News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

The Holden Arboretum

Knight Foundation

Greater Akron Chamber


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Education


Cleveland schools' attendance data called into question
Potential scandal could hurt chances of levy passing
by WKSU's GRANT ENGLE

Reporter
Grant Engle
 
In The Region:

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District has a 15-mill levy on the Nov. 6 ballot – hoping to raise some $85 million to stave off hundreds of additional layoffs and overhaul the district.

The levy has the backing of Democrats and Republicans, including Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. But, a recent report from the state auditor’s office might make voters hesitate.

WKSU’s Grant Engle reports on the potential impact of an attendance scandal on Ohio’s second largest school district.

WKSU's Grant Engle reports

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:33)


Last week, Ohio Auditor Dave Yost announced the findings from an interim report that implicates five school districts, including Cleveland, in manipulating attendance data. They’re suspected of dropping kids from their rolls so their test scores wouldn’t count on the district report cards – even though some of the children never actually withdrew from school. Yost says he can’t determine motive, yet, and Cleveland data is challenging to collect because of the high number of students transferring in and out of the system.

Carrie Bartunek is a spokeswoman for the auditor’s office. 

“This was an interim report to start to give feedback to schools that we have already looked at. Particularly schools who are going to be on the levy – or are going to have a levy, I should say, on the ballot in November. We’re trying to give them feedback so their communities know where they stand before they go to the ballot.”

But interim or not, showing up on the list could mean trouble when it comes to voters.

Jerry Rampelt is a consultant who has worked with school districts in Ohio on levy campaigns. He says even the possibility that schools might be cheating can hurt the chances of a levy passing. But, he says Cleveland has a few options for damage control.

“One of them is you are extremely transparent. You never want to appear as if you’re hiding information because the story of hiding information can end up bigger than the original story. So, transparency is paramount. The second thing is that if you are in the midst of cleaning up and correcting and rectifying the situation – you need to have that be part of your story.”

The district has responded to the auditor’s findings with two press releases from Cleveland schools CEO Eric Gordon.

Gordon acknowledged some of his schools may have issues with attendance reporting, but  rejected any implication that Cleveland schools manipulated attendance data to improve their academic rating. For one thing, the initial release said, if the district were cheating, its report cards would not be so miserable.  It noted that nine Cleveland schools are in academic emergency – the worst rating possible.

Other school districts implicated in the initial audit are Columbus, Toledo, Marion and Campbell. A sixth district, Lockland, already has lost report-card ratings because of attendance rigging at one of its schools.

The auditor’s office says its full statewide report should be available around Jan. 1. 

The next step will be to make recommendations to the Ohio Department of Education if the auditor’s office believes the district deliberately broke the law to better its performance on state report cards.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio survey shows low-income people are choosing phones over food
Where is this study published? no sign of it on google scholar. is there a cite

The Akron Sound rocks the porches
fabulous group interview! you covered so much in so little time. wish i could be there for porch rockr.

Head of Ohio Dems says Kasich administration is lying about Suarez contacts
when Kasich's mouth is open , he's lying. Look what he did at Lehmans brothers and then lied about it all during the campaign. If a GOP didn't lie, he or she ...

Canton's Basilica of St. John absorbs news of the pope at morning Mass
Hello Chris,Marina,and Patrice, I just read this article and you all look great. I'm on facebook Jean Dutcher in blue and white stripped blouse. I"M so glad to ...

Exploradio: Avoiding the 'acting-white' trap
Growing-up black and being black should not determine that you will not speak well or will not be a high achiever in your goals in life.But society te nds to la...

Charter-school supporters to rally at Statehouse
I am on the bus now headed to the rally. Horizon is an excellent school. My son is is 7 th grade. The teachers and administrators are top notch and spend so m...

Former Nursing Home Land Added to Parks
In addition, LED technology also plays a very important role in advertising- LED placard is very, very useful for shop owners.

Ohio Supreme Court hears arguments on school funding
That's not true. Other school districts HAVE followed this law and done this. Oakhills is one of them and how they were able to provide technology for their s...

Death and beauty at Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art
What a disgusting story to air at lunch time.

Ohio Supreme Court grills attorneys on flooding and million-dollar fixes
Perhaps the State of Ohio should take the lead and implement state wide water shed districts that would collect minimum fees. The funds could then be distribute...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University