State Widens Attendance Data Probe Of Columbus City Schools

The ODE will expand its investigation into attendance manipulation in Columbus City Schools.(Photo: Flickr / Creative Commons)
The ODE will expand its investigation into attendance manipulation in Columbus City Schools.(Photo: Flickr / Creative Commons)


The investigation into data manipulation of Columbus City Schools has expanded to look for more evidence of data scrubbing.

The Ohio Department of Education announced, Wednesday, Columbus City Schools will receive new state reports for school years 2010-11 and 2011-12 after it found evidence of attendance data manipulation.

The education department also plans to broaden its probe to include school year 2012-13 due to evidence of improper reporting.

Educators at fault?

This will be the third round of investigations of the Columbus school district.

In a statement, state education superintendent Richard Ross said “misreporting of attendance data or ‘scrubbing’ jeopardizes the entire accountability system in Ohio and will not be tolerated.”

Department spokesman John Charlton said the district broke enrollment of habitually absent students to disregard their test scores. He said some teachers stand to be reprimanded.

“They are looking at that data and seeing if there’s any educators that were maybe involved in the altering of that data, or the manipulating of data inappropriately, then we may take action against an educator’s license,” Charlton said.

Superintendent response

Columbus City Schools Superintendent Dan Good said in a statement, “It has been widely known that the District’s State Report Cards could be recalculated as a result of the student records investigation.”

“The District has not been informed of what, if any, changes may be made,” he said. “But the District fully supports the Department of Education’s review and has cooperated fully with it.

Good went on to write, “It is important that State Report Cards reflect accurate information…State Report Cards are permanent records that reflect specific aspects of student achievement as captured by the Ohio Achievement Assessments and Ohio Graduation Test.”

The district could see a reduction in their ratings when the report card changes are made, but Charlton said any reductions will likely be minimal.

In addition to Columbus, the state also is expanding its investigation of Cincinnati, Cleveland and Toledo.

More: Ross’ letter to Superintendent Dan Good.

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