Columbus Schools Putting Microscope To Attendance Reporting; Inconsistencies Found


Columbus City Schools officials said on Friday that staff members found inconsistencies in its data related to students who were listed as truant.

Superintendent Gene Harris said that the irregularities were found in attendance reporting, 10TV’s Tanisha Mallett reported.

Attendance records are one of the indicators the state uses to measure student progress

Harris said that she felt that the inconsistencies were serious enough to have an independent party review the records.

“Our pupil services staff were filing truancy charges on students and found some inconsistencies in the data,” Harris said. 

The superintendent said that there was no indication that data was manipulated in an attempt to cheat, but with more than 50,000 students in 118 buildings, Harris said that finding the heart of the error could take time, Mallett reported.

Harris said that there were several “legitimate” reasons why an attendance record would be changed at the end of the year, such as new documentation making an unexcused absence an excused absence and a student transferring out of the district and returning before the year was up.

Harris said that she would not tolerate anyone manipulating data, Mallett reported.

“If we have control issues, we absolutely need to know that and put that in place,” Harris said. “If there are personnel issues, we need to deal with, we need to know that and we need to move forward.”

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