Ohio Schools Chief: Data Changes May Spur Charges

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ohio's school superintendent says the investigation of changes made to student attendance data in several districts could lead to criminal charges against educators who committed fraud.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that Superintendent Stan Heffner discussed that possibility Wednesday, the same day the Ohio Department of Education announced the Lockland district in suburban Cincinnati filed false attendance data to improve its state report card. Changing attendance data can change the entire report card by controlling which students end up in the final pool of tests that are counted.

The department is investigating claims that Columbus and Toledo schools also retroactively altered student attendance records to boost district results. Heffner said he'll seek simultaneous criminal and civil investigations if there's evidence of fraud.

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