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OAGC - Ohio Association for Gifted Children
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Advocacy Update 6.14.19 – Gifted Assessments, Gifted Self-Report, and State Budget Updates

Gifted Assessment Testimony– On Tuesday, June 11, several gifted advocates provided testimony to the State Board of Education regarding the impact of the new gifted assessment list. Dr. Patricia Farrenkopf, Debra Smith, and Beth Wilson-Fish testified in person while Dr. Colleen Boyle provided written testimony. There were few questions from the board though ODE’s Director of Assessment, Dr. Chris Woolard, spoke to the board of the known deficiencies of the list including the lack of instruments to assess visual and performing arts as well as creativity. Hannah News covered the testimony as follow: 

Pat Farrenkohf, Debra Smith and Beth Wilson-Fish provided testimony criticizing the department's revised Chart of Approved Assessments for gifted status identification, saying it excludes many field-recognized assessments currently in use at schools. It is better suited for certain students, including gifted students with disabilities who are often identified as "twice exceptional." They said that many schools have already budgeted for the purchase and use of certain assessments that are not included on the list of approved assessments. Particularly, they said, some of the tools are specifically better for individual administration rather than group administration. 

DeMaria explained that the list was updated as a result of workgroup meetings meant to identify assessments that could be used for multiple purposes. The department initiated another request for proposal process from providers but received very few bids. He said there were some timing and submission issues that kept some assessments off the list. Woolard said staff members are working with a supplemental application window to try to address some of the gaps identified by those testifying.”

OAGC continues to be troubled by the limited number of assessments that are on the new list. Additionally, OAGC is concerned that the evaluation process itself had extremely tight timelines for publishers to submit information and no gifted assessment expert was utilized by ODE to evaluate the assessments. All of these factors contributed to a list that fails to provide adequate tools for appropriate identification across areas of identification and underrepresented populations, particularly twice-exceptional students, ELL, and economically-disadvantages students. A full list of OAGC’s concerns can be accessed at: http://www.oagc.com/files/OAGC%20Concerns%20Regarding%20New%20ODE%20GIfted%20Assessment%20List%205.16.19%20.pdf. If the lack of assessments is a problem for your district, please continue to write to your state board of education member. You can determine who they are by going to http://education.ohio.gov/State-Board/State-Board-Members.  It is also useful to copy in the state board president, Laura Kohler. 

Gifted Self-Report– ODE released the gifted self-report this week. Information about the report can be found at https://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Other-Resources/Gifted-Education/Reporting/School-District-Self-Report-on-Identification-and. The report will be due on August 30, 2019. If this deadline is too difficult for your district to meet, please contact the gifted staff at ODE at gifted@education.ohio.gov

State Budget Update– The Ohio Senate released a substitute bill this week. Sub HB166 eliminated many education provisions that were included in the House. The Senate also shifted funds added for wrap-around services to increased funds for growing districts that are capped as well as increased support of vouchers. With regard to the budget issues that concern gifted advocates, four provisions were amended or eliminated by the Ohio Senate. 

 

Posted: 6/14/2019
Last Update: 6/14/2019

Advocacy Alert – 6.5.19 - Gifted Assessment Testimony Needed for June 11 State Board Meeting

State Budget - The Ohio Senate continues to deliberate behind closed doors on budget issues. When a new substiute bill is available, we will post more information on this site. 

ODE Gifted Assessment List – OAGC is extremely troubled by the new Ohio Department of Education list of approved assessments to be used for gifted identification. The list can be viewed at http://www.oagc.com/files/2019-2020-Approved-Assessment-List(1).pdf

OAGC has concerns about the lack of assessments for visual and performing arts and the thin number of assessments that can be used to adequately identify students who are multi-exceptional. We have prepared a full list of our concerns which can be accessed at http://www.oagc.com/files/OAGC%20Concerns%20Regarding%20New%20ODE%20GIfted%20Assessment%20List%205.16.19%20.pdf  

We are asking gifted coordinators and others to consider testifying before the State Board of Education on June 11th. It would likely be early afternoon. We need voices beyond the few of the OAGC board who have contacted board members. If you have concerns about this list and can testify, please contact Ann Sheldon at anngift@aol.com. You might want to use the list of OAGC’s concerns to help you write your testimony. You may wish to also view the letter from Dr. Colleen Boyle to members of the State Board of Education at http://www.oagc.com/files/BoyleEmail5.18.19.pdf

To find contact information for State Board members, please go to http://education.ohio.gov/State-Board/State-Board-Members .

Posted: 6/5/2019
Last Update: 6/10/2019

Advocacy Update 5.16.19 – State Budget Update; Testimony on Gifted Assessments Needed 

State Budget Update – OAGC provided testimony to the Ohio Senate Finance Primary and Secondary Subcommittee this week on Substitute House Bill 166 (the budget bill).  The testimony can be accessed at www.oagc.com/statebudget.asp. OAGC continues to request increased funding based on the gifted cost study, increased ESC gifted funding, and increased gifted funding accountability.  OAGC also supports two new studies on gifted included in the substitute bill regarding gifted funding transparency (with some revisions) and rural gifted incentives. However, OAGC is concerned about two new provisions in the substitute bill: 

  1. Report Card Changes - The House made some changes to report card calculations that are very concerning.  In particular, OAGC is troubled by the change to the composite grade to reflect the better of the performance index or the value-added grade – leaving the other report card components out of the calculation. This move would devalue all the other report card components, which are still critically important to students, parents, and the public at large. If the goal is to de-emphasize the composite grade, then perhaps it is better to just eliminate it altogether. But this House change, which has not been vetted, seems to infuse the performance index and the value-added measure with oversized importance relative to the other report card measures. 
  2. Non-Public School College Credit Plus Opt-Out - Another change the House included in the substitute bill is to allow accredited non-public schools to opt out of the College Credit Plus program. OAGC believes that all students regardless of their school setting should be allowed to access College Credit Plus. Allowing some non-public schools to opt-out will negatively impact students in these schools whose public-school options do not meet the majority of their needs. Regardless of setting, parents should be able to ultimately decide what is best for their children. 

The Ohio Senate will prepare a substitute bill over the next week or two and take final testimony on education before the full Ohio Senate Finance Committee on May 29th

ODE Gifted Assessment List – OAGC is extremely troubled by the new Ohio Department of Education list of approved assessments to be used for gifted identification. The list can be viewed at http://www.oagc.com/files/2019-2020-Approved-Assessment-List(1).pdf

OAGC has concerns about the lack of assessments for visual and performing arts and the thin number of assessments that can be used to adequately identify students who are multi-exceptional. We have prepared a full list of our concerns which can be accessed at:  

http://www.oagc.com/files/OAGC%20Concerns%20Regarding%20New%20ODE%20GIfted%20Assessment%20List%205.16.19%20.pdf

.  We are asking gifted coordinators and others to consider testifying before the State Board of Education on June 11th. It would likely be early afternoon. We need voices beyond the few of the OAGC board who have contacted board members. If you have concerns about this list and can testify, please contact Ann Sheldon at anngift@aol.com. You might want to use the list of OAGC’s concerns to help you write your testimony. 

Posted: 5/16/2019
Last Update: 5/17/2019

Advocacy Update 5.3.19 – State Budget Update; ODE Assessment List for 2019/2020

 

State Budget Update – Yesterday, the Ohio House Finance Committee accepted a sub bill for the biennial budget. As expected from prior press coverage, Sub HB 166 does NOT include the Cupp Patterson Fair School Funding Plan. It is possible that some version of the plan might be explored in the Senate. However, concerns about the lack of funding going to the poorest districts through the Cupp-Patterson funding mechanism have caused House leadership to effectively shelf the plan for now.  The House did propose additional funding for education in the sub bill for poorer, rural districts as well as school bus replacement.  No changes were made to gifted education. Several changes in taxes including a narrowing of the small business tax treatment were also included in the sub bill. Please go to www.oagc.com/statebudget.aspto view the sub bill as well as the comparison document. 

The Ohio Senate Finance Primary and Secondary Subcommittee will be taking testimony for the next two weeks on the education portion of HB166. 

ODE Assessment List – The Ohio Department of Education released a new list of approved assessments included those to be used for gifted identification. It can be viewed at http://www.oagc.com/files/2019-2020-Approved-Assessment-List(1).pdf

OAGC has concerns about the lack of assessments for visual and performing arts and the thin number of assessments that can be used to adequately identify students who are multi-exceptional. If you have similar concerns, we recommend you contact your state board representative. Contact information can be found at http://education.ohio.gov/State-Board/State-Board-Members

Posted: 5/3/2019
Last Update: 5/3/2019

Advocacy Update – 4.12.19 – OAGC Testimony; Fair School Funding Plan Future

The House Finance Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee met four days this week accepting hours of testimony from education groups. OAGC provided testimony on April 11. This testimony can be found at http://www.oagc.com/files/SheldonTestimony_Final_4.11.19.pdf. The main OAGC recommendations were suggested fixes to the gifted formula calculation in the Fair School Funding plan along with recommendations regarding gifted funding accountability and service transparency, ESC funding, and the establishment of a gifted rural taskforce. OAGC asked for the latter proposals to be considered regardless of the school funding formula adopted. Committee members had questions about why districts were not spending all state gifted funding on gifted students, how much gifted funding was provided to ESCs, and whether districts adequately understood how to code gifted expenditures. 

While most education groups spoke positively about the Fair School Funding plan, they noted that there was a subset of poor districts that would not benefit from the plan. Many also wondered about the timeline for the phase-in. Some also questioned how special education and other categorical areas would be funding. The education management associations indicated that ESCs needed more funding than the plan would currently allocate. 

With public testimony complete, the House will now deliberate behind the scenes. The goal is to adjust the Fair School Funding plan and include it in a sub bill that would be introduced after the General Assembly Spring break, which ends April 29. Speaker of the House, Larry Householder, did open the door to a delay in adopting the Fair School Funding. He stated on April 10ththat it was such an important issue, it might take the rest of the General Assembly to get it right. The House is expected to pass a budget sub bill the first week of May. 

In the meantime, the Ohio Senate will begin budget deliberations before the House has completed its work. This is a typical occurrence when a new governor comes into office and the budget process is condensed. The Senate Finance Primary and Secondary Subcommittee will hear testimony from the state superintendent and other agencies the week of April 22nd

Posted: 4/12/2019
Last Update: 4/12/2019