TPS to review controversial attendance-reporting procedure - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

TPS to review controversial attendance-reporting procedure

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - It may not be illegal but it does raise some ethical issues.

It involves the way Toledo Public Schools handles it's attendance-keeping procedures.

District Superintendent Dr. Jerome Pecko said Saturday the practice is being re-evaluated.

The re-evaluation practice potentially involves administrators changing student attendance records and it's a practice that may boost state testing scores.

"In my estimation, when we find out about anything of this type of nature, we're going to attack it. Not going to ignore it," said Dr. Pecko.

He says he has initiated a review of TPS procedures for reporting attendance data to determine whether the district complies with Ohio Department of Education guidelines.

The review found that students who fall within the definition of 'habitual truancy' are not included in the tabulation of scores on the building and district annual report cards.

Dr. Pecko adds he discovered that at the end of the year, the district retroactively removed students from the tabulation who met that definition.

They were then immediately re-enrolled.

How commonplace is this across Ohio?

"I don't know. I can't answer the question. I know Columbus is doing it. That triggered the conversation in the district," said Dr.Pecko.

A letter has been sent to the Education Department asking for guidance regarding reporting data of truant students.

"I think people were following instructions. It's a practice that's been around for awhile. I would say a lot of people viewed it to be standard operating procedure," said Dr. Pecko.

Meanwhile, the district has stopped the retroactive withdrawal and enrollment of habitual truants.

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