UPDATE ON THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION’S WORK REGARDING OPERATING STANDARDS: EDUCATIONAL SERVICE PERSONNEL (NO ACTION REQUESTED AT THIS TIME)

The State Board of Education’s Operating Standards Committee, chaired by Ron Rudduck, is expected to approve Rules 3301-35-01 through 15, also known as Operating Standards, at their meeting on November 10, 2014 starting at 1:45 PM.

The State Board of Education will receive a presentation about the proposed changes in Operating Standards on November 11, 2014,  and consider a Resolution of Intent to Adopt the revised Operating Standards in December 2014.  The final adoption of Operating Standards is scheduled for late winter or early spring in 2015.

The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education has requested that Rule 3301-35-05 (A)(3) be changed, and the original language regarding Educational Service Personnel be restored.

The OAAE continues to work through the Operating Standards Committee process to secure our requested changes in the Rule.

OAAE message to the State Board of Education on November 6, 2014:

The OAAE recommends that the State Board of Education restore the original OAC Rule 3301-35-05 (A) (3) Faculty and Staff Focus, with some changes, and restore the current definition of Educational Service Personnel in Rule OAC 3301-35-01 (B) (13). 

RATIONALE

-Educational service personnel are educators with special expertise to support student learning, achievement, health, mental health, welfare, and career and college attainment.  These educators often address the barriers that prevent students from succeeding, and help students achieve their personal education goals.  Over the past year the Urban and Rural Renewal Committee has been discussing the reasons why students struggle in school and eventually drop out. This provision supports the educators who work in and beyond the classroom to keep students engaged and on track.  This provision also supports the purpose of Operating Standards, “to assure that all students are provided a general education of high quality” and to create “the best learning conditions for meeting the personalized and individualized needs of each student.”

-The revised Rule 3301-35-05 (A) (3) does not provide an adequate incentive for school districts to employ educational service personnel without the ratios and the 5 of 8 categories, which should be restored. The original Rule was aligned to the school funding formula.  School districts received additional funds for employing educational service personnel, and lost funds for not employing educational service personnel.  The funding provision was removed years ago, but the best practice that it supports stayed in Operating Standards along with the ratios and the 5 of 8 categories to guide schools and districts.

-The OAAE recommends some changes in Rule 3301-35-05 to eliminate outdated references to laws, and also recommends that the number of educational service personnel employed by a school district and school be reported in each category on the local report card, so that the availability of educational service personnel in the schools is made public, and schools and districts are acknowledged for their efforts to provide a comprehensive education program. The data collected could also be used to update the ratios.

-The revised definition of educational service personnel in Rule 3301-35-01 (B) (13) now includes positions that are important, but might not require the employment of licensed teachers.  The original purpose of the Rule 3301-35-05, to encourage school districts to employ educators with expertise to provide a comprehensive education program and services to support student learning, is weakened when so many other positions are included in the definition, such as transportation supervisor, resource officer, data coordinator, etc.  The original definition should be restored.

BACKGROUND

-The OAAE believes that the purpose of Operating Standards is to ensure that all students have access to an “education of high quality” and to establish the best “conditions for learning” the arts and all subjects in Ohio’s schools. (These words are from Rule 3301-35-01 – Definitions.)

Operating Standards help to clarify, elaborate, and strengthen the law requiring that boards of education provide for the study of the fine arts and music (ORC 3313.60 (7)), and provide a context for high quality arts education programs in Ohio’s schools.   Unlike other states, Ohio does not have separate rules, guidelines, or a framework to define high quality programs in the arts.  Operating Standards provides that framework and ensure that students have access to the study of the arts taught by a credentialed teacher; sequential learning in the arts based on courses of study in the arts; sufficient opportunity for students to achieve locally developed learning and performance objectives in the arts; assessment in the arts; and access to intervention.

-The OAAE is pleased that the components that support the conditions for learning in the arts are still included in the revised version Operating Standards.

-Over the past 15 or so months, the OAAE has provided recommendations and comments to the Operating Standards Committee, and the committee has responded by accepting some of our recommendations.  For example, the committee added to Rule 3301-35-06 (A) words that expanded the type of assessments to include “locally approved” assessments, rather than just state assessment.

-The OAAE continues to work with the committee on Rule 3301-35-05 (A)(3) Faculty and Staff Focus — Educational Service Personnel (ESP).  Educational Service Personnel are credentialed educators with additional knowledge and skills to provide a complete curriculum and meet the educational, health, mental health, and career/college attainment needs of students.  The original Rule requires a minimum of five full time equivalent educational service personnel be employed district-wide for each one thousand students in the regular student population. Educational service personnel shall be assigned to five of the eight following areas:  counselor, library media specialist, school nurse, visiting teacher, social worker, and elementary art, music, and physical education.

-The OAAE believes that this Rule supports best practices and has requested that the original language be restored and the original definition of ESP be restored in Rule 3301-35-01 (B) (13).  The current revision removes the ratios and categories, and also expands the definition of Educational Service Personnel to positions that might not require a licensed educator.  The OAAE believes that the revised language does not adequately support the intent of the Rule to encourage schools/districts to employ ESP.  In addition, the OAAE has requested that ESP be reported on the local report card, as a way to acknowledge schools/districts that provide comprehensive curriculum and services for students.

-Unfortunately this Rule, while still supporting best practices, is an orphan rule, meaning that the law that authorized this Rule has been repealed. One of the goals of the Operating Standards Committee has been to eliminate these orphan rules in the standards.  So, what the OAAE has been trying to do is establish the Rule as a best practice for a positive condition for learning.  The Committee has agreed to keep ESP in Faculty and Staff Focus, rather than eliminating ESP all together, but in the revised standards there are no requirement (ratios and categories) for employing ESP in a school/district.

The OAAE will continue to work through the Operating Standards Committee process and with the full State Board of Education on Rule 3301-35-05 (A)(3).  

NO ACTION IS REQUESTED AT THIS TIME, BUT THE OAAE ASKS THAT ARTS EDUCATION ADVOCATES RESPOND TO ACTION ALERTS WHEN REQUESTED. 

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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, 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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2 Responses to UPDATE ON THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION’S WORK REGARDING OPERATING STANDARDS: EDUCATIONAL SERVICE PERSONNEL (NO ACTION REQUESTED AT THIS TIME)

  1. Pingback: Is Ohio School Board Cutting The Arts & Physical Education?

  2. Pingback: Is Ohio School Board Cutting The Arts & Physical Education? - Axis News

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