breaking news

Another meteor? Reports come in of bright flash across Ohio, Ind. night sky

State: Local school district named in probe


Northridge was the only Miami Valley school district in a statewide investigation found to have improperly removed students from its attendance rolls, according to a final report released Monday by Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost.

Seven Miami Valley districts were cleared of any data tampering through an interim audit released in October. The final audit shows records were examined in 13 local districts and no scrubbing was detected at Hamilton City Schools, previously reported as under investigation.

According to the final audit, Northridge officials did not have documentation to explain transfers, expulsions and other breaks in enrollment for 43 students at Northridge High School and 16 students at Esther Dennis Middle School.

Nineteen of the records cited at Northridge High School had withdrawal forms on file, with notes to reenroll those students. Twenty-three of the 59 total exceptions were coded as being withdrawn to homeschooling.

The Montgomery County Educational Service Center needs to approve all homeschooling requests, but none of those 23 reportedly made it on the approval list and were entered retroactively.

Superintendent Dave Jackson said he has freely given the auditor access to district files, and there was no attempt made to hide information. Jackson said in a statement Monday he was concerned with the auditor’s findings.

“We will take the information in his final report seriously, and are awaiting the specific details regarding the exceptions that have been identified,” Jackson said. “Once this information is received, we will be better able to evaluate our practices and to modify those practices in order to eliminate errors in the future.”

Yost said more than 260 auditors spent 10,807 billable hours investigating possible scrubbing in a sample of the state’s schools at a cost of $443,000. Yost said the audit looked at 331 individual schools in 137 districts and most Ohio schools are following the rules.

“If [the rules] were that ambiguous, if they were that hard to figure out, I would have expected many many more errors and more schools that showed up in that scrubbing category,” Yost said.

Yost said the vast majority of Ohio schools followed the rules and doesn’t think state law and policy is unclear, but there were warning signs that could have been checked by the Ohio Department of Education. Yost recommended the state collect attendance data continually throughout the year, instead of during one week in October, to discourage tampering with data.

Yost forwarded the report to the U.S. Department of Education Inspector General. He said no referrals to county prosecutors have been made, but the investigation uncovered actions that warrant disciplinary action.

The audit did not make conclusions about motivation behind enrollment changes, which might have caused gains on school district report cards and other accountability measures.

The investigation found nine districts statewide manipulated attendance data: Campbell schools in Mahoning County, Canton, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Marion, Northridge, Toledo and Winton Woods schools in Hamilton County.

The Hamilton City School District was found to have no evidence of scrubbing of attendance data.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

'Potentially hazardous' monster asteroid will fly close to Earth
'Potentially hazardous' monster asteroid will fly close to Earth

A monster space rock classified by NASA as "potentially hazardous" is headed toward Earth. Asteroid 2002 AJ129 – which at 0.7 miles is wider than the tallest building in the U.S. (New York's One World Trade Center) stacked on top of itself – is predicted to miss our planet, according to Metro. However, it will pass...
Another meteor? Reports come in of bright flash across Ohio, Ind. night sky
Another meteor? Reports come in of bright flash across Ohio, Ind. night sky

Another meteor may have lit up the sky late Wednesday night. Several reports have come into our newsroom of a bright flash that shot across the sky just before midnight. People from Englewood, Marysville and Randolph County, Ind. have said they saw the bright flash, with some saying it was bright blue or blue/green. The American Meteor Society received...
Georgia sheriff: I don't care if you're from Wisconsin or need beer, stay home
Georgia sheriff: I don't care if you're from Wisconsin or need beer, stay home

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office was back at it again with the jokes (and insults) as Georgia woke up to a messy wintry mix Wednesday, prompting schools, businesses and nearly three-fourths of the state’s roadways to close. State government offices are remaining closed for non-essential personnel Thursday across the 83 counties...
COMMENTARY: Want to see grit in action? Meet our immigrants

He’s one of the finest surgeons in Dayton (I won’t embarrass him by using his name) and patients are referred to him from all over our region. And he came to the Miami Valley as a refugee from a war-torn nation in West Africa. You know, one of those places Donald Trump insulted with a term this newspaper won’t print. Trump’s...
Wells Fargo customers find accounts drained by mistaken double charges
Wells Fargo customers find accounts drained by mistaken double charges

Some Wells Fargo customers found their bank accounts drained to zero Wednesday when some sort of glitch caused their online bill payments to be processed twice. Numerous customers -- so many that Wells Fargo’s customer service phone lines were jammed Wednesday night -- were discovering that recent payments they had made using the bank’s...
More Stories