By EMMALEE C. TORISK
With inclusion of test scores for students who had been improperly excluded from calculations by local officials, the 2011 report-card designation for Campbell City Schools has dropped one level, from effective to continuous improvement.
Campbell schools is one of six districts for which the Ohio Department of Education recalculated that year’s report cards. The state announced the changes Tuesday, along with an investigation into those districts’ 2011-12 school year Education Management Information System, or EMIS, data to determine whether improper reporting of student withdrawals occurred then as well.
Matthew Bowen, Campbell superintendent, said he did not know yet whether the reissued state report card would have any “adverse financial effects” on the district but added that the district has cooperated fully with the state’s investigation and will continue to do so.
“We have released all of the records for them for their review to determine what the appropriate rating would then be — to be shared with our community, our parents and our children,” Bowen said. “What we’re most concerned about is how we continue to do business this year and in the future.”
In January, the ODE found that six of eight school districts identified by Auditor of State Dave Yost as having “evidence of scrubbing” did, in fact, fail to “demonstrate that they made a good-faith effort to properly report attendance data as required by law,” according to an ODE news release.
The ODE defines scrubbing as “improperly withdrawing a student who took the state achievement assessments, thus excluding their scores from the building and district reports.”
Of the 39 student records from Campbell City Schools that were reviewed by the state, 37 of those students were improperly withdrawn.
The six districts with improperly reported attendance data, plus a district found to have questionable practices, were referred to the ODE’s Office of Professional Conduct, which is conducting a separate investigation into whether any licensed professional contributed to submission of inaccurate data. An internal investigation by Campbell City Schools, conducted shortly after the initial October 2012 findings, did not reveal any bad intent in the improper reporting of data, however.
Bowen noted that Campbell City Schools now has “a system of checks and balances” in place “to guarantee that [its] reports are accurate and will remain” that way.
District-level ratings for the Cincinnati Public School District, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, the Toledo Public School District and the Winton Woods City School District did not change, though academic ratings were restated for 20 individual school buildings.