Special Request: The Ohio Department of Education is seeking K-12 educators in dance, drama/theatre, music, and visual art to participate in the development of a model curriculum based on Ohio’s new Fine Arts Learning Standards. The deadline to apply is February 15, 2013.
Superintendents to Preview New School Funding System: Governor Kasich’s office has invited school district superintendents and representatives from charter schools to attend a meeting on January 31, 2013 to preview a proposed new school funding system for Ohio’s schools/districts. The new system is expected to be included in Governor Kasich’s proposed FY14-15 education budget. Representatives of other statewide education organizations were not invited to this meeting, but Governor Kasich has stated that his office will also hold public meetings about the new funding system. Stay tuned!!
130th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate are scheduled to meet this week and several committees are scheduled to hold organizational meetings, including the House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee, which will meet on January 29, 2013 at 2:00 PM in hearing room 115.
House Committee Members Named: House Speaker William Batchelder announced last week the membership of the House’s 17 committees and six subcommittees. The membership of the House Education, Finance and Appropriations, and Ways and Means committees, and the membership of the Higher Education, and Primary and Secondary Education subcommittees of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee are included below:
House Education Committee: Representative Gerald Stebelton (R), chair; Representative Andrew Brenner (R). vice chair; Representative Teresa Fedor (D), ranking minority member; and Representatives Antonio (D); Becker (R), Bishoff (D), Derickson (R), Driehaus (D), Hayes (R), Heard (D), Henne (R), Huffman (R), Kunze (R), Patterson (D), Strahorn (D), Roegner (R), Slaby (R), Smith (R), and Thompson (R).
House Finance and Appropriations Committee: Representative Ron Amstutz (R), chair; Representative Jeff McClain (R), vice chair; Representative Vernon Sykes (D), ranking minority member; and Representatives Antonio (D), R. Adams (R), Anielski (R), Ashford (D), Beck (R), Carney (D), Clyde (D), Derickson (R), Dovilla (R), Driehaus (D), Duffey (R), Foley (D), Gonzales (R), Grossman (R), Hall (R), Hayes (R), Lundy (D), Maag (R), McGregor (R), Phillips (D), Ramos (D), Reece (D), Rosenberger (R), Sears (R), Smith (R), Sprague (R), Stautberg (R), Stebelton (R).
House Finance and Appropriations Committee, Higher Education Subcommittee: Representative Rosenberger (R), chair; Representative Ramos (D), ranking minority member; and Representatives Dovilla (R), Clyde (D), and Duffey (R).
House Finance and Appropriations Committee, Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee: Representative Hayes, chair; Representative Matt Lundy, ranking minority member; and Representatives Maag (R), Phillips (D), and Stebelton (R).
House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee: Representative Dovilla (R), chair; Representative Buchy (R), vice chair; Representative Ron Gerberry (D), ranking minority member; and Representatives J. Adams (R), Blessing, III (R), Brenner (R), Cera (D), Clyde (D), Curtin (D), Fedor (D), Huffman (R), Pelanda (R), and Perales (R).
House Ways and Means Committee: Representative Peter Beck (R), chair; Representative Terry Boose (R), vice chair; Representative Tom Letson (D), ranking minority member; and Representatives Amstutz (R), Barnes (D), Baker (R), Becker (R), Blair (R), Foley (D), Green (R), McClain (R), Patmon (D), Rogers (D), Slesnick (D), Scherer (R), Schuring (R), Sprague (R), Terhar (R). and Winburn (D).
Recap of Education Laws Due for Reauthorization: The list of education-related federal laws due for reauthorization will increase during the 113th Congress, but, education advocates are not sure if lawmakers will be able to overcome the philosophical and economic differences to revise any of them.
Even without reauthorization Congress is expected to continue to appropriate funds for these laws. But, there is a danger that most are becoming ineffective, because needed revisions and updates have not been approved in years. Also, as Congress and the President debate the next round of budget cuts, which were postponed until March 2013, there is a concern that funding for some of the education programs included in these laws will be reduced or eliminated.
The following is a recap of some of the laws that are due/overdue for reauthorization:
- Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) also known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Reauthorized in 2002. Both the U.S. House and Senate have worked on revisions of the law during the 112th Congress. The U.S. Department of Education, Arne Duncan Secretary, has also proposed a variety of changes in the law. Until the law is revised the Obama administration has implemented a controversial waiver process, so that states can avoid some of the consequences for not meeting the federal mandates in NCLB. Ohio has received one of these waivers in exchange for meeting other accountability requirements and meeting other provisions established by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Education Sciences Reform Act: Reauthorized in 2002. This law supports federal education research, statistics, and evaluation, and the Institute of Education Sciences (created in the act).
- Child Care and Development Block Grant Act. This law supports early-child-care programs; promotes parental choice for working parents; encourages states to provide consumer information; and supports state health, safety, licensing, and registering standards for early child care programs. Reauthorized in 1996.
- Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. Reauthorized in 2006. This law supports vocational education programs. The last time it was reauthorized it increased focus on the academic achievement of career and technical education students, strengthened the connections between secondary and postsecondary education, and improved state and local accountability for career tech programs.
- Head Start Act: Reauthorized in 2007. This law supports early childhood education programs for low-income families so that children are ready for school.
- Higher Education Act: Reauthorized in 2008. This law supports teacher education programs, student financial aid, and college-access programs, including GEAR-UP and TRIO.
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Reauthorized in 2004. This law supports programs for students with disabilities.
- Workforce Investment Act: Reauthorized in 1998. This law supports job training programs.
Charter School Update: The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released on January 15, 2013 some estimates about the number of charter schools and enrollment in charter schools for the 2012-13 school year.
According to the press release there are estimated to be over 6,000 charter schools enrolling more than 2.3 million students in the U.S. The states with the highest number of new charter schools added this year are California, Florida, Texas, New York, and Michigan.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics the total enrollment of public school students in the U.S. in 2010-11 was 49.5 million. Charter school enrollment is about 4.6 percent of public school enrollment.
The new data for charter schools is available on the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ data dashboard.
Report Rates State Teacher Preparation Policies: The National Council on Teacher Quality released on January 25, 2013 its sixth annual year book entitled, Improving Teacher Preparation, NCTQ’s 2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook.
The report focuses this year on the state laws, rules, and regulations that guide teacher preparation programs and licensing requirements to ensure that new teachers are classroom-ready.
The laws, rules, and regulations that were reviewed for this report include those regarding standards and admission criteria for candidates entering teacher preparation programs; the subject content knowledge required for teacher candidates; clinical experiences for teacher candidates; the accountability of teacher education programs for the quality of their graduates; and alternative certification requirements for qualified teacher candidates. NCTQ rates state teacher preparation policies as being “on track”, “needs improvement”, or “off track”.
According to the report, although states are developing more effective teacher and principal evaluations and providing assistance to ineffective teachers, “…most states are neglecting opportunities to get it right from the start by setting rigorous standards and high expectations for what teachers should know and should be able to do before they are licensed to become teachers.”
The average rating of teacher preparation policies for all states and the District of Columbia increased from a “D” last year to a “D+” in 2012. The states identified with the most consistent state policies for teacher preparation and licensing were Alabama, Florida, Indiana, and Tennessee.
Ohio was one of fourteen states that received a higher rating this year than last year for its teacher preparation policies. Ohio’s policies were rated 20th among the states and the District of Columbia, and Ohio’s overall rating improved from a D+ last year to a C- this year. Ohio’s teacher preparation policies were rated “off track” in the areas of admission requirements; elementary teacher preparation; special education teacher preparation; and student teaching. Ohio received an “on track” grade for its middle school teacher preparation policy. Ohio received a “needs improvement grade” for its policies for secondary teacher preparation and teacher preparation program accountability.
The report also includes the following recommendations to improve teacher preparation policies:
- Raise admission requirements to ensure teacher preparation programs admit candidates with strong academic records.
- Align teacher preparation with the Common Core State Standards.
- Improve clinical preparation.
- Raise licensing standards.
- Don’t lower the bar for special education teachers.
- Hold teacher preparation programs accountable.
The report is available.
States Face More School Funding Lawsuits: According to an article in Education Week by Andrew Ujifusa, the recent economic crisis has exacerbated the funding disparities among school districts in several states, and as a result, more states are facing school funding lawsuits and even multiple lawsuits. (“State Finance Lawsuits Roil K-12 Funding Landscape: Rulings complicate policymakers’ choices by Andrew Ujifusa Education Week, January 22, 2013.)
The author notes that school funding lawsuits are decided in state courts as a result of the 1973 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in a Texas lawsuit, San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez. School funding lawsuits have been filed in 45 states since the early 1970s. The most recent lawsuits are being considered by the courts in Texas, Kansas, and Washington state.
In Texas four separate lawsuits are being combined. The state cut $5.4 billion in state aid for school districts in 2011, and as a result, school districts must now depend more on locally raised revenue, which is based on property values. The lawsuits allege that the structure of the current system creates inequities between property wealthy and property poor school districts.
A decision in a lawsuit filed in Kansas, Gannon v. State of Kansas, was announced on January 11, 2013. The court prohibited the state from making further cuts to its per pupil funding level, which was set in another decision, Montoy v. State of Kansas. Now some Kansas lawmakers are threatening to support a constitutional amendment that would give lawmakers complete authority to set school funding levels.
The Washington Supreme Court is overseeing implementation of a school funding decision, McCleary v. State of Washington, which gave lawmakers until 2018 to adequately fund public schools. The Washington Supreme Court recently ordered the state to file a detailed five year plan outlining how it intends to implement the ruling, because the Court was not satisfied with the progress that was being made by the state so far. Policy makers estimate that schools would need another $1.4 billion to meet the Court’s mandate.
The article is available.
Framework for National Standards Released: The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) released on January 18, 2013 The National Core Arts Standards: A Conceptual Framework for Arts Learning. This is “…a narrative framework document that details the rationale, goals, and strategy of the new National Standards for Arts Education.”
The NCCAS is a coalition of nine arts and education organizations and has been working for almost three years to develop voluntary, research-based arts education standards based upon the 1994 national standards for the arts and the 2005 Standards for Learning and Teaching Dance in the Arts. The standards are being developed to guide arts education curriculum, instruction, and assessment in America’s schools.
The standards are being written by five writing teams representing dance, drama/theater, media arts, music, and visual art. The writing teams are developing the standards according to a process established in Understanding by Design (UbD) by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins. The writing teams are first identifying important outcomes for students to learn in the arts; determining acceptable evidence that students have achieved the outcomes; and designing the best path for students to achieve the outcomes.
According to a timeline released by NCCAS, the standards are expected to be available for public review in June 2013. The standards will be delivered through a web-based platform, which will enable teachers to sort and organize the standards in a variety of ways according their needs. The platform will allow examples of student work to be linked directly to each standard, which in time can be used as examples of student work “near, at, or above the standard”. The web-based standards will be updated over time as assessment of student work is refined.
At a meeting on January 18-20, 2013, the NCCAS presented the conceptual framework of the standards and discussed its development and the progress that has been made in writing the standards, which are not included in the framework at this time. A video presentation of this meeting and the power point presentation are available.
According to the presentation the framework “…outlines the grounding philosophy, primary goals, dynamic processes, structures, and outcomes that shape student learning and achievement in the arts”. The framework is divided into the following sections:
•Forward: Understanding and Using the Core Arts Standards.
This section includes information about the context for arts education in the U.S.; arts standards in the U.S.; international arts standards; and explains the process-oriented nature of the arts and arts learning.
•Section 1: The National Core Arts Standards Matrix.
This section provides a unifying view of the standards presented through a matrix. The matrix includes the philosophical foundations and lifelong goals; artistic processes for each arts discipline; enduring understandings and essential questions; the standards and benchmarks; and model cornerstone assessments for grades preK-12. The matrix will include sample cornerstone assessments that illustrate how student learning can be assessed through performance tasks with clearly identified criteria.
Philosophical Foundation: The philosophical foundation and lifelong goals for arts education establish the basis for the standards and illustrate artistic literacy and represent the common values and expectations for learning in the arts across the five arts disciplines. The goals include, The Arts as Communication; The Arts as Creative Personal Realization; The Arts as Culture, History, and Connections; Arts as a Means to Wellbeing; and The Arts as Community Engagement.
Artistic Processes: The artistic processes are the cognitive and physical actions by which arts learning and making are realized. They include Creating; Performing/Producing/Presenting; Responding; and Connecting. The artistic processes will vary across the arts disciplines.
Enduring Understandings: “Enduring understandings are statements summarizing important ideas and core processes that are central to a discipline and have lasting value beyond the classroom.” The understandings will vary across the arts disciplines.
Essential Questions: Essential questions stimulate thought, provoke inquiry, and guide students as they discover enduring understandings. The essential questions will vary across the arts disciplines.
Cornerstone Assessments: These are curriculum-embedded assessments that anchor the curriculum to the most important performances that students should be able to do with acquired knowledge and skills in authentic and relevant contexts.
According to the framework, “These assessments also provide the basis for collecting the benchmark student work that illustrates the nature and quality of student achievement envisioned in the standards. This paradigm shift in measuring student learning in the arts will offer relevant and reliable evidence of what students truly understand and know how to do, for it is only when students are able to apply their learning thoughtfully and flexibly to a new situation that true understanding of the content is demonstrated.”
•Section II: Establishing Principles and Informing the Work.
This section discusses the foundations for artistic literacy and arts success and achievement through the creative practices; contextual awareness in arts learning; 21st Century Skills aligned to the arts; college-level expectations in the arts; and the alignment of the arts with the Common Core State Standards.
Artistic literacy is defined as “….the knowledge and understanding required to participate authentically in the arts. Fluency in the language(s) of the arts is the ability to create, perform/produce/present, respond, and connect through symbolic and metaphoric forms that are unique to the arts. It is embodied in specific philosophical foundations and lifelong goals that enable an artistically literate person to transfer arts knowledge, skills, and capacities to other subjects, settings, and contexts.”
Success and achievement in the arts means “….engagement in the four fundamental creative practices of imagination, investigation, construction, and reflection in multiple contexts. These meta-cognitive activities nurture the effective work habits of curiosity, creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication, and collaboration, each of which transfer to all aspects of learning and life in the 21st century.”
According to research conducted by the College Board, the creative practices of investigation and reflection are connected to all ten of the anchor standards for reading in the Common Core State Standards (CCSC). All four skills, imagination, investigation, construction, and reflection, are strongly represented in the anchor standards for the CCSC for writing, and all four creative practices are aligned with each of the CCSC for mathematical practice.
•Section III: Research based discoveries.
This section describes research that has influenced the development of the conceptual framework for the standards, and also includes some research studies conducted by the College Board on behalf of the NCCAS. The studies include:
•Section IV: Concluding Thoughts: Re-imagined Core Arts Standards for America’s schools.
This section provides a summary of the purpose of the revised Core Arts Standards — “to improve the teaching and learning of the arts in America’s schools, and by doing so, to improve the experiences of more than fifty million students annually.”
The concept framework for the Core Arts Standards is available.
Please check back often for updates.
New Online Resource for Arts Policies: The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) announced on January 23, 2013 a new partnership with the Arts Education Partnership (AEP) to create an online arts education resource to help boards of education develop evidence-based policies for arts education. The resource will be based on AEP’s Arts Education State Policy Database and ArtsSearch and is supported with funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The database will be available in early summer and located on NASBE’s website, and linked to AEP’s website.
Information is available.