129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate are not meeting this week.
OAGC Hosts 60th Annual Conference: The Ohio Association for Gifted Children (OAGC) will hold its 2012 Annual Conference on October 14-16, 2012 at The Hilton at Easton, 3900 Chagrin Drive, Columbus, OH.
Key note speakers Dr. Sylvia Rimm, director of Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio and a clinical professor at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, and Dr. Rachel McAnallen, known as “Ms. Math”, will present at several sessions and small group workshops.
Dr. Rimm will present the Sunday evening parent keynote, “Keys to Parenting the Gifted Child”, and the Monday morning keynote, “The Gifted Child: Superachiever or Underachiever.” In addition Dr. Rimm will be presenting a Monday small session, “The Importance of Interpreting the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – IV for Identifying and Guiding Gifted Students.”
Dr. McAnallen will deliver the Tuesday Keynote, “Creative Mathematics is Not an Oxymoron Or You Can’t Milk a Cow Abstractly.” In addition she will offer two workshops on Tuesday — “Creative and Humorous Ways to Teach Math Without Worksheets” and “Silly Sixes, Sassy Sevens, Easy Eights, Nifty Nines, Terrific Tens Along With Partitioning Any Number.”
Other featured speakers presenting at the conference include Carolyn Coil; John Lester (Ohio Leadership Institute); Dr. Jane Piirto (Ashland University); Dr. Keith Polette (University of Texas at El Paso); Michael Clay Thompson; and Ed Zaccaro.
The conference will also host its annual Susan Faulkner Fine Arts Exhibition and Silent Art Auction in memory of educator, arts education advocate, and advocate for gifted students, Dr. Susan B. Faulkner. Artwork submitted by Ohio students will be available for preview on Sunday, October 14, 2012. A reception for student artists will also be held on Sunday evening at 6:00 PM. Sealed bids for the artwork will be accepted on October 15, 2012 through 1:30 PM on October 16, 2012. Highest bids will be posted at 2:00 PM on October 16, 2012. Proceeds from each piece of art sold will be divided evenly between the student and the OAGC Scholarship Fund.
Additional conference information about guest speakers, registration, keynote addresses and workshops, Parent Day activities and registration, raffle forms, award nominations, graduate credit, and hotel information is available.
No Government Shutdown: The U.S. House and Senate both passed a continuing resolution to keep the government operating until March 27, 2013 (H. J. Resolution 117) and have recessed so that members can get back to their campaigns. The continuing resolution was needed, because neither the House nor the Senate had completed work on all appropriations measures and were facing a new fiscal year beginning on October 1, 2012. The resolution includes some changes in law, but generally allocates funds for government agencies and departments at FY12 levels. More information is available.
Update on Sequestration: The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released on September 14, 2012 information about the effects of automatic budget cuts, known as “sequestration”, on the current federal budget. (OMB Report Pursuant to the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, September 14, 2012.) The sequestration option was included in the Budget Control Act of 2011 to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion, if Congress failed to implement the recommendations proposed by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction or its own deficit reductions. Sequestration will go into effect on January 2, 2013 unless Congress and the President can come to an agreement on alternative actions to reduce the deficit. However, lawmakers are not expected to make any decisions about how to address sequestration until after the November 2012 elections.
According to the OMB report, most U.S. Department of Education programs would be cut by 8.2 percent, which is higher than previous estimates. Funding for most education programs would probably be affected in the 2013-14 school year, and the report does not include any policy guidance about how sequestration will affect other requirements in law, such as maintenance of effort provisions. The following are some examples of how the cuts could affect federal funding for education and arts programs:
- Impact Aid: $106 million will be cut from $1.291 billion.
- Accelerating Achievement and Ensuring Equity: $1.291 billion will be cut from $15.742 billion.
- Education Improvement: $373 million will be cut from $4.544 billion.
- Office of Innovation and Improvement: $125 million will be cut from $1.528 billion.
- Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services: $1.036 billion will be cut from $12.640 billion.
- Office of Vocational and Adult Education: $142 million will be cut from $1.737 billion.
- Student Financial Assistance: $140 million will be cut from $1.711 billion.
- Institute of Museum and Library Services: $19 million will be cut from $232 million.
- National Endowment for the Arts: $12 million will be cut from $146 million.
- National Endowment for the Humanities: $12 million will be cut from $146 million.
Read the document.
Ohioans Support Local Boards of Education and Oppose Vouchers: The Ohio School Boards Association, the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, and the Buckeye Association of School Administrators released on September 17, 2012 the results of a telephone survey of 800 likely voters conducted by Fallon Research & Communication Inc. on September 4-7, 2012. (The margin of error is plus or minus 3.46 percent.)
The survey asked participants to respond to recent education initiatives in Ohio, including Ohio’s education reform strategies; privatizing K-12 education; the importance of the Local Report Card rating; using test score data to determine quality, etc. The following is a summary of the results:
- 48 percent responded that Ohio was on the right track, and 34.4 percent the wrong track, regarding education.
- 64.7 percent responded that they oppose, and 30.2 percent support, using public funds to pay tuition for students to attend private and parochial schools.
- 29.9 percent responded that their school district’s Local Report Card rating was very influential in forming opinions about the quality of education; 47.5 percent responded somewhat influential; 15.7 percent responded not influential at all.
- 50 percent responded that it was a good idea, and 41.1 percent a bad idea, to use student test data to rate the quality of education being provided by school districts.
- 63.9 percent responded that they have the most trust and confidence in their local school board to make good decisions about education policy; 14.5 percent trusted the State School Superintendent; 6.6 percent trusted the Governor; and 3.3 percent trusted the State Legislature.
- 51.1 percent responded that revenues from shale oil and gas taxes should be used to restore cuts to local governments and schools, while 34.4 percent responded that shale oil and gas taxes should be used to lower income taxes.
- 74 percent of the respondents said that they did not have children currently enrolled in a public school; 24.3 percent did have children in a public school.
The survey is available.
News from the ODE
November 1-2, 2012 Statewide Education Conference: The Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Race to the Top Office is hosting the Annual Statewide Education Conference 2012 on November 1-2, 2012 at the Columbus Convention Center. The two-day conference will focus on strategies and tools that teachers can use to increase student achievement. The conference is open to educators from all school districts and community schools. Registration for this event closes October 19, 2012. More information about registering and conference sessions is available.
Funds available to develop educator effectiveness programs: The Ohio Department of Education is seeking proposals for two programs that support educator effectiveness at the local level.
Locally Developed Student Growth Measures (SGM) Pilot: The ODE is seeking proposals from individual districts and community schools to pilot a locally developed SGM plan. Up to $10,000 per district is available to support this work at the local level. Proposals must be received by the Ohio Department of Education by 5:00 PM on October 5, 2012. More information is available.
Beginning Principal Mentorship Program: The Beginning Principal Mentoring Program (BPMP) is a mentoring program for newly appointed school principals, assistant principals, or individuals in charge of school sites. Competitive grants of $10,000 to $100,000 are available for LEAs to plan for and support implementation of a BPMP at their site. Grant applications are due to ODE by October 31, 2012. Additional information about this opportunity can be found.
Closing the Expectations Gap: Achieve, Inc., Mike Cohen president, and the American Diploma Project Network, released on September 13, 2012 its 7th annual report, which analyzes state policies about preparing students to be ready for college and careers. The report is entitled, Closing the Expectations Gap: 50-State Progress Report on the Alignment of K-12 Policies and Practice with the Demands of College and Careers.
According to the report college and career ready (CCR) “….means that a high school graduate has the academic knowledge and skills in literacy and mathematics needed to qualify for and succeed in entry-level credit-bearing postsecondary coursework or postsecondary job training, regardless of whether that training comes from a community college, university, technical/vocational program, apprenticeship or significant on-the-job training.”
In addition, the Achieve report states that, “English language arts and mathematics are core foundational subjects necessary for the study of all subjects, but they alone are not enough; to be college and career ready, high school graduates must have studied a rigorous and broad curriculum as part of a well-rounded education.”
The report is based on the results of a survey of education leaders in the 50 states and the District of Columbia on questions regarding standards, graduation requirements, assessments, and accountability systems. This year the survey results also detail state efforts to implement policies for college and career ready. The following are some highlights from the report:
- Standards: All 50 states and the District of Columbia have adopted standards aligned to expectations of college and careers. 46 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and four states have state-developed college/career ready standards (CCR).
- Implementation: Nearly all states are supporting districts and schools by providing guidance, such as high-quality processes and exemplars, and developing curricular and supplemental materials aligned to the standards for voluntary use. Far fewer states are approving/certifying lists of approved materials, and even fewer are requiring districts and schools to use materials aligned to the standards.
- Graduation Requirements: 23 states and the District of Columbia have adopted college and career ready graduation requirements. States can organize the CCSS/CCR standards into model core courses and pathways, or provide sample model core courses and pathways to ensure that students have options for how they can reach the CCR level. Traditional notions of seat time are giving way to competency-based pathways that allow students to advance upon mastery of the standards rather than time spent in the classroom.
- Assessments: 18 states administer college and career ready high school assessments capable of producing a readiness score that postsecondary institutions can use to make placement decisions. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia are collaborating, either through the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) or the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), to develop common assessments aligned to the CCSS. Nearly all states are planning to administer new assessments in 2014–15 aligned to the CCSS in English language arts/literacy and math, or to state-developed CCR standards.
- Accountability: Achieve has identified four critical college/career readiness indicators that should be included in state accountability systems. These are, the percentages of high school graduates who earn a CCR diploma, obtain a readiness score on a high school assessment, earn college credit while in high school, and require remediation in college. According to the survey, 32 states have incorporated at least one of the four Achieve accountability indicators. Texas is the only state that includes all four indicators in its accountability system.
Results for Ohio:
Standards: The survey found that Ohio has adopted the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics, which will be implemented in 2013-14. Ohio is also developing materials and professional development resources for teachers to implement the standards.
Graduation Requirements: Ohio has adopted a college/career ready diploma with minimum opt-out provisions, as do five other states. Nine states and the District of Columbia have adopted a mandatory college/career ready diploma with no opt-out provision. Achieve favors the “mandatory” college/career ready program.
Assessments: Ohio has joined the Partnership Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and is on track for students to participate in a CCR assessment system. Ohio has not yet selected a national college and career ready assessment for high school students.
Accountability: Ohio reports school and school district ratings based on certain criteria; allows students to earn college credit while in high school; and requires colleges to report the percentage of students who need remediation in college.
The Achieve report is available.
Achieve is an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit education reform organization created in 1996 by the nation’s governors and corporate leaders. Achieve is currently managing a state-led process to develop science standards.
Schools Becoming More Segregated: The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA released on September 19, 2012 a report entitled E Pluribus…Separation: Deepening Double Segregation for More Students by Gary Orfield, John Kucsera, Genevieve Siegel-Hawley. Researchers used data from the National Center on Education Statistics to identify trends in segregation at the national, state, and regional levels. The report highlights four themes uncovered through this research:
- Overall the nation’s public school enrollment has shifted dramatically since 1970 when 80 percent of students were white. The most recent data (2009-2010) indicates that white students constitute roughly 54 percent of the U.S. enrollment.
- The levels of school segregation are deepening for black and Latino students, according to two segregation indices that rely upon the racial composition of schools.
- The share of black students attending intensely segregated minority schools has jumped considerably in the formerly de jure segregated states of the South.
- There is an on-going and significant overlap between racially isolated schools and schools of concentrated poverty. This is referred to by the researchers as “double segregation”.
According to the article, researchers have identified the harmful effects on schools and students of segregated minorities and concentrated poverty. These effects include less qualified and experienced teachers; high levels of teacher turnover; less successful peer groups; inadequate facilities, technology, and learning materials; and more.
The report describes how Latino students are increasingly attending more intensely segregated and impoverished schools, and how segregation is increasing in western states. California, New York, and Texas are among the most segregated states. “The typical Latino student in the region attends a school where less than a quarter of their classmates are white; nearly two-thirds are other Latinos; and two-thirds are poor.”
Segregation of African-American students remains high, by race and poverty, especially in the South. The report states, “Nationwide, the typical black student is now in a school where almost two out of every three classmates (64%) are low-income, nearly double the level in schools of the typical white or Asian student (37% and 39%, respectively). New York, Illinois, and Michigan consistently top the list of the most segregated states for black students.”
According to the authors, “The Obama Administration, like the Bush Administration, has taken no significant action to increase school integration or to help stabilize diverse schools as racial change occurs in urban and suburban housing markets and schools. Small positive steps in civil rights enforcement have been undermined by the Obama Administration’s strong pressure on states to expand charter schools – the most segregated sector of schools for black students.”
The report recommends the following to address school segregation:
- Create awareness about segregation and its effects
- Enforce legal remedies
- Support government policies that reduce racial isolation and promote diverse schools, such as fair housing policies
- Support student assignment policies that foster diverse schools, including inter-district programs and magnet schools.
The report is available.
Grant Awarded to the Kennedy Center: The U.S. Department of Education awarded on September 19, 2012 the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts a $6.6 million grant to implement and expand its initiatives in arts education and arts integration at the national level. The grant will be funded under the U.S. DOE Arts in Education National Program, Office of Innovation and Improvement. The grant will fund programs that serve pre-K-12 children and youth, with a special emphasis on children from low-income families, and children with disabilities. Activities include: professional development for arts educators; development and dissemination of instructional materials; arts-based educational programming; and community and national outreach activities to expand partnerships among schools, school districts, and communities throughout the country. The Kennedy Center supports several programs to promote arts education, including Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA); Partners in Education (PIE); Any Given Child (AGC); and Very Special Arts (VSA) National Affiliate Network.
The U.S. Department of Education’s “Arts in Education National Program” totals $25 million. Due to budget cuts the program lost $2 million in the current fiscal year.
More information about the award is available.
New Any Given Child Grant Awarded: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts recently announced that the Baltimore City Schools, Maryland, has been selected to participate in the Any Given Child initiative. The program helps school districts work with their communities to create a long-range and equitable arts education plan for students in kindergarten through eighth grades. Districts and communities already participating in Any Given Child include Sacramento, California; Springfield, Missouri; Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; Lafayette, Louisiana; Sarasota, Florida; Southern, Nevada; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Iowa City. More information about the program is available.