OHIO LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
Government Accountability and Oversight Committee
Last week the committee heard testimony on the following bill:
Proponent testimony on HB512 EDUCATION DEPARTMENT (Reineke) To establish the Department of Learning and Achievement.
HB512, the controversial measure that would consolidate the state’s educational agencies into one Department of Learning and Achievement, heard proponent testimony from a few witnesses last week. However, a substitute bill slated for last week’s hearing was not presented and bill sponsor Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) said he was still working with different groups to ease some concerns and work out the details. The substitute bill is expected sometime after the House returns from its spring break.
Witnesses from both the Ohio Home Builders Association and Ohio Restaurant Association Education Foundation testified on the importance of increasing the trained skilled trade workers in Ohio to meet the demand in the state.
Patty Halper, executive director of the of the Ohio Restaurant Association Education Foundation praised the creation of the DLA and the potential for more efficient communication throughout the educational continuum. “The career path for these students’ needs to be easier to navigate and the roadblocks that currently exist be removed. I have dealt firsthand with the silos that currently exist with all three current department’s operations and so have our students,” said Ms. Halper. “The removal of the silos to foster a more collaborative and cooperative working environment is what is owed to the students and employers in Ohio if we are to continue to stay pace with rest of the country.”
HB512 would significantly alter education policy and governance by creating a new cabinet level agency reporting directly to the Governor. This would be done by combining the functions of the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE), and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation to create the Ohio Department of Learning and Achievement (DLA). Also, as part of the new bill, the State Board of Education, which is required under the Ohio constitution, would find its responsibilities and authority significantly reduced, as would the office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Critics of the bill say that HB512 would reduce accountability of the state’s education system and could lead to unchecked administrative power. Opponents believe the bill is contrary to the intent of the Ohio’s constitutional provision establishing a state education agency (Board, Superintendent and Department) independent of the Governor’s office. They have voiced concern that the proposed new agency may turn into a ‘mega-agency’ that would bottleneck communication, prove more difficult for people to navigate, and dramatically reduce transparency and the ability for the public and professional educators to track and affect education policy development. And opponents point out that HB512 would result in significant barriers to parent and public input in a state that is meant to offer local control of schools.
House Education and Career Readiness Committee
Last week the committee heard testimony on the following bills:
Sponsor testimony on HB540 TEACHER EVALUATIONS (Gavarone, Manning) With regard to teacher evaluations.
Sponsors Rep. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and Rep. Nathan Manning (R-N. Ridgeville) told the committee that the new teacher evaluation measure was created from recommendations provided by the Educator Standards Board after reviewing the current Ohio Teacher Evaluation System. “These proposed reforms seek to restructure OTES so that evaluations are teacher-driven and student-focused. Student learning is supported by the development of quality educators,” said co-sponsors Rep. Gavarone said. “HB540 recognizes that evaluations should provide teachers with relevant feedback that helps them continuously improve their practice in the classroom. In this way, high-quality teacher evaluations benefit both teachers and students.”
The proposal would include the following changes:
- Update OTES Rubric to embed student growth indicators, clarify descriptors to decrease redundancy, and improve clarity in the distinctions between performance levels.
- Student growth data will be linked with improving instruction, as opposed to an isolated evaluation factor linked to an arbitrary percentage.
- Shared attribution would be removed as it does not accurately measure teacher performance or student growth because of the use of assessments for a group of students that the educator does not teach.
- Alternative framework components like student portfolios, student surveys, peer review, self-evaluation, and district-determined measures, will remain as optional sources of evidence of teacher effectiveness.
- For teachers on a full evaluation cycle, the two required formal observations and optional number of walkthroughs will be maintained, along with a required end of annual cycle conference with the evaluator.
- The off-year evaluation schedule for teachers rated skilled or accomplished will be maintained but adds the requirement of a conference in off-years for skilled and accomplished teachers to discuss professional growth and progress toward goals. There would also be a requirement for teachers who are rated as skilled to submit professional growth plans developed with their evaluations in off years.
Reported out of committee & amendment accepted on HB491 EDUCATION LICENSE (Edwards) To require the State Board of Education to issue a substitute license to specified pupil services personnel.
Prior to reporting the legislation, the committee accepted an amendment that Rep. Brenner said requires substitute nurses to hold a bachelor degrees. Under this bill, eight types of licensed professionals would be eligible for a substitute license including school nurses, social workers and speech and language pathologists. Currently, these professionals must obtain a Pupil Services License in addition to their occupational license.
Proponent testimony on HB377 SEXUAL ABUSE (Hagan, Ramos) 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.
The woman who inspired sponsors to write HB377 testified via webcam about her story. As a victim of abuse as a child, Ms. Merryn said student instruction is important to teach children not to wait to speak up because they either don’t know who to turn to or feel they won’t be supported. “Some may feel this is a lesson that should be left in the home, but the sad reality is most parents don’t go beyond talking about strangers with their kids,” she said. Ms. Merryn said that because abusers are often someone the family knows it is important students are taught about unsafe touches and secrets.
Proponent testimony on HB502 & HB503 YOUTH SUICIDE (Anielski) With regard to educator in-service training on youth suicide awareness and prevention in public schools (HB502) and private schools (HB503).
Both HB502 and HB503 received proponent testimony on the value of ensuring that teachers and administrators are familiar with the outward signs of teenage depression. Sandy Williams, chair of the board of directors for the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, testified on the prevalence of the matter in Ohio. “Unfortunately, we have all seen the tragic consequences of unrecognized, undiagnosed and untreated mental health problems in our youth,” she said. “Specifically, in Ohio suicide is the second leading cause of death for those aged 10-24.”
House Finance Committee (Chair: Cupp)
The committee heard testimony on the following education bill last week:
Proponent testimony HB318 SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS (Patterson, LaTourette) To define the necessary qualifications and responsibilities of school resource officers.
After clearing the Career and Readiness Committee last month, HB318 expanded to include a one-time grant for school safety and was referred to the Finance Committee for consideration. The grant would fund one-time expenditures to improve safety in Ohio’s schools and could be used for training, safety devices for classroom doors, training equipment, safety equipment at schools and all grade level educational resources.
Senate Finance Committee (Chair: Oelslager)
The committee heard testimony on the following education bill last week:
Proponent and Interested testimony on SB246 STUDENT REMOVAL (Lehner, Manning) To enact the “SAFE Act” to revise the procedures for emergency removal of a student, to prohibit certain suspensions and expulsions of students in grades pre- kindergarten through three, to require each public school to implement a positive behavior intervention and supports framework in accordance with state standards, and to make an appropriation.
More supporters testified last week during the third hearing for SB246. In addition to child advocates, Darold Johnson, legislative director for the Ohio Federation of Teachers, also testified in support of the plan. “By focusing on improving social emotional learning and training teachers and students how to deal with a traumatic situation in a positive way in the early grades the hope is we will lay the foundation of learning and behavior so there are fewer reasons to suspend students in later grades,” he said.
Passed by the Senate
SB216 SCHOOL REGULATIONS (Huffman)
SB216, also known as the Ohio Public School Deregulation Act, was passed by the Senate and now moves to the House for deliberations. See a summary of the Senate-passed version of the bill here.
Education-related bills sent to the governor’s desk for signature include:
HB529 CAPITAL APPROPRIATIONS (Ryan) the capital appropriations bill
HB98 CAREER INFORMATION (Duffey, Boggs) which prohibits school district boards of education from imposing restrictions on the presentation of career information to students by representatives of skilled trades or providers of career-technical education that are not uniformly imposed on representatives of business, industry, charitable institutions, institutions of higher education, armed forces, and other employers.
SB226 TAX HOLIDAY (Bacon) which makes the August three-day sales tax holiday permanent and authorizes a county school financing district property tax to be used for school safety, security, and mental health services.
Columbus Dispatch: Lawmakers Pass Sales Tax/School Safety Combo
“The sales tax holiday that Ohioans have been utilizing in August for the past three years will continue indefinitely, if Gov. John Kasich signs a bill making the three-day tax break permanent.”
ON THE CALENDAR
The Ohio House and Senate are on spring break through April 6, 2018.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
ODE Seeks Public Comment on Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education
The Ohio Department of Education and State Board of Education have released a draft of their proposed strategic plan for education and will be holding several public meetings around the state to gather feedback.
The purpose of the plan is to help each child become successful thanks to the guidance and support of caring adults who are empowered by an effective system. The plan is a tool to inform policy development at the Ohio Statehouse and education practice in Ohio’s schools. More than 150 preK-12 educators, higher education representatives, parents and caregivers, employers, business leaders, philanthropic organizations worked collaboratively over the last six months to develop it.
There are two specific ways you can share your thoughts and inform the continued development of this plan:
- Review the full working draft or the highlights summary and respond to the companion survey between March 12 – April 13, 2018.
- Attend one of 13 regional community conversations to discuss your thoughts on the plan directly with the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria and Ohio Department of Education staff.
Register now to attend a local meeting near you.
Module One: Program Development – Teaching Artist Preparedness
- Arts Integration
- Youth Development
- Behavior Management
- Curricular Connections
- Outcomes & Indicators
- Strategies & Activities
Director of Programs
Center for Arts-Inspired Learning
Center for Arts-Inspired Learning
Resident Teaching Artist of Photography/Visual Arts
Center for Arts-Inspired Learning
Executive & Artistic Director
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 staff contact:
Downloadable flyer to share with administrators and colleagues: Arts Assessment: Evidence of Success
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.
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 Arts Council.
This update is written weekly by Andrea Kruse, OAAE’s Research and Information Coordinator.