Arts on Line Education Update May 26, 2015

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
Joan Platz
May 26, 2015

1)  Ohio News

  • 131st Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will hold hearings and sessions this week.

The Ohio House approved HB70 (Driehaus/Brenner) School Restructuring on May 19, 2015.  The bill would authorize school districts and community schools to initiate a community learning center process to assist and guide school restructuring.

This week the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, will meet on May 26, 2015 at 10:00 AM in the Senate Finance Committee Hearing Room.  The committee will receive reports from the subcommittees that have been reviewing HB64 (Smith) Biennial Budget.

The Senate Finance – Education Subcommittee, chaired by Senator Hite, will continue to receive testimony on two charter school bills, HB2 (Dovilla/Roegner) and SB148 (Lehner/Sawyer).  The committee is expected to finalize amendments and release a substitute bill that will combine both bills over the next week.

  • IO Releases New Report About E-Schools:  Stephen Dyer with Innovation Ohio (IO) released on May 19, 2015 a new report about online charter schools, known as e-schools. The report is published in collaboration with Ohio Education Association and the Ohio Charter School Accountability Project,

The report includes a variety of information about the history, performance, and characteristics of e-schools.

According to the report, more than 35,000 students enrolled in e-schools last year costing $250 million in 2014.  None of the nine statewide e-schools received an A or B on the state report card for the last school year; the graduation rate for nine e-schools is lower than 60.9 percent, which is the lowest graduation rate among Ohio’s school districts; there has been little improvement in the Performance Index scores among the six leading e-schools between 2011 and 2014;  and all e-schools that received a grade for student “progress” and “annual measurable objectives” received an “F”.  Drop out recovery schools were not included in the analysis.


  • Update on Changes to the Local Report Card: Hannah News reported on May 20, 2015 that the State Board of Education’s Accountability Committee, chaired by Dr. Mark Smith, met last week to agree on a framework for determining the composite grade for schools/school districts on the A-F local report card.  The committee will recommend that the measures for achievement and progress account for 20 percent, and the other measures, including closing achievement gaps, prepared for success, graduation rate, and K-3 literacy, account for 15 percent each of the total combined report card grade.  The committee will make its recommendation to the State Board at their June 2015 meeting.

See “Committee Recommends Greater Weight for Achievement, Progress in A-F Report Cards”, Hannah News, May 21, 2015 at

2)  National News

  • PARCC to Shorten CC Test: Education Week reports that the board of governors of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) approved on May 20, 2015 several changes to the assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards for the 2015-16 school year in math and English language arts.  The changes will affect assessments in eleven states and the District of Columbia that are members of the PARCC consortium.  The assessments in English language arts and mathematics are given to students in grades 3-11.  The revised assessments will be slightly shorter, about 90 minutes, and the testing window will be reduced to one time at the end of the school year.

See “PARCC Shortens Its Common-Core Test” by Catherine Gewertz, Education Week, May 21, 2015 at

  • Top Teachers Identify Priorities for Education: Scholastic Inc. released on May 20, 2015 the results of an online survey of 46 teachers who have been selected State Teachers of the Year.

According to Greg Worrell from Scholastic, some clear themes emerged from the survey.  “Teachers see issues like poverty, family stress and other out-of-school barriers to learning greatly affecting student academic success, and they prioritize things like anti-poverty initiatives, early learning and other community supports and services for funding.”

Teachers also reported that one of the biggest challenges for them is the lack of time for classroom instruction.

See “We Surveyed the 2015 State Teachers of the Year”, by Greg Worrell, Scholastic and the Council of Chief State School Officers, May 19, 2015 at

  • Head Start Turns 50! Last week the National Head Start Association commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Head Start program with a ceremony at the While House Rose Garden.  May 18, 1965 marked the start of the Head Start Program under President Lyndon B. Johnson.  The purpose of the original program was to teach low-income children what they needed to know to be successful in Kindergarten during a few weeks in the summer.  The program later expanded to provide comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. The program is overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Since the summer of 1965 the federal government has spent more than $139 billion on the program with mixed results.  A 2012 study of the impact of Head Start shows that the gains that children at age four make through the program do not last through the end of third grade.

Representative John Kline, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, recently announced that the committee is seeking feedback from parents, members of the Head Start community, and the public about ways to reform the Head Start Act.  According to Chairman Kline, the committee is looking for ways to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens, encourage local innovation, strengthen coordination between Head Start and programs at the state and local levels, improve the quality of eligible providers; and enhance parental engagement.

The Education and the Workforce Committee will accept feedback at by June 1.




3) Long Term Impact of MTO Program Identified: Researchers at Harvard University recently published a study with new evidence on the long term impact of the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) program on adults.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development implemented the MTO program between 1994 and 1998 in five U.S. cities.  The program provided a housing voucher to randomly selected families living in high-poverty housing projects so they could move to lower-poverty neighborhoods.

The researchers examined the tax returns of the adults who participated in the MTO program as children, and compared the results to a control group.  They found that participants who were under the age of thirteen when their families moved to a better neighborhood had higher college attendance rates, higher earnings, currently live in better neighborhoods, and are less likely to be single parents compared to the control group participants who didn’t move to a lower poverty neighborhood.

According to the study, “The treatment effects are substantial: children whose families take up an experimental voucher to move to a lower-poverty area when they are less than 13 years old have an annual income that is $3,477 (31%) higher on average relative to a mean of $11,270 in the control group in their mid-twenties.”

See “The Effects of Exposure to Better Neighborhoods on Children:  New Evidence from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment” by Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, and Lawrence F. Katz.  National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper 21156, May 2015 at

4)  Update on HB64:  The Ohio Senate is approaching the finish line in its deliberations about Sub. HB64 (Smith) Biennial Budget.  This week the subcommittees that have been receiving testimony on HB64 will report their findings to the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager.  The Senate Finance Committee is expected to introduce its version of HB64 around the first week in June and consider amendments on June 16, 2015.  The full Senate is expected to vote on HB64 by mid June.

Last week the Senate subcommittees continued to receive testimony from state agencies, statewide organizations, and individuals.

On May 19, 2015 the Senate Finance-Higher Education Subcommittee, chaired by Senator Gardner, received testimony from arts supporters who requested an increase in the general revenue fund for the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) from $26.9 million to $30 million for the biennium.

Donna Collins, executive director of the Ohio Arts Council, Tim Greenwood from Ohio Citizens for the Arts, and James F. Dicke II, CEO, Crown Equipment Corporation, thanked Governor Kasich and the House for increasing the OAC budget to $26.9 million, which represents 0.04 percent of the state’s total GRF appropriations.  However, proposed funding for the OAC in the House version of HB64 is less than OAC funding for FY01-02, which was $32 million.

The witnesses said that by increasing the OAC budget to $30 million lawmakers will help support the 231,000 arts-related jobs in Ohio.  These jobs contribute more than $31.8 billion to the state’s economy and generate $3.4 billion in annual tax revenue at the federal, state, and local levels.

The testimonies are available at

5)  Update on HB2 and SB148 Charter School Oversight:  The Senate Finance-Education Subcommittee, chaired by Senator Hite, continued to receive more testimony on SB148 (Lehner/Sawyer) Charter School Oversight, and HB2 (Dovilla/Roegner) on May 20, 2015.  Some of the major points of the testimonies follow:

  • Conversion Dropout Recovery Schools (CDR Schools)

Superintendents Sandra White – Findley Digital Academy, and Pete Barkowiak-Townsend Community School asked the subcommittee to address certain provisions that would negatively affect conversion dropout recovery schools (CDR schools) that are sponsored by school districts.

They requested that the bills allow school districts that sponsor dropout prevention and recovery schools to continue to sell a variety of services to these community schools.  SB148 would limit the chargeable services that sponsors could offer charter schools to monitoring, oversight, and technical assistance.  Currently the school districts that sponsor the CDR schools provide them with a variety of services available to the district schools, which makes the services cost-effective.  This provision could make it difficult to operate a CDR school without additional resources, and some would probably close.

The superintendents also oppose including the test scores and graduation rates of students who attend dropout recovery community schools on the report card of the sponsoring school district.  Often students attending CDR schools move several times during the school year, and might not be residents of the sponsoring school district.

Seven school districts that sponsor CDR schools have formed the Dropout Prevention and Recovery Schools Group to oppose these provisions SB148. There are 30 CDR schools in Ohio and all report meeting key measures on the report card for dropout recovery schools.   The written testimony was signed by the superintendents from Coshocton Opportunity School, Eagle Learning Center, Everest High School, Townsend Community School, Findlay Digital Academy, Pickerington Community School, and Miamisburg Secondary School.

  • Testimony by Auditor of State David Yost

Auditor of State David Yost told the committee that he supports many of the provisions in SB148, which he believes is stronger than HB2.  In addition, he recommends the following changes in the bill:

-Apply Ohio Revised Code §9.24 to community schools.  This provision prohibits public contracts with persons with unresolved audit findings.  This provision should apply to community school board members, developers, personnel, and all transactions.

-Include a better definition of blended learning in SB148 and HB2, and restrict blended learning to schools with highly rated sponsors. In addition, direct the Ohio Department of Education to develop a “robust metric for measuring a student’s profess in a non-traditional learning environment.”

-Apply the lease disclosure requirements to management companies and any related company that holds a community school lease.  As written the law would not apply to ancillary companies of the management company.

-Remove the provision that limits leases to five percent over fair market value, because determining fair market value is not possible.  This provision could lead to endless litigation or the law will be ignored.

-Bring community schools in line with traditional school truancy standards.  Current law defines a “chronic truant” as a student who is absent without a legitimate excuse for seven or more consecutive school days, ten or more school days in one school month, or fifteen or more school days in a school year.

  • Ohio Newspaper Association

Dennis Hetzel, executive director of the Ohio Newspaper Association, said that SB148 goes beyond HB2 by improving access to information about community schools.  To improve the bill even more, he recommended the following:

-Require each non public entity that sponsors a community schools to comply with §149.43 of the Revised Code (open records law) as if it were a public office, and require each non public operator of a community school to comply with §149.43 of the Revise Code as if it were a public office with respect to all records pertaining to funds received from the sponsor.

-Re-examine the 20 percent threshold that triggers more detained financial disclosure for operators or management companies.

-Add to SB148 the requirement that members of the governing authority of community schools, fiscal officer, and key administrative employees complete training on public records and open meetings laws.  This provision is in HB2.

  • Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding

Bill Phillis of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding submitted written testimony urging the subcommittee to require a complete systematic overhaul of the charter school law, and establish a commission of legislators to monitor and study vouchers and charter schools in Ohio.  He also recommends the following:

-Fund charter schools with an appropriation separate from the foundation program without diminishing support for school districts.

-Clarify that real estate and other physical property purchased with public funds are public property.

-Prohibit for-profit management companies from operating in Ohio.

-Require background checks for charter school sponsors and operators.

-Require that members of charter school governing authorities file full financial disclosure reports and identify any potential conflicts of interest, relationships with management companies, or other business dealings with the school, its management company, or other charter school.

-Require full public financial disclosure by charter management organizations of their expenditures and profits related to the operation of each school they serve.

-Require that teacher evaluation requirements apply to all teachers equally, regardless of school type.

-Require charter school board members to be U.S. citizens and qualified electors.

  • Ohio Education Association

Matthew Dotson with the Ohio Education Association testified in favor of SB148, but offered the following amendments:

-Accelerate the process for closing failing charters and for issuing the first report card grades for charters.  Research shows that charter schools that fail for three years do not improve, yet in Ohio failing schools are allowed to operate from 6-7 years.

-Subject the schools to the same public records laws and financial transparency standards as traditional schools.

-Fund charter schools without penalizing traditional public schools. The state should directly fund charter schools or limit the amount that the state deducts to the amount that the school district receives from the state.  To determine a better way to fund charter schools, the OEA recommends the formation of a Charter School Joint Task Force.

-Reduce duplicate student identification numbers.

-Reduce the burden on traditional public schools to verify student residency.

See all of the testimonies at

6) Update on SB3 (Hite/Faber) School District Exemption:  Several superintendents representing career technical education centers testified about SB3 (Hite/Faber) before the House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Hayes on May 19, 2015. SB3 defines high performing school districts; relaxes licensing qualifications for teachers; relaxes minimum class size requirements for high performing school districts; limits testing; and modifies teacher evaluations.

Several witnesses support allowing school districts to use the OTES evaluations (Ohio Teacher Evaluation System) in place of the Resident Educator Summative Assessment (RESA), which is conducted the third and fourth years of Ohio’s Resident Educator Program.  Superintendents Judy Wells-Apollo Career Center, Kimberly Wilson-Tolles Career and Technical Center, and Jeff Price-Hi-Point Career Center, told the committee that the RESA requirements are too onerous, and the results arrive too late to provide feedback to a resident educator candidate to help them improve.

Witnesses also told the committee that they support keeping the first two years of the Resident Educator Program.  During this time new teachers work with mentors, although there were also recommendations to improve the program by allowing schools districts to have more flexibility implementing the mentor program.

Ann Brennan, executive director of the Ohio School Psychologists Association (OSPA), told the committee that OSPA opposes applying testing limits to diagnostic assessments or local measures of educational progress, and opposes exemptions for high performing districts from teacher licensure and class size requirements. She told the committee that students will not be served well by these provisions.

See the testimonies at

7)  Bills Introduced

  • SB168 (LaRose) Student Violent Behavior Information:  Requires the Education Management Information System to include information regarding persons at whom a student’s violent behavior that resulted in discipline was directed.
  • HB221 (Ruhl) Tobacco Use-Public Schools:  Revises the law regarding tobacco and nicotine use in public schools and at public school-sponsored functions.
  • HB212 (Thompson) Academic Standards-Curricula:  With regard to state achievement assessments, statewide academic content standards and model curricula, and teacher and administrator evaluations.


  • Public Responds with Strong Support for Music: The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) released on May 19, 2015 the results of a survey that shows strong support for music and arts education among parents and teachers.

The survey was conducted by the Grunwald Associates, LLC and included 1000 teachers and 800 parents.  The results are published in a study entitled, “Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States 2015.”

The study measures the beliefs and attitudes about music education among parents and K-12 teachers, and found that 77 percent of teachers and 64 percent of parents say access to music and arts education is “extremely” or “very” important.  The survey also found the following:

-66 percent of teachers and 55 percent of parents are not aware that “the arts” are designated as a core academic subject in federal law.

-89 percent of teachers and 81 percent of parents believe that music teachers should be certified to teach music.

-80 percent of teachers and 70 percent of parents believe that the number of minutes of music instruction required every week is important.  However, about 36 percent of parents report that their child has received one year or less of music instruction, and 16 percent of parents report that their child has received no music education in school.

-42 percent of teachers and 46 percent say that their schools have the musical instruments they need for all students who want to learn to play.

-87 percent of teachers and 79 percent of parents strongly believe that music education has a positive impact on overall academic performance.  The benefits include a way for students to express themselves, become more confident, develop the habit of practice and self discipline, and improve motor ability.

-83 percent of teachers and 73 percent of parents say budget cuts in music education are detrimental to students.  76 percent of teachers and 71 percent of parents also believe that music education is not adequately funded as other core subjects.

The study includes the following recommendations:

-Increase awareness among parents, teachers, administrators, and school boards that music is a core curricular subject by federal policy.

-Ensure that every student who wants to play a musical instrument has access to the instrument of choice and other materials to support learning and performance.

-Reduce disparities in music education access, quality, and certified teachers in music.

-Provide professional development opportunities to all music educators, and consider integrating music into the professional development of all educators.

-Reverse the decades-long cuts to music and arts education.

-Increase the scope of all elementary school music programs to include instrument instruction, music theory and composition, aligned to national standards.

-Require student participation in music education at the middle and high school levels.

-Expand music learning opportunities to include contemporary and world music and music technology.

-Increase the number of arts programs funded by Title I monies.

-Create coalitions of educators, parents, and music organizations in the community to help ensure access to quality music education for all students.

See “Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States 2015” conducted by Grunwald Associates LLC. NAMM Foundation at file:///Users/joanplatz/Desktop/Strking%20A%20Chord:%20The%20Public’s%20Hopes%20and%20Beliefs%20for%20K-12%20Education%20in%20the%20United%20States:%202015%20%7C%20NAMM.webarchive

See “Survey Shows Teachers, Parents Place Value on Music Education” by

Jessica Brown, Education Week, May 20, 2015 at

  • Museums Working to Integrate the Arts in Classrooms:  An article in the Washington Post on May 17, 2015 describes some of the partnerships between museums and schools that are increasing student understanding.  The U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) hosted last week a gathering of students, educators, and museum directors for the opening of an exhibition of student art as a result of partnerships between schools and museums.  The exhibition highlights how museums can help schools integrate art into their classrooms to provide students with opportunities for deeper learning.  Partnering museums include the Denver Art Museum, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, the Phillips Collection, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to name a few.

According to Jackye Zimmermann, director of the student art exhibition for the U.S. DOE, museums are incorporating the arts into a variety of school subjects giving students multiple ways to learn.  Museums are helping students with projects that focus on ecology and habitats, math modeling, social justice themes, and a project to increase safety at a pedestrian crossing.

The exhibition of student art work at the U.S. DOE is open for scheduled visits through the end of June. Contact Jackye Zimmermann at

See “In this Arlington middle school class, teaching math really is an art” by Moriah Balingit, The Washington Post, May 17, 2015 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

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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