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District, School Report Cards Revised in Four Districts

Release date: 8/13/2014

COLUMBUS –– More than 100 revisions have been made to district and local report cards in four districts after the Ohio Department of Education recalculated the 2012 and 2013 report cards to include test scores for students who had been improperly excluded from the calculations by local school officials.

The changes include updates to the performance index score, the number of academic indicators met, and whether a school met the Adequate Yearly Progress standard. The recalculations resulted in both lowered and improved scores. A spreadsheet detailing changes to report cards can be accessed here

The overall ratings of two schools in Cincinnati and one in Cleveland for 2012 were lowered as a result of the recalculation. One school in Cleveland saw its rating increase.

“Giving a full and accurate accounting of how students are being educated is vital. Actions that mislead the public about the performance of our education system are unacceptable and do a disservice to kids,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Richard A. Ross. “Local communities should have confidence that schools are giving a complete and honest accounting of how they are educating our children. By recalculating the report cards, we are taking an important step to restore that trust.”

The changes for the 2012 and 2013 report cards include:

  • Revisions to one measure on the overall report card for the Cleveland Municipal School District and 72 changes on report cards for individual schools.
  • Revisions to two measures on the overall report card for the Cincinnati City School District and 17 changes on the report cards for individual schools.
  • 22 changes on the report cards for individual schools in the Toledo City School District.
  • Revision to two measures on the overall report card for the Northridge Local School District and three changes on report cards for individual schools.

Following a report issued by the Auditor of State in 2013, the Ohio Department of Education reviewed nearly 18,000 records identified by the Auditor’s office and recalculated report cards including 5,324 student scores that should have counted.

The department previously recalculated the 2011 report cards for six districts, including a reduction in the rating for the Northridge Local School District in Montgomery County from Excellent to Continuous Improvement. The inflated rating had allowed the district to receive nearly $28,000 in state bonus money for excellent academic performance. The department has recovered those funds.

Separately in 2011, the rating for Campbell City School District was lowered from Effective to Continuous Improvement. District-level ratings for the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo and Winton Woods districts did not change.

“I want to thank Auditor Yost and his office for the significant role they played in the investigation of attendance data submissions,” said Dr. Ross. “Identifying districts that improperly reported data enabled the Department of Education to correct inaccuracies and to work with those districts to improve reporting procedures.”

Based on the results of the investigation into the 2012-13 data, the Department of Education has actively monitored and analyzed the data for Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo schools’ 2013-2014 Educational Management Information System (EMIS) data submissions and determined that there is no evidence of scrubbing. Scrubbing involves improperly withdrawing a student who took the state achievement assessments, thus excluding their scores from the building and district reports.

While the department continues to monitor data submissions, the data investigations are now concluded.

The changes to the report cards are published as an addendum to the 2011, 2012 and 2013 district and building report cards, which can be found here.

A media release addressing the updated report cards and data investigation into Columbus City School District can be found here.

In addition to recalculating the report cards, the department’s Office of Professional Conduct is conducting a separate investigation to determine if any licensed professional participated in conduct unbecoming to the teaching profession by contributing to the submission of inaccurate data.

Because of the ongoing data accuracy investigations and professional conduct investigations, each district remains under a legal duty to preserve all evidence, whether printed or electronic, that is or might become relevant to this matter. This includes information regarding student withdrawals, data changes made to student records, who made any data changes, and district policies and practices for data changes and withdrawals.