TPS Superintendent addresses latest in 'scrubbing' investigation

<font size="2">TPS Superintendent Durant addresses the latest in the state's 'scrubbing' investigation in a statement released Monday.</font>

Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Romules Durant has issued a statement following an investigation of the district's student attendance records.

Toledo is one of eight school districts being investigated by the Ohio Department of Education for "improperly reporting attendance data or using questionable practices."

"Toledo Public Schools [are] aware of the most recent report from the Ohio Department of Education regarding their investigation into the accuracy of student attendance records. District representatives have cooperated fully during this two-year inquiry and will continue to do so as we enter this next phase," said Durant.

The news release indicated Ohio Auditor of State Dave Yost identified those schools as showing evidence of "scrubbing" in its 2010 to 2011 attendance data. Scrubbing, or "misreporting of attendance student records," can improve a school's performance rankings.

â??Misreporting of attendance data or â??scrubbingâ?? jeopardizes the entire accountability system in Ohio and will not be tolerated,â?? Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Richard A. Ross said.

The state alleges 425 students were improperly withdrawn from the 614 reviewed student records from the Toledo Public School District. That's more than half of the student records under review.

The decision could now result in professional sanctions against individual educators or staff if they participated in "conduct unbecoming the teaching profession by contributing to submission of inaccurate data."

The Education Department reviewed a total of 8,500 student records that officials say confirm scrubbing in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Campbell, Winton Woods and Northridge.

Marion City Schools was cleared of scrubbing, but was also referred to improper procedures.
Canton City Schools has been cleared after having accusations of improperly reported attendance data or engaging in other questionable practices.

Durant's statement added in a prepared statement, that through an internal review of TPS practices, the district has "taken numerous steps to centralize and streamline the student registration and withdrawal process. TPS has also expanded our partnership with the Juvenile Courts and established a program that is focused on reducing truancy. This step along with the work our graduation coaches continue to provide to decrease absentee rates in our high schools are all positive steps toward ensuring that all TPS students are college and career ready graduates."