Arts On Line Education Update October 6, 2014

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education

Arts on Line Education Update

Joan Platz

October 6, 2014

TAKE ACTION-Survey Candidates Using the 2014 OAAE Survey of Candidates Regarding Arts Education

Please conduct a survey developed by the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education to learn more about the candidates (House, Senate, and State Board of Education) and their views about arts education programs before the November 4, 2014 election.

The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education has updated on its web site the 2014 Candidates Interview/Survey with information about interviewing candidates on the November 4, 2014 ballot to gauge their support for arts education.


The survey packet includes information about what to do before, during, and after an interview; a survey questionnaire; and a sample introductory letter.

The survey can be conducted by phone, email, mail, or in person.  The survey questions can also be used at a candidates’ forum.

Advocates for arts education are encouraged to conduct a survey to learn about the candidates and their views about arts education, and send a copy of the responses to the OAAE at

Why Conduct a Survey?

-This initial contact could lead to a future relationship with an office holder.

-The survey informs the candidates about the OAAE’s goals, and lets them know that the OAAE is interested in what they do in office.

-The survey provides the OAAE with information that could improve our advocacy efforts.

Thank you in advance for conducting the OAAE 2014 Survey of Candidates!!!

1)  Ohio News

  • 130th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate are not holding sessions this week.
  • Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission: Four of the committees of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission are meeting on October 9, 2014.  The Education, Public Institutions, and Local Government Committee, which is reviewing constitutional changes for K-12 education, is not meeting.


  • October Meeting of the State Board Canceled: State Board of Education president, Debe Terhar, announced on October 2, 2014 that the October 2014 meeting of the State Board would be canceled.  She explained in a message to State Board members that Ohio Department of Education staff needed more time to prepare meeting materials, due to the number of items on the State Board’s agenda, and shorter number of weeks between the September and October Board meetings.  The agenda items for the October meeting will be moved to the November 2014 meeting.
  • Cleveland Receives Turn-Around Grant: The U.S. Department of Education announced on October 1, 2014 the recipients of 12 grants through the Turnaround Leaders Program, which is part of the U.S Department of Education’s School Improvement Grants Program (SIG).  The grants will be used to recruit, train, and provide professional support for school leaders in the areas of instruction and school management in low performing schools.

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) is one of the grant recipients, and will receive $794,595 to develop leadership teams to “turn around” low performing schools.


  • U.S. Supreme Court Delays Early Voting in Ohio: The U.S. Supreme Court voted on September 29, 2014 to delay an injunction imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Peter Economus in NAACP v. Husted. The September 4, 2014 decision restored some hours and days for early voting in Ohio, including the “Golden Week”, when voters could register and cast a ballot at the same time. The delay means that early voting in Ohio will begin on October 7, 2014 rather than September 30, 2014.

The NAACP, the ACLU, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, and other plaintiffs filed the lawsuit after SB238 (LaRose) became law, and as a result, eliminated hours and days for early voting.  Judge Economus found that the law disproportionately affected poor and minority voters, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine appealed NAACP v. Husted to the U.S. Supreme Court after a panel of judges of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to delay Judge Economus’ order. The State has also appealed the decision to the full 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.


  • New Web Site Includes Data About Charter Schools: Innovation Ohio and the Ohio Education Association announced on September 30, 2014 the launch of a new web site that compares charter and traditional schools based on Ohio Department of Education (ODE) data.

The web site is called and combines information from 18 data bases already compiled by the ODE.  The web site includes state report card ratings; the amount of state money received by schools; the percentage of state funds spent on classroom instruction; the average number of years of teacher experience; and the type of charter school, including online, for-profit, non-profit, etc.



  • Teacher of the Year Announced: The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) announced on September 29, 2014 the selection of Lori Michalec as Ohio’s 2015 Teacher of the Year.  Ms. Michalec has taught English at Tallmadge High School in Tallmadge, Ohio for 13 years, and also serves on a newly created teaching, learning, and curriculum studies advisory board through the College of Education at Kent State. She received the Tallmadge High School Teacher of the Year Award in 2013.

According to a press release from the ODE, Ms. Michalec has a passion for reading, writing, and her students.  She encourages students “….to explore the possibilities, to see beyond the immediate, and to anticipate the need for jobs in burgeoning technical fields and careers requiring 21st-century skills that can yet only be imagined.”


  • CSRAB Seeking Nominations: The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) and Capitol Square Foundation (CSF) are seeking nominations for the 2015’s “Great Ohioans” award. The award honors Ohioans, who have made a significant contribution in the areas of inventions/medicine/science; literature/journalism/history; academics; communications/education; entertainment/sports; or government/military/public service/religion.

The deadline for nominations is Monday, December 1, 2014. Up to three nominees may be submitted for selection to the CSRAB. Recipients will be announced in early 2015.


2)  National News

  • Teacher Evaluation Lawsuit Filed in New Mexiso: Stephen Sawchuk reports in the Teacher Beat Blog for Education Week that the National Education Association-New Mexico filed last week a lawsuit in the First Judicial District Court, County of Santa Fe, New Mexico, against New Mexico Governor Martinez, State Education Secretary-Designate Hanna Skandera, and the Public Education Department.  The lawsuit seeks to invalidate the state’s teacher evaluation system. It alleges that the State of New Mexico overstepped its authority in 2012 by issuing regulations, rather than laws, regarding certain components of the state’s teacher evaluation system.

See “NEA Sues New Mexico Schools Chief Over Teacher Evaluations” by Stephen Sawchuk, Teacher Beat Blog, Education Week,  September 29, 2014, at


  • California Approves Tough Privacy Law: Benjamin Herold reports for Education Week that California Governor Jerry Brown signed on September 29, 2014 a tough new law to restrict the use of student data.  The Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIA) prohibits for-profit use or sale of personal information gathered about elementary and high school students from web sites, online applications, and other services. Proponents of the law (SB1177 (Steinberg)) believe it addresses some of the weaknesses in the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which, due to changes in rules approved by the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE), now allow government agencies and private companies to have access to student data without student or parent consent.

See “Landmark Student-Data-Privacy Law Enacted in California” by Benjamin Herold, Education Week, September 30, 2014 at

  • 2014 Blue Ribbon Schools Announced: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced on September 30, 2014 that 337 schools (287 public and 50 private) have been designated as “National Blue Ribbon Schools” this year.  These are schools that demonstrate high levels of student achievement and progress in closing the achievement gaps among student subgroups. The public schools are nominated by the top education official in each state, and the private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories:

-Exemplary High Performing Schools:  Schools with the highest student achievement for all students, subgroups of students, and graduation rate.

-Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools: Schools recognized for closing the achievement gap among student subgroups and all students over the past five years.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools will be recognized in a ceremony on November 10-11, 2014 in Washington, D.C. The following Ohio schools are being recognized this year:

-Albion Elementary School, North Royalton City School District, Exemplary High Performing

-Avondale Elementary School, Plain Local Schools, Exemplary High Performing

-Brookville High School, Brookville Local School District, Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing

-Charles L. Seipelt Elementary School, Milford Exempted Village School District, Exemplary High Performing

-Columbus Preparatory Academy, charter school, Exemplary High Performing

-East Elementary School, Mount Vernon City, Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing

-Fort Loramie Elementary School, Fort Loramie Local Schools, Exemplary High Performing

-Ironton High School, Ironton City Schools, Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing

-Norwalk Catholic Elementary School, Norwalk Catholic School, Exemplary High Performing

-Notre Dame Elementary School, Diocese of Cleveland, Exemplary High Performing

-Perrysburg High School, Perrysburg Exempted Village School District, Exemplary High Performing

-R.C. Waters Elementary School, Benton Carroll Salem Local School District, Exemplary High Performing

-Saint Brigid of Kildare Elementary School, Catholic Diocese of Columbus, Exemplary High Performing

-Versailles Middle School, Versailles Exempted Village, Exemplary High Performing

-West Branch High School, Beloit, OH Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing

3) Guidelines Issued to Ensure Equity:  U.S. Secretary of Education Arne sent a letter to state education agencies on October 1, 2014 with new guidelines to ensure that all students have access to equal educational opportunities.  The guidelines remind states, districts, and schools that the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights can investigate disparities in the allocation of resources for poor and minority students.

The “Dear Colleague” letter notes some of the inequities in educational opportunities that have already been identified by the Excellence in Equity Commission’s 2012 report, “For Each and Every Child”. These include course offerings; gifted and talented programs; college-preparatory programs; extra-curricular activities; certified teachers; facilities, technology, and educational materials; school nurses, psychologists, guidance counselors, etc.

Under course offerings, for example, the letter notes that all students should have access to course offerings in “business, health care, music, art, or career technical education programs” which can “improve student achievement and build specialized skills that help students move along a variety of pathways toward college and careers.”

The letter states, “Although this letter focuses on the resource equity obligations of school districts, States and individual schools that receive Federal funds must likewise comply with Title VI’s nondiscrimination requirements, including nondiscrimination in their provision and allocation of educational resources. Accordingly, OCR strongly encourages State education officials and school administrators to closely review this letter and to take proactive steps to ensure that the educational resources they provide are distributed in a manner that does not discriminate against students on the basis of race, color, or national origin. In particular, State education officials should examine policies and practices for resource allocation among districts to ensure that differences among districts do not have the unjustified effect of discriminating on the basis of race.

The letter recommends that states, districts, and schools evaluate resource allocations and develop strategies to ensure that minority and low income students are not short-changed. Parents, students, and communities should be included in strategies to address resource disparities.


4) Bills Introduced

  • HB627 (Foley/Hagan) Community Schools Lobbying Funds: Prohibits community schools from using state funds to hire a lobbyist or for public relations services.


  • Are We Serving the Whole Child or the Half-Child?”: Michael Sokolove is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and author of Drama High, a true story about the drama program at Harry S. Truman High School in Levittown, PA and its former director Lou Volpe.

He writes for Valerie Strauss’ Blog “The Answersheet” (The Washington Post) that “Arts instruction in America’s schools is something that almost everyone agrees is a great idea.  Just apparently, not for all children.”

Over the past decade some children have received a “whole education” (those in affluent suburban districts and private schools), while other children, the “half-children”, have received the “…emergency-room approach to education–one that addresses only the parts of a child thought to be in most dire need of attention.  Their curriculum may consist solely of reading, writing and mathematics — the subjects tested on high-stakes exams.”

He goes on to say, “The shame of this is we know it’s wrong, and we do it anyway.  Longitudinal studies have shown that students who receive sustained in-school arts instruction have better attendance, better grades and higher graduation rates.  Neurological research suggests that immersion in the arts can cause an actual change in the structure of neurons and made the brain more receptive to other kinds of learning.”

And, the movement to increase the rigor of K-12 education through the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and its focus on high stakes testing in math and language arts will not incentivize states to “…put arts teachers back into public schools.”

He recommends that there be a national consensus “that arts education is not just for privileged kids.  It’s not an extra or a frill, no matter how desperately some students struggle to grasp the basics of reading and math.  For some of those very children, it’s a lifeline, and the pathway to mastering those other subjects.”

See “Why the Kids Who Most Need Arts Education Aren’t Getting It” by Valerie Strauss, The Answersheet, The Washington Post, September 29, 2014, at

  • The Economic Impact of Music Education Programs: Marilyn Rhames laments how budget cuts have eliminated many school-based music education programs from all but the most wealthy public and private schools.

Inspired by the desire of her eight year old daughter to take violin lessons, Ms. Rhames visited the workshop of Gary Garavaglia, winner of the prestigious “Silver in Tone” award for violin quality, to learn more about string instruments and how they are made from blocks of maple, oak, spruce, and ebony.

She learned that it takes three and a half years at a special school to become a luthier, or string-instrument maker, and it takes over 250 hours to make a violin.

The decline in school-based music programs, however, has lessened the demand for music instruments and she wondered about the future of the luthiers.

She writes, “Educators know that playing an instrument—especially a stringed instrument like the violin—improves brain function in children,” but the need to provide students with opportunities in music is “…often lost on policymakers who lately only seem laser-focused on academic college-readiness and streamlining school budgets.”

So, she suggests that restoring school-based music education programs would not only better prepare students for higher education and careers, but would also help the national economy, by increasing the demand for music instruments and the number of skilled musicians to play them.

See “For the Love of Music, Teach Violin in Schools! by Marilyn Rhames, Charting My Own Course Blog, Education Week, October 1, 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 (


About OAAE

It is the mission of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education to ensure that the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. We believe that: * All children in school must have quality arts education provided by licensed arts educators * All Ohioans have the right to expect quality arts education * All arts programs must have adequate resources * All arts and cultural organizations and artists have a critical role in arts education Learn more at
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