Arts On Line Education Update 03.17.2014

Ohio News

130th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House will hold committee meetings and a session this week, but the Senate will only hold committee meetings.

The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, will meet on March 19, 2014 at 9:30 AM in hearing Room 017. The committee will receive testimony on the following bills:

  • HB241 (Hagen) School Employees-Sexual Conduct: Prohibits an employee of a public or nonpublic school or institution of higher education from engaging in sexual conduct with a minor who is enrolled in or attends that public or nonpublic school.
  • HB449 (Gonzales) Higher Education-Residency: With respect to residency status for certain veterans, spouses, and dependents at state institutions of higher education.
  • HB454 (Gonzales) Concealed Carry-School Safety Zone: Expands and clarifies the authority of a concealed handgun licensee to possess a handgun in a school safety zone.
  • HB460 (Brenner/Driehaus) School Restructuring: Authorizes school districts and community schools to initiate a community learning process to assist and guide school restructuring.

Straight A Fund: The Straight A Fund Governing Board met last week and announced a schedule for accepting the next round of grant applications for the $150 million Straight A Grant program and changes in the program to reflect recently passed HB342 (Brenner/Driehaus) Straight A Grant Program. The application process for this round of awards will begin Friday, April 4, 2014 and end Friday, April 18, 2014. The Governing Board will begin the first round of reviews on May 12, 2014 and the second round on May 21, 2014. Grant awards will be announced after June 20, 2014.

Information is available.

ODE Selects Alternative Tests for Reading Guarantee: The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) announced last week the alternative tests that schools/districts can use to prove that a student is proficient in reading if the student was not able to pass the Ohio Achievement Assessment in the third grade under the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Students in the third grade can take the state assessments in the fall, spring, and summer to prove that they are proficient in reading. The alternative assessment could be given to students to demonstrate proficiency, but not as a substitute for the state reading assessment. The ODE selected the Iowa Assessments Form F Level 9 for third grade; Northwest Evaluation Association Measure of Academic Progress; and the Terra Nova 3.

Information is available.

Voter Bill of Rights: A proposed constitutional amendment for the November 2014 ballot overcame two hurdles last week. Attorney General Mike DeWine approved petition language for the proposed “Ohio Voter Bill of Rights” and the Ohio Ballot Board determined that it was one subject. The proposed amendment would add to the constitution provisions about early voting, electronic voter registration, absentee ballots, etc. The group supporting the amendment, Citizens for Ohio Voter Bill of Rights, must collect 385,247 valid signatures by July 2, 2014 to place the issue on the November 2014 ballot.

The proposed constitutional amendment is available.

New Statehouse Website Launched: The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) announced last week the launch of a newly redesigned and upgraded website. The website consolidates information that was previously found on five independent websites, and includes a searchable online catalog on Ohio Statehouse history.

Visit the site.

Mid Biennium Review Introduced: Governor Kasich submitted on March 11, 2014 HB472 (McClain) the Mid Biennium Review (MBR) to the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Representative Jeff McClain. Known in the past as a “corrections bill”, the first MBR was introduced in 2012 during the second year of the Kasich Administration. HB472 is expected to be divided-up into separate bills, which will considered by different House committees, based on their subject.

The first hearing on HB472 was held on March 12, 2014 in the House Ways and Means Committee. Several members of Governor’s Kasich’s cabinet testified including Budget Director Tim Keen, Tax Commissioner Joe Testa, Mental Health and Addiction Services Director Tracy Plouck, Workforce Transformation Director Tracy Intihar, Regents Chancellor John Carey, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Richard Ross.

The MBR includes a number of policy changes for Ohio’s tax system, higher education, vocational education, dropout prevention programs, workforce development, and human services. The following are some of the highlights of the bill:

Tax Policy Changes: The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to consider the proposed changes in Ohio’s tax structure included in the MBR. The committee has been holding hearings on HB375 (Huffman), which includes changes in the severance tax for oil and gas drilling, including fracking. It could be that some of the tax changes in the MBR will become part of HB375, or visa versa.

Lower Income Tax Rates: The MBR would lower personal income tax rates over the next three years by 8.5 percent, so that the highest rate would eventually be 4.88 percent by 2016. To offset the revenue lost, which would be $2.6 billion, the plan would raise other state taxes by $2.4 billion through FY17. Overall state taxes would be cut by $91 million in FY14 and $121 million in FY15.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Exemptions: The governor’s proposal would increase the EITC from 5 to 15 percent of the federal credit. Personal income tax exemptions would be increased for Ohioans earning less than $40,000 from $1,700 to $2,700 and for Ohioans earning between $40,000 and $80,000 from $1,700 to $2,200. These changes would lower state revenue by $453 million over three years.

Cigarette Tax: This tax would increase from $1.25 to $1.85 per pack over two years. The tax would also be applied to e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. The amount of revenue earned is estimated to be $848 million over three years.

Oil and Gas Drilling: The governor’s plan would create the Ohio Shale Gas Regional Commission to oversee local distribution of some of the revenue generated by gas and oil drilling. A severance tax rate of 2.75 percent is proposed along with exempting up to $8 million of gross receipts per well from taxation for three years to help producers recoup start-up costs and eliminating severance taxes on small producers. The proposed changes could increase tax revenue by $874 million over three years.

Commercial Activity Tax (CAT): The CAT would increase from 0.26 percent to 0.30 percent, and raise $743 million over three years. The CAT was introduced in 2005 and the rate has not changed since introduced.

According to testimony presented on March 12, 2014 by Budget Director Tim Keen, the MBR also includes $53.3 million to address the rise in the prison population.

K-12 Education: The Kasich Administration’s plan for K-12 education would focus on keeping students in school; expanding career education as an option for students; and providing support for adults to earn high school diplomas. School districts and schools would be required to develop a career-advising policy for students. Other provisions would create a process for teachers with a resident educator license to renew that license, and change the criteria for school districts to be identified in need of an academic distress commission.

Dropout Prevention: According to the governor, nearly 24,000 Ohio students drop out of school every year. The administration’s plan would call on the Ohio Department of Education to work with local school districts and create a tool to identify at-risk students and provide better support for them, including career counseling and creating new pathways to earn a diploma. The pathways could include career-technical education, participation in Dropout Prevention and Recovery Programs, and the development of unique diploma plans worked-out between the student and the school.

Helping Adults Earn Diplomas: The MBR includes a pilot project that would allow approved Career Centers and community colleges to provide opportunities for adults who do not have a high school diploma, to earn credits while pursuing job training coupled with credential efforts.

Mentorship through Community Connectors: The governor proposes using $10 million from casino-license fees to provide grants (matched 3 to 1) to support community-based and business-based mentorship programs for students.

Expanding Access to Vocational Education: The governor proposes making Ohio’s high-quality network of technical and vocational education available to students beginning in the 7th grade to give more Ohio students a jump-start on career education. Boards of education can opt-out of this expansion by passing a resolution.

Higher Education: The Kasich Administration will continue efforts already underway to increase pathways for individuals to earn college and university degrees, and align state support for institutions of higher education with the number of graduates. The administration is also requesting to enter into a reciprocity agreement with the Midwestern Higher Education Compact to deliver distance learning in and outside of Ohio.

College Credit Plus: Governor Kasich supports increasing student enrollment in dual credit programs, in which students earn college credits while still in high school. The purpose of these programs is to provide more students with a jump-start to earn a college degree at a lower cost to families. To do this the governor’s plan would establish the College Credit Plus data collection and reporting system; make the funding mechanism for both high schools and higher education institutions more equitable and transparent; ensure course and program quality; and provide better information for parents and students. Many of the recommendations for these provisions were reported in the College Credit Plus report, prepared by Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey.

Increase Graduation Rates: HB59 the state’s FY14-15 budget included a new funding formula that ties state funds for four year institutions of higher education to course completion and graduation. The presidents of Ohio’s community colleges recently finalized their recommendations to align state funding on successful course, degree, and certificate completions, rather than course enrollments, and this component is included the MBR. The new community college formula also provides greater payments to schools for older, low income, and minority students who are successful.

Ohio’s Technical Centers: The MBR includes a new formula that will require that 50 percent of state funding for Ohio’s Technical Centers be based upon the percentage of students who actually find a job after they complete their program of study. The remaining 50 percent of state funding will be based upon a combination of factors, such as successful student retention, the number of students who successfully complete a workforce training program, and the number of students who successfully receive an industry recognized credential.

Course- and Program-Sharing Network: The governor’s plan would require the Chancellor of the Board of Regents to implement a course- and program-sharing network to encourage institutions and adult career centers to share existing courses and programs across the state. The Chancellor would also have the ability to enter into an agreement with the Midwestern Higher Education Compact to allow Ohio colleges to deliver distance learning to students in other states. Participation in an agreement would allow Ohio colleges and universities to expand their distance education offerings and create more opportunities for Ohio residents to take college courses to expand their knowledge and skill sets.

Retaining International Students: To keep more international students in Ohio after graduation the MBR directs the Chancellor of the Board of Regents to create a globalization liaison by the end of 2014 to increase recruitment and enrollment of international students, and to encourage them to remain in the state after graduation.

Guaranteed Tuition: The MBR would allow Ohio’s community colleges to offer students a guaranteed tuition rate that would apply to their time on campus. HB59 granted the same option to all of Ohio’s four-year public universities.

Credits for Veterans: Veterans who work toward a college degree would receive credit for military training, experience, and the coursework that they took while serving in the military. The MBR requires the creation of a Military Transfer Assurance Guide to provide baseline standards, procedures, and tools for any public college or university to grant college credit for military experiences. Veterans would also be assured that they will not be charged for the military-training credits, including fees for evaluations, transcripts, and applications for college credit for military experiences.

Veterans Transition to College: The MBR includes provisions to ensure that all Ohio campuses are using best practices to counsel transitioning veterans so that the veterans can enroll in the courses that they need.

Work Force Development: The Kasich Administration is continuing efforts to better align Ohio’s workforce training system to help Ohioans who want to start new careers or learn new skills.

More Efficient Workforce Development System for Ohio: The MBR includes provisions to align the three main federal workforce programs into a single plan: Adult Basic Literacy Education (ABLE), the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins): and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).

Helping Veterans Get Jobs: The governor proposes making it easier for veterans to transfer their skills to receive academic and licensure credit by creating a Fast Track to State Licenses, for veterans who work with a professional licensing board.

Human Services: The Kasich Administration has focused on providing support for people struggling with drug addiction, mental illness, and disabilities. The MBR includes new initiatives that would do the following:

  • increase access to crisis intervention and provide safe places for Ohioans with mental illness and addiction
  • expand the “Start Talking!” drug prevention program in schools
  • provide $6.5 million for statewide investment in drug prevention initiatives
  • allocate $26.9 million from the Master Settlement Agreement to the Ohio Department of Health to support a five-year plan for tobacco prevention and cessation programs -create a voluntary, free-of-charge online training and certification program for Ohioans interested in training to work with individuals with autism.

The MBR also includes a new Human Services Innovation Office in the Department of Job and Family Services to implement a standardized, computer-based system for determining eligibility for welfare and other public-assistance programs, improve case management, and coordinate workforce training and other state programs to find people jobs.

More information is available.

More information is available in an online version of HB472.

Policy Matters Ohio Responds to the MBR: Zach Schiller of Policy Matters Ohio released on March 11, 2014 a statement about the Mid-Biennium Review, saying that “Gov. Kasich’s proposal contains helpful initiatives, but Ohio does not need the across-the-board income-tax cut that is the centerpiece of his mid-biennium budget proposal.”

The statement goes on to explain that the proposed $900 million reduction in personal income taxes will go to the most affluent Ohioans, and the state taxes that will increase to offset the revenue reductions are not sustainable. The proposed increases in the cigarette tax will eventually lead to a decrease in the number of people smoking, which is a welcome outcome, but not one that will sustain the revenue from the cigarette tax. The boom in gas and oil drilling in Ohio is also not expected to last forever. This means that state revenue to support important services will not be available in the future. Many state services have been underfunded since the state made cuts to the local government fund and K-12 education during the recession. These cuts still have not been restored.

Policy Matters Ohio recommends the following:

  • Protective services for both children and adults need to be strengthened.
  • Additional resources are needed to reduce Ohio’s high infant mortality rates.
  • The local government fund needs to be restored.
  • Need-based aid should be increased so more students can afford college.
  • Mandates like the Third-Grade Reading Guarantee should be funded.
  • Actions should be taken right now to fight poverty in Ohio. “The administration should accept the federal waiver that allowed more than 100,000 single Ohioans to continue receiving nutrition aid because of high unemployment.”
  • Legislators should look also at making the Earned Income Tax Credit refundable, so it could aid the poorest.

Visit Policy Matters Ohio for more information.

Legislative Update

Signed into Law

HB342 (Brennen/Driehaus) Straight A Program Changes: Governor Kasich signed HB342 into law on March 11, 2014, and it took effect immediately. The law makes changes in the Straight A Fund grant program. It permits an educational service center to be a partner or the lead applicant of an education consortium seeking a grant; modifies the goals of projects supported by the program; and makes other changes regarding the operation of the program.

Passed the House and Senate

HB416 (Burkley/Hill) Calamity Days: The House and Senate approved HB416 on March 12, 2014 after a conference committee worked-out differences between the House and Senate version of the bill.

The bill increases the number of extra calamity days to four. These are days that do not have to be made-up, but districts must first use four of their “contingency days”, so, school districts will have nine calamity days this year.

School districts can also make up missed days in 30-minute increments added onto the end of regular days, and can update their calamity day contingency plans for the current year at any time to include online lessons and blizzard bags. The bill also allows the superintendent of public instruction to waive compliance with the minimum school year for schools operated by county boards of developmental disabilities, and authorizes a delay in reporting scores on the Ohio Achievement Assessments in grades three through eight by one week to reflect the delay in administering the tests that was recently authorized by the state superintendent of public instruction.

The bill also states that high school seniors will not have to return to make-up additional classes scheduled at the end of the year if they occur after the graduation ceremony.

HB107 (Baker) Career Exploration Internships: The Senate approved HB107 on March 12, 2014. The bill authorizes a tax credit for businesses that employ high school students in career exploration internships.

Passed in the House

HB367 (Driehaus/Sprague) Opioid Instruction in School Curriculum: The House approved HB367 on March 12, 2014. The bill would require health curricula in schools to include instruction on opioid abuse prevention.

Reported by the House Education Committee

HB290 (Stebelton) School Premises Liability: The House Education Committee reported HB290 on March 12, 2014. The bill would allow the use of school district premises by members of the public and provide immunity from civil liability for a school district and schools when permitting members of the public to use school premises.

Reported by the House Finance and Appropriations Committee

HB85 (Terhar/Gonzales) Homestead Exemption: The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, amended HB85 on March 11, 2014, and reported it. The bill enhances the homestead exemption for military veterans who are 100 percent disabled from a service-connected disability. The amendment changes the definition of disabled veteran to match federal regulations.

 National News

Child Care Bill Passes Senate: The U.S. Senate passed the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) of 2014 (S.1086) on March 15, 2014, reauthorizing this federal child care program created in 1996. The bipartisan bill is sponsored by Senator Barbara Mikulski along with Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) It passed the Senate by a vote of 96-2.

The CCDBG will improve the quality of child care for the more than 1.5 million children and families, and includes the following provisions:

  • Requires states to devote more of their funding to quality initiatives, such as training, professional development, and professional advancement of the child care workforce.
  • Ensures that CCDBG providers meet certain health and safety requirements
  • Provides families more stability in the CCDBG program
  • Requires states to focus on infant and toddler quality initiatives
  • Requires mandatory background checks for child care providers in the CCDBG program

The bill is supported by Afterschool Alliance, American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees (AFSME), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Catholic Charities USA, Child Care Aware, Children’s Defense Fund, Easter Seals, First Focus, MomsRising, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Child Abuse Coalition, National PTA, National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), Stand for Children, Teach for America, United Way Worldwide and Zero to Three, among many others.

More information is available.

Legislation to Reduce Mandated Testing: Last week U.S. Representatives Chris Gibson (R-NY) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced HR-4172, the Student Testing Improvement and Accountability Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and replace annual testing for math and English language arts in each grade with testing once over a certain span of grades.

According to a statement by Representative Gibson, “Reducing the frequency of federally required testing allows more time for classroom instruction, decreases the burden on educational resources associated with testing and moves our public education system away from the practice of “teaching to the test” that was an unfortunate consequence of NCLB.”

The National Education Association endorsed HR-4175 last week.

More information is available.

Dayton to Participate in Community Conversations: The Dayton Public Schools will participate with 13 other school districts in “Community Conversations”, an initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE), Congressional City Conference in Washington, and the National League of Cities. The conversations will bring together local leaders, educators. families and community leaders around the topics of early childhood education, afterschool learning experiences, closing achievement gaps, and postsecondary education. The other cities that will participate in the conversations are Avondale, AZ; Berkeley, CA; Gary, IN; Hattiesburg, MS; Kansas City, MO; Louisville, KY; Madison, WI; Memphis, TN; Phoenix, AZ; Pittsburgh, PA; Saint Paul, MN; Salt Lake City, UT; and Savannah, GA.

More information is available.

The Problem with Public Schools is Elected Boards of Education: At the California Charter Schools Association conference on March 4, 2014 Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told an audience that school districts have no control over boards of education, which is why public schools are in chaos. The governance structure of public schools, i.e. elected boards of education, leads to instability and the inability of education reforms to become entrenched. That’s because, according to Hastings, every time someone is elected to a board of education they want to implement their own education reforms, which means that school districts are constantly changing directions. Charter schools, on the other hand, are governed by appointed boards which lead to stable reform efforts over a longer period of time.

Reed Hastings, who is also a former member of the California State Board of Education and a large donor to charter school causes, also told the audience that it will probably take 20 or 30 years for the number of students that are enrolled in charter schools to reach 90 percent, which will be when charter schools take over the K-12 education system. Currently 8 percent of students are enrollment in charter schools nationally. He pointed to New Orleans as an example of a city which has a successful charter-school based education system, with 90 percent of students enrolled in charter schools.

More information is available.

State Board of Education: The State Board of Education met on March 10 & 11, 2014 in Columbus. The board received updates about implementing the next generation of assessments; continued conversations about the accountability measures on the local report card; and formed an ad hoc committee to develop recommendations for the gifted indicator on the local report card.

Board members also received an update about the recent staff changes at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) from Jason Rafeld, ODE chief of staff.

Eric Bode, the executive director of the Office of School Finance, resigned from the ODE in February 2014 to take a position at The Ohio State University.

Shasheen Phillips, executive director of the Office of Curriculum and Assessments, will be leaving the ODE at the end of the month. The ODE will conduct a national search for the position, which includes working closely with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

Dean Whitworth, former Superintendent of Findlay City Schools, will replace John Richard, who recently was promoted to Associate State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Steve Gratz will be moving up to replace Kathy Shibley as the director of Office of Career-Technical and Adult Education.

Clairie Huff-Franklin is the new director of the Office of Distress Commission and Ed Reform. She will continue as lead for the Urban and Rural Renewal Education Committee.

Readiness for implementing the New Online Assessments: Jason Rafeld also updated the board about the readiness of schools and districts in Ohio to implement the next generation of assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

Ohio is one of several states that is working with the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers to administer the new online assessments.

According to information gathered by the ODE over the past months, an estimated 86 to 90 percent of schools have the necessary 100MB connectivity and 80 percent of the equipment specifications to administer online assessments.

Field testing of the new assessments, which begins this month, will serve as a reality check for how well the online assessment system works, said Mr. Rafeld. About 290 districts (120,000 students) will administer assessments in English language arts and math, and about 422 school districts (27,000 -36,000 students) will administer assessments in science and social studies.

In the future schools/districts that opt for students to take the written assessments will have to prove that they don’t have the appropriate technology. The ODE technology assistant teams will also work with schools/districts to resolve technology problems.

Mr. Rafeld also reported that the cost of the PARCC assessment is $21-26 per child at each grade level, compared to the cost of the OGT and OAA, which is $26-30 per child at each grade level.

Board members expressed concerns about the amount of bandwidth that schools have available; what kind of technology is needed to be considered ready to implement the assessments; which schools are participating in the field tests; why students are taking the field tests and the OAA at the same time; how many community schools are participating in the field tests; and what kind of training and preparation did the ODE provide to ensure that students, teachers, administrators, parents, and the public are ready for the new assessments.

Stephanie Dodd, who represents State Board District 9, which includes several rural counties, asked how many schools and districts completed the technology readiness tool distributed by the ODE; what efforts are being made to secure funding to help schools connect to the internet; and why PARCC is asking schools to download the assessments on their main servers, which poses a security problem?

Mr. Rafeld explained that the ODE is working with a number of agencies such as the Department of Administrative Services, the Board of Regents, OARNET, and private companies like Time Warner to connect schools to the internet. The state might also apply for funds through the Federal Communications Commission for connectivity. Schools that are having other technical problems should contact the ODE technology assistance team.

The following are highlights from the Operating Standards, Accountability, and Achievement Committee meetings:

Operating Standards Committee: The Operating Standards Committee met on March 11, 2014. Chairman Ron Rudduck reviewed the minutes of the February 19, 2014 committee meeting, which included a demonstration about the proposed web-based version of the operating standards.

The committee then reviewed feedback about Rule 3301-35-04 Student and Stakeholder Focus, and the comments submitted by the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE). Dr. John Richard, ODE Associate State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Sandy Hay, ODE Educational Consultant, told the committee that they believed that the OAAE concerns about eliminating the course requirements for graduation from operating standards will be addressed through the links to the Ohio Revised Code that will be provided for the web-based operating standards.

The committee also received comments from four librarians, Dr. Susan Yutzey, President of the Ohio Educational Library Media Association; Brandi Young, InfOhio Integration Librarian; Joanna McNally, Orange City School District; and Susan Ridgeway, Wooster City Schools.

The comments focused on the “education service personnel” component of Rule 3301-35-05 Faculty and Staff Focus and more broadly on the role of the librarian and libraries in Ohio schools.

This provision of operating standards requires school districts to employ five of eight education service personnel for every 1000 students. Education service personnel are defined as a counselor, library media specialist, school nurse, visiting teacher, social worker, and elementary art, music, and physical education teachers. At one time school districts received additional state aid, or state aid reductions, based on meeting, or not meeting, this standard. These financial incentives were removed from law years ago.

The presenters described the status of libraries in Ohio schools, and said that 27 percent of schools do not have a school librarian. The current number of school librarians in Ohio is 977; about 77 percent serve more than one school; and 30 percent are the only librarians in their district.

They explained that they believe that the educational service personnel requirement in the rule gives school districts the option not to employ librarians. They asked the State Board to mandate that school districts employ certified librarians, or eliminate the provision in the rule.

All board members expressed support for school librarians, but President Terhar also explained that she believed that school districts have local control to allocate resources. Mr. Collins suggested that the presenters return with a recommendation that the committee could consider.

Chairman Rudduck said that the committee appreciated their comments and will take them under consideration.

Accountability Committee: The Accountability Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, met on March 10, 2014. The committee approved Rule 3301-102-11 “Dropout prevention and recovery schools’ assessment of growth in student achievement” and 3301-102-12 “Standards for awarding an overall report card designation to dropout prevention and recovery community schools”. The committee continued discussions about the following:

  • Gifted education web-based “dashboard”; Chris Woolard, Director of Accountability at ODE and Mike Carmack at ODE, presented a draft of the Gifted Dashboard, which will include additional information about gifted education programs on the state report card. Some of the elements proposed for the dashboard include gifted indicator status; value added – gifted; percent of students scoring at each achievement level on state tests – subject specific and superior cognitive; district/building aggregate summary of screening, identification, and services; formal acceleration; audit results; number of students participating in advanced placement, international baccalaureate, dual enrollment, etc. Some of the data elements are available now, but others will be added when the data is available.
  • Gifted indicator: Matt Cohen, Chief Research Officer at ODE, reviewed the gifted performance indicator proposed by the ODE. The proposed indicator would be calculated for districts that have a gifted value added grade and a gifted performance index score, and would include the following measures:
  • Student Performance Measures: These include the gifted value added measure; a new gifted achievement measure; and future measures as available, such as ACT scores.
  • District/School Input Measures: These include the percent of enrolled students identified as gifted by grade bands, such as K-3; 4-8; and 9-12, and the percentage of enrolled students who receive gifted services by grade bands. Schools/districts could receive up to 30 points based on the percentage of students identified and served by grade level bands.

The State Board would need to set minimum thresholds for the gifted-value added measure, the gifted achievement measure, and the minimum number of points for the District/School Input Measures.

During the February 2014 committee meeting, Ann Sheldon and Dr. Colleen Boyle, representing the Ohio Association for Gifted Children, offered an alternative proposal.
To move the process forward Debe Terhar, President of the State Board, proposed forming an ad hoc committee to review the current proposals, and make recommendations to the committee at the May meeting of the State Board. The committee approved a resolution creating the ad-hoc committee, and identified the following members of the committee:

Tom Ash, BASA; Michael Tefs, Superintendent of Wooster City Schools; Jamie Meade, Battelle for Kids, Ann Sheldon (OAGC), one other member to be appointed by OAGC, Chris Woolard, (who will chair the committee), Matt Cohen, and one designee from ODE Office of Exceptional Children.

“Prepared for Success Measure”: Chris Woolard introduced a discussion about a new measure and component, Prepared for Success, which will be “reported only” on the 2014 report card, but will be a graded component on the 2015 report card. In 2014 the Prepared for Success component will include summary data for schools and districts on the percent of students who receive honors diplomas, industry credentials, remediation free on ACT/SAT, and credit for dual enrollment, advanced placement, or international baccalaureate programs.

The law requires that the State Board develop a method to determine a grade for the Prepared for Success Measure based on six measures; when determining the overall grade, no student shall be counted in more than one performance measure, but the state board may specify an additional weight for students meeting more than one performance measure; and the measure must be based on the four- and five-year graduation cohorts.

Chris Woolard explained that the ODE is recommending for consideration mandatory elements and bonus elements to include in the Prepared for Success Measure. The mandatory elements would indicate that a student is remediation free, by achieving an honors diploma, industry credential, or remediation free on the ACT/SAT tests. Students would receive “bonus points” if they also received credit for dual enrollment, advanced placement, or international baccalaureate programs. The committee will receive preliminary summary data on this component in the future, and will continue to discuss the framework.

Combining Report Card Measures: Chris Woolard reviewed with the committee a proposed framework for combining the report card measures, so that districts and schools receive an overall letter grade in addition to letter grades on components. This framework would allow for different weights for multiple measures within a component; addresses threshold and large ranges (e.g. the difference between a low “A” and a high “B”), and allows for score differentiation to better identify schools that need additional support, which is a requirement of Ohio’s ESEA waiver.

Weighting Indicators: The committee also reviewed options for weighting the reporting card indictors. Chris Woolard presented to the committee some examples of how different measures could be weighted equally or given more emphasis than others. He asked if under the Achievement Measure, if the performance index (PI) should be equally weighted with the Indicators, or if more emphasis should be placed on the Performance Index; graduation rate; and value added.

Debe Terhar asked if it was appropriate to put so much emphasis on the results of one test that students take at one time. Chris Woolard responded that both the PI and Indicators are based on tests taken at one time. Mike Collins said he needed more data on both components to make a decision, while Tom Gunlock favored weighting them equally. He and other committee members agreed that the four year graduation rate should be weighted more than the five year graduation rate. Mike Collins also wanted more information about how these components align with international measures of achievement.

There was more discussion about weighting the value added component, which includes four measures: the overall value added, value added for gifted, value added for the lowest 20 percent, and value added for student with disabilities.

Stephanie Dodd suggested that the subgroups should be weighted equally. C. Todd Jones asked how would students in more than one subgroup count and how the overlap of students would affect the score of a school/district. Chris Woolard responded that students in more than one subgroup would count in each subgroup. Matt Cohen said that the ODE could break-out the data to see the range of the overlap of students within the subgroups.

Mary Rose Oakar asked about how students with serious cognitive disabilities are counted. Matt Cohen said that students with serious cognitive disabilities take an alternative assessment and are not included in this measure.

Committee members agreed that it would be helpful to see different scenarios for weighting different subgroup results. There is a problem, however, because some schools and districts might not have data for some of the subgroups. For example, the number of students identified and served in gifted education in some schools/districts is small or nonexistent. Committee member Mary Rose Oakar responded by suggesting that districts be mandated to identify and serve gifted students, so that all schools would have enough students in the subgroup. She also suggested that the work of the Accountability and Achievement Committee overlap, because the decisions made by the Achievement Committee regarding the definition of gifted services, which is included in the operating standards for gifted education programs, will establish standards that will become the basis for the accountability rating.

Chairman Gunlock also said that he is concerned about schools/districts not identifying gifted students so that they don’t have data for value added gifted, and requested that the ODE provide the committee with information about the number of schools that have not identified gifted students.

Chris Woolard said that the ODE will prepare some scenarios for the April meeting.

The Achievement Committee: The Achievement Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, considered the following topics during its meeting on March 10, 2014:

  • Career Technical Education: Jamie Nash, Associate Director of Career Technical Education, provided background information about proposed rule changes for career technical education. The changes include rescinding three rules now found to be obsolete by HB59 the FY14-15 State Budget, and revising two other rules in order to include career-technical opportunities at the middle school level. The two rules that are to be rescinded, Rules 3301-61-04 Family Consumer Science and 3301-61-05 Career-Based Interventions, will now be included in the rules for Career Technical Education, rather than Workforce Development. Rule 3301-61-03 will be revised to include Family and Consumer Science and Career-Based Interventions, and 3301-68-01, referring to funding for Career Technical Education will be rescinded, since it also refers to workforce development. Rule 3301-61-18 Use of Career-Technical Education Additional Weighted Cost Funds and Career-Technical Associated Service Funds, will be revised to remove redundant language and add an additional item to allowable costs for associated services to permit the monitoring of career-technical education programs.
  • Model Curricula: The committee received information about the status of three curricula models being developed by the ODE: Financial Literacy, Fine Arts, and World Languages.
  • Brian Roget, Associate Director for Curriculum and Assessment, provided an update about the financial literacy curriculum, which will be posted next month for public review.
  • Nancy Pistone, ODE Fine Arts Consultant, reported that the Fine Arts model curriculum is aligned to the Fine Arts Standards adopted by the State Board in 2012, and will be used by teachers in the fine arts to guide the development of courses of study in the arts and lessons in the arts. The curriculum model was developed through a process that included four regional meetings to gather information from teachers in the arts, followed by the work of four writing teams, composed of 55 teachers representing all areas of the state, grade levels, and arts disciplines. The model was posted on the ODE website between January and February 2014, and there was “great response” and a “high level of interest” by stakeholders. According to Dr. Pistone, the model emphasizes thinking skills that are required for artistic production and performance, including problem-solving, reasoning, and creativity, and career connections between technology and the arts. Based on the public feedback the curriculum model will be revised and brought to the board for adoption in June 2014.
  • Kathy Shelton, ODE Consultant for World Languages, reviewed the process for developing the model curriculum for World Languages. The standards for world languages were adopted by the State Board in June 2012, and shortly after an 18 member committee was created to develop the model curriculum. The committee, which included teachers from different regions in Ohio and representing different world languages taught in Ohio’s schools, completed a draft of the model, which was posted on the ODE website in January and February 2014. She reported that the response to the model has been very favorable. The model will be revised based on the feedback, and will be brought back to the board at the June 2014 meeting for approval.
  • TGRG Road Map: Shasheen Phillips provided the committee information about the Third Grade Reading Guarantee Parent Road Map. The ODE Communications Office is editing the final version, which will be posted on the ODE website.

Bills Introduced

HB470 (Barnes) School Bullying Prevention Awareness Act: Enacts the School Bullying Prevention Awareness Act to designate September as School Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and declares an emergency.

HB472 (McClain) Mid-Biennium Budget Review: Makes operating and other appropriations and provides authorization and conditions for the operation of state programs.

HCR50 (Lundy/Blair) E-Book Access-Public Libraries: Urges Ohio members of the Congress of the United States to seek a solution to ensure public access to e-book materials through public libraries.

HB473 (Hayes) Education-Student Expression Forum: Requires school districts, community schools, STEM schools, and college-preparatory boarding schools to establish a limited public forum for student expression.

FYI ARTS

Ohio’s Poetry Out Loud Winner Announced: The Ohio Arts Council announced recently that Lake Wilburn, a junior at Centennial High School in Columbus, became the ninth student to win Ohio’s Poetry Out Loud competition, held on March 8, 2014 at the Maatesich Theatre at Ohio Dominican University. Wilburn recited “Double Dutch,” by Gregory Pardlo; “When You Are Old,” by William Butler Yeats; and “They Feed They Lion,” by Philip Levine.

The winner of the state finals receives a $300 prize and an all-expense-paid trip to compete in the Poetry Out Loud national finals in Washington, D.C. on April 28-30, 2014. The winner’s school receives $500 for the purchase of poetry books.

This year more than 8,000 students from more than 50 schools participated in preliminary Poetry Out Loud competitions held in classrooms and schools. Thirty-six students advanced to the finals held in Columbus, and performed classic and contemporary poems for a three-judge panel of poetry and performance experts. Students were awarded points for accuracy, physical presence, voice and articulation, level of complexity, and other criteria.

The Poetry Out Loud national finals provide students with the opportunity to win scholarships and stipends for their schools, including a $20,000 cash prize for the national winner. Ohio’s previous Poetry Out Loud winners have received several recognitions at the national finals: Ohio winner Jackson Hille was the first national Poetry Out Loud winner in 2006; Mido Aly was among the top five national finalists in 2009; and Taribo Osuobeni, received an Honorable Mention in 2013.

Poetry Out Loud, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and in partnership with the Ohio Arts Council, encourages high school students to experience poetry, gain confidence through performance, and learn more about our nation’s literary heritage.

See “Columbus Student Wins 2014 Ohio’s Poetry Out Loud Contest, Advances to Nationals” by Patricia Shannon, Ohio Arts Council, March 2014.

Valuing the Arts and the Cultural Sector: In December 2013 the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released a white paper entitled the NEA Guide to the U.S. Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA). The guide provides information about the work of the NEA and BEA, begun in 2012, to “devise a system for valuing arts and culture as a distinct sector of the nation’s economy”.

According to the BEA, satellite accounts capture the data from sectors of the nation’s economy that are linked to, but distinct from, the main industry systems and cut across industry data. The BEA’s main industry account, for example, shows that the performing arts, spectator sports, and museums added $83 billion to the U.S. economy in 2011. The satellite account for the arts and culture will ensure that “estimates for the performing arts are reported not only in aggregate, but also for specific commodities such as theaters, dance troupes, and symphony orchestras.”

See NEA Guide to the U.S. Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA).

Preliminary Data for ACPSA Released: In December 2013 the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) released prototype estimates from the new Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA). According to the estimates “3.2 percent — or $504 billion — of current-dollar GDP in 2011 was attributable to arts and culture. In comparison, BEA’s estimated value of the U.S. travel and tourism industry was 2.8 percent of GDP.”

The preliminary estimates also include the following about the economic contributions of arts and cultural production (ADP):

  • In 2011 the gross output of ADP was $916 billion. Advertising (creative content only) contributed $200 billion or 20 percent of all arts and cultural commodities. Post secondary fine arts and performing arts departments, and academic performing arts centers contributed $104 billion. Cable television production and distribution contributed $100 billion. The motion picture and video goods and services contributed $83 billion in output.
  • ”The arts suffered more than the overall economy during the great recession of 2007-2009. Between 1998 and 2006, the ratio of current-dollar value added for ACP to current-dollar GDP ranged between 3.5 and 3.7 percent. In 2007, the ratio fell to 3.3 percent of GDP, and dipped further to 3.2 percent in 2009 where it held steady through 2011.”
  • The U.S. posted ACP trade surpluses beginning in 2008. In 2011 the U.S. exported $10.4 billion more ACP than it imported.
  • In 2011 the production of arts and cultural goods and services employed 2.0 million workers, and generated $289.5 billion in employee compensation in the form of wages, salaries, and supplements. The motion picture and video industry employed nearly 310,000 workers at $25 billion in compensation and museums and performing arts industries each employed roughly 100,000 workers who earned $6 billion and $8 billion, respectively.

“The 2007-2009 recession took a heavy toll on arts and cultural employment. In 2009 alone, ACPSA-related employment declined by more than 170,000.”

The BEA will publish in the fall of 2014 revised ACSPA estimates for 1998-2012 in The Survey of Current Business.

See Preliminary Report on the Impact of Arts and Culture on U.S. Economy.

 

This update is written weekly by Joan Platz, Research and Knowledge Director for the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education.  The purpose of the update is to keep arts education advocates informed about issues dealing with the arts, education, policy, research, and opportunities.  The distribution of this information is made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Music Education Association, Ohio Art Education Association, Ohio Educational Theatre Association, OhioDance, and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education.

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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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