Arts On Line Education Update March 27, 2017


Ohio Department of Education Kicked off Assessment Analysis
Superintendent Paolo DeMaria’s Advisory Committee on Assessments had their first meeting Tuesday, March 21 with its purpose to review state and district-mandated testing and make recommendations to increase efficiency.  The group will meet several times through May with the intent of presenting their recommendations to the State Board of Education during their June meeting.  In a recent testimony to the House Education & Career Readiness Committee DeMaria concluded that ‘testing is an important piece of the work we do to create an education system focused on the success of our students.  However, no single piece of this work should be overly burdensome for teachers or students. The expansion of testing at the state and district levels has occurred without consideration of the overall amount of testing.  Each new policy or initiative is well intentioned and, by itself, may not disrupt instruction time.  Yet, taken as a whole, the amount of testing has left students, parents and teachers overwhelmed.’

Columbus Dispatch: Some Ohio educators question fairness of computer-required testing
“No. 2 pencils work the same, whether it’s a wealthy school or a poor one. That’s not necessarily the case with computer monitors, graphics cards and Internet connection speeds. This school year, Ohio law required all schools to switch to computer-based testing on state assessments. A few school administrators have questioned whether state testing in 2017 boils down to a situation of the haves vs. the have-nots.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Local tests are part of Ohio’s testing crush too, says state superintendent
“State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria talks with the state school board about his plans to study standardized testing.”

Columbus Dispatch: Columbus preparing for new grad testing options
“The Columbus city school district is preparing for new graduation testing options.”

Ohio Department of Education: FAQs Posted about Consistently High Performing Teachers
“State law directed the State Board of Education to define a consistently high-performing teacher. Districts can use the definition to identify teachers who can be exempted from completing additional coursework to renew their teaching licenses, including professional, lead professional or senior professional teaching licenses.”


Ohio Arts Council: Columbus Student Wins 2017 Ohio Poetry Out Loud State Finals
“Madeleine Schroeder, a senior at Columbus Alternative High School (CAHS), won Ohio’s 12th annual Poetry Out Loud (POL) State Finals held on Saturday, March 4, at the Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center in Worthington, Ohio. Schroeder recited “The Gaffe” by C.K. Williams, “Snow Day” by Billy Collins, and “I Find No Peace” by Thomas Wyatt. […]   Nearly 200 teachers and 9,000 students from across Ohio participated in a POL program in 2016-17. Prior to the State Finals—when 12 Ohio finalists competed for state champion—Schroeder participated in the Central/Columbus regional semifinal on February 19. This is the first year that Ohio POL has increased to six regional semifinals through expanded partnerships. Learn more about POL’s regional expansion and partnerships at”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Cleveland school board approves teacher contract
Cleveland school district CEO Eric Gordon and school board chair Anne Bingham prepare for the board’s vote on the new teacher contract Tuesday.

Columbus Dispatch:  Private Colleges Leaving Ohio Program Providing Tuition-Free Classes to Middle School, High School Students
“Kinks and growing pains in the popular College Credit Plus program mean some of Ohio’s small, private colleges won’t offer classes to middle school and high school students next year”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio Teacher Evaluations Could Use Test Scores for More Growth, Less Judgment
“Teacher evaluations and ratings in Ohio should be restructured to make them less judgmental and more focused on helping teachers improve, a state panel and Ohio Superintendent Paolo DeMaria said Monday.”

Columbus Dispatch:  Now Ohio Schools Must Decide Transgender Bathroom Issue after Lawsuit Dropped
“It’s now up to individual Ohio school districts to decide which restroom and shower facility their transgender students should use.”

Stow Sentry:  State’s delay in education plan renews optimism 
“The decision by the Ohio Department of Education to delay submitting the state’s education plan to federal regulators is raising local educators’ hopes that their voices may be heard.”


Students with Disabilities: Supreme Court Rules In Favor and Expands Rights

NPR: The Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of A Special Education Students
“School districts must give students with disabilities the chance to make meaningful, “appropriately ambitious” progress, the Supreme Court said Wednesday in an 8-0 ruling.  The decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District could have far-reaching implications for the 6.5 million students with disabilities in the United States.”

US News and World report: Supreme Court Expands Rights for Students with Disabilities
“In a unanimous decision with major implications for students with disabilities, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that schools must provide higher educational standards for children with special needs.  The 8-0 ruling in the Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District case states that schools must do more than provide a “merely more than de minimis” education for students with disabilities and instead must provide them with an opportunity to make “appropriately ambitious” progress in line with the federal education law.”

Call To Action from the National Arts Education Association Re: Proposed Federal Budget

NAEA: Federal Support for the Arts and Art Education

Check out this call to action from the National Arts Education Association regarding the recently proposed federal budget.  Under the Trump Administration budget proposal the $62 billion federal education budget would be cut by over $9 billion, or 13.5%.  Also included in the proposal is the elimination of four cultural agencies: the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting endowments.

Cleveland Plain Dealer:  President Trump’s Education Budget Could Bode Poorly for Large, Urban Districts Like Cleveland
“Cleveland’s public schools have counted on a steadily rising pool of federal money to help educate poor students and those with special needs.”

ESSA and the Arts

Education Commission of the States: AEP State Policy Symposium Connects the Arts and State Policy
“To build on the Arts Education Partnership’s (AEP) work of aiding states in including the arts as they craft plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), AEP, along with its collaborators Americans for the Arts and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, convened approximately 140 arts in education leaders last Saturday for the 2017 AEP State Policy Symposium.”

Other National News Clips

Washington Post: Opioid crisis intensifies, MD system looks at ‘recovery’ school
“Kevin Burnes thinks his school saved his life. He arrived there at 14 years old, just out of rehab […]”

US News & World Report:  How Schools can Lead On Schooling
“The No Child Left Behind era featured widespread concerns about narrowing curricula, an ineffectual checklist-driven approach to school improvement, a fixation on testing and the sense that too many students and schools were treated as an afterthought because they were deemed to be doing “well enough.” The new law offers a chance to do something about those concerns, while energizing school reform and separating it from the bitter politics of the nation’s capital. Here are three of the places where there are enormous opportunities for states to lead the way.”


House Education & Career Readiness Committee – Tuesday, March 21

The Ohio Department of Education Superintendent, Paolo DeMaria, presented the committee with an overview of Ohio’s school assessment system.   Touching on the mechanics of the type and timing of assessments, as well as Ohio’s testing history, DeMaria outlined the complexity of the process as well as ODE’s plan to examine testing-related issues with an advisory committee.

HB108: FINANCIAL LITERACY (Hagan, C., McColley, R.)

In an effort to help students avoid unnecessary debt and help those who need loans to navigate the process easier, bill sponsor Representative Hagan has recommended a required financial literacy class for high school students in Ohio.  Hagan stated that this legislation would ensure students would have ‘ the tools they need to wisely navigate future financial decisions by being taught the principles of economics and financial literacy with an emphasis on personal finance, the concepts of credit, debt, investments and sound money management, through at least ½ unit of their high school curriculum.’

Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education – Wednesday & Thursday, March 22 and 23

HB49:  Creates FY 2018-2019 operating budget

Over the two day period, more than 35 witnesses testified on the impact they felt the proposed budget may have to their school system or program.

Senate Government Oversight & Reform Committee – Wednesday, March 22

SB54:  SUMMER FOOD PROGRAM  (Brown, E., Lehner, P.)

Brandi Slaughter, CEO of Voices for Ohio’s Children, testified of the high rates of food insecurities Ohio children face and the subsequent need for summer food programs around the state.

Senate Education Committee – Wednesday, March 22

SB85: SCHOOL CHOICE  (Huffman, M.)

Bill sponsor, Representative Huffman, told the committee that SB85 would ‘fund a newly created, income-based opportunity scholarship program for students in Ohio to attend a chartered non-public school of their choice’.  However, his testimony was met with criticism from the committee as the feasibility of the bill was questioned with Ohio’s current tight budget.

SB82: SCHOOL ABSENCES (Williams, S., Lehner, P.)

The committee heard sponsor testimony on SB82 which would require schools to call parents within one hour of the start of the school day if their child has been marked absent. 

Newly Introduced Legislation

SB104: SCHOOL SECLUSION  (Tavares, C.)

To prohibit the use of seclusion on students in public schools


To designate the month of October as “Ohio Principals Month.”

SB111: SCHOOL ZONES  (Tavares, C.)

To require school zones to be indicated by signs equipped with flashing or other lights or that indicate the times during which the restrictive speed limit is enforced, and to make an appropriation.

HB134: SCHOOL GRANTS  (Hambley, S., Kick, D.)

To allow community improvements board grants to a school district to be spent for permanent improvements outside the county so long as the improvements are within the school district.


To establish the Commercial Truck Driver Student Aid program and to make an appropriation.


ON THE CALENDAR – Week of March 27

Tuesday, March 28

4:00 p.m. Room 121

House Education & Career Readiness

  • HB98: CAREER INFORMATION  (Duffey, M., Boggs, K.) – 2nd Hearing-Proponent
    • Summary: Regarding the presentation of career information to students
  • HB108: FINANCIAL LITERACY  (Hagan, C., McColley, R.) – 2nd Hearing-Proponent
    • Summary: To require one-half unit of financial literacy in the high school curriculum


Wednesday, March 29

3:15 p.m. South Hearing Room

Senate Education Committee

  • SB82: SCHOOL ABSENCES  (Williams, Lehner, P.) – 2nd Hearing- Proponent
    • Summary: Call parents within one hour if students are absent from school without excuse


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 (, Ohio Art Education Association (, Ohio Educational Theatre Association (; OhioDance (, and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education ( This update is written weekly by Andrea Kruse, OAAE’s Research and Information Coordinator. 


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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