OAGC Budget Testimony – OAGC provided testimony before the House Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education, this morning. The association made several budget requests along with recommendations for changes to funding accountability and the College Credit Plus program. The Ssbcommittee members ask a variety of questions. Rep. Miller and Patterson focused on how the needs of rural, gifted students could be better met. Chairman Cupp wondered how funding accountability could be achieved. Rep. Reineke wanted to know what the impact of potential reduced testing might have on gifted identification. OAGC testimony along with that of Allen County ESC gifted coordinator, Judy Chaffins, can be accessed at oagc.com/statebudget.asp .
Gifted Operating Standards Update – Last week, JCARR held hearings on several administrative rulings including the gifted operating standards. With no witness testimony provided, JCARR released jurisdiction of the administrative rule. The operating standards should be officially adopted by the end of March.
ESSA Update – In the first of two major pieces of information on ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), the USDOE released new guidance to states this week on how to submit a consolidated state plan. Earlier this week, State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria, in response to major pushback from several education groups, delayed the submission of the Ohio plan from April to September. ODE now plans to convene several committees to review and revise the plan. One of the major concerns about the current ODE draft plan expressed by many education groups is over testing. No state assessments were recommended for elimination in the ODE draft ESSA plan. Gifted advocates will need to watch and provide insight on testing as ODE revises the ESSA plan. Universal screening for gifted students is a necessary tool to ensure that underrepresented populations are identified. Ohio needs to maintain gifted universal screening and not allow it to be sacrificed as part of a misguided solution to over-testing. The first meeting of the Advisory Committee on Assessments is next week. It is not currently known whether anyone representing the gifted community is on the committee. OAGC will also seek other changes to ODE’s plan to ensure that the needs of gifted students are better represented.
New Gifted Poll – A new gifted poll released this week by the Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA) found wide bi-partisan voter support for increased funding and resources for gifted students. For more information on this poll and the results, please go to http://www.nagc.org/first-ever-poll-voters-about-gifted-learners-finds-strong-bipartisan-support-increasing-funding-and