Arts on Line Education Update December 5, 2016

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
December 5, 2016
Joan Platz



This Week at the Statehouse: The Ohio House and Senate will hold committee hearings and sessions this week.

The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Andrew Brenner, will meet on December 5, 2016 at 1:30 PM in hearing room 121.  The committee will receive a presentation from Superintendent Paolo DeMaria about revisions to the English and math content standards, and receive testimony on HB498 (Kunze) Expulsion-Threat of Violence, SB168 (LaRose) Student Violent Behavior Information, and SB247 (Lehner, Brown) Summer Meals.

The committee will also consider amendments to SB3 (Hite, Faber) High Performing School District Exemption. The 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 on January 27, 2016.  The committee is expected to add amendments to tie-up some lose ends as lawmakers prepare for the close of this legislative session.  Some of the possible amendments include provisions that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) might need to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act; requirements for purchasing textbooks under the College Credit Plus program; and extending the term of the EMIS advisory board.

There is also a concern that charter school advocates will convince lawmakers to include a “hold harmless” provision in the bill for online charter schools that have received over payments for students.  The ODE has determined through audits that students at several online charter schools are not participating in 920 hours of instruction, although the charter school received funds for them.  The overpayment for one of the online schools, ECOT, amounts to $60 million.

It is unlikely that another provision, the “Similar Students Measure” (SSM), sought by charter school advocates, will make it into the bill.  The ODE was required through 131-HB2 to conduct a study of this method used in California to analyze student demographics as part of the state’s accountability system for schools.  The ODE released last week a study of SSM, and found that the measure would “neither be valid nor useful.”  More details about the results of the study are included below under OHIO NEWS.

The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, will meet on December 6, 2016 at 4:00 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room.  The committee will receive testimony on HB410 (Rezabek, Hayes) Habitual and Chronic Truancy and Compulsory School Attendance, and HB438 (Patterson) Designating “Ohio Public Education Appreciation Week.”

Legislative Update:

The Ohio House passed on November 29, 2016 HB148 (Patterson, LaTourette) Classroom Facilities Assistance. The bill requires the Ohio School Facilities Commission to provide classroom facilities assistance to a school district that was created as a result of the consolidation of two or more school districts, or from the voluntary transfer of the entire territory of a school district, under certain conditions.

The House also approved HB487 (LaTourette, Roegner) State Seal of Biliteracy.  This bill requires the State Board of Education to establish the state Seal of Biliteracy, and boards of education to include the seal on the high school transcripts of qualifying students.

The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Brenner, received sponsor testimony on HB372 (Phillips) Educational Service Personnel.  The bill would place into law a modified “5 of 8” rule, which the State Board of Education changed in April 2015 when it approved new Operating Standards for Ohio’s Schools, Ohio Revised Code Rules 3301-35-1 to 10.

According to sponsor testimony, the bill would require school districts to employ five education personnel in nine areas, rather than the original eight, for every 1000 students.  The areas are art teacher, music teacher, physical-education teacher, counselor, librarian, school nurse, school social worker, English language arts teacher, and technology instructor.

The purpose of the bill is to ensure that students have access to a broad curriculum and services to address barriers that affect learning.

The Senate has held two hearings on another bill to address the changes in the “5 of 8” rule.  SB241 (LaRose), Education Professionals Employment, would require school districts to 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.  Districts would be permitted to employ qualified individuals in these positions, and would be recognized for employing a minimum of five out of the seven educator categories per 1000 students.

See the testimony at

The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, met on November 29, 2016 and received an update from Paolo DeMaria, Superintendent of Public Instruction, about the recommended changes for the English language arts and math academic content standards.

Ohio adopted these content standards, aligned to the Common Core, in 2010. As part of the five year review process for all rules, the ODE convened an advisory committee and working groups in early 2016 to update and revise the standards.  The process included surveys and public feedback about the proposed changes in the standards.

The committee is recommending certain changes in the standards to make them more clear, by defining specific terms in the standards, and including more descriptors.  The State Board of Education will consider the changes and vote on them in early 2017. The standards would go into effect for the 2017-18 school year.  Assessments aligned to the standards would be implemented during the 2018-19 school year.


The Senate Education committee also reviewed six amendments to HB410 (Rezabek, Hayes) Habitual and Chronic Truancy and Compulsory School Attendance.  The proposed amendments would create a threshold for requiring schools to form an absence intervention team; change the effective date of the ban on suspension for truancy from 2016 to 2017; prohibit pausing a student’s suspension over summer vacation; permit a district to allow a student to make-up the work they missed while being suspended; create a pilot project at the district level to implement multidisciplinary truancy teams; and change the deadline for an attendance officer to file a complaint.

The committee will vote on the amendments and the bill this week.

The Senate Committee also accepted a substitute bill for HB89 (Devitis) Medicaid School Program, and reported it out.



Continuing Resolution to Expire:  Members of Congress came back to Washington, D.C. last week for the remaining weeks of the 114th Congress.

One of the immediate issues that lawmakers will address is funding the national government for FY17.  House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) proposed an extension of the current continuing resolution that funds the government through December 9, 2016. The stop-gap resolution was approved in September 2016 when lawmakers were not able to approve FY17 appropriations by the October 1, 2016 deadline.  The proposed extension will fund the government through March 2017, which will give President-elect Trump a chance to weigh-in on federal priorities for spending for the second half of FY17.

Democrats Re-Elect Pelosi as Minority Leader: The House Democratic Caucus re-elected Representative Nancy Pelosi (CA) as their leader in the next Congress by a vote of 134-63.  Ohio Representative Tim Ryan (Niles) had challenged Minority Leader Pelosi, who has been Minority Leader since 2007, saying that the caucus needed a new direction and leadership.

Minority Leader Pelosi has promised to expand her leadership team to ensure that different points of view are included in decision making.

New Chair for the House Education Committee: The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce will have a new chair in the 115th Congress.  The House Republican Steering Committee selected North Carolina Representative Virginia Foxx (R) to replace Representative John Kline, (MN), who is currently chair.  Representative Kline is retiring at the end of this session.

According to Education Week, Representative Foxx opposes federal intervention in K-12 education, supports ESSA and less emphasis on testing, and is a fiscal conservative.

See “Rep. Virginia Foxx Will Lead the House Education Committee,” by Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week, December 2, 2016 at

ESSA Accountability Rules Released: The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) issued rules on November 28, 2016 that provide a framework for states to design new accountability systems to evaluate schools and improve struggling schools under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  The final rules address accountability, data reporting, and state plans.

The USDOE released proposed rules in May 2016 for public feedback, and received push-back from House and Senate Republicans, administrator organizations, educators, and state leaders on certain parts of the proposal. The final rules include some changes to address those concerns:

-Allow states more time, until 2018-19 school year, to identify the lowest 5 percent of schools and high schools with graduation rates below 67 percent.   States must also identify under-performing subgroups of students, as defined by the state, but the final rules allow states to propose a longer time frame,  “…if they can show that the additional time will better support low-performing subgroups in making significant academic progress and closing statewide proficiency and graduation rate gaps.”

-Extend the date for states to submit their ESSA state plans to the USDOE for review.  States can submit their plans by either April 3, 2017 or September 18, 2017.

-Provide states more options when creating a summative rating system for schools.  The summative rating could “…be the same as those the law sets out or unique categories determined by the state.”  For example, states could use broad terms such as “comprehensive support and improvement”, “targeted support and improvement”, and “unidentified schools” as summative determinations for schools.  States may also choose to provide other kinds of summative determinations to help differentiate schools and share useful information with parents and stakeholders, and can provide information through a “data dashboard” or “another user-friendly approach.”

-Clarify that measures of academic progress or school quality and/or student success “…can include a wide range of measures beyond test scores.” These measures should emphasize “….a holistic view of student and school success, without losing the focus on helping all students reach college and career readiness.” Such measures should be supported by “…research indicating that high performance or progress on these indicators is likely to increase student learning, or, for high schools, graduation rates, postsecondary enrollment, persistence, or completion, or career success.”

-Allow states to propose their own options for how to address school and subgroup participation rates below 95 percent on state assessments.  “The final rules retain options that states may choose to use, but allow more flexibility in the state-developed option for factoring participation rates into accountability systems, requiring states to develop “sufficiently rigorous” actions to improve school participation rates. This will allow states the flexibility to take into account nuances related to low participation rates, such as the extent to which a school missed the 95 percent requirement. Under the final regulations, districts must still develop plans with these schools to improve participation rates in the future.”

-Allow states to develop and “…adopt their own college- and career-ready standards, clarifying that in their consolidated plans, states must simply assure that they will meet the requirements of the statute and any applicable regulations.”

-Require school districts, as a part of supporting school improvement, to identify the following: resource inequities related to per-pupil expenditures; access to advanced coursework; assignment to ineffective, out-of-field, or inexperienced teachers; and access to specialized instructional support personnel and in elementary schools, full-day kindergarten and preschool programs.

-Require states to set a “researched-based”, “rigorous”, and “realistic” maximum time line for English learners to attain English language proficiency. “This change will help ensure that states are setting reasonable expectations that are informed by evidence and encourage schools to help all English learners make sufficient progress each year toward English language proficiency so that students don’t languish for too long or receive services for too short a period of time.”

Even though the USDOE responded to comments and made changes in final rules, Representative John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN), chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, issued on December 2, 2016 a joint statement criticizing the rules.

In the statement the lawmakers say that the rules do not adhere to the letter and intent of the law, and propose that the next Congress and administration will have to ensure that “states and schools will have the flexibility they need to provide every child with an excellent education.”


See a summary of the rules at

The final rules are available at



Secretary of State Certifies Election: Secretary of State Jon Husted certified on December 1, 2016 the results of the November 8, 2016 election.

Out of 7,861,025 registered voters in Ohio, 5,607,641 (71.33 percent) voted.

President-elect Donald Trump won 51.69 percent of the votes in Ohio, Hillary Clinton won 43.56 percent, Gary Johnson won 3.17 percent, and Jill Stein won 0.84 percent.

Over 1.8 million Ohio voters cast absentee ballots, which, according to Secretary of State Husted, is more than any other election, and 99.45 percent were counted. There were also 154,965 provisional ballots cast, and 85.17 percent were counted.


State Auditor Reviews Open Enrollment: State Auditor Dave Yost released on November 28, 2016 a report about open enrollment based on the performance audits of four northeast Ohio school districts:  Austintown Local School District, Coventry Local School District, Hubbard Exempted Village School District, and Madison Local School District in Lake County.

The report was prepared in order to “…help local school leaders and taxpayers understand the factors they should consider when establishing policy for open enrollment.”

The report shows that open enrollment, which started in 1989, is not a “passing fad but an increasingly popular option in the Buckeye State”.

In 2013, there were 71,827 students using open enrollment to attend a school outside of their home district, and most school districts, 74 percent, accepted open enrollment students.

However, the report notes that open enrollment is an efficient and effective policy option when it is used to fill empty classroom seats, but becomes a cost for school districts when they have to add staff and resources to accommodate the open enrollment students.

In Austintown and Coventry, for example, open enrollment cost the school districts $25,652 and $1,002,554 respectively.

In Hubbard and Madison, open enrollment students brought in $1,002,763 and $178,284 respectively.

The report recommends that school districts implement open enrollment policies that contain “important parameters, such as capacity limits and student-teacher ratios.”

The report is available at

ODE Opposes Using “Similar Students Measure” in Ohio: The ODE issued a report on November 29, 2016 that examines how California’s state accountability system measures the progress of students in charter schools based on a number of demographic factors, and found the method to be “neither valid nor useful.”

The ODE was directed to conduct a study of a measure developed by the California Charter School Association called the “Similar Students Measure” (SSM), in House Bill 2 (Dovilla,Roegner), approved in October 2015, and report the results by December 1, 2016.

Advocates for SSM, including charter schools and the Ohio Coalition for Quality Education, Ron Adler president, believe that using scores based on the “Similar Students Measure” would provide more information to judge the performance of the charter schools, including factors such as the level of poverty in the school, student mobility, students with disabilities, and English language learners.

The ODE found, however, that the Similar Students Measure would “lower expectations for disadvantaged students,” and produce different results based on the variables used, making it invalid.

According to the report, “Such a measure runs counter to basic principles of accountability in that it creates a measure based on defining lower expectations for students with different characteristics.”

The ODE report notes that the SSM is more appropriately used to compare the performance of schools based on similar student characteristics, but Ohio already does that through school district typologies.

See “School rating system that charter schools sought gets thumbs down from state ed department,” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, November 29, 2016 at

Online Charter Schools Seeking Hold Harmless Provision: Patrick O’Donnell of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) is asking lawmakers to pass a hold-harmless provision that would prevent the ODE from collecting overpayments from online schools that have over-reported student attendance.

According to the article, ECOT could face a loss of $65 million, because the ODE determined that it was not providing 920 hours of instruction to 9000 of its 15,300 students last year, but still collected on average $6000 per student.  Nine other online schools could also lose state funds, because they over-reported student attendance, including Provost Academy in Columbus, Akron Digital Academy, and Buckeye Online School for Success.

The ODE audits charter school attendance every five years, and, according to the article, asked the schools to document the amount of time that students spent engaged in learning.  In the past the online charter schools had to show the ODE that they had met their obligation to provide students with a computer and online lessons, and document that students had logged in periodically.

According to the article, Representative Andrew Brenner, chair of the House Education Committee, said that lawmakers are discussing other ways to determine student participation in online charter schools so that the ODE can accurately calculate state aid for these schools.

In the meantime, online charter schools want a “hold harmless provision” to avoid losing state funds as a result of the audits.  The online schools believe that the audits were unfair, because the schools were not told by the ODE in advance about how attendance would be verified, and, as a result, didn’t have the proper documentation of student participation.  The ODE disputes this claim, because the law clearly states that students attending charter schools must participate in 920 hours of instruction (ORC 3314.03(A)(11)(a).

Some of the online schools have appealed the ODE’s audit findings to the State Board of Education (SBE), which has appointed hearing officers to investigate their claims. The SBE will then take action based on the findings.

See “ECOT loses court appeal as e-schools ask legislature to excuse giant attendance issues,” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, November 29, 2016 at


Results of TIMSS Released: The USDOE’s National Center for Education Statistics released on November 29, 2016 the results of U.S. students performance on the 2015 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the TIMSS Advanced results.

TIMSS assesses the mathematics and science knowledge and skills of fourth- and eighth-graders in the participating countries, and also collects background information on students, teachers, and schools to enable comparisons.

TIMSS Advanced is an international assessment that measures the knowledge of students enrolled in advanced mathematics and physics courses.

More than 50 education systems participated in the 2015 TIMSS at the 4th-grade level, and more than 40 education systems participated at the 8th-grade level.

In addition to the United States, Florida participated as an education system, although the results only pertain to public schools. The U.S. national sample, as well as the samples in the other participating education systems, included both public and private schools.

Summary of Results

-For 4th grade students in the U.S., the average mathematics score (539) was higher than the TIMSS scale centerpoint of 500. Ten education systems had a higher average mathematics score than the United States.  The ten education systems with average mathematics scores above the United States are Singapore, Hong Kong-China, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Northern Ireland-Great Britain, the Russian Federation, Norway, Ireland, and Flemish Belgium.

Fourteen percent of U.S. fourth-graders reached the Advanced international benchmark, placing the U.S. in 8th place among education systems.

-For 8th grade students, the U.S. average mathematics score (518) was higher than the TIMSS scale centerpoint of 500. Ten education systems had higher averages and 10 were not measurably different. The education systems with average grade 8 mathematics scores above the U.S. average were Singapore, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong-China, Japan, Quebec-Canada, the Russian Federation, and Canada.

Ten percent of U.S. eighth-graders reached the Advanced international benchmark, placing the U.S. in 9th place among education systems.

-For 4th grade students, the U.S. average science score (546) was higher than the TIMSS scale centerpoint of 500. Seven education systems had higher averages than the U.S., including Singapore, Korea, Japan, the Russian Federation, Hong Kong-China, Chinese Taipei, and Finland.

Sixteen percent of U.S. fourth-graders reached the Advanced international benchmark, placing the U.S. in 5th place among education systems.

Trends in Performance in Science

-For 8th grade students, the U.S. average science score (530) was higher than the TIMSS scale centerpoint of 500. Seven education systems had higher averages and nine were not measurably different.  The 7 education systems scoring higher than the U.S. were Singapore, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Slovenia, Hong Kong-China, and the Russian Federation.

Twelve percent of U.S. eighth-graders reached the Advanced international benchmark, placing the U.S. in 7th place among education systems.

-In Advanced Mathematics at the12th grade, seven percent of U.S. twelfth-graders reached the Advanced benchmark in advanced mathematics. Males had an average score of 500 and females had an average score of 470.

-In Advanced Science at the 12th grade, five percent of advanced U.S. twelfth-graders reached the Advanced benchmark in physics. Three education systems, Slovenia, the Russian Federation, and Norway, placed higher.  Males had an average score of 455 and females had an average score of 409.

Overall, the U.S. average score in math at the 4th grade level did not change between 2011 and 2015, but the U.S. average score in math at the 8th grade level increased between 2011 and 2015.

The U.S. average scores in science at both the 4th and 8th grade levels, were not “measurably different” in 2015 compared to 2011.

The U.S. average scores for 12th grade math and science were also not “measurably different” in 2015 compared to scores in 1995.




CPS is Revitalizing the Arts: The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) approved in 2012 an Arts Education Plan to ensure that students have access to the arts in Chicago Public School’s 660 schools. The plan, which was implemented starting in 2013, designates the arts as a core subject, and requires two hours per week of arts instruction in every elementary school and schools to meet certain teacher pupil ratios.

The most recent report about the state of the arts in CPS shows that two thirds of CPS students, 250,000 students, now attend a school considered “strong” or “excelling” in the arts.

The report is the fourth status report examining student access to arts education in CPS published by Ingenuity, a non-profit organization that partners with CPS and community organizations to monitor and support the expansion and implementation of arts education programs in the CPS.

The status report is based on data reported by the schools and Arts Liaisons in the schools. Schools receive a Creative Schools Certificate with one of four ratings, either emerging, developing, strong, or excelling in the arts.  The rating is based a rubric that takes into account student access to the arts; minutes of instruction in the arts; the number of arts instructors per students; and the number of arts disciplines and depth of courses offered to students at the high school level.  For example, elementary schools rated “excelling” provide students with 120 minutes of arts instruction per week.  Excelling high schools provide students with courses in at least three of the five arts disciplines.

According the report, on average, 96 percent of elementary school students had access to arts instruction; 59 percent of schools offered 120 minutes of arts instruction per week; 96 percent of schools partnered with at least one community arts partner, including groups such as The Joffrey Ballet, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Museum of Contemporary Art; and 73 percent of CPS schools reported that they met the 1:350 instructor to student ratio.

The report also notes that CPS received nearly $10.9 million from the private sector, and 579 active community arts partners were serving the schools.

CPS’ Arts Education Plan and the status report provide a step by step process for school districts to follow to expand arts education programming in schools, including how to establish a monitoring network and how to engage community partners to support the effort.

See “State of Arts in Chicago Public Schools Progress Report 2015-16,” by Yael Silk & Ingenuity, October 2016 at

See “Chacago Arts Survey Finds Revitalized Programs, Lingering Gaps,” by Jackie Zubrzycki, Education Week, November 28, 2016 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
This entry was posted in Arts On Line and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s