Arts on Line Education Update February 27, 2017

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
February 27, 2017
Joan Platz

132nd OHIO GENERAL ASSEMBLY

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

The House Finance: Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Bob Cupp, will meet on March 1, 2017 at 9:00 AM in hearing room 116.  The subcommittee will receive testimony from the Legislative Service Commission about the school funding provisions in the executive budget, HB49 (R. Smith) Operating Budget.  See http://www.ohiohouse.gov/committee/finance-subcommittee-on-primary-and-secondary-education

The House Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee, chaired by Representative Duffey, will meet on March 1, 2017 at 10:00 AM in hearing room 115.  The committee will receive testimony on HB58 (Brenner, Slaby) Cursive Handwriting, which would require instruction in cursive writing in grades kindergarten through fifth grade, “to ensure that students develop the ability to print letters and words legibly by third grade and to create readable documents using legible cursive handwriting by the end of fifth grade.”

See http://www.ohiohouse.gov/committee/higher-education-and-workforce-development

The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, will meet on March 1, 2017 at 1:30 PM in the South Hearing Room.  The committee will consider the confirmation of Governor Kasich’s appointee Laura Kohler to the State Board of Education, and receive testimony on two bills, SB8 (Gardner, Terhar) School Infrastructure and Technology and SB39 (Schiavoni) Community School Operation.

The House Finance: Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Bob Cupp, will meet on March 1, 2017 at 9:00 AM in hearing room 116.  The subcommittee will receive testimony from several agencies and organizations about the school funding and education policy provisions in the executive budget, HB49 (R. Smith) Operating Budget.  Testimony will be presented by the Office of Budget and Management, Ohio Department of Education, KnowledgeWorks, the College Board, and ACT

See http://www.ohiohouse.gov/committee/finance-subcommittee-on-primary-and-secondary-education

JEOC to Hold Hearings on Ohio’s ESSA Plan:  The Joint Education Oversight Committee (JEOC), chaired by Representative Cupp, will hold hearings on Ohio’s plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  The meetings will be held on March 2, 2017 at 2:30 PM and March 9, 2017 at 1:30 PM in the Senate’s South Hearing Room.

According to Superintendent Paolo DeMaria, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) expects to submit its ESSA plan to the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) on April 3, 2017, to ensure that there is enough time for approval, and enough time for Ohio’s schools and districts to implement the plan for the 2017-18 school year.

Those interested in testifying should contact Haley Phillippi at haley.phillippi@jeoc.ohio.gov or (614) 466-9082 and indicate a date preference.

Please email testimony to Haley Phillippi at haley.phillippi@jeoc.ohio.gov 24 hours prior to the meeting to ensure members have time to review materials and prepare questions.

See http://jeoc.ohio.gov

Legislative Update

The House Finance Committee approved on February 23, 2017 HB26 (McColley) Transportation Budget. The bill would make appropriations for programs related to transportation and public safety for the biennium beginning July 1, 2017, and ending June 30, 2019, and provide authorization and conditions for the operation of those programs. The allocation for the Ohio Department of Transportation would be $3.31 billion in FY18 and $3.19 billion in FY19.

The Ohio House and Senate also adopted resolutions last week to hold the governor’s annual State of the State Address in Sandusky, OH on April 4th at 7:00 PM at the historic Sandusky State Theatre.

Bills Introduced:

HB74 (Huffman, Gavarone) Increase College Tax Deduction:  To increase the maximum income tax deduction for contributions to the state’s 529 college savings program from $2,000 to $3,000 per beneficiary per year.

HB80 (Latourette, Smith) School Food-Summer Intervention:  To require school districts to allow approved summer food service program sponsors to use school facilities to provide food service for summer intervention services under certain conditions.

HB87 (Roegner) Community School Public Moneys:  Requires the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to distribute public moneys recovered from charter schools as a result of an audit by the state in certain ways.

(A) If the finding for recovery resulted from an audit of the enrollment records of the school, the funds shall be credited to the state education aid of the school district or districts from which the funding was deducted.

(B) If the finding for recovery resulted from an audit that is not described in division (A) of this section, the funds shall be redistributed to the school districts in which the students who were enrolled in the school at the time the finding for recovery is issued were entitled to attend school under section 3313.64 or 3313.65 of the Revised Code. The amount distributed to each school district under division (B) of this section shall be proportional to the district’s share of the total enrollment in the school at the time the finding for recovery is issued.

HJR2 (Hagen, Patmon) Convention of States Application:  Proposes that the Ohio General Assembly apply to the Congress of the United States for a Convention of the States under Article V of the Constitution of the United States that is limited to proposing amendments that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and Members of Congress.

SJR1 (Huffman) Federal Constitutional Amendment Convention:  Proposes that the Ohio General Assembly apply to the Congress of the United States for a Convention of the States under Article V of the Constitution of the United States that is limited to proposing amendments that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and Members of Congress.

 

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

Tom Gunlock Resigns from the SBE: Former State Board of Education President Tom Gunlock resigned from the State Board on February 23, 2017.  Governor Kasich announced on February 24, 2017 the selection of Kara Morgan of Dublin, OH as his replacement.  Ms. Morgan is an analytics experts with Battelle Memorial Institute, and an adjunct professor at Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs. Her term will end on December 31, 2018.

 

OHIO NEWS

Public Meeting Airs Concerns About Testing: The Northwest/West Central Ohio Public School Advisory Network held a meeting in Bath Elementary School, (Bath Local School District, Lima, OH) on February 22, 2017.  The organization of more than 50 area school districts came together to discuss the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) consolidated plan, which the ODE released in draft form for public comment.

According to the Lima News, most of the participants expressed concern about the testing provisions in the plan and the number of tests that students will take above those required in the federal law.  Participants also were concerned that the tests cannot be used to inform instruction, because the results are returned too late in the school year.

The Northwest/West Central Ohio Public School Advisory Network is recommending that the legislature reduce the number of state standardized tests from 24 to 17, and want the results to be available earlier, so that teachers can determine how to improve instruction.  They would also like to eliminate the ACT and SAT as an indicator of college and career readiness; stop tying end of course tests to graduation; and eliminate the use of student growth measures in the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System.

See “Group seeks major changes,” by Lance Mihm, The Lima News, February 22, 2017 at

http://limaohio.com/news/231433/school-group-seeks-major-changes

Educators, Lawmakers, and Public Meet to Discuss ESSA: About 150 people attended a public meeting in Avon, Ohio on February 22, 2017 to discuss Ohio’s ESSA consolidated plan.

Patrick O’Donnell of The Plain Dealer reports that participants included teachers, parents, school administrators, school board members, city officials from Lorain and western Cuyahoga counties, members of the State Board of Education, and several lawmakers.

Most opposed the number of state standardized tests and testing requirements included in the ESSA plan.  Participants said that stakeholders told the ODE in meetings about ESSA last fall that they wanted fewer tests.

According to the article, some participants also said that the State should delay submitting the consolidated plan to the U.S. DOE.  A committee appointed by Superintendent DeMaria is reviewing Ohio’s graduation requirements, and expects to finalize its recommendations in April 2017.  Some at the meeting suggested that the State Superintendent submit the plan in September 2017 in order to include those recommendations in Ohio’s plan.

See “Measuring public education Parents, officials complain state ignores calls to ax tests,” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, February 23, 2017 at http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/02/halt_ohios_essa_plan_until_sta.html

Lawmakers Skeptical About Governor’s Externship Proposal: Jim Siegel from The Columbus Dispatch reported on February 22, 2017 that some lawmakers agree with representatives of Ohio’s two teachers’ union and oppose requiring teachers to complete business “externships” to renew their teachers’ licenses.

The article says that, “Republican leaders of the state House and Senate expressed opposition Wednesday to the plan, which Kasich proposed as part of his two-year operating budget as a way to strengthen ties between educators and businesses.”

The governor’s Executive Workforce Board had recommended that teachers spend time learning about the business world as part of their required professional development so that they could increase the employability skills of their students.

According to the article, both House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and Senate President Larry Obhoff believe that the requirement would put “more obstacles in teachers’ paths.”

Both the Ohio Education Association and the Ohio Federation of Teachers also question mandating the “externship” requirement for all teachers, and also questioned how it would be implemented.

See “Leaders oppose teacher ‘externship’ plan,” by Jim Siegel The Columbus Dispatch, February 22, 2017 at http://www.dispatch.com/news/20170222/gop-legislative-leaders-dont-like-kasichs-teacher-externship-plan

Higher Education Reforms Not Working: The Ohio Conference of the American Association of University Professors released last week a report entitled Education First 2017 Ohio Higher Education Report by John McNay, Sara Kilpatrick, Patty Goedl, Marty Kich, Steve Mockabee, and members of the OCAAUP Board.

According to the report, some of the reforms for higher education that have been implemented in Ohio over the past years are making things worse.

The report states, “The popular idea that public colleges and universities should operate more like the private sector is deeply flawed and causes more problems than it is alleviating.  The move toward a corporate model has not proven access, affordability, educational quality, or institutional finances.”

As a result of the new reforms, higher education institutions, faculty, students, and families in Ohio face many more obstacles:

Performance Based Budgeting Model:  Although state funding increased in the last biennium, Ohio is still spending less on higher education than it did six years ago.  The cost of a degree has priced some students out of a college education. About 68 percent of Ohio graduates have debt, which averages just under $30,000 per student.

-The criteria of the state share formula was developed by college and university presidents without the input from the faculty, and harms most institutions of higher education in the state.  Under the new funding formula institutions of higher education have become more selective and serve a larger market, including out-of-state and foreign students; regional campuses are struggling financially; and fewer dollars are being directed to financially needy students and the classroom to support the primary mission of the university.

-To keep costs low, colleges and universities are hiring part-time faculty.

-Faculty feel pressure to pass students to boost course completion and graduation rates, thus creating a degree with less value, and graduates who are not prepared for their careers.

The Ohio College Opportunity Grant:  Less prepared and low-income students have been affected by decreases in the Ohio College Opportunity Grant.

College Credit Plus and Competency Based Education:  New initiatives such as College Credit Plus are increasing the problem of administrative bloat.

-The College Credit Plus (CCP) program is not cheaper, but just shift costs from parents to colleges, universities, high schools, and tax payers.  CCP courses taught by high-school teachers do not mean that students have learned at a college level.

-Competency-based education, in which college credit is given for demonstrated work skills and knowledge, undermines the value of the college degree.

Spending on Construction and Athletics:  Spending on athletics and construction to attract students from higher income levels is reducing funds that should go to instruction.  While Ohio State University’s athletics budget is fully self-supporting, other state universities subsidize their athletics program, ranging from 44 percent at the University of Cincinnati to 82 percent at Cleveland State.

-The collective debt of state colleges and universities has more than doubled since 2005.

The report includes the following recommendations:

-Increase funding for SSI and OCOG to provide more opportunities to all Ohioans, especially those with fewer means.

-Enhance financial support for the state’s 23 community colleges and 24 regional campuses to better support struggling students while maintaining quality higher education programs in Ohio.

-Require members of boards of trustees to meet certain criteria, including experience running public or nonprofit institutions, and require that the boards include faculty members or retired faculty members.

-Gradually convert adjunct positions to full-time jobs.

-Increase the transparency of public institutions regarding how student tuition and fees are spent.

-Assess the recent tax changes and subsequent revenue shortages at the state level.  Create a tax system that is fair and generates the revenue necessary to adequately fund education at all levels.

-Engage with faculty who do the core work of the universities, and include them in efforts to develop solutions.

This is the second report issued by the OCAAUP to influence the Ohio General Assembly as it considers the state’s operating budget for FY18-19, HB49 (R. Smith).  The OCAAUP will advocate that lawmakers use the recommendations in the report to increase funding for Ohio’s institutions of higher education, and change policies that undermine the purpose of higher education.

The report is available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B87gjJujNjELcWtuSnZ3U2tIb1U/view

 

REPORTS

Reports Show Poor Results for School Voucher Programs:  Kevin Carey at the New York Times provides an overview of student achievement in school voucher programs as the Trump administration contemplates a $20 billion federal voucher program.

According to the article, three recent studies of student achievement in voucher programs in Indiana (2015), Louisiana (February, 2016), and Ohio (July, 2016) show that in some cases students who attend a private school using a voucher actually experience a loss in student achievement compared to similar students attending public schools.

The Louisiana study found, for example, “large negative results in both reading and math. Public elementary school students who started at the 50th percentile in math and then used a voucher to transfer to a private school dropped to the 26th percentile in a single year. Results were somewhat better in the second year, but were still well below the starting point.”

Researchers studying voucher programs were surprised that the results were so consistently bad.  But the article notes that the results have so far not deterred President Trump or his Secretary for Education, Betsy DeVos, from changing their views about expanding vouchers.

See “Dismal Voucher Results Surprise Researchers as DeVos Era Begins,” by Kevin Carey, The New York Times, February 23, 2017 at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/upshot/dismal-results-from-vouchers-surprise-researchers-as-devos-era-begins.html?_r=0

See “How Has the Louisiana Scholarship Program Affected Students?  A Comprehensive Summary of Effects After Two Years,” by Jonathan N. Mills, Anna J. Egalite, and Patrick J. Wolf, Education Research Alliance for New Orleans, February 22, 2016 at http://educationresearchalliancenola.org/files/publications/ERA-Policy-Brief-Public-Private-School-Choice-160218.pdf

See “Evaluation of Ohio’s EdChoice Scholarship Program:  Selection, Competition, and Performance Effects,” by David Figlio and Krzysztof Karbownik, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, July 2016 at https://edex.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/publication/pdfs/FORDHAM%20Ed%20Choice%20Evaluation%20Report_online%20edition.pdf

 

FYI ARTS

Time to Get Creative:  Melissa Weatherwax writes that, “Our world is vastly different and yet we continue to educate students for one that was current in previous decades.”

She laments that what matters still in schools is test score results and conformity, “dismissing the value of creativity, critical thinking, and innovation.”

She remembers a 2006 TedTalk given by Sir Ken Robinson that described how the parts of human brain interact to create new ideas.

Students need to have schools that “…cultivate creativity, thinking, challenges, ambiguity and risk.”  Students should have opportunities to ask questions and think critically to find answers.  And, learning spaces need to reflect the world that students will enter one day.

She writes, “It is our responsibility, not our choice, to empower students with collaborative and creative opportunities, to connect them with the world, to make meaning and think critically and provide them more real world situations. They aren’t often encouraged to think independently, to challenge ideas, or to risk an opinion that might be contrary to what is being required.”

According to Sir Ken Robinson, change can be nurtured anywhere and at anytime by an impassioned individual.  Creating schools that inspire and support creativity is already happening in some of the schools mentioned in the article.  These are schools in which teachers take risks to encourage their students to express themselves in different ways and challenge their own ideas and ways of thinking.

The author encourages teachers everywhere to do the same, because, in Sir Robinson’s words, “My contention is all kids have incredible talents and we squander them, pretty ruthlessly.  Creativity now is as important, in education, as Literacy and we should treat it with the same status.”

See “11 Years Later, Would Sir Ken Robinson Find Creativity in Our Schools,” by Melissa Weatherwax, Education Week, February 23, 2017 at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2017/02/11_years_later_would_sir_ken_robinson_find_creativity_in_our_schools.html?cmp=eml-enl-eu-news3


Arts On Line keeps arts education advocates informed about issues dealing with the arts, education, policy, research, and opportunities.

The distribution of this information is made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Music Education Association (www.omea-ohio.org), Ohio Art Education Association (www.oaea.org), Ohio Educational Theatre Association (www.ohedta.org); OhioDance (www.ohiodance.org), and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (www.oaae.net).

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About OAAE

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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