Demand Honest ‘Report Cards’

Student attendance data appears to have been “scrubbed” in several of Ohio’s biggest public school districts. That is, incorrect reports were submitted to the state, possibly making the districts appear to be doing a better job academically than was the case.

State Department of Education officials say a review of about nine school districts’ data is nearly complete. Once it is finished, the state will release updated “report card” information on the districts.

Among them are school systems in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo and Canton.

Inaccurate reports first were uncovered during an investigation by state Auditor Dave Yost’s office. Yost’s staff reviewed school districts throughout Ohio, finding several had scrubbed reports to the state.

Much of what Yost’s office found involved mistakes in how student information was handled. But in a few cases, including Columbus, wrongdoing was involved.

That makes it important for the education department to pursue its investigation. Where school officials intentionally altered or manipulated numbers in order to make academic quality look better than it was, action should be taken against them.

Buckeye State residents concerned about public school quality have a difficult enough time of making sense of state “report cards.”

Attempts to lie about the performance of individual schools and districts should not be tolerated.