Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
March 28, 2016
131st General Assembly: The House and Senate are not holding sessions this week, and the House and Senate education committees are not meeting.
SB298 (Schiavoni) Charter Schools Contracts: The bill would require online charter schools (known as e-schools) to do the following:
-provide the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) with more detailed attendance reports, including the number of hours each student is participating in coursework daily, and require the ODE to publish the information online
-require online schools to notify the state, parents, and a student’s district of residence if the student doesn’t log into school coursework for 10 days in a row
-require a licensed teacher to check attendance logs for accuracy each month
-require sponsors to report to the ODE when online schools fail to comply with online learning standards
-establish an E-School Funding Commission to determine the costs of running online schools
-require public, online live-streaming of governing boards meetings for e-schools, and the publication of meeting notices in newspapers from communities where the schools’ students live
-require that the state report card for e-schools include the spring assessment results for a student who was enrolled at least 90 days in the e-school, but then transferred and took the test in the district of residence
-require online schools to publish a disclaimer showing their state report card grades on all advertisements.
SB297 (Hughes) Student Expulsion-Violent Threat: The bill would allow, not require, school officials to expel a student for up to 60 days for threatening to kill or cause any physical harm, and would permit school officials to require that the student undergo an evaluation to determine whether the student poses a threat to themselves, their classmates, or school employees.
HB496 (Boccieri) Students-Uniformed Services: To enact the “Student to Soldiers Support Act (S3A)” regarding the participation of students who are serving in the uniformed services in extracurricular activities at public and nonpublic schools and public and private colleges.
HB498 (Kunze) Student Expulsion Violent Threat: This is a companion bill to SB297.
HB501 (Dovilla-Anielski) Youth Stem Program: Supports the Youth STEM Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Program and makes an appropriation.
Hearing on Student Privacy: The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Representative John Kline, heard from stakeholders on all sides of the student data/student privacy debate at a hearing on March 22, 2016. The committee is examining federal policies affecting education research and student privacy as it considers how to update and strengthen federal policies in these areas.
The committee was told that while researchers want flexible access to student data for research purposes, parents want transparency and limits on the types of data collected about students, and how the data is used. Parents and educators also want to make sure that the data is safe and not going to be used for commercial purposes, including marketing to students.
Testifying before the committee were Rachael Strickland of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy; Professor Jane Hannaway from Georgetown University; Robert Swiggum, the deputy superintendent of technology services at the Georgia education department; and Neil Campbell, the director of next generation reforms at the Foundation for Excellence in Education. The following are some of the comments made by those testifying:
-The amount of data collected by states is turning into a life-long dossier on students
-Parents should be able to opt their children out of state data systems
-Parents should be informed and have the right to consent to the state collecting data on their children
-Allowing parents to opt students out of data collection systems would affect the integrity of research about education practices, reforms, and evaluation and accountability systems
-States only collect data about students that are allowed by law
-States should have adequate safeguards to protect the data, and provide educators with useful reports about the data
-Many vendors have signed the “Student Privacy Pledge”, agreeing to not sell student data or target advertising based on student data.
-The data that vendors collect should only relate to the academic services a vendor provides
The hearing continues efforts by the committees in the U.S. House and Senate to update the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Several bills have already been introduced in Congress, including the following:
-Discussion Draft of a FERPA rewrite by Chairman Kline and Representative Bobby Scott (April 2015): The draft would expand the definition of educational record; impose new requirements on state and local education agencies and vendors who handle student data; and include a parental opt-out provision.
–The Student Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 3157) by Representatives Todd Rokita and Marcia Fudge (July 2015): This bill would make fewer changes to FERPA than the Kline/Scott proposal, and doesn’t include a parent opt out provision.
–The Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act (H.R. 2092) by Representative Luke Messer (April 2015). This law would not replace FERPA, but would complement FERPA, and has the support of the White House. There’s a similar bill in the Senate from Senators Richard Blumenthal and Steve Daines.
-Protecting Student Privacy Act (S. 1322) by Senators Edward Markey and Orrin Hatch (May 2015): This bill prohibits the use of personally identifiable student data for marketing and advertising purposes, and limits the student information that’s transferred from students to private companies.
-Student Privacy Protection Act (S. 1341) by Senator David Vitter (May 2015): This bill would make illegal certain data-sharing practices and require educational institutions to obtain parental consent before sharing student information with third parties.
See “Education Data, Student Privacy Take Spotlight at Capitol Hill Hearing,” by Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week, March 22, 2016 http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2016/03/education_privacy_research_congressional_hearing.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=campaignk-12
State Board Back to Full Membership: Governor John Kasich announced on March 25, 2016 the appointment of Dr. Robert E. McDonald, Jr. to fill the 8th District seat on the State Board of Education. The board has eight appointed and eleven elected members. With this appointment the board is back to full membership.
Dr. McDonald is from Steubenville and is an attorney and an associate professor in the business department at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He replaces Robert F. Hagan, who resigned from the board in July 2015. Dr. McDonald will need to run in the November 2016 election to retain the seat and complete the unexpired term, which ends on December 31, 2018.
EMIS Advisory Board Meets: The Education Management Information System (EMIS) Advisory Board met for the first time in several years on March 1, 2016. The board intends to develop legislative recommendations for improving Ohio’s system for collecting data on schools, students, educators, etc.
The EMIS board, chaired by Senator Lehner, includes representatives from the Ohio Association of EMIS professionals; the Board of Regents; the Ohio Educational Service Center Association, the Management Council of the Ohio Education Computer Network, the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, the Ohio Education Association, the Ohio Federation of Teachers, and the State Board of Education.
The board will review the type and amount of data being collected about students and schools in Ohio; the security of the data, and the availability of the data for decision-making. The EMIS Advisory Board was established in 2006, and will sunset this year.
How Ohio Stacks up on Whole Child Ratings: The ASCD has made available a status report about how states are measuring-up on meeting the needs of the whole child. The ASCD “Whole Child Snapshots” feature data that provide a more comprehensive picture of child performance and well-being in a state.
ASCD’s “Whole Child Initiative” advocates for a broader definition of school success, including measuring how well schools provide students with a safe environment; information about healthy life-styles; engage students in learning and in their communities; provide qualified and caring adults to support students; and prepare students for careers, higher education, and citizenship through challenging learning opportunities.
Overall Ohio’s “Whole Child Snapshot” ratings are very close to the national averages:
-Poverty: Ohio’s child poverty rate is 23 percent, one point higher than the national average of 22 percent.
-Health: Ohio reports that 71 percent of children had both medical and dental preventive care in the past year. Ohio’s percentage is higher than the national average of 68 percent. But 16 percent of high school students in Ohio are overweight, compared to 13 percent nationally.
-Safe: About 15 percent of high school students in Ohio were victims of cyber bullying, which is the same nationally, and 21 percent of high school students in Ohio were bullied at school, which is higher than the national average of 20 percent.
-Student Engagement: According to the snapshot, 47 percent of children in Ohio reported that they always care about doing well in school and complete homework assignments. This is lower than the national average of 52 percent. More students in Ohio, 57 percent, reported that they were registered to vote in the 2012 elections than the national average of 54 percent. And, 46 percent of Ohio 18-24 year olds reported voting in 2012, compared to the national average of 41 percent.
-Supported: About 49 percent of heads of households in Ohio have earned a high school diploma or GED, compared to 46 percent nationally. Only 10 percent of Ohioans have not graduated from high school, compared to 14 percent nationally. The percentage of Ohioan’s earning a Bachelor’s Degree is 19 percent, the same nationally, and earning a Graduate Degree is 12 percent, the same nationally.
-Challenged: Ohio’s high school graduation rate for the class of 2013 was 82 percent, which is higher than the national average of 81 percent. The percentage of public school students in Ohio scoring proficient or higher on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress was also close to the national average. About 37 percent of Ohio’s 4th graders were proficient in reading compared to 34 percent nationally, and 40 percent were proficient in math, compared to 34 percent nationally.
See the full report at http://www.ascd.org/programs/whole-child-snapshots.aspx
ODE Responds to Superintendents’ Concerns About Testing: The Ohio Department of Education posted on March 17, 2016 a detailed response to questions raised by several superintendents over the past weeks about the state report cards, the purpose of the reports cards, and the differences this year between the ratings of school districts that used online exams versus paper exams.
According to the ODE, the AIR paper and online state exams were extensively reviewed by a technical advisory team from Ohio, and the paper and online math and English language arts exams were reviewed by the testing vendor, PARCC.
The post states, “There were no patterns of differences between paper/pencil and online test results over grade levels or content areas. There were no recommendations from the PARCC Technical Advisory Committee or Ohio’s Technical Advisory Committee for any adjustments in the results.”
The post also explains why the tests results are useful, and how the ODE is legally required to administer the state tests according to federal laws, including the new Every Child Succeeds Act.
The online assessments were also designed to evaluate student knowledge and skills about using technology to ensure that students are prepared for college and the workforce.
The post doesn’t offer explanations about why school districts administering the tests using paper achieved in most cases higher ratings than school districts administering the exams online.
College Credit Plus Update: Ohio’s three education organizations, the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA), the Ohio Association of State Business Officials (OASBO), and the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA), released on March 24, 2016 recommendations to improve the College Credit Plus program (CCP).
CCP was established in 130-HB487 (2014) to replace the former Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) program and dual enrollment programs, which were local programs developed by institutions of higher education (IHE) and school districts to enable students to earn college credits while still attending high school. CCP was also revised in 131-HB64 (Smith) the Biennial Budget (2015).
The purpose of CCP is to enable high school students, who are college ready, to earn college and high school credits at the same time without paying tuition, thereby helping students to advance their level of education and reduce the cost of a college education.
The CCP was implemented for the first time this school year, but, according to the organizations, school districts, institutions of higher education, students, and parents, have encountered a variety of problems, leading the organizations to develop the following recommendations to improve the program:
- ”Set a uniform standard for determining college readiness (students’ qualified to participate in CCP). School districts must play a role in determining a student’s readiness for college level courses.”
Currently there is no clear definition of college ready. School districts are finding that some students enrolled in CCP are struggling and end up dropping out of the program. Unfortunately, when they return to their high school they have already missed weeks of instruction, and often don’t have time to earn needed credits for graduation.
School districts are also reporting that they are not receiving in a timely manner information about which students have been accepted into the college program, and their grades in the college level courses. This has become a problem when school districts are trying to schedule classes for the coming year, and trying to determine which students are eligible to participate in sports and extracurricular activities based on minimum GPAs.
- ”Develop metrics for comparisons between college level courses that qualify for CCP and courses available at the high school level. College courses qualifying for CCP must be as rigorous or more rigorous than the courses students can take at the high school. Otherwise, more should be done to assure that high school level courses can result in college credit.”
Some school districts have had to eliminate AP and other advanced courses, because students are enrolling in the college level courses. However, some of the college courses are not as rigorous as the AP courses at the high school.
- ”Create a statewide textbook policy that reduces the burden for school districts if they are to be the sole provider of textbooks for CCP courses. A more structured state policy should be adopted to ensure a more uniform practice statewide for the purchase and use of textbooks for CCP courses.”
Textbooks have become a huge expense for school districts under CCP, and school districts have no way to forecast the costs.
- Eliminate the “floor” for school districts when school district faculty is conducting the CCP Course on the school district campus, and allow flexibility at the local level for financial agreements between school districts and IHEs.
“In some cases school districts are paying tens of thousands of dollars to IHEs for courses taught by their own teachers in their own buildings.”
- ”Establish a level of financial responsibility for parents (based on a means-tested formula as with other state policies) in order to create accountability for the student and family rather than CCP being an entitlement regardless of student’s performance or outcome in the college course.”
- ”Create a commission or committee that includes all stakeholders for the decision making and rule setting for CCP (IHE and ODE) as well as local district personnel.”
- ”Increase the availability of high school teachers qualified to be adjunct instructors permitted to teach CCP courses. School districts currently do not have any authority for the approval of qualified instructors, and there is no statewide consistency in who is selected to teach. Qualified high school instructors sometimes are not selected by IHEs, which may elect to use their own faculty members.”
The organizations are working with state lawmakers to enact these recommendations, some, of which, are already included in HB445 (Dovilla-Anielski) introduced on February 3, 2016, and currently in the House Education Committee. The organizations generally support the bill with some changes.
Report Updates Impact of Charter Schools: Stephen Dyer with Innovation Ohio (IO) released on March 21, 2016 a new report based on 2014-15 report card data about the financial impact of charter schools on traditional public school districts in Ohio as a result of the transfer of funds from traditional school districts to, in most cases, poorer performing charter schools.
Included in the report is data from 275 charter schools accountable under the same report card system as school districts. Dropout recovery charter schools and newly opened charter schools are not included. There are currently 384 charter schools operating in Ohio.
The report is a joint initiative of the Ohio Charter School Accountability Project between the Ohio Education Association and Innovation Ohio, and shows that a “….majority of state charter funding is being transferred from good school districts to poor performing charter schools,” and “local tax dollars from school districts are being forced to cover the cost of consistently underperforming charter schools.”
According to the report, 72.5 percent of all state charter funding ($580 million) was transferred to charters that do not outperform the local school districts; 80 percent of all money sent to e-Schools ($205.9 million) came from higher performing local school districts; and 92 percent of Ohio school districts (563 of 609) received less per pupil state funding, because of the way Ohio funds its charter schools.
Average per pupil funding for charter schools in the 2014-15 school year was $7,129; for eSchools $6,749; for school districts $4,472; for the Big 8 school districts $6,863.
The report also includes comparisons of charter schools and traditional school districts in the areas of student growth and proficiency, and provides a separate analysis for Youngstown City Schools, the Big 8 Urban school districts, non-big 8 districts, ECOT, eSchools, and brick and mortar charter schools.
According to the report, the results of this year’s comparisons are not “appreciably different from previous years.” More than 70 percent of the state’s charter schools received Ds and Fs on the state report card released in February 2016. In previous years about 60 percent of charter schools received Ds and Fs.
See “Short Changed Again: Local School Districts Continue to Lose Money to Poor-Performing Charter Schools,” by Stephen Dyer, The Ohio Charter Accountability Project, March 22, 2016 at http://knowyourcharter.com/2016/03/21/short-changed-again/.
AEP Announces New Director: The Arts Education Partnership (AEP) announced on March 21, 2016 the appointment of Jane Best as its new director. Established in 1995 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education, AEP is a national coalition of more than 100 education, arts, business, cultural, government, and philanthropic organizations within the Education Commission of the States. The goal of AEP is to ensure that every child receives a complete education that includes the arts.
Dr. Best most recently served as the chief strategy officer for McREL International, an educational research and development nonprofit organization. She has also served as a senior policy associate for Learning Point Associates. Dr. Best started her career as a French and English language arts teacher, has a minor in Art History, and obtained her Ph.D. in education policy from Vanderbilt University.
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 (www.omea-ohio.org), Ohio Art Education Association (www.oaea.org), Ohio Educational Theatre Association (www.ohedta.org); OhioDance (www.ohiodance.org), and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (www.oaae.net).