Arts on Line Education Update October 24, 2016

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
Joan Platz
October 24, 2016


Lame Duck Session Update:  Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger made changes last week to the Ohio House schedule for the remainder of this legislative session, which ends in December 2016.

The new schedule includes “if needed sessions” on November 9, 10, 15, 22, and 30, and December 13 and 14.

The House has sessions scheduled for November 16, 17, 29, and December 6-8, 2016.


The State Board of Education (SBE), Tom Gunlock president, met on October 16, 17 & 18, 2016 in Columbus.

Among the action items for this month, the SBE approved a resolution of intent to adopt new criteria for awarding honors diplomas; a resolution to adopt cut scores for the third grade reading test; and approved the SBE’s 2018-19 biennial budget recommendations.

Honors Diplomas: A proposed new rule would create the criteria for new honors diplomas in the arts, STEM, and social science/civic engagement, and update the criteria for existing honors diplomas in academics, International Baccalaureate, and career-tech education.

To earn an honors diploma, students would first have to meet all state and local high school graduation requirements, and meet all but one of the criteria for earning an honors diploma.

The new rule would require students to earn a 27 on the ACT or 1280 on the SAT, and in most cases, complete a “field experience” and document their experiences in a portfolio to earn an honors diploma.  All honors diplomas would also include a world language requirement of some sort.

The changes would go into effect for students entering 9th grade on or after July 1, 2017, but students applying for an academic, International Baccalaureate, or career-tech honors diploma between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2017 would be able to choose to meet the new requirements.


Third Grade Promotion Sub Score: The SBE voted 9 to 8 to raise the promotion sub score for the Third Grade Reading Guarantee assessment from 42 to 44 for the 2016-17 school year.  The sub score is used to determine if third grade students are proficient in reading and can be promoted to the 4th grade.

The SBE has been increasing the proficient sub score for the third grade reading assessment over the past years, and the difficulty of the test has also been increasing.  As a result some Board members were uncomfortable raising the sub score at this time.

Students who earn a 44 on the test are actually reading at a “basic” level. The proficient score is 50, and so the Board will be considering more adjustments to the sub score in the future.


2018-19 Budget Recommendations: The SBE approved two versions of its 2018-19 budget recommendations for the Ohio Department of Education.

The current FY17 appropriation for the ODE is $7,923,837,629.  This includes over $6.6 billion for the school foundation program, which is the primary subsidy funding for school districts and is distributed through the state foundation formula. In fact, 98 percent of the ODE’s budget is a subsidy for schools.

One version of the proposed budget complies with the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) budget guidelines, and reduces proposed allocations by 10 percent ($52.4 million) to $7,873,665,215.

The 10 percent reduction is achieved through budget reductions ($3.6 million), under spending ($34 million), program reductions ($7.8 million), and the elimination of earmarks ($4.9 million), such as the Teach for America subsidy of $2 million.

Some line items were exempt from budget cuts, including early childhood education, EMIS, the Tech-Prep Consortia, the Ohio Educational Computer Network, student assessment, accountability and report cards, EdChoice expansion, funding for nonpublic schools, and the school lunch match.

The second version of the proposed budget is slightly less than the current appropriation for FY17 and totals $7,923,834,834 in FY18 and $7,923,836,014 in FY19.

Most of the proposed line items are based on the current funding levels, with some changes, and $15.5 million to support SBE priorities.  The proposal also eliminates certain earmarks, and also takes advantage of under spending.

This version includes increases for several programs, including the new Office of Innovation, Career-Tech Enhancements, Health and Community Partners, InfOhio, community schools, educator preparation and school improvement, Medicaid in School, school psychologist interns, Information Technology, Policy Analysis, Academic Standards, Student Assessment, and Accountability/Report Cards.

The SBE also identified programs that the governor and General Assembly should target for additional funding above current levels.  These include early childhood education, school improvement, teacher professional development and supports, transportation, adult education initiatives, community and wraparound services, and professional development for educators teaching gifted students.

See Budget Document under October Meeting Materials at

Gifted Standards: The SBE’s Achievement Committee continued discussions about OAC Rule 3301-51-15:  Operating Standards for Identifying and Serving Gifted Students.

A new October 2016 draft of the proposed standards includes a number of changes in the areas of Identification, Service Options, Teacher Qualifications, Written Education Plans, Accountability, and the Gifted Advisory Council.  Overall the changes provide more details and specificity in the rule.

See the Achievement Committee Board Book under October Meeting Materials at


Graduation Rates Continue to Increase:  The national average high school graduation rate has increased since 2010-11 from 79 to 83.2 percent for the class of 2014-15.

President Obama announced the latest results for the class of 2014-15 compiled by the National Center for Educational Statistics on October 17, 2016. The President attributed the increase to a number of federal policies, including support for early childhood education, college and career ready standards, STEM, computer science, and grant programs for school improvement and innovation.

According to the data, high school graduation rates have been increasing since the 2010-11 school year, the same year that states started to use a four-year adjusted measure for graduation.

Graduation rates have also increased for groups of students, including students of color, low-income students, students with disabilities, and English language learners, although achievement gaps still persist.

For the class of 2014-15, Asian/Pacific Islander students posted the highest graduation rate of 90.2 percent, and students with disabilities the lowest graduation rate of 64.6 percent.

Graduation rates for Black students increased from 67 percent in 2010-11 to 74.6 percent in 2014-15.

The rate for Hispanic students increased from 71 percent in 2010-11 to 77.8 percent.

Graduation rates have also increased in nearly every state since 2010-11.

The states with the highest graduation rates are Iowa (90.8 percent), Texas (89.0 percent), New Jersey (89.7 percent), and Alabama (89.3 percent).

Alabama posted the greatest increase in its graduation rate, moving from 72 percent in 2010-11 to 89.3 percent in 2014-15, an increase of 17 percentage points.

The rates in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Wyoming dropped since 2010-11.

The graduation rate in Ohio dropped from 81.8 percent in 2013-14 to 80.7 percent in 2014-15.



Guidance on Well-Rounded Education:  The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) released on October 21, 2016 non-regulatory guidance for states, districts, and schools to implement Title IV, Part A Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (SSAEG) of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

According to the document, the SSAE grant program provides states, districts, and schools with flexibility to target investment based on the unique needs of students.  Grants can be used to support safe and healthy students, integrate technology, and provide students with access to a well-rounded education, which includes music, the arts, languages, social studies, science, environmental education, computer science, advanced coursework and civics.

The guidance document provides examples of acceptable uses of SSAE grants; discusses the role of state education agencies; provides details about ensuring fiscal responsibility; and identifies local application requirements.

The section pertaining to a well-rounded education states the following about music and arts education:

“Music and arts (ESEA section 4107(a)(3)(B)). An LEA may use funds for programs and activities that use music and the arts, which may include dance, media arts, theater, and visual arts, as tools to support student success through the promotion of constructive student engagement, problem solving, and conflict resolution. ArtsEdSearch, a clearinghouse of rigorously reviewed evaluation research concerning the effects of arts on teaching and learning, contains a growing body of research22 that affirms when part of a well-rounded education in schools, arts learning contributes to increased academic achievement and student success in preparation for college, career, and life. (See also ESEA section 4107(a)(3)(I)).” (Page 20.)



Purged Voters Will Be Able to Cast Provisional Ballots:  Judge George Smith from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio directed on October 18, 2016 Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and county elections officials to allow voters, whose registrations were canceled through the “supplemental process”, to cast provisional ballots in the November 8, 2016 election, and count those ballots if a voter still lives in the same county, and meets other qualifications.

The order came just weeks after the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found that Ohio had violated the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, when the Ohio Secretary of State’s office used infrequent voting as a trigger to remove the names of voters from registration rolls. (Ohio A. Phillip Randolph Institute v. Jon Husted)

Ohio canceled voter registrations in 2011, 2013, and 2015 through the “supplemental process.”

See “Federal judge orders Ohio to allow unlawfully purged voters to vote in November,”  by Ashley Hogan, Jurist, October 20, 2016 at

ECOT Legal Fees Costing State: The Controlling Board approved on October 18, 2016 $500,000 for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office to pay attorneys for the ongoing litigation with the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT).

A decision in the Franklin Court of Common Pleas in September 2016 rejected ECOT’s request for a preliminary injunction to stop the ODE’s efforts to collect student records documenting attendance and learning opportunities, but ECOT is appealing the ruling.

The lawsuit stems from ODE’s efforts to audit ECOT’s student attendance documents to verify that students participated in educational opportunities to justify $106 million allocated to ECOT last year.

According to a report in The Columbus Dispatch, the state has already spent $121,000 on legal fees.

See “State to spend $500,000 in online schools legal fight,” by Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatch, October 18, 2016 at

Online Charter Schools Appeal Data Reports: In addition to ECOT, six online charter schools are appealing the results of their 2015-16 attendance audits to the State Board of Education.

The audits were released by the ODE in September, 2016, and showed discrepancies between student participation in learning opportunities and attendance reports from the schools.  The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) has filed a similar appeal with the State Board of Education.

The schools filing an appeal are Findlay Digital Academy, Quaker Digital Academy, Virtual Community School of Ohio, Akron Digital Academy, Polly Fox Academy, Buckeye Online School for Success.

Audits of three of the schools showed zero attendance, because of a lack of records to document students participating in learning activities.

The appeals will be assigned to a hearing officer, who will conduct an investigation and make a recommendation to the State Board of Education.

See “Eschools say they will appeal audits determining inflated attendance,” by Catherine Candisky and Jim Siegel, The Columbus Dispatch, October 4, 2016 at


Some States Still Investing Less in K-12 Education: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released on October 20, 2016 a report entitled “After Nearly a Decade, School Investments Still Way Down in Some States,” by Michael Leachman, Kathleen Masterson, and Marlana Wallace.

The study is based on a survey of state and local funding for schools in 48 states, based on 2014 data, which is the most recent data available.  No data was available for Hawai’i and Indiana.

According to the report, while most states increased per pupil funding for education this year, 23 states will provide less state general funding per student (adjusted for inflation) in FY2017 than in 2008, the beginning of the Great Recession.  On average, state funding per student decreased by $750 per student from 2008 to 2010, and is about $600 per pupil less in 2014.

Eight states have reduced state aid by about 10 percent and 19 states reduced per pupil funding this year.

In addition, five states, Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, have reduced state revenue by millions of dollars through tax cuts, rather than restoring funding that schools lost during the recession.

Ohio lawmakers increased state per student funding by 6.8 percent between 2008-2017.  Ohio increased state funding per student in FY2016-17, but only by .9 percent.

The survey also found that local funding per student fell in 27 states. On average, local funding has dropped about $200 per student since 2008.  According to the report, however, “In states where local funding rose, those increases rarely made up for cuts in state support.”

In response to the recession school districts cut about 351,000 education jobs by mid-2012, and as of 2014 the number of education jobs is still down by 221,000.

According to the report, “Our country’s future depends heavily on the quality of its schools. Increasing financial support can help K-12 schools implement proven reforms such as hiring and retaining excellent teachers, reducing class sizes, and expanding the availability of high-quality early education. So it’s problematic that so many states have headed in the opposite direction over the last decade. These cuts risk undermining schools’ capacity to develop the intelligence and creativity of the next generation of workers and entrepreneurs.”

See “After Nearly a Decade, School Investments Still Way Down in Some States,” by Michael Leachman, Kathleen Masterson, and Marlana Wallace, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, October 20, 2016 at

See “Most states spend less on schools than pre-recession,” by Daarel Burnette II, Education Week, October 21, 2016 at 2016

Researchers Find New Measure to Understand Achievement Gaps: The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) released a working paper in July 2016 that examined the achievement gaps among students in Michigan from high and low-income families, to find a proxy for family income data.

School officials do not have access to datasets about the income level of the families in their communities, but they do have information about students who qualify for meal subsidies (free or reduced price lunch).

School officials need information about family income levels to develop strategies that direct limited resources more effectively to students who are from the poorest families and need the most help.

The researchers found that students who “…qualified for meal subsidies at least once between kindergarten and eighth grade were an average of two grades behind their affluent peers in terms of academic performance. The very poorest, the 14 percent who got free meals every year, were three grades behind.”

The very poorest students “score 0.94 standard deviations below those never eligible for subsidies and 0.23 below those occasionally eligible.”

The researchers concluded that the number of years in which students are eligible for subsidized meals can be used as a “reasonable proxy” for income, and can provide school officials and policy makers with better information to target resources to improve student achievement.

See “The Gap within the Gap: Using Longitudinal Data to Understand Income Differences in Student Achievement,” by Katherine Michelmore and Susan Dynarski, NBER Working Paper No. 22474, July 2016.

The Value of Evaluating TPP: Researchers from the University of Texas-Austin, Duke University, and Tulane University recently published an analysis of statistical methods for estimating teacher quality in teacher preparation programs (TPPs).

The study, included in the journal Education of Economics Review, notes that 16 states are already using value-added measures based on student test scores to rate TPPs.

Although the researchers, who reviewed data on TPPs in Texas, found that some statistical techniques and accommodations of a value added model to measure student achievement and teacher quality improved the results for estimating TPP quality, overall they found that it is “not easy to identify TPPs whose teachers are substantially better or worse than average.”

The researchers found that the differences among TPPs are not large; that estimates of quality are not reliable, and might be biased in some cases; and it is difficult to identify which TPPs differ from the average.

See “The Differences Between Teacher Preparation Programs:  How Big?  How Reliable?  Which Programs Are Different?” by Paul T. von Hippel, Laura Bellows, Cynthia Osborne, Jane Arnold Lincove, Nicholas Mills, Economics of Education Review, Vol. 53, pp. 31-45, 2016 at


Data Released About Student Access to the Arts in California: The National Arts Education Data Project released on October 20, 2016 an analysis of the availability of arts education programs in schools in California entitled The California Arts Education Data Project.

The National Arts Education Data Project is led by Lynn Tuttle and Marcia McCaffrey of SEADAE (State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education) and Robert Morrison and Pat Cirillo of Quadrant Research.

The purpose of the project is to “gather, analyze, report and disseminate school level data on the status and condition of arts education in every state covering every student in the nation.”

The analysis is reported on a dashboard that includes information about student enrollment in arts courses; the availability of arts courses at each school; the type of arts courses offered; and more.

The California Arts Education Data Project analyzes school level data on arts education courses in grades 6-12 for the 2014-15 school year.

According to the dashboard, nearly 97 percent of students in California have access to some level of arts instruction; 86 percent of schools reported offering at least one arts course; 38 percent of students are enrolled in some arts course; and 26 percent of all students and 12 percent of all schools offer the required four arts disciplines.

The California project also includes a Roadmap for School Districts to analyze their data, and a Communication Tool Kit.


Ohio is also participating in the National Arts Education Project, and the development of a dashboard for Ohio’s schools is currently underway.

A dashboard featuring Ohio arts education data from 2009-2010 is available on the SEADAE website at

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 (


About OAAE

It is the mission of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education to ensure that the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. We believe that: * All children in school must have quality arts education provided by licensed arts educators * All Ohioans have the right to expect quality arts education * All arts programs must have adequate resources * All arts and cultural organizations and artists have a critical role in arts education Learn more at
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