Saturday, May 26, 2018
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State leaders delay Ohio school report card release

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Board of Education voted today to delay the release of school report cards, an unprecedented move that follows a statewide investigation in reports of data manipulation.

The Ohio Department of Education was set to release full school and district report cards Aug. 29, but the board voted today to delay the release into next month. Department spokesman John Chartlon said this is the first time the report cards’ release have been delayed.

The Education Department has been rocked in recent weeks by revelations that Columbus, Toledo, and Lockland school districts have manipulated attendance data involving habitually truant students. The districts withdrew, then re-enrolled those students, causing their state test scores to not count for the districts, as well as their attendance records. State Auditor Dave Yost launched a statewide investigation into school data reporting, which includes potential Education Department practices and possible data oversight flaws.

Meanwhile, the department is working under an interim-superintendent, after Stan Heffner abruptly resigned earlier this month amid ethics questions. The board of education called a special meeting for today to discuss the report cards.

“As you are aware, ODE has been working with the Auditor of State to collect and review alleged data irregularities related to student attendance,” Acting State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Sawyers wrote in a statement Friday. “I ask for your patience and understanding in allowing ODE to work diligently to determine how local report cards may be impacted for select districts statewide.”

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