A state data-rigging investigation has revealed Cleveland Metropolitan School District improperly withdrew more than 3,500 students. The same investigation has cleared Canton City Schools. And, as WKSU's M.L. Schultze reports for Ohio Public Radio and StateImpact Ohio, the investigation is not yet done with the biggest district in the state.
John Charlton of the Ohio Department of Education says Canton is the only district out of eight it reviewed that was found to be properly reporting data and using good practices. Charlton says Canton had unintentional coding errors involving 29 students but they did not affect the district report cards.
As for the other seven districts – including Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo – Charlton says the allegations are serious.
"I think it’s important to note that any kind of misreporting of attendance data, what we call scrubbing, jeopardizes the entire accountability system in Ohio and will not be tolerated," Charlton said.
The districts are accused of manipulating attendance data so students likely to do badly on state tests would not be reported.
The state reviewed approximately 76-hundred Cleveland records, which were originally found un-auditable by the state auditor. Nearly half had problems.
The district facing the most serious allegations, Columbus, is still under investigation.