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Advocacy Update – 5.18.18 – Report Card Reform, Legislation and Rule Updates, Ohio Speaker Impasse 

Report Card Reform– Report card reform progressed on two fronts this week, though with a looming General Assembly summer break, are all efforts too late this year? The State Board of Education Report Card Stakeholder Workgroup continues to meet and has agreed on a few areas. The one that will most affect gifted students is their tentative recommendation that the performance index and all indicators be report-only. The main recommendation is the elimination of all grade assignments on all components. Of course, the full board must support the recommendations of the board and the suggested recommendations would all need to be changed in Ohio Revised Code. This brings us to HB591 (Duffey), which received a second hearing this week. Representative Duffey presented a new substitute bill which made some changes including new language that would delineate an overview (or dashboard) for students with disabilities, gifted, and English Language Learners. The bill still does not support gifted students the way the current gifted performance indicator does. However, Rep. Duffey has made both public and private statements that he wants to work with the gifted community to improve the bill for gifted students as much as possible. The overall structure of the bill would eliminate all grades and indicators, which is a blow to gifted accountability. 

While there are rumors that this bill is going to be fast-tracked through the House, it would be a heavy lift to get HB591 through the Ohio House next week – especially with the question of the House Speaker role still up in the air. We shall see what happens on Tuesday, when the bill will receive a third hearing. 

SB216– At long last, SB216 (the education de-regulation bill) had a hearing in the Ohio House Education Committee this past week. The sponsor gave testimony on Tuesday, and there will be testimony again on May 18th. While most of the gifted specific issues have been resolved, OAGC is still concerned about licensure grade bands and flexibility, the increased in sub-group N-size to 30, and the shared cost of College Credit Plus textbooks with students who are not economically disadvantaged. While this bill may pass this year, it does not seem likely it will pass before the summer break. 

Gifted Rule Update-  There is no new news on the gifted rule changes. The Chapter 119 hearing will not be held until the June board meeting. The changes to the rule would stretch the professional development requirement for classroom teachers who are providing gifted services from two years to four years and cuts in half the PD requirement for AP/IB teachers with specific training.

HB512– There have been no new hearings on HB512, which would take much of the authority from the state board of education and move it to the governor’s office. 

Ohio House Speaker – As discussed above, the Ohio House has yet to select a new speaker after the resignation of Cliff Rosenberger. While Rep. Ryan Smith has emerged as the front-runner, he has yet to secure 50 votes to seal the deal. Without a speaker, no House sessions can be held. 

 

 


 

Posted: 5/18/2018
Last Update: 5/18/2018

Advocacy Update – 4.13.18 – Report Card Reform, Gifted Rule Change Status, Ohio House Turmoil

Report Card Reform – What will Ohio’s report card look like next year? Who knows, but there is no shortage of ideas for change. The State Board of Education has convened a Report Card Stakeholder Workgroup which is composed of the Accountability Committee members along with external board members (mostly superintendents and principals). This committee has been meeting regularly since March with plans to report recommendations to the full board at the June State Board of Education meeting.  On April 3, the committee discussed the achievement component, where the gifted performance indicator currently resides. There were a number of individuals on the committee who would like remove all of the performance indicators. At least one committee member specifically questioned the gifted performance indicator. OAGC responded to the committee with an email outlining the history of the indicator and why it is important to maintain.  (This email can be found under the 132nd General Assembly Legislation tab (HB591) at www.oagc.com/advocacyupdates.asp

In other report card news,  Representative Mike Duffey introduced HB591 this week, which would significantly overhaul the report card. Some of the changes:

So how will the bill affect gifted accountability? On first review of the bill, all of the components of the gifted performance indicator are (kind of) represented in the bill, but it is unclear if they would be as clearly represented to parents and others as they are currently. Representative Duffey’s idea is to have more of dashboard approach to the report card (note: there is already a gifted dashboard), where all the different components for each sub-group would be collected. However, it is not clear that the bill language actually specifically directs this. As currently written, it is also not clear that the bill’s treatment of gifted performance, growth and service have the same impact on districts as the current indicator. The elimination of the performance index will eliminate the acceleration bump that currently removes the disincentive of districts to accelerate gifted students. Finally, a section of code that requires information about acceleration to be reported is eliminated. Representative Duffey has indicated that he is very willing to work with OAGC to improve the bill especially with regard to ensuring that economically disadvantaged and minority gifted students are not lost any new system. It is possible (even likely) that any report card changes will end up in HB591. However, time is not on the side of major report card reform

in this General Assembly. With the May primary coming up, time is running out for the House and Senate to deliberate on any bills until after the November election. This week’s news of the resignation of Cliff Rosenberger may add to the slow pace of legislation. But the fear is always what happens in lame duck session when all kinds of legislation is quickly passed after the November election. For HB591 language and Rep. Duffey’s powerpoint, please go to www.oagc.com/advocacyupdates.asp. For now, the House Education and Career Readiness is not scheduled to meet until further notice, which probably means sometime in mid-May.

Gifted Rule Changes Move Forward – With no discussion or drama, the changes to the gifted operating standards were approved by the full state board of education this week. The changes stretch the professional development requirement for classroom teachers who are providing gifted services from two years to four years and cuts in half the PD requirement for AP/IB teachers with specific training. A Chapter 119 hearing will likely be held at the May state board of education meeting. These changes are required as part of temporary law in SB216. Speaking of which, SB216 has not yet received a hearing in House Education and Career Readiness Committee. It is unclear what the delay is. (On an unrelated note, HB512 which would remove significant power of the state board of education has also not received a hearing recently.)

Ohio House Turmoil – As discussed above, Speaker of Ohio House, Cliff Rosenberger, resigned this week. Reports are that he may be under FBI investigation for accepting gifts of travel and housing from various lobbying interests. Does the investigation stop at the former speaker? Will this affect the race for the next speaker, which has already been heated? Will it tie the Ohio House in knots for the rest of the year? All important questions for which we currently have no answers.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Posted: 4/13/2018
Last Update: 4/13/2018

Advocacy Update 3.19.18 - Quick Update on HB512 Hearing on 3.21.18

The House Government Accountabilty and Oversight will be accepting a substitute bill for HB512 at a hearing on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. No testimony will be taken at that time. Watch for details on the changes at this page later this week. After this week, the General Assembly will be on spring break for two weeks. 

Posted: 3/19/2018
Last Update: 3/19/2018

Advocacy Update – 3.14.18 – Gifted Rule Change Status; SB216 Moves Forward; HB512 Encounters Opposition; State Board Seeks Input on Strategic Plan

Gifted Rule Changes – The State Board of Education Achievement and Graduation Committee met and unanimously passed the changes to the gifted rule to extend the 60 hour professional development requirement over four years rather than two and to decrease to 30 hours the professional development requirement for AP/IB teachers with qualified training. The full board should vote on the resolution next week.

HB512 – Citizens opposed to HB512 came out two weeks in a row to make their voices heard. Last week, the bill sponsor and other committee members seemed caught off-guard by the level of opposition from homeschoolers, education associations, and others.  In addition, the state board of education voted to oppose the bill in a 11-4 yesterday.

What the bill sponsor and other committee members still do not seem to understand is that the main objection to the bill is that it removes public access to effect change in education policy. The bill sponsor continues to push back against opponent witnesses asking why they want to continue to do the same thing we are doing when the college remediation rate is so high. One committee member, Rep. Bill Seitz, told a witness that the JCARR (Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review) and CSI (Common Sense Initiatives) processes will ensure that the public still be heard. While technically true, it is not wholly accurate. First, many, decisions reviewed and voted on by the State Board of Education do not go through the rule making process. For instance, elements of the state report card including the gifted performance indicator were not part of a promulgated rule. Second, the CSI process only applies to businesses and non-public schools, not necessarily, public-school districts. Second, The JCARR hearings come at the very end of administration rule process. The rule is all but done at that point.  The role of the JCARR committee is to invalidate a rule only if it violates one or more of the six items that are fairly technical such as whether the rules conflict with an existing rule or with legislative intent.

A rule can conform technically and still be highly unpalatable to the various interested parties. Without any public input to elected policymakers before the Chapter 119 hearing and JCARR hearing, it will highly unlikely that the public can effect change. Finally, beyond, administrative code, there is technical documentation etc. that interested parties and the public will seek to provide input. How will this happen with a political appointed education director who is only responsible to the governor? Gifted advocates need to make their opposition known on this issue. Please consider providing testimony (written or in-person) in upcoming hearings. If HB512 passes, we will all be at the political will and whim of any future governor with no ability to provide input effectively and efficiently.  Please contact anngift@aol.com for more information on how you can provide testimony.  To see samples of other testimony, please go to http://www.ohiohouse.gov/committee/government-accountability-and-oversight and click on the documents for the March 7th and 14th hearings. There is a long list of opponent testimony under the HB512 heading.

SB216 – The Senate Education Committee took a few more amendments on SB216 last week and unanimously passed the bill out of committee. The amendments accepted would split the cost of College Credit Plus textbooks between parents and children; replace teacher evaluation language with that included in SB240; revised provisional license and intervention specialist language; includes language for provisional licenses in early college high schools, and, finally, consolidates additional reports. An amendment to change the student sub-group N-size to ten from thirty was defeated though the sponsor indicated that the House may want to take up that issue. The change to intervention specialist license could move the gifted intervention specialist license from K-12 to specific grade bands which OAGC opposes. In addition, OAGC still has some concerns with the bill including the cost of College Credit Plus textbooks; the student subgroup N-size, and provisional licenses for teachers to teach outside of their content or grade level. These issues will likely see some lively debate in the House Education Committee.

State Board of Education Seeks Input on Strategic Plan – Regional meetings across the state will be held to discuss that State Board of Education draft strategic plan. To access the plan and more details about the meetings, please go to http://education.ohio.gov/About/Ohios-Strategic-Plan-for-Education/Ohios-Strategic-Plan-Regional-Stakeholder-Meeting

Register now to attend a local meeting by clicking on the specific meeting location below:


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted: 3/14/2018
Last Update: 3/14/2018

Advocacy Update - 3.3.2018 - HB512 Hearing On Wednesday, March 7.

Late Friday afternoon, a hearing was scheduled for the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee. The hearing will take place on March 7, 2018 in Room 114 in the Ohio Statehouse. HB512 will be the last of several bills to be heard on Wednesday. If you can attend or if you can submit testimony, please contact anngift@aol.com. Gifted advocates should try to have at least 5 witnesses for each hearing (either in-person or through written testimony). This bill will, if passed, will greatly impede the average Ohioan from having a voice in education policy. Please consider making your voice heard now!

Posted: 3/3/2018
Last Update: 3/3/2018