Arts On Line Education Update 06.24.2013

Ohio News

HB59 Conference Committee Meets: The Conference Committee for Am. Sub. HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget, chaired by Representative Amstutz, met last week to work-out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.

The committee, which includes Representatives Amstutz, Sykes, and McClain, and Senators Oelslager, Sawyer, and Coley, received updates on state revenue forecasts from the Office of Budget and Management and the Legislative Services Commission. State revenue in FY13 could be over previous estimates by $361 to $706 million, but FY14 and 15 revenue estimates are only slightly above previous estimates. The OBM is projecting that after accounting for obligations and refurbishing certain accounts there will be $394 million in uncommitted funds at the end of FY13.

Medicaid expansion is not expected to be included in the budget bill, but tax changes are.  The committee is expected to complete its work by June 24 or 25, 2013. The House and Senate could vote on the bill by June 27, 2013, well before the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2013.

World History Requirement Proposed: The Senate Education Committee reported SB96 (LaRose) High School Curriculum on June 19, 2013. The bill would require students to earn one unit of world history to graduate beginning with students who enter ninth grade for the first time after the law becomes effective.

Currently students are required to complete three units of social studies in order to graduate, including one unit of history and government, which includes one half unit of American history and one-half unit of American government, and two units of social studies. The bill specifies that one of the two units of social studies shall include instruction in the study of world history and cultures from around the world other than that of the United States.

Ohio Senate Approves Bill with Columbus Plan: The Ohio Senate approved on June 20, 2013 HB167 (Grossman-Heard) Columbus Plan. The plan would allow voters in the Columbus City Schools to decide whether or not to create the position of independent auditor and levy additional millage for the district which could be shared with community schools, as determined by the Columbus Board of Education. The bill also includes additional accountability measures for the school district to meet, and allows the mayor of Columbus to sponsor charter schools that would partner with the district.

National News

States Granted More Flexibility: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued a letter to state school officers on June 18, 2013 informing them that the U.S. Department is open to granting additional flexibility for states that have been granted waivers of certain provisions under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or are implementing Race to the Top grants.

The letter states that states will be granted on a case by case basis up to one additional year (2016-17) to implement new teacher and leader evaluation systems. States interested in this extension may request this change before September 30, 2013 through the current ESEA flexibility amendment process.

States can also request a one-year waiver that will allow schools participating in field tests of the new Common Core State Standards assessments to administer only one assessment in 2013-14 to any individual student. In Ohio these assessments are being developed by a consortium called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). This means that students would only need to take the current statewide assessments or the field test assessments. Schools that administer the field test assessments will retain their Federal accountability designations, but will still be required to implement targeted interventions for an additional year during the transition to the use of the new assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

The letter is available.

Committees Pass ESEA Reauthorizations: U.S. Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats, and House Republicans have introduced separate legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as the No Child Left Behind Act (2001). The act has been in limbo since 2007 as lawmakers continue to disagree about the federal role in K-12 education and specifically about how to reauthorize various provisions of the act that have become controversial. Both the U.S. House and Senate have passed separate legislation in 2012 to reauthorize ESEA, but the bills eventually died at the end of the session.

On June 12, 2013 the Senate Health, Education, Pension, and Labor Committee (HELP) reported along party lines the Strengthening America’s Schools Act of 2013 (SASA) (S1094), sponsored by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the committee. The bill is available.

The U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee approved along party lines on June 19, 2013 the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), which would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The bill, which is sponsored by Representative John Kline, chair of the committee, and Representative Todd Rokita, was introduced on June 6, 2013. The Student Success Act is available.

Senate Republicans also have introduced their own version to reauthorize ESEA entitled the Every Child Ready for College or Career Act (S.1101). The bill is sponsored by Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Orrin Hatch of Utah, and Mark Kirk of Illinois. No hearings have been scheduled on this bill. The bill is available.

This Week at the Statehouse: The Ohio House and Senate will hold sessions and committee hearings this week. Lawmakers will be completing work on the state’s proposed budget for FY14-15, Am. Sub. HB59 (Amstutz) and finishing-up other legislation in anticipation of the summer recess.

MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2013

The Senate Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Senator Schaffer, will meet at 1:00 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room and hold an informal hearing on a proposed tax plan introduced last week by House and Senate Republicans. The plan is expected to be included in HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget.

The Conference Committee on HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget, chaired by Representative Amstutz, will meet at 6:00 PM in Hearing Room 313. Amendments are expected.

TUESDAY, JUNE 25, 2013

The Conference Committee on HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget, chaired by Representative Amstutz, will meet at 3:00 PM in Hearing Room 313. A vote is possible.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26, 2013

The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, will meet at 10:15 AM in the South Hearing Room. The committee will consider the appointment by Governor Kasich of Hurt A. Kaufman to the Ohio Board of Regents, and the following bills:

  • HB97 (Brenner/Letson) Dyslexia Awareness Month, which would designate October as “Dyslexia Awareness Month.”
  • HB14 (Pelanda) School Records, Abused, Neglected Child, which would require boards of education, if ordered by a juvenile court judge, to release grades, credits, official transcripts, and other school documents about students who have been, or are alleged to be, adjudicated as abused, neglected, or dependent. These students are usually in foster care, and might have had to move to a different school. School districts currently can withhold school documents for these students, such as transcripts, due to unpaid fees. A vote is possible.

The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, will meet at 4:30 PM, Hearing Room 121. The committee will consider the following bills:

  • HB30 (Johnson) Educator Letters of Admonishment: Defines “Letters of Admonishment” that could be issued by the State Board of Education to a licensed educator, and processes that could be used to rescind or seal a “Letter of Admonishment” in an educator’s file.
  • HB181 (Brenner) Personal Identifiable Information – Student: Prohibits submission of a student’s personal identifiable information to the federal government without direct authorization of the local school board. -HB171 (McClain/Patmon) Religious Instruction: Permits public school students to attend and receive elective credit for released time courses in religious instruction conducted off school property during regular school hours.

Tax Changes Big News for the Budget: On June 20, 2013 House and Senate Republican lawmakers unveiled a new tax reform plan that is expected to be included in Am. Sub. HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget this week. The $2.56 billion plan includes an Ohio Earned Income Tax Credit for lower-income Ohioans, a cut in income taxes, and a cut in taxes for small businesses. The proposed plan will be funded by changes in the Commercial Activity Tax, an increase in the state sales tax, elimination of the property tax rollback for some levies, and increases in other taxes. The following is a summary of the proposed tax changes:

  • The proposed Ohio Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) would be nonrefundable and equal to five percent of the federal earned income tax credit. Some other provisions currently in law for low income earners would be repealed. (New R.C. 5747.71)
  • The income tax cut would reduce rates by 10 percent phased in over three years. There would be an 8.5 percent cut in the current tax year and a 9 percent cut the second year. For tax years beginning in 2015 and thereafter, the reduction would be ten percent. The adjustment in rates due to inflation will be suspended for those three years. These rate reductions are expected to reduce income taxes by $3.2 billion over the three years.
  • The proposed tax plan also includes a 50 percent tax cut on the first $250,000 in personal income for small businesses. An estimated 98 percent of small businesses could take advantage of this reduction, which totals $500 million annually.
  • To pay for the tax cuts, the plan includes increases to some current taxes and eliminates some current exemptions and rollbacks.
  • Increases the state sales tax rate by a quarter of one percent from 5.5 percent to 5.75 percent.
  • Decreases the threshold for payment of the Commercial Activity Tax (.26 percent tax rate) from $1 million in annual taxable gross receipts to $500,000.
  • Potentially increases local property taxes on new or replacement levies by eliminating the 12.5 percent tax rollback, and tightens the homestead exemption on property taxes for senior citizens.

Currently there is a 10 percent rollback in property taxes for residential and agricultural property (R.C. 319.302) and an additional 2.5 percent reduction in property taxes for owner-occupied residential property. The state reimburses local entities (school districts, local governments, etc.) for tax revenue lost due to the rollback, which is over a $1 billion for schools.

The proposed tax changes would eliminate these rollbacks on new or replacement levies approved by voters after the bill becomes effective, so that tax payers would have to pay the full amount of the property tax, and the state would only reimburse local taxing authorities for revenue lost on existing and renewal levies, which are referred to in the bill as “qualifying levies”.

The plan also revises the homestead exemption (R.C. 323.152). Currently the homestead exemption provides a 2.5 percent exemption in property taxes for owner-occupied residential property owners who are totally disabled or at least 65 years old, regardless of the owner’s income level.

The bill would eliminate the exemption for owners (65 and older) with annual incomes above $30,000, but exempt those who are currently receiving the deduction.

  • Eliminates tax breaks for gambling losses.
  • Taxes the sale of “specified digital products”, which includes electronic books, digital audiovisual and audio products, but not cable services. Also taxes the sale of magazines, although charitable nonprofit publications would still receive the tax break.
  • Expands Ohio’s membership in the multi-state Streamlined Sales Tax initiative to collect $20 million in sales taxes for online and catalogue purchases. Currently this tax is not being collected.
  • Increases tax rates on little cigars to match the tax rate on cigarette products.

Education Stakeholders Testify Against Rollback Repeal: Representatives from the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, the Ohio School Boards Association, and the Buckeye Association of School Administrators asked members of the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Representative Beck, to remove the proposed changes in tax law that would eliminate the 10 and 2.5 percent tax rollback on residential property taxes and reduce the number of qualified senior citizens who could receive the homestead exemption. The changes are expected to be added to Am. Sub. HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget this week.

The education organizations believe that the proposed tax changes will make it more difficult for school districts to pass future levies, because the proposed tax changes will increase property taxes for unqualified senior citizens, and will increase property taxes for homeowners by 12.5 percent.

The following other concerns with the proposed tax changes were raised:

  • further shifts the tax burden for supporting schools from the state to local property owners
  • complicates the already very complicated property tax laws in Ohio, which could further confuse tax payers
  • establishes different tax rates for the same property

The education organizations also requested that changes in tax law go into effect in 2014 rather than in 2013. Some school districts have already notified their communities that they will be placing levies on the November 2013 ballot, and the proposed changes in law could affect the amount of the levy requests.

Update from the State Board of Education: The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, met on June 10 – 11, 2013 in Columbus.

The State Board’s June agenda included, among several items, a presentation regarding HB555 Schools; an update about Ohio’s Teacher Education program; a discussion about graduation requirements aligned to Ohio’s new state assessment system; and the Board’s business meeting.

HB555 Section 4 Schools: The Urban Education Committee, chaired Angela Thi Bennett, presented a report to the full State Board entitled Every Child Deserves a Champion, Recommendations for HB555 Section 4 Schools.

House Bill 555 (Stebelton/Butler) was signed by Governor Kasich into law on December 21, 2012. Section 4 of the law requires the State Board to develop a comprehensive statewide plan to intervene and improve persistently poor performing schools and districts, and submit the plan to the General Assembly by August 31, 2013.

Persistently poor performing schools are defined as:

  • Priority schools and focus schools as defined by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act waiver issued by the United States Department of Education under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001;
  • Schools and school districts that have been in school improvement status as defined by the United States Department of Education for four of the five most recent school years;
  • Schools and school districts with performance index scores that place them in the bottom five per cent of schools statewide for three of the five most recent school years; or
  • Schools and school districts that have a value-added progress dimension grade of “F” for three of the five most recent school years under section 3302.03 of the Revised Code, as amended by H.B. 555, or the equivalent measure.

The committee found that there are 966 school buildings in Ohio that meet the definition of persistently poor performing schools and would be subject to HB555 Section 4. These schools serve approximately 500,000 students and are located in urban areas (44 percent) and non-urban (56 percent) areas. Most of the schools (61 percent) are located in school districts with Local Report Card (LRC) designations ranging from Excellent with Distinction to Continuous Improvement.

A survey of the schools found that a majority of them have more than 14 percent of students with disabilities and more than 50 percent of students identified as economically disadvantaged. The committee also reported that when asked, the stakeholders in these schools said that they need more resources, services, and supports to address the academic and non-academic barriers to student learning and achievement. The committee also noted that teachers need to become more culturally competent so that they can better understand their students and provide instruction to meet their needs.

The committee developed a plan to address HB555 Section 4 schools and recommends that the interventions and supports outlined in Ohio’s ESEA Waiver be extended to HB555 Section 4 schools, and that the committee continue to review the impact of non-academic barriers on student learning and achievement, and identify effective practices in Ohio’s LEAs to overcome these barriers. The full Board will vote on the committee’s recommendations in July, and submit them to the General Assembly by August 31, 2013.

Graduation Committee Created: State Board of Education President Debe Terhar appointed a new Graduation Committee to develop recommendations to complete Ohio’s system of college and work ready assessments and identify new graduation requirements aligned to the state’s new assessment system. The committee will be chaired by C. Todd Jones and include Darryl Mehaffie, Angela Thi Bennett, Jeffrey Mims, Senator Peggy Lehner, Representative Gerald Stebelton, Superintendent Richard Ross, and “other stakeholders” including representatives of the Ohio Federation of Teachers and the Ohio Education Association.

Ohio is phasing out the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT), which students now take in 10th grade. A new assessment system will be implemented aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in mathematics and language arts and state standards in science and social studies. The new assessment system includes 10 end of course exams (EOCs) in the following content areas: physical science, biology, algebra I and II and geometry (or integrated mathematics 1, 2 and 3), English language arts 1, 2 and 3, American history, and American government.

Currently Ohio students must pass all five parts of the OGT in order to graduate. The class of 2016 will be the last class that will be required to pass the OGTs in order to receive a diploma.

The Graduation Committee will need to determine how many EOCs students must pass in order to graduate; what types of assessments (SAT, ACT, IB) could be used to meet the state’s graduation requirements; what minimum performance levels will be needed to pass the EOCs; and how these requirements will apply to students in independent private schools, dropout recovery schools, etc.

The committee is expected to complete its work in about six months.

Update on the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES): The Capacity Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, received a presentation led by Lori Lofton, ODE Senior Executive Director for the Center for the Teaching Profession, about the experiences of schools piloting the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System framework. The performance component of the framework was piloted in 2011-12 by 139 districts and charter schools and by 13 additional school districts in 2012-13.

Participating in the presentation were teachers, principals, and administrators from the Cincinnati City Schools, Maysville Local Schools, Parma City Schools, and the Auglaize County Educational Academy, Auglaize County.

The presenters were asked to describe for the State Board members the positive aspects of OTES and challenges so far.

Representatives from the schools had positive comments about their experiences and expressed that the OTES system was working. They especially noted how the process increased collaboration among teachers, including teachers from other disciplines, by bringing together teams of teachers to develop student learning objectives. Some teacher teams in the fine arts, for example, contacted teachers in other states to share information about student learning objectives and assessments. Teachers and principals also said that the pre and post conferences between the teachers and evaluators were very helpful and provided teachers with useful information to become better teachers. The results of the evaluations were used to identify areas in which teachers wanted more professional development as part of their growth plans.

The presenters also identified the following challenges:

  • Principals in some schools were “crunched” for time as they tried to conduct two observations for all teachers. They recommended that observations/evaluations should not be required each year. One school district determined that a principal could evaluate a maximum of 20 teachers each year, although the school had more teachers than that. One school district considered hiring retired teachers and administrators in the future to conduct the teacher observations, but some teachers said that they wanted to be evaluated by their own administrators, who know the school and the students.
  • One school identified logistics, timing, and other internal factors that could be improved to facilitate the teacher evaluations.
  • Developing uniform student growth measures across a large district was a challenge for one district.
  • Ensuring consistency in teacher evaluations within the district became an issue for one school district in which there were overall higher evaluations posted for teachers in one school compared to the other.
  • Several presenters said that the evaluations should use multiple measures and that the percent of the evaluation based on value added is too high, especially when the measure is based on the results of one test. One presenter said that since teachers know their value added score at the beginning of the school year, those who are rated “below expectations” already know that they can only be rated as high as “developing”, no matter what they do that year, which is disappointing.

State Board Business Meeting:

Under public participation on agenda items, Dan Dodd representing the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) requested that the State Board revise or not approve a proposed resolution opposing a HB59 provision that exempts students enrolled in ISACS schools from taking end of course exams. Mr. Dodd explained that students in these private schools already take a national standardized exam, such as the SAT or ACT, which could be used as an alternative exam.

Fifteen witnesses presented to the State Board during public participation on non agenda items. They explained their opposition to the Common Core State Standards, Race to the Top, PARCC assessments, and collecting and sharing data about students. Overall the witnesses raised the following concerns:

  • Corporate profits are driving the education reform agenda.
  • There is a lack of rigor in the Common Core State Standards.
  • The Common Core State Standards are not accountable to the public.
  • The Common Core Standards and the PARCC assessments are unfunded mandates.
  • Changes made in May 2011 in the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) so that student identifiable data could be shared with authorized representatives of states and local educational authorities and organizations conducting studies will lead to a loss in student privacy.

During their business meeting the Board approved the following resolutions:

#2 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rule 3301-13-02 of the Administrative Code entitled Administering Required State Assessments at the Designated Grades.

#3 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Consider Confirmation of the West Geauga Local School District’s Determination of Impractical Transportation of Certain Students Attending St. Francis of Assisi School, Gates Mills, Cuyahoga County, OH.

#6 Approved a Resolution to Adopt Rules 3301-28-01 to 06 of the Administrative Code regarding Local Report Card Measures and to Rescind Rules 3301-58-01 to 3301-58-03 of the Administrative Code regarding the value-added progress dimension.

#7 Approved a Resolution to Amend Rule 3301-52-01 of the Administrative Code entitled Appropriate Uses of Early Childhood Education Screening and Assessment Information.

#8 Approved a Resolution to Amend Rules 3301-102-01 of the Administrative Code regarding Community Schools.

#9 Approved a Resolution to Adopt Rules 3301-102-10 of the Administrative Code regarding the Academic Performance Rating and Report Card System for Community Schools that Serve Students Enrolled in Dropout Prevention and Recovery Programs.

#10 Approved a Resolution to Adopt Model Curriculum in English language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies with embedded Career Connection Learning strategies for the Purpose of Meeting the Requirements of Revised Code Section 3301.079

#11 Approved a Resolution to Adopt the New Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE) and Associated Qualifying Scores for Various Ohio License Areas. The 42 new lensing assessments have been developed by Pearson, and include four that assess pedagogy for each licensing level and 38 that assess content knowledge. Implementation of the assessments will begin on September 3, 2013. The passing scores for the exams were developed through a process that involved the Educator Standards Board and the Capacity Committee. The passing scores will be reviewed next April to determine how well teachers scored on the exams, and if they need to be adjusted. The exams will be computer-based and offered at Pearson Professional Centers, educator preparation program sites, and at out-of-state centers. Pearson also provides online preparation tools, such as study guides and practice tests.

#12 Approved a Resolution to Confirm the Tuslaw Local School District Board of Education’s Determination of Impractical Transportation of Certain Students Attending Heritage Christian School in Canton, Stark County, OH.

#13 Approved an Emergency Resolution from the Legislative and Budget Committee to support legislative changes regarding the state’s graduation requirements. The State Board requested that current law be changed so that students starting the ninth grade after July 1, 2013 would be designated as the first class required to take end of course exams to meet graduation requirements aligned with the new state assessment system, which includes end of course exams rather than the Ohio Graduation Test.

#14 Approved an Emergency Resolution from the Legislative and Budget Committee to oppose a proposed change to Ohio Revised Code section 3313.612 (E) included in HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget to exempt students at certain nonpublic schools from meeting the end of course exam requirements for graduation. The resolution was amended to add that the Graduation Committee will communicate with stakeholders of the Independent Schools Association of the Central States as they work to complete the system of college and work ready assessments.

Following the business meeting, Board member Mary Rose Oakar (District 11) shared some concerns raised by parents in her district about a student choking incident at a school and the lack of supervision of students eating lunch at some schools. She was assured that the Ohio Revised Code requires that schools supervise students during lunch and that adults supervising students at lunch be trained in the Heimlich maneuver. President Terhar requested that Superintendent Ross investigate this complaint.

Board member Sarah Fowler (District 7) requested that the State Board of Education conduct a discussion about the Race to the Top grant, the Common Core State Standards, and the PARCC assessments, and how they fit together.

Supporting Classes in the Humanities and Social Sciences: The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, released on June 19, 2013 a report entitled The Heart of the Matter. This report includes ways to support humanities and social sciences in American classrooms. The report responds to a request from Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) and Mark Warner (D-Virginia), and Representatives Tom Petri (R-Wisconsin) and David Price (D-North Carolina) about the loss of instructional time in school for humanities and social sciences as a result of increased testing in math, English language, and science.

According to the report, humanities and social sciences are “…the heart of the matter, the keeper of the republic—a source of national memory and civic vigor, cultural understanding and communication, individual fulfillment and the ideals we hold in common.”

To ensure that Americans have the intellectual framework and context for understanding and thriving in a changing world the report recommends the following:

  • Educate Americans in the knowledge, skills, and understanding they will need to thrive in a twenty-first-century democracy by supporting literacy as the foundation for all learning; investing in the preparation of citizens; increasing access to online resources, including teaching materials, and engaging the public by supporting a “…strong network of schools, museums, cultural institutions, and libraries that engage the public in humanities and social science activities.”
  • Foster a society that is innovative, competitive, and strong, by increasing investment in research and discovery for the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and other relevant agencies; communicating to importance of research; creating cohesive curricula to ensure basic competencies; strengthening support for teachers of the humanities and social sciences through a Humanities Master Teacher Corps to complement the STEM Master Teacher Corps; and encouraging all disciplines to address the challenges this nation is facing regarding clean air and water, access to food, health, energy, and universal education.
  • Equip the nation for leadership in an interconnected world by promoting language learning; expanding education in international affairs and transnational studies; supporting study abroad and international exchange programs for undergraduates; and developing a “culture corps” to “transmit humanistic and social-scientific expertise from one generation to the next.”

The report is available.

Bills Introduced

HB209 (Ramos) Finish Fund: Creates the Finish Fund and the Finish Reserve Fund to provide grants for students who are nearing completion of their bachelor’s degrees and display financial need or hardship, and makes an appropriation.

HB211 (Williams) Lottery Profits Education Fund Report: Requires the Director of the State Lottery Commission to prepare a report related to the Lottery Profits Education Fund.

HB215 (Devitis) School Safety: Authorizes a board of education or governing authority of a school to enter into an agreement with a volunteer who is a current or retired law enforcement officer to patrol school premises to prevent or respond to a mass casualty event.

HB216 (Patterson) Indebtedness: Forgives a school district’s indebtedness to the Solvency Assistance Fund upon its voluntary consolidation with another district if specified conditions are satisfied.

FYI ARTS

Update on the National Core Arts Standards: The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards announced recently that drafts of the next generation of national standards for the fine arts for grades PreK-8 will be available for public review beginning on June 30 and ending July 15, 2013. The draft standards will be available.

Appointment to the Ohio Arts Council: Governor Kasich appointed on June 21, 2013 Emma Scharfenberger Off of Cincinnati (Hamilton County) to the Ohio Arts Council for a term beginning June 21, 2013 and ending July 1, 2014. Ms. Off is a 2011 graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law and an associate attorney with Graydon Head in Cincinnati. She was recently elected to the board of trustees of Artworks in Cincinnati.

National Arts Policy Roundtable 2012 Report Released: The Sundance Institute and Americans for the Arts released on June 11, 2013 a report based on the findings and recommendations from the annual National Arts Policy Roundtable (NAPR) discussions led by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute founder and president, and Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. The report is entitled 2012: Leveraging the Remake: The Role of the Arts in a Shifting Economy.

The National Arts Policy Roundtable (NAPR) is convened each year by Robert Redford, founder of the Sundance Institute and Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, to identify ways for the arts to thrive in this rapidly changing society, and ways to advance the arts. Membership of the NAPR changes each year and includes artists, public officials, and private and public sector leaders from a variety of content and geographic areas.

The 2012 NAPR report proposes that, “….the arts can serve as both a model and catalyst for change for a number of the pressing societal challenges which face our nation.”

To achieve this goal the report includes the following recommendations to be implemented by leaders in both the public and private sectors:

  • Understand our nation’s demographic changes and build partnerships across the breadth of diverse America, including ethnic, gender, age, preference, income, and all kinds of diversity.
  • Give artists the tools and training to be leaders in their communities and part of the brain trust that helps the country move forward in this new economy.
  • Better utilize design thinking in problem-solving for communities and for the arts themselves.
  • Develop a consistent “brand” message for the multiple values of the arts, so when we do speak to decision-makers and stakeholders we speak with a common voice.
  • Convene a national dialogue around technology and how it can be better utilized by the arts and involve creators of technology, funders, artists, curators and policy leaders.
  • Create a central database for the research and case-making information about the arts and categorize it easily, including economy, education, society, quality of life, and more.
  • Establish a searchable online database for cultural tourism opportunities in America.
  • Study the viability and potential options for at-risk legacy organizations.
  • Identify outstanding success stories in the arts and arts education and create a best-practices guide.

The report is available.

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About OAAE

Since our founding in 1974, by Dr. Dick Shoup and Jerry Tollifson, our mission has always been to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Working at the local, state, and federal levels through the efforts of a highly qualified and elected Board of Directors, our members, and a professional staff we have four primary areas of focus: building collaborations, professional development, advocacy, and capacity building. The OAAE is funded in part for its day-to-day operation by the Ohio Arts Council. This support makes it possible for the OAAE to operate its office in Columbus and to work statewide to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Support for arts education projects comes from the Ohio Arts Council, The John F. Kennedy Center, Ohio Music Education Association, Ohio Art Education Association, Ohio Educational Theatre Association, VSA Ohio, and OhioDance. The Community Arts Education programs of Central Ohio are financially assisted by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. We gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the financial support received from each of these outstanding agencies and organizations.
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