October is National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM), the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation!!
Arts/humanities advocates are finding exciting and creative ways to recognize the contributions that artists, writers, poets, and cultural organizations make in communities and schools during October.
Locate or publicize an NAHM event, please visit the Americans for the Arts website.
Governor Signs Pension Bills: Governor Kasich signed into law on September 26, 2012 five pension bills passed by the Ohio and Senate on September 12, 2012: SB340 (Niehaus/Kearney) Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund; SB341 (Niehaus/Kearney) School Employees Retirement System; SB342 (Niehaus/Kearney) State Teachers Retirement System; SB343 (Niehaus/Kearney) Ohio Public Employees Retirement System; and SB345 Highway Patrol Retirement System. Except for a provision that gives “discretionary board authority” to change pension requirements and benefits, the laws take effect on January 7, 2013.
Education Issues on the November 2012 Ballot in Other States: The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) tracks on its website education issues on the November 2012 ballot by state and topic . This year voters in 10 states will approve or disapprove referendums and initiatives on a variety of education related issues, such as increasing taxes to support schools, charter schools, teacher evaluation, tenure, merit pay, and more. Six of the issues to be decided propose raising taxes and other revenue to support K-12 education!!
It is important to know about the education issues voters are considering in other states, because similar issues often appear on subsequent Ohio ballots. The following is a summary of education issues on the November 2012 ballot in nine states as reported on the NCSL website:
Arizona: Proposition 204 asks voters to approve or not approve The Quality Education and Jobs Act, which renews a one-cent sales tax (created as a temporary tax by Prop. 100 in 2010), and provides dedicated funding for students of all ages, and prevents legislators from cutting K-12 funding.
- Proposition 30 is an initiative that would increase the personal income tax on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years; increase the sales and use tax by ¼ cent for four years; and would allocate temporary tax revenues 89 percent to K-12 schools and 11 percent to community colleges.
- Proposition 38 is an initiative that would increase personal income tax rates for annual earnings over $7,316 using a sliding scale, and would end after twelve years. During the first four years, 60 percent of revenues would be allocated to K-12 schools, 30 percent to the state debt, and 10 percent to early childhood programs. Thereafter, 85 percent of revenues would be allocated to K-12 schools, and 15 percent to early childhood programs. The initiative would provide K-12 funds on a school-specific, per-pupil basis, subject to local control, audits, and public input, and would prohibit the state from directing or using new funds.
Georgia: Amendment 1 authorizes the General Assembly to provide by law for the creation of public state charter schools, which would operate under the terms of charters between the State Board of Education and charter petitioners, while preserving the authority of local boards of education to establish local charter schools. The amendment would also prohibit the incurrence of bonded indebtedness or the levy of school taxes for the support of special schools without approval of the local board of education and the voters in the affected school system; would authorize the expenditure of state funds for special schools; and would prohibit the deduction of certain state funds from local school districts as a direct result or consequence of the enrollment of students in the state charter schools. The Georgia General Assembly already approved this law, and now is seeking approval from voters to implement it. (2012 HB 797, Act No. 766.)
- Proposition 1 asks voters to approve or reject legislation limiting negotiated agreements between teachers and local school boards and ending the practice of renewable contracts.
- Proposition 2 asks voters to approve or reject legislation providing teacher performance pay based on state-mandates test scores, student performance, hard to fill positions, and leadership.
- Proposition 3 asks voters to approve or reject legislation amending school district funding, and requiring provisions for computing devices and online courses for high school graduation.
Missouri: Proposition B is an initiative to amend Missouri law to create the Health and Education Trust Fund with the proceeds of a tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products. The fund would be used to reduce and prevent tobacco use and support elementary, secondary, college, and university public schools.
New Mexico: Question B is a referendum on a law that authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds to make capital expenditures for academics, public schools, tribal and public library resources acquisitions and construction, and provides for a general property tax imposition and levy for the payment of principal of, interest on, and expenses incurred, in connection with the issuance of the bonds.
Oregon: Measure 85 is a constitutional amendment to allocate corporate income/excise tax “kicker” refunds to additionally fund K-12 public education.
- Initiated Measure 15 would increase state general sales and use taxes (from 4 percent to 5 percent) for additional K-12 public education and medicaid funding. The additional funding cannot replace or reduce state funding levels set for fiscal year 2012 relating to existing Medicaid and K-12 public education programs, including state aid to education.
- Referred Law 16 is a referendum to support an education reform act that establishes a teacher scholarship program; creates a program for math and science teacher bonuses; creates a program for teacher merit bonuses; mandates a uniform teacher and principal evaluation system; and eliminates state requirements for teacher tenure.
Washington: Initiative 1240 would allow a newly-created state commission or approved local school boards to authorize certain nonreligious, nonprofit organizations to operate public charter schools, limited to forty schools over five years. Public charter schools would receive standard per-student public school funding and be open to all students without tuition. Public charter schools would be subject to teacher certification requirements, government oversight, and performance reporting requirements, but would be exempt from certain state laws and school district policies.
More information about these initiatives is available.
Results of the SAT Exam Released: The College Board released on September 24, 2012 The SAT Report on College & Career Readiness. According to the report, 1.66 million students in private and public schools took the exam last year, which is the highest number of participating students in the history of the exam. Forty-three percent of the students posted a score of at least 1550 out of 2400, which the College Board defines as college and career-ready, and means that a student has a 65 percent chance of maintaining at least a B-minus as a university freshman.
According to the report the mean SAT scores dropped on the reading and writing sections of the exam this year. The mean scores are 496 in reading (a one-point drop from 2011); 488 in writing (a one point drop from 2011); and 514 in math, unchanged since 2007.
The report also noted that more minority students and students with English as their second language are taking the exam. Forty-five percent of senior students who took the exam in 2012 are members of a minority group, compared to 38 percent in 2008. Twenty-eight percent of students reported that English is not their first language, compared to 24 percent in 2008.
The College Board provides supplemental information about the seniors taking the SAT in a report entitled Total Group Profile Report. This report includes information about the college and career plans of students, demographic information, and the average SAT scores for students according to the courses that they take in high school.
According to the Total Group Profile Report, the average number of years that students reported studying courses in the arts in high school is 2.2. The mean SAT scores for students taking four years of the arts in high school are 528 in reading; 534 in math; and 520 in writing. By comparison, the mean SAT scores of students who reported taking four years of math are 506 in reading; 516 in math; and 496 in writing. This information is available in the Total Group Report.
Nine-teen percent of Ohio students in public and private schools took the SAT exam in 2012. The mean scores for Ohio students are 543 in reading; 552 in math; and 525 in writing, which are all increases over 2011 scores. The average number of years that Ohio students reported taking the arts is 2.5. The mean SAT scores for students taking four years of the arts in Ohio schools are 563 in reading; 564 in math; and 545 in writing.
This information is available in the Total Group Report for Ohio, available.
Read the full report.
How are SAT and ACT Scores Used? An article in Education Week on September 25, 2012 entitled “Weighing SAT and ACT Scores in College Admissions” by Caralee Adams describes the results of a survey of 350 college-admissions officers by Kaplan Test Prep. The survey found that 18 percent of college admissions officers recommend that students submit both an ACT and SAT score to prospective colleges. The number of students taking either exam has increased. In 2012 ACT Inc. reported that 1,666,017 took its exam, about the same as the number of students taking the SAT exam (1.66 million). About 85 percent of colleges and universities required applicants to submit an ACT or SAT score, but approximately 850 four-year colleges and universities reported that the scores are optional, according to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing. The article is available.
State High School Exit Exams Will Become Tougher: The Center on Education Policy (CEP) released on September 19, 2012 a report entitled, State High School Exit Exams: A Policy in Transition by Shelby McIntosh. This is the 11th annual CEP report on high school exit exams, and it shows that states are increasing their expectations for students by “embracing higher standards on their exit exams.” The report includes information about current exit exam policies in 45 states; the future of these policies as states implement the Common Core State Standards and common assessments; and lessons learned from implementing the new exams.
According to the report 25 states require high school students to pass an exam to graduate. Twenty-two of these states have adopted the Common Core State Standards. Sixteen states expect to replace their current high school exams with common core assessments, and some will also use the results of the exams to make decisions about graduation. Twelve states are also using the results of the exit exams to determine if students are “college and career ready.”
End-of-course exams are also becoming more popular. Nine states currently require students to pass end-of-course exams to graduate; three additional states are phasing in requirements for end-of-course exit exams; and six more states currently require or will soon require students to take, but not necessarily pass, end-of-course exams to graduate.
The author of the report suggests that several key questions about exit exams remain unresolved:
- Do exit exams raise student achievement? “Very little (if any) evidence exists to suggest they have. For example, Grodsky et. al (2009) found no relationship between the adoption of an exit exam (or a change from a less rigorous to more rigorous test) and increased student achievement when they analyzed student achievement in states with exit exams using individual-level long term trend data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data from 1971 to 2004.”
- What are the effects of exit exams on the student achievement of low-performing vs. high-performing students? Researchers conclude from studies that “….the adoption of high school exit exams is not associated with any achievement gains or losses, and that “the evidence indicates that low-achieving students—those often targeted by these policies—do not experience gains under the more rigorous exams” (p. 487-488).”
- Why are exit exams seldom used as a criteria for selecting students/employees by institutions of higher education or employers?
- What will be the impact of exit exams on racial/ethnic minority students, poor students, students with disabilities, and English language learners? “States have not, by and large, supported major research on important effects of these exams, such as their impact on curriculum and achievement, prevalence of students relying on alternate paths, or the relationship between these exams and students choosing to drop out of school. Without funding for research built into states’ plans for these exams, they cannot adequately ensure the success of these policies or understand the impacts on their students.”
The report is available.
Brief Finds Data on Pre-K Programs Lacking: The New American Foundation’s Early Education Initiative released on September 19, 2012 an issue brief entitled, Counting Kids and Tracking Funds in Pre-K and Kindergarten: Falling Short at the Local Level by Lisa Guernsey and Alex Holt. The brief describes the problems that researchers have finding data at the local level about pre-K programs, and notes that this has also been a major challenge of the New America Foundation’s Federal Education Budget Project, which collects and displays information on federal education funding.
According to the report, there is a lack of basic information about publicly funded early childhood education programs which seriously affects the ability of local governments, school leaders, policy-makers, and stakeholders to analyze pre-K and Kindergarten programs to make sure that they are meeting the needs of the children; are accountable to the public; are accessible to all children; and are equitable. The authors add, that “…poor data can lead to poor policies.”
The challenges in collecting data about pre-K and Kindergarten programs include the diversity of funding sources, including local, state, federal, and private funding and tuition payments; the differences in governance structures, enrollment requirements, hours/days of operation, and in the ages of enrolled children; and, for Kindergarten, the types of funding (including tuition payments), the length of the school day and school week, and enrollment criteria.
The brief recommends that a task-force of experts in early learning data be convened to identify how states can create a more logical, systematized approach to collecting data on early education programs.
The authors conclude, “Getting the data right is a critical step toward providing better learning experiences for all young children, laying the groundwork for alignment across the pre-K-3rd grade years, and building a strong foundation for their success in school.”
Information about this report is available.
Webinar on a New Funding Opportunity: The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will co-host a webinar on Thursday, October 4, 2012, from 3:00 – 4:00 PM EST about a new funding opportunity available to explore the effects of culture on health-related beliefs and practices.
The new funding opportunity will support research projects that bring together teams of social and behavioral researchers and arts and cultural experts to gain new insights into the relationships between culture and health. This effort is supported by the NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet), a trans-NIH initiative that funds activities to build the collective body of knowledge about the nature of behavior and social systems. This is the first-time the NIH has embedded the arts into an OppNet Request for Applications on the social sciences.
According to a press release, the NEA Interagency Task Force on the Arts and Human Development has brought together federal agencies – including the NIH – to promote more and better research on how the arts help people reach their full potential at all stages of life. The NEA and the Interagency Task Force periodically host public webinars to share research, practices, and/or funding opportunities for research in the arts and human development. Task Force members include representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and other agencies and departments. More information about the Task Force is available.
More information about the webinar is available.
An archive of the webinar will be available on Monday, October 8, 2012.
Registration Open for AFA Local Arts Classroom: Americans for the Arts announced on September 24, 2012 that registration is open for the 2013 Local Arts Classroom, a virtual leadership development series that provides an opportunity for arts leaders with less than 10 years of experience to master foundational concepts and build skills in local arts development. The program will run from January through May 2013.
Participants in the 2013 Local Arts Classroom will be selected via a competitive application and panel process. A maximum of 40 individuals will be accepted into the program. Selected participants will attend seven 90-minute webinars and seven 60-minute post-webinar discussion calls, each offering opportunities to connect with field leaders. Participants will also have opportunities to regularly connect with peers around the country, and have access to a Classroom participant only web portal that will include resources to further study in each subject.
The topics that will be covered in the series include,
- Cultural and Community Planning: Building a Common Agenda for Development
- Space for Art: Creating Spaces for Arts Production, Presentation, and Community Engagement
- Advocacy: Making the Case for Arts and Culture
- Stewardship and Resource Development: Raising Funds, Friends, and Allies
- Activating Community Leadership: Board and Staff Development
- New in 2013 – Career Development: Navigating Opportunities in the Local Arts Field
More information is available.
Creative Conversations: Americans for the Arts is partnering again this year with arts and community leaders to host Creative Conversations. Last year, more than 1,800 individuals participated in 52 locally hosted Creative Conversations held throughout the country, and created a grassroots movement to elevate the profile of arts in America during National Arts & Humanities Month every October.
Locate a Creative Conversation in your area.
News from VSA: VSA Ohio’s annual calls for art are now open! Entries for the 2013 touring visual arts exhibition, Accessible Expressions Ohio, and the Young Soloists Awards for musicians are available. The deadline for both entries is Friday, December 7, 2012 by 5:00 PM.
Accessible Expressions Ohio is an adjudicated, statewide exhibition and tour of visual art. The tour is exhibited at an opening ceremony where a second adjudication is conducted to determine awards and cash prizes. The selected works then tour the state for a year travelling to different venues throughout Ohio.
Information and an entry form is available.
VSA’s Young Soloists Awards program recognizes the talent of young musicians. Finalists are selected by a panel of judges and will be showcased as performers at the Day of Arts for All celebration at the Westerville Community Center on Saturday, March 2, 2013.
More information and an entry form are available.
For additional information please contact Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 614.241.5325.
Poetry Out Loud: The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) – in partnership with Thurber House, the Ohioana Library, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation – is offering the national recitation contest Poetry Out Loud in 2012-2013. Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. Free teacher toolkits, artist workshops, and coaching are available through the Ohio Arts Council. Classroom activities begin in the fall and conclude with school competitions. Winners advance to the Ohio finals in Columbus on March 16, 2013. Cash prizes will be awarded and Ohio’s state champion will win an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national finals on April 28-30, 2013. More information is available.
Chicago Teachers’ Contract Includes the Arts: An analysis of the new teachers’ contract for the Chicago Public School District shows that there will be an expansion of the curriculum and the addition of over 600 positions mostly in the arts, music, and PE. The contract also includes the following: requires that teachers be provided a locked cabinet; requires that teachers have access to a printer and other office supplies; requires that students receive textbooks on the first day of school; and allocates additional funding to reduce class size. The document is available.
GCAAE invites you to a special sneak peek, presented by EdTA’s Jim Palmarini: Curious about the new National Arts Education Standards? Learn what’s changing, what’s staying the same, and set the stage for the future of arts education! Q& A to follow. THIS PROGRAM IS FREE OF CHARGE. GCAAE Meeting to follow from 4:30pm – 5pm; all are welcome to attend!
When: MONDAY October 8th, 2012 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Where: North Presbyterian Church 4222 Hamilton Avenue Cincinnati, OH 45223
Parking in Back
RSVP BY WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3RD TO CINCYARTSALLIANCE@YAHOO.COM
Jim Palmarini is the director of educational polic y for the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA); senior associate editor of Dramatics, EdTA’s magazine for students; and editor of Teaching Theatre, the association’s journal for theatre educators. As EdTA director of educational policy, he serves on Arts Education Partnership Advisory Board; the Washington D.C.-based Arts Education Working Group; and the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) Leadership committee. He was a writer and editor on the Partnership for 21st Century Skills Arts Map released in 2010, and has since led two
workshops on the map (at the Fall, 2010 AEP Forum, and the 2011 National Association of Arts Educators conference). During this past year, he co-chaired presentations on the Art Standards revision at the Arts Education Partnership Forum and the Americans for the Arts Conference.
GCAAE is a partner with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network and Americans for the Arts. Visit our website at
www.cincyartsalliance.org for more information.