Arts On Line Education Update April 3, 2017


Ohio Department of Education Graduation Requirements Work Group Update for the Class of 2018

After more than two months of constructive discussion on Ohio’s graduation requirements for the class of 2018, Ohio’s Graduation Requirements Work Group has made recommendations to State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria. The superintendent will study them and take his final recommendation to the board in April. State Board of Education members will consider the proposal in future meetings. 

Columbus Dispatch: Panel offers options for students to graduate despite test scores

“A state panel reviewing whether Ohio’s new high-school graduation requirements are too tough wants to give students options for earning a diploma.  Coming to schools most days, performing work or community service or earning a 2.5 grade-point average during senior year also could be used to qualify students to graduate, under recommendations made Wednesday night to state schools Superintendent Paolo DeMaria.”

Columbus Dispatch: Are graduation requirements for Ohio students too tough?

“With tens of thousands more Ohio high-school seniors facing the prospect of failing to earn a diploma next year, a committee’s recommendation that lawmakers water down the state’s new graduation requirements is getting mixed reviews.  Without the changes, urban districts would be particularly hard-hit; only 38 percent of juniors in Columbus City Schools are currently on track to meet new testing requirements. More are likely to qualify within the next year.  The district’s graduation rate under the current requirements was almost 74 percent in the 2014-15 school year.” 

Springfield News-Sun: Students should graduate without passing State tests, panel says

“Ohio could add pathways to a Class of 2018 high school diploma that do not require any passing scores on state tests, if the recommendations made Wednesday by the state’s graduation work group are adopted.”

Dayton Daily News: Ohio students should graduate without passing state tests, panel says

“Ohio could add pathways to a Class of 2018 high school diploma that do not require any passing scores on state tests, if the recommendations made Wednesday by the state’s graduation work group are adopted.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Credit for band, college classes or not skipping school could fix Ohio’s graduation crisis

“Playing trombone in the school band, playing a varsity sport, having a good grade point average or making it to school every day might help some students in danger of not graduating from high school clear the bar and earn a diploma.” 

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio should count advanced courses, tests toward grad, says Cleveland CEO

“Cleveland school district CEO Eric Gordon says Ohio’s controversial new graduation requirements have a “structural flaw” – they don’t count advanced or college tests and courses, just more basic ones.” 


Nomination and selection materials now available for 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year

The Ohio Teacher of the Year award program recognizes exceptional teachers statewide and celebrates their effective work in and outside the classroom. The program’s intent is to amplify teachers’ voices and empower educators to take part in critical conversations about decisions affecting students, teachers and public education.  Details about the Ohio Teacher of the Year nomination and selection process, along with the nomination form and application packet, are available here.


Roster verification set-up period begins next week

“Principals and designated district administrators will receive an email on Monday, April 3, announcing that the school set-up period for value-added roster verification is underway through April 18. With the link in that message, which came from the district’s roster verification service provider, principals and their support teams may gain access to verify staff lists and assignments in preparation for the teacher roster verification period, which runs April 19 to May 9.”



Art Education in the News

The annual Statehouse Exhibition, representing K-12 student work from schools in all nine Ohio Art Education Association (OAEA) regions and hung in the Map Room of the Ohio Statehouse, will run from April 3-29, 2017, with a reception for the student artists, their families and their art teachers held on Saturday, April 29, from 12-1:00 PM.  This exhibition is a partnership of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, the Ohio Art Education Association, Ohio Citizens for the Arts, and the Ohio Arts Council.

Richland Source: Shelby students celebrate Youth Art Month

“The artistic talent of Shelby students was on display Monday evening, commemorating March as Youth Art Month.  The Shelby Board of Education took time out of their Monday meeting to visit a classroom full of art projects from all grades in Shelby City Schools. The display was part of Youth Art Month, a month of promoting art and art education in the United States.  Assistant Superintendent Paul Walker introduced the exhibit, noting the importance of art education in Shelby.” 

Mansfield News Journal: Artapalooza celebrates student art

“Young artists from area schools will display their creations and participate in workshops and activities during Artapolooza, an annual celebration of art in education.  Sponsored and hosted by Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, Artapalooza includes an elaborate student-created art gallery open to the public 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 4-6 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 7. An artists’ reception at Mid-Ohio’s offices, 890 W. Fourth St., will be 5:30 p.m. April 6 with winners announced at 7 p.m.”

Youngstown Vindicator: Mahoning Valley students create art for Akron Children’s

“When Akron Children’s Hospital went looking for art to display at its Beeghly Campus, it didn’t have to look far. Students from all over the area created pieces that will hang in the hospital’s Building A, which is undergoing expansion.  The building addition will have some 200 paintings on display, art consultant Ron Beahn said.”

Morrow County Sentinel: Park Avenue second grader’s artwork featured in Columbus exhibit

“The Mount Gilead Park Avenue Elementary School is proud to announce that the art work of Taelan Davis, grade two, was selected for exhibit in the 2017 Ohio Art Education Association’s Young People’s Art Exhibition.” 

Columbus Dispatch: Day of Arts brings works by disabled artists to general community

“The paintings, photographs and mixed-media works on display at the Westerville Community Center on Saturday could have been part of any eclectic gallery show.  They ranged from realistic photos to fanciful expressions of objects and emotions in paint, wood and fabric. The works, though, had special significance to the 250 artists, friends and family in attendance at the Day of Arts for All, a showcase for art created by Ohioans with mental, physical, developmental and emotional disabilities.” 

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Chagrin Falls High School Students’ art selected for 2017 Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition: Community Voices

“Three Chagrin Falls High School students and four pieces of their art are accepted in this year’s Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition, opening April 23 in the James A. Rhodes State Office Tower in Columbus.  They include Jane Goble  “Food For Thought” (TOP 25); Jake Levine  “Vibrant Night;” Graham Smith  “Hepaestus’s Cradle,” and Graham Smith  “Children of Tender Indifference.”  Goble’s artwork was selected as “top 25″ and she will receive the 2017 Governor’s Award of Excellence during the awards ceremony portion of the opening ceremony.  The exhibit closes at the end of May.”


Other Ohio News Clips

Dayton Daily NewsPension cuts looming for Ohio teachers and retirees

“The financial strength of the State Teachers Retirement System — the second largest pension fund in the state — is being questioned after actuaries told trustees to make big changes. Now, teachers and retirees may face benefit cuts.” 

WOSU: When It Comes To Chronically Absent Students, Schools Have To Learn

“According to state report cards, Columbus ranks at the top of large school districts for chronic absenteeism, with a rate of 38.1 percent.” 

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Do vouchers give better educations, mixed results

“The school voucher programs that some federal and state officials want to expand have mixed test results in Ohio that make it unclear how much more students learn than if they had stayed in their local public schools.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: National charter school leaders oppose Trump’s education budget

“The Breakthrough charter schools here in Cleveland today joined a group of 20 high-scoring charter  school operators in opposing President Donald Trump’s education budget.  Though charter schools would receive $168 million more money through Trump’s plan, they school leaders oppose cuts in federal support to traditional school districts.”



House Government Accountability and Oversight


This bill provides the Department of Education with specific guidance on distributing funds returned to the state from a community school as the result of a ‘finding for recovery’ from the Auditor of State.  During his testimony, bill sponsor Roegner said “HB87, which has a robust list of bi-partisan cosponsors, continues in the spirit of ensuring that every single tax payer dollar is effectively deployed and in the unfortunate event of a “Finding for Recovery” is appropriately returned to the traditional school district.”

Akron Beacon Journal: Legislation would return mishandled dollars

“Legislation would return tax dollars mishandled in charter schools to the local school districts that lost out.”

House Higher Education and Workforce Development


This bill would require instruction in cursive handwriting. The committee heard testimony from a range of experts describing the benefits of cursive handwriting and its connection to literacy and educational success.  In her written testimony, occupational therapist Carol Armann indicated that “Handwriting is not only an academic task that requires direct instruction, but a neurological process that activates the left brain, specifically the word and letter recognition region.  With regard to cursive, research shows that cursive writing contributes to improved spelling and composition in upper elementary and middle school grades (Berninger, 2015).’  The testimonies however were met with hesitation from the committee due to the potential of adding additional educational mandates.


House Education and Career Readiness


The bill to require one-half unit of financial literacy in the high school curriculum was met with hesitation as well.  Concerns of adding another state requirement as well as questions on the feasibility of fulfilling the requirement were raised.  Tom Rutan a retired Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Associate Director of Curriculum and Instruction, was one of the several professionals who testified in favor of the bill.  Rutan indicated in his testimony ‘that students today receive inconsistent instruction in financial literacy depending on the decisions of their individual school districts and the emphasis (or lack thereof) that is placed on financial literacy, including the assignment of teachers for that content… HB 108 provides consistency to an otherwise inconsistent landscape. It stresses alignment with the approved standards and establishes a common course length taught by a properly prepared, fully licensed educator. Plus, as a graduation requirement, it mandates that every child take and pass the course to earn a one-half credit toward graduation.”  HB 108 also requires the Chancellor of Higher Education to prepare an informed student document for each institution of higher education and the State Board of Education to include information on the informed student document in the standards and model curricula it creates for financial literacy and entrepreneurship.


Senate Education Committee


To require a public school to place a telephone call within one hour of the start of the school day to a parent whose child is absent without legitimate excuse. Testimony included the parents of the teenager whose death triggered the inception of the bill.  Attorney General Mike DeWine submitted written testimony in support of SB82. He said …”there is nothing in the Ohio Revised Code that sets baseline standards for schools to contact parents if their child has not reported to school.  This legislation would set a reasonable timeline for schools to contact parents, thus giving families, school officials and law enforcement as much time as possible to ensure a child’s safety.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Schools to call parents if kids absent, says bill after DeFreeze killing

“Schools across Ohio would have to call parents right away if kids are not in class each morning under a new bill that would make these so-called “Alianna Alerts.” Sen. Sandra Williams, a Cleveland Democrat, Williams told the Senate Education Committee this week that her bill is in response to the murder of Alianna DeFreeze. The 14-year-old Cleveland girl had boarded an RTA bus on January 26 to head to her charter school, but never made it.”

Newly Introduced Legislation

Introduced in House 3/28/2017


To revise the laws governing the state’s workforce development system, programs that may be offered by primary and secondary schools, certificates of qualification for employment, and the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Agency, and to designate the first week of May as In-Demand Jobs Week. 

Introduced in House 3/29/2017


With regard to academic content standards and curriculum requirements for computer science; to revise educator qualifications regarding computer science; to create a competitive technology grant program for the 2018-2019 school year; and to make an appropriation.


ON THE CALENDAR – Week of April 3rd

Wednesday, April 5

10:30 a.m., North Hearing Room

Senate Finance – Higher Education Subcommittee

HB49: Creates FY 2018-2019 Operating Budget

Informal Hearing, Ohio Department of Higher Education

4:30 p.m., South Hearing Room

Senate Education Committee

SB85: Create the Opportunity Scholarship Program

2nd Hearing, Proponent

5:30 p.m., South Hearing Room

Senate Finance – Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee

Presentation: Director Timothy Keen, Office of Budget and Management, will give an overview of Education Funding in the Executive Proposal.



Editorial – Isaac Kaplan: New Study Links Art Access to Better Health, Safety, and Education in Lower-Income Neighborhoods

“Arts advocates have long extolled the benefits of culture to personal and neighborhood welfare. While the contention is broadly accepted within the field, the existence of the link has largely been argued without an abundance of data and taken a backseat to economic justifications for arts funding.

But a two-year study released this month by researchers from the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania has revealed a quantitative relationship between the presence of cultural resources in a neighborhood and key aspects of social wellbeing, particularly in less advantaged neighborhoods. The research was part of the school’s ongoing Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP).”

New York Times:  Betsy DeVos Calls for More School Choice, Saying Money Isn’t the Answer

“Betsy DeVos, in her first extended policy address as education secretary, argued on for an expansion of school choice programs, pointing to lagging test scores and a program championed by the Obama administration that funneled billions into low-performing schools but failed to produce better academic outcomes.”

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

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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