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The Suburbanite
  • State releases more school report card data

  • The state education department posted two final elements of the 2011-12 school report cards Wednesday: the overall performance index for each district and building and the “value-added” measure that rates students’ annual academic growth.

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  • The Ohio Department of Education released its latest data Wednesday on public school performance.
    Information for Ohio’s 614 traditional public school districts has been delayed since August because of a statewide attendance tampering investigation.
    The department posted two final elements of the 2011-12 report cards Wednesday: the overall performance index for each district and building and the “value-added” measure that rates students’ annual academic growth.
    Amid an investigation into school attendance tampering, the state Board of Education opted last year to delay release of the school assessments. Board members had said they were concerned that widespread inaccuracies may exist in attendance data that could have compromised the rankings.
    Ohio Auditor Dave Yost launched the probe after unusual practices were uncovered around the state.
    Yost’s review found that nine districts — including Canton City Schools — removed poor-performing students from their rolls in attempts to improve performance ratings that can impact federal funding and employee bonuses.  
    In Canton’s case, none of the district’s traditional schools had any attendance data discrepancies. Errors were made in reporting data for Passages alternative program, adult education night school and the Choices Alternative School.
    Superintendent Adrian Allison had said the state’s complicated system for submitting data is partially to blame for the mistake. He also had said the district made an honest error and did not purposefully manipulate data.
    Rankings for those nine districts with apparent irregularities were flagged in Wednesday’s report cards as the department re-examines their attendance data. Those districts and all their schools have a watermark added to their reports, indicating that the results are subject to change pending further investigation.
    Ohio’s performance index scale ranges from “academic emergency” to “excellent with distinction.” Nine Stark County area school district received the highest rating, while eight others were rated “excellent.”
    A new rating system will be phased in beginning next school year. Schools will be assessed on a traditional A-through-F scale. And the report cards will be based on standards aimed at graduating students who are ready for college and careers.