Report cards for Ohio’s schools were due in early August, but an ongoing investigation into school attendance data fraud has delayed their release.
[Update, Oct. 17: The full report cards were released today. Find results for districts, traditional public schools and charter schools here.]
There are 26 performance indicators used to calculate a school’s grade in Ohio. But, this year, one of those indicators, attendance rate, is not being published. Nor are several other measures that factor into a schools’ final grade, which means that final grade isn’t being released either.
“We don’t think it’s appropriate to release the final report card data with this cloud of the attendance investigation hanging over our heads,” says John Charlton is with the Ohio Department of Education.
But Charlton says most of the data is available, and can be useful.
“I think parents can look at some of the information and see how schools are progressing,” Charlton says. “If the schools that their children go to are doing well or not doing well, they can still determine that. Even though they don’t have the overall rating, they can still look at some of the other information.”
Auditor Dave Yost says his investigation may take him until the New Year, which means final report cards may not come out until sometime in 2013.
But schools depend on report card grades – and not just for bragging rights. They’re also used to determine certain funding streams, which charters schools should open or close, which students are eligible for vouchers, and which schools require state intervention. Charlton says internally the Ohio Department of Education does have an estimate for each school’s final standing to keep things going as smoothly as possible.
The Ohio Department of Education has released a limited set of school performance data for the 2011-12 school year. It has postponed releasing the full set of school report-card data — and the report cards themselves — while the state auditor investigates whether some schools falsified student records.
The department says the information released today is “preliminary and remains subject to revision.”
We’ll have more context and analysis later today on StateImpact Ohio and Ohio public radio.