Erasure scandal now a farce

The controversy over school attendance erasures started out life with questionable reporting, layered with supposition and innuendo and is now descending into farce.

Unable to perform their own investigation after years of oversight failure, ODE passed the investigation over to the State Auditor. Now the State Auditor is having to fire his own investigative staff.

State Auditor Dave Yost warned Columbus schools leaders a month ago that contacting the district’s internal auditor as she investigates claims of data rigging could have serious consequences.

Yesterday, a member of Yost’s own staff resigned after he failed to take his boss’s advice. John Davis, who also volunteers as a member of the school district’s audit committee, urged the school district’s internal auditor, Carolyn Smith, to speak with an attorney for the school board who has been meeting with district officials to ask about data rigging.

This comes just days after William Zelei, Associate Superintendent of Accountability and Quality Schools at ODE, submitted his letter of resignation.

It seems more heads are rolling among the investigators than the investigated. The one person from a district that has been fired, the Superintendent of Lockland, is now filing a law suit

Former Lockland Schools Superintendent Donna Hubbard and her son, Adam Stewart, Wednesday sued to keep their jobs, alleging the school board last week violated Ohio’s Open Meetings laws.

The lawsuits are the latest salvo in a battle between Hubbard and Lockland, one of the smallest school districts in Ohio with about 700 students.

The school board Aug. 23 voted 3-to-1 to begin the termination process for Hubbard after a state investigation found she and Stewart, the district’s database coordinator, falsely listed 37 habitually truant students as withdrawn from the district.

This entire scandal has nothing to do with educating students, it has everything to do with corporate education reform policies that require increasing large amounts of data with which to slice and dice. Not one bit of any of this will have any impact on what is going on in thousands of classrooms across Ohio right now - but it sure makes good theater.