Veteran journalist Carl Hoffman believes he’s solved one of the great mysteries of the 20th century. In 1961 at the age of 23, Michael Rockefeller – son of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and a member of one of the richest and most powerful families in America ¬– travelled to remote New Guinea in search of primitive art for his father’s new museum.
Columbus City Schools Adopts New Attendance, Withdrawal Policies
Opponents to the Columbus City Schools levy have called for reform before they agree to a tax increase. So two weeks before Election Day, WOSU reports school board members approved policy changes, Tuesday night, which officials say could make another data-scrubbing scandal less likely.
The on-going state investigation into the Columbus City Schools attendance-rigging scandal triggered public mistrust. Now district and city officials need to improve voter confidence with less than two weeks left before a 9 mil levy goes to voters.
In a special meeting, school board members unanimously approved changes to the district’s student attendance and withdrawal policies.
Interim superintendent Dan Good said district officials hear the appeals for change. And he said the amendments are one step the district has taken to regain public trust.
“It certainly does speak to our community’s desire for a more transparent process,” Good said. “Being able to trust that the policies would, in fact, prevent the sort of data scrubbing from occurring in the future. And I believe these do that.”
Combined, the two policies are nine pages long compared to the 10-paragraphs drawn up just before Good took the post.
Principals and other staff now have a detailed set of guidelines on how to remove a student from the district’s roll. It was withdrawing students and then retroactively re-enrolling them to enhance state report cards that landed the district under investigation.
Truant students can’t just be withdrawn. A court has to deem them “unruly” or “delinquent” for chronic absences first. And for those students whose whereabouts are unknown, the district must try to locate them for 15 days before they can be taken off the roll.
Withdrawal records also must be retained in the student’s file. And the policy calls for “random attendance audits.”
Board president Carol Perkins calls the move “a great start.”
“We know it’s now time for a change. We to implement and put strong processes in place,” Perkins said.
State Auditor Dave Yost signed off on the policies calling them “robust.”