COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio Department of Education released finalized school report cards Wednesday 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 bit by bit and the report cards offer little new information.
Search for your district's report card: http://www.wkyc.com/news/education/reportcards/
Here are a few examples:
The Cleveland Municipal School District is in Academic Emergency, met 0 of the 26 indicators and its Performance Index was 75.4 out of 120.
Canton City Schools are rated as Continuous Improvement, met 5 of 26 indicators and its Performance Index was 84.5 out of 120.
Akron City Schools are rated as Continuous Improvement, met 5 of the 26 indicators and its Performance Index was 85.6 out of 120.
Lorain City Schools are in Academic Emergency, met 1 of the 26 indicators and its Performance Index was 78.7 out of 120.
Solon City Schools are rated Excellent with Distinction, met 26 of the 26 indicators and its Performance Index was 111.2 out of 120.
The report cards' release was delayed while State Auditor David Yost investigated whether districts improperly removed truant students from enrollment figures, artificially inflating attendance data and test scores.
Yost's report, released this month, named nine districts for improper data practices.
The nine districts were: Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland Columbus, Marion, Toledo, Campbell in Mahoning County, Northridge in Montgomery County and Winton Woods in Hamilton County.
Yost found that each district illegally withdrew students - as if they had left school even though they hadn't - and that knocked those students' test scores and absences out of state report-card ratings. The result inflated districts' rankings.
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 Cleveland school district released the following statement Friday to clarify the ODE's ranking.
"To ensure the people of Cleveland have accurate information on the process by which state oversight is assigned to public schools that qualify for assistance, CEO Eric Gordon and representatives of the Ohio Department of Education have issued separate, official statements to clarify information in the press today.
Prior to the release of the official state report cards for Ohio Schools this week, CMSD officials had been aware that the school district would be assigned the rating of Academic Emergency, based on the District's test score performance in the school year prior to passage of the Cleveland Pan and the Issue 107 school levy. We also knew that CMSD would qualify for assistance from an Academic Distress Commission, if that option, is deemed appropriate by ODE.
Contrary to an early report that CMSD had been assigned to state oversight, that process of determination, for CMSD and other schools that qualify, has not yet begun. CMSD has been assured by representatives at ODE that the first step in the process--a letter to the qualifying districts--has not yet been sent and that, once sent, will not necessarily mean that a Commission will be assigned.
CMSD remains optimistic that the district has the "Right Plan, Right Now" for reforming its schools, a point made clear by CEO Eric Gordon, in a letter sent to staff and supporters today to clarify the state oversight process.
"Because of our community's broad support for system-wide reform, courageous, bipartisan support of Ohio's legislators in passing House Bill 525, the overwhelming passage of Issue 107, and the clearly articulated accountability measures outlined in the Cleveland Plan, we have in place the right plan for Cleveland," said Gordon. "I also expect that we will continue to be supported by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio General Assembly."
In a separate statement released today, Acting Superintendent Michael Sawyers called the Cleveland Plan "an extraordinary step forward" in getting Cleveland's schools back on track, and said its potential impact would weigh heavily on ODE's final determination of whether or not to appoint an Academic Distress Commission for Cleveland. "
Additional details on the ODE web site: http://www.ode.state.oh.us/gd/templates/pages/ode/odedetail.aspx?page=279