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OAGC - Ohio Association for Gifted Children
Advocacy Alerts

Advocacy Update – 11.4.19 – New Gifted Assessment List, School Funding, Report Card Review 

As we move toward the end of the year, there are three major advocacy issues OAGC is monitoring – gifted assessments, HB305 (school funding bill), and a committee that will be studying the report card. 

Gifted Assessments – ODE updated the list of approved assessments to include a new checklist for artistic behavior in dance grades 9-12. This list can be downloaded from .

While this helps with the identification issues in one small area of gifted assessment, other issues remain. OAGC continues to work with the Ohio Department of Education to address the many other issues regarding the gifted assessment list and the process for reviewing gifted assessments. 

School Funding – The House Finance Committee has begun hearings on HB305. The two co-sponsors, Rep. Cupp (R) and Rep. Patterson (D) provided sponsor testimony on October 16. Other hearings have featured members of the Ohio Fair School Funding committee. Most of the hearings have concentrated on base cost and equity issues. Future hearings will focus on other parts of the proposed funding formula. OAGC has several issues with the gifted funding component of HB305 which are outlined at .  To view the documents from the various hearings on HB305, please go to . To view the hearings, go to and look for the archives of the House Finance committee. 

Report Card Study Committee – One of the provisions of the budget bill (HB166) established a committee to study the state report card and make recommendations for changes. This committee includes Sen. Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering), Sen. Louis Blessing III (R-Cincinnati, Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), Rep. Don Jones (R-Freeport), Rep. Tracy Richardson (R-Marysville), and Rep. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo). In addition, three superintendents representing rural, suburban, and urban areas and the state superintendent or representative will be on the committee. These superintendents are Stephanie Starcher of Fort Frye, Cameron Ryba of Strongsville, and Marlon Styles of Middletown. The committee is charged with putting together recommendations by December 15th. The first neeting will be on November 6th. 


Posted: 11/4/2019
Last Update: 11/4/2019

Advocacy Update 9.13.19 – Gifted Performance Results; State Board to Meet; Gifted Dance Educators Needed - Updated

2018-2019 Gifted Performance Results– Most of the press on district report cards has centered around district composite grades. As with most other areas, there were gains in gifted performance as well this year, but they were small gains. In fact, there was a drop in gifted value-added indices.  While OAGC needs additional data on ID and service numbers, types of services offered etc. to do a full analysis, we have put together a brief update on the gifted performance indicator results. This brief can be accessed at

The bottom line is that there were gains across two elements of the gifted performance indicator, and there was an increase in the number of districts meeting the indicator. However, there remain significant differences in performance and performance gains based on district typology. 

State Board to Meet – After a recess for August, the State Board of Education will meet next week. Major issues of discussion will include graduation requirements, the report card and budget. 

Gifted Educators for Dance Checklist Needed - The Ohio Department of Education is developing a Checklist of Artistic Behaviors for use in the screening and identification of students who are gifted in the visual or performing arts field of Dance.

We are specifically seeking from you up to 4 gifted educators to develop this new state checklist. We are focused on developing a checklist for identifying students in grades 9-12 and would appreciate the experts having knowledge/experience across a variety of dance styles if possible. We are also very focused on the experts being geographically representative from across the state and diverse in ethnicity and gender.

We will convene at ODE in Columbus on September 24, 2019 from 10:00am – 1:00pm and if necessary September 26 from 10:00am – 12:30pm.

Please RSVP to Maria Lohr, Gifted Education Program Specialist, at  614-752-1745 or

Posted: 9/12/2019
Last Update: 9/13/2019

Advocacy Update – 9.9.19 – School Funding, Ohio Education Reports


As the new school year begins, the continued discussion on school funding begins as well. In addition, new reports released by Education Week and the Fordham Foundation provide information about the state of education in Ohio. The bottom line is that that Ohio continues to struggle mightily with equity on all levels – funding, opportunities, and outcomes. 

School Funding – The Ohio House will soon be debate HB 305 (a.k.a the Cupp-Patterson bill) which incorporates the Ohio Fair School Funding plan. While the bill has many co-sponsors, there are currently no House majority leaders who have co-sponsored the bill. A new report from the Ohio School Policy Institute was released last week evaluating HB305. This report can be viewed at OAGC has the same concerns regarding this bill as previously outline to the Ohio Fair School Funding workgroup: 


  1. Several elements in the gifted formula within the bill need to be adjusted to reflect true costs. 
  2. There is no specific element of funding accountability for gifted funds, without which any formula will fall short. 
  3. There is no provision for specific support of rural districts through ESCs or some other mechanism. 

To view OAGC’s concerns in more detail, please read our testimony during the budget deliberations on this topic:

HB305 has been assigned to the House Finance Committee, but no hearings have been scheduled. 

Quality Counts – Education Week released its annual Quality Countsreport on education across the country. Ohio is ranked 21stin the country in terms of opportunity and performance with a grade of “C.” This is one ranking better than the previous two years. The Ohio report summary can be found at

The Mountain Ahead – The Fordham Foundation also released a report last week regarding college and career readiness in Ohio. The report reveals gaps between college and career readiness across the state. For a more in-depth look, please access the report at

Heads Up! – The state will be releasing report card data soon. Watch this page as OAGC analyzes the data specific to gifted students. 











Posted: 9/9/2019
Last Update: 9/9/2019

Advocacy Update 8.22.19 - New Gifted Assessments, Budget Update, ODE Regional Meetings

New Gifted Assessments - ODE released new additions to the approved gifted assessment list. The new list can be downloaded at . The specific changes are outlined at The new list includes new instruments to assist in the identification in the areas of creative thinking and visual and performing arts. There is still a gap in assessments for dance in grades 9-12. ODE is expected to put a work group together to develop a state behavioral checklist for this area. If you wish to be part of this work group or know someone in your district who would have the expertise to participate, please contact

Budget - The General Assembly took a bit longer than usual but finally passed a budget bill. For all education policy changes included in the budget and more, please go read the latest Advocacy Corner, which is in the latest OAGC Reiew. It can also be reviewed at  

ODE regional gifted meetings - ODE has scheduled fall gifted sessions. Registration information is as follows: 

If you have additional questions, please contact

To keep up on all the latest, please follow OAGC on Twitter or Facebook (see directions below) or visit

Posted: 8/21/2019
Last Update: 8/22/2019

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: 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  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 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

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