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Ohio schools get preliminary report cards
Recent school attendence fraud delays final grades.

Ida Lieszkovszky

Report cards for Ohio schools were due in early August, but an ongoing investigation into school attendance fraud has delayed the release. Now the Ohio Department of Education has published some of that data, but as StateImpact Ohio’s Ida Lieszkovszky reports, the parts of the report cards that people most care about – like the final grades – are still unknown.

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There are 26 performance indicators used to calculate a school’s grade in Ohio. But, this year, one of those indicators, attendance rate, is not being published. Nor are schools’ final grades being released. 

John Charlton is with the Ohio Department of Education. 

Charlton: We don’t think it’s appropriate to release the final report card data with this cloud of the attendance investigation hanging over our heads. 

But Charlton says most of the data is available, and can be useful. 

“I think parents can look at some of the information and see how schools are progressing," Charlton says. "If the schools that their children go to are doing well or not doing well, they can still determine that. Even though they don’t have the overall rating, they can still look at some of the other information.” 

Auditor Dave Yost says his investigation may take him until the New Year, which means final report cards may not come out until sometime in 2013. 

But schools depend on report card grades – and not just for bragging rights. They’re also used to determine certain funding streams, which charters schools should open or close, which students are eligible for vouchers, and which schools require state intervention. Charlton says internally the Ohio Department of Education does have an estimate for each school’s final standing to keep things going as smoothly as possible.

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