent from school in subsequent years, compounding the amount of instructional time that these students have lost over the years.

The researchers found that students miss school due to illness, family responsibilities, housing instability, the need to work, and involvement with the juvenile justice system. Some students will refuse to attend school because of bullying, unsafe conditions, harassment, and embarrassment, or because of lack of parental support/value for school.

But, the report notes that missing school affects the academic achievement of students, especially in math, where consistent attendance is beneficial. The researchers found the following evidence about the importance of attending school:

  • In a nationally representative data set, chronic absence in kindergarten was associated with lower academic performance in first grade. The impact is twice as great for students from low-income families.”
  • A Baltimore study found a strong relationship between sixth-grade attendance and the percentage of students graduating on time or within a year of their expected high school graduation.
  • Chronic absenteeism increases achievement gaps at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
  • Because students reared in poverty benefit the most from being in school, one of the most effective strategies for providing pathways out of poverty is to do what it takes to get these students in school every day. This alone, even without improvements in the American education system, will drive up achievement, high school graduation, and college attainment rates.

The report includes several policy recommendations at the local, state, and federal levels to address this issue. Raising awareness of chronic absenteeism is the first step. Students who are flagged as chronically absent then need support from the school and community.

States and local school districts need to evaluate policies that contribute to absenteeism, including policies regarding out of school suspension. Both the federal government and state departments of education need to regularly measure and report the rates of chronic absenteeism and regular attendance (missing five days or less a year) for every school.

Mayors and governors have critical roles to play in leading inter-agency task forces that bring health, housing, justice, transportation, and education agencies together to organize coordinated efforts to help every student attend school every day.

Read the report.

Bills Introduced

  • HB555 (Stebelton/Butler) Academic Performance Rating System: Revises the current academic performance ratings system for public schools with a system under which districts and schools are assigned letter grades.
  • SB349 (Turner/Tavares) Fair and Acceptable Income Required Act: Enacts the “Fair and Acceptable Income Required (FAIR) Act” and revises the enforcement of the prohibitions against discrimination in the payment of wages.

FYI ARTS

Making the Arts Strategic: The Sundance Institute and Americans for the Arts released on May 23, 2012 a new report entitled “2011 Report and Recommendations, Innovating for Impact: Arts-Based Solutions for a Stronger America” by Marete Wester, Director of Arts Policy, Americans for the Arts.

The findings are based on the work of the 2011 National Arts Policy Roundtable, a gathering of 35 leaders from the business, government, philanthropy, education, and the arts sectors at the Sundance Resort and Preserve, Utah, on September 22-24, 2011. The purpose of the roundtable, founded by Robert Lynch and Robert Redford in 2006, is to envision “….new ways to engage in action to advance the arts and our American society.”

The report recommends four ways in which the arts in America can be an economic driver as well as a vehicle for initiating positive social change:

  • Deepen Strategic Alliances Across Sectors: Expand cross-sector collaboration between the arts and other institutions to help solve social problems. For example, encourage business schools to incorporate creativity, design, and the arts as part of the MBA curriculum; build alliances with the faith community; support partnerships between artists and other social change leaders; establish creativity conversations between artists and business leaders to discuss what questions can best be answered/solved by a business/arts collaboration.
  • Communicate the Value of the Arts: Engage individuals of all demographics in crafting and delivering personal narratives that demonstrate the importance of being an artist and the power expressing oneself gives them. The goal is to help citizens across all age, professional, geographic, and economic boundaries claim the label of “artist,” and by sharing the stories of what that means to them, build a community of shared value with the arts and creativity at its center.
  • Expand Lines of Inquiry and Future Research: Use both qualitative and quantitative data to demonstrate to the philanthropic, government and corporate sectors how the arts can be a key component in social problem-solving efforts. For example, areas that could provide evidence of the value of the arts as a social problem-solving strategy include healthcare, aging, diversity, poverty, civic engagement, community cohesiveness, economic development, neighborhood revitalization, property value, academic performance and graduation rate, general well-being, quality of life, whole-community engagement, at-risk youth, minority communities, tolerance, etc.
  • Integrate the Arts into Legislative and Other Policy Reforms: Leverage available funding streams to include the arts as part of economic development, neighborhood revitalization or other community-based initiatives. Americans for the Arts should build a toolkit to help communities and local arts agencies replicate the National Arts Policy Roundtable at the level local.

The report is available.

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About OAAE

Since our founding in 1974, by Dr. Dick Shoup and Jerry Tollifson, our mission has always been to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Working at the local, state, and federal levels through the efforts of a highly qualified and elected Board of Directors, our members, and a professional staff we have four primary areas of focus: building collaborations, professional development, advocacy, and capacity building. The OAAE is funded in part for its day-to-day operation by the Ohio Arts Council. This support makes it possible for the OAAE to operate its office in Columbus and to work statewide to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Support for arts education projects comes from the Ohio Arts Council, Ohio Music Education Association, Ohio Art Education Association, Ohio Educational Theatre Association, VSA Ohio, and OhioDance. The Community Arts Education programs of Central Ohio are financially assisted by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. We gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the financial support received from each of these outstanding agencies and organizations.
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