Arts on Line Education Update September 26, 2016

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
Joan Platz
September 26, 2016


Arts Day 2017 Seeking High School Student Participants:   The Ohio Arts Council and the Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation will host the annual Arts Day 2017 celebration in Columbus on May 17, 2017.

The Arts Day celebration culminates with the Arts Day Luncheon and the presentation of the Governor’s Awards for the Arts, which recognizes Ohioans who work to increase access to quality arts and cultural experiences and opportunities in Ohio.

Nominations for the Governor’s Awards are currently being accepted in the following categories:  Arts Administrator, Arts Education, Arts Patron, Business Support of the Arts (large and small), Community Development and Participation, Individual Arts, and the Irma Lazarus Award.  Award winners are presented with an original work of art by an Ohio artist at the luncheon ceremony.  The deadline to nominate a candidate for a Governor’s Award is October 24, 2016.  See

Arts Day also provides students from high schools across Ohio the opportunity to meet with lawmakers in their home school districts and at the Statehouse to learn about the public policy process.  Through the Ohio Citizens for the Arts’ Student Advocates Program, students meet with lawmakers on Arts Day during the morning session to advocate for arts education programs, and then have the opportunity to attend the Governor’s Award for the Arts and Arts Day Luncheon.

Educators who are interested in participating with their students in the Student Advocates Program can apply through December 1, 2016.  See

Be sure to mark your calendar now for Arts Day on May 17, 2017, and stay tuned for announcements about more exciting Arts Day events!



Senate to Meet this Week: The Ohio Senate has scheduled a session and committee hearings for Wednesday, September 28, 2016, but has canceled other sessions in September. The Ohio House and Senate are not scheduled to meet again until after the November 8, 2016 Election for a “lame duck” session.  The 131st General Assembly ends on December 31, 2016.

-The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, will meet on September 27, 2016 at 2:30 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing room.  The committee will receive testimony on SB92 (Schiavoni) School Safety Funds; SB93 (Schiavoni) Bullying Prevention Funds; and SB326 (Gardner) School District-Technology Improvement.

-The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, will meet on September 27, 2016 at 4:00 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing room.  The committee will receive testimony on SB346 (Manning) School Year Start Date after Labor Day and HB410 (Rezabek, Hayes) Truancy.

HB410 has a good chance of passing before the end of the 131st session on December 31, 2016.  The bill changes the definitions of habitual and chronic truancy and compulsory school attendance, and promotes parent engagement in strategies to prevent truancy.  The bill also requires that schools form an absence intervention team; report certain information about absent students to the ODE; and requires boards of education to file a complaint against the child, parent, or guardian when the child is considered an habitual truant.

-More changes at the Statehouse:  Representative Jeff McClain (R-Upper Sandusky) announced last week that he will resign his 87th House District seat effective October 2, 2016 to take a position as director of tax and economic policy for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.  Representative McClain was first elected to the House in 2008, and is term-limited.

The Ohio House seated two new members on August 2, 2016. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) replaced Representative Tim Brown, who resigned his 3rd House District seat to take charge of the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council on Governments.

Derrick Merrin (R- Maumee) also took the oath of office on August 2, 2016 to replace Representative Barbara Sears in the 47th House District.  Representative Sears is term-limited and resigned to work for the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation.

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger also announced last week some committee membership changes.  Among the changes, Representative Marilyn Slaby was appointed vice chair of the House Education Committee, and Representative Theresa Gavarone was appointed to the House Education Committee.


Bills Introduced:


  • SB354 (Eklund, Cafaro) School Facilities Commission Funding:  To require the School Facilities Commission to give priority for project funding to school districts that resulted from certain types of transfers, mergers, or consolidations and demonstrate an efficient use of facility space as determined by the Commission.



Federal Budget Countdown: President Obama and House and Senate leaders were making progress in negotiations to approve a continuing resolution (CR) to extend FY16 spending before Congress adjourns for the November 8, 2016 election.  But the negotiations broke-down last week when Senate Democrats came out against a proposal that included funding for Louisiana flood victims, but not Detroit, which is experiencing a tainted water crisis.

To avoid a government shutdown, lawmakers need to approve a FY17 budget or extend the current budget (continuing resolution) before this fiscal year ends on September 30, 2016.

The U.S. House and Senate committees have already approved FY17 appropriation bills for the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE), but the versions differ.

The House bill cuts spending for the Assistance for Arts Education program, while the Senate bill continues funding for it.  This program was recently enacted in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015 and replaces the Arts in Education program at the U.S. DOE.

House members supporting the reduced allocation for the Assistance for the Arts program say that the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant in ESSA, could be used to support arts education programs.  But unlike the Assistance for the Arts program, which dedicates specific federal funds for the arts, there is no requirement in ESSA for states or school districts to spend SSAE funds in a particular way, meaning that arts education advocates would have to mount a strong campaign at the state level to secure funding for the arts.

In addition, the House and Senate committees are also considering different funding levels for the SSAE grants.  The Senate proposes $300 million, while the House would allocate $1 billion for SSAE.

National arts education organizations are asking Congress to allocate $30 million for the Assistance for Arts Education program, and $1.65 billion for SSAE grants.  See

The Senate Appropriations Committee is proposing an increase of $500,000 for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to $148.4 million, while the House has already approved $149.8 million for the NEA in the funding bill for the Department of the Interior.

See “Senate panel approves K-12 spending bill despite concerns over ESSA’s flexible fund, by Alyson Klein, Education Week, June 9, 2016 at

See “House panel is generous to new federal STEM program” by Devi Shastri, Science, July 8, 2016 at “

See “NEA Appropriations Update” Performing Arts Alliance, July 2016, at


Update on Rule Making for the Every Student Succeeds Act: The controversy continues over the U.S. Department of Education’s (U.S. DOE) handling of the regulatory process for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

ESSA, also known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), was signed into law in December 2015 and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act.  The U.S. DOE has been plugging through the rule-making process to implement ESSA in the 2017-18 school year. So far the several rules have been proposed, but some stakeholders, state leaders, and leaders in the House and Senate are challenging the U.S. DOE’s recommendations, which might prolong the rule-making process.

The following is a summary of some of the stakeholder concerns about the proposed rules:

-School Improvement:  The proposed rules would require states to use 2016-17 data to identify schools for support and improvement in 2017-18.  Stakeholders are pushing back on this rule, because it gives states and school districts little time to implement new accountability policies.  The proposed timeline could discourage states from exploring other ways to evaluate school success, including non-academic indicators.  Stakeholders are recommending that states use 2017-18 data to identify schools for improvement in 2018-19, which still complies with the law.

The U.S. DOE also released on September 16, 2016 non-regulatory guidelines to support “evidence-based” decision-making under ESSA.

Title VIII of ESSA requires that states and local school districts select and use “evidence-based activities, strategies, and interventions” (referred to as interventions) to support student learning and outcomes.

Evidence-based interventions can show “strong evidence, moderate evidence, promising evidence, or evidence that demonstrates a rationale.”

To further clarify the definition of “evidence-based” the guidance suggests that stakeholders should select interventions that are supported by well-designed experimental research studies that demonstrate positive effects on students; are relevant and developmentally appropriate in meeting the learning needs of students; align with local capacity, including available funding, resources, and staff skills; and can be measured.

See “Using Evidence to Strengthen Education Investments” at

-Summative Score:  The proposed rule requires that state accountability systems include “a summative score” for rating schools and districts.

Major education organizations and other stakeholders oppose this rule. These organizations are recommending that the rule allow states to use multiple measures to evaluate school and district progress rather than just one summative grade, which often obscures other outcomes, including outcomes that support student access to and instruction in the arts.

-Testing:  The proposed rule requires that states impose consequences when schools/district test less than 95 percent of students. School leaders are saying that this rule conflicts with ESSA provisions, which include language that prohibits the federal government from overriding a state or local law that allows parents to withdraw a student from testing.   Opponents believe that the proposed rule promotes standardized testing, which means that schools and districts will continue to focus on testing in two subject areas, and marginalize other areas of study, including the arts.

-Spending Rules:  On August 31, 2016 the U.S. DOE issued new proposed rules for spending Title I funds under ESSA. This is a second attempt to develop rules for the “supplement-not-supplant” part of the law.  The first attempt came in February 2016, when the U.S. DOE was unsuccessful in developing the rules through a negotiated rule process.  This is a process in which stakeholders and experts are brought together to develop rules with the U.S. DOE staff.  The process failed when negotiators were unable to resolve disagreements over provisions that required school districts to demonstrate that they are funding Title I schools, which enroll students from lower income families, comparably with schools that serve students from higher income families.

According to the U.S. DOE, when compared to schools that serve students from wealthier families, schools that receive Title I funds offer fewer high content math and science courses, AP courses, and dual enrollment courses, and the teachers who work in these schools have less experience.


Civil rights groups support more federal oversight and tighter rules to ensure that Title I schools are equitably funded, while some school administrators want more flexible ways to show compliance.  They say that tighter spending rules could cause disruptions in personnel assignments and contracts.  Because salaries are the largest part of school district budgets, and teachers with less experience earn less, tighter spending rules could mean transferring teachers around a district to equalize funding.

The new spending rules issued in August provide some flexibility for school districts to show compliance, by giving them a choice of options to demonstrate compliance with “supplement not supplant.”  These include:

-Using a weighted student funding formula that provides additional resources for students with characteristics associated with educational disadvantage, such as students in poverty, English learners, and students with disabilities, and ensures that each Title I schools receives all of the actual funds to which it is entitled under that system;

-Using a formula that allocates resources, including staff positions and non-personnel resources, directly to schools, and ensures each Title I school gets all of the funding it is entitled to, as measured by the sum of (1) the number of personnel in the school multiplied by the district’s average salaries for each staff category, and (2) the number of students in the school multiplied by the district’s average per-pupil expenditures for non-personnel resources;

-Using an alternative, funds-based test developed by the state and approved by a panel of expert peer reviewers that is as rigorous as the above two options; or

-Using a methodology selected by the district that ensures the per-pupil funding in each Title I school is at least as much as the average per-pupil funding in non-Title I schools within the district.

(See the new spending rules at

While some civil rights advocates are pleased with the options in the new rules, some national education organizations and lawmakers believe that the U.S. DOE has exceeded its authority, and oppose the proposed “supplement not supplant” options.  Both Senator Lamar Alexander, chair of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and Representative John Kline, chair of the House Education and The Workforce Committee, have issued statements opposing the spending rules.

Opponents say that the proposed rule affects another unchanged part of the original ESEA law that requires school districts to spend a comparable amount of funds for high and low poverty schools in their district, but does not require school districts to include teacher salaries when calculating state and local spending for schools.

At a September 21, 2016 hearing of the House Education and the Workforce Committee’s, Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, chaired by Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN), state and local education leaders testified that the proposed “options” for school districts to show compliance with “supplement not supplant” conflict with ESSA’s intend to restore state and local control.  According to the testimony, in order to show compliance, school districts might have to shift staff throughout the district to equalize teacher salaries, or “….cut entire programs like music, art, or physical education.”

The U.S. DOE will be accepting public comments on the proposed spending rules until November 7, 2016.

See “Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education”, September 21, 2016 at

See “Lawmakers Spar Over Federal Overreach, Equity in House ESSA Funding Hearing” by

Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week, September 21, 2016 at

See the response from Senator Lamar Alexander at

See the response from Representative John Kline at


Career Tech Act Includes Arts and Design: The U.S. House approved on September 13, 2016 the reauthorization of federal Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. The bipartison bill is entitled Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 5587).

The Perkins Act was last reauthorized in 2006.  The House version updates how the federal government invests in workforce development and training, and reduces the federal role in career-technical education (CTE).

The bill redefines student “concentrators”; allows states to use more of the CTE funding for their own competitive grants or formulas; and creates a new grant program that awards funds to states that align CTE programs with state workforce needs.

The bill also includes language to support integrating arts and design skills training into CTE programs.  The STEAM Caucus in the House, co-chaired by Representatives Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), sponsored the language.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP), chaired by Senator Lamar Alexander, expects to negotiate with the House and Obama administration to finalize a reauthorized Perkins Act by the end of the year.

See “House Passes Perkins Reauthorization Bill”, CTE Policy Watch Blog, Association for Career and Technical Education, September 13, 2016 at

See “Senate Progress on Perkins Reauthorization Stalls”, CTE Policy Watch Blog, Association for Career and Technical Education, September 21, 2016 at

See “Arts and design added to career and technical education bill,” Americans for the Arts, July 7, 2016 at tech




ODE Announces Teacher of the Year:   The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) announced on September 22, 2016 the selection of Dustin Weaver, a high school English teacher at Chillicothe High School, as the Ohio Teacher of the Year.

According to the press release, Dustin Weaver has worked at Chillicothe High School for four years, and before that at Logan Elm Elementary in Circleville for six years.

He was selected because of this outstanding work mentoring other teachers in the Chillicothe School District, and his focus on students, including efforts to increase attendance and reduce discipline incidents.

He has a master’s degree in educational leadership from Ohio University, a master’s degree in secondary English education, and a bachelor’s degree in education and psychology from Ohio State University.

As Ohio’s Teacher of the Year, Mr. Weaver will represent Ohio in the 2017 national Teacher of the Year competition sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers.



Ohio Education Organizations Issue ESSA Recommendations: The ESSA Workgroup Collaborative, a group of statewide education organizations in Ohio, released on September 19, 2016 recommendations to improve the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Workgroup has been meeting over the past months to prepare feedback for the regional meetings that the Ohio Department of Education is conducting to gather feedback from stakeholders about Ohio ESSA’s plan. The Workgroup includes the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, the Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators, the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, the Ohio Education Association, the Ohio Federation of Teachers, the Ohio Parent Teacher Association, and the Ohio School Boards Association.

According to a summary of it recommendations, the Workgroup supports quality early childhood education programs “…with a focus on early literacy and childhood education” rather than interventions in later grades.  Early childhood education programs should coordinate with Head Start, other early childhood initiatives, and Title funding; use best practices and educator professional development to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of learners; and receive equitable funding and resources.

The Workgroup also recommends reducing the amount of time spent on testing, stabilizing testing windows, and applying the 1 percent limit on alternative assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities on a statewide basis, rather than at the district or school levels.  The ODE should identify and articulate the purpose and use of state mandated assessments, and identify alternative methods of assessment that are less invasive.  Test results should be used appropriately, and not to make high-stake decisions affecting students, staff, and schools. For example, the Workgroup proposes that, “The impact of student growth/test scores on educator evaluation and school effectiveness should be eliminated.”

Regarding Ohio’s accountability system for schools, the Workgroup believes that the state report card should be simplified and its purpose made clearer.  The Workgroup supports adding an non academic indicator, which can provide schools and districts an opportunity “to tell their story” and identify educational supports, opportunities, and challenges that are not reflected in the academic indicators.  The Workgroup also supports using evidence-based interventions, and allowing schools needing comprehensive supports and interventions to make their own decisions about those interventions.

Since families and communities are central to the success of school improvement efforts, the Workgroup supports stronger connections and school/family partnerships. There should be more focus on evidence-based interventions and supports for students, and equity in the distribution of resources for special education, English language learners, military families, and socioeconomic status throughout the state.  The Workgroup recommends investing more than 1 percent of Title I funding for family engagement, and providing educators and staff with professional development on effective family engagement practices.

Educators also need quality professional learning opportunities to improve student learning.  The Workgroup recommends that educators have time to collaborate, work with data, and be involved in guiding instructional decisions.  Test results must be decoupled from educator evaluations in order to emphasize educator performance and growth, and the OTES and OPES should be used to drive professional growth rather than serve as compliance checklists.


Gifted Education Rules: The State Board of Education’s Achievement Committee is reviewing revised rules for serving students who are gifted, entitled, “Operating Standards for Identifying and Serving Gifted Students”, Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 3301-51-15.

Over the past year the Achievement Committee and the full State Board of Education (SBE) have received feedback on draft standards released by the ODE in September, 2015.

While some superintendents and administrators supported some of the 2015 draft components that provided school districts with more flexibility to provide gifted services, advocates for gifted children, including the Ohio Association for Gifted Children (OAGC), opposed the draft standards for several reasons.

-Most references to provisions in current law and clarifications of law were removed, reducing the rule from fifteen to three pages.  As a result the rule provided general statements about identifying gifted students; serving gifted students; accountability; and funding.

-Definitions and specific language about identifying gifted students were removed.

-The components in the rule that ensured some level of quality were removed, including caseload limits, minimum staffing levels, minutes of instruction, and qualifications for service providers.

-Accountability requirements were removed, including the requirement that the ODE audit school district gifted programs and, if necessary, remove state funding for gifted education from school districts that do not comply with the standards; and the requirement that school districts collect and report data about specific inputs to determine their effect on gifted services.

-The draft rule lacked specific parameters for school districts when they spend funds for gifted education and requirements for the ODE to create an annual report about the status of gifted education programs in Ohio’s schools.

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

On August 22, 2016 the ODE released a new draft of the standards for gifted students.

Among its provisions, the 2016 draft now includes a section for definitions; more guidance about service settings, resources, and personnel; directs school districts to make a reasonable attempt to obtain a parent’s signature on written education plans (WEP); and creates an advisory council.

According to the OAGC, the new draft is an improvement upon the 2015 draft, but the OAGC recommends several changes:

  • Clarify the professional training requirements for general education teachers serving gifted students
  • Provide more details about gifted services and interventions, including minutes of instruction and caseload requirements, and who is qualified to deliver services
  • Clarify the membership and role of the proposed gifted advisory council
  • Add accountability requirements for spending state funds for gifted education to ensure that gifted funds are spent on gifted students
  • Identify outcomes for gifted education programs to ensure accountability


A detailed review of these recommendations is available at

The Achievement Committee is expected to meet again in October 2016 and might at that time finalize the rules, and send them to the full State Board for consideration.




The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) released on September 15, 2016 the annual state report cards for schools, districts, community schools, career technical schools, and dropout recovery schools for the 2015-16 school year.  The report cards and information about the results are available on the ODE’s website at

The report cards assess schools and districts based on six components: achievement, graduation rates, progress, gap closing, K-3 literacy, and prepared for success.  Schools and districts earn letter grades for each component based on a number of measures and formulas, which have been approved by the State Board of Education.

The statewide grades dropped again this year, but the results will not trigger consequences for teachers or schools until 2018, because of “safe harbor” provisions set in law.

Only 8 school districts (out of 609) earned an “A” in the achievement category, while 30 districts earned an “F”.  Most districts (504) earned a “C” or “D”.

Districts did better in the graduation category, with 561 districts earning an “A”, “B”, or “C” grade.  In fact only 46 districts earned a “D” or “F”.

Most districts (324) also earned an “A” or “B” in the progress category, but 151 districts earned a “D” and 57 earned an “F”.

Most school districts earned lower grades in the last three categories.  526 districts earned an “F” in Gap Closing; 240 earned an “F” in K-3 Literacy; and most districts earned a “C” or “D” in the Prepared for Success category.



The Number of Arts and Music Teachers Is Now Included on the 2015-16 Report Cards: The State Board of Education approved on April 13, 2015 by a vote of 11-7 revised Administrative Code Rules 3301-35-01 through 10, entitled Standards for School Districts and Schools Kindergarten Through Twelfth Grade, also known as “operating standards”.

The controversial standards changed Rules 3301-35-05(A)(3) Educational Service Personnel and 3301-35-01(B)(13) Definitions, Educational Service Personnel, known as the “five of eight” rule, and eliminated the requirement that boards of education employ five of eight educational service personnel per 1000 students in the areas of school nurse, social worker, counselor, visiting teacher, and elementary art, music, and physical education teacher.

The new rule that replaced the “five of eight rule” directs boards of education to employ educational service personnel, but does not require a specific teacher/student ratio per area; requires that educational service personnel in the areas of fine arts, including music and physical education, hold the multi-age license for the subjects they are teaching; and expands the definition of educational service personnel to include more school employees.

As a result of negotiations about the elimination of the student teacher ratios, the new rule also directed the State Board of Education’s Accountability Committee to develop a method to report on the state report card the total number of educational service personnel employed in each area by district, school, and state, and per 1000 or less students.

The 2015-16 report cards now include a table entitled “Educators in your District” with information about educational service personnel.  The information is located under District Details, which is located on the Home page of the district report card.

After clicking District Details, the “Educators in your District” table is toward the bottom of the page.

The table includes the number of educators; the percent of educators per 1000 students; and the state average percent of educators per 1000 students.  Information is provided about general educators, school counselors, school nurses, library or media specialists, school social workers, gifted intervention specialists, fine arts teachers, music teachers, physical education teachers, etc.

This new report card feature provides a “baseline” for determining the number of educators per area of teaching and per 1000 students, and will enable arts education advocates to monitor the number of arts and music teachers in school districts in future years.  This is important information to know, because the new rule will be up for review in five years.  If there is a decrease in the number of arts and music teachers, this information could be used to change the rule.



Analysis of Report Card Shows Relationship with Poverty: Dr. Howard Fleeter at the Ohio Education Policy Institute (OEPI) published on September 20, 2016 an analysis of the report card results entitled FY16 Local Report Card Initial Analysis. 

The analysis examined the relationship between the results of two report card components, the Performance Index and the Prepared for Success Percentage, and the percentage of economically disadvantaged students in school districts. The Performance Index is part of the Achievement component, and the Prepared for Success Percentage is part of the Prepared for Success component.

The analysis showed that the Performance Index (PI) scores range from 52.1 to 110.6, and are lower than last year.  There is also a “… strong negative relationship between PI scores and economic disadvantagement.”  School districts with a low PI score between 50-70 (44 school districts) average 82.3 percent economically disadvantaged students.  School districts with a high PI score of 100 or more (42 school districts) average 9.3 percent economically disadvantaged students.

The results are the same for the analysis of the Prepared for Success Percentage. As the percentage of economically disadvantaged students in a school district increases, the Prepared for Success Percentage decreases. School districts in which the Prepared for Success Percentage was below 25 percent (122 school districts) had an average 76.9 percent of economically disadvantaged students.  On the other hand, school districts with a Prepared for Success Percentage greater than 65 percent (47 school districts) had an average 10.9 percent of economically disadvantaged students.

According to Dr. Fleeter, “This analysis is far from the first to demonstrate a strong negative correlation between student achievement and socioeconomic status. However, this data shows that in Ohio, the negative correlation between socioeconomics and student achievement has proven all too persistent over time. Future OEPI analysis will focus in more detail on other aspects of the FY16 Report Card results.”

The report is available at


Superintendents Raise Concerns about the State Report Cards and Testing:  Several Ohio school district superintendents and organizations raised concerns last week about the results of the 2015-2016 state report cards and the number of state required tests.

Members of the Akron Area School Superintendent’s Association, which represents school districts in Summit, Portage, and Medina counties, published on September 21, 2016 an open letter to their communities saying that the 2016 state report card is “seriously flawed and is not reflective of the quality of education being provided to our students.”

They noted, for example, that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) changed how data was to be reported for the Prepared for Success component in June 2016, and districts were unable to update data already submitted to the ODE; the state has changed tests in each of the last three years, making results not comparable from year to year; and the new Grade 3 test used to calculate the K-3 Literacy Rate now measures writing skills also, and so the score does not reflect literacy attainment.

See “Area superintendents consider 2016 state report cards ‘seriously flawed’.” Tallmadge Express, September 18, 2016 at

Superintendents in Lorain County published an open letter to their communities on September 9, 2016 urging community members to attend statewide forums to discuss Ohio’s state plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  They are asking lawmakers to reduce the number of statewide tests to align with federal requirements outlined in ESSA.  Federal law requires annual testing in math and reading in grades 3-8, and one time in high school.  Currently Ohio requires assessing students in literacy development in grades K-3; reading and math annually in grades 3-8; science and social studies as various grade levels; and has adopted several end of course exams at the high school level.

See “Reduce testing:  Superintendents want Ohio to follow the recommendations of ESSA” Lorain County Superintendents, September 9, 2016 at  “

Articles in the Kenton Times, Lima News, Findley Courier, and the Cincinnati Enquirer also cite concerns raised by superintendents who are members of the Northwest West Central Public School Advocacy Network.

This network of 40 school districts, led by Bath Superintendent Dale Lewellen, is part of the statewide Ohio Public School Advocacy Network, which includes 140 school districts.

According to the articles, Ohio’s testing and accountability systems are not working to improve student achievement and have reduced classroom instructional time. School district results have fluctuated greatly from year to year, which could be caused by the state changing state tests three times.

In response to concerns about the validity of the state report cards, some school districts have prepared “Quality Profiles” that measure the unique attributes of their school districts based on the values of their communities.

Quality Profiles include information about academics, arts education, student leadership and student extra curricular activities, fiscal stewardship, parent and community involvement, and services to students.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, 80 school districts are preparing their own Quality Profiles, which can be used in conjunction with state report cards to provide a more comprehensive assessment of school district progress.

See “Superintendents say state testing program is flawed” by Dan Robinson, Kenton Times, September 16, 2016.  This article is behind a pay wall.

See “Report cards a train wreck says local superintendent” by Hannah Sparling, Cincinnati Enquirer, September 13, 2016 qt

See “How Ohio reached report card chaos – and one way to cut through confusion” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, September 22, 2016 at

See “Area superintendents seek more control,” by Danae King, Findley Courier, September 12, 2016 at

See “Local school advocacy group asking for reduction in testing,” by Lance Mihm, Lima News, September 9, 2016 at




Arts Educators Meet with Secretary King: U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, met in Washington, D.C. with several arts educators on August 30, 2016 to discuss opportunities for supporting and expanding arts education programs in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

According to Americas for the Arts, the arts educators delivered to the Secretary a petition urging the U.S. DOE to provide clear guidance to school leaders about using Title I to support arts education opportunities; acknowledging that the arts are a core subject; and supporting the arts as part of a well-rounded education.

See “Secretary John King Invites Fourteen Arts Educators to Discuss Role of Arts in ESSA,” Americans for the Arts, September 20, 2016 at


Ohio Selected for Revitalization Program Utilizing the Arts:  The National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) and Americans for the Arts announced on September 19, 2016 that Ohio, Massachusetts, and Philadelphia have been selected to participate in the Creative Placemaking Immersion Program. Creative placemaking is a strategy to revitalize communities and local economies through the arts, culture, and creativity. The one-year program is funded in part by a $100,000 “Our Town” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Ohio Community Development Corporation Association (Ohio CDC), Nate Coffman executive director, and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation, Linda Woggon executive director, will partner to implement the program in Ohio. The organizations will focus on Cleveland, Hamilton, and Southeast Ohio, and provide training and technical assistance for community development and arts practitioners.  The partners will also create a video of the trainings and creative placemaking projects.


Arts On Line serves 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 (

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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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