Arts on Line Education Update March 7, 2016

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
March 7, 2016
Joan Platz

 

LEGISLATION

131st General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will not be holding sessions this week, and the education committees are not meeting. The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission will meet on March 10, 2016, but the Commission’s Committee on Education, Public Institutions, and Local Government Committee is not meeting.

 

March Primary Election: The U.S. Presidential Primary Election, primary elections for other party candidates, and the Special Primary Election for Ohio’s 8th Congressional District will be held on March 15, 2016.

On March 15, 2016 voters will decide the party candidates for the November 8, 2016 General Election and candidates for the June 7, 2016 Special General Election for Ohio’s 8th Congressional District, a seat formerly held by Congressman John Boehner. Voters will select party candidates for the following offices:  President of the United States; U.S. Senate (1); U.S. House of Representatives (16); Ohio Senate (even-numbered districts); the Ohio House of Representatives in all 99 districts; the Chief Justice and Justices of the Ohio Supreme Court (2); and judges for the Court of Appeals.

Voters will also consider local tax issues, including tax and bond issues in several school districts.

See http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/elections/Voters/whatsontheballot/whatsOnBallot.aspx

 

Bills Introduced:

-SB289 (Patton) Motion Picture Tax Credit:  Increases the overall cap on the motion picture tax credit from $40 million per fiscal biennium to $100 million for the current fiscal biennium and $160 million for all subsequent biennia.

-HB481 (Thompson-Koehler) Student Enrollment Reporting:  Revises the requirements regarding student enrollment reporting for public schools, mandatory student withdrawal policies, and scholarship program eligibility relative to students who choose not to take state assessments during the 2015-2016 school year, and declares an emergency.

 

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO MEET

The State Board of Education (SBE), Tom Gunlock president, will meet on March 7 and 8, 2016 at the Ohio Department of Education, 25 S. Front Street, Columbus, Ohio.

The SBE meeting will begin at 8:00 AM on Monday March 7, 2016 with a 119 Hearing on five rules:

  • 3301-12-01 to 06, State Superintendent Spending Orders (Rescission)
  • 3301-28-06, Value Added Progress Dimension (Amendment)
  • 3301-44-01 to 09, Postsecondary Enrollment Options (Rescission)
  • 3301-92-01, -02, Distribution of State Aid (Amendment)
  • 3301-105-01, Funding for High Performing Educational Service Centers.

 

Committee meetings follow throughout the morning.  The Achievement and Capacity committees will meet first.

The Achievement Committee, chaired by Rebecca Vazquez-Skillings, will consider proposed Rule 3301-16-06, Retaking End-of-Course Examinations; Rule 3301-51-15, Operating Standards for Identifying and Serving Gifted Children; and receive an update on assessments.

The Capacity Committee, chaired by Dr. Frank Pettigrew, will consider Rules 3301-103-01 to -07, Autism Scholarship Program; Standards-based Framework for the Evaluation of School Counselors; the Definition of “Consistently High Performing Teacher”; and Career-Technical Educator Licenses for Workforce Development Teachers.

When those meetings are adjourned, the Accountability Committee and Work Group on SBOE Professional Development will meet.

The Accountability Committee, chaired by Melanie Bolender, will consider the Educational Service Personnel Measure and other indicators on the Local Report Card.

The Work Group on SBOE’s Professional Development will consider the changes to the Policy Manual related to professional development and other professional development issues.

The State Board will convene following lunch.  The full board will review written reports and items for vote, receive the report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and convene in executive session.

The Urban and Renewal Committee, chaired by Mary Rose Oakar, is scheduled to meet following the executive session.

On March 8, 2016 the Standards & Graduation Requirements Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, will meet at 9:00 AM and consider the proposed changes to the Honors Diploma rules, communication plan, and standards review activities.

The SBE will then reconvene and receive committee reports, and a presentation about Gifted Standards.

Following lunch at 1:00 PM, the SBE will receive a presentation on Entrepreneurship in Schools from Mr. Craig Zamary, Kent State University; receive public participation on agenda and non-agenda items; vote on the Report and Recommendations of the Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction; consider Old Business and New Business, and adjourn.

March 2016 Report and Recommendations of the Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction

3) Approve a Resolution of Intent to Amend rule 3301-28-04 of the Administrative Code entitled Performance Indicators.

4) Approve a Resolution of Intent to Refer to a Hearing Officer the Dublin City School District’s Determination of Impractical to Transport Certain Students Attending Haugland Learning Center in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio.

5)  Approve a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rule 3301-24-03 of the Administrative Code Entitled Educator Preparation Programs Leading to Ohio Licensure Issued by the State Board of Education.

6)  Approve a Resolution to Rescind Rule 3301-24-07 of the Administrative Code Entitled Provisional License Renewal.

7)  Approve a Resolution to Amend Rule 3301-27-01 of the Administrative Code Entitled Qualifications to Direct, Supervise, or Coach A Pupil Activity Program.

8)  Approve a Resolution to Rescind Rule 3301-27-01 of the Administrative Code Entitled Standards for Issuing an Ohio High School Equivalency Diploma, and to Adopt Rule 3301-41-01 of the Administrative Code, Entitled Ohio High School Equivalence Diploma.

9)  Approve a Motion Regarding 2016-17 State Board of Education Meeting Dates.

10) Approve a Resolution to Adopt a Framework for Component Grades for Career Technical Education Report Card.

11)  Approve a Resolution to Adopt a Qualifying Score for the Revised Visually Impaired Ohio Assessment for Educators (OAE) Licensing Exam.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Opponents Ask Senate to Reject King: The Washington Post reports that several individuals and organizations have signed a letter to the U.S. Senate asking lawmakers not to confirm Dr. John B. King Jr. as U.S. Secretary of Education.  The letter describes Dr. King’s as “inflexible” and an “unapologetic supporter” of the Common Core standards, high stakes standardized testing, student data collections, and value-added teacher evaluations. It warns lawmakers not to be “misled” by “vague promises to do better as King offered at a recent meeting.” The article also reports that several boards of education in New York State have passed resolutions opposing Dr. King’s confirmation.  Dr. King served as New York State’s Education Commissioner there from 2011 to 2014.

The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, chaired by Senator Lamar Alexander, held hearings in February 2016 on Dr. King’s confirmation, and expect to vote on the appointment in March 2016.

The letter, written primarily by Nikhil Goyal, was signed by Noam Chomsky, Diana Ravitch, Jonathan Kozol, several professors at major universities, and organizations such as the The Network for Public Education, New York Opt Out, The Opt Out Florida Networks, and the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, to name a few.

Dr. King left the New York State Department of Education in 2014 after parents and educators rallied against his testing and teacher evaluation policies, and challenged him openly at public meetings across the state.   Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan hired Dr. King in December 2014 to be a senior advisor and take on the duties of deputy secretary of education at the U.S. Department of Education.

See “Activists urge Senate not to confirm Obama’s pick for new education secretary”, by Valerie Strauss, The Washington Post, March 3, 2016 at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/03/03/activists-urge-senate-not-to-confirm-obamas-pick-for-new-education-secretary/

 

States Consider “Nonacademic Measures”: The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) allows states to include at least one nonacademic measure in state accountability systems.  The New York Times reports that nine schools in California are examining how schools can measure social emotional skills, such as self control and conscientiousness.

Some educators see a link between helping students become better at skills that focus on the “whole child”, such as self-control, persistence, problem-solving, etc., and improving academic achievement. Teaching students strategies for improving self control, for example, has helped some teachers better manage classrooms.

But, according to the article, some researchers and educators question “testing” students for these characteristics, and then using the results to evaluate schools. Angela Duckworth, who has studied the concept of tenacity or “grit,” told the Times that there is no reliable way to assess social emotional skills. Other researchers fear that students will be blamed for not trying hard enough or for lacking motivation.

According to the Times article the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) will start including questions about social-emotional skills in its assessments at grades 3, 8, and 10.  But, some researchers are not so sure that the results will be useful, especially if the questions are included in a survey in which students are asked to evaluate their own behaviors.

See “Testing for Joy and Grit?  Schools Nationwide Push to Measure Students’ Emotional Skills” by Kate Zernike, The New York Times, February 29, 2016 at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/01/us/testing-for-joy-and-grit-schools-nationwide-push-to-measure-students-emotional-skills.html?WT.mc_id=SmartBriefs-Newsletter&WT.mc_ev=click&ad-keywords=smartbriefsnl&_r=0

 

Principles for Teacher Evaluations: The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released on March 1, 2016 a set of principles for designing or refining state teacher evaluation systems.  The new guidelines could be used by states to revise their teacher evaluation systems, as states transition to the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which no longer specifies requirements for teacher evaluations.

The principles were developed by stakeholders, including teachers, principals, state chiefs, and researchers, and emphasize integrating teacher support and evaluation into teaching practice; driving continuous improvement of teaching practice; and ensuring that state evaluation systems are fair, credible and transparent.

CCSSO believes that through meaningful feedback teachers can professionally grow and develop throughout their careers. The following is a summary of the principles:

Integrating teacher support and evaluation into broader efforts to develop teaching practice and improve student learning.

-Regularly communicate the purpose of teacher support and evaluation.

-Build teacher support and evaluation systems on clearly articulated standards for effective teaching practice.

-Connect teacher support and evaluation to all components of talent management, from preparation to career advancement.

-Clarify the roles and responsibilities of states, districts, and schools with regard to teacher support and evaluation systems.

-Align support and evaluation processes to student standards, curricula, and assessments. “The feedback and support teachers receive should connect directly to the standards and curricula to which they are teaching and the needs of students. Likewise, student assessments should measure content teachers are expected to teach, and assessment results should inform appraisals of teaching practice.”

Driving continuous improvement of teaching practice.

-Ensure support and evaluation is an ongoing process of providing teachers with frequent, action-oriented feedback connected to professional learning resources.

-Create structures of teachers to work in teams with school learners to collaboratively set goals, create, and/or select measures and reflect on the progress towards goals.

-Build the skills of leaders to effectively implement teacher support and evaluation.

-Differentiate and tailor support and evaluation based on challenges teachers face in meeting the needs of students.

Ensuring that state evaluation systems are fair, credible and transparent

-Ensure educators in the development of the support and evaluation systems and in its continuous improvement.

-Use multiple, high-quality measures to create a comprehensive view of teaching practice, and balance those measures with professional judgment when assigning summative ratings.

-Ensure consistency and accuracy of evaluation data.

See http://www.ccsso.org/Documents/2016/Principles%20for%20Teacher%20Support%20and%20Evaluation%20Systems.pdf

 

OHIO NEWS

Cleveland Model Should Be Used to Reform All Urban School Districts: Education Week reports that during the Republican Presidential debate on March 3, 2016, Ohio Governor John Kasich told the audience that “…the Cleveland schools are coming back because of a major overhaul”, referring to the Cleveland Transformation Alliance approved in 2012, and recommended the same reforms for all urban schools.

Governor Kasich participated in the debate with Presidential candidates Donald Trump, Senator Marco Rubio, and Senator Ted Cruz.  He recommended the Cleveland reform model when asked if the federal government should bail out the Detroit City Schools.  He also said that his education plan, if elected president, includes combining federal funding into four block grants to be distributed to the states, promoting vocational education, establishing more mentoring programs, and promoting charter schools and vouchers.

According to the article, few questions about education have been asked during the Republican Presidential debates.  Most of the Republican candidates oppose the Common Core standards, which Governor Kasich still supports, and most would eliminate the U.S. Department of Education.

See “GOP Debate: Candidates Talk Detroit Public Schools, Common Core” by Alyson Klein, Education Week, March 4, 2016 at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2016/03/gop_debate_common_core_detroit.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=campaignk-12

See “Transcript of the Republican Presidential Debate in Detroit” The New York Times, March 4, 2016 at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/us/politics/transcript-of-the-republican-presidential-debate-in-detroit.html?_r=0

 

Ohio Economic Picture Confusing: In order for school districts in Ohio to have adequate resources to maintain quality education programs, Ohio’s economy must grow.  But recent reports about unemployment and lagging wages raise questions about Ohio’s economic progress since the great recession.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) released revised employment data for Ohio on March 4, 2016 showing a slight increase in the rate of unemployment from 4.8 to 4.9 percent in January 2016. The number of unemployed workers in Ohio increased by 6000 to 279,000, but has decreased over the past 12 months from 291,000 in January 2015.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Ohio gained about 100 jobs in January 2016 in goods-producing industries; construction; manufacturing; private services; trade, transportation, and utilities; leisure and hospitality; educational and health services; financial activities; and information services.  Jobs were lost in mining and logging; local, state, and federal government; and professional and business services.

The employment report included revisions to previous data back to 2000. According to Governor Kasich’s office, Ohio has created 417,700 new private sector jobs since 2011. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). But Hannah Halbert at Policy Matters Ohio reports that the revisions show that Ohio’s job growth is “uninspiring”. Ohio created more jobs in 2014, but retreated in 2015.  And Ohio’s labor force has declined by 4.2 percent (252,000 jobs) since the official start of the recession.

Policy Matters also reports that Ohio’s labor force participation rate is only 62.5 percent, “a rate lower than any year since 1977.”

According to Policy Matters, “Slow growth means there are still too few jobs for the number of Ohioans who want and need to work. That hurts wage growth, economic mobility and opportunity. We should invest in infrastructure improvements — water security, bridge repair, and energy efficiency upgrades to help more Ohioans get back to work.”

See “Ohio and U.S. Employment Situation (Seasonally Adjusted)”, Ohio Jobs and Family Services, March 4, 2016 at  http://jfs.ohio.gov/ocomm/index.stm

See “Ohio 2015 job growth total is totally uninspiring” by Hannah Halbert, Policy Matters Ohio, March 4, 2016 at: http://www.policymattersohio.org/jobwatch-jan2016-2#sthash.lgBJ6jCj.dpuf

See “Kasich praises job creators for Ohio’s steady, continued increase in new opportunities for Ohioans” March 4, 2016 at

http://www.governor.ohio.gov/MediaRoom/PressReleases/TabId/200/ArticleId/351/language/en-US/kasich-praises-job-creators-for-ohios-steady-continued-increase-in-new-opportunities-for-ohioans-3-4-16.aspxhttp://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/us/politics/transcript-of-the-republican-presidential-debate-in-detroit.html?_r=0

 

REPORTS

High Poverty Still Correlates with Low Student Achievement:  Dr. Howard Fleeter at the Ohio Education Policy Institute (OEPI) released on March 3, 2016 another analysis showing a correlation between high poverty rates and lower student achievement in school districts based on the FY15 Local Report Card Part II, released on February 25, 2016.

The analysis was commissioned by the Ohio School Boards Association, the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, and the Ohio Association of School Business Officials.

This is the second analysis prepared by Dr. Howard Fleeter at OEPI of FY15 Local Report Card results.  The first analysis was published on January 20, 2016 and covered measures included in Part I of the Local Report Card, including K-3 Literacy improvement and Graduation Rate.  The report card also included Prepared for Success measures, but these measures did not receive a grade.

Part II of the FY15 Local Report Card is based on student test results for English Language Arts (ELA), math, science, and social studies at certain grade levels.

The OEPI analysis compares the Performance Index (PI) and Proficiency test results from grades 3-8 and 10 with the percentage of economically disadvantaged students in 609 school districts organized into 10 groups based on their level of poverty.

The analysis shows that as the percentage of economically disadvantaged students in a school district increases, the average PI score decreases.  School districts in the group with the lowest level of poverty (0-10 percent) had an average PI score of 103.30, while school districts in the group with over 90 percent of economically disadvantaged students had an average PI score of 72.80.

The analysis also shows that the PI scores decrease as the average percentage of economically disadvantaged students increases among districts organized into seven groups based on their level of poverty. Districts with a PI score above 105 have on average 8.0 percent of economically disadvantaged students. At the other end of the spectrum, districts with PI scores between 60 and 70 have on average 89.4 percent of economically disadvantaged students.

The analysis also shows a “sizable achievement gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students on every test at all grade levels,” when the percentage of economically disadvantaged students and non-economically disadvantaged students scoring at the Accelerated, Advanced, and Advanced Plus levels was compared.  The analysis is based on the results of the ELA, math, science, writing, and social studies tests in grades 3-8 and at grade 10.

According to the author, the analysis shows, “a strong negative correlation between student achievement and socioeconomic status,” and concludes, “For the future of the state and its workforce, along with the well-being of our 11 million residents, it is imperative that policymakers find solutions to close the significant achievement gap shown in this analysis.”

 

Schools Segregated by Race and Poverty: A report by The National Equity Atlas found that African American and Hispanic students in the largest 100 cities in the U.S. are more likely to attend schools where most of their peers are poor or low-income.

The Atlas is a joint project of PolicyLink and the University of Southern California’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE). The report is based on an analysis of data from the National Center for Educational Statistics on student achievement and the number of students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

The report shows that about 75 percent of both African American and Hispanic students attend economically segregated schools in most cities, regardless of the location of the cities, while 33 percent of white students attend school with low-income students.  According to Professor Sean F. Reardon from Stanford University, “The difference in the rate at which black, Hispanic, and white students go to school with poor classmates is the best predictor of the racial-achievement gap.”

The impact of concentrated poverty in most cities poses a significant challenge to educators and policy-makers, because students who attend school with other low-income students achieve at lower levels, even in cities that have recovered from the Great Recession.

Schools with high numbers of students from low income families have fewer resources; fewer parents who can spend time at school; a harder time attracting the best teachers; and unstable family situations.

And researchers agree that it is “…unrealistic to expect to bridge these disparities solely through changes in the schools themselves.”

To overcome the effects of poverty on students, cities are trying a number of strategies, including giving bonuses to high performing teachers to work in high poverty schools, making sure that all schools provide advanced courses, and integrating the schools through a “controlled choice” model of socioeconomic integration.

In a report released by The Century Foundation (TCF) researchers found that 91 school districts and charter networks use socioeconomic status as a factor in student assignment.  The Obama administration included in its FY17 budget recommendations about $120 million for a grant program called “Stronger Together” for school districts interested in integrating their schools based on socioeconomic status.

See “The Concentration of Poverty in American Schools” by Janie Boschma and Ronald Brownstein, The Atlantic, February 29, 2016 at http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/02/concentration-poverty-american-schools/471414/

See “When Integrating A School, Does It Matter If You Use Class Instead Of Race?” by Anya Kamenetz, National Public Radio, February 29, 2016 at http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/02/29/466543209/when-integrating-a-school-does-it-matter-if-you-use-class-instead-of-race.

See “A New Wave of School Integration” by Halley Potter and Kimberly Quick, with Elizabeth Davies, The New Century Project, February 25, 2016 at http://apps.tcf.org/a-new-wave-of-school-integration

See “How Racially Diverse Schools and Classrooms Can Benefit All Students” by Amy Stuart Wells, Lauren Fox, and Diana Codova-Cobo, The Century Foundation, February 9, 2016 at

http://apps.tcf.org/how-racially-diverse-schools-and-classrooms-can-benefit-all-students

 

FYI ARTS

Governor Appoints Member to the Ohio Arts Council:   Governor Kasich appointed last week Susan Allen Block from Toledo to the Ohio Arts Council for a term beginning March 1, 2016 and ending July 1, 2019.  Ms. Block has been actively involved in the arts in the Toledo for the past 20 years.  She currently owns Vendome Pastry Kitchen.  She is also a members of the Toledo Zoo Board of Trustees, the executive committee for the YMCA/JCC of Greater Toledo, and the special advisory committee for The Toledo Area Humane Society.

See “Toledo business owner appointed to Ohio Arts Council”, by Roberta Gedert, The Toledo Blade, March 2, 2016 at

http://www.toledoblade.com/Art/2016/03/02/Susan-Allan-Block-appointed-to-Ohio-Arts-Council.html#pQCBtOp1VMTx0Cqr.99

 

Students Learn Career Skills Through the Arts:  According to an opinion piece in the Hechinger Report, the arts are being reintroduced in a number of city school districts, including Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston, not just for their intrinsic value, but in order to better prepare students for success in college, careers, and citizenship.

In Boston, for example, public, private, and philanthropic sectors have come together to form the Arts Expansion Initiative to provide weekly instruction in the arts for students in grades K-8, and increased arts instruction at the high school level.  The initiative started in 2009 with EdVesters, a nonprofit in Boston, as the anchor partner, and includes city government, local theaters, museums, and nonprofit cultural organizations and other institutions. The Boston Public Schools also increased public funding for the arts, which is now over $21 million. According to a survey conducted by EdVesters, parents believe that the arts keeps students engaged, and make schools more desirable.

The model for expanding the arts education programs in schools through collective action is now being used to expand the arts in Chicago, New York, and Seattle.

See “What the country can learn from Boston about bringing the arts back to public schools” by Marinell Rousmaniere, The Hechinger Report, March 1, 2016 at http://hechingerreport.org/what-the-country-can-learn-from-boston-about-bringing-the-arts-back-to-public-schools/



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, 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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