The Ohio Department of Education says it has found no instances of data scrubbing in 2013-14 among four big city school districts with past histories of incorrectly reporting students’ attendance.
State Superintendent of Public instruction Richard Ross sent letters to district heads in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo confirming that their 2013-14 records are clear of any data scrubbing.
But Ross’s letters to each of the districts point out the ODE’s investigation of the previous year’s records did uncover instances of scrubbing.
Ross told the district heads that students shown to have been improperly removed from school rosters will be added back in. It says removing students because they were wrongfully deemed to have been truant may have led to inflated ratings on the districts’ report cards, and that new 2011-12 and 2012-13 report cards for each district are being generated to reflect corrected records.
The letters also state that the ODE’s finding are being sent to the agency’s Office of Professional Conduct to determine if any licensed professionals in the four districts were involved in submitting incorrect data. It says any that are found to be culpable could face discipline, including suspension or revocation of their licenses.
The letters cite the number of students whose attendance was improperly reported in each of the four districts in 2012-13:
- Cleveland – 43 (of 2,528 reviewed.)
- Columbus – 141 (of 6,362 reviewed)
- Cincinnati – 24 (of 1,088 reviewed)
- Toledo – 86 (of 1,411 reviewed)
Meanwhile, hearings are continuing in Columbus on whether a Columbus principal should be fired for her role in manipulating data.
Former Linden-McKinley STEM Academy Principal Tiffany L. Chavers has admitted to improperly removing students from attendance roles. But she says she was ordered to by her boss to do so and never questioned why, according to the Columbus Dispatch, which has been following Chavers’ hearing through the week. (You can find the Dispatch’s ongoing coverage here.)
Chavers was one of four principals the district moved to fire early this year for falsifying student records. Two resigned, while Chavers and another are appealing to keep their jobs.