Arts on Line Education Update November 10, 2015

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
November 9, 2015
Joan Platz


131st Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio Senate will hold a session and hearings this week.

The Ohio House will hold committee hearings this week, including a hearing of the House Education Committee, under a new chairman, Representative Andrew Brenner. The committee will receive testimony on the following bills:

-HB264 (Barnes) Respect Your Date Act: Enacts the “Respect Your Date Act” and designates the month of April as “Respect Your Date Month”. Requires each state institution of higher education to adopt a policy regarding dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and rape on campus, and declares an emergency.

-HB274 (Hagan) Apprenticeship Loan Program: Creates a subprogram of the College Credit Plus Program that permits students to participate in certified apprenticeship programs.

-HB299 (Blessing-Rezabek) Custodian-Autism Scholarship: Permits the temporary, legal, or permanent custodian of a qualified child to apply for an Autism Scholarship.

Administration Not Likely to Introduced MBR in 2016: Hannah News reports that Governor Kasich is not likely to submit a Mid-Biennium Review (MBR) bill in 2016, breaking with a tradition that he has established while governor. The previous MBRs included a number of mid session corrections and reforms. This coming year the administration will still seek recommendations for changes in law from governmental agencies, but submit them as separate bills. Lawmakers often divided the MBR into separate bills anyway.

The legislative priorities over the next few months include passing legislation on workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation debt, and a capital appropriations bill, which the administration is currently putting together.


Special Election Set for Former Representative John Boehner’s District: Governor Kasich announced on November 1, 2015 that the primary election for the 8th Congressional District to replace House Representative John Boehner will be held on March 15, 2016. Representative Boehner resigned from the U.S. House on October 31, 2015. A special election to fill the unexpired term will be held on June 7, 2016.

March 15, 2016 is also the primary election for candidates on the November 8, 2016 Ballot. Candidates who plan to enter the 8th Congressional District contest to fill the unexpired term and also seek election to the 8th Congressional District for the new term beginning in January 2017 will be on the March ballot twice.


Education Oversight Committee Selected: The Ohio House announced last week the appointment of three members to a new Joint Education Oversight Committee (JEO).

The oversight committee was included in HB64 (Smith) Biennial Budget to examine programs and spending within K-12 and higher education. The committee is supported with an appropriation of $350,000 in FY16 and $500,000 in FY17.

The committee includes five members appointed by House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and five members appointed by Senate President Keith Faber. So far the House appointees include Representatives Bob Cupp (R-Lima) as chairman, Andrew Brenner (R-Powell), the chair of the House Education Committee, and Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell), chair of the House Finance Committee. The two Democratic members will be appointed in consultation with House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) is expected to name his appointees soon. The committee’s responsibilities include the following:

•Review and evaluate education programs at school districts, other public schools, and state institutions of higher education that receive state financial assistance in any form.
•Inspect, with prior approval, school districts, other public schools, and state-assisted institutions of higher education.
•Employ professional, technical, and clerical staff to successfully and efficiently perform duties.
•Review bills and resolutions regarding education that are introduced in the General Assembly.
•Submit a report of its review of a bill or resolution to the General Assembly.
•Request the State Superintendent or the director of the Department of Higher Education to appear before the committee.


Bills Introduced:

-HB382 (Leland) Ohio Principals Month: To designate the month of October as “Ohio Principals Month.”

-HB383 (Hagan-McColley) Informed Student Document: Requires one-half unit of economic and financial literacy in the high school social studies curriculum; requires the Chancellor of Higher Education to prepare an informed student document for each state institution of higher education; requires the State Board of Education to include information on the informed student document in the standards and model curricula it creates for financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

-HB384 (Schaffer-Duffey) Higher Education Audits: Specifies that state institutions of higher education may be subject to performance audits conducted by the Auditor of State.



November Election Summary: State Issues 1 and 2 received statewide support on the November 3, 2015 ballot, while voters decisively defeated Issue 3, which would have legalized marijuana for recreational and health purposes.

According to the Secretary of State’s Office, 42.4 percent, about 3.2 million of Ohio’s 7.5 million registered voters, participated in the election on November 3rd.

State Issue 1, a constitutional amendment which creates a bipartisan, public process for drawing legislative districts starting in 2021, passed with 71 percent of the votes.

State Issue 2 was approved by 52 percent of voters. It imposes restrictions on future constitutional amendments that would benefit special interests. The amendment was introduced to counter Issue 3, and requires the Ohio Ballot Board to determine if a proposed constitutional amendment creates a monopoly, oligopoly, cartel, etc. If so, voters would be required to consider two separate ballot questions: one to approve placing a monopoly on the ballot, and a second ballot to approve of the full issue.

State Issue 3 was defeated by 64 percent of voters. The proposed constitutional amendment would have granted a monopoly for the commercial production and sale of marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes.

Because of the strong support among advocates for legalizing medical marijuana, many lawmakers believe that future measures will be on the ballot, and are now discussing ways to legalize the use of medical marijuana through legislation.

Voters also approved 85 percent of school tax issues, or 94 of the 110 school issues on the ballot. This was a higher passage rate than last November. Most of the issues that passed were renewals of levies rather than new levies.

See and


No Action on Congressional Redistricting: In spite of the overwhelming support for Issue 1 and its bipartisan approach for drawing state legislative districts, Ohioans will have to wait a little longer for lawmakers to take action on revising the process to draw Congressional districts.

According to the Columbus Dispatch House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger is taking a wait and see attitude about the redistricting reform plan before backing a similar plan for Congressional districts outlined in SJR 2 (LaRose – Sawyer). He also believes that members of Congress should weigh-in on any plan to redraw Congressional districts.

Unfortunately, Issue 1 will not impact a new redistricting plan until several years in the future…..2021.

See “Issue 1 support may not lead to congressional redistricting reform” by Jim Siegel, The Columbus Dispatch, November 4, 2015 at


State Superintendent to Retire: Dr. Richard Ross, Ohio’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, announced on November 6, 2015 that he will retire on December 31, 2015. Dr. Ross was appointed superintendent by the State Board of Education in March 2013. Over the course of his 40-year career in education, Dr. Ross has served as an education advisor for Governor Kasich, and as a superintendent in the Reynoldsburg City Schools, the Ottawa-Glandorf Local School District, and Bryan City Schools.

The Columbus Dispatch reported on November 7, 2015 that the State Board of Education, Tom Gunlock president, is expected to begin a search for a new superintendent immediately. The State Board meets on November 16, 2015.


See “Ohio Board of Education starts search for ‘dynamic’ new chief” by Catherine Candisky, The Columbus Dispatch, November 7, 2015 at


ODE Asked to Clarify Charter Grant Application Irregularities: The Washington Post reported on November 5, 2015 that the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) is requesting additional information from the Ohio Department of Education about a charter school grant application submitted by the ODE in July 2015. The request was made in a letter from Stefan Huh, director of Charter School Programs at the U.S. Education Department on November 4, 2015.

According to the article, the U.S. DOE is asking for information in the grant application that is “out-of-date, inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading”, and will require its approval before the ODE is allowed to spend money from the federal grant.

The Ohio Department of Education was awarded a five-year $71 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support charter schools in September 2015, but questions have been raised by members of Ohio’s Congressional delegation and lawmakers in Ohio about the accuracy of the information submitted on the grant application.

The grant application for the Charter Schools Program (CSP) State Education Agency (SEA) grant program was prepared and submitted by David Hansen, the former director of the ODE’s Office of Quality School Choice and Community Schools, and was signed-off by State Superintendent for Public Instruction, Richard Ross. David Hansen later resigned from the ODE in July after acknowledging to the State Board of Education that he had doctored charter school sponsor evaluations to make the sponsors look better. As a result, the ODE had to scrap the charter school sponsor evaluations, which were referenced in the grant application.

In the letter to the ODE the U.S. DOE is also lending support for an independent investigation of ODE’s compliance with state laws, regulations, policies, and procedures, and requesting additional information about Ohio’s capacity to oversee charter schools and the federal funds allocated through the grant as a result of the misinformation included in the application. The U.S. DOE requested that the ODE report the findings of charter school audits for the past seven years and how charter school authorizers will be reviewed in the future. That process is now being developed by an outside panel appointed by Superintendent Ross.

See “The not-to-be believed letter sent by U.S. Education Department to Ohio” by Valerie Strauss, The Answer Sheet, The Washington Post, November 5, 2015 at


Youngstown Plan to Move Forward: The 10th District Court of Appeals denied an appeal from plaintiffs in Youngstown City School District Board of Education v. The State of Ohio to delay implementation of a new Academic Distress Commission (ADC) for the Youngstown City Schools.

The plaintiffs are challenging HB70 (Brenner-Driehaus), a law approved in June 2015 that creates a new ADC commission and imposes other conditions that limit the authority of the district’s elected board of education. The appeal resulted after the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas denied on October 13, 2015 a delay in implementing the law.

The plaintiffs allege in the appeal that the new law violates provisions in the Ohio Constitution regarding the composition of the local board of education and equal protection under the law, and challenge how the General Assembly approved the law. The case will continue to be heard in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

See “Youngstown Plan proceeds after denial of injunction” by Denise Dick,, November 3, 2015 at


SBE Revising Gifted Rules: The State Board of Education’s Achievement and Graduation Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, is updating Operating Standards for Identifying and Serving Gifted Students – Ohio Administrative Code Rule 3301-51-15. State law requires all agency rules to be reviewed every five years. The last time the gifted rules were updated was in 2008.

The Ohio Revised Code Section 3324.03 requires that school districts identify students who are gifted in superior cognitive ability, specific academic ability, creative thinking ability, and in the visual or performing arts. The law does not require that identified students be served.

According to a March 12, 2015 report by the Ohio Association for Gifted Children, in 2013-14 Ohio school districts identified 256,940 students as gifted (16.55 percent), and served approximately 60,725 of those gifted students (23.46 percent). Almost $68 million in state funds was allocated to support gifted education programs in school districts and Educational Service Centers (ESCs) in FY2013, but more than half of all districts spent less than their allocated funds on gifted education. About 141 school districts provided no services for gifted students. (See 2015 State of Gifted Education in Ohio, OAGC, March 12, 2015 at

The State Board of Education commenced an update of the gifted rules in 2013, but the process was later delayed, and the revised rule, which was approved by the Achievement Committee in 2013, was never voted on by the full State Board.

The current proposed rule (9/11/15 draft) was introduced to the SBE’s Achievement and Graduation Committee at their September 14, 2015 meeting, and will be reviewed by the committee over the next weeks. The State Board of Education is expected to receive testimony about the proposed gifted rule at their November and December Board meetings.

The 9/11/15 draft, prepared by ODE staff, represents a dramatic departure from the current rule in a number of ways:

-The proposed rule is condensed from fifteen pages to three by removing most references to provisions in current law and clarifications of law. It provides general statements about identifying gifted students; serving gifted students; accountability; and funding.
-Definitions and specific language about identifying gifted students have been removed.
-The criteria for serving gifted students have been removed, including caseload limits, minimum staffing levels, minutes of instruction, and qualifications for service providers.
-Language has been removed requiring the ODE to audit school district gifted programs; allowing the ODE to remove state funding for gifted education from school districts that do not comply with the standards; and requiring school districts to collect and report data about specific inputs to determine their effect on gifted services.
-The draft rule lacks specific parameters for school districts when they spend funds for gifted education and requirements for the ODE to create an annual report about the status of gifted education programs in Ohio’s schools.

On a positive note, the proposed standards expand whole-grade testing for identifying gifted students, including students with disabilities, students who are learning English, or students who are a minority or disadvantaged.

See the current (2008) Operating Standards for Identifying and Serving Gifted Students at

See the proposed draft rule (9/11/15) at

To read a response to the 9/11/15 Gifted Rule from the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education see

To read a response to the 9/11/15 Gifted Rule from the Ohio Association for Gifted Children see

A newspaper article about the proposed gifted rule is also available.
See “Don’t retreat on teaching Ohio’s gifted kids, advocates say Plan would gut programs, some say; state still crafting rules but aims for local flexibility” by Shannon Gilchrist, The Columbus Dispatch, November 2, 2015 at

School Districts Ranked by Average Salary Levels: The Dayton Business Journal has developed a data base that ranks Ohio’s 610 school districts according to average teacher salaries. The information is based on Ohio Department of Education data for the 2013-14 school year. Cuyahoga and Franklin Counties have the most school districts with the highest average teacher salary levels.

According to the article, “Only one district in the state pays $80,000 or more on average, while 27 pay $70,000 or more and 117 pay $60,000 or more. On the low end, 13 districts pay less than $40,000 per year in average teacher salaries. That includes one Montgomery County school district, which has an average teacher salary of $37,081 and ranks No. 606 out of 610 districts statewide.”

See “Ranking Ohio school districts from highest to lowest teacher salaries” by Don Baker, Dayton Business Journal, November 2, 2015 at


Impact of Election on Education Policies: The results of the November off-year election could lead to a mixed-bag of changes in education policies and laws at the local, state, and national levels.

According to several news stories last week the results in Mississippi, Kentucky, King County, Washington, and Colorado are particularly interesting.

-In Mississippi voters defeated an initiative to change the state’s constitution, which was a required first step before Issue 42, a constitutional amendment that would have required the state to fully fund the state’s school funding formula, could be approved. The Mississippi Constitution calls for the state legislature to provide a free system of public schools, but doesn’t define the quality.

-In Kentucky Republican Matt Bevin won the governor’s office in an upset over Democrat Jack Conway. Mr. Bevin is an outspoken opponent of the Common Core standards and a strong supporter of school choice. Once governor he will have the authority to appoint new members to Kentucky’s state board of education, which is likely to lead to some policy changes. Kentucky law does not support charter schools or vouchers, and Kentucky was one of the early adopters of the Common Core standards and PARCC testing.

-In King County, Washington, voters approved a $392 million six year levy to support early childhood education and home visits to pregnant women.

-Colorado voters approved a proposition that allows the state to earmark some of the $66 million in tax revenue from marijuana sales for school construction.

In Jefferson County, Colorado, three conservative members of the board of education were recalled, in spite of fact that they spent over $1 million from Americans for Prosperity, an organization funded by David and Charles Koch, to retain their seats. The recall could change the direction of the board, which had supported merit pay for teachers and increasing school choice.

The voters in Denver also defeated an issue to raise taxes to subsidize college scholarships.

See “Bevin Wins Ky. Governor’s Race; Miss. Voters Reject Funding Initiative” by Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week, November 4, 2015 at
Bevin Wins Ky. Governor’s Race; Miss. Voters Reject Funding InitiativeBy Andrew Ujifusa on November 4, 2015

See “Conservative school board members ousted in bitter Colorado battle,” by Lyndsey Layton, The Washington Post, November 4, 2015 at

See “What School Proposals Failed on the Ballot?by Emily Richmond, The Atlantic, November 4, 2015 at


Using Pell Grants to Support High School Students: The U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) announced on October 30, 2015 a pilot program to provide federal Pell Grants to high school students taking college courses for credit through dual enrollment programs. The purpose of the pilot program is to expand college access for high school students who qualify at participating institutions of higher education. Participating in the program should not affect a student’s lifetime Pell eligibility limit.

Over the next few weeks a notice will be published in the Federal Register inviting postsecondary institutions that partner with secondary schools and LEAs to offer dual enrollment programs to submit letters of interest to participate in the pilot program.

See “Supporting College Access, Affordability and Completion Through a Financial Aid Experiment for Students in Dual Enrollment Programs”, November 4, 2015 at


The Cost of the Common Core: The Wall Street Journal estimates that the cost for implementing the Common Core standards in English and math is about $7 billion so far. This total includes the cost for training teachers, revising the curriculum, purchasing new materials and texts, purchasing and updating computers and technology, etc. The cost for testing students based on the new standards was not included in the estimated cost.

In addition to state and local expenditures, the federal government supported implementation of the new standards through the $4.3 billion Race to the Top grant program, which was awarded to some states.

Foundations and national education organizations also contributed financial support for advocacy, research, testing, and curriculum development around the Common Core. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for example, has spent $263 million on advocacy, research, and developing new curriculum tools to implement the standards.

In 2010 about 45 states adopted the Common Core State Standards, but since that time seven states have repealed or amended the standards, and other states, like Ohio, have established committees to review and revise the standards. Four states, Nebraska, Alaska, Texas, and Virginia, never adopted the standards.

The author notes that in addition to the political backlash from the right and left about how the standards were developed and whether or not they are appropriate, a major barrier to building support for the Common Core State Standards has been the cost to implement the standards. Many school districts across the country eventually realized that they did not have enough resources, training, and time to adequately implement the standards. As a result, the standards have been implemented inconsistently across and within states and school districts, contributing to the backlash against them.

See “Financial Woes Plague Common-Core Rollout: After 45 states adopt educational standards, many have second thoughts” by Michael Rothfeld, The Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2015 at



OCA Seeking Board Members: Ohio Citizens for the Arts (OCA), Linda Woggon executive director, is seeking individuals who would like to be considered for election to the OCA Board of Directors during the next two years.

According to a document released by the OCA,

“During the next two years, Ohio Citizens for the Arts (OCA), will identify and elect a number of new members to our Board of Directors. OCA is a very effective non-profit statewide advocacy group for arts and culture. We work to achieve the highest level of public support for the arts, educate and engage a strong and collaborative network of grassroots advocates, and give voice to Ohio’s creative community. If you are passionate about the arts, OCA is the place to put your passion to work!”

“We are looking for board members who believe the arts are foundational to Ohio’s continuing transformation into a creative, prosperous, and attractive place to live, work and raise a family. As a member of OCA’s Board of Directors, you will have the opportunity to help build on our past successes as we expand our mission, create a new vision, raise our profile, implement new programs, and capture the power of technology to better educate, communicate and advocate. It is an exciting time of growth for OCA and our leadership.”

“Specifically, we are looking for individuals who will bring diverse perspectives, creativity, and enthusiasm to our board. As a state-wide organization, our board must include community leaders from every area of the state. We are also seeking representation from various racial and ethnic groups, as well as all age groups, especially “Millennials”. Skill sets that will bring significant value during this time of growth include: technology, branding, social media, marketing, event organizing, grant writing, and legislative advocacy.”

“We ask that all board members maintain a sponsor-level ($120 per year), or above, membership in OCA and be willing to help recruit and retain new members. They must also be committed to attending board meetings (held quarterly in Columbus), planning sessions, and special events. Our board members are influential leaders who represent OCA in their communities. They are asked to help engage artists and art organizations, educate art leaders about advocacy, and communicate with public officials about the importance of arts and culture to a strong community.”

“If you would like to be considered for OCA’s Board of Directors, please submit a resume, bio or LinkedIn profile along with a cover letter stating why you are interested, what makes you a good fit, and specific skills you will add. This information should be emailed or sent to:

Linda Woggon
Executive Director
Ohio Citizens for the Arts
77 S. High Street, Floor 2
Columbus, OH 43215-618”


Article Highlights STEAM Programs Across the Country: An article in District Administration highlights several STEAM programs in school districts across the country. In these school districts the arts are included in the curriculum along with science, math, engineering, and technology to encourage students to think both critically and creatively. The highlighted STEAM programs are part of traditional public school districts, and include the Mt. Airy City Schools in North Carolina; Tukwila School District outside of Seattle; Encinitas Union School District in Southern California; the Santa Rosa County School District in Florida; the Detroit Public Schools; the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District on New York’s Long Island; and the Cherokee County School District in north Georgia.

According to the article, adding the arts to STEM is a means for students to communicate, collaborate, create, and innovate through music, dance, visual art, and theater. Adding the arts does the following:
-encourages students to take risks and tolerate ambiguity
-helps students approach topics from multiple perspectives
-introduces students to engineering practices, which combine technology and aesthetics
-prepares students to be adaptable learners
-encourages cross discipline learning
-ensures a well-rounded education and prepared a well-rounded individual
-helps students understand concepts in ways that make sense to them
-provides students with opportunities to work on real problems, experiment, and explore

The Tukwila District in Washington state hopes to create an employee pipeline for Boeing, Microsoft, and other STEAM-oriented companies in the Seattle area by preparing students to think about solving problems by using the principles of design.

The Mt. Airy City Schools have created a STEAM program in partnership with NASCAR driver Richard Childress’ racing team. Students study thermal dynamics to test and design clothing materials for drivers, but must also design uniforms that are comfortable and look good. To support student learning, the school district had to revamp its arts education programs to ensure that students had a solid preparation in the arts to contribute to the STEAM project.

See “Putting the “A” in STEAM” by Matt Zalaznick, District Administration, November 6, 2015 at“a”-steam

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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