Ohioans must rely on honesty for report cards

Some Ohio legislators have entirely the wrong attitude about a massive scandal involving public schools in Columbus. They should not be worrying as much about that city as other school districts.

It appears both Democrat and Republican leaders in the General Assembly view the Columbus situation as a wake-up call. Good. The only question now is what to do about it.

As you probably are aware, an 18-month investigation revealed widespread lying about data involving students in Columbus schools. Hundreds of them had F grades changed to D’s. School administrators lied on a variety of other matters, including attendance.

One lawmaker, state Rep. Michael Stinzano, D-Columbus, cautioned against ”immediate legislative action.” He pointed out Columbus schools have new leadership,

Again, Columbus is the last place about which lawmakers should worry. If cheating by school administrators was going on there, what rational adult can believe it is not occurring elsewhere?

Fortunately, other lawmakers do want ”immediate legislative action.” Among proposals they are considering is one for a sort of watchdog agency to audit school districts periodically, in order to catch administrators who submit false reports to the state.

That is an excellent idea. Ohioans need to be able to rely on the accuracy – the honesty – of reports purporting to show how well schools perform.