Please Note: The Arts on Line Education Update will not be published in July and August. Have a great summer!
•130th General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate are on summer recess.
•Supreme Court Accepts HB153 Single Subject Appeal: The Ohio Supreme Court agreed on June 25, 2014 to review a complicated case challenging the constitutionality of 129-HB153, the budget bill for FY12-13. The case is State ex rel. Ohio Civil Service Employees Association et al. v. State of Ohio c/o Mike DeWine, et al., and involves whether or not the legislature violated the “single subject” rule of the Ohio Constitution (Article 2 Section 15 (D)) by including revenue, appropriations, and other policy changes in a “budget” bill.
The original lawsuit was filed in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas by the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association (OCSEA). The court dismissed the lawsuit, but on October 10, 2013 the Court of Appeals 10th Appellate District overruled the lower court’s decision, and ordered a review of the budget bill (HB53) for single-subject violations. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court in March 2014, asking the Court to overturn the appeals court ruling.
At issue are certain policy provisions included in HB153, including the sale of prisons, leasing the Ohio Turnpike, and the transfer of state liquor profits to privately run JobsOhio. The plaintiffs, OCSEA, believe that including these unrelated provisions in the bill is unconstitutional.
See the Court of Appeals 10th Appellate District decision at
See the Supreme Court order at:
•Senate Approves WIOA: The U.S. Senate approved the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (HR 803) on June 25, 2014 with bi-partisan support. The bill streamlines federal workforce programs and the job training system for young people with disabilities. The bill was sponsored by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA). The bill will now move to the U.S. House, where Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) sponsored a similar bill. The House is expected to take action on the bill sometime this summer.
•House and Senate Take Action on the Higher Education Act (HEA): Members of the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee, chaired by U.S. Representative John Kline, introduced on June 26, 2014 three bills to reauthorize parts of the Higher Education Act. Other bills covering other components of HEA are expected to be introduced this week in the House.
-HR 4982, Simplifying the Application for Student Aid Act, will reform the federal student aid process. It is sponsored by Representatives Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Ed Royce (R-CA), John Tierney (D-MA), Tim Bishop (D-NY), and Jared Polis (D-CO).
-HR 4983, Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act, will help students access more information to make informed decisions about higher education. It is sponsored by Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Luke Messer (R-IN).
-HB 4984, Empowering Students through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act, will promote financial literacy through enhanced counseling for all recipients of federal financial aid. It is sponsored by Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Richard Hudson (R-NC).
The committee also issued a white paper about the principles that guide the HEA reauthorization process, which include “simplifying and improving student aid and empowering students and families to make informed decisions.”
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP), chaired by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), also introduced last week, a draft plan to reauthorize HEA called the Higher Education Affordability Act. According to the press release, the plan “…takes a comprehensive approach to rein in rising college costs and ensure the system is better serving students and families. The proposal focuses on four main goals: increasing college affordability, helping struggling borrowers, strengthening accountability, and improving transparency.” The draft plan incorporates the recommendations of parents, students, educators, and stakeholders gathered through a series of hearings held by the committee. Responses to the draft plan can be emailed to Chairman Harkin’s office at HEAA2014@help.senate.gov. The deadline for submitting feedback is August 29, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. EDT.
•Equity Bills Introduced in House and Senate: Ohio Representative Marcia Fudge and Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed introduced on June 27, 2014 companion bills called the Core Opportunity Resources for Equity and Excellence Act (CORE) (S. 2557) The bills would compel states and school districts to give all students equitable access to the resources necessary to achieve college and career readiness by high school graduation. The bills would establish accountability standards for states and school districts to provide resources to support the following:
-High quality instructional teams, including teachers, librarians, and counselors
-College and career readiness standards
-Equitable and appropriate class sizes
-Up to date instructional materials and technology
-Effective school library programs
-School facilities and technology
-Specialized instructional support teams, such as counselors, social workers, nurses, etc.
-Effective family and community engagement programs.
A study released in March 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights found that schools serving higher concentrations of students who are Black, Hispanic, American Indian, Native Alaskan, English language learners, and disadvantaged lacked experienced teachers, school counselors, and were unable to offer a complete curriculum, including higher level courses in math, biology, and chemistry. These schools also had large achievement gaps between different types of students.
According to a statement by Senator Reed, “This bill is about ensuring that all children have a quality education, with top-notch instruction and support, and that our teachers have the resources and flexibility they need to help students excel. Achieving all of this is not easy, but working together with states and school districts, we must address disparities and do right by future generations.”
The Senate bill is cosponsored by Senator Sherrod Brown, and has the support of American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; the American Federation of Teachers; the American Library Association; the National Education Association; Opportunity Action; the First Focus Campaign for Children; the League of United Latin American Citizens; and the Coalition for Community Schools.
See U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights Data Snapshot: College and Career Readiness, March 21, 2014 at
•U.S. DOE Changes Special Education Compliance Standards: The U.S. Department of Education released on June 24, 2014 an annual report on state compliance with Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The report is entitled IDEA State Determinations Under Results Driven Accountability: 2014 and is based on a new “results-driven accountability framework” that, for the first time, focuses on the test scores and achievement levels of 6.5 million students with disabilities.
Evaluations of state special education programs in the past have focused on monitoring compliance with the laws, rules, and procedures, including identifying students with disabilities, developing and implementing Individual Education Plans, and following due process procedures. The new evaluations are based on 2012-13 student data and include the percent of students with disabilities who participated in state assessments, their achievement in reading and math on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), and the achievement gaps between students with disabilities and other students. In the future the federal evaluations will include graduation rates.
According to the evaluations, states could be assigned one of four ratings: “meets requirements”, “needs assistance”, “needs intervention” or “needs substantial intervention”.
-Fifteen states were rated “meets requirements”: Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
-Thirty-two states were rated “needs assistance”: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, West Virginia.
-Three states, California, Delaware, and Texas, and the District of Columbia, were rated “needs intervention”.
States that receive ratings below “meets requirements” for more than two years must work with the U.S. DOE on improvement plans that could include re-allocating federal funds for special education.
The U.S. DOE intends to provide additional assistance to states to implement evidence-based strategies to improve results and outcomes for students with disabilities through a new Center on Systemic Improvement. According to the report, less than 10 percent of eighth grade students with IEPs are scoring proficient in reading.
See IDEA State Determinations Under Results Driven Accountability: 2014 at
More Debate over Value Added: The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) released on June 24, 2014 a response to researchers Raj Chetty (Harvard), John Friedman (Harvard), and Jonah Rockoff (Columbia), who assert a connection between teachers’ “value-added” scores and certain effects on students. The response was prepared by Moshe Adler (Columbia), who reviewed two papers written by Raj Chetty et al. for the NEPC Think Twice Think Tank Review Project in April 2014. Professors Chetty, Friedman, and Rockoff responded in May 2014 to the Adler reviews.
The Adler reply to the Chetty et al. responses covered two Chetty et al. papers, “Measuring the Impacts of Teachers I: Evaluating Bias in Teacher Value-Added Estimates” and “Measuring the Impacts of Teachers II: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood”.
In the first paper Chetty et al. assert that value added measures “provide unbiased estimates of teachersʼ causal impacts on student achievement”. Moshe Adler raises the following questions with this paper:
-”Value-added scores in this report and in general are unstable from year to year and from test to test, but the report ignores this instability.”
-”The model used for measuring teacher value-added in this paper actually does not measure teacher value-added; it measures a residue. The model explains students’ test scores by factors such as students’ prior achievement, parents’ income, and the performance of other students in the classroom. But none of these factors can entirely predict a child’s performance. After accounting for all known and easily measurable social and economic factors, a residue still remains. Some would attribute this residue to the unpredictability of life itself. But the economists who advocate the use of this model, including Chetty et al., attribute the residue to the teacher.”
-”The report inflates the effect of teacher value-added by assuming that a child’s test scores can be improved endlessly.”
-”The procedure that the report develops for calculating teacher value-added varies greatly between subjects within school levels (math or English in elementary/high school) and between schools within subjects (elementary or middle school math/English), indicating that the calculated teacher value-added may be random.”
In the second paper Chetty et al. assert that higher value-added scores for teachers lead to greater economic success for their students later in life. Moshe Adler raises the following questions:
-”The [income] result that Chetty et al. found is very small for all ages and statistically insignificant for age 30, which invalidates their main claim that having a high value-added teacher in one year increases income over a lifetime. They should have divulged this result, and in their response to me they should not have justified the omission by misrepresenting its magnitude.”
-”The method used to calculate the 1.34% increase [in income] is misleading, since observations with no reported income were included in the analysis, while high earners were excluded.”
-”The increase in annual income at age 28 due to having a higher quality teacher “improved” dramatically from the first version of the report ($182 per year, report of December, 2011) to the next ($286 per year, report of September, 2013). Because the data sets are not identical, a slight discrepancy between estimates is to be expected. But since the discrepancy is so large, it suggests that the correlation between teacher value-added and income later in life is random.”
-”In order to achieve its estimate of a $39,000 income gain per student, the report makes the assumption that the 1.34% increase in income at age 28 will be repeated year after year. Because no increase in income was detected at age 30, and because 29.6% of the observations consisted of non-filers, this assumption is unjustified.”
“The effect of teacher value-added on test scores fades out rapidly. The report deals with this problem by citing two studies that it claims buttress the validity of its own results. This claim is both wrong and misleading.”
“Further, the fade-out of the effect of teacher value-added is a central issue in assessing the value of measuring teacher value-added. If teacher value-added does not have a lasting effect even on test scores while the child is in school, why would it have a lasting effect on a person’s income throughout his or her life? This is a thorny question, and Chetty et al. pretend that Deming and Heckman et al. provide the answer to it.”
-See “Review of Measuring the Impacts of Teachers” reviewed by Moshe Adler, National Education Policy Center, April 2014 at http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-measuring-impact-of-teachers
-See “Response to Adler (2014) Review by Chetty et al. May 2014 at
-See original paper “Measuring the Impacts of Teachers I: Evaluating Bias in Teacher Value-Added Estimates” by Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman, and Jonah E. Rockoff, National Bureau of Economic Research at
-See original paper “Measuring the Impacts of Teachers II: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood” by Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman, and Jonah E. Rockoff, National Bureau of Economic Research at
See “Response of Moshe Adler to the Authors’ Reply by Moshe Adler, National Education Policy Center, June 24, 2014 at http://nepc.colorado.edu/files/nepc-ttr-folo-adler-response.pdf
School Funding Relies More and More on Local Taxes: Dr. Howard B. Fleeter released last week a study from the Education Tax Policy Institute entitled Ohio Property Tax Trends 1975-2011. The study analyzes the impact of the property tax burden on different classes of taxpayers since 1975 by chronicling changes in the property tax base; examining millage rates by property class; and examining the taxes generated by each class of property. The four main property classes are:
-Class 1 Real Property (Residential & Agricultural Property)
-Class 2 Real Property (Commercial, Industrial, & Mineral Property)
-General Business Tangible Personal Property (TPP) on machinery & equipment, inventory, furniture & fixtures. TPP is no longer taxable after 2010.
-Public Utility Tangible Personal Property, which includes utility transmission, distribution, and generation property.
The study includes the following observations based on the analysis:
-Overall, total property valuation in Ohio in 2011 ($241.5 billion) is almost 4.5 what it was in 1975 ($54.1 billion).
-”Class 1 (Residential & Agricultural) real property comprised 46.0 percent of total property valuation in 1975 and comprises 74.3 percent of total value in 2011. Total tangible personal property (business + public utility) represented 35.7 percent of the tax base in 1975, but is only 4.2 percent of the tax base in 2011. While business Class 2 (Commercial & Industrial) real property has stayed at a relatively stable percentage over time (18.3 percent vs. 21.5 percent), the overall (real + personal property) business share of the Ohio property tax base has fallen nearly by half from 54.0 percent in 1975 to 25.7 percent in 2011.”
-Because of the tax adjustment factor (approved in 1976 through HB920) and a 1980 Constitutional amendment that created two classes of real property, “…the typical school district has three different rates of property taxation: the full voted rate for tangible personal property, Class 1, and Class 2 effective tax rates based on the HB 920 reduction factors for each class of real property.”
The overall average effective tax rate (meaning it has been adjusted by the tax adjustment factor), has increased from 28.55 mills in 1975 to 36.23 mills in 2011. The average voted tax rate has increased from 28.55 mills in 1975 to 49.39 mills in 2011.
-The average effective tax rate for residential and agriculture property (Class 1) jumped from 29.81 mills in 2007 to 34.11 mills in 2011, after hovering between 28.55 and 29.16 between 1975 and 1999.
-The average effective Class 2 (business real property) school millage rate has increased from 28.55 mills to 40.95 mills between 1975 and 2011.
-There have been 10,667 operating levies placed on the ballot by Ohio’s 600+ school districts from 1976 through 2011 and 5315 (49.8%) of these levies passed.
-”Residential & Agricultural (Class 1) real property is responsible for 69.9% of property tax revenues in 2011, up from contributing 46.1% of property tax revenues in 1975.”
-”Meanwhile, Business real and personal property taxes comprised 53.9% of school district property tax revenues in 1975, but provide only 30.1% of property tax revenues in 2011.”
-There is “relatively little difference from 1975 to 1991 in the percentage that each of the 4 classes of property comprises of total school district property taxes. Residential and agricultural property contributed 46.1% of total school taxes in 1975 and 47.5% in 1991, while Class 2 business real property increased slightly from 18.8% of taxes paid in 1975 to 20.4% in 1991. Business TPP taxes showed the largest change over this 16 year time frame, decreasing by 4 percentage points from 23.2% in 1975 to 19.2% in 1991. This is almost certainly due to the gradual decrease in the assessment percentage on business tangible personal property over this time period.”
-The “share of school property tax revenues attributable to Residential & Agricultural property has increased from 48% in 1991 to 70% in 2011. At the same time, the share of school property taxes attributable to Business and Public Utility Tangible Personal Property has declined from 32% in 1991 to just 6% in 2011.”
-In “1991 there was only 1 (out of 612) school district that received more than 90% of its property tax revenues from Class 1 Residential & Agricultural property. In 2011, 41 districts relied on Class 1 property for over 90% of their property taxes. Similarly, in 1991, only 15 districts relied on Class 1 property for 80-90% of its property taxes, whereas, 201 districts did so in 2011.”
The report notes that the percentage of local revenue raised to support public schools would increase even more if the analysis included the $350 million in school district income taxes collected annually.
The report concludes:
“5. Because HB 920 works to lower effective millage rates on real property in response to reappraisal increases in property value, the shift towards greater reliance on Class 1 property taxes is NOT due to inflationary increases in the Class 1 property tax base.”
“6. Increased Class 1 millage rates are also not responsible for the shift in tax burden towards residential and agricultural taxpayers, as Class 2 and TPP (voted) millage rates have both increased more than Class 1 rates over time.”
“7. Rather, the primary reason for the shift is state tax policy changes that have entirely eliminated the business TPP tax and significantly reduced the assessment rate on Public Utility TPP.”
The report is available at http://www.etpi-ohio.org/
The Education Tax Policy Institute was created in 1997 by a group of Ohio’s school districts and now includes other local government organizations, the Ohio School Boards Association, the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, and the Ohio Association of School Business Officials. The Institute has as its mission to research and analyze changes in taxes that affect funding for education and local services.
Cleveland Arts Prizes Awarded: The winners of this year’s Cleveland Arts Prize received their awards and a $10,000 prize on June 26, 2014 in a ceremony held at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
The Robert Bergman Prize for an exceptional individual who has shown passionate leadership and opened the field more broadly was awarded to Deena Epstein, senior program officer of the arts at the George Gund Foundation, and Kathleen Cerveny, program director for arts and culture at the Cleveland Foundation.
The Martha Joseph Prize for an individual or organization that makes a significant contribution to the vitality and stature of the arts in Northeast Ohio was awarded to William Busta, an arts dealer in Cleveland, and Pamela Young, executive director of DanceCleveland.
The Emerging Artist Awards were awarded to designer Valerie Mayen and writer Brad Ricca.
The Mid-Career Awards were awarded to artist Kasumi and Raymond Bobgan, executive director of the Cleveland Public Theatre.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to filmmaker Richard Myers, an emeritus professor at the School of Art at Kent State University.
Congratulations to all of the winners!
More on STEAM: Ruth Catchen writes for Anne Jolly’s MiddleWeb Blog about how STEAM “seems to me the most logical way to learn.” According to the author, STEM already integrates disciplines, so adding the arts just means that students will gain even more knowledge and skills to prepare them for careers and college.
The author identifies several benefits for students when the arts are added to STEM:
-STEAM “maximizes the concept of divergent thinking” and helps students look at problems and solutions with a critical eye.
-”Connecting students with tangible arts experiences as they pursue engineering design goals broadens and enlightens their thinking and their ability to comprehend advanced content.”
-STEAM provides students with more options to solve problems, by providing students with opportunities to explore solutions that are analytical, emotional, creative, etc.
-STEAM teaches students to observe, create, evaluate, and correct.
Ruth Catchen is a musician and educator. She has worked in developing arts integrated curriculum programs for various schools and school districts. She also serves as co-chair for the Girls’ STEM Experience in Southern Colorado and served on the advisory committee to create STEM standards for the Colorado Department of Education. She blogs at http://ruthcatchen.wordpress.com/.
See “The Arts Effect: How STEM Becomes STEAM” by Ruth Catchen for Anne Jolly’s MiddleWeb Blog, June 23, 2014 at
Good News: Districts Hiring More Arts Teachers: Erin Toner at WUWM reported on June 23, 2014 for National Public Radio that the Milwaukee Public School District was rehiring teachers in the arts and gym to help improve student attendance, attract more families to its schools, and improve student achievement. According to the program, over the past two years Milwaukee has hired almost 100 “specialty” teachers, and expects to hire more this year. Gregory Thornton, the out-going superintendent of the district, said in the interview that the arts provide students with a balanced curriculum, and are something that parents and families want for their children. The program also included an interview with James Catteral, professor emeritus at UCLA, who described the benefits of an education in the arts for students, including higher academic achievement, pro-social behavior, and increased motivation.
The reporter also noted that other school districts, including Los Angeles, San Diego, and Nashville, are also “re-investing” in the arts and physical education.
See “To Boost Attendance, Mulwaukee Schools Revive Art, Music, and Gym, by Erin Toner, National Public Radio (WUWM), June 23, 2014 at
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.