Educators in data scandal could lose licenses

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The state has informed 60 educators in Columbus city schools that they could lose their licenses to work in Ohio schools because of the recent attendance data-scrubbing scandal.

An Ohio Department of Education spokeswoman said the agency sent letters in two batches to educators this month alerting them that they are being investigated. The letters offer them a chance to give up their state licenses to end the investigation.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that the 60 are likely principals, assistant principals and other administrators in Ohio’s largest school district. It’s unlikely that teachers are among them because they haven’t been implicated in improperly altering data to manipulate the school’s performance ratings.

Losing 60 principals and managers could potentially affect the district’s ability to meet a new state requirement that principals conduct in-class evaluations of teachers, Superintendent Dan Good said. But he said he wasn’t surprised by the large number of employees under state investigation, given the state auditor’s findings that cheating was systemic under former Superintendent Gene Harris.

Ohio is recalculating report cards for the Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Toledo districts for 2011-12 because an investigation found data scrubbing. Problems also have been identified in some smaller districts, too, including Campbell City Schools.

State Auditor Dave Yost found that some of the districts “scrubbed” kids who hadn’t left from the rolls so their grades wouldn’t hurt overall performance ratings.

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