Report Card Reform – What will Ohio’s report card look like next year½ 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:
- Eliminate all grades including a composite grade;
- Eliminate the achievement indicators and the performance index;
- Require the value-added measure to be recalculated using a system that could be replicated in the district;
- Rank all metrics by raw scores on multiple levels – by state, by typology, and by three districts of the user’s choice;
- Require multiple measures to be broken down into sub-groups; and
- Keep a “shadow report card” for the purposes of accountability in terms of district take-overs and vouchers.
So how will the bill affect gifted accountability½ 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 speaker½ Will this affect the race for the next speaker, which has already been heated½ Will it tie the Ohio House in knots for the rest of the year½ All important questions for which we currently have no answers.