October is National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM), the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation!!
Arts/humanities advocates are finding exciting and creative ways to recognize the contributions that artists, writers, poets, and cultural organizations make in communities and schools during October.
To locate or publicize an NAHM event, please visit the Americans for the Arts website.
130th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will hold committee hearings and sessions this week, and the House and Senate education committees will meet. Information about the hearings is included below at #3 at This Week at the Statehouse.
Education Funding Caucus Formed: Jeremy Pelzer, Northeast Ohio Media Group, reports that a bipartisan group of legislators has formed the Education Funding Caucus to explore school funding issues and develop recommendations for legislative changes. The caucus was founded by Representative John Patterson, and so far includes Representatives John Becker, Dan Ramos, Matt Huffman, and Senator Schiavoni. The caucus expects to consult with school funding experts from Ohio and other states. The first caucus meeting will be held in late October and will be open to the public. The article is available.
Absentee and Early Voting Begins October 1, 2013: Ohioans who plan to cast an early ballot or mail-in an absentee ballot for the November 5, 2013 election can apply on October 1, 2013. Also, the deadline to register to vote is October 7, 2013. Check local boards of elections for information about the time and locations for early voting. Information about the November 2013 election is available.
Blue Ribbon Schools Announced: U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, announced on September 24, 2013 the schools that have been selected as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2013. A total of 286 schools were selected nationally, including 15 schools in Ohio, in two categories: Exemplary High Performing or Exemplary Improving. To be selected for the Exemplary Improving category schools had to demonstrate that at least 40 percent of students from disadvantaged backgrounds achieved progress. Public schools were nominated by Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Richard Ross, and private schools by the Council for American Private Education (CAPE). The following schools in Ohio were recognized for Exemplary High Performance:
Akron Early College High School, Akron Public Schools
Cuyahoga Heights High School, Cuyahoga Heights Local School District
Harmon Middle School, Aurora City School District
Incarnate Word Academy, Diocese of Cleveland
Incarnation Catholic School, Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Newton Elementary School, Newton Local School District
Orchard Middle School, Solon City School District
St. Margaret of York School, Archdiocese of Cincinnati
St. Paul The Apostle Catholic School, Diocese of Columbus
Scioto Elementary School, Teays Valley Local
Springfield Elementary School, Springfield Local School District
Waterville Primary School, Anthony Wayne Local
Watson Elementary School, Perry Local School District
West Geauga High School, West Geauga Local
Wheelersburg Elementary School, Wheelersburg Local School
Information about Blue Ribbon Schools is available.
Florida Withdraws from PARCC: According to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed an executive order on September 23, 2013 withdrawing Florida from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. Florida students could still end up taking the PARCC developed assessments, however, if PARCC competes and is awarded a contract to replace Florida’s current assessments, with ones aligned to the Common Core State Standards.
See “Gov. Rick Scott reverses course on Common Core assessments” by Kathleen McGrory, Tampa Bay Times, September 26, 2013.
This Week at the Statehouse
Senate Finance Committee: The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, will meet on October 2, 2013 at 9:00 AM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on the following bills:
- SB69 (Beagle) Course and Program Sharing Network: Establishes the Course and Program Sharing Network and makes an appropriation.
- SB126 (Schiavoni) School Safety Funds: Requires the State Board of Education to establish criteria and procedures for the awarding of school safety funds to school districts, and makes an appropriation.
Senate Education Committee: The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, will meet on October 2, 2013 at 4:00 PM in the South Hearing Room. The committee will receive a presentation from the Ohio Department of Education regarding the local report cards, and receive testimony on two bills: HB97 (Brenner/Letson), which would designates October as “Dyslexia Awareness Month”, and SB123 (Sawyer) Interdistrict Open Enrollment, which would require the Ohio Department of Education to study the effectiveness of interdistrict open enrollment; terminate interdistrict open enrollment; and restore open enrollment, depending on the results of the study.
House Education Committee: The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, will meet on October 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM in Hearing Room 121. The committee will receive a presentation from Associate Superintendent Tina Thomas-Manning about the performance measures in ORC 3302.03(B)(1) and how they will be assessed and assigned a letter grade.
The committee will also receive testimony on the following bills:
- 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.
- HB113 (Antonia/Henne) High School Physical Education: Specifies that school districts and chartered nonpublic schools may excuse from high school physical education students who participate in a school-sponsored athletic club.
- HB171 (McClain/Patmon) Release-time Courses Religious Instruction: Permits public school students to attend and receive credit for released time courses in religious instruction conducted off school property during regular school hours.
- HB216 (Patterson) School Indebtedness: Forgives a school district’s indebtedness to the Solvency Assistance Fund upon its voluntary consolidation with another district if specified conditions are satisfied.
College Board Releases SAT Report: The College Board released on September 26, 2013 the 2013 SAT Report on College & Career Readiness. According to the report, “…fewer than half of all SAT takers in the class of 2013 graduated from high school academically prepared for the rigors of college-level course work. This number has remained virtually unchanged during the last five years, underscoring a need to dramatically increase the number of students in K–12 who acquire the skills and knowledge that research demonstrates are critical to college readiness.”
The report includes the following information about students who took the SAT exams:
- 43 percent of SAT takers met the SAT College and Career Readiness benchmark of 1550, which is associated with a 65 percent probability of obtaining a first-year GPA of B- or higher. “This percent has remained virtually unchanged during the last five years”.
- 84 percent of students who met the SAT Benchmark completed a core curriculum, defined as four or more years of English, three or more years of mat, three or more years of natural science, and three or more years of social science and history.
- 79 percent of students who met the SAT Benchmark took AP and honors courses.
- 46 percent of students from non-white backgrounds took the SAT. This is the largest percent of non-white students ever.
- 15.6 percent of African American SAT takers met or exceeded the SAT Benchmark.
- 23.5 percent of Hispanic SAT takers met or exceeded the SAT Benchmark.
- 66 percent of African American students, and 70 percent of Hispanic students who took the SAT test completed a core curriculum.
The 2013 SAT report also provides information for arts education advocates about student achievement and participation in the arts. The report shows that students who took the SAT test in 2012 had an average of 2.2 years of study in the arts and music.
The mean score for all students taking the SAT test was 496 in reading; 514 in math; and 488 in writing. However, if the students also took four years of the arts and music, the mean score increased to 529 in reading; 532 in math, and 519 in writing.
If students acted in a play, the mean score was 535 in reading; 530 in math; and 524 in writing. If students studied music, the mean score was 526 in reading; 537 in math; and 516 in writing.
The mean score of students who didn’t take any arts or music classes was 471 in reading; 495 in math; and 459 in writing.
The report is available.
Information about the course-taking patterns for students is available.
ODE Reports Ohio Students Doing Better on AP: The Ohio Department of Education released on September 26, 2013 information about the achievement of Ohio students on the AP exams (Advanced Placement) administered by the College Board.
According to the ODE, “… more Ohio students are taking and passing Advanced Placement Exams than previous years, and the growth in Ohio is exceeding that of the nation as a whole. In addition, African-American and Hispanic students are showing double digit growth in the number of exams taken and passed, exceeding national participation and performance rates for these student populations.”
- The number of Ohio students earning a “3” or higher on an AP exam grew by 9.2 percent compared with 6.1 percent nationally.
- The number of African-American students in Ohio earning a “3” or higher grew by 17.2 percent compared with 11.1 percent nationally.
- The number of Hispanic Ohio students earning a “3” or higher grew by 19.9 percent compared with 13.3 percent nationally.
- The number of students passing the AP Statistics Exam grew by 20 percent last year.
- 66 percent of Ohio public school students earned scores of “3” or better on their AP Exams last year, compared with 57 percent of public school students nationally.
Students in Ohio who take an Advanced Placement examination and score at least a “3” are guaranteed college credit, upon entering an Ohio public institution of higher education.
More information about Advanced Placement courses and exams is available.
Student Portfolios Used to Evaluate Arts Educators: An article in Education Week on September 17, 2013 by Erik Robelen describes how arts teachers in eleven school districts in Tennessee are piloting a new Tennessee Fine Arts Growth Measures System to evaluate arts educators. The system requires that teachers gather portfolios of students’ classroom work (before and after instruction), such as videos of students sight-reading a musical score, students reciting a speech from Shakespeare, or research papers, and submit the portfolios electronically to the state department of education, which scores the portfolios using trained peer reviewers, who are also arts educators. The results account for 35 percent of a teacher’s evaluation.
According to the article, the system was developed in the Shelby County School District (which now includes Memphis) and was piloted by three districts last year. The system is voluntary, but if a district agrees to participate, all arts teachers in the district must participate. Tennessee is expanding the new system to include teachers of world languages and physical education.
The portfolio evaluation focuses on four domains: perform; create; respond; and connect. Teachers must submit “evidence collections” of student work samples to the state, including a self-rating for each sample, the context for submissions, and evidence of differentiated instruction for students at varying levels of skill and ability. The peer evaluators then review the portfolios for evidence of student growth.
Other states are also using this model, including North Carolina, which is piloting its own program to evaluate teachers in the arts, world languages, health, physical education, Advanced Placement, and the International Baccalaureate courses.
The article is entitled, “Portfolios Used as Alternative Teacher-Evaluation Measure” by Erik W. Robelen, Education Week, September 17, 2013, and is available.
Afterschool Programs Studied: FHI 360, a global nonprofit research company, released on September 10, 2013 the results of a study of afterschool programs in 100 cities. The study is entitled, “Is Citywide Afterschool Coordination Going Nationwide? An Exploratory Study in Large Cities” by Linda Simkin, Ivan Charner, Caitlin Dailey, Eric Watts, Hannah Taub, Abidemi Adelaja, and was commissioned by The Wallace Foundation.
The purpose of the study was to determine a baseline about how afterschool programs are coordinated in cities.
The study found that, “Of the 100 cities where researchers talked to a person who considered themselves knowledgeable about the subject, 77 reported having a system to coordinate afterschool programs. The median number of city agencies and organizations involved in these efforts is 20, though the number varies widely from city to city. Researchers caution that study findings cannot be generalized to all cities with populations of 100,000 or more.”
The study found the following for cities that have implemented coordination strategies:
- Of the 69 cities reporting implementation of at least some coordinating strategies, 22 percent have implemented three key coordination components—1) a coordinating entity; 2) a common data system; and 3) quality standards or framework. Twenty-six percent have implemented two of the three strategies and 38 percent have implemented one. The remaining 15 percent have implemented none of these key coordination strategies.
- 62 percent of cities are using quality standards to evaluate afterschool programs
- Sixty percent of cities have coordinating entities to facilitate afterschool program coordination, such as convening meetings, raising funds, addressing quality, and developing common data systems. Half of these (51 percent) are housed in intermediary or nonprofit organizations, and another 15 percent of cities have multi-organization partnerships or collaborations; 27 percent of coordinating entities are part of the mayor’s office or city agency. The school system is considered the coordinating entity in 7 percent of cities.
- About one third of cities use a common data system to measure access and participation. That percentage increases to 44 when mayors are involved.
- 39 percent of mayors and city managers are highly committed to coordinating services.
The study concludes: “In sum, this study found that solid steps have been undertaken in large cities to coordinate programs across sectors. If this trend continues and afterschool coordination truly goes nationwide, more children will have access to and participate in high-quality afterschool programs.”
The study is available.
SB195 (Tavares) School Enrollment-Adjudicated Child: With respect to enrollment in a school district of a child who is alleged or adjudicated an abused, neglected, or dependent child.
The following bills have been assigned to the Senate Education Committee:
SB158 (Tavares) School Closure Exemption: Exempts from closure certain community schools that enroll students receiving behavioral health services.
SB167 (Tavares) School Policies-Inappropriate Behavior: With respect to school district policies for violent, disruptive, or inappropriate behavior.
SB169 (Sawyer) Charter Schools-Educational Choice Scholarship Program: Requires the Department of Education to conduct a performance review of each chartered nonpublic school participating in the Educational Choice Scholarship Program.
SB174 (Sawyer) State Universities-Student Voting Power: Requires the boards of trustees of state universities and the Northeast Ohio Medical University to adopt a resolution to grant or not grant to student members voting power and the authority to attend executive sessions.
SB190 (Schiavoni) Community Schools Operation: Revises the laws regarding the operation of community schools and, for each of fiscal years 2014 and 2015, limits a community school’s or a STEM school’s gain in aggregate state funding over the previous fiscal year.
Classroom Connections: Bob Lenz, CEO and Co-Founder of Envision Schools in San Francisco, CA, describes the Classroom Connections program used in San Rafael, CA. The program is based on Harvard University’s Teaching for Understanding model of arts integration.
He writes that “…Classroom Connections is an integrated learning program designed to cultivate a “community” approach to teaching and learning. Together, classroom teachers and music, art, and dance instructors spent half the school year providing children with multiple modes of instruction across multiple disciplines.”
Students have an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned through the Classroom Connections Festival, which provides students the opportunity to explore a topic/question in detail, and achieve a deeper understanding of it.
The Classroom Connections program was inspired by the Integrated Learning Specialists Program of Alameda County Office of Education, and the Oakland Mile Project (Music Integrated Learning Environment) The article is “Arts Integration Up Close” by Bob Lenz, September 20, 2013, Edutopia.
Celebrate Arts & Humanities Month in Ohio in October: The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) and the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board will host an event at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium to open Arts and Humanities Month on October 7, 2013 at 1:00 PM.
According to an article on the OAC website by Elizabeth Weinstein, the event will feature Governor John Kasich, who will read a proclamation declaring October Arts & Humanities Month in Ohio, and will encourage “…the residents of Ohio to celebrate and promote the arts and culture in our state”. The event also includes a performance by Mo’ Mojo, a Zydeco-based band from Akron.
The following other events have been scheduled to promote Arts and Humanities Month in October:
- Tours of the People’s Art Collection at the Statehouse on Wednesdays at 2:00 PM (beginning October 2, 2013)
- A tour by oil painter and arts educator Ron Anderson of his portraits on Friday, October 4, 2013 at 11:00 AM
- A discussion led by Leslie Adams, a portrait artist and painter on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at noon
- Poetry readings on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at noon at the Riffe Gallery Lobby. Readings will be presented by Ohio poets Amy Greenberg, Susan Hendrickson, Terry Hermsen, and Hannah Stephenson.
For information about other Arts and Humanities Month events please visit http://wwwArtsinOhio.com.
Town Hall about National Standards for Arts Education: The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS), a group of organizations revising the K-12 learning standards for dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts, has scheduled a Town Hall meeting on October 1, 2013 from 5:00-6:00 PM EST to discuss the standards revision project with other NCCAS leaders.
The public can Tune in using Adobe Connect to view the visual presentation, and dial the following line to listen in and ask questions: 712-432-3066, code 584096#
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.