Arts on Line Education Update November 21, 2016

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


This Week at the Statehouse:  A quiet pre-Thanksgiving Week at the Statehouse.

The House and Senate have no sessions planned this week, and there are only three committees meeting:  the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Senate State and Local Government Committee, and the Senate Insurance Committee.

Legislative Update:  The 131st Ohio General Assembly returned to Columbus last week to complete work on several bills as lawmakers prepare for the end of this legislative session in December 2016.

House and Senate leaders have identified bills addressing renewable energy standards, unemployment compensation, and addiction deterrents as priorities for this “lame duck” session.

The legislative schedule also includes a number of first-time hearings on bills, as committee chairs give lawmakers a chance to provide sponsor testimony on their bills before the session ends.

If bills do not pass by the end of this session, they will die, and will need to be reintroduced in the 132nd General Assembly, which begins on January 4, 2017.

Lawmakers are also expected to take action on two education bills during the lame duck session: SB3 (Hite-Faber) High Performing School District Exemptions and HB410 (Hayes-Rezabek) Truancy.

Hearings might also be scheduled for SB241 (LaRose), Employment of Educators.

So far no hearings are planned for SB298 (Schiavoni) Charter School Contracts, which would strengthen accountability requirements for charter schools.

-SB3 High Performing School Districts:  SB3 has been stalled in the House Education Committee for months, but both House and Senate leaders expect the bill to pass this session. The bill might also become a “vehicle” for changes in law that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) needs to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.  The bill might also include an amendment about how textbooks are purchased under the College Credit Plus program, and an amendment to extend the EMIS advisory board.

The current bill would exempt about 120 high-performing school districts from certain laws, including laws that affect teacher licenses:

-Section 3302.16 (A)(4) exempts high performing school districts from requiring teachers to be licensed specifically in the subject area or grade level in which they are teaching.

-Section §3302.16 (B) (1) allows the superintendent of a high performing school district, with board approval, to employ an individual “who is not licensed as required by sections 3319.22 to 3319.30 of the Revised Code, but who is otherwise qualified based on experience, to teach classes in the district.”

The bill was approved by the Ohio Senate on March 25, 2015, and received its fourth hearing in the House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Brenner, on January 27, 2016.

In February 2016 there was some push-back from those wanting to strengthen charter school law when charter school advocates tried to include some amendments in the bill to extend “safe harbor provisions” to charter school sponsors, and replace Ohio’s Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS) methodology for determining student progress with a “similar schools measure,” which is a method used in California to evaluate charter school performance.

Lawmakers are not expected to add these amendments to the bill at this time, but there is still some support for the “similar schools measure.” 131-HB2 (Dovilla, Roegner), which became law in February 2016, requires the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to study and make a recommendation by December 1, 2016 about using “a similar schools measure” to evaluate charter school sponsors, and HB524 (Cupp, Ryan) requires that a study be conducted about the efficacy of the EVAAS methodology.

-HB410 (Hayes) Habitual and Chronic Truancy: This bill was approved by the House on May 4, 2016 after a lengthy debate over the changes proposed for defining and addressing students who are truant.  Among other provisions, the bill requires schools to create an intervention team to work with families and students to resolve issues causing truancy.

The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, has held several hearings on the bill.  Some amendments have been proposed to require e-schools to take action earlier when students fail to participate in learning activities and are identified as truant. Currently e-schools can wait until students miss 105 consecutive hours of instruction before identifying a student as truant.

-SB241 (LaRose) Educational Opportunities: The Senate Education Committee has held two hearings on this bill, which was introduced in response to the State Board of Education’s decision in April 2015 to eliminate the “5 of 8 Rule” in Operating Standards for Ohio Schools.  This rule provided flexible staffing ratios in support of a well-rounded education and student access to licensed and certified school counselors, school nurses, library media specialists, school social workers, and elementary art, music, and physical education teachers.

SB241 requires that school districts provide students in grades K-12 with an education that includes the fine arts, music, and physical education, and the comprehensive services of counselors, librarians or library media specialists, school nurses, and school social workers.

SB241 also requires the ODE to report on the state report card for the 2015-16 school year the number of licensed teachers employed in fine arts, music, physical education, and as counselors, school nurses, school social workers, and librarians/media specialists per one thousand students.

The bill also requires the ODE to report the number of these professionals per 1,000 students employed by school districts in five of the seven categories, and recognize school districts that are meeting this threshold.

The ODE’s most recent local report card includes similar information under located under District Details.

-SB298 (Schiavoni) Community School Contracts: In spite of ODE’s determination that ECOT and some other e-schools are over-reporting enrollment and are being over paid, lawmakers are not expected to take action on SB298 (Schiavoni), a bill that would strengthen accountability requirements for charter schools.

The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, has held three hearings on SB298, the last being held on May 17, 2016.

New House Members Take Office:  Representatives Wes Goodman (R-87th) and Candice Keller (R-53rd) were sworn into office last week after winning elections in their districts on November 8, 2016. The House seats have been vacant due to the resignations of former Representative Jeff McClain (87th) and former Representative Tim Derickson (53rd).

Senate and House Leaders Selected:  The Senate Republican Caucus has elected Senator Larry Obhof to be President of the Ohio Senate when the 132nd General Assembly convenes on January 4, 2017.  The current Senate President, Senator Keith Faber, was term limited, and was elected to the Ohio House on November 8, 2016.

To fill out the rest of the leadership team for the majority Republicans, Senator Bob Peterson was elected President Pro Tempore, Senator Randy Gardner was elected Majority Floor Leader, and Senator Gayle Manning was elected Majority Whip.

The Senate Democrats elected Senator Joe Schiavoni as Minority Leader, Senator Charleta Tavares as Assistant Minority Leader, Senator Edna Brown as Minority Whip, and Senator Cecil Thomas as Assistant Minority Whip.

In the House, Representative Fred Strahorn was elected House Minority Leader for the 132nd Ohio House.  Joining him on the Democratic leadership team will be Representative Nicholas J. Celebrezze – Assistant Minority Leader, Representative Nickie J. Antonio – Minority Whip, and Representative Emilia Strong Sykes – Assistant Minority Whip.


SBE Member A.J. Wagner Resigns:  State Board of Education (SBE) member A. J. Wagner (District 3) resigned from the State Board on November 18, 2016.

In a letter to SBE President Tom Gunlock, former Judge Wagner cited personal family reasons for the decision.

The vacancy will be filled by Governor Kasich.  Since this is one of the elected positions on the SBE, whoever is appointed will eventually have to stand for election.

Gifted Standards:  The State Board of Education’s (SBE) Achievement Committee approved “Operating Standards for Identifying and Serving Gifted Students”, Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 3301-51-15 on November 14, 2016.  The State Board will take action on the proposed standards at their meeting in December 2016.

The latest draft of the gifted standards is the result of three years of negotiations.  The Ohio Association for Gifted Children supports the standards, although they believe that the accountability and reporting requirements should be strengthened.

The November 2016 draft standards are available under the State Board of Education November 2016 Meeting – Meeting Materials – Achievement Committee at

See a “recap” of the November 14, 2016 Achievement Committee meeting from the Ohio Association for Gifted Children at

Graduation Requirements: The State Board of Education will consider a proposal at their December 2016 meeting to temporarily ease high school graduation requirements.

Superintendents and educators across the state have evaluated student progress in meeting the new graduation requirements, and have been warning members of the legislature and the State Board for months that graduation rates could drop. According to the ODE’s own preliminary research, 29 percent of 11th grade students are not on track to graduate in 2018.

The graduation standards for the Class of 2018 and beyond were approved by the legislature in 2014.  In addition to meeting certain course requirements in law, Ohio students in the Class of 2018 can earn a high school diploma in the following three ways:

1) Earn 18 points on 7 end of course exams in English I and English II; algebra I and geometry or integrated math I and II; biology; and American history and American government. Students must earn a minimum of four points in math, four points in English, and six points across science and social studies.

Students studying Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses in biology, American history, or American government can substitute test scores in these subjects for end of course state exams.  Students also may substitute grades from College Credit Plus courses in science and social studies subjects for end of course state exams.

2) Earn a “remediation-free” score on a college entrance exam, such as the ACT or the SAT, in English language arts and mathematics.

3) Earn an industry credential and workforce readiness certificate.  Students are required to earn 12 points through a State Board of Education approved industry-recognized credential or group of credentials in a single career field, and achieve a workforce readiness score on the WorkKeys assessment.

The proposal to ease the graduation requirements was offered by SBE Vice President Tess Elshoff, and would require students in the Class of 2018 to earn 15 points on end of course exams.  The number of test points required to graduate would increase by one point each year until it reached 18 in 2022. The requirement that the points be earned in different subjects would be waived until 2022.

See  “A third of high school juniors might not graduate next year, officials warn,” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, November 13, 2016 at

Stakeholder Responses to ESSA:  Over the past months the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has conducted regional meetings, held webinars, met with the leaders of education organizations, and posted an online survey to gather information from stakeholders about what should be included in Ohio’s plan to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The federal law requires Title I state plans to be developed by the State Education Agency (SEA) “with timely and meaningful consultation” with the Governor, members of the State legislature and State board of education, local educational agencies, teachers, principals, other school leaders, charter school leaders, specialized instructional support personnel, paraprofessionals, administrators, other staff, and parents.

The ESSA template also requires that a state education agency explain how it used feedback in completing their ESSA compliance plan.


Colleen Grady, ODE Senior Policy Advisor, and Lisa Gray from Philanthropy Ohio, which hosted the regional meetings, presented a summary of the results of the meetings and survey at the November 2016 State Board of Education meeting. The results will be shared with the ODE staff, who are currently working on Ohio’s ESSA template.  A draft ESSA plan for Ohio should be available for public review in January 2017.

The following is a summary of the results of the ESSA Online Survey, conducted by the ODE between August 24, 2016 and October 7, 2016. About 11,287 participants completed the survey, including parents (22 percent); educators (55 percent); students (3.8 percent); and public (2 percent).

ESSA Online Survey Results

Expectations for Schools:  When asked what is the most important expectation for schools, 43 percent of respondents reported that schools should prepare students for college, careers, and life; 20 percent selected a safe, welcoming environment; 15 percent selected preparing students to be good citizens; 14 percent selected varied options; and 8 percent selected rigorous academics.

Respondents reported that they liked best the teachers and students; the cohesiveness of the community; and small schools and classes.

Respondents would change “…the amount of testing students are subjected to, the amount of funding available, the conditions of buildings, the lack of certain curricular and extracurricular offerings such as music, art, and physical education, and the lack of technology.”

School Quality:  When asked to select the three most important factors that contribute to school quality, 60 percent selected qualified teachers and administrators; 42 percent selected safe school environment; 40 percent selected rigorous core curriculum; 39 percent selected small class size; and 18 percent selected arts opportunities and career technical training.

Other important factors that contribute to school quality are less emphasis on testing, supportive and engaged parents, meeting the diverse needs of students, caring, supportive educators, and less homework.

Measuring Student Success:  Respondents recommended that the best way to measure student success was through goal-based measures (58 percent); class grade (24 percent); standardized test scores (8 percent); district tests (7 percent); and attendance (3 percent).

Other ways to measure student success include portfolios and projects, graduates’ postsecondary success, attendance, children’s happiness, and class grades.

Local Report Card:  Most respondents (79.8 percent) reported that they had viewed their local school district’s report card.  To improve the report cards, respondents reported that similar grade scales should be included along with consistent growth measures.  The state should also stop switching assessments so often.

Some participants also recommended eliminating standardized test measures, school and district rankings, and value added; making it easier to compare similar districts; making the report card more parent friendly, and making the results available more quickly.

A majority of respondents (65 percent) identified the student growth model as the “best” measure of school success.  Less than 15 percent of respondents identified graduation rates, attendance rates, and college admission/remediation rates as the best measures to determine school success.

When asked about which report card measures were difficult to understand, respondents identified value-added, gap closing, and K-3 literacy measures. The “Prepared for Success” indicator and the gifted education indicator were also found difficult to understand or unfair by some respondents.

Improving Schools:  Respondents reported that to ensure the success of students and/or schools, there should be more teaching and support personnel (30 percent); increased school funding (25.4 percent); more student access to school-based supportive services (11 percent); and expanded school choice options (5 percent).

Respondents also reported that the Ohio Department of Education could support more schools and students by providing tools and training for school-based health and mental health services, additional nurses and counselors, more curricular resources and access to technology, professional development, and extracurricular activities.

Teachers:  Most respondents (52 percent) reported that overall the teachers in their schools are doing a good job.  Another 15 percent said that the teachers are great.  About 27 percent had mixed feelings; 4 percent said that there was room for improvement, and 2 percent had no opinion.

Overall growth, not just academic performance, was reported by 68 percent of respondents as a way to evaluate the effectiveness of a teacher.  Other ways identified to evaluate the effectiveness of teachers are student in-class performance (24 percent); student scores on standardized tests (4 percent); and the happiness of the children (3 percent).

Most of the respondents who work in schools also reported that student test scores should not be used to evaluate teachers, and some recommended that OTES be eliminated.

When asked about ways to ensure equitable access to effective teachers, respondents recommended that teacher preparation programs should “weed out” less effective teachers, districts should provide incentives to attract teachers to struggling schools, and teachers need more professional development opportunities.

Major Challenges for Students:  Respondents identified poverty, homelessness, hunger, addiction, unstable homes, lack of foster homes, bullying, and mental illness as challenges for vulnerable students.

According to respondents, vulnerable students should receive more specialized services, including special education services and personnel, mental health services, access to food and affordable housing, tutoring, parent education programs, career exploration, and before and after-school programs.


ESSA Stakeholder Meeting Results Similar to ESSA Survey Results:

Recommendations about what should be included in Ohio’s ESSA plan were also gathered from 1,500 participants at 10 regional meetings held between August 31, 2016 and October 6, 2016.

According to a report prepared by Philanthropy Ohio, the recommendations for Ohio’s ESSA plan gathered from these regional meetings were consistent with the results from the ESSA Online Survey.

The following is a summary of Philanthropy Ohio’s report and the ESSA recommendations:

Most Important Issue Facing Students and Schools:  Participants at the regional meetings identified poverty and homelessness as the most important issue facing our students and schools today.

Following poverty and homelessness, participants at the regional meetings identified as important school funding and resources; family engagement and home life; equitable access to resources, too much state and local testing; and preparing all students for college and careers.

Strong Broad Support:  There was strong broad support for increasing quality early childhood education opportunities; wrap round services to help students; librarians, counselors, school nurses, school social workers, and after-school programs.

Ohio Standards:  Although there was support for Ohio’s learning standards, some participants expressed concerns about the developmental appropriateness of the standards, the levels of expectations, and the number of standards.

Ohio’s Assessment System:  Participants expressed the most concern about Ohio’s assessment system, especially about how often the state tests have been changed; the number of assessments; the amount of time used to administer the assessments; and the delay in the results.

Graduation Requirements:  Concerns about the graduation requirements and end of course exams were also expressed at the regional meetings.  Participants opined that the expectations were too high, considering that some students have only been working on the new standards for five years.

Although some participants recommended that the ACT and SAT be used as a substitute for the end of course exams, some educators questioned if these college readiness exams were aligned with Ohio’s standards, and worried that meeting a “college readiness” standard was not fair for students who do not intend to go on to college.

Report Cards:  Participants questioned the validity and reliability of the local report card and the individual measures, that seem to change constantly.  Some participants called for eliminating the report cards.  Others said that the report cards are too complicated, include too much data, and the letter grades provide little information.  Overall participants said that the report cards seem “more punitive in nature, rather than diagnostic.”

Participants recommended that the “Measure of School Success” indicator should reflect the whole school, including student achievement, growth, and growth in multiple subjects for all students.  Information about poverty levels, school culture, school climate, extra-curricular activities, attendance, achievement gaps should also be included.

Teacher Evaluations:  According to the report, there was no consensus about how teachers should be evaluated.  Educators said that the current system (Ohio Teacher Evaluation System) was time consuming, complicated, and cumbersome.  Participants distrust student growth measures and student learning objectives, and oppose basing a large part of an evaluation on them.

Professional Development:  There was strong support for more resources for professional development and mentorship programs to help teachers improve.

Improving Low Performing Schools:  Most participants recognized the need for additional supports for students and schools in order to improve schools.  The supports include “more funding, building-based wraparound and support services, aligned and coordinated community partnerships and engagement, family involvement, cultural competency and awareness, and interventions and trainings for anti-bullying and harassment, drug and alcohol addiction, truancy and suspensions.”

Charter Schools:  Participants at every regional meeting “…expressed concern about the quality of Ohio’s charter schools, especially the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.”

See “Shaping Ohio’s ESSA Plan, Philanthropy Ohio, November 14, 2016 at

Superintendent Summarizes Stakeholder Feedback:  Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria updated the Joint Education Oversight Committee last week about the status of Ohio’s ESSA plan, and some of the key decisions that Ohio policy-makers must address in Ohio’s plan.

According to the presentation, the Ohio Department of Education will release Ohio’s draft ESSA plan for public comment in early January 2017.  After compiling public feedback and updating the draft, the plan will be presented to Governor Kasich for review.  The plan will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in March 2017, and will go into effect in July 2017.

After describing the various methods the ODE used to gather stakeholder comments, Superintendent DeMaria told the committee that stakeholders want less testing, more stability, more funding, better and more support services, better parent engagement and education, and changes in Ohio’s teacher evaluation system.

Stakeholder priorities include expanding early childhood education, expanding specialized services for students with disabilities and gifted students, expanding arts instruction and media services, expanding mental health and medical services, and keeping the current academic content standards.

He also summarized some of the decisions that must be made to finalize Ohio’s ESSA plan:

-How will Ohio’s plan address adaptive testing, alternative assessments, selecting a nationally-recognized high school assessments, and participation in the innovative assessment pilot?

-What “measure of school quality or student success” will be selected for inclusion on the local report card, and how will the state address enhanced accountability requirements for English learners and students in other subgroups?

-What revisions should be made to Ohio’s educator equity plan to ensure that low-income and minority students have effective and experiences teachers?

-How will Ohio define struggling schools and evidenced-based strategies for improvement, and how will ODE organize to provide supports and wraparound services?

-Should Ohio use up to 3 percent of Title I funds to provide direct services to students, and how much should be set aside?  How will school improvement dollars be distributed, and what about competitive grants?

-How will Ohio’s plan address homeless students, students in the foster care system, and military dependents?



Congress Also Faces Lame Duck Session: Congress returned to Washington, D.C. last week to complete work on legislation and elect new leadership for the 115th Congress, which begins in January 2017.

One of the first items on their agenda will be to approve FY17 appropriations.  The temporary spending bill approved last September to avoid a government shutdown on October 1, 2016 expires on December 9, 2016.  Some Republicans want to pass another temporary measure, and deal with a more detailed appropriation bill when the new Congress convenes.

Congress could also reauthorize the Carl S. Perkins Career Technical Education Act, which has already been approved by the U.S. House, and has some support in the U.S. Senate.

Leadership Teams Elected: The U.S. Senate Republican Caucus re-elected Senator Mitch McConnell (KY) last week to be majority leader in the 115th Congress. Senator John Cornyn (TX) will stay on as whip and Senator John Thune (SD) will serve as number three.

Democrats elected Senator Chuck Schumer (NY) as minority leader, replacing Senator Harry Reid who didn’t run for re-election.  Senator Richard J. Durbin (IL) will serve as party whip, and Senator Patty Murray (WA) will serve as assistance Democratic leader.

Senator Schumer also appointed a leadership team, which includes Senators Elizabeth Warren (MA), Bernie Sanders (VT), Joe Manchin (WV), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Mark Warner (VA), and Debbi Stabenow (MI).

The Republican Conference in the U.S. House re-nominated Representative Paul Ryan (WI) as House Speaker, who must be confirmed by a floor vote in January 2017.  Representative Kevin McCarthy (CA) was nominated majority leader, and Representative Steve Scalise (LA) House Whip.

House Democrats postponed voting on their leadership team until November 30, 2016.  Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan is now formally challenging House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA), who has been the Democratic leader in the House since 2003, for the minority leadership position.


Ohio Arts Council: Governor Kasich has appointed William B. White of Marietta to the Ohio Arts Council for a term beginning November 15, 2016 and ending July 1, 2019.

Mr. White co-founded a marketing consulting firm called OffWhite in 1985.  The firm has worked with local, national, and international clients, and provides technical assistance for the biomedical, life sciences, and industrial laboratory fields.

As a musician and songwriter, Mr. White performs with a classic rock band called The Fossils and with an acoustics group called the JW3 Trio.  In February 2007 Mr. White was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Foundation for Music Education, and served as its president until February 2016.

He is expected to bring attention to the economic development in Ohio as a result of investments in the arts while on the Arts Council Board.


Youth Arts Programs Recognized: First Lady Michelle Obama hosted at the White House on November 15, 2016 a reception and performance honoring the 2016 recipients of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards.

The awards are presented by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to after-school and out-of-school programs that provide arts and humanities learning opportunities for young people.  These programs enrich the lives of students by teaching them new skills, nurturing creativity, and building self-confidence in a safe environment. The following programs were recognized this year:

-Ailey Camp, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami, FL

-Baranov Museum Youth history & Film Summer Intensive, Kodiak historical Society, Kodiak, AK

-IBA’s Youth Development Program, Inquilinos Boricuas an Accion, Boston, MA

-Next Gen, bay Area Video Coalition, San Francisco, CA

-Screen It!, Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, TX

-Sphinx Overture, Sphinx Organization, Detroit, MI

-St. Louis ArtWorks, St. Louis, MO

-Subway Sleuths, New York Transit Museum, Brooklyn, NY

-Teen Arts + Tech Program, Western Michigan Center for Arts and Technology (WMCAT), Grand Rapids, MI

-The Reading Road Show- Gus Bus, Office on Children & Youth, Institute for Innovation in Health & Human Services, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

-Tribal Youth Ambassadors, California Indian Museum and Cultural Center, Santa Rosa, CA

-True Colors: Out Youth Theatre, The Theatre Offensive, Boston, MA


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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