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OAGC - Ohio Association for Gifted Children
Advocacy Alerts

Advocacy Update – 7.13.18 – Brief Gifted Assessment and Report Card Update

Gifted Assessment Update- As a result of concerns expressed to State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria and members of the State Board of Education, ODE released the following in an email last week: 

"Given the number of concerns raised by districts that already purchased tools for the 2018-2019 school year prior to the release of the new list, the Department will offer a “grace period” for previously approved assessments across all areas covered by the Common RFQ. The Department will allow the use of previously approved assessments for the 2017-2018 school year through June 30, 2019. Districts also can use the newly approved assessments for the 2018-2019 school year. After June 30, 2019, districts can only use the assessments on the new list. The Department will open a new RFQ early this fall for approval of any area without assessments or for vendors that are not on the new list. The new list will be available in March 2019 for use in the 2019-2020 school year."

While OAGC appreciates the one-year grace period, many concerns remain about the list of gifted assessments and the process used to determine the list. OAGC President, Colleen Boyle along with OAGC President-Elect, Suzanne Palmer provided testimony to the State Board of Education this week about our on-going concerns. OAGC will continue to try to work with ODE to ensure that the gifted assessment list will meet the needs of gifted students in Ohio. 

State Report Card Update – The State Board of Education report card working committee released a draft of report card recommendations to the full board this week. The committee plans to meet again in October. The most concerning recommendation for gifted advocates is the one that would eliminate a grade for the indicators component. The indicators component contains the gifted performance indicator, which is the only form of accountability for gifted students. This change would require a change in law. OAGC will continue to monitor any potential changes to the report card including HB591 (Duffey), which did not pass out of the House Education and Career Options Committee before the summer break. 

Posted: 7/13/2018
Last Update: 7/13/2018

Advocacy Alert – 6.27.18 – Newly Released ODE Assessment List is Hugely Problematic for Gifted Identification; SB216 Update

Gifted Assessment List Problems-- The Ohio Department of Education released its list of approved assessments on Monday, June 18. The list is the first time that all assessments in Ohio are consolidated on one list including those for gifted assessment. In fact, the process for compiling the assessments was altered by excluding any outside gifted assessment experts to participate on the workgroup that approved the assessments. OAGC raised concerns about the process several weeks ago to State Superintendent DeMaria and the State Board of Education. Mr. DeMaria indicated in his response that our concerns were unwarranted and the gifted identification process would not be compromised or denigrated. Unfortunately, the new list that was released on Monday has several problems that are hugely problematic for the appropriate screening and identification of gifted students in Ohio.  These issues include the following: 

1.No available assessments for the identification of creativity thinking and visual/performing arts. Not only are there are no assessments, according to the ODE FAQ, districts are not allowed to use the approved assessments from the list from January of 2018 to be used until new assessments are approved. No timeline has been provided for when that might happen. 

2.No available assessments for the identification of students in high school.Again, past instruments that were approved are no longer available to districts. 

3.Very limited assessments approved for individual achievement and cognitive testing. This is highly concerning as it may limit the ability to identified twice-exceptional and other under-represented student populations. Many districts have already purchased these tests that are no longer going to be allowed for use, which causes considerable financial difficult at the district level. 

4.The inclusion of a test for identification which has previously been rejected as it has not been validated using other norm-referenced tests used for gifted identification.In the past, when inappropriate tests were included as identification instruments, students were identified as gifted when it is likely they should not have been. 

5.The broad allowance for use of MAP across all grade levels despite the publisher indicating specific grade alignment to specific versions of the test. AnNWEA representative has verified that the company requested very specific approvals for use of MAP for gifted identification, namely the use of MAP Primary for grades K-1 and MAP 2-5 and 6+ for grades 2 and up.  This is based on their technical data, and to allow the use of MAP Primary for identification in grade 2 may lead to inappropriate identification of students.

6.Inconsistent approval of instruments for pre-screening.Previously, any instrument approved for identification was also approved for pre-screening. However, this list does not permit some instruments to be used for pre-screening, thus inappropriately giving the impression that those approved for both pre-screening and identification are more robust tools.

The solutions to these issues in the short term are relatively simple: 

  1. Allow the use of assessments available on the January, 2018 listof approved gifted assessments be utilized for creative thinking (which is required for whole-grade testing), visual/performing arts, and high school assessment until new assessments can be approved. 
  2. Allow a 12 to 18-month grace period of at least for old assessments to be used so that districts can plan in advance to purchase new assessments. 
  3. Remove the previously rejected assessment now included on the list for gifted identification and return it as a pre-screening tool until the publisher can provide appropriate validation studies. 
  4. Provide specific guidance on test version, grade level use, and qualifying scores as requested by publishers, incompliance with the law, and as reported on past versions of the approved instrument list.
  5. Mark all tools approved for identification as approved for pre-screening.

OAGC President, Dr. Colleen Boyle, communicated our concerns with Mr. DeMaria and the State Board of Education in an email on June 17, 2018. As of today, we have received no response. If this situation will affect your district, you may want to contact your state board of education representative (or all of them). Here is a list of State Board of Education members with their contact information: 




Email Address

























































**Vice President



If you only want to contact your own state board representative, please refer to the map at the bottom of the following page:

SB216 – Brief Update– SB216 (Huffman), the education deregulation bill, passed out of the House Education and Career Readiness Committee last night and is expected to be passed by the full Ohio House later today. A number of amendments were added to the legislation, including one that incorporates, most of, if not all of HB707, a community school reform bill that was introduced last week and has had no hearings for witness testimony. One very welcome amendment was offered by Rep. Dan Ramos (D) to exclude language requiring students to pay for half of textbooks in College Credit Plus courses. This amendment was accepted unanimously by the committee. Unfortunately, an amendment that would have required only visual and performing arts teachers with a K-12 multi-license to teach in the visual and performing arts areas was tabled, apparently at the request of the Ohio Department of Education. OAGC will do a full review of the bill once it is available in final form. 


Posted: 6/27/2018
Last Update: 6/27/2018

Advocacy Update - 5.23.18 - House education bills face uncertain future as Speaker Chaos Continues

The Ohio House and Career Readiness Committee met both yesterday and today. Two pieces of legislation that OAGC is following, HB591 and SB216, had some amendments proposed. But neither bill was voted out of committee. HB591, the report card reform bill will likely be amended to include some elements more favorable to gifted students. However, until the bill can be fully reviewed, it is unclear what the amendments will really do. OAGC will  continue to work with the bill sponsor and others to try to ensure that gifted students are not left unaccounted for in this legislation. The future of this bill is very uncertain as it is late in the year to pass legislation of this magnitude. 

SB216, the education de-regulation bill, also was heard yesterday and today in the House Education and Career Readiness Commitee. While some amendments were taken, the commitee was adjourned before all amendments were discussed. One amendment that is very important is a fix to the N-size which would determine the sub-group size for reporting. The Senate increased the N-size to 30 which would have elminated the information about gifted sub-groups in many schools. It appears the bill will be amended so that the N-size will go down to 15 over a period of three years. It was thought SB216 would be voted out of committee today and voted on by the full House tomorrow. However, all sessions for the House were canceled this week due to the continued drama around the House Speaker vote. It is unclear at this point when the House will convene to elect a new speaker. And until that happens, no bills can be passed in the House. Stay tuned, as the Statehouse Chaos continues to churn. 




Posted: 5/23/2018
Last Update: 5/23/2018

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

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 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