Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 5:16 PM
Ohioans finally get to see their schools’ ratings in the nice, clean PDF format they’re used to, instead of the confusing and incomplete spreadsheets the Department of Education released in the fall.
That's because Ohio education officials released the official school report cards today, six months after they were originally supposed to be released.
Report cards are generally published in August, but an investigation into attendance data scrubbing by the Ohio Auditor's office held up the release of the "official" grades until now.
But some of the report cards are stamped with watermarks that read: “district results under review.”
[audio href="http://audio2.ideastream.org/statenews/2010/0227_report_cards_spot.wav" title="Final-Not-Quite-Final Ohio School Report Cards Released"]The release of the official report card PDF's had been held up by an investigation into attendance data rigging at Ohio schools.[/audio]
[related_content align="right"]State Auditor Dave Yost's investigation found evidence of student attendance data manipulation in nine districts. Every schools' report card in those districts bears the watermark.
“Unfortunately some of the innocent will suffer with the guilty but they’ve all been watermarked," says John Charlton, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Education.
He says even though data rigging is suspected in each of the districts, that doesn’t mean every school in a district participated.
The districts accused of scrubbing are Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, Canton, Campbell, Marion, Northridge and Winton Woods.
Charlton says the education department has taken over the auditor’s investigation.
He’s not sure when that will be complete, but he says it’s likely the grades of at least some of those districts with watermarks will have to be changed.
That may affect some other state education programs, like vouchers for students in poorly performing districts, as well as some funding sources.