Failing Grade

THE INMATES are running the asylum. That may be a stretch but in three Ohio school districts we wonder who really is running the show.

The superintendent of Columbus schools released a disturbing report this week. It reinforces our leadership concerns.

Superintendent Gene Harris stated that some principals in one of three state school districts accused of changing attendance records to boost their state report card numbers may have received financial bonuses as a result.

Changing attendance figures is outrageous. Providing financial incentive to do such, is incomprehensible. Moreover, what kind of messages are we sending to students and their parents?

The “gainsharing” program is a district initiative which makes it possible for schools to earn bonuses by improving student performance.

Harris says some 200 of her principals revealed in June that they were trained on how to change data by a now-reassigned official. We believe that official in question should be reassigned to the unemployment line, as well as anyone in concert with such disturbing tactics.

Harris vows to clean up the mess with the help of other district leaders.

Among the methods are the creation of an accountability committee and the reviewing of state-reported data at the senior leadership level every reporting period.

That is a good starting point but more needs to be done to ensure the sanctity of enrollment figures as too much is at stake for academic credibility.

If the character of our school leaders continues to come into question, how can we expect excellence from our students?