Arts on Line Education Update March 21, 2016

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
March 21, 2016
Joan Platz



131st Ohio General Assembly: Another quiet week at the Ohio Statehouse.  The Senate has cancelled its session, and the House and Senate education committees are not meeting.



Hannah News reported on March 16, 2016 that the secretary of state’s office had reported that turnout for Ohio’s March 15, 2016 Primary Election was 41.48 percent (3,137,109 ballots cast), making this the second highest turnout for a primary election in Ohio, just falling short of the 2008 presidential primary election between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

According to Hannah News, the secretary of state’s office also reported that a large number of absentee and provisional ballots are still being counted, which could affect the outcome of several close races.  The official results will be reported in a few weeks.  The following is a summary of some of the results so far:

School Issues

There were 68 school district issues on the March 2016 ballot, and the approval rate was 77 percent.  Most of the continuing or renewal levies were approved.

There were fewer school tax issues on the ballot this time compared to past primary elections, which are usually held in May.  Last year there were 101 school tax issues on the ballot. There is speculation that some school districts could be waiting to place tax issues on the November 8, 2016 ballot for president, when voter turn-out is usually higher.  Some school districts are also reassessing property tax increases, because of lower property values after the Great Recession, and the General Assembly’s decision to eliminate property tax rollbacks for homeowners.  There has also been an increase in property values under the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) program, which has discouraged rural districts from placing tax issues on the ballot.

The Ohio Schools Board Association has posted the results of the school tax issues at

See “One Incumbent Falls in Second Highest Turnout for Ohio Primary”, Hannah News Service, March 16, 2016 at

Election Results – Presidential Primaries

Ohio Governor John Kasich won all of Ohio’s 66 delegates to the Republican National Convention in his win over Donald Trump, raising his delegate count to 142 compared to 661 for Mr. Trump.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won her contest with Senator Bernie Sanders, raising her delegate count to the Democratic National Convention to 1,132.

Election Results – U.S. House of Representative 

In congressional races, Representatives Joyce Beatty (D), Steve Chabot (R), Bob Latta (R), Bill Johnson (R), Marcy Kaptur (D), Jim Jordan (R), Mike Turner (R), Marcia Fudge (D), Pat Tiberi (R), and Steve Stivers (R) had no challengers in their primary wins.

Warren Davidson (R) won the special election for former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner’s 8th District seat in Congress. He defeated several candidates trying for the position, including Ohio State Senator Bill Beagle (R) and Ohio House Representative Tim Derickson (R).  He will face Democrat Corey Foister and Green Party candidate James J. Condit Jr. in November 2016. The following is a list of the other congressional candidates, who will be on the November 2016 Ballot:

-Michele Young (D) will face incumbent U.S. Representative Steve Chabot for the 1st District

-William Smith (D) will face incumbent Representative Brad Wenstrum in the 2nd District

-Incumbent Representative Joyce Beatty (D) will face John Adams in the 3rd District

-Janet Garrett (D) will face incumbent Representative Jim Jordan in the 4th District

-James Neu Jr. (D) will face incumbent Representative Bob Latta in the 5th District

-Michael Lorentz (D) will face incumbent Representative Bill Johnson in the 6th District

-Roy Rich (D) will face incumbent Representative Bob Gibbs in the 7th District

-Corey Foister (D) will face Warren Davidson (R) and Green Party candidate James Condit Jr. in the 8th District

-Incumbent Representative Marcy Kaptur (D) will face Donald Larson (R) in the 9th District

-Robert Klepinger (D) will face incumbent Representative Mike Turner (R) in the 10th District

-Incumbent Representative Marcia Fudge (D) will face Beverly A. Goldstein (R) in the 11th District

-Edward Albertson (D) will face incumbent Representative Pat Tiberi (R) and Joe Manchik (Green) in the 12th District

-Incumbent Representative Tim Ryan (D) will face Richard Morckel (R) in the 13th District

-Michael Wager (D) will challenge incumbent Representative David P. Joyce in the 14th District.

-Scott Wharton (D) will face incumbent Representative Steve Stivers (R) and Dennis Lambert (WI – Green Parties) in the 15th District.

-Keith Mundy (D) will face incumbent Representative Renacci (R) in the 16th District.

Election Results:  U.S. Senate

Former Governor Ted Strickland and Ohio Senator Rob Portman will be facing each other in the November 8, 2016 General Election.  Governor Strickland won the contest with Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, and Senator Portman (R-Terrace Park) defeated Don Elijah Eckhart.

Election Results:  Ohio House and Senate

There will be many changes at the Statehouse in 2017 as a result of term limits, primary loses, and lawmakers seeking other offices and opportunities.  Leaving the Statehouse for a variety of reasons are Ron Amstutz (R-1), Kevin Boyce (D-25), Nan Baker (R-16), Jim Buchy (R-84), Tony Burkley (R-82), Mike Curtin (D-17), Denise Driehaus (D-31), Mike Dovilla  (R-7), Timothy Derickson (R-53), Dave Hall (R-70), Bill Hayes (R-72), Christie Bryant Kuhns (R-25), Cheryl Grossman (R-23), Ron Maag (R-62), Jeffrey McClain (R-87), Sean O’Brien (R-63), Debbie Phillips (D-94), Margaret Ann Ruhl (R-68), Stephen Slesnick (D-49), Terry Boose (R-57), Barbara Sears (R-47), and Senators Shannon Jones (R-7), Tom Sawyer (D-28), and Capri Cafaro (D-32).

There are also a number of candidates switching between the House and Senate, and visa versa.  Senator Jim Hughes will be facing Krisopher Keller for the 24th House District seat; Senator Keith Faber (R) will face Ed Huff, Jr. (D) for the 84th House District; Senator Bill Seitz (R-8) will challenge Mark A. Childers (D) for the 30th House District; and Senator Tom Patton (R-24) will face David Thurau (D) in the 7th House District contest;

Representative Stephanie Kunze, current 24th District Representative, will face Larry L. Malone in the 16th Senate District; the current Representative for the 30th House District, Lou Terhar, will face Mary Rose Lierman for the 8th Senate District; and Representative Sean O’Brien (R-62) will face Robert Allen for the 32nd Senate District.

Representative Nan Baker was defeated in the primary by former Representative Matt Dolan in her bid for Senator Tom Patton’s 24th Senate District seat, and Representative Tony Burkley lost to Craig Riedel in the 82nd House primary contest.

Meanwhile, incumbents fending off primary challengers included Representatives John Barnes Jr. (D), Kristin Boggs (D), Janine Boyd (D), Tom Brinkman (R), Jack Cera (R), Michael Henne (R), Steve Hambley (R), Wes Retherford (R), and Robert Sprague (R), and Senators Bill Coley (R), Robert Hackett (R), Peggy Lehner (R) and Larry Obhof (R).

And, there are a number of candidates who do not have challengers in the November 2016 Election, including, Representatives Bob Cupp (3-R), John Barnes (12-D), Nicki Antonio (13-D), Martin Sweeney (14-D), Nick Celebrezze (15-D), Louis Blessing III (29-R), Fred Strahorn (39-D), Margaret Conditt (52-R), Ron Hood (78-R), Stephen Huffman (80-R), Robert McColley (81-D), William Reineke (88-R), Cliff Rosenberger (91-R), Gary Scherer (92-R), Ryan Smith (93-R), Jack Cera (96-D), Bill Hill (96-R), John Patterson (99-D); prospective Senators David Burke (D-26) and Matt Huffman (R-12); and prospective Representatives Scott Wiggam (R-1), Darrell D. Kick (R-70), and Wes Goodman (R-87).

There are also a number of former lawmakers seeking to return to the General Assembly, including former Representatives Matt Dolan (R), Matt Huffman (R), and Vern Sykes (D), who are running for the Senate, and former House Speaker Larry Householder (R), who is running for the 72nd House District.

Election Results:  Ohio Supreme Court

There were three primaries for seats on the Ohio Supreme Court.  Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor (R) ran unopposed and is unopposed in the General Election.

First District Court of Appeals Judge Pat Fischer won the Republican primary and will face John O’Donnell in November.  The seat currently held by Justice Paul Pfeiffer is also open.  Cynthia Rice (D) and Pat DeWine (R) are candidates for that seat.




King is Confirmed: The U.S. Senate approved on March 14, 2016 the nomination of Dr. John B. King as U.S. Secretary of Education.  Dr. King has been serving as Acting Superintendent since the resignation of Arne Duncan in December 2015.  The Senate vote was 49 to 40, with some Senators objecting to Dr. Kings’ continued support of the Common Core standards, high-stakes testing, and his policies on collecting student data when he served as education commissioner in New York.



Title 1 Funds Need to Increase to Implement ESSA: Several national organizations requested on March 15, 2016 that Congress increase President Obama’s Title I budget request by $450 million.  The organizations want to ensure that local educational associations (LEAs) have the same level of Title 1 support as last year as they implement the new federal requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Title I is a federal formula grant program to support educational services for children from low income families.  The president is recommending Title I funding of $15.4 billion in his FY17 budget recommendations.

But, the education organizations are concerned about an analysis by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) which shows that Title 1 funds would decrease in LEAs in about 30 states under President Obama’s FY17 budget proposal.  That’s because even with proposed increases to Title I in the president’s budget, Congress eliminated $450 million from the federal School Improvement Grant program (SIG) under ESSA Title I; increased the state set asides for school improvement from 4-7 percent under ESSA; increased other federal requirements under ESSA; and eliminated a hold harmless provision for Title I funds as a result of the school improvement set asides.  The president’s budget request could be $200 million less than the current level.  For example, according to the Congressional Research Service, Ohio might lose an estimated $3,195,000 in FY17 in Title 1 funds.

The organizations requesting the increase include the School Superintendent’s Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the Association of Educational Service Agencies, the Association of School Business Officials International, the Council of Great City Schools, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Education Association, the national Rural Education Advocacy Coalition, the National Rural Education Association, and the National School Boards Association.

See “Groups Urge Congress to Boost Funding for Disadvantaged Students in Budget” by Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week, March 16, 2016 at


States Should Start Planning for ESSA: U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King urged school leaders meeting at an Education Week’s Leaders to Learn From event on March 11, 2016 to become involved in the development of their state plans to gauge school performance and intervene in struggling schools under the new Every Student Succeeds Act.

He said that a quality education “must mean a well-rounded education.  A quality education must mean what we’d want for our own children–science and social studies and access to the arts.”  He also supports socio-emotional learning and health.

Under ESSA states must select at least one nonacademic measure of school quality in their state plans.  The U.S. DOE has not set any time lines for finalizing the federal rules for ESSA, or to approve state plans, but Secretary King expects to have a regulatory framework and guidance framework by the end of the year.

See “Start Thinking Now About ESSA Implementation, Acting Ed. Secretary Says” by Alyson Klein, Education Week, March 14, 2016 at

In response to the new ESSA requirements for measuring the success of schools, the California State Board of Education invited students, parents, educators, and state leaders to define a good school using more holistic measures.  Some of the indicators that have been recommended by stakeholders include suspension rates, parent participation, school climate, and the ability of teachers to engage and listen to students.

See “What exactly is a good school? California is trying to find out” by Joy Resmovits, The Los Angeles Times, March 14, 2016 at



UT and TPS Teacher Initiative: According to a news release, the University of Toledo (UT) and Toledo Public Schools (TPS) are creating a new degree program called Teach Toledo to recruit and prepare Toledo residents to become teachers.

The new program is based on research about the best practices for developing teachers in central city schools, and will require students to understand the history, culture, and experiences of students living in urban neighborhoods, and the economic and bureaucratic systems at work in lower income areas.

Students participating in the Teach Toledo program will receive partial tuition scholarships and earn an Associate of Arts degree with a focus on urban education within two and a half years. The first class is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2016.  Eligible candidates can then complete their teaching degree in the University of Toledo’s teacher education program.

According to the press release, UT and TPS have collaborated on other programs, including the UT@TPS program, which was designed to make college education more accessible to adults in the Toledo area while building a college-going culture in central city schools.”



Summit County Superintendents Question State Tests: The Akron Beacon Journal reported on March 17, 2016 that several superintendents in Summit County have concerns about the validity of Ohio’s state tests, report cards, and Ohio’s accountability system for schools.  The concerns were outlined in a March 16, 2016 letter to Acting Superintendent Lonny Rivera, the State Board of Education, and lawmakers.

Superintendent Joseph Iacano, Summit County Educational Service Center, and 16 other superintendents said in the letter that the inconsistent results from last year’s state tests undermine the validity of the state’s report card.  Few previously high performing school districts did well on the report card this year, and the value added grades for those that administered the tests online were worse than those schools that administered the test using paper.  The superintendents also raised other questions about the report cards:

-Districts are penalized for promoting college and career readiness programs.

-The publication of results, which are not supposed to count because of the safe harbor provisions, has undermined the image of the public schools in communities, and could affect local support for schools, especially those that are seeking to increase taxes for schools.

-The state should ensure that all school districts are using the same assessments and platform for testing before comparing and rating school districts.

-The state should investigate the student test results of online versus paper tests.

-School leaders should be involved in the development of new tests.

See ”District chiefs say that state tests are unreliable,” by Colette M. Jenkins, The Akron Beacon Journal, March 17, 2016 at



Better Teacher Evaluation Framework Available: The Center for American Progress (CAP) released on March 16, 2016 a case study report about the Massachusetts Educator Evaluation Framework, which CAP researchers believe is a more flexible, professional, and accountable model to support the continuous improvement of educators.

The model was developed through an inclusive process with stakeholders, and adopted by the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2011.  It was gradually introduced across the state between 2012-2015 school years, giving educators sufficient time to identify measures of student growth and achievement in nontested grades and subjects, before incorporating student outcome data into the evaluation.

According to the report, there has been a national backlash from teachers and advocates about using student test scores to assess teacher performance.  States under the federal Race to the Top grant program were required to incorporate student outcomes in teacher evaluation systems until the federal law was changed under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  Now states have more flexibility and school districts more local control about teacher evaluations.  Some states are even moving away from using student test scores in teacher evaluations.

The Massachusetts model recognizes the need to account for student achievement in teacher evaluations in order to improve teacher practices and to provide appropriate supports for teachers.

But in the Massachusetts teacher evaluation framework, student test scores serve merely as a “check on the system rather than a driver of it,” and there is no algorithm to determine teacher effectiveness.

According to the report, “Massachusetts empowers school leaders to use their judgment to make these decisions. By empowering evaluators and educators—who are able to determine their own growth plans if they are high-performing—and embedding the evaluation system within a broader system of feedback and professional development, the Massachusetts model supports continuous improvement of educators.”

See “Educator Evaluation:  A Case Study of Massachusetts’ Approach” by Catherine Brown, Lisette Partelow, and Annette Konoske-Graf, Center for American Progress, March 2016 at



Arts Day Fast Approaching: Registration is open for Arts Day and the Governor’s Awards for the Arts Luncheon on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.  Arts Day is sponsored by the Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council, and provides arts and arts education advocates with opportunities to network, renew acquaintances, and hone advocacy skills and messages in support of the arts.

This year Arts Day will begin with a workshop led by nationally known author Larry Smith, who will help participants improve their messages in support of the arts and arts education.  He is the founder of SMITH Magazine and the Six-Word Memoirs Project.

Advocates are then encouraged to visit legislators in the Ohio House and Senate.

The Governor’s Awards for the Arts Luncheon, which will be held in the Columbus Athenaeum at noon, will honor the recipients of the 2016 Governor’s Awards for the Arts.  Reservations are required for this event.

If you are interested in making a reservation for the Arts Day Luncheon, or have any questions, please contact Linda Woggon at


Resources Available to Link History and Music:  First Lady Michelle Obama hosted at the White House on March 14, 2016 some of the cast members of the Broadway hit musical “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda.  The musical tells the story of Alexander Hamilton’s life through rap and hip-hop songs, and has become popular with students and teachers, who use the musical to engage students in music, art, and American history.

The White House event included about 100 high students from Maryland and Virginia schools.  They had the opportunity to create their own musical performances with the cast, and watch the cast perform several numbers from the musical for the White House audience.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has developed free curriculum and resources about Alexander Hamilton through the support of the Rockefeller Foundation.  The resources are available at

See “‘Hamilton’ Cast Meets with Students at White House to Talk History, Arts,” by Liana Heitin, Education Week, March 15, 2016 at


First Knight Arts Challenge Winners Announced: According to the Akron Beacon Journal 27 artists and arts organizations will share $1 million in matching grant money to create projects in Akron that “bring communities throughout the city together in new ways.”  The recipients of the first Knight Arts Challenge were announced on March 15, 2016 at the Akron Civic Theater, and include a wide range of innovative and inspiration projects in visual art, music, poetry, theater, dance, and craft-making.

Some of the selected projects include,  a new Nepali-American festival, a traveling glass studio, a Northside Arts District garage band stage, and the Soul Train project, which will turn railroad cars and shipping containers into housing, galleries, and studios space for artists.

Several of the projects will involve schools and students.  The Explorers program will engage high school students in making video essays about the cinema; 20 high schools will form an Akron chapter of the Critics and Awards Program – Cappies – to learn to write theater reviews; the Intensive Music Classes for Akron’s Very Young will work in the schools to engage 4-7 year olds in music; and the Girls Rock Camp Akron will work with girls ages 10-16 to write and perform songs.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, the city of Akron is the fourth city to receive grants through the Knight Arts Challenge.  Other cities include Miami, Detroit, and St. Paul.

The second Knight Arts Challenge in Akron will launch on April 4, 2016, and include another $1 million in matching grants for new projects.

See “27 winning project to make splash in city” by Kerry Clawson and Dorothy Shinn, The Akron Beacon Journal, March 15, 2016 at

This update is written weekly by Joan Platz, Research and Knowledge Director for the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education.

The purpose of the update is to keep arts education advocates informed about issues dealing with the arts, education, policy, research, and opportunities.

The distribution of this information is made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Music Education Association (, Ohio Art Education Association (, Ohio Educational Theatre Association (; OhioDance (, and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (



About OAAE

Since our founding in 1974, by Dr. Dick Shoup and Jerry Tollifson, our mission has always been to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Working at the local, state, and federal levels through the efforts of a highly qualified and elected Board of Directors, our members, and a professional staff we have four primary areas of focus: building collaborations, professional development, advocacy, and capacity building. The OAAE is funded in part for its day-to-day operation by the Ohio Arts Council. This support makes it possible for the OAAE to operate its office in Columbus and to work statewide to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Support for arts education projects comes from the Ohio Arts Council, Ohio Music Education Association, Ohio Art Education Association, Ohio Educational Theatre Association, VSA Ohio, and OhioDance. The Community Arts Education programs of Central Ohio are financially assisted by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. We gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the financial support received from each of these outstanding agencies and organizations.
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