This from The Columbus Dispatch:
Saying that student attendance-data fraud in Ohio appears to be systemic, the state auditor will grow his Columbus schools investigation into a statewide one that questions whether the Ohio Department of Education was complicit.
Every school district, charter school and the department will be scrutinized by state auditors, said Carrie Bartunek, spokeswoman for State Auditor Dave Yost.
“In short, it appears that attendance report rigging is not a localized problem with Columbus Public Schools, but that it may be more systemic — and that raises the question of what role ODE played during the time that false reports were made by multiple schools,” Yost said in letter to Debe Terhar, president of the State Board of Education.
Yost asks Terhar to direct department staff to preserve any records that might be related to the matter and to help auditors access the department’s data systems.
The need to expand the probe became clear, Yost’s letter says, when what began as allegations of cheating in Columbus were repeated in Toledo and then verified in Lockland schools near Cincinnati.
State auditors and special investigators recently began a probe in Columbus schools after The Dispatch reported allegations of widespread data tampering by district and school officials.