Arts on Line Education Update September 21, 2015

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
Joan Platz
September 21, 2015



131st Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate have scheduled committee meetings for this week, and the Senate has scheduled a session.  The House and Senate education committees are not meeting.



Will there be a Government Shutdown?  Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi met last week with President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner to discuss a short-term continuing resolution to keep the federal government working past September 30, 2015, which is the end of the current fiscal year.

Democrats want House and Senate Republicans to agree on a federal spending plan that removes the automatic spending cuts now in effect, known as “sequestration”.  They also want a “clean” continuing resolution to extend spending beyond the FY15 deadline without other provisions attached, such as defunding planned parenthood.

See “Top Hill Dems meet with Obama, Boehner in hopes of avoiding government shutdown” by Kristen Holmes and Deirdre Walsh, CNN, September 17, 2015 at


College Scorecard Website Launched: The U.S. Department of Education unveiled on September 12, 2015 the “College Scoreboard” website.  The website provides parents, students, and the public with information about annual costs, graduation rate, earnings after graduation, and loan repayment rates for federal student aid recipients since 1990.  The website shows, for example, average earnings and repayment of student loans for students who attended a particular institution of higher education. Parents and students can use the site to compare the cost and outcomes of attending one college verses another.

The Obama administration originally announced that it would rank institutions of higher education on a set of criteria such as graduation rates, work placements, and student future earnings.  However, the administration dropped that plan in June, and reworked the site to focus on college costs, student earnings, and loan repayment.

See “College Scorecard” at

See “New Tools to Help Make Informed Decisions About Higher Education” White House blog, September 12, 2015 at

To read a critical analysis of the “College Scorecard”, see “Grading the Administration’s College Scorecard:  Incomplete” by the House Education and Workforce Committee, September 17, 2015 at


Poverty Rate Mostly Unchanged: The U.S. Census Bureau released on September 17, 2015 the report Income and Poverty in the United States 2014, a single year estimate of median household income, poverty, and health insurance for all states, counties, and places in the U.S.

The report presents data about income and poverty in the United States based on information collected in the 2015 and earlier from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplements (CPS ASEC) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to the report, “In 2014, the official poverty rate was 14.8 percent. There were 46.7 million people in poverty.  Neither the poverty rate nor the number of people in poverty were statistically different from the 2013 estimates.”

About 15.5 million children, over 21.1 percent, lived in poverty, and 19.8 percent of young adults lived in households with incomes below the federal poverty level of $19,073 for a family of 3.  About 23.8 percent of children under five lived in poverty.

See “Income and Poverty in United States 2014” by Carmen DeNavas-Walt and Bernadette D. Proctor, The U.S. Census Bureau, September 2015 at

The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports that Ohio’s poverty rate of 15.8 percent for 2014 ranked the state in 31st place nationally.  Ohio’s poverty rate was 16 percent in 2013.  Median income in Ohio was $49,308, an increase of 2.6 percent, bringing Ohio to 35th place among the states. In 2013 Ohio ranked 32nd for income.

See “Ohio income up, but state ranking drops; 2014 state, local census estimates for income, poverty,” by Rich Exner, Northeast Ohio Media Group, September 17, 2015 at


Percent of Minority Teachers Declines: The Albert Shanker Institute, Leo Casey executive director, released on September 16, 2015 a study that examines teacher data from nine U.S. cities, and found that the teacher work force has become less ethnically and racially diverse, and more female between 2001-2012.  The study examined data on teachers from Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

The biggest change in the teacher workforce occurred in Washington, D.C., where the percent of African-American teachers dropped from 77 to 49 percent.  At the same time the percent of Hispanic teachers increased slightly.

In New Orleans 87.9 percent of students are African American while only 51 percent of teachers are African- American.  Between 2002-2012 the percent of African-American teachers dropped from 74 percent to 51 percent.  The biggest decline occurred after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when the teacher workforce underwent a drastic reduction.

The percent of African-American teachers has also dropped in Cleveland’s charter schools between 2000-2011 from 30.7 percent to 12.4 percent.  At the same time the percent of African American teachers in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District remained steady at about 28 percent.

According to the study, “Existing research in the fields of education, social psychology and sociology make a compelling case for the benefits of a diverse teacher force, in which “minority” racial and ethnic groups — Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, Asians, and Pacific Islanders — would be more robustly represented.

The Albert Shanker Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and endowed by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

See “The State of Teacher Diversity in American Education” by the Albert Shanker Institute, September 2015 at


How are States Reporting College and Career Readiness? The College and Career Readiness & Success Center at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), has published a policy brief that describes the range of college and career readiness measures states are reporting, and provides guidance for other states that are measuring students’ readiness for college and careers. The report is based on publicly reported measures by the states, institutions of higher education, or consortia as part of a data-sharing agreement, between 2013-14.

The brief states that state reported college and career readiness measures vary widely as reported in 2014.  States are examining the following as they determine college and career readiness:  measures about academic content; pathway knowledge; lifelong learning skills; and postsecondary outcomes.

-Academic Measures:  Most states report student achievement in English language arts, math, and science, while 21 states also include social studies.  Some states report ACT, SAT, and AP test results, and college preparatory course work.  Five states report coursework in the arts and foreign languages, which are also requirements for college admission in some states.

-State Pathway Knowledge Metrics:  Readiness for careers at the end of K-12 education is reported by 34 states, although all states are required to collect and report data on students who participate in the federal Perkins Career and Technical Education Program.

-Lifelong Learning Skills:  These skills include social and emotional skills, higher order thinking skills, employability skills, civic skills, technology skills, and financial literacy.  They have been difficult to assess, so states are using proxies for some of the outcome measures.  For example, some proxy measures for “self-management” include attendance or truancy, dropout rate, discipline, risk behaviors, participation in extracurricular activities, and civic engagement, such as voter registration or volunteer hours.

State Postsecondary Outcome Metrics:  Thirty-six states provide information about how K–12 students do after high school graduation.

According to the brief, Ohio reports student achievement in English language arts, math, social studies, and science; the results for students participating in Perkins Career Technical Education programs and other measures; attendance, truancy, dropout rate, and discipline data; and post secondary enrollment and other measures.

See “How are States Reporting on College and Career Readiness?” by Nara Nayar, College and Career Readiness & Success Center, August 21, 2015 at




Ballot Board Changes State Issue 3 Language: The Ballot Board on September 18, 2015 followed a directive from the Ohio Supreme Court, and made changes in the language of Issue 3.  The Ohio Supreme Court sided on September 16, 2015 with some of the objections to the Ballot Board’s approved language for State Issue 3 in the case State ex rel. ResponsibleOhio v. Ohio Ballot Bd. ResponsibleOhio is the sponsor of State Issue 3, which is a proposed constitutional amendment to Article XV that would “Grant a monopoly for the commercial production and sale of marijuana for recreation and medicinal purposes.”  The issue will be on the November 3, 2015 ballot.  The Court ordered the Ballot Board to rewrite four sections that were misleading and left out pertinent and essential information for voters.  But the Court also ruled that the title of the issue, which refers to the initiative as a monopoly, was accurate. ResponsibleOhio brought the lawsuit on August 27, 2015.

See the decision at


School Districts Issue Own Report Cards: According to an article in The Columbus Dispatch, more school districts are publishing their own report cards to better describe the quality of their educational program in their communities.  Sixty school districts in Ohio are now releasing Quality Profile reports to provide the public with information about academic achievement and more, including externally validated data on course availability, extra-curricular activities, parent involvement, and financial information.  According to the article, Bexley Superintendent Mike Johnson reported that the state report card system is “so inconsistent and so unreliable that the legislature itself has had to put a disclaimer on the data for this year”.

The Quality Profile initiative was started by several superintendents in the Cincinnati area led by Paul Imhoff. The initiative has now spread to Columbus, Cleveland, and Toledo.


Charter School Decision Issued: The Ohio Supreme Court finally issued a split ruling in Hope Academy Broadway Campus v. White Hat Mgt., LLC. on September 15, 2015. The court found that White Hat Management LLC retained ownership of school property purchased with public funds for the 10 Cleveland-area charter schools that had filed the lawsuit against White Hat back in 2010.  The case was returned to the trial court (10th District Court of Appeals), which was instructed to inventory the property (desks, books, equipment) and dispose of it according to the contract that the charter schools had with White Hat.  According to the contract, the schools can buy-back the property “on a remaining cost basis.”

The majority opinion, written by Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger, was supported by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and visiting judge, John Wise of the 5th District Court of Appeals.  The opinion noted a “vagueness in state law” regarding the responsibilities of private companies that manage charter schools, saying that the General Assembly has taken a “laissez-faire attitude toward operators of community schools.”  The schools transferred to White Hat, per their contract, nearly all of the state per pupil funds that they received, but the opinion also found that charter school operators still had a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of Ohio, because the management company was performing a traditional government function.  Even though the entities are private, they are accountable for the manner in which the public funds are used.

The decision was partially concurred with by Justices Sharon Kennedy and Judith French.  They, however, found no fiduciary responsibility once the public funds were transferred to a private entity.

Justice William O’Neill wrote a dissenting opinion, arguing that the Court had the authority to declare the White Hat contract unenforceable under Ohio law to prevent theft of public property.  “This contract provision was illegal and unenforceable ab initio, and it is this Court’s constitutional obligation to put an end to this tragic legal fiction.”

Justice Paul Pfeifer rejected the opinion it its entirety, saying that the contract between White Hat and the schools is “plainly and obviously unconscionable“, because the “…contract term is so one-sided that we should refuse to enforce it.”




Two Vacancies on the SBE: State Board of Education member Dr. Mark Smith submitted his resignation to Governor Kasich on September 16, 2015.  The at-large appointee has served on the board since January 2013, and will leave effective September 18, 2015.  Governor Kasich will appoint a replacement to complete the term, which will end on December 31, 2016.  There are now two vacancies on the board.  Robert Hagen representing State Board District 8 resigned in June 2015.

See “Mark Smith resigns from Ohio Board of Education” by Catherine Candisky, The Columbus Dispatch, September 16, 2015 at


Motion for an Independent Investigation of Charter School Sponsor Evaluations Tabled:  During the State Board of Education’s business meeting on September 15, 2015, the Board tabled by a vote of 11 to 7 a motion by Board member A. J. Wagner to initiate an independent investigation into former ODE employee David Hansen’s handling of evaluations of charter school sponsors.

Irregularities in the charter school sponsor evaluations were revealed on June 14, 2015 by Patrick O’Donnell for The Plain Dealer.  According to the newspaper, David Hansen, the executive director of the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Quality School Choice, omitted data on the academic performance of low performing online charter schools and dropout recovery charter schools in the evaluations of charter school sponsors, in violation of state law.

At the State Board of Education meeting in July 2015, several State Board members and Senator Peggy Lehner questioned State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dick Ross and David Hansen about the irregularities in the sponsor evaluations, which led to the resignation of Hansen on July 18, 2015.

Since that time some members of the State Board and most state newspapers have been trying to determine who at the Ohio Department of Education was involved in efforts to distort the sponsor evaluations.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Richard Ross told the Board during the September meeting that documentation about the incident had been forwarded to the state auditor’s office and the Ohio Inspector General’s office.  However, according to several news reports, the Inspector General’s office would not confirm or deny that an investigation would take place, and State Auditor David Yost reported in July 2015 that ODE’s compliance with the law would be included in the department’s regular audit.

See “Ohio ignores online school F’s as it evaluates charter school overseers” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, June 14, 2015 at

See “State school board tables proposed investigation of charter school grade ‘scrubbing’” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, September 15, 2015 at


New Draft for Gifted Standards Available: The SBE’s Achievement Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, approved on November 11, 2013 a revised version of “Operating Standards for Identifying and Serving Gifted Students” Rule 3301-51-15.  The State Board was scheduled to consider the new rules for approval in December 2013, but the process was suspended due to a number of factors, including questions raised about funding the standards.

Last week the Achievement Committee received a new revised draft of operating standards for gifted education, with many changes.  The September 2015 draft standards for gifted education is three pages, compared to 15 pages for the 2008 operating standards for gifted education.  The September draft briefly outlines some rules for identification, services, funding, and accountability for gifted education programs. But the draft does not include a section on definitions; criteria for best practices or services; case load restrictions or contact time for gifted education providers; or accountability provisions to support appropriate use of state funds for gifted education programs and ensure compliance with the standards.

Work on the gifted standards will continue in the Achievement Committee for the next few weeks.  To learn more about the gifted operating standards, see

To read a critique of the September draft of the gifted operating standards, see “OAGC Testimony to State Board of Education” by Ann Sheldon, executive director of the Ohio Association for Gifted Children, September 11, 2015 at


SBE Sets Performance Levels for 2014-15 Tests: The State Board of Education approved on September 15, 2015 performance level cut score recommendations and corresponding thresholds on the school/district report cards for the 2014-15 school year.

The recommendations include performance levels for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments in math and English in grades 3-8 and for the American Institutes for Research (AIR) tests in social studies and science. The PARCC results are still preliminary, because they do not include the student results of pen and paper exams.  Neither PARCC nor AIR have released district or building level results.  The ODE has posted on its website a time table for the release of data to school districts this fall.

PARCC’s performance level recommendations for students taking exams in 2015 fall into the following categories: “did not meet expectations”, “partially met expectations”, “approached expectations”, “met expectations”, and “exceeded expectations”.  These differ from Ohio’s performance levels, which are set in law:  limited, basic, proficient, accelerated, and advanced.  According to The Plain Dealer, Ohio’s performance level cut scores recommend that students who “approached expectations”, based on the PARCC performance level, be considered “proficient”, thereby lowering the proficient standard for some students.

The SBE also set the percentage of students scoring proficient or higher on each state test for the Indicators Met measure on the 2015 report card.  Overall the percentages for the Indicators met measure for the new tests are lower than previous years due to several factors, including the fact that the assessments are new and based on new Common Core standards, and some students encountered technical difficulties with some of the online exams.  The percentage of Ohio students scoring proficient on tests in previous years has been around 80 percent, but this year the Indicator met percentage will range between 60 and 70 percent depending on the test, although the Indicator met percentage for the Grade 3 English language arts exam is set at 80 percent.

Ohio will replace the PARCC tests in reading and math for 2015-16 with tests developed by AIR, which will develop tests in all subject areas.  An ODE time line shows that the SBE will begin the process to set new cut score recommendations for the new exams beginning in December 2015.

See “Update on release of data for Ohio’s State Tests” at

See “Performance Level Recommendations for Ohio’s State Tests” at

See “Ohio’s Common Core test results: A little more than 1/3 of kids met standards on PARCC exams”, by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, September 14, 2015 at

See “Ohio kids that don’t quite meet PARCC’s Common Core standards are still “Proficient,” state school board decides” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 17, 2015 at  “


SBE Workgroup to Examine Academic Distress Commission: The State Board of Education’s Academic Distress workgroup, chaired by Rebecca Vazquez-Skillings, met on September 15, 2015 to find ways to support low performing school districts in the state in lieu of a controversial new Academic Distress Commission that goes into effect on October 15, 2015.  The workgroup also includes Roslyn Painter-Goffi and A.J. Wagner:

The components of the new academic distress commission were inserted in HB70 (Brenner/Dreihaus) and approved in one day by the Ohio Senate followed by the Ohio House in June 2015, leaving stakeholders little time to oppose the legislation.  The law changes the membership and authority of the current Academic Distress Commission, and is expected to apply first to the Youngstown City Schools, which has filed a lawsuit opposing implementation of the law.



Nominations for 2016 Governor’s Awards for the Arts Are Open:  The Ohio Arts Council is now receiving nominations for the 2016 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio. The award categories are:  Arts Administration, Arts Education, Arts Patron, Business Support of the Arts, Community Development and Participation, Individual Artist and the Irma Lazarus Award.

Nominations will remain open until Friday, October 16, 2015.  The nomination form is available online at


Columbus City Schools Receives Donation for Music Instruments: The Columbus Dispatch reported on September 16, 2015 that Nanci and David Gobey of Columbus have recently established the Gobey Music Trust through the Columbus Foundation to be used by the Columbus City Schools for musical instruments or music-related expenses.  CCS will receive up to $1.5 million for music instruments, and $50,000 a year in future years.

Nanci Gobey attended school on the South Side of Columbus, and began taking instrumental music lessons and playing in the band at school.  Music became an important part of her life, and a reason for selecting music as the focus of philanthropy.

See “Donors hope that $1.5 million gift will be instrumental to music students” by Bill Bush, The Columbus Dispatch, September 16, 2015 at


ESEA Reauthorization:  The House and Senate approved bills to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) during the summer.

The House approved the Student Success Act (SSA) – H.R. 5 on July 8, 2015.  The House version of ESEA narrowly passed without any support from Democrats.

The Senate approved the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (ECAA) – S. 1177 on July 16, 2015 with bipartisan support. The bill has the support of several national education organizations.

A conference committee of the U.S. House and Senate will need to reconcile the different versions of the ESEA bills.

Americans for the Arts has developed a national petition to urge members of Congress to retain some arts-friendly provisions in the reauthorized ESEA.  These provisions are primarily included in the Senate’s Every Child Achieves Act, and do the following:

-Restore the definition of the core curriculum, which includes the arts, and adds music to the definition (Title IX – Definitions)

-Allow school districts to use Title I funds to support arts education

-Establish a program that promotes arts education for disadvantaged students and students with disabilities attending charter schools

-Restore the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented program -Restores the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which provide over $1 billion to support after-school programs, including programs in the arts

-Restore grants for education innovation and research at the U.S. DOE

-Allow state education agencies to describe how they will “encourage” a well-rounded education for all students

-Allow arts educators to be eligible for professional development support (House version)

Arts education advocates are urged to sign the petition, which is available at


State and Regional Arts Education Studies: Americans for the Arts released in May 2015 “The State Status Report,” as part of the State Policy Pilot Program.  The status report provides a review of existing state-level arts education research, and compares areas across states.  The status report can be used to assist states in planning future arts education research.

See “The State Status Report“, by Yael Z. Silk, Ed.M. and Stacey Mahan, Ed.M. of Silk Strategic Arts LLC and Robert Morrison of Quadrant Research May 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 theOhio 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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