The A, B, C’s of My Promises Made. Promises Kept.

A.  When elected to the SBOE, I promised to ADVOCATE for our public schools, demanding adequate and equitable resources to provide high-quality learning environments for each child in every school.

I collaborated with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education to include a significant Arts presence as part of a well-rounded education in the Ohio Every Student Succeeds Act Plan (ESSA) that includes other federal Title funding for our most vulnerable students.

In the 2017 Biennial Budget, I supported increased resources promoting community health care partnerships, school safety efforts, technology infrastructure, support for Ohio’s Career Connections initiative, school psychologist training, early childhood and literacy education, and school improvement resources.

In June 2017, I voted to accept the hearing officer’s decision that ECOT owed ODE an estimated $60M in overpayments and another estimated $20M in 2018, as part of ECOT’s annual reviews.

B.  I continue to BELIEVE access to a high-quality education is the right of all students and a sacred trust the public must provide, no matter their socio-economic status.

Acting in this belief, I helped develop the EachChild-OurFuture Five-Year Strategic Plan that has at its heart these precepts:

  • Equity for all students, meaningful community partnerships, and quality schools that model a supportive, continuous improvement culture
  • Four equal learning domains: foundational skills and knowledge, well-rounded content, leadership and reasoning skills, and social-emotional skills
  • If Ohio is to attract and retain high-quality educators, collaborative professional learning and leadership environments must be in place that challenge individuals to explore ideas, adopt best practices, and have time to meaningfully engage with students and colleagues

C.  I promised to COLLABORATE with colleagues, constituents, and the legislature to address complex problems.

Collaborative Results:

  • Class of 2018 Graduation Options that were included in the 2017 Biennial Budget and in a recent SBOE Resolution to the legislature to extend these options through 2020
  • Reductions in state-mandated testing
  • EachChild-OurFuture Strategic Plan development that involved over 1400 stakeholders
  • May 2018 SBOE Resolution in opposition to HB512 which would effectively remove the public’s voice in Ohio’s Education System

State and Local Collaborations:

  • ODE/SBOE Graduation and Report Card Review Workgroups
  • Career technology education and Community Learning Center expansion
  • Early Childhood Education and Literacy
  • Homeless and Foster children



Dear Friends of Public Education…

Friends of Public Education!  Welcome to my 2018 Re-Election Campaign!

It is a distinct honor and privilege to serve as your District 4 State Board of Education member! A review of my work on the SBOE and over 8000 miles logged meeting with my constituents in 2017 alone has led to my decision to run for re-election!

As an educator, I believe we are at a seminal moment in Ohio’s Education System. With the end of the No Child Left Behind era of repressive testing and over-reaching regulations, we have an opportunity to reinvent Ohio Department of Education as a service-based partner with our school districts. Key components are in place to position the ODE again as a top world-class system. In June, 2016, we hired Paolo DeMaria as State Superintendent of Instruction and in January, 2017, ten new board members, both elected and appointed, were sworn in. I am energized by DeMaria’s collaborative leadership style, our Board’s desire to speak as one voice for all Ohio students, and the significant stakeholders’ input in our reform process.

Our 5-Year Strategic Plan: Each Child-Our Future and Ohio’s Every Student Succeeds (ESSA) Plan will provide the reform framework. Promises Made. Promises Kept. Summary reflects my contributions to reform that honors the development of the whole child and provides the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue his/her dreams throughout an ever-changing future.

With your support, I promise to remain committed to policies that further strengthen our public schools and give them the resources they need and to make charter schools more accountable for public tax dollars. I promise to remain committed to reduce/eliminate state-mandated testing, expand career-tech/graduation options, and promote problem-based learning and the Arts for all students. I promise to remain committed to encourage innovative and challenging education environments that place high quality teaching and learning at their heart.


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  • Make phone calls to your friends, family and colleagues. Join me in a parade!
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  • Like/Follow me on social media & Forward it to everyone you know and as often as possible!

Thanking you in advance for your support!  


The State of Ohio allows each taxpayer a credit of $50 every year for a contribution to a state office campaign; $100 if filing jointly. Contact your tax advisor.

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Send education questions/concerns to me at pat.bruns@education.ohio,gov


SBOE PASSES RESOLUTION 5.15.18 ….to Request the Legislature to Delay the Required Report Card Composite Score

7.14.18 UPDATE!

The Ohio legislature recessed without including the SBOE  resolution in any bills that were adopted.

Resolution to Request the Legislature to Delay

the Required Report Card Composite Score                     

Proposed by Member Morgan    (Resolution passed by a 12/6 vote)

Whereas Board members have heard from many stakeholders about the State Report Card; and

Whereas, those concerns indicate that the measures and reporting format of the State Report Card have led to widespread skepticism about the utility of the State Report Card as a meaningful measure of the performance and quality of individual schools and districts; and

Whereas the Accountability and Continuous Improvement committee was recently tasked by the President of the Board to address these concerns about the measures and reporting format of the State Report Card; and

Whereas the Accountability and Continuous Improvement committee has been expanded to include representative school administrators, teachers, and parents who use the State Report Card and that work commenced on March 22; and

Whereas the work of the expanded committee will result in recommendations in June 2018 to improve the effectiveness of the State Report Card as an accountability tool and as a catalyst for improvement; and

Whereas the legislature is considering a major reform in the report card and it would be prudent to put the overall letter grade – which has not yet been implemented – on hold until that legislative discussion is complete; and

Whereas the Ohio Department of Education, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 3302.03, is required by law to assign a composite letter grade for overall academic performance to each school and school district by September 14, 2018; and

Whereas for the State Report Card to be an effective tool for accountability, it needs to be understood and trusted by those who are in a position to improve performance;

Whereas there is concern among the Board and the stakeholders that the release of the composite score at this time will further increase mistrust of the State Report Card and therefore reduce its ability to serve as an accountability tool and a catalyst for school improvement in Ohio;

Be it resolved that the State Board of Education requests that the Ohio Legislature delay the reporting of the composite score for overall academic performance until 2019 so that time is available to address these concerns and therefore increase the effectiveness of this accountability tool.



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, 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.