By the middle of next week, educators across the state should have a better handle on how they rate on their 2011-12 Ohio State Report Cards.
State education officials on Tuesday announced that they intend to release school and district ratings, along with the Performance Index and attendance rates, for all Ohio schools and districts next week.
"It will be nice to have more information available, for it to finally be released," Melissa Watson, Warren's director of teaching and learning, said. "It will validate everything finally ... give us the information we've been waiting to hear."
The news came after the State Board of Education approved a recommendation from Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Sawyers to release an updated spreadsheet for the 2011-12 Local Report Cards.
However, state officials said the information will remain subject to change pending the outcome of an investigation by State Auditor David Yost into alleged irregularities in the reporting of student attendance.
"I'm confident will have a clear idea of where we stand based on that information," Watson said. "We already have a pretty good idea. Even though it's still preliminary, I know Warren hasn't done anything wrong so I don't see anything changing for us. I think we can pretty well stand on that information."
Some local education officials said they have been using the preliminary data the state provided to schools and districts in July to work on areas where improvements are needed. Still, having to wait for information, and then receiving it in pieces, has been challenging, Watson said.
The Ohio Department of Education released preliminary and incomplete data late last month that school officials were able to use to project ratings. However, much of the information included on the annual state report card has been on hold this year pending the progress of the auditor's investigation.
Last month, state officials said they expected to release official results early in 2013.
The preliminary data released included results of the 26 indicators on the report card and graduation rates for districts and high schools, calculated using a method required by federal law that more closely tracks when students transfer to or from a school.
Locally, Campbell Schools in Mahoning County came under scrutiny last week after the state investigation revealed improper enrollment records may have influenced state test scores. According to a report released by the auditor's office, Campbell is one of five districts statewide that improperly withdrew students from their rolls, likely improving scores reported to the state in the process. Yost's office did not determine that the districts intended to improve their scores.
Campbell Memorial High School and Campbell Middle School, along with 34 other schools in districts in Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo and Marion, did not have proper documentation, failed to file truancy claims with courts or otherwise fell short of requirements for dropping students from their ranks, according to the report.
Campbell Superintendent Thomas Robey said the district is cooperating with the state.
During the last few weeks ODE has been uploading and verifying the remaining data for school improvement purposes. State officials said the next spreadsheet is expected to be released "on or about" Wednesday of next week and will include all the data elements released previously, plus the additional items.
"As we wait for additional information related to the attendance investigation being conducted by the auditor of state, we remain committed to sharing existing preliminary data with our schools and the public," Sawyers commented in a written statement. "In the meantime, school district superintendents and other personnel will have full access to updated preliminary local report card data and reports while ODE extracts data for public release."
Once the data is extracted, state officials said they will post the updated spreadsheet on the ODE website illustrating local report card indicators for all districts and schools including overall rating, Performance Index, and attendance rate information.
Officials said ODE will not publish PDFs of the report cards until the investigation by the auditor is concluded or as is otherwise agreed upon by the State Board of Education.