The Ohio House and Senate are not scheduled to meet this week.
Early Voting Decision Stands: The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld on October 5, 2012 a preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Court Judge Peter Economus in Obama for America v. Husted to restore early in-person voting Saturday, Sunday, and Monday before the November 6, 2012 election.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted appealed the injunction to the circuit court citing two justifications:
- Local county boards of elections are too busy preparing for Election Day to accommodate early voters
- The unique challenges faced by military service members and their families justify maintaining in-person early voting for them, but not for other Ohio voters.
Writing the opinion for two of the circuit court’s three judge panel, Judge Eric Clay stated that the State had failed to provide evidence that boards of elections were any more overburdened now than in the past elections with early in-person voting. Regarding the second claim, Judge Clay stated that there is no satisfactory reason to prevent non-military voters from casting their ballots early as military voters.
The decision is available.
2013 Ohio Teacher of the Year Named: The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) announced on October 3, 2012 the selection of Carole Morbitzer of Hamilton Township High School as the 2013 Ohio Teacher of the Year. Ms. Morbitzer has been a math teacher at Hamilton Township since 2006, and is also the girls’ varsity volleyball coach. She also received the 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, and was named the National Federation of State High School Association’s 2011 Coach of the Year for Volleyball in Ohio.
The Ohio Teacher of the Year program was initiated by the ODE in 1969 to honor and promote excellence in teaching and the teaching profession, and to build a network of exemplary teachers who are leaders in school improvement initiatives. The Ohio Teacher of the Year is selected through nominations submitted by schools across the state. The nominations are reviewed by a statewide panel of representatives from different professional organizations and school constituencies, including teachers who have been recognized for their excellent performance in the classroom.
The State Board of Education will recognize Ms. Morbitzer at their October 8, 2012 meeting.
Grants Available through the History Fund: The Ohio Historical Society, Burt Logan, Executive Director and CEO, announced on October 2, 2012 that $100,000 in grants are available this year through the History Fund, a matching grants program funded through the “tax check-off” option found on Ohio’s personal income tax form.
The History Fund was created in House Bill 153, Ohio’s FY12-13 budget, to preserve and share Ohio’s heritage by supporting local, regional, and statewide projects, programs, and events related to the state’s history.
History Fund grants are competitive and require a match from recipients. Eligible history projects can fall into one of three broad grant categories: “Organizational Development,” “Programs & Collections,” and “Bricks & Mortar.” Potential funded projects might include the rehabilitation of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, oral history projects, archiving projects, archaeological investigations, educational programs, or exhibits.
The Ohio Historical Society is accepting grant applications through October 29, 2012. After grant applications are received they will be reviewed by a panel of professionals who represent the grant program’s constituencies (local historians, historic preservationists, museum professionals, archeologists, archivists, genealogists, etc.). This panel will hold review meetings, which are open to the public, and will make funding recommendations. Funding decisions for the History Fund will be announced in February 2013, and the project period will begin in April 2013. (Allowable project duration is 12-24 months).
Information about the History Fund, eligibility requirements, the application process, and the online application is available.
Ohio Awarded Grant for Special Education Training: The U.S. Department of Education announced on October 1, 2012 that 22 states, including Ohio, will receive State Personnel Development Grants, authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The grants will assist states in reforming and improving their systems for personnel preparation and professional development in early intervention, education, and transition services in order to enhance results for children with disabilities.
The grants total $24 million and will be distributed to Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin. Ohio will receive $1.27 million.
More information is available.
Fund for Teachers: Fund for Teachers, founded in 2001 by Raymond Plank, awards fellowships for “…self-designed professional growth to PreK-12 teachers who recognize the value of inquiry, the power of knowledge, and their ability to make a difference”. Approximately 5000 teachers have been awarded $17.8 million in grants through this program. Fund for Teachers fellowships have been used by teachers to visit 124 countries on every continent, empowering teachers to explore countless ideas, terrains, and cultures
The Fund for Teachers fellowship application becomes available online each October, with an application deadline in January. Award winners are notified in April, and fellowships take place during the summer.
More information is available.
Introducing RAND’s Measuring Teacher Effectiveness: RAND Education has launched a new web site dedicated to measuring teacher effectiveness. According to the web site, “…teaching is a complex activity that should be measured with multiple methods. Some measures examine teachers’ practices directly, while others emphasize student outcomes. Each method has trade-offs, and no single method provides a complete picture of a teacher’s effectiveness.”
The new web site provides a fact sheet series designed to analyze the different issues and methods involved in measuring the effectiveness of teaching, and includes a FAQ section prepared by experts on teacher evaluation topics. The web site also includes the most current information on teacher evaluation based on the latest reports, multimedia, blog posts, and more.
More information is available.
Interim Attendance Report Released: State Auditor David Yost released information on October 4, 2012 about an investigation of schools regarding irregularities found in student attendance data. (Interim Report on Student Attendance Data and Accountability System, State Auditor of Ohio, October 4, 2012.)
According to the report, state auditors reviewed the attendance records of students in 100 schools from 48 school districts. The auditors found that officials at schools in Columbus, Toledo, Marion, Campbell City, and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District had changed attendance records for students who had been absent from school, without following school district policies, state rules, or state statutes. Seventeen school districts were found to have some attendance reporting irregularities; six school districts are still being investigated; and twenty school districts were cleared of attendance irregularities.
The auditors also found that some of these school districts lacked written attendance policies and official attendance records for some students. Some school districts also failed to develop or implement attendance policies and procedures for withdrawing students, and failed to follow due process for withdrawing students. There was also a lack of supporting documents to show that schools/districts met the federal “adequate yearly progress” requirements.
This is the first report issued by the State Auditor about student attendance irregularities, and another interim report is expected to be released on October 23, 2012. The final report might not be released until 2013.
The report did not confirm that any laws had been broken. According to the report, to prove that school officials had committed a crime in “tampering with records”, prosecutors would have to establish criminal intent.
The report includes the following recommendations:
- Establish independent oversight of data through an independent agency or commission appointed by the General Assembly. Additional resources and re-tasking existing resources might be required to accomplish this goal.
- Establish cross-checks and EMIS data monitoring throughout the school year. Require the ODE to generate statewide school reports by State Student Identifier number for key enrollment and withdraw codes.
- Eliminate the projected report card ratings report that districts now receive.
- Require the ODE to approve the student information system (student identifier system) used by each district.
- Give authority to the ODE to collect personally identifiable information to enable the ODE to work cooperatively with the Ohio Juvenile Court system and the Department of Youth Services to track and report truant students.
- Develop a centralized location on the ODE web site to provide clear instructions about accountability requirements and how they relate to EMIS reporting.
The interim report is available.
Response to the Report: The Ohio 8, an alliance composed of the superintendents and teacher union presidents from Ohio’s eight urban school districts – Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Youngstown, sent a memorandum to State Board of Education president, Debe Terhar, concerning the Auditor’s report regarding attendance data.
The memorandum states that the Ohio 8 districts welcome the opportunity to work with the State Board of Education, the Ohio General Assembly, and the Ohio Department of Education “…on a long term, strategic solution to the challenges we all collectively face regarding not just attendance data, but broader data collection and integrity issues across EMIS as a whole.”
The Ohio 8 school districts reported “….that accurate data are critical and errors of a single percentage point within just one accountability measure can change a school’s NCLB status or state report card rating. Yet school systems have experienced the following problems and challenges in understanding and complying with EMIS requirements and ensuring the accuracy of data”:
- Lack of instructions for using the EMIS System. “New elements relating to student data were introduced to EMIS in 2012, but districts have received little training on how to report that data or how to resolve related errors.”
- Delays in Information from ODE. Information from “…ODE often arrives just weeks or days before related reporting deadlines for districts. This does not give district staff adequate time to prepare, verify and double-check the data they submit.”
- Errors in Reports from the ODE: “Many districts receive reports from ODE that contain errors. District staff must then spend time researching and correcting errors in ODE’s data.”
“Districts often do not have the opportunity to correct ODE data for their schools before state report cards are released. Therefore, AYP status and state report cards for some schools are incorrect.” The memorandum gave two examples: Woodward Career Technical High School and Gamble Montessori High School in Cincinnati received report card ratings that were lower than deserved.
- Errors in Student Identification. “The EMIS system uses Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs), or tracking numbers, to identify and track students as they move throughout a school system or between school systems. However, it is all too common for the system to create duplicate SSIDs if there are any variations in a student’s demographic information (first name, middle name, last name, gender, birth date, race, birthplace, or native language).”
The memorandum gave as an example a student named La’tana Smith, who could already have an SSID, but will be issued another SSID if she is entered as Latana in a different school district.
According to the memorandum, “Duplicate SSIDs cause errors in reporting that can negatively effect both the student and one or more school districts.”
For example, students might not receive credit for test results and other graduation-related information and when a student drops out of one district and then re-enrolls in another with a different SSID, they still show up as a dropout in the district they left.
- Inconsistency in Reporting Dates: “Reporting period opening and closing dates have changed frequently, causing confusion among district staff. The end dates for some reporting periods have been extended repeatedly, while the beginning dates of others have been repeatedly delayed. In many cases, these dates have changed at the last minute, with little warning to district staff.” For example, delayed closing dates for some reports have reduced the amount of time available for district staff to adequately prepare for the next set of reports due to ODE.
The memorandum noted that district leaders and data managers among the Ohio 8 districts have continually reported errors and glitches in the EMIS system to ODE dating back to 2009.
The Ohio 8 proposed in the memorandum the following to address these issues:
- Solutions to these issues should be done in a collaborative manner to ensure changes to the system benefit school districts, students, families, and the ODE.
- Random audits by ODE on EMIS data should be conducted to clarify existing practices/guidance from ODE.
- ODE should be required to respond to district requests for clarification within a reasonable amount of time.
- Any major policy decisions related to EMIS data must consider capacity within ODE before making adjustments that are not necessarily feasible or needed by ODE or by districts.
- The ODE should develop a user manual or Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to accompany the EMIS manual. This user manual and FAQs should address common questions that are critical to daily operations and appropriate responses to anomalies.
State Board of Education to Meet
The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, will meet on October 7-9, 2012 at the Ohio School for the Deaf, 500 Morse Road in Columbus.
On Monday, October 8, 2012 the Legislative and Budget Committee will meet at 8:30 AM and discuss the State Board of Education’s FY14-15 budget recommendations. The State Board approved the budget at their September 2012 meeting, with the understanding that the budget could be amended in October if the State Board determined that additional funds were needed for early childhood education, the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, technology infrastructure, and Ohio Young Farmers.
The Executive Committee will meet at 9:30 AM to discuss the Superintendent’s search and NASBE’s positions on public education.
The Achievement, Capacity, and Urban Education committees will meet at 10:00 AM.
The Achievement Committee, chaired by Angela Thi Bennett, will discuss a resolution of intent to adopt rules regarding assessments; the restraint and seclusion policy; and professional development on the standards.
The Capacity Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, will discuss Expenditure Standards; standards for waivers of the Operating Standards; the SEED School of Cincinnati; the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System Framework; and Community School Sponsorship Rules.
The Committee on Urban Education, chaired by Joe Farmer, will receive a presentation about implicit racial bias and implications for education; discuss OSBA collaboration with the SBOE; and receive an update on the action items discussed at the September 2012 meeting.
At 11:45 AM the Board will welcome and recognize Carole Morbitzer of Hamilton Township High School, the 2013 Ohio Teacher of the Year.
Following lunch the State Board will discuss the Board By-Laws and Policy and Procedures Manual and review written reports and items for vote. The State Board’s business meeting will convene at 2:30 PM. The State Board will move into executive session and then recess.
On Tuesday, October 9, 2012 the State Board will convene at 8:30 AM for a presentation about Early Learning Standards and will receive an update about a report released by State Auditor David Yost concerning student attendance data. The State Board will then reconvene its business meeting; receive public participation on Agenda Items; receive the report of the Acting Superintendent; vote on the report and recommendations of the Acting Superintendent; receive public participation on non-agenda items at 1:00 PM; and adjourn. The following are the resolutions that the State Board will consider at their October business meeting:
#5 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rules 3301-13-01,-02,-05, and -06 of the Administrative Code and Rescind Rule 3301-13-08 of the Administrative Code Regarding Statewide Assessments.
#6 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Consider the Proposed Transfer of School District Territory from the Buckeye Central Local School District, Seneca County, to the Mohawk Local School District, Seneca County, Pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.
#7 Approve a Resolution to Approve the Negotiated Agreement Between the Petitioners, the Clyde-Green Springs Exempted Village School District and the Bellevue City School District, to Transfer Properties Between the Two Districts.
#8 Approve a Resolution to Approve the Negotiated Agreement Between the Petitioners, the Newark City School District, Licking County, and the North Fork Local School District, Licking County to Transfer Properties Between the Two Districts.
#18 Approve a Resolution to Adopt the Revised Ohio Teacher Evaluation System to Align with SB316.
#19 Approve a Resolution to Adopt Birth to Kindergarten Entry Early Learning and Development Standards and the Successors.
#20 Approve NASBE’s Public Education Positions.
#21 Approve a Resolution to Adopt Revised Model Anti-harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policy.
#22 Approve a Resolution to Adopt the Revised State Board of Education Procedures Manual.
#23 Approve a Resolution to Adopt an Amendment to the Operator Contract with the SEED Foundation.
#24 Approve a Resolution Concerning the October 1, 2012 State Board of Education Biennial Budget Recommendations Submitted to OBM for Fiscal year 2014-15.
#25 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Consider Confirmation of the Clyde-Green Spring Exempted Village School District’s Determination of Impractical Transportation of Certain Students Attending Immaculate Conception School, Bellevue, OH.
#26 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Consider Confirmation of the Westerville City School District Board of Education’s Determination of Impractical Transportation of Certain Students Attending Calumet Christian School in Columbus, Franklin County, OH.
#27 Approve a Resolution to Confirm the Westerville City School District Board of Education’s Determination of Impractical Transportation of Certain Students Attending St. Frances De Sales School in Columbus, Franklin County, OH.
#28 Approve a Resolution to Confirm the Westerville City School District Board of Education’s Determination of Impractical Transportation of Certain Students Attending St. Matthew Catholic School in Gahanna, Franklin County, OH.
Ohio Arts Educators Invited to Discuss Model Curriculum: The ODE invites K-12 teachers of dance, drama/theatre, music and visual arts to join initial discussions about the development of model curriculum resources to support Ohio’s recently updated arts learning standards on October 18, 2012 from 4:00 – 6:00 PM at Solon High School, 33800 Inwood Rd. in Solon.
Arts educators will be able to recommend the best instructional practices and classroom applications to help implement the standards for the fine arts through this focused discussion.
Space is limited, so please RSVP by October 11, 2012 to Nancy Pistone atNancy.Pistone@education.ohio.gov or to Bill Nyerges at firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch for additional opportunities to participate in the model curriculum development.
(Please note: The email address for Nancy Pistone was not correct in a previous announcement of this meeting included in the EdConnections weekly newsletter. The correct address is Nancy.Pistone@education.ohio.gov).
Creative Conversation: Join the Cincy Emerging Arts Leaders in a Creative Conversation discussing the issue of Arts Education – Beyond the Warm and Fuzzyon Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 4:00-5:30 PM at the Aronoff Center’s Center Stage Room.
This panel discussion brings together a variety of local arts supporters to dig deep into the questions, “Why is arts education essential to you, your organization, your business, and your community?” and how can professionals in Cincinnati make a difference in arts education in our communities? Questions from participants will also be addressed by the panel.
The 2012 Creative Conversation panel includes:
- Joe Link: Executive Director, Marjorie Book Continuing Education, and Adjunct Faculty, Xavier University, Moderator
- Mark Davis: District Manager, Barnes & Noble Booksellers
- Dr. Nancy Elder: Associate Professor, Director of Research, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Cincinnati
- Katie Hofmann: Race to the Top Lead Teacher and TIF Coordinator, Cincinnati Public Schools
- Jim Huizenga: Senior Program Officer, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Every October, in honor of National Arts & Humanities Month, Americans for the Arts partners with arts and community leaders from across the country to host Creative Conversations. Last year, more than 1,800 individuals participated in 52 locally hosted Creative Conversations throughout the country. Those leaders continue to be engaged at the national level.
The event is free and open to the public. However, preregistration is strongly encouraged. Register through Americans for the Arts.
More STEM to STEAM: John Maeda, president of the Rhode Island School of Design, writes in this blog that educating students in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is not enough if American students are to be competitive in the world. Students also need an education in the arts to optimize their creativity and skills in communication, design, and innovation. (STEM to STEAM: Art in K-12 is Key to Building a Strong Economy, Edutopia, October 2, 2012.
The blog cites examples of schools successfully integrating the arts into the STEM curriculum, including the Blue School in New York City and Drew Charter School in Atlanta. The Rhode Island School of Design has just launched a web site that provides case studies about STEAM for researchers looking for examples of STEAM integration. The web site is available.
The blog is available.
Nominations Open for the Arts Education Leadership Councils: Americans for the Arts (AFTA) invites members to nominate candidates for the Arts Education Leadership Councils: the Arts Education Council, Emerging Leader Council, Private Sector Council, and the Public Art Network Council. Members of the Arts Education Leadership Councils serve a three-year term, from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2015, and provide guidance to the AFTA staff about programs and services that will build a deeper connection to the field and the network membership.
Nominations will be accepted until October 17, 2012. After nominations close, a panel comprised of Americans for the Arts staff and current council members will select final candidates from the nominees. Americans for the Arts members will vote to determine the incoming members. Voting opens October 31, and closes November 21, 2012. Elected council members will be announced on December 14, 2012. More information is available.
PBS Documentary Arts & the Mind: The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) series Arts & the Mind explores the vital role the arts play in human development. Part One, “Creativity,” features stories and the latest scientific research from experts around the country showing how the arts are critical in developing healthy young minds and maintaining them as we age. The program is hosted by Lisa Kudrow. More information is available.