Expert: Columbus (Ohio) District's Attendance Data 'Not Logical'

Monday, June 18, 2012

Columbus fifth-graders come to school nearly every day. But roughly half of them can’t pass their math, reading and science exams.

Linden-McKinley STEM Academy has had near-perfect attendance for the past three school years. But only 54 percent of Linden-McKinley students graduate, and fewer than 2 in 5 can pass the state science exam on the first try.

If showing up is half the battle in helping students succeed, why aren’t more Columbus schools winning?

It’s a question raised in the wake of allegations that Columbus schools retroactively alter students’ attendance data, which could affect their standing on the state-issued school report cards. Student attendance rates are among the benchmarks used to determine school and district quality.

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