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Columbus City School District’s Report Cards Revised

Release date: 8/13/2014

The ratings of 20 Columbus city schools have been lowered after the Ohio Department of Education recalculated the 2011, 2012 and 2013 report cards to include test scores for students who had been improperly excluded from the calculations by local school officials.

The district’s overall rating of Continuous Improvement on their 2011 and 2012 report cards did not change. However, a total of 203 measures on Columbus school report cards were revised by adding in scores that should have counted from more than 1,500 students.

“Actions that mislead the public about the performance of our education system are unacceptable and do a disservice to kids,” said State Superintendent Richard Ross. ”Therefore, we have corrected the misreported information and are re-issuing report cards with the accurate ratings.”

“The Columbus City School District, under the leadership of Superintendent Dan Good, has taken aggressive steps to improve their data reporting policies and procedures,” Ross added. “Their accurate reporting of data this year indicates that they are making an effort to restore public trust.”

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. In most cases, the recalculation resulted in a lower score. However, in some instances, the new figure was an improvement. A spreadsheet detailing changes to report cards can be accessed here.

Of the 117 buildings in the Columbus City School District, 18 buildings experienced a rating reduction on their 2011 report card.  

In 2012, two Columbus school buildings experienced a rating reduction and two received an increase.

In 2013, there were no overall ratings on report cards as the state transitioned to a new grading system. Columbus had seven schools experience changes on their report cards either in the number of indicators met or in a graded measure.

Prior to 2013, Ohio used a district and school rating system that rated performance on a scale ranging from Excellent with Distinction to Academic Emergency. Last year, the state phased in a new A-F school grading system.

Based on the results of the investigation into the 2012-2013 data, the Department of Education has actively monitored and analyzed the data for Columbus 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 Columbus 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 the Toledo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Campbell and Northridge districts can be found here. All five districts previously had their 2011 report cards recalculated.

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.

“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.”

Because of the ongoing data accuracy investigations and professional conduct investigations, Columbus City School 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.