Editorial: Yes on Issue 1 for congressional redistricting plan

Here is a good review for your thoughtful consideration as a voter!

Source: Editorial: Yes on Issue 1 for congressional redistricting plan




Education and Career Readiness Committee

(Chair: Brenner)

The committee heard testimony on the following bills last week:

Proponent testimony on HB540 TEACHER EVALUATIONS (Gavarone, Manning) With regard to teacher evaluations.

Several proponents testified last week in favor of the teacher evaluation changes in HB540.  Supporters included Melissa Cropper, president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, and Jonathan Juravich, an elementary school art teacher who is also the Department of Education’s 2018 Ohio Teacher of the year.

“Ohio teachers are currently working under an evaluation system that uses testing data in an inappropriate and ineffective way to evaluate teachers by counting test results as a percentage of a teacher’s evaluation,” Cropper said.

The legislation consists of recommendations provided by the Educator Standards Board after reviewing the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System.

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 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.

“HB540 would make the OTES process more coherent,” said Mr. Juravich. “By using student growth measures as a source of evidence in the conversations between educator and evaluator, we are emphasizing the importance of our impact on our students.”

Sponsor testimony on HB549 SCHOOL YEAR (Arndt) To generally require public and chartered nonpublic schools to open for instruction after Labor Day.

Bill sponsor Rep. Steven Arndt (R-Port Clinton) said the measure to require schools to begin after Labor Day would give students a boost by allowing school-age children opportunities to pursue work experiences and address the state’s “workforce shortage and skills gap.” He also noted that a later starting date would keep students out of school during the hottest days of the year.

Arndt acknowledge the concern of passing another state mandate down to schools, but said he added a provision that would allow local control. School Boards can opt out of the mandate if they conduct one local hearing at least one month before the start date to allow the public to voice their concern.

Sponsor testimony on HB591 SCHOOL REPORT CARDS (Duffey) To revise the state report card rating system for school districts and public schools.

Representative Mike Duffey laid out a plan for an Ohio School Report Card reform last week. Duffey testified that the current report card system left districts frustrated, damaged teacher morale, and confused parents and the community. His proposal outlined the principles the new report card would include to make it more effective than the current one:

• Dashboard approach: precise information presented in an intuitive format for natural response

• Understandable: use the simplest methodologies that still get the job done/illustrate the metric

• Transparent: educators/public can do the math themselves if they want, which leads to trust

• Parent-centric: present the data to parents so they see how their children are likely to do, as opposed to looking at all children generally

Duffey indicated his work in developing HB591 has included discussions with many partners including the Joint Education Oversight Committee, State Board of Education members, the Ohio Department of Education, various school associations and parents. The full presentation on the proposed changes can be reviewed here.

Passed by the House:

• HB318 (LaTourette, Patterson) It establishes qualifications and training for school resource offices and includes a $10 million school safety training grant.

• HB360 (Greenspan) The bill sets a standard framework for schools to use an even-handed approach to address bullying.

Senate Education Committee (Chair: Lehner)

The committee heard testimony on the following last week:

All testimony on HB21 COMMUNITY SCHOOLS (Hambley) Regarding verification of community school enrollments.

The committee heard several proposed amendments from witnesses. Among them was Michael Uhrin, president of Grove City-based K12 School Consultants, who asked for amendments that would allow local school districts to join in the verification process.  “Charter schools may not have the necessary staff to review court and other legal documents,” he said. “Many public schools have legal staff to review these documents.”

HB21 takes the onus of verifying residency of community school students from public schools and would instead require charter schools to keep track of the home districts in which their students reside. HB21 changes the obligation from the public schools to community schools on the foundation that each school should only be responsible for verifying the residency of the students they serve.

Sponsor testimony on HB87 COMMUNITY SCHOOLS (Roegner) Regarding public moneys returned to the state as a result of a finding for recovery issued pursuant to an audit of a community school.

Rep. Kristina Roegner told the committee that HB87 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.

Sponsor testimony on HB438: ESC BOARDS (Hambley, Kick) To permit the addition of appointed members to educational service center boards and to permit a local school district to sever its territory from one educational service center and annex that territory to an adjacent service center under specified conditions.

Co-sponsors Rep. Steve Hambley and Rep. Darrell Kick both testified and explained the three provisions of the bill. HB438 passed the House with a unanimous vote last month.


ODE Seeks Public Comment on Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education

The last chance to submit comment on the recently released draft of the state’s five-year strategic plan is this week. The final regional community conversation to discuss the plan directly with the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria and Ohio Department of Education staff is scheduled for Tuesday, April 17 in Hamilton County.

The Ohio Department of Education and State Board of Education’s 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, and philanthropic organizations worked collaboratively over the last six months to develop the plan.

For more information and to register for the last regional community comment session, click on the following link: Hamilton County: April 17, 2018 – 6-8 p.m.

Dayton Daily News:State considers new 5-year education plan that shifts away from tests

“The Ohio Department of Education is constructing a new five-year strategic plan – dubbed Each Child = Our Future – aimed at building a more effective state education system to help position students for success upon graduation. A draft version of the plan earned praise from some for moving away from emphasizing test results.”

Lima News: Meeting held in Wapak to discuss Ohio’s education plan

“The future of Ohio’s education is being discussed across the state as the State Board of Education holds stakeholder meetings on a new strategic plan. A meeting held Wednesday at Wapakoneta High School gave people a chance to weigh in on a draft strategic plan that is being considered.”

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From My Friends at Ohio Alliance for Arts Education…


Dear Friends of Public Education!

I listened to the February 14 HB 512 Press Conference outlining the new Department of Learning and Achievement (DLC) as introduced by Rep. Reineke that will supposedly address critical gaps in workforce development skills urgently needed and EFFECTIVELY ELIMINATE the Ohio Department of Education and the State Board of Education as it has existed since the 1950’s!

I find it ironic that the the current State Board of Education, working in concert with Superintendent DeMaria’s leadership, has spent the last nine months crafting a Strategic Plan that, in very significant ways, addresses the very issues this bill is supposed to fix!

This is my 4th year on the SBOE and I believe we have done a 360 from previous board leadership and it is because of, and not in spite of, the structure of the board.

In March, we rolled out a 5-Year Strategic Plan http://education.ohio.gov/About/Ohios-Strategic-Plan-for-Education, an evidence-based research plan created with direct participation of over 150 pre-K-12 educators, higher education representatives, employers, business officials, philanthropic organizations, community and association leaders and state legislators.

A Strategic Plan built on the belief that nurturing student aspirations means Ohio must ignite in students an understanding of what their future holds and the knowledge and skills they will need to be truly prepared for success beyond graduation. We know that an emphasis on so called 21stC skills includes creative and critical thinking, collaboration and effective communication which are essential for success in the workplace.

There is a big difference between pre-K 12 education policies that focuses on creating an education system that gives ALL children opportunities to pursue their dreams and in higher education and workforce policies which encompass a much wider audience.

In a democracy, Ohioans deserve a transparent and accountable preK-12 Public Education system that encourages active participation in the policies that affect all school-age children, not one that is designed behind closed doors and controlled by a few hand picked members.

Pat Bruns

Should Ohio boost governor’s education power? No: State school board ensures accountability


Richard Lewis: HB 512 would diminish public input in education

Posted Mar 25, 2018 at 12:01 AM Updated Mar 25, 2018 at 12:22 AM The Columbus Dispatch

Should Ohio boost governor’s education power? No: State school board ensures accountability

Ohio lawmakers have introduced a proposal — House Bill 512 — that supporters claim solves Ohio’s education workforce readiness challenges. They say it would tackle complex issues like Ohio’s college remediation rates and would better prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow. Yet, nowhere in the 2,430 pages of the bill’s “fixes” are there any solutions to these problems.

Instead, HB 512 undermines the role and authority of Ohio’s State Board of Education by shifting nearly all of its duties to a new state agency called the Department of Learning and Achievement. It also combines the Department of Education, the Department of Higher Education and the Office of Workforce Transformation into this new agency created by the bill. As a result, members of the State Board of Education would no longer be acting in any significant way on behalf of the citizens they represent.

Seated atop this new agency would be a politically appointed, unelected and unaccountable executive director, hand-picked by the governor. This person would be given tremendous power and would be unilaterally responsible for creating, implementing and overseeing all aspects of our K-12 and higher-education systems. It is likely there will be frequent and extreme swings in education policy whenever a new governor is elected.

Our primary objection is that changing the current structure removes the transparency and accountability to the public that is currently embedded in the process. While the legislature will continue to pass laws related to public education, the implementation of those laws and the administrative rules that school districts live by would be dictated by the administration, rather than through an open process that allows citizens and stakeholders to participate in the education policymaking process.

This proposal signals a significant departure from our current system. HB 512 would move decisions about important topics like setting the state’s learning standards, graduation requirements and school-district report cards to a politically appointed staff as opposed to the current process that includes many opportunities for public input.

The bill’s supporters claim that no one knows who their elected representative to the State Board of Education is. So, they ask, “Why do we allow these unknown people to craft education policy?” By that logic, one must ask, “Who knows the members of the House and Senate Education Committees?” They’re the ones responsible for most of our education laws.

Supporters of the bill also say our state needs a renewed focus on job readiness. If this need to align workforce readiness to Ohio’s education system is so dire, then why hasn’t the governor appointed Ohio’s top education official — the superintendent of public instruction — to the governor’s own Executive Workforce Board? And, of the governor’s own appointees to the state board, why isn’t any an expert on workforce readiness?

Proponents conclude that this bill is a way to fix the education obstacles facing our state. Yet the answer to the problems facing education is not a massive reorganization of our state education agencies. Instead, the real solutions are in investments in early-childhood education and wraparound services that address the health and well-being of Ohio’s children. It’s an adequate and equitable school funding model. It’s empowering everyone from local districts to superintendents, principals, teachers and career-tech programs to make the decisions that best fit their own unique and diverse needs.

HB 512 cannot divert our attention away from our real education challenges by pretending that a new, unaccountable bureaucracy is the solution. This bill is bad for accountability and transparency, and it’s worse for our students. HB 512 is bad for Ohio.

Richard Lewis is chief executive officer of the Ohio School Boards Association, which seeks educational excellence by serving the state’s public school board members and their districts.

Educators are Asking for Loving Supports, not Weapons of Destruction

For decades, educators, parents and students have been pushing for the supports that provide young people with stability and give them evidence that our society cares about them and is committed to their success. Yet, evidence shows that we have cared more about assessing and standardizing our young people than institutionalizing the cross-sector supports that are necessary to create the types of loving systems where all students will have an opportunity to learn and thrive.

Source: Educators are Asking for Loving Supports, not Weapons of Destruction


Attached you will see a draft resolution that will be brought forward at the new business portion of our meeting next Tuesday, March 13th.  The resolution if adopted would express that the State Board of Education is in complete opposition to H.B. 512.

I am a co-sponsor of this resolution and can be reached at:

pat.bruns@education.ohio.gov. or 513.310.8953




Member District 10, Nick Owens

WERECOMMEND that the State Board of Education ADOPTS the following resolution:

WHEREAS, we, the members of the State Board of Education affirm our constitutional charge to provide general supervision of the system of public education in Ohio. This system of education is a shared vision and responsibility with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the General Assembly, the Governor and education stakeholders throughout Ohio to ensure all students are well-prepared for success, for college and career readiness; and

WHEREAS, Article VI, Section 4 of the Ohio Constitution, since its adoption in 1953 by the citizens of Ohio, states that there shall be a State Board of Education, which shall appoint a Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the respective powers and duties of the Board and of the Superintendent shall be prescribed by law; and

WHEREAS, the Ohio General Assembly, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 3301.07, has granted the State Board of Education policy forming, planning and evaluative functions for all public schools of the State of Ohio; and

WHEREAS, the State Board of Education provides the proper balance between state control and local education autonomy to maximize educational benefits for all of Ohio’s primary and secondary students; and

WHEREAS, such state educational policy decisions should be decided by representatives of the people they serve; and

WHEREAS, members of the State Board of Education stay in constant communication with students, parents, teachers, educational administrators and affiliated stakeholders through in-person meetings, community events, school visits, emails, phone calls, text messages, social media, and numerous other methods of communication, and as such serve as the direct voice to the Ohio Department of Education; and

WHEREAS, members of the State Board of Education are a unifying voice for solutions to the problems that severe poverty and trauma bring to the classroom, particularly in urban and rural settings; and

WHEREAS, members continuously lead robust discussions on how to achieve academically rich, healthy, safe and supportive learning environments so students can graduate ready for a successful future in their chosen paths of life; and

WHEREAS, the State Board of Education in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Education during the past seven months has engaged with more than 150 partners through the education community including but not limited to pre-kindergarten to 12th grade educators, higher education officials, business leaders, philanthropic organizations, local community members, and the Ohio General Assembly to create a comprehensive strategic plan for the entire State of Ohio; and

WHEREAS, the State Board of Education and Ohio Department of Education through the tireless leadership of Superintendent Paolo DeMaria has developed an inclusive, collaborative, and unifying stakeholder model for educational policy development as exhibited through the submission of Ohio’s Consolidated Plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to the United States Department of Education; the establishment of the Graduation Requirements Workgroup which has resulted in additional graduation pathways for Ohio’s current Seniors; the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Assessments which has resulted in the reduction of statewide mandated assessments; the recent formation of a working group of stakeholders to fully analyze the Ohio School Report Cards in the Accountability and Continuous Improvement Committee; and most recently the State Board of Education and Ohio Department of Education Draft Strategic Plan Process for statewide stakeholder meetings that begins tomorrow, March 14, 2018; and

WHEREAS, the State Board of Education believes Ohio’s primary and secondary educational system, which includes more than 1.7 million students and 240,000 educators working throughout 3,500 school buildings across the state shall be one of partnerships amongst all statewide policymakers which leads to transformative learning opportunities and achievements for all students in our state and as a result will allow Ohio’s students to become the next generation of innovators and influencers who will go on to change the world—just as those who built our state’s incomparable legacy; and

WHEREAS, on February 14, 2018 in the House of Representatives of the 132nd Ohio General Assembly, H.B. 512 was introduced which would effectively consolidate the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Higher Education, and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation into a new mega state agency called the Department of Learning and Achievement which would be under the sole authority of the Governor of Ohio; and

WHEREAS, if such legislation was enacted into law it would fully eliminate the current structure of collaborative partnerships and policy development of educational stakeholders throughout Ohio; and

WHEREAS, the State Board of Education desires to make known publicly its opinion of H.B. 512; and

SO NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the State Board of Education through its inherent authority vested under Article VI, Section 4 of the Ohio Constitution and Ohio Revised Code 3301.07 HEREBY states it is in complete opposition to H.B. 512 of the 132nd Ohio General Assembly and as a result instructs the Superintendent of Public Instruction to communicate this resolution as the official position of the State Board of Education.