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Ohioans won't see school report cards for now

4:34 PM, Aug 20, 2012   |    comments
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COLUMBUS -- The State Board of Education Monday unanimously agreed to postpone the release of 2011-2012 Local Report Cards until questions are answered about the accuracy of attendance data reported by local school districts.

The Board also launched a national search for a new State Superintendent.

Acting Superintendent Michael Sawyers recommended delaying the report card release due to an ongoing investigation by State Auditor Dave Yost into alleged irregularities in reporting student attendance.

The Board will revisit the issue when it meets Sept. 10-11.

"The report cards are intended to give an accurate picture of how well schools are doing and they shouldn't be released with a cloud hanging over their reliability," Sawyers said.

"Auditor Yost is expected to release his findings later in the fall and until those findings are out and any problems corrected, it would be irresponsible to issue report cards."

The delay also will include the Sept. 1 release of the Performance Index rankings for each district, community school and STEM school.

The Board also agreed Monday that its Executive Committee will launch a nationwide search for a new State Superintendent.

The committee will meet Aug. 23 to develop criteria for hiring a search firm. The Board also confirmed that Sawyers will continue to serve as Acting Superintendent under the terms of a succession plan that went into effect when Stan Heffner, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, retired earlier this month.

Yost launched the statewide probe after irregular enrollment and attendance practices were discovered in Columbus, Toledo and suburban Cincinnati districts.

He's investigating whether low-performing students were improperly removed from rolls to improve school performance rankings. Acting Ohio Superintendent Michael Sawyers said the U.S. Department of Education has signed off on the delay until September.

Officials want to assure report card data is accurate. The reports give parents a snapshot of a school's performance. They also help determine which students qualify for vouchers and whether charter schools are re-certified.


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