The Ohio Department of Education released finalized school report cards today, after a months-long delay prompted by a statewide investigation into allegations of data manipulation by school districts.
The education department had already released much of the 2011-2012 school year data in the fall in a piecemeal fashion, and the report cards issued today offer little new information. For instance, Toledo Public Schools already knew value-added had caused the district’s rating to sink to academic watch after years in continuous improvement, since the district’s students showed below expected growth for several years in a row.
And the report cards may change, at least for some districts. The report cards' release was delayed while the state auditor investigated whether districts improperly removed truant students from enrollment figures, artificially inflating attendance data and test scores. Auditor Dave Yost's report, released this month, named nine districts - including TPS - for improper data practices.
The education department continues to investigate those districts, and placed watermarks on their report cards, as well as all schools within those nine districts.
The watermarks indicate the district and school ratings are subject to change.
The department also watermarked 2010-2011 report cards for those districts, and placed similar marks on the report cards of districts the auditor found had reporting errors.