130th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will hold hearings and sessions this week. The House and Senate Education committees will also meet. Both committees are finalizing work on several bills before the General Assembly breaks for the holiday recess, and are also hearing sponsor testimony on some bills that have not had a hearing this session. It is customary for all introduced bills to receive at least one committee hearing during a legislative session.
The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, will meet on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM in hearing room 313 and on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 5:00 PM in hearing room 313.
On December 2, 2013 the committee will receive testimony on the following bills:
- HB113 (Antonio/Henne) High School Physical Education. A vote is possible.
- HB181 (Brenner) Personal Identifiable Information-Student. A vote is possible.
- HB193 (Brenner) High School Diploma Requirements. A vote is possible.
- HB334 (Hayes/Hottinger) Student Expulsion
On December 4, 2013 the committee will receive testimony on the following bills:
- HB242 (Hagan/Foley) Higher Education Pay Forward Pay Back Program
- HB254 (Lynch) Undocumented Aliens-Discounted Tuition
- HB334 (Hayes/Hottinger) Student Expulsion. A vote is possible.
- HB342 (Brenner/Driehaus) Straight A Program. A vote is possible.
The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, will meet on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM in the South Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on the following bills:
- SB229 (Gardner) Teacher Performance Evaluations. A vote is possible.
- SB239 (Schaffer) Student Expulsions.
- SB167 (Tavares) School Policies-Inappropriate Behavior
Interview with Superintendent Ross: The Ohio Coalition for Quality Education taped an interview on November 7, 2013 with Ohio’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Richard Ross. The following are some of the statements about charter schools made by Dr. Ross during the interview:
Question: Why do you feel that charter schools have become such an important element of Ohio’s public education system?
Dr. Ross’ response: “The ability for moms and dads and boys and girls to have a variety of choices is hugely important. I think one of the problems that we have had in public education is thinking that one size fits all, and we just know that doesn’t work for all children. Anyone who has been around and involved in education for any matter of time or years has seen where it works very well for some, but not everyone. So, we need a portfolio of opportunities for our youngsters, which includes community schools of all sorts of manners, that could provide more options for moms and dads to make choices about what works best for their son and daughter.
•Question: Charter schools still face a strict closure law. Isn’t it time for Ohio to revisit the differences in accountability between public charters and public district schools?
Dr. Ross’ response: “I really believe that the answer to that is yes on all counts. I think that there is a lot of misunderstanding about community schools by traditional K-12 schools and visa versa. My ability to close community schools, is pretty well stipulated in the statute. I think that does not apply the same way to K-12 schools, traditional brick and mortar schools. They go through the academic distress process if they tend to be failing. But yes…I think yes the question is, we need to look at that. It still, I can tell you, I still get goose bumps on my back when I hear a traditional superintendent talk about my spending time with non public schools, and they are talking about community schools. It just, it still sways me after ten, fifteen years of community schools in the state, that there is not an acceptance, that we are all here together to help the boys and girls of Ohio. And having been a public school superintendent that started two community schools in this state, it still um… We need to do a better job of communicating that we are all here together. I am going to work to do that, and continue to work to do that, and I think that yes, we need to engage and look at the legislation for both entities as they are currently structured, and see how we can make it more seamless, and serve the boys and girls in a better way.”
In the full interview Dr. Ross also discusses the Third Grade Reading Guarantee and the Straight-A-Fund. The full interview is available.
Preliminary Graduation Data Released: The U.S. Department of Education reported on November 27, 2013 that preliminary data for 2011-12 shows that graduation rates are improving in the states.
The preliminary data was released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and is based on the new four-year regulatory adjusted cohort graduation rate, by state.
The four-year adjusted cohort rate represents a new way to calculate the graduation rate uniformly across the nation. According to the report, “The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate is the number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class. From the beginning of 9th grade, students who are entering that grade for the first time form a cohort that is subsequently “adjusted” by adding any students who transfer into the cohort later during the 9th grade and the next three years and subtracting any students who transfer out, emigrate to another country, or die during that same period. Data are grouped by national quintiles.”
The number of states reporting for 2011-12 a graduation rate of over 85 percent has increased from 9 to 16, when compared to 2010-11. Iowa reported the highest graduation rate of 89 percent. However, the report cautions that states are still working out the calculations, and that state graduation rates could still change.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) will release a report in early 2014 on state on-time graduation rates for school years 2010-11 and 2011-12. On-time graduation rates will show the percent of students that successfully complete high school in four years and receive a regular high school diploma.
According to the report, Ohio’s four-year graduation rate for 2011-12 is 80 percent.
The press release is available.
Good Jobs for Ohio: Policy Matters Ohio released on November 25, 2013 a policy brief entitled “Good Jobs for Ohio”. The brief describes state policies that can help restore and create good jobs, and drive investments in training and education in the state.
According to the brief, Ohio’s economy has lagged behind the nation’s economy since 2005, “…despite tax cuts sold in the name of increasing employment.” Policy makers have contributed to the job loss by cutting public sector jobs, including teachers, firefighters, and police officers.
In order to increase the number of jobs in Ohio, the brief recommends the following:
- Restore public jobs. The state should restore the $607 million that has been cut from public schools and $1.5 billion that has been cut from communities since 2010-11.
- Invest in infrastructure: “A $300 million investment from the state would replace some of the 215,000 jobs we’ve lost since the 2005 tax cuts and improve our communities in the process, renovating our aging infrastructure, and generating long-terms savings.”
- Green our economy: Ohio could save $50 billion a year by investing in mass transit, insulation, solar and wind power, and sustainable manufacturing.
- Invest more in education and training.
The brief also includes other recommendations to support workers, including raising the minimum wage and enforcing labor laws.
The brief is available.
Youth Civic Development and Education Topic of Report: On February 7, 2013 the Stanford University Graduate School of Education hosted a conference on Youth Civic Development and Education to bring together experts to discuss the status and future of civic education in the United States.
The conference included a panel discussion with the following participants:
- James A. Banks, Foundation Director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington, Seattle
- William Damon, Professor of Education and Director of the Stanford University Center on Adolescence
- Carole L. Hahn, Professor of Educational Studies at Emory University
- Diana Hess, Senior Vice President of the Spencer Foundation and Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin, Madison
- Frederick M. Hess, American Enterprise Institute
- Eric Liu, civic entrepreneur and author
- Rachel Moran, Dean and Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law
- Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Dean and Distinguished Professor of Education at UCLA School of Education and Information Studies
The highlights of the panel discussion are now available in a report entitled Youth Civic Development and Education: A Conference Consensus Report by Heather Malin, Parissa J. Ballard, Maryam Lucia Attai, Anne Colby, and William Damon, Center on Adolescence, Stanford University, and the Center for Multicultural Education, University of Washington, Seattle, November 2013.
The panel explored the dimensions of civic development; the meaning of citizenship; the substance of civic education; civic engagement and civic participation; civic virtues; enhancing civic pedagogy; and support and incentives for a civic education agenda.
According to the report, there is a need for “…greater attention and more effective approaches to civic education in our schools.” Students need a “common grounding in the history, values, and workings of the American constitutional tradition” to be prepared for citizenship in an increasingly diverse society.
The authors write that the consequences for the lack of civic preparation and motivation “…places the future of our democracy in great peril.”
The role of public schools has historically included civic education. However, the report notes that, “….in the recent environment, schools do not devote sufficient time and effort to civic education; nor is this mandate high on the priority lists of influential policy makers. The civic goal of education is being left unfulfilled and even ignored by many of our schools.”
The report recommends that learning outcomes for civics education must be measured and counted in state accountability systems. A “serious investment” needs to be made in developing complex, authentic, performance-based assessments for civic education, and schools that engage students in civic education should be recognized. Private foundations, civic leaders, and individual philanthropists must become more involved to provide the financial support to promote civic engagement programs in schools.
The report is available.
Report Details State Efforts to Promote College and Career Readiness: Achieve released on November 20, 2013 its eighth annual report since 2005 on state efforts to transform K-12 education. The report is entitled, Closing the Expectations Gap: 2013 Annual Report on the Alignment of State K-12 Policies and Practices with the Demands of College and Careers.
The report details the progress that states have made to prepare all students “….to succeed in college, careers, and citizenship”.
Achieve was created in 1996 by a bipartisan group of governors and businessmen as an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit education reform organization. Achieve has worked with the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to develop the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and continues to work with states and education reformers “…to make college and career readiness a priority across the country”.
This annual report compares state progress to meet a number of policy objectives to make college and career readiness (CCR) the mission of state K-12 education systems, including state policies regarding academic content standards, graduation requirements, assessments, and accountability systems. (Please note: Although Achieve sometimes lists “citizenship” as one of the goals for K-12 education there doesn’t seem to be a measure or indicator for citizenship in the report.)
According to the report, “The trends illuminate tremendous progress since 2005 on standards, including universal adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) or state specific college- and career-ready (CCR) standards. Trends in state adoption of CCR graduation requirements and CCR assessments show that progress since 2005 has been slow. And finally, there has been no progress in building comprehensive CCR accountability systems.”
The report identifies state progress in the following education policy areas:
- All states now have CCR standards in English language arts and mathematics. Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia have adopted their own state developed standards, while 45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards.
- Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have adopted CCR graduation requirements in mathematics and English language arts/literacy, a decrease of four states since last year.
- Few states require all students to learn those standards, however, because they do not require students to take courses that deliver the standards. Achieve defines CCR requirements as English language arts/literacy, mathematics, and also a “a broad and comprehensive course of study in science, history, the arts, foreign language, career and technical education, etc.”
- Most states (42 states and the District of Columbia) are on track to implement assessments aligned to the CCSS developed by Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) or the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Nineteen states have adopted policies to administer assessments that postsecondary institutions use to make decisions about students’ readiness for credit-bearing, entry-level courses. Fourteen states require all students to take a college admissions test such as the ACT or SAT. However, public pressure is mounting nationally to delay or abandon plans to implement some assessments.
- Some states are adding CCR indicators to their accountability systems for schools and districts. Thirty-five states use at least one CCR indicator, and four states, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, and Texas, are incorporating multiple measures of CCR indicators in their accountability systems.
The report is available.
HB362 (Scherer/Derickson) Authorizes the STEM Committee to grant a designation of STEM school equivalent to a community school or chartered nonpublic school, and to make other revisions to the law regarding STEM schools.
Update on the Ohio Arts Council: The Governor’s office announced last week the appointment of Darryl D. Mehaffie of Greenville (Darke County) and the reappointment of Neil F. Zimmers, Jr. of Granville (Licking County) to the Ohio Arts Council for a term ending on July 1, 2018. Darryl Mehaffie is also a member of the State Board of Education.
STEAM – A WEBINAR: Americans for the Arts, in coordination with the U.S. House of Representatives’ STEAM Caucus, is sponsoring a free Webinar entitled What’s Happening with STEAM — A Discussion with Diverse Sectors on December 2, 2013 at 4:00 PM EST, 3:00 PM CST, 2:00 PM MST, 1:00 PM PST. The purpose of the webinar is to bring together STEAM leaders in diverse sectors, including academic, industry, government, and education fields, to discuss their work with STEAM, and to respond to questions in order to build a conversation and showcase STEAM as a movement the public can join.
Presenters include John Maeda, President, Rhode Island School of Design; Janis Hill, Principal, Quatama Elementary School, Hillsboro, Oregon; Amy Rasmussen, Executive Director, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE); and Kevin Murray, Program Manager, School of Theater, George Mason University College of Visual and Performing Arts.
This webinar is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register online.
Turnaround Arts Initiative Shows Progress: The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) launched Turnaround Arts as a pilot project in eight elementary and middle schools in April 2012. The pilot was designed to test the hypothesis that “…strategically implementing high-quality and integrated arts education programming in high-poverty, chronically underperforming schools adds significant value to school-wide reform.” Turnaround Arts is a public-private partnership funded in part through the U.S. Department of Education, School Improvement Grants (SIG).
The results of a preliminary evaluation of the program were released on November 26, 2013. The evaluation was conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton using a broad set of data, including school surveys, interviews, focus groups, and classroom observations. Baseline data was also collected for attendance, discipline, and student achievement from each school.
According to the evaluation, entitled Turnaround Arts Initiative: Progress Report 2013, Turnaround Arts, the Turnaround Arts schools have made progress on several measures over the past year. The evaluation also identified specific barriers and challenges that the schools should address to be more successful in the future. The following is a summary of the results from 2011-2013, where data is available:
•Academic Achievement: All Turnaround Arts Schools improved their scores in either reading or math. Between 2011-2013 all but one Turnaround Arts School improved scores in math, and all but one school improved scores in reading. “When comparing the growth in student achievement to SIG schools in their state or district, five out of seven Turnaround Arts schools had higher growth in reading while three had higher growth in math.” In five of seven schools the gains in reading or math were over five percent between 2011-13.
•Attendance: Four of seven schools increased their average attendance rates between 2011 and 2013. These increases ranged from .4 percent to 6 percent. Three schools declined in attendance rates between 3.5 percent and 5.8 percent.
•Discipline: Five of the eight schools had fewer expulsions and in-and-out-of-school suspensions, and three had more mixed results.
•Positive Results: The evaluation also found the following positive results:
- Most teachers worked to integrate the arts into their classroom instruction
- School leaders and teachers were exited about and satisfied with arts specialists, teaching artists, and the professional development opportunities
- Improvements were made to the school facilities to create a positive internal and external climate
•Barriers and challenges: The evaluation identified the following barriers and challenges:
- Development of teacher expertise in the arts
- Lack of time to focus and prioritize on the arts
- Lack of time for planning with arts specialists and teaching artists
- Lack of time to do arts activities
The Turnaround Arts Schools include ReNew Cultural Arts Academy, New Orleans, LA; Findley Elementary School, Des Moines, IA; Lame Deer Middle School, Lame Deer MT; Martin Luther King Jr. School, Portland, OR; Noel Community Arts School, Denver, CO; Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School, Boston, MA; Roosevelt Elementary School, Bridgeport, CT; Savoy Elementary School, Washington, D.C.;
See Turnaround Arts Initiative: Progress Report 2013, prepared by Sara Ray Stoelinga, Urban Education Institute; Katie Joyce, Booz Allen Hamilton; and Yael Silk, Silk Strategic Arts, President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, November 2013.
More on Music and Academic Success: A study was released last week by the University of Kansas showing the initial findings of the Music Makes Us program in the Metro Nashville Public Schools. The study is entitled Prelude: Music Makes Us Baseline Research Report by Becky J. A. Eason, Ph.D., Center for Public Partnerships & Research, The University of Kansas, and Christopher M. Johnson, Ph.D., Music Research Institute, The University of Kansas.
The Music Makes Us initiative was launched in 2012 in the Metro Nashville Public Schools to provide students in grades K-12 equitable access to opportunities to participate in high-quality traditional and contemporary music instruction, that is standards-based, sequential, and taught by highly qualified music educators. Partners in the initiative include Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, music industry leaders, philanthropists, including Martha Ingram, and the Metro Nashville Public Schools.
Using quantitative data analysis and multiple qualitative research methods, researchers at the University of Kansas report the following about the initiative:
- Students who took music courses for up to one year or more than one year outperformed their non-music peers on several indicators, including attendance rate, lower discipline reports, grade point average, graduation rate, ACT English Score, and ACT Math Score.
- The “direct effect” of music participation on academic achievement was found to be important. The researchers also identified an “effect” of music participation on student engagement, which creates an “indirect effect” on academic achievement.
- Qualitative results suggest that music education has a positive effect on student attitudes and behaviors, self-discipline, concentration, persistence, leadership, and skills transfer to other subjects. The study found that students participating in music identified themselves as musicians and their friends as musicians. The students could also describe the role that music would play in their future lives. The qualitative results were obtained through online surveys and focus groups with students.
The researchers include the following recommendations for the Music Makes Us initiative:
- Identify the causes of high school music attrition and develop strategies to reverse it.
- Continue to expand music program offerings and access.
- Ensure continuity in choral music for boys across elementary, middle, and high school.
- Extend nontraditional music classes to attract a broader range of students.
See Prelude: Music Makes Us Baseline Research Report by Becky J. A. Eason, Ph.D. Center for Public Partnerships & Research The University of Kansas Christopher M. Johnson, Ph.D. Metro Nashville Public Schools, November 2013.