"In his second audit of school attendance figures, Auditor Dave Yost announced Tuesday that of the 47 school districts and 81 schools he examined in the final days before the General Election, none had revealed evidence of data “scrubbing” for the apparent purpose of inflated state report card rankings."
Wow. So, you mean all that talk about how much School Districts were cheating to get good Report Card scores, or how "suspicious" attendance records were, was for naught? I'm stunned.
So the state spent $450,000 (at least) on a witch hunt to catch schools doing something wrong because ideologues couldn't believe they were doing well on Report Card ratings? Yup. Looks like it.
Whereas my being stunned is sarcastic, Mr. Yost expressed a similar level of surprise. Only he was serious.
“I’m surprised and pleased,” Yost said. “To have zero incidents of ‘scrubbing’ is encouraging news.”This tells me that Yost went into this thing assuming districts were scrubbing data to make themselves look better. To his credit, he followed the facts and reached a conclusion that was different from his bias. However, I think his assumption is telling.
For so long, conservatives and free market reformers have been banging the "public education sucks" drum that when news comes out that 2/3 of Ohio School Districts rate A or A+ on the report card, as it did last week, the reaction is one of two: the tests are too easy, or the districts are cheating.
Why don't folks in the media or in the public eye instead give the simpler, more elegant answer: Schools are doing a fine job, on the whole, of preparing their kids for the tests. We can talk about whether test scores equates with excellent education, but the state has created a test-taking regime that the districts are Ace-ing. No doubt about it.
And it drives the free market reformers nuts. Because it doesn't fit their narrative. They've even got the Akron Beacon Journal's editorial board buying into the "something's fishy with the report card" stuff.
If the tests are so easy, why are only 10% of Charters rated A or A+? Why are 40% D or F? If it's so easy for school districts to excel at the tests, why, then, is it so blooming hard for Charters to do the same?
And before Charters say, "we have harder kids to educate," remember that was the exact reason urban districts gave for their poorer test results when Charter Schools started in 1998. Charter School proponents called those "excuses". Perhaps Charters have another excuse handy this time?
I mean, it's only been 15 years and $6 billion spent on schools that have "improved" so much that a paltry10% are excellent. Meanwhile, every Ohio child not in a Charter receives 6.5% less state revenue because of how much extra the state pays for Charter Schools.
Perhaps Charters should try some "scrubbing". Because it appears that, right now, the only way they can measure up to traditional public schools is if they cheat. On tests that are allegedly "too easy."
How sad is that?