If not for Mr. Gary DeVault …
As the new calendar year begins and we celebrate arts education in all its forms I find it fitting to recognize Mr. Gary DeVault of Wooster, Ohio. As a local, state, and national leader Gary is an exemplary model for how service to the field of arts education can positively impact lives. As an active arts education professional Gary has contributed significantly to the greater good of arts education in Ohio and the nation for more than thirty years.
In February, 2013, Gary is being honored by the Ohio Music Education Association. He will receive the organization’s most prestigious honor as the 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. We congratulate Gary on this honor and dedicate this issue of the Arts on Line to him.
Gary is a visionary leader who continues to lend his assets to the field of arts education – from the pre-service teacher to the tenured educator seeking innovative ways to reach students through high quality arts education. Gary is a past president of OAAE and he currently serves the Board of Directors where we all benefit from his wisdom and passion.
Gary is well-read, highly skilled, and always able to fulfill his commitments to the work to be done. His skill set is one that leads to consensus building, planning to work, and then working the plan. The highest compliment one can pay to his labors to support arts education is his willingness to provide a tremendous amount of time, energy, resources, and passion to the work. He is relentless in his pursuit of quality arts education for all children, resources and support for all arts educators, and the highest level of educational excellence for all.
Gary is an accomplished musician, an insightful educator, an administrator with the ability to bring out the best in people, and a leader who exemplifies vision, creativity, and innovation. Gary understands that his role as a leader is to question the status quo, find solutions to problems that plague the institution of education, and to create opportunities for students and teachers to accomplish more than they thought possible.
At all levels of policy-making from the local school board to the POTUS (President of the United States) – Gary walks-the-walk. He makes the time to know and understand the education environment. He observes and acts upon the interests of the day as well as the trends in education. Gary contributes to the greater good on a daily basis as he works with students, teachers, administrators, policy-makers, colleagues, and parents to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every child.
On behalf of OAAE it is my pleasure to say, “If not for Mr. Gary DeVault the OAAE would not be the nationally well-respected, statewide service, and teacher-to-teacher organization it is today. Thank you, Gary, for leading the way!”
Susan W. Witten, Ph.D.
Special Request: The Ohio Department of Education is accepting until January 11, 2012 nominations for one of 42 Content Advisory Committees, or a Bias Review Committee, to review and validate educator assessments for new educator licensure assessments.
Educators and college faculty members are urged to apply or nominate educators to participate in this process to develop meaningful assessments for licensure. These assessments, which will replace a series of Praxis tests, were developed by the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson, and will be used beginning in September 2013.
Please submit names and email addresses of nominees here.
The password is OH!2013.
Once nominated, the selected assessment vendor, Evaluation Systems group of Pearson, will send each educator, via the e-mail address provided, the website link and password to complete an application to serve on either a Bias Review Committee or one of the 42 Content Advisory Committees. The application period will close on January 31, 2013. Early submission will ensure application review and consideration.
Pearson will receive the completed applications and present those applications to the Ohio Department of Education, which will make final committee appointments.
Pearson will provide reimbursement for substitutes and travel expenses for any face-to-face meetings attended by selected nominees.
Questions may be directed to Christine Conlon, of Pearson’s Evaluation Systems group, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
130th Ohio General Assembly: The 130th Ohio General Assembly is scheduled to convene on Monday, January 7, 2013.
The 99 members of the Ohio House include 60 Republicans and 39 Democrats, although there is a challenge before the Ohio Supreme Court in the 98th District. Former Representative Joshua O’Farrell (D), who lost by eight votes, is challenging the election of Representative Al Landis (R) based on alleged irregularities in counting provisional and absentee ballots.
Compared to previous sessions the number of freshman representatives in the Ohio House is small. Only seventeen members are new to the House this session, and three of those members have previously served in the legislature.
The Ohio Senate includes 33 members, twenty-three Republicans and ten Democrats. Only two Senators are freshman, Randy Gardner and Joseph Uecker, and both have served in the legislature before. In fact, Randy Gardner has served in the Senate before.
House Changes Email Addresses: The House announced last week that email addresses for representatives will change for the 130th General Assembly. The current email suffix of “ohr.state.oh.us.” will change to “ohiohouse.gov.”. Emails sent to the old suffix will automatically be forwarded to the new address. District email addresses will change from “email@example.com,” to “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Senate Committees Announced: Senate President-elect Keith Faber announced on January 4, 2013 the following Senate committees for the 130th Ohio General Assembly:
- Energy and Natural Resources
- Public Utilities*
- Workforce and Economic Development
- Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs
- State Government Oversight and Reform
- Criminal Justice*
- Civil Justice*
- Commerce and Labor
- Ways and Means
- Medicaid and Human Services
- Insurance and Financial Institutions
The Finance Committee will be split into three subcommittees: Medicaid, Education, and general government. The subcommittees will also include Senators who are not members of the Finance Committee.
Budget News: Governor Kasich recently announced that he will introduce his budget proposal for FY14-15 on February 4, 2013. Separate legislation will be introduced for the K-12 education budget. The State of the State address will be presented in mid-February 2013.
Governor’s Appointments: Governor Kasich announced on January 4, 2013 the appointment of Darryl Mehaffie of Greenville to the State Board of Education for a term ending December 31, 2014. Mr. Mehaffie replaces Dennis Shelton, who resigned in September 2012.
Governor Kasich has not announced the appointments of other members of the State Board of Education. The terms of C. Todd Jones, Angela Thai Bennett, and Dannie Greene, ended on December 31, 2013.
The first State Board of Education meeting of this session will be held on January 14-15, 2013.
BOR Moves into ODE: The Board of Regents has moved into the building housing the Ohio Department of Education at 25 South Front Street in Columbus. Acting Superintendent Michael Sawyers and Chancellor Jim Petro have been working together to better align the departments to create a true preK-16 education structure. There is discussion about how some operations, such as communication, could be combined, and discussions about a name change for the building, which is currently known as the Ohio Department of Education.
Instructional Improvement System: The Ohio Department of Education announced on January 5, 2013 that Thinkgate, LLC has been selected to provide an instructional improvement system (IIS) for schools in Ohio and Massachusetts. The new system will enable teachers to analyze student achievement data and select the best learning resources for students.
Both Ohio and Massachusetts had included online learning in their federal Race to the Top grants, and agreed to conduct a competitive procurement together to save costs.
As part of Ohio’s system, the Ohio Department of Education will collaborate with the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) to incorporate iLearnOhio.org, developed by the Ohio Resource Center, The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology, and OBR.
The new IIS is still being developed and tested, but will be available to RttT school districts beginning next school year.
113th Congress: Members of the U.S. House and Senate took their oaths of office in separate ceremonies as the 113th Congress convened on January 3, 2013.
U.S. House: The U.S. House includes 234 Republicans and 201 Democrats for a total of 435 members. There are also 6 nonvoting members representing the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.
Ohio Representative John Boehner (R) was re-elected Speaker of the House, and Representative Nancy Pelosi (D) was re-elected House Minority Leader.
U.S. Senate: The 113th Congress also includes 100 members of the U.S. Senate, including 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans, and two independents, who caucus with the Democrats.
Senator Harry Reid (D) will continue to serve as Majority Leader in the Senate, and Senator Mitch McConnell (R) will serve as Minority Leader.
Senators Sherrod Brown (D) and Rob Portman (R) will represent Ohio in the 113th Congress in the U.S. Senate.
Ohio’s 16-member House delegation includes three freshman, Representatives Brad Wenstrup (R-Cincinnati), Joyce Beatty (D-Blacklick), and David Joyce (R-Russell Twp.)
Other members of Ohio’s delegation include Representatives Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati), Jim Jordan (R-Urbana), Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green), Bill Johnson (R-Poland), Bob Gibbs (R-Lakeview), John Boehner (R-West Chester), Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo), Michael Turner (R-Dayton), Marcia Fudge (D-Cleveland), Patrick Tiberi (R-Galena), Tim Ryan (D-Niles), Steve Stivers (R-Columbus) and Jim Renacci (R-Alliance).
Fiscal Cliff Avoided for the Moment: The U.S. House and Senate on January 1, 2013 approved the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R.8) and avoided automatic spending cuts and tax increases that were to take effect pursuant to the Budget Control Act of 2011. President Obama signed the resolution into law on January 2, 2013.
Ohio’s Congressional delegation voted 13 to 7 in favor of the compromise resolution. All of the Democrats of Ohio’s Congressional delegation supported the bill’s passage, including Senator Sherrod Brown and Representatives Marcia Fudge (Cleveland), Marcy Kaptur (Toledo), Dennis Kucinich (Cleveland), Tim Ryan (Youngstown) and Betty Sutton (Copley).
The Democrats were joined by seven Ohio Republicans, including U.S. Senator Rob Portman, House Speaker John Boehner, and Representatives Bill Johnson (Marietta), Steve LaTourette (Bainbridge), Bob Latta (Bowling Green), Steve Stivers (Columbus), and Pat Tiberi (Columbus).
The resolution is expected to raise about $650 billion over the next ten years.
It extends the current tax breaks for middle income Americans and raises taxes to 39.6 percent for individuals earning more than $400,000 and married couples with incomes above $450,000.
It also reduces some tax benefits for those making more than $250,000; increases the capital gains rate to 23.8 percent for high-income households; increases the taxes on estates worth more than $5 million; extends Emergency Unemployment Insurance benefits for one year; extends the farm bill through the end of 2013; continues renewable energy and other business incentives through the end of 2013; extends the American Opportunity Tax Credit; and makes permanent other tax provisions, such as the student loan interest deduction and tax preferences for Coverdell savings accounts.
The resolution also delays spending cuts of $1.2 trillion, known as sequestration, until March 2013. If sequestration had taken effect on January 2, 2013, the budget of the U.S. Department of Education could have been cut by 8.2 percent. Instead, the 113th Congress will have to decide on the postponed spending cuts and also decide how to make an additional $12 billion in cuts (including $6 billion in domestic programs), which were included in the resolution.
The 113th Congress will also have to deal with two other fiscal issues. The temporary budget resolution currently funding the federal government expires in March 2013, and the federal debt will reach its limit soon.
The continuing resolution authorizing the federal budget expires at the end of March, while the fiscal year ends on September 30, 2013. This means that there is the possibility that the government could shut-down, if Congress and the President are not able to extend the continuing budget resolution.
The debt ceiling was last raised in August of 2011 after considerable debate, which led to the passage of the Budget Control Act and the latest fiscal cliff crisis. There is a concern that Congress and the President will not be able to agree on an increase in the debt ceiling, which could affect the operations of federal programs, agencies, and departments.
All of the upcoming fiscal issues that Congress will consider, such as sequestration, extending the current budget resolution, and increasing the debt limit, could affect federal funding for education programs. Some education advocates are still worried that cuts could still be made in federal education programs before the end of this fiscal year in September 2013. But, if the cuts are made over the next few months, the effects will not be felt until next year, giving school districts some time to plan.
Information about the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is available.
School Funding Ruling in Washington State: The Washington Supreme Court issued a ruling on December 20, 2012 declaring that the Washington State Legislature hadn’t made enough progress in response to the Court’s January 2012 decision in McCleary, et. al. v. State of Washington regarding the funding of Washington’s public schools. The Court ordered the legislature to report more progress in their next report due in the spring 2013.
The Washington Supreme Court had ordered the legislature to find more money for K-12 education so that the state could meet its constitutional responsibilities. Spending for K-12 education as a percent of the state budget had dropped from 50 to 40 percent over the past years. The Court gave lawmakers until 2018 to adequately fund schools. Some experts believe it will take an additional $2.5 billion to do that.
The decision is available.
College-Ready/Remediation Free Defined: Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro and Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Sawyers recently released a statement defining the criteria for students to be considered college ready and eligible to enroll in a college credit-bearing course. The statement is entitled, UNIFORM STATEWIDE STANDARDS for REMEDIATION-FREE STATUS Established by the Presidents of Ohio’s Public Colleges and Universities December, 2012.
The statement includes standards and expectations for students in reading, writing, speaking/viewing/listening; mathematics; and science. Except for science, students must also meet a certain test score to be deemed college ready.
High school students entering college would not be required to take remediation courses if they scored at least an ACT sub-score of 18 in English, 21 in reading, and 22 in math, or an SAT score of at least 430 for writing; 450 for reading; and 520 for math.
The Presidents of Ohio’s colleges and universities developed the indicators pursuant to HB153, the FY12-13 budget.
The statement also states that until better assessments of science content knowledge are available, institutions should continue to use their own assessments of science content to supplement the other sources of information about college readiness in science. These include ACT scores and high school grade point averages (GPA).
Student scores on particular exams for college readiness will be valid for two years from the completion of that assessment, after which institutions may require students to repeat an assessment to determine the currency of their college readiness.
Institutions are not required to place students scoring below the threshold score into remedial courses. Students scoring below the threshold score are subject to institutional placement procedures to gain eligibility to enroll in credit-bearing courses. Such procedures could include, but are not be limited to, a review of high school GPA, a writing assessment, and a review of previous college work.
According to the statement, the remediation-free thresholds are not intended to determine eligibility for admission to any college or university. Each institution has its established admission requirements. Admitted students who have achieved or exceeded these scores are guaranteed exemption from institutional placement into non-credit remedial courses.
The statement is available.
News about Charter Schools:
Board Rules that Charter School is Not a Political Subdivision: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled on December 14, 2012 that teachers in a Chicago charter school were allowed to unionize under the federal rules governing labor in the private sector, rather than through the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act, which governs labor issues in the public sector. (Chicago Mathematics & Science Academy Charter School, Inc., Employer and Chicago Alliance Of Charter Teachers & Staff, IFT, AFT, AFL–CIO, Petitioner. Case 13–RM–001768, December 14, 2013)
According to the decision, the NLRB determined that this particular charter school was not a political subdivision, because it was not created by the state as a department or administrative arm of the government, and it is not administered by individuals who are responsible to public officials or to the general electorate.
This decision applies to this particular charter school situation in Illinois, which has different laws governing charter schools than Ohio. However, it does support the belief by some that charter schools are private schools.
The decision is available.
Are the Rights of Students in Charter Schools Protected?: Julian Vasquez Heilig writes on his Cloaking Inequity Education and Public Policy Blog that the U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit Court rejected in 2010 the assertion that charter schools were public schools simply because they were defined by state statute as public schools. (Caviness v. Horizon Learning Center)
Some policy-makers and advocates for student rights are now questioning whether or not students who attend charter schools are entitled to the same constitutional protections as students attending public schools. For example, do students attending charter schools have the right to express themselves freely? are they protected from unreasonable searches and seizures? do they have due process safeguards regarding suspensions, expulsions, etc?
These questions are important, because many charter schools focus their education programs on African American students, the very class of students that have experienced discrimination in the past and often must use the courts to seek protection from discrimination.
The article “Why Judges say charters are NOT public schools — students and parents should be nervous” by Julian Vasquez Heilig, January 2, 2013 is available.
What is the Purpose of Public Schools? Walt Gardner writes in Education Week’s Reality Check blog that the contentious debate over public schools is a result of the lack of a clear vision about the purpose of public schools.
Mr. Gardner supports his statement with the examples that some taxpayers want schools to teach the basics, while other taxpayers want schools to emphasize creative thinking.
Most Americans also want schools to be equitable so that all students have the same opportunities to succeed.
The author suggests that the role of public schools is critical to our economy, but there must be more consensus about its role in order for public schools to be evaluated fairly.
The article is available.
The Arts Avoid the Fiscal Cliff for Now: Americans for the Arts has posted on its ARTSBlog a summary of the provisions of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which was approved by Congress and President Obama on January 2, 2013. The Act eliminates the automatic tax hikes for some taxpayers, and postpones the automatic spending cuts for many federal programs.
Arts advocates were concerned that Congress might eliminate, cap, or reduce the value of tax deductions that support nonprofit arts organizations in order to close the federal deficit.
Although that option was not included in the Act recently passed, there are concerns that Congress might still cut funding for the arts and change tax policies, since cuts in federal spending were only delayed until March 2013, and two other fiscal decisions are looming that could still impact funding for the arts: raising the debt ceiling and extending the FY13 budget resolution.
According to Americans for the Arts, “Avoiding further limits on charitable giving had been a major focus of our advocacy efforts in 2012 and will continue to be a key issue in 2013. We remain concerned that the threat to capping charitable deductions will be back on the table again during the next round of negotiations involving the sequestration spending cuts and raising the debt ceiling limit.”
For more information please visit “Impact of Fiscal Cliff Tax Legislation Enacted into Law”.
Arts Integration and the Common Core :An article in Edutopia entitled “Use Arts Integration to Enhance Common Core” by Susan Riley, describes how the arts can facilitate students learning the Common Core Standards through true arts integration.
The article refers to the parallels between learning the arts and learning the Common Core Standards, such as learning processes; using access points to engage student interests; learning in a way that meets the cultural, social, emotional, and intellectual needs of students; and analyzing the components of the whole work of students.
Some of the keys to successful arts integration strategies include
- Collaboration between arts and classroom teachers to find naturally-aligned objectives
- Using an arts area in which the classroom teacher is comfortable
- Creating a lesson that truly teaches through both standards
- Assessing both areas equitably
The article also includes samples of strategies in the arts to use to teach the Common Core such as mirroring, stepping into the painting; call and response, and sample arts integration lessons.
The article is available.
An article in Education Week entitled “Arts Education Seen as Common-core Partner” by Erik W. Robelen underscores how the arts can be used to help students develop skills under the Common Core state standards. (“Arts Education Seen as Common-core Partner” by Erik W. Robelen, Education Week, December 12, 2012.)
The article describes how students in Boston, Maryland, Rochester, Burlington, and New York City are studying the arts to develop observational, analytical, and communication skills to meet several of the Common Core standards.
Arts education advocates are also making more explicit the links between the common core and learning the arts as educators seek more ways to engage students in in-depth learning. Arts integration specialists in New York City are developing instructional units in the arts that align with the Common Core, and are partnering with cultural institutions to provide opportunities for students to study the arts and the Common Core. The ArtsConnection in New York City, for example, received a $1.1 million federal grant in 2010 to connect theater and dance with the Common Core standards in English/language arts.
Common Core, a nonprofit organization that focuses on implementation of the new standards, includes arts-infused activities in its curriculum maps for the English/language arts standards. The lesson ideas can be used by English/language arts teachers or arts teachers.
The article includes several examples of how students are learning the Common Core standards through arts integrated lessons, but, according to the article, “high-quality arts-infused lessons require careful planning and collaboration between arts educators and regular classroom teachers”, so that the integrity of the standards in all disciplines is maintained.
The article is available.