129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate are not scheduled to meet this week.
School Levies on the Ballot: According to the Secretary of State’s web site, there will be a total of 194 school issues on the November 6, 2012 ballot. This includes 9 bond issues; 19 combined questions; 151 tax levies; and 15 income tax changes. Information about the schools issues is available.
Provisional Ballot Decision Upheld: A three judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld on October 11, 2012 a decision in Service Employees International Union v. Husted and Northeast Ohio Coalition of the Homeless v. Husted issued by U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley on August 27, 2012. The Circuit Court ruling directed Secretary of State Husted to instruct boards of elections to count all provisional ballots that are cast in the right polling place, but in the wrong precinct, due to poll worker error. The Court of Appeals panel agreed with Judge Marbley on the issue of provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct, but overturned his ruling to count provisional ballots not properly signed. The panel said that voters should be able to follow simple instructions to sign the provisional ballot affirmation. The decision is available.
Early Voting Decision Appealed: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted filed an appeal on October 9, 2012 to the U.S. Supreme Court in Obama for America v. Husted, which allows boards of elections in Ohio to provide early in-person voting on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday before the November 6, 2012 election. 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 the matter. The appeal is available.
Byrd-Bennett Heads Chicago Public Schools: According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has named Barbara Byrd-Bennett, former CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, as the new head of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). She replaces Jean-Claude Brizard, who agreed to resign. Ms. Byrd-Bennett was the Chief Education Advisor in the district. (“Brizard out as CPS chief: ‘We agreed it is best’”, by John Byrne, Noreen Ahmed-Ullah, and Rosemary R. Sobol, Chicago Tribune 8:39 a.m. CDT, October 12, 2012.)
Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Exhibit: U.S. Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter and Jim Shelton, assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement, presented at the opening of an exhibition of artwork by students at the U.S. Department of Education headquarters building in Washington, D.C. on October 12, 2012. The exhibition features the works of 54 artists from among the 2012 winners of the 90-year-old nationwide Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition, sponsored by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers.
Also featured was Luisa Banchoff, who read from her works. Ms. Banchoff is a National Student Poet from the southeast region of the United States, and was selected by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. Ms. Banchoff is a senior at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Va.
Other speakers at the event were Rachel Goslins, executive director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities; Deborah Reeve, executive director of the National Art Education Association; and Virginia McEnerney, executive director of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, which sponsors the annual competition.
State Board of Education Meeting
The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, met on October 7-9, 2012 at the Ohio School for the Deaf. The Board selected Ray & Associates to conduct a search for candidates for the superintendent of public instruction position; continued a discussion about its FY14-15 budget recommendations; approved a resolution to request that the General Assembly give the Ohio Department of Education access to student names aligned to the state student idenifier numbers (SSID); and approved a resolution to release more district report card data, including school and district ratings, the Performance Index, and attendance rates for all Ohio schools and districts. The Ohio Department of Education will not publish the PDF report cards until an investigation by the Auditors Office of attendance data irregularities is completed, or the State Board of Education takes further action. The following are highlights of the 2012 October meeting of the State Board of Education:
State Board Budget Recommendations
The Legislative and Budget Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, continued a discussion from last month’s meeting about amending the State Board’s budget recommendations for FY14-15 (adopted in September 2012) to include additional funding for four areas: early childhood education, the Ohio Young Farmers program, technical infrastructure investments, and the third-grade reading guarantee. Several members of the committee opposed a proposed resolution submitted by Chairman Jones to proceed with the budget as passed in September without additional funding for the four areas. After agreeing to consider the four items separately, rather than together, the committee ran out of time, and postponed a decision about the increases until the November 2012 meeting.
Update on the Attendance Investigation
Auditor of State David Yost updated the State Board of Education on October 8, 2012 about a ongoing investigation of irregularities found in student attendance data. The attendance data reports of schools in 48 school districts are currently being reviewed, but the Auditor states that the investigation could be extended to other schools as well.
Auditor Yost began the presentation by explaining to the State Board why the Auditor’s Office released an interim report on October 4, 2012. (Interim Report on Student Attendance Data and Accountability System, State Auditor of Ohio, October 4, 2012.) According to Auditor Yost, the report was released to update the public about the findings of the Auditor’s investigation so far, because several school districts involved in this first phase of the investigation have funding issues on the November 2012 ballot. The report also provides an opportunity to inform the conversation about the next steps following the conclusion of the investigation. Auditor Yost also said that the investigation does not ascribe a motivation for the irregularities in school district attendance data reports, and the term “data scrubbing” used in the report does not infer that something illegal or wrong was done.
The Auditor also asked the State Board to request that the General Assembly change current law so that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has direct access to the names and identifying information about students (State Student Idenifier – SSID), and can cross-match the student’s name to the data. The ODE currently contracts with IBM to maintain this information separately in order to secure the privacy for students, at a cost of $750,000 a year. The ODE could save $432,000 and still guarantee privacy, if this operation was brought into the department, according to Acting Superintendent Sawyers.
Following Auditor Yost’s presentation, Board members asked the following questions:
Rose Mary Oakar said that the leaders of the Cleveland Metropolitan Schools acknowledge the data irregularities and want to be involved in the solution, but are confused about the additional 14,000 students who are supposedly attending schools in the Cleveland district, according to the Auditor’s report. Auditor Yost explained that the additional students are the result of the initial sorting of tested students, and the auditor’s staff continues to work with Cleveland officials to clear-up the enrollment numbers.
Ms. Oakar continued, and asked if these students could be charter-school students? Auditor Yost said that charter schools will be included in phase two of the investigation, because the Auditors Office (working with Ohio State University) is using 1999 as a baseline year for this investigation, to flag students who are tested, withdrawn, and rolled-up to the state for the report card. Charter schools opened in 1998, and so another baseline has to be determined for them.
Rob Hovis asked how many students have been dropped from enrollment lists. Auditor Yost replied that he could not extrapolate that information at this time, since this was a sample of schools, but that he hopes to know that by the end of the year.
Mr. Hovis then asked if ODE staff had given tacit approval to school district officials regarding the attendance practices. Auditor Yost replied that he did not know, because the investigation covers over 10 years and ODE personnel has changed. It is possible that school districts could have been misguided, but the current ODE senior leadership, which is relatively new, has been forthcoming and cooperative.
Kristen McKinley asked if the Auditor’s Office was looking into how the outcome of this investigation would affect funding for the school districts involved, and if the Auditor was looking at other attendance issues? The Auditor said that there are now conversations with the federal government to determine the consequences of attendance irregularities, and in some cases revenue might have to be returned. He also said that his office is looking at other attendance issues.
Debe Terhar asked how the Auditor will involve the ODE and the Office of Professional Conduct in the assessment of motivation when the investigation concludes? The Auditor replied that the final report will be public and the ODE will have access to the report. Referrals could be made to the Office of Professional Conduct, but he was not sure how that would work. In addition, he expects that Local Report Cards will need to be recalculated.
In an answer to another question from Ms. Terhar about the cost of the investigation, Auditor Yost explained that he and former Superintendent Heffner had discussed defraying the cost of this investigation using funds from the unappropriated balance in the performance audit account.
Mr. Hovis also asked if the Auditor knew what actions the Board should take regarding school district officials as a result of this investigation? The Auditor responded that he would not presume to suggest what the Board should do, but that there could be a range of culpability at the district level, and each case will have to be determined independently and on its own merits.
The Auditor also stated that his office will release a second interim report on October 24, 2012. This report will include the results of the continuing investigation of schools in the 48 school districts.
Eric Bode, ODE Executive Director, Office of Quality School Choice & Funding, provided the Capacity Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, with an update about expenditure standards, which were approved by the State Board in May, 2012, but are being revised again. Several changes in the standards will need to be made to align them with SB316 (Lehner) the Mid-Biennium Review – Education, which was approved in June 2012. The law now requires the ODE to align the expenditure categories required for reporting classroom and non-classroom instructional operating expenditures with the categories used to report to the U.S. Department of Education under federal law; removes joint vocational schools from the ranking system established for career technical schools; cleans-up language and removes “administrative expenditures” and replaces the term with “non-classroom expenditures”; and resets the deadline for the State Board of Education to adopt a final set of expenditure standards to December 31, 2012. School districts, community schools, and STEM schools are to begin reporting data in accordance with the standards on July 1, 2013.
The ODE has been working with stakeholders, including school district treasurers, to revise the standards. One of the issues that must be resolved is how to classify expenditures consistently in all school districts. Mr. Bode said that this is a key issue, and might be solved using technology. The revised standards will be presented to the Capacity Committee in November 2012 for State Board adoption in December 2012.
Standards for Waivers of Operating Standards
The Capacity Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, also reviewed a document entitled, “State Board of Education Standards for Waivers of the Operating Standards for Schools”. HB153 (Amstutz), the FY12-13 budget bill, requires that “…the State Board adopt standards for the approval or disapproval of waivers from Operating Standards” (Sec. 3301.07(O) ORC). The law further states that each waiver granted shall specify the period of time that the waiver is in effect, which shall not exceed five years, and that a district board of education may apply to renew a waiver.
The committee was informed that the “standards” in this case are not going to be part of the Ohio Administrative Code, and so they are not rules, but guidelines for the Superintendent of Public Instruction to follow. The proposed standards state the following:
“The Superintendent shall work with districts and schools to approve waivers of the Operating Standards where such waivers can be granted to increase the flexibility accorded to a districts or schools without materially detracting from the educational program or affecting student safety. However, a waiver of the Operating Standards cannot be used to waive requirements that are set forth in statute. Statutory requirements may, however, be subject to waiver under statues such as R.C. 3302.05, 3302.063, or 3302.07, and a district or chartered non-public school may combine a waiver of the Operating Standards with another available waiver or exemption for the purpose of receiving a waiver of requirements that are found in the Operating Standards and in statute.”
“To apply for a waiver of the Operating Standards, a board of education or governing authority shall apply to the Superintendent, and describe the nature of the waiver requested and the time period for which the waiver is requested. No Waiver shall be granted for a period of time to exceed five years. Prior to approving or disapproving the waiver, the Superintendent may request additional information from the district or school. The Superintendent shall consider every application for a waiver, and notify the applicant if the waiver has been approved or disapproved. A board of education or governing authority may apply to renew a waiver granted in accordance with these standards.”
Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS)
Stephanie Siddons, Director, Office of Early Learning & School Readiness, Ohio Department of Education and Linda Norton Smith, consultant, Office of Early Learning, presented information to the State Board about the revisions for Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards. A resolution to adopt the standards was also on the State Board’s October 2012 agenda.
According to the presentation, the ODE was required to expand its Early Learning Standards from birth to Kindergarten to include five domains as part of its Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant. The five domains are Language and Literacy, Cognitive Development, Approaches Toward Learning, Social and Emotional Development, and Physical Well-Being and Motor Development.
The new standards were developed by a cross-agency leadership team, which included the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services; the Ohio Department of Health; the Ohio Department of Mental Health; the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities; and the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation. The standards revision process started in December 2011 and was informed by research and national experts in early learning.
The proposed new early learning standards are aligned to K-12 Common Core, social studies, and science standards, and are developmentally appropriate, and culturally and linguistically appropriate.
Ohio has been awarded almost $70 million for its Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant. The grant will be used to improve the quality of programs that serve high-need children from birth to five years of age, and to measure the results of programs by creating better metrics and coordination among agencies that serve young children.
The plan to revise and expand the domains also includes provisions to collaborate with Maryland to develop a new Early Childhood Comprehensive Assessment System. The new assessment system should be fully integrated into early learning programs in the 2014-15 school year. The ELDS are available.
State Board of Education Business Meeting
The State Board convened its business meeting on October 8 and 9, 2012. The State Board received public participation on agenda and non-agenda items; received the report of the Acting Superintendent; voted on the report and recommendations of the Acting Superintendent; and adjourned.
Public Participation: Valerie Parks Graham, Executive Secretary for Ohio Young Farmers (OYF), explained to the State Board that Ohio Young Farmers is a non-profit public education agriculture program that has been operating in Ohio for the past 64 years. The OYF is affiliated with the National Young Farmers Educational Association. She requested that the State Board include funding ($40,000) for the program in its budget recommendations. Funding has been cut for the past two years.
Public Participation Non-Agenda Items: Eric Price presented information to the State Board about the Dayton Exchange Club, which promotes civic education. Mr. Price presented the State Board with a DVD including excerpts of speeches about public participation in government and the celebration of the Gettysburg Address.
Superintendent’s Report: Acting Superintendent Michael Sawyers informed the Board that the ODE Chief of Staff position will be filled by Jason Rafled, and that interviews are now being conducted to fill a Senior Executive Director position at the ODE.
Review of Operating Standards: The State Board identified reviewing Operating Standards as one of its priorities for action during their July 2012 Retreat. The purpose of the review is to “… assess and propose revisions to the operating standards to determine what updates, if any, should occur to support Ohio’s reform strategy including, but not limited to, providing flexibility to free dollars and seat-time, etc.” (September 2012 Board Book 5 p. 12)
Acting Superintendent Sawyers presented to the State Board a brief overview of operating standards, Administrative Code 3301-35-01 through 07 and 11, to provide a framework for the Board as it considers the process and timeline that will be used to review operating standards.
According to the presentation, the purpose of operating standards is to “assure that all students are provided a general education of high quality”. (Section 3301.07 ORC) The standards therefore provide a minimal insurance that all students in Ohio have equal opportunity or access to educational services. Operating standards have a direct impact on the classroom and the success of students. The review will enable the State Board to determine if operating standards are what they need to be to support learning today.
Acting Superintendent Sawyers shared a chart with the State Board organizing the operating standards into topics, such as Health and Safety; Staffing; Curriculum; and Other. The chart described the fiscal impact of operating standards for local education agencies; the statutes impacted; the types of schools impacted; and also included some comments about the standards.
A joint subcommittee of the Achievement and Capacity Committee was appointed by State Board President Terhar in September 2012 to review operating standards. The subcommittee includes Mike Collins, Dannie Greene, Angela Thi Bennett, Tom Gunlock, and C. Todd Jones.
Following the presentation Jeff Mims asked Acting Superintendent Sawyers how do you define a “general education of high quality”? Acting Superintendent Sawyers responded that he has asked that question of the ODE legal department as well, and has determined that it means the minimal requirements that should be in place to guarantee that every child has an opportunity to have access to an education that we (the State Board and Department) would then define as of high quality.
Mr. Mims then stated that in the absence of a definition of high quality, test scores are used. But, there is something in addition to test scores that we have to try to use to define quality. Far too often when school districts are short on resources they will focus on reading, math, science, and social studies, and forget about the other components of education that lead to high quality and are important to students.
Voting Agenda of the State Board of Education
The following are the resolutions that the State Board considered at their October 2012 business meeting:
#5 Approved 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 Approved 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 Approved 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 Approved 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 Approved a Resolution to Adopt the Revised Ohio Teacher Evaluation System to Align with SB316.
#19 Approved a Resolution to Adopt Birth to Kindergarten Entry Early Learning and Development Standards and the Successors.
#20 Approved NASBE’s Public Education Positions.
#21 Approved a Resolution to Adopt the Revised Model Anti-harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Policy.
#22 Approved a Resolution to Adopt the Revised State Board of Education Procedures Manual.
#23 Postponed to November 2012 considering a Resolution to Adopt an Amendment to the Operator Contract with the SEED Foundation.
#24 Postponed to November 2012 considering a Resolution Concerning the October 1, 2012 State Board of Education Biennial Budget Recommendations Submitted to OBM for Fiscal year 2014-15.
President Terhar also shared that she will appoint two task forces, one for early childhood education and the other for the Third Grade Guarantee, to become better informed and better advocates for those issues before the legislature.
#25 Approved 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 Approved 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 Approved 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 Approved 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.
#29 Approved a Resolution authorizing the Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction to
recommend to the General Assembly the amendment of ORC 3301.0714 in order to remove the statutory restrictions on reporting certain student information to the Education Information Management System.
#30 Approved a Resolution to release the expanded spread-sheet version of the 2011-2012 report card data on or before October 17, 2012.
#31 Approved a Motion to Appoint Deborah Cain as a voting delegate to the National School Boards Association.
#32 Approved a Motion for the State Board of Education to charge the Department of Administrative Services to offer a contract to conduct the search for a superintendent of pubic instruction to Ray & Associations.
Parent Influence on Student Achievement: An article published in the September 5, 2012 online journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility reports the findings of researchers regarding the influence of parents in promoting the academic success of their children. (“Does Capital at Home Matter More than Capital at Schools?: Social Capital Effects on Academic Achievement”, by Toby Parcel, Mikaela Dufur, and Kelly Troutman, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, September 5, 2012.)
The researchers include Dr. Toby Parcel, professor of sociology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C; Dr. Mikaela Dufur, of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah; and Kelly Troutman, a Ph.D. student at the University of California-Irvine.
The researchers examined National Education Longitudinal Study data to determine “family social capital” and “school social capital” using information gathered from more than 10,000 students, their parents, teachers, and school administrators. According to the abstract of the article, the researchers found that both family and school capital affect student achievement, but that students with high levels of “family social capital” were able to succeed even in a school with low levels of “school social capital” compared to students with low levels of “family social capital”.
The abstract (free) and the article (not free) are available.
Status of Civics Education in States: The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University released on October 10, 2012 a Fact Sheet entitled State Civic Education Requirements. The Fact Sheet was prepared through the support of the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, and describes state laws, standards, and courses and graduation requirements for K-12 civics education in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
According to the press release, the last analysis of state civics requirements by CIRCLE occurred in 2008. This new analysis shows definite policy shifts in states due, in part, to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), Race to the Top, and other federal policies. For example, “In 2008, CIRCLE found little change in the amount of time devoted to social studies, but more recent research suggests that states have shifted educational resources away from social studies toward subjects that are included on state-wide assessments. The pendulum may be swinging back as several states are now reforming their requirements for civic education.” The following are some of the highlights of the Fact Sheet:
- All states have standards for social studies, a broad category that includes civics/government along with other disciplines such as history and geography. The civics theme of power, authority, and government is included in all 51 states’ social studies standards (including the District of Columbia’s). The theme of civic ideals and practices is found in every state’s standard except Missouri’s
- Thirty-nine states require at least one course in American government or civics.
- In the 2012-13 school year, 21 states require a state-designed social studies test. This is a similar number as in 2006, but a dramatic reduction compared to 2001, when 34 states conducted regular assessments on social studies subjects. Two states, Maryland and Florida, have recently instituted new social studies assessments, not yet required this year.
- Nine states require students to pass a social studies test in order to graduate from high school: Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. Georgia’s assessment will be phased out but Maryland and Florida will add high-stakes tests.
- Eight states have statewide, standardized tests specifically in civics/American government: California, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. Of those, Ohio and Virginia are the only ones that require students to pass that test to graduate from high school.
- Social studies assessments have shifted from a combination of multiple-choice and performance tasks to almost exclusively multiple-choice exams since 2000.
More information is available.
What is the State of Public Education?: A commentary by Malbert Smith III, Jason Turner, and Steve Lattanzio in the October 14, 2012 issue of Education Week entitled “Public Schools: Glass Half Full or Half Empty?” examines the reasons for the public to report a “lack of faith in the U.S. public schools system” even though national measures of education achievement have improved.
According to a June 7-10, 2012 Gallup survey of “Confidence in Institutions”, the percentage of participants who reported that they had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in public K-12 education had dropped to the lowest point in the history of the poll, 29 percent. This is also a drop of 29 percentage points from 1973 when Gallup first took the poll.
The authors note, however, that two key indicators of student achievement, the National Assessment of Educational Progress and high school dropout rates, have improved since 1973. NAEP scores for both 4th and 8th grade have been trending upward since the 1970s, and dropout rates have decreased to 7.4 percent in 2010, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
So why has public confidence in public schools decreased? The authors opine that confidence in public education has declined, because Americans have become more cynical overall, and the achievement of American students compared to international measures of educational progress is disappointing.
That being said, the authors note that there are encouraging developments to rebuild confidence in America’s schools, such as the Common Core Standards; America’s institutions of higher education; support for ingenuity and creativity; and American educators who believe that “…all children can learn and that education makes a difference in individual lives and to society as a whole.”
The authors write, “The accumulation of negative news reports and the labeling of teachers and schools as failures do little to provide a conducive environment for productive change.”
“The adage that one can choose to see the glass as half empty or half full is undeniably applicable here, and, unfortunately, the public has come to see the education glass as half empty. But while we should continue to have candid conversations about the areas we need to improve, let us also not hesitate to point to our many successes as these green shoots of progress take root.”
Information about the Gallup Confidence in Institutions survey is available.
The article is available.
Update on the State Holocaust Memorial: The Ohio Arts Council and the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board invite Ohio and national artists to submit images of past work for consideration for a new commissioned Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial to be located on the grounds of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. The deadline for submissions is November 9. 2012.
Examples of past work must show evidence of public artwork that primarily consists of outdoor sculpture commissions with a budget of $200,000 or higher, and must have been completed in the last ten years.
From the submissions, a group of semi-finalists will be selected to submit proposals for
the Memorial. The Holocaust Memorial Artist Selection committee comprised of survivors, WWII veterans, community leaders, philanthropists and public officials will review submitted artist images and resumes.
The new proposed memorial will be located on the grounds of the Ohio Capitol and its commissioned amount of $2 million will be funded by private and public dollars. It will serve as a remembrance of all the victims of the Holocaust and Ohioans who helped liberate the death camps in World War II.
More information is available.
Distance Learning Offerings: eTech Ohio reports that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s award-winning On the Road video conferencing program makes use of the Museum’s extensive educational resources in order to increase students’ knowledge of the history, the people, and the sounds of popular music. Programs are linked to academic content standards and promote interdisciplinary study and creative, analytical thinking. Full course descriptions, including suggested grade levels, are available.
Standards in the Arts – Nebraska: According to the Lincoln JournalStar, the Nebraska Department of Education will use a $46,100 grant from the Nebraska Arts Council to develop its first standards for the dance, drama/theater, music, visual art, and media arts. (“Department of Ed to create arts standards” by Margaret Reist, Lincoln JournalStar, October 9, 2012.)
The article states that the standards will be used to guide schools, but will not include state assessments in the arts. The standards are expected to be complete by August 2014. More information is available.
LA School District Restores Arts Programs: According to Education Week’s Curriculum Matters Blog, the Los Angeles school board recently approved a resolution to include the arts as a core subject; gradually restore budget cuts in the arts; and develop a plan to integrate the arts across the curriculum. (“L.A. Board OKs Measure to Step Up Arts Education” by Erik Robelen, October 10, 2012.)
The resolution was introduced by board of education member Nury Martinez, who, according to the blog, said that student access to arts education programs is “a matter of social justice and educational equity”. The resolution directs Superintendent John Deasy to restore the cuts to 2007-08 levels.
The article also notes that the Los Angeles Fund for Public Education announced a $4 million campaign called Arts Matter to raise public awareness about the importance of arts education programs in the city’s schools.
Information about Arts Matter is available.
The blog is available.