Action Alert

TAKE ACTION

Please contact the members of the Senate Education Committee and request that SB3 (Hite/Faber) Testing/High Performing Schools be amended to eliminate two provisions for high performing school districts regarding teacher licensing:

  • Section 3302.16 (A)(4) exempts high performing school districts from requiring teachers to be licensed specifically in the subject area or grade level in which they are teaching.
  • Section 3302.16 (B) (1) allows the superintendent of a high performing school district, with board approval, to employ an individual “who is not licensed as required by sections 3319.22 to 3319.30 of the Revised Code, but who is otherwise qualified based on experience, to teach classes in the district.”

Both of these provisions could lead to individuals who are not appropriately qualified to teach the arts in Ohio classrooms.

Ohio already has a provision in current law allowing non-licensed instructors to teach for up to twelve hours per week (3319.301 ORC).  Ohio also has an alternative license program, which provides a different pathway for individuals to become licensed teachers.  These provisions already provide school districts with flexibility in finding and hiring licensed individuals to teach in Ohio’s schools.

SB3 could undermine the great track record that Ohio school districts have made to hire highly qualified and licensed teachers in the arts.  These teachers meet the graduation requirements of their institutions of higher education in their arts discipline, and also meet Ohio’s rigorous standards for beginning teachers, including passing a national assessment for teachers in their content area, and fulfilling all requirements for earning a permanent license.

Request that the Senate Education Committee eliminate the provisions that exempt high performing school districts from teacher licensing standards, to ensure that Ohio students continue to receive the highest quality of instruction from licensed teachers.

Senate Education Committee Members:

Senator Peggy Lehner, chair   sd06@ohiosenate.gov

Senator Cliff Hite, vice chair   sd01@ohiosenate.gov

Senator Troy Balderson   sd20@ohiosenate.gov

Senator Bill Coley   sd04@ohiosenate.gov

Senator Randy Gardner   sd02@ohiosenate.gov

Senator Kris Jordan   sd19@ohiosenate.gov

Senator Gayle Manning   sd13@ohiosenate.gov

Senator Bob Peterson   sd17@ohiosenate.gov

Senator Chris Widener   sd10@ohiosenate.gov

Senator Tom Sawyer   sd28@ohiosenate.gov

Senator Cecil Thomas   sd09@ohiosenate.gov

Senator Sandra Williams   sd21@ohiosenate.gov

Senator Kenny Yuko   sd25@ohiosenate.gov

BACKGROUND

The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Peggy Lehner, has been holding hearings on SB3 (Hite/Faber) Testing/High Performing Schools, and expects to consider amendments to the bill this week.

The bill includes provisions that limit testing in Ohio’s schools in response to the increased frustration about over-testing.  The bill also establishes criteria to identify high performing school districts, and exempts those school districts from certain provisions in law, including provisions regarding teacher licensing standards.

Based on the proposed criteria about 125 districts would be consider high-performing this year. According to testimony provided by Ann Sheldon, executive director of the Ohio Association for Gifted Children, “Of those districts 73 have a third-grade reading proficiency rate of less than 95% (the rate required for high-performing in the governor’s budget bill); 37 districts have grades of “D” or “F” either for the overall or a sub-group value-added measure, and, finally, 93 of those districts have ACT remediation free rates of less than 50%.”

SB3 could undermine successful efforts in Ohio to ensure that all students have access to qualified teachers in the arts.  According to OAAE data for the 2012-13 school year, there were 8,990 arts teachers in Ohio’s traditional public schools.  Ninety-seven percent of those arts teachers were certified to teach courses in the arts, holding the appropriate multi-age license in an arts discipline.  In addition, 98.2 percent of arts courses were taught by a certified arts teacher in the 2012-13 school year.

Thank you for supporting the arts!

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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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