Investigation results in lower grade for Campbell schools - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Investigation results in lower grade for Campbell schools

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The Ohio Department of Education has recalculated the 2011 report cards for Campbell schools and five other districts to include test scores for students who had been improperly excluded from the calculations by local officials.

Earlier this year, the department completed investigations into Campbell and seven other school districts identified by the Auditor of State as having “evidence of scrubbing” in its 2010-2011 attendance data. After reviewing more than 8,500 student records, the department found significant concerns regarding the inaccurate reporting of data for six districts.

The process known as "scrubbing" involves improperly withdrawing a student who took the state achievement assessments, thus excluding their scores from the building and district reports.

The rating for Campbell City Schools was lowered from Effective to Continuous Improvement for 2011.

The most significant change is the lowering of the 2011 rating for the Northridge Local School District in Montgomery County from Excellent to Continuous Improvement, a drop of two levels under the rating system in place at that time. The district also met state standards on 11 academic indicators, not the 17 previously reported.

The inflated rating had allowed the district to receive nearly $28,000 in state bonus money for excellent academic performance. The department is demanding the district return those funds. The bonus program no longer exists.

“Actions that mislead the public about the performance of our education system are unacceptable,” said State Superintendent Richard Ross. “Local communities should have confidence that schools are giving a full and honest accounting of how they are educating our children. By recalculating the report cards, we are taking an important step to restore that trust.”

District-level ratings for the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo and Winton Woods districts did not change. Academic ratings were restated for 20 individual school buildings. Two schools – New Technology High School at East Tech in Cleveland and East Broadway Middle School in Toledo – had their ratings dropped two levels from Continuous Improvement to Academic Emergency. Another six schools were lowered from Academic Watch to Academic Emergency.

Measures used to determine the ratings, including Performance Index and Value-Added scores, also have been revised. The changes are published as an addendum to the 2011 district and building report cards, which can be found here. A spreadsheet detailing changes to report cards can be accessed here.

In addition to recalculating the report cards, the department’s Office of Professional Conduct is conducting a separate investigation to determine if any licensed professional participated in conduct unbecoming to the teaching profession by contributing to the submission of inaccurate data.

In addition to reissuing 2010-2011 report cards, the department is investigating districts’ 2011-2012 school year EMIS data to determine whether improper reporting of student withdrawals occurred.

Because of the ongoing data accuracy investigations and professional conduct investigations, each district remains under a legal duty to preserve all evidence, whether printed or electronic, that is or might become relevant to this matter, including information regarding student withdrawals, data changes made to student records, who made any data changes, and district policies and practices for data changes and withdrawals.

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