TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – After TPS' superintendent revealed an attendance practice could alter district test scores, the Ohio Department of Education and auditor started investigating every school statewide.
Superintendent Jerome Pecko said he just wants to get beyond all of this.
"We have too many other major initiatives going on in the district to allow this to slow us down," Pecko.
Until TPS' legal counsel, the Ohio Department of Education, and the state auditor get to the bottom of the investigation, the practice remains an issue. They are investigating an attendance reporting practice which retroactively drops and re-enrolls chronically truant students at the end of the year. Their test scores are not included in district and school report cards.
"We need to know who is playing by the rules and who is not, because it's not fair to those who are playing by the rules," said Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Pecko first learned of the practice when there was an article about Columbus doing something similar.
"My reaction was, 'This doesn't sound right.' So we stopped it," said Pecko.
According to Pecko, their report card will not be impacted by the investigation because the data they submitted this year includes the truant students that normally would not have been.
The state is also threatening to pull educator licenses if they find someone was at fault. Pecko feels that might be a bit drastic.
"I think a lot of people who had hands on with this, and I do sincerely believe, the position that our people were taking was that this was standard operating procedure since it's been around so long," explained Pecko.
The governor said it is important to get to the bottom of it all.
"You're teaching kids. You want to be a good example to them, and manipulation of data doesn't send a good message to the students in the classroom," said Kasich.
Pecko and other district administrators said the regulations on reporting attendance are very unclear. Pecko said he just wants clarity and direction.
Copyright 2012 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.