Arts on Line Education Update February 1, 2016

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
February 1, 2016
Joan Platz

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

131st Ohio General Assembly: The House Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the fast-tracked Capital Reappropriations bill – SB260 (Coley) this week, but the Ohio House and Senate are taking a short break.

 

New Member Takes Office: House Democrats selected Kristin Boggs on January 26, 2016 to complete the term of Representative Michael Stinziano, who resigned from the 18th House District seat in December 2015 after being elected to the Columbus City Council. The term ends on December 31, 2016.

 

House and Senate Approve Bills:  The Ohio Senate approved SB260 (Coley) Capital Reappropriations on January 27, 2016.  The Senate Finance Committee had previously amended the bill to include a variety of changes, including the addition of some items that were unintentionally left out of the original bill.  SB260 reappropriates and re-purposes $1.5 billion in capital appropriations for 2017-18, but does not include new capital appropriations, which will be included in a bill that is expected to be introduced soon.

The Ohio House approved on January 27, 2016 HB342 (Schaffer-Duffey) Performance Audits Higher Education.  The bill would authorize the state auditor to conduct performance audits of state universities and colleges.  The purpose of the bill is to expand the use of performance audits to identify ways for public colleges and universities to become more efficient.

 

Democrats Announce Policy Agenda: Democrats in the Ohio House and Senate, led by House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn and Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni, announced last week their policy agenda for the second half of the 131st General Assembly.

The agenda is entitled “Focus on the Future”, and proposes legislation to do the following:

-increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour (SB25-Yuko)

-require 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave

-expand sales tax exemptions for certain items

-allow an income tax deduction for students attending nonprofit institutions of higher education (SB19-Sawyer and SB24-Williams)

-require equal pay for equal work (HB330 & HB385 – Howse/Driehaus and SB218-Tavares)

-clarify employee/independent contractor status

-promote clean energy

-allocate $1 billion from the Budget Stabilization Fund for local government infrastructure projects, and, with voter approval, permit the issuance of general obligation bonds to fund sewer and water capital improvements (HJR 5 – Lepore-Hagan & K. Smith and SJR 3-Schiavoni)

The Democrats are also calling for the creation of a bipartisan Legislative Commission on Middle Class Economic Strength to study the fiscal impact of tax changes.

See http://www.ohiochannel.org/MediaLibrary/Media.aspx?fileId=148028

 

House Education Committee Update:  The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Brenner, accepted a substitute bill for HB420 (Roegner) Opt Out Testing, on January 27, 2016.  The original bill would have recalculated the 2014-15 Performance Index scores for schools and districts on the state report card, to exclude a “0” for the scores of students who opted not to take state assessments last school year.

The substitute bill includes the original purpose of the bill, but, in addition, would require the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to publish Performance Index scores for schools and districts with and without the “0” score for students who didn’t take the state assessments.  The substitute bill also establishes penalties for school district employees who encourage parents to opt their children out of state exams.  A teacher or school employee found by the State Board of Education to be encouraging parents to opt their child out of testing could lose their license for a year, and both teachers and nonteaching employees could be subject to termination and charged with a minor misdemeanor, according to the substitute bill. This provision does not apply to teachers with students with Individual Education Plans.

According to the Ohio Federation of Teachers this provision is now expected to be pulled from the bill.  Members of the Education Committee questioned the penalties and the fact that the bill would deny teachers and other school employees their right to free speech. (See http://oh.aft.org/publications-and-reports/oft-update-legislative-issues-e-newsletter-12916)

A similar bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner.  The bill is expected to be approved quickly, and go into effect as emergency legislation, so that the report card scores can be adjusted before they are released on February 25, 2016.

The Education Committee also reported out HB113 (Grossman-Manning N.) CPR Training.

 

Bills Introduced

SB264 (Bacon) Sales Tax Holiday – Permanent:  Provides for a permanent three-day sales tax “holiday” each August during which sales of back-to-school clothing and school supplies are exempt from sales and use taxes.

HB441 (McColley) Interscholastic Activities:  Permits a student enrolled in a nonpublic school to participate in interscholastic activities at a school district that is not the student’s resident district under certain circumstances, and prohibits a student who participates in the College Credit Plus program from being denied the opportunity to participate in interscholastic athletics solely due to participation in the program.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Detroit Teachers File Lawsuit: The Detroit, Michigan, Federation of Teachers, along with parents and students, filed on January 28, 2016 a lawsuit in the Wayne County Michigan Circuit Court against the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) and the Emergency Manager, Darnell Earley.  The lawsuit alleges that the physical conditions of the Detroit Public Schools are dangerous to children, teachers, and parents, and the fiscal status of the school district has become worse under state control. (American Federation of Teachers, AFT Michigan, Detroit Federation of Teachers, et. al. v. Detroit Public Schools and Darnell Earley)

The lawsuit seeks to require the school system to repair buildings and create a plan to ensure that all schools are kept up to building code standards; require the state to remove the governor appointed Emergency Manager; and require the state to restore local control of the school district to the citizens of Detroit.  Mr. Earley, appointed by Governor Rick Snyder, was also the Emergency Manager in Flint, Michigan, when the city changed its source for drinking water, exposing its residents to water with high levels of lead.

According to the lawsuit, the DPS “….has not performed its duty to its students, parents, teachers and community to provide a minimally adequate education and to properly maintain the schools.  Instead, Defendants have allowed the physical condition of Detroit’s schools to deteriorate to the point of crisis and have forced Detroit’s school-age children to spend their young lives in deplorable surroundings risking their health and safety in the process and imposing on students and their teachers an atmosphere that interferes with their securing a minimally sufficient education.”

Over the past few weeks DPS teachers have participated in “sick-outs” to bring public attention to the condition of the schools, which include rat infestations, leaky roofs, buildings without adequate heat, damaged ceilings and walls, falling debris, etc

See “Teachers Union Sues Detroit Schools” by Lauren Camera, U.S. News and World Report, January 28, 2016 at http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-01-28/teachers-union-files-suit-against-detroit-public-schools

See the lawsuit at http://dft231.mi.aft.org/files/dps_complaint.pdf

 

More on Charter Schools: The Boston-based Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice and the New England Area Conference of the NAACP filed a motion to intervene on behalf of children attending public schools in a lawsuit, Doe v. Peyser, filed on September 15, 2015 to lift the cap on the number of charter schools in Massachusetts.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan legal organization that provides pro bono legal representation to victims of discrimination based on race or national origin. The motion states that students of color, with disabilities, and English language learners are not proportionately served by charter schools, and would be harmed if the courts removed the cap on charter schools, and allowed charter schools to expand.  The motion states that the cap preserves educational opportunities in traditional public schools, which serve all children, and prevents millions of dollars from being redirected away from the public schools to charter schools and private interests.

According to the New England Conference of the NAACP,  “All available dollars for education should be used to improve public schools and close the education gap. Public policy which siphons funds from traditional public schools and expands a dual education system is not a constructive solution, and it will lead to the erosion of traditional public schools.”

See “Lawyers’ Committee Moves to Intervene in Charter Cap Case on Behalf of Students of Color, Students with Disabilities, and English Language Learners,” Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice”, January 28, 2016 at http://lawyerscom.org/lawyers-committee-moves-to-intervene-in-charter-cap-case-on-behalf-of-students-of-color-students-with-disabilities-and-english-language-learners/#

See the motion at http://lawyerscom.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Motion-to-Intervene-and-Motion-to-Dismiss-in-Doe-v.-Peyser.pdf

 

OHIO NEWS

More About the Youngstown Distress Commission: Youngstown Board President Brenda Kimble filed an appeal on January 28, 2016 of a ruling that blocked her appointment of Carol Staten to the Youngstown Academic Distress Commission (ADC).  Judge Lou D’Apolito, Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas, had affirmed on January 27, 2016 the decision by Dan Dascenzo, a magistrate of the court, that President Kimble’s appointment was not legal, because it did not meet the requirements in law (HB70) that the board of education president appoint a district teacher.  Carol Staten is currently a substitute principal in the school district. The judge’s ruling had directed President Kimble to appoint a new member to the commission by January 29, 2016.

A law approved in June 2015, HB70 (Brenner-Driehaus), requires the appointment of a five-member Academic Distress Commission for low performing school districts.  The Youngstown City School District is currently the only school district in the state that is required to form an ADC, and four members have already been appointed. But the Court has also ruled that the ADC cannot meet until all appointments have been made.  The ADC has the authority to hire a CEO to run the school district, and the authority to void contracts.

A lawsuit to overturn HB70 and the ADC is currently before the 10th District Court of Appeals, Youngstown City School District, et. al. v. State of Ohio, et.al.  The plaintiffs are requesting the Court of Appeals to overturn a decision denying plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction to stop the ADC from meeting.  The decision was issued by Judge Jenifer French on October 13, 2015 in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

See “Youngstown BOE president appealing court’s ruling on appointee,” Vindy.com, January 28, 2016 at http://ltf1090.tam.us.siteprotect.com/news/2016/jan/28/youngstown-boe-president-appealing-courts-ruling-a/?print

 

Early Learning Network: The Institute of Education Sciences announced on January 19, 2016 the recipients of $26 million in grants to develop reliable information and useful tools to improve early childhood education across the country through the development of a research network to support early learning from preschool through the early elementary grades. Members of the Early Learning Network include researchers at The University of Nebraska; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the University of California, Irvine; The Ohio State University; the University of Virginia; and MDRC, which works in the Boston Public Schools.

Professor Laura Justice at The Ohio State University will receive a grant of $4.5 million to study policies and practices and the role K-3 classroom experience plays in children’s learning and development.  The project will examine why children who attend preschool and initially show gains in achievement, lose those gains in future years, which is referred to as “fadeout”.

See “IES Launches Research Network on Early Childhood Education”, January 19, 2016 at http://ies.ed.gov/whatsnew/pressreleases/01_19_2016.asp

 

REPORTS

Validity of SAT to Predict First Year College GPA Questioned: Inside Higher Education reports that researchers Herman Aquinis, Steven A. Culpepper, and Charles A. Pierce released a study that questions the accuracy of the College Board’s claim that the SAT exam can predict first year college grades for students, and questions whether it is fair to use the SAT as part of the admissions process at many colleges and universities.  The study was released on January 15, 2016 in the Journal of Educational Psychology and is entitled Differential Prediction Generalization in College Admissions Testing.

According to the article, the study is based on records of 475,000 students enrolled at 176 colleges released by the College Board to counter a 2010 paper, by the same researchers, who proposed a theory questioning the predictability of the SAT for students at certain colleges. The new study found that the predictability of the SAT “didn’t hold at a significant minority of colleges.”

Specifically, the researchers report that student scores, by gender, on the mathematics portion of the SAT, are inaccurate predictors for first year grades for either male or female students at 16 percent of colleges, affecting 80,000 students; scores for white and Latino students on the mathematics section lacked predictive accuracy at 19 percent of colleges, affecting 65,000 students; and scores on the critical-reading section comparing black and white students are inaccurate predictors at about 20 percent of colleges, affecting about 65,000 people.

According to the article, “While it’s true that the SAT may work for most colleges at predicting freshman grades, he said that the percentage of colleges where it doesn’t work calls for the release of much more information so those institutions can consider whether they want to rely on SAT scores.”

See “Faulty Predictions? New study suggests the SAT may over- or underpredict first-year college grades of hundreds of thousands of students” by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Education, January 26, 2016 at https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/01/26/new-research-suggests-sat-under-or-overpredicts-first-year-grades-hundreds-thousands

See an abstract of the study at, “Differential Prediction Generalization in College Admissions Testing” by Aguinis, Herman; Culpepper, Steven A.; Pierce, Charles A.

Journal of Educational Psychology, January 21, 2016, at http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/edu0000104

 

Some States Increase Proficiency Benchmarks: Two reports released last week show that states are increasing the proficiency benchmarks on state assessments, which align them more with the “proficient” score on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP).

The reports are Proficient vs. Prepared 2016:  State Test Results are Getting Closer to Student Achievement on NAEP by Achieve and After Common Core, States Set Rigorous Standards by Education Next.

The reports show that some states have adopted the cut scores recommended by PARCC and the Smarter Balanced consortia on their standardized assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards.  Those cut scores reflect the definition of proficiency used by NAEP, which is defined as “solid academic performance” over challenging subject matter, rather than just “competent or skilled.”

According to the Achieve report, 16 states narrowed the difference between state and NAEP proficient scores to within five percentage points in one or both subject areas in 2015. Massachusetts, New York, and Utah have eliminated or have a small gap remaining between NAEP and state proficiency rates. States where the difference between NAEP and state proficient scores has increased include Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Virginia.

The report published by Education Next shows that 36 states have increased their proficiency standards, five states have decreased standards, and seven states have not changed their proficiency standards.

For Ohio, the gap between NAEP and state proficiency rates on the 4th grade reading assessment decreased from 49 percentage points in 2013-14 to 34 points and the gap decreased from 40 percentage points to 18 points for 8th grade math in 2014-15.

Education Next rated Ohio 44th out of 49 states and the District of Columbia for the rigor of its state proficiency standards, earning Ohio a C+.

See “States Are Closing the ‘Honesty Gap’ in Test Results, Study Says” by Catherine Gewertz on January 28, 2016 1:30 PM at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2016/01/states_setting_higher_proficiency_bar_on_tests.html

See “Proficient vs. Prepared 2016:  State Test Results are Getting Closer to Student Achievement on NAEP”, Achieve, January 28, 2016 at http://www.achieve.org/publications/proficient-vs-prepared-2016

See “After Common Core, States Set Rigorous Standards” by Paul E. Peterson, Samuel Barrows, and Thomas Gift, Education Next, Summer 2016, at http://educationnext.org/after-common-core-states-set-rigorous-standards/.

 

State and Local Revenue for Schools Still Below 2008 Levels: An updated report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds that most states still provide less support per student for elementary and secondary schools than before the Great Recession, which started in 2008.  The information was gathered from state budget documents on state and local funding for schools adjusted for inflation.

According to the report 31 states provide less state funding per student in 2014 than in 2008; in 18 states local funding per student decreased while in 27 states local funding increased from 2008-2014; on average, local funding for schools declined between 2008-2014; 25 states are providing less funding per student in 2016 than in 2008; most states raised “general” funding per student in 2016, but Oklahoma, Arizona, and Wisconsin cut state funding for schools.

Some of the reasons for the deep cuts in state K-12 funding include the slow rate of the economic recovery and drop in median income of workers; the reliance on spending cuts to close budget shortfalls rather than a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases; the drop in federal aid after 2011; an increase in the number of K-12 students; and state policies to reduce taxes, including a number of states, like Ohio, that reduced income taxes.

The report urges policy makers to restore school funding to avoid serious consequences, including a reduction of educational services; slowing the recovery of the economy; and impeding reforms that are known to increase student achievement, such as reducing class size and early childhood education.

The report states, “These trends are very concerning to the country’s future prospects. The health of the nation’s economy and our quality of life will depend crucially on the creativity and intellectual capacity of our people. If we neglect our schools, we diminish our future.”

Outlook for Ohio:  According to the report, total state funding for K-12 education between FY2008-2014 decreased by 2.2 percent, ranking Ohio 28th out of 31 states, with Arizona ranking number 1 with a 23.3 percent drop in K-12 funding.  There were 12 states in which total K-12 funding did not decrease between 2008-2014.

State general funding per student in Ohio has increased by 5.5 percent since 2014, with a 3.8 percent increase in 2015-16.  Ohio is among 21 states in which state K-12 funding has increased.  North Dakota shows the highest increase of 25.9 percent between 2008-2016.  Georgia posted the highest percent increase of 9.1 percent between 2015-2016.

However, combined state and local school funding per student in Ohio decreased 6.8 percent between 2008-2014.

See “Most States Have Cut School Funding, and Some Continue Cutting” by Michael Leachman, Nick Albares, Kathleen Masterson, and Marlana Wallace, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Revised January 25, 2016 at http://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/12-10-15sfp.pdf

 

FYI ARTS

Registration Opens for Vans Custom Culture Design Competition: It’s that time of year again.  Registration for the annual Vans Custom Culture competition is now open for high school art teachers.  The national contest provides high school students the opportunity to custom design Van shoes while supporting arts education.  The grand prize for the top design is $50,000 for the winning school.  The Vans Custom Culture website has great tips from teachers who have coached previous winning design teams. Registration is open through February 12, 2016 at 5:00 PM at http://sites.vans.com/customculture.

 

2016 Arts Education State Policy Symposium:  Americans for the Arts, the Kennedy Center, the Arts Education Partnership, and the Education Commission of the States are hosting a policy symposium that will explore the role of the arts as federal changes through the Every Student Succeeds Act are implemented.  The symposium, States of Change:  the Arts Leading the Way for Student Success, will be held in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, March 5, 2016 from 8-5:30 PM with a reception to follow.  The symposium will bring together 100+ national and state-level leaders from the education, arts, business, philanthropic, and public sectors to discuss the future of arts education in this new era for education.

See http://www.americansforthearts.org/by-program/reports-and-data/legislation-policy/state-policy-pilot-program/state-policy-symposium?utm_source=MagnetMail&utm_medium=email&utm_term=joan.platz@gmail.com&utm_content=arts%5Fed%5Ffield%5Fnotes%5F1%5F29%5F16&utm_campaign=Arts%20Ed%20Field%20Notes%3A%20January%2029

 

Arts Program to Assist Individuals with Autism:  An article in the Columbus Dispatch describes the efforts of Patrick Durkin and Les Bostic, who will be opening this spring The Arts and Autism Institute at the Milo Arts Center in Columbus at 617 E. 3rd Street.

The program is designed to help children ages 12-17 with autism and young adults up to age 25 with autism improve communication skills and teamwork through art, music, and dance.  Participants will work with professional artists and activity therapists to determine interests, and then link-up with artists through the Milo Arts Center.  There are also plans to market and sell the work of the participants.

Les Bostic is the former director of the Buckeye Ranch, and Patrick Durkin is an artist who has worked with youth with autism.  The Institute’s board of directors will promote the program and help raise funds to finance it.  According to the article, the directors are looking for volunteers, and can be contacted at ArtsAndAutism@gmail.com.

See “Program leaders hope to help autistic kids express themselves” by Earl Rinehart, The Columbus Dispatch, January 29, 2016 at http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/01/29/arts-and-autism-institute.html

 

New Exhibition at the Riffe Gallery: The Ohio Arts Council Riffe Gallery in Columbus opened a new exhibition entitled “Go Figure” last week.  The exhibition is curated by ceramic artist Charles McWeeny, Ohio University Dean Emeritus. It features the work of 13 Ohio artists as they explore the human form as a narrative vessel.  The artists include Juliellen Byrne, Columbus; Isabel Farnsworth, Kent; Clotilde Jimnez, Cleveland Heights; James Oberschlake, Ripley; Frank Oriti, Cleveland; Emil Robinson, Cincinnati; Laura Sanders, Columbus; John Sousa, Springboro; Gregory Spaid, Gambier; Ed Valentine, Delaware; Art Werger, Athens; Pheoris West, Columbus; and Jaymi Zents, Chesterland.  The exhibition will be open for viewing until March 24, 2016 at the Riffe Gallery, 77 South High Street in Columbus.  Admission is free and the exhibit is open to the public.  See http://www.oac.ohio.gov/Riffe-Gallery/Events-Calendar.


This update is written weekly by Joan Platz, Research and Information 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 (www.omea-ohio.org),Ohio Art Education Association (www.oaea.org), Ohio Educational Theatre Association (www.ohedta.org); OhioDance (www.ohiodance.org), and theOhio Alliance for Arts Education (www.oaae.net).

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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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