Ohio Ready To Release School Report Cards

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UPDATE 5:16 PM The Ohio Department of Education says it's ready to release school districts' long-awaited report cards now that a review of attendance data practices has been released.

The report cards for the 2011-2012 school year should have been published last summer but were delayed because of a state investigation into districts' enrollment policies.

Education Department spokesman John Charlton said Monday the report cards and other school rankings will be released by month's end.

State Auditor David Yost concluded a months-long review of school data on Monday with the finding that nine districts altered enrollment data.

Yost says he's been talking to federal prosecutors about his findings.

UPDATE 2:21 p.m. Ohio's state auditor says he's turned up four more school districts that removed poor-performing students from their rolls.

Auditor David Yost also identified more than 70 schools or districts with attendance reporting errors, though these didn't appear to be purposeful.

The four districts that Yost announced Monday bring to nine the number of total districts Yost has identified in his investigation of the data withdrawal practice known as "scrubbing."

The districts Yost identified Monday are Canton, Cincinnati, Winton Woods city schools, and Northridge Local schools.

Yost says the state should peg school funding on year-long attendance figures to encourage attendance through the entire year.

Yost previously said Campbell, Cleveland, Columbus, Marion and Toledo city schools improperly removed students.

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost is preparing to release findings of his statewide probe of school attendance tampering.

The Republican official has scheduled a news conference Monday to discuss the records review of a statistically selected sampling of school districts and buildings.

Yost launched the review in response to unusual practices discovered in districts in Columbus, Toledo and suburban Cincinnati. He set out to determine whether Ohio schools have been removing poor-performing students from their rolls in attempts to improve performance ratings that can impact federal funding and employee bonuses.

Yost earlier separated the Columbus district from the statewide probe when federal authorities became involved and criminal referrals appeared likely.

Release of Ohio's performance assessments was temporarily delayed last year amid concern that faulty attendance data may have compromised the rankings.