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Education


Canton schools reject Ohio auditor's finding of scrubbed data
Superintendent Allison says the audit focuses on two schools with transitory, kids, and Canton tried to clear its counts with the state
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
Canton school Superintendent Adrian Allison says the data trouble is focused on two schools for high-risk students.
Courtesy of M.L. Schultze
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State Auditor David Yost yesterday formally added Canton City and three southwestern Ohio school districts to the list of those accused of manipulating attendance data to improve the districts state report cards. But, as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, Canton says it was getting mixed signals from the auditor as recently as last week and insists no one did anything intentionally wrong.

SCHULTZE: Canton isn't buying the auditor's finding

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The Canton data being questioned is from the 2010-2011 school year, and involved two schools run as community collaboratives with other districts. Both are for at-risk, often transitory students. They’re students who often don’t fit in traditional schools, nor, says Superintendent Adrian Allison, in the traditional way of coding students for on state reports.

“I disappointed that the auditor failed to recognize the unique circumstances of these schools, failed to recognize the complex system that is EMIS, but I, without question, am confident that Canton City Schools

Did not engage in any intentional manipulation of its data.”

EMIS is the shorthand for the state system used to record information about schools, test scores and students.

Allison says the district has shown Yost’s office inquiries Canton made to the Ohio Department of Education about whether it was recording the data correctly.

Yost’s final report found that a total of nine districts improved their performance ratings by manipulating attendance data so test scores of children likely to fail wouldn’t be  counted. But Yost also criticized the Ohio Department of Education for loose oversight. 

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