OHIO LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
Senate Education Committee
The committee heard testimony on the following bills last week:
Proponent testimony on SB216 (Huffman) To enact the “Ohio Public School Deregulation Act” regarding the administration of preschool and primary and secondary education programs.
Proponent testimony on SB216 was given by more than a dozen school superintendents who had an integral part in drafting the bill. They voiced their support for the measure which would reduce nearly 100 laws, policies and rules that school districts must follow but feel have become burdensome.
Among the bill’s wide-ranging provisions are those to allow teachers to teach outside of their licensed certification in particular cases, eliminate the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment; allow students to take paper or computer third-grade reading tests, widen grade band certifications for teachers, and eliminate the K-3 literacy component on state report cards. In addition, it would also make changes to teacher evaluations, staffing policies, reporting requirements and more. (Bill Summary)
Joseph Spiccia, Chair of the Lake/Geauga Superintendents’ Collaborative Chair and superintendent of the Wickliffe City School District, said the bill gives educators and administrators a chance respond to various state mandates that have come down in recent years. “This is an opportunity to respond positively to the concerns that have been expressed by school leaders, teachers and other practitioners in the field related to how we can more effectively educate students in our schools,” he said.
The superintendent of St. Henry Local School District, Julie Garke, echoed the sentiment. “For too many years, local districts, the Ohio Department of Education and the legislature have operated as separate entities, doing what they feel is best for their organizations. Because of that, we have seen many regulations dictating how schools should be run instead of allowing for individualization of education for students as decided by local boards of education.”
Waynesfield-Goshen Schools Superintendent Chris Pfister testified to the committee regarding the many rules and regulations that have come down from the state, “They add no value, cost significant amounts of money and pull focus away from the missions of teaching and student learning.”
HB170 Reported out by Committee (Carfagna, Duffey) HB170 was reported out of the Senate Education Committee last week. The bill calls for the Department of Education to create computer science standards and lays out how related courses would be integrated into schools. It is permissive and does not require schools to offer computer science classes.
The measure allows students to substitute computer science for Algebra II or an advanced study science course. Opponents questioned the move because Algebra II is a prerequisite for admission into most Ohio colleges and universities.
Proponent testimony on SB34 (Manning) To generally require public and chartered nonpublic schools to open for instruction after Labor Day.
Mike Caputo, a former Bay Village Board of Education member, testified in favor on SB34. “I believe that Senate Bill 34 will force school boards across Ohio to reexamine how a school calendar is set,” he said. “Specifically, the acceptance of starting school prior to Labor Day has offered built-in flexibility for schools to offer additional days off, additional in-service days and extended breaks, which may not be in the best educational interest of the student.”
House Speaker’s Task Force on Education and Poverty The Speaker’s House Task Force on Education and Poverty heard three different presentations on the benefits of providing wrap around behavioral health services to students with trauma or outside pressures. Such services can help students pay attention, learn and subsequently help close the achievement gap.
Teresa Lampl, Associate Director of the Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Service Providers, presented an overview of the current state of mental health for young people. She indicated that half of all behavioral health issues present before age 14 and 75 percent of such issues show up before age 24. One in eight children are clinically depressed by the time they reach adolescence.
Lampl sited research that has shown student outcomes, and subsequently long-term health, can be improved by coordinating community behavioral health care services inside schools. Students in such programs show decreased symptoms of depression and disciplinary referrals in addition to improved grades and standardized test scores. Bringing treatment to schools not only reduces barriers to treatment, but also destigmatizes it.
Also speaking was Joe Shorokey, CEO of Alta Behavioral Healthcare, who explained the services that his company provides to about 30 schools in Mahoning County and the Youngstown area.
“Our job is to help set the table for learning. We have kids coming in hungry, having dirty clothes, with trauma, there was a shooting down the street, for example,” Shorokey testified. “They come in carrying this weight. There is a tremendous need to address the nonacademic barriers to learning.”
The final meeting of the task force will be held on Thursday, November 16 and will feature perspectives from task force members on what has worked in their schools and their policy recommendations.
PORTRAIT OF AN ARTS ADVOCATE
Kelly Berick, Director of Dance
Akron School for the Arts at Firestone High School, Akron, OH
Q: How did you participate in the arts as a child?
A: My mother placed me in dance classes at age 3 to reverse an inward hip rotation issue that developed from birth through my toddler years. I stuck with dance through the rest of my life. I also took piano lessons, played the bass clarinet in my school band, sang in my church choir, and took years art classes both at our recreation center and at school. I spent 6 years in a preprofessional ballet company in junior high and high school, then pursued a BA in Dance at Columbia College (SC) and later a M.Ed. in Dance at Temple University.
Q: Describe your favorite “a-ha moment” in arts education.
A: I was a member of a small modern dance troupe in Columbia, SC, and I was the company’s artist-in-residence in public schools across the state. I have numerous fond memories of those elementary school students during that four-year period, but one in particular made me realize that public schools was where I belonged and where dance and I could make a difference. I conducted an improvisation on “focus” to a group of 5th grade students. In one amazing moment, in a crowded room of 25 boys and girls, a boy, in slow motion, stepped out and over a girl in a low level stretched position. Neither of them looked at the other, but both knew of the other’s presence and planned accordingly. I realized in that moment that any kid can benefit from this work, any kid can be successful in this work, and that dance moment was more skillful and focused than even the most competitive and complicated dance step ever created, and it was completely improvised by two inexperienced movers inside of a crowd of other bodies. I’ve been in schools ever since.
Q: How do you practice creativity in your own life and / or what inspires you?
A: I enjoy the art and creativity of creating a great dance lesson, and I enjoy creating dance works with my students as collaborators. Daily though, I enjoy the structured improvisation of cooking! I like planning the week’s meals, improvising with my leftovers, and trying new spins on recipes. That’s feeding my soul as much as my body these days. I feel connected to my grandparents and to our old farmland when I’m growing vegetables and working with them in the kitchen.
Q: Name one puzzle, or problem, you are working on in the field right now.
A: I am currently looking at my program through an equity lens. While I currently serve all types of students with varying experiences, I am looking for ways to give those with less dance background more opportunities while also continuing to challenge my experienced students and paving their pathways into university dance programs. Time and space constraints are the problems, not to mention the need to establish a culture of mutual respect and peer leadership/support. Can we be all things to all people?
Q: Name an arts educator who impacted you and how they influenced your younger days.
A: Dr. Edrie Ferdun, professor emeritus of Temple University created a classroom experience for incoming graduate students that changed my life forever. I seek daily to create the sense of passion for dance/the arts, democracy, mutual respect and admiration, and family that she created in that year with my high school students. She balanced planning with spontaneity in a way that was so beneficial and human. With high school students, my aim is to eliminate the idea that dance is competitive and everyone must always strive to be better than the rest. Edrie’s class promoted selflessness and a joy for our differences. There’s not enough of that in dance world today.
Q: What can the average person do to advocate for more and / or stronger arts education in local schools?
A: It is always helpful to be present in your child’s school, helping the arts area teachers, fundraising for guest artist residencies (like the ones I used to do!), offering letters of support for arts projects the teachers would like to take on, and of course, going to bat when arts programs are on the line in budget talks. Talking to elected representatives at the local and state level keeps your school’s arts education in the conversation. Joining organizations that support the arts is a great way to lend your support to initiatives and legislation crucial to arts education. These organizations can help you remain educated about the benefits of arts education and the effect that arts have on culture. And of course, patronize your area arts events: go to the theater, the gallery, and the concert hall. Leave the comfort of your couch, and I guarantee that you will come back to it with feelings you never had before.
Portrait of an Arts Advocate is a monthly feature profiling an OAAE member active in advocating for arts education in Ohio. If you’d like to submit your information, or to learn more about this feature email firstname.lastname@example.org.
StateImpact Ohio: Ohio Levy Results Stick to Historical Trends
“Voters approved three out of four school levies on the ballot during Tuesday’s general election, but an Ohio economist who studies school funding says some concerning trends are emerging from those results.
Columbus-based economist Howard Fleeter said by his count, 76 percent of the operating levies on the ballot this week were approved by voters. A majority of them, however, were renewals, when a district asks voters to reapprove an old levy for the same amount of money.”
Associated Press: Voters Approve Most Ohio School Levies
“Schools officials say Ohio voters have approved the majority of ballot measures for funding local schools. The Ohio School Boards Association says 87 out of 122 issues on Tuesday’s ballots around the state were passed. The Columbus-based association says 23 of 53 new money requests were approved, while 64 of 69 renewal or replacement issues passed.”
ON THE CALENDAR
Monday, November 13
8:00 a.m. Ohio Department of Education, 25 S. Front St, Columbus
State Board of Education Meeting
Tuesday, November 14
8:00 a.m. Ohio Department of Education, 25 S. Front St, Columbus
State Board of Education Meeting
4:00 p.m. Ohio Statehouse Hearing Room 121
House Education and Career Readiness Committee Chair: Brenner
HB21 (Hambley) Fourth Hearing, All Testimony
COMMUNITY SCHOOL ENROLLMENT VERIFICATION Regarding verification of community school enrollments.
Substitute Bill HB200 (Koehler) Seventh Hearing, All Testimony
AMENDMENTS OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM CREATION To eliminate the Educational Choice Scholarship Pilot Program and Pilot Project Scholarship Program and to create the Opportunity Scholarship Program.
HB338 (Ginter) First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
BUS DRIVER MEDICAL EXAMS Regarding medical examinations for school bus drivers.
HB377 (Hagan, Ramos) Third Hearing, All Testimony
CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE EDUCATION With respect to age-appropriate student instruction in child sexual abuse and sexual violence prevention and in-service staff training in child sexual abuse prevention.
Wednesday, November 15
11:00 a.m. Ohio Statehouse Hearing Room 114
House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee Chair: Blessing
HB87 (Roenger) Fourth Hearing, All Testimony, AMENDMENTS
COMMUNITY SCHOOL PUBLIC MONEYS Regarding public moneys returned to the state as a result of a finding for recovery issued pursuant to an audit of a community school.
Thursday, November 16
1:30 p.m. Verne Riffe Center for Government and the Arts, 31st floor, rooms South B & C
Joint Education Oversight Committee
OAC’s Collins Elected to National Arts Assembly
Ohio Arts Council (OAC) Executive Director Donna Collins has been elected to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) board of directors. She will serve a three-year term.
The board of directors is the governing body of the nonprofit NASAA. “It is also a nationally representative policy board that works on behalf of public funding for the arts for all American communities,” OAC said in a release.
The board includes representatives from 20 states and U.S. jurisdictions who encourage state and federal support for the arts and broaden opportunities for arts participation across America in geographically, artistically, culturally and economically diverse settings. More on NASAA’s 2018 board of directors can be found here.
Seeking High School Arts Advocates for Arts Day 2018
The Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation is offering a unique opportunity for high school students to participate in Ohio’s annual Arts Day and Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio. Several Ohio high schools will be chosen to send a team of students to Columbus to serve as student advocates. The students will participate in a range of activities highlighting the importance of the arts and arts education. This is a valuable opportunity for the students to participate in the public policy process in a meaningful way.
Arts Day 2018 takes place on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 in Columbus. To apply, submit a brief statement expressing your school’s interest and what you hope to achieve by participating in the student advocates program. The statement must be submitted by December 15, 2017.
Sing Me A Story
The Wooster team of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Partners in Education program will offer an arts integration professional development workshop for PK-1 teachers on Wednesday, November 29. Deborah Sunya Moore, Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, will present “Sing Me A Story” from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Tri-County Educational Service Center. Participants will be led through several lesson plans that explore elements of music within the text of a book such as steady beat and musical forms such as echo, call & response, and verse-chorus. Email Debbie Stoler at Tri-County ESC to register. The event flyer is available online.
Location: Tri-County ESC, Wooster
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Time: 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Chance to Dance
Momentum-Excellence at the Speed of Dance invites dance instructors and educators from across the state to take part in one or all of a series of workshops designed to support inclusive dance instruction. The workshops are open to all educators, with the workshop content focusing on dance/ movement.
These workshops are presented in collaboration with VSA Ohio and Ohio Dance. The workshops are free of charge to participants, thanks to funding provided by the Ohio Department of Education.
The full-day workshops take place at varying locations in Columbus. Visit the website for full details.
Autism/ Sensory Sensitivities
Date: November 13, 2017
Presenter: Andrew Palermo, Founder of Creatively Abled
Date: January 12, 2018
Presenters: Mary Verdi Fletcher, Founder and Sara Lawrence Sucato, Touring Manager, Dancing Wheels
Date: January 22, 2018
Presenter: Dr. Jenny Seham, Director of Dance Education, National Dance Institute
Ohio Music Education Association 2018 Professional Development Conference
The Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) is giving OAAE members the opportunity to attend their 2018 Professional Development Conference at a discounted rate. This is a great opportunity to learn from the wide variety of clinics that will be presented during the conference.
Use the attached flyer to register for OMEA’s conference: http://files.constantcontact.com/4f0fafd9001/1f361256-90b5-42f4-8ef4-e670726bbf63.pdf
Renew your OAAE membership: http://www.oaae.net/index.php/en/about-us/join-the-oaae-online
Arts Assessment: Evidence of Success
High-quality assessments are an integral part of measuring and monitoring student growth and informing classroom instruction. Arts educators are often left on their own to develop assessments and identify student growth measures, often without adequate background in assessment design and implementation.
Our Arts Assessment Professional Development workshop will help educators acquire skills in developing, reviewing, and selecting high-quality assessments. Sessions will focus on foundations of assessment literacy, quality assessment design and an understanding of why they are important to instruction and student learning. Workshops are appropriate for all fine arts disciplines (including dance, music, theater and visual arts.)
Workshops will focus on these topics:
- How to prioritize fine arts standards
- Deconstruction of standards
- Aligning assessments with standards
- Principles of Webb’s Depth of Knowledge
- Arts assessment blueprints – plan of action and creating assessments
- Sharing with & learning from colleagues
- Assessment resources on the Ohio Arts Collaborative website
To schedule professional development sessions for your district’s fine arts teaching
Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education is a leading member of the Ohio Arts Assessment Collaborative, a consortium of Ohio school districts, Battelle for Kids, the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, and the Ohio State University.
Upcoming public sessions hosted by Educational Service Centers:
Host: Summit ESC
Date: March 7, 2018
To register contact: http://summitesc.org/events
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).
This update is written weekly by Andrea Kruse, OAAE’s Research and Information Coordinator.