Following CityBeat's Feb. 22 cover story outlining test-score discrepancies at Taft Information Technology High School, a Cincinnati Public Schools board member tells CityBeat that she plans to raise those questions as a topic of discussion at the board’s next meeting.
The article, “Miracle or Mirage? ACT scores and a mysteriously ended cheating probe raise questions about Taft High School’s climb to the top,” delved into contrasting Ohio Graduation Test and ACT test scores at Taft in 2010 and 2011, as well as a 2006 erasure analysis showing that Taft students entered correct answers after 88 percent of all erasures on that year’s OGT. Taft is one of only two excellent-rated high schools in the city of Cincinnati and a 2010 winner of a National Blue Ribbon award from the U.S. Department of Education.
The board member, Eileen Cooper-Reed, doesn’t know what she will ask for or proposed at the board’s March 12 meeting. “What I do know is that if we have nothing to hide, then we have nothing to fear,” she says. “Whatever we can do to make things clear so the community knows what’s going on, it’s worth doing.”
At a board meeting in November 2006, Cooper-Reed expressed dismay at having learned about the erasure analysis from a Columbus Dispatch article that ran four months after CPS, then under the leadership of superintendent Rosa Blackwell, refused to investigate the erasures. Cooper-Reed and former board member Rick Williams said at the meeting that they would send a letter to the Ohio Department of Education asking it to revisit the matter. She says now that she has “no idea” if the letter went out. An ODE spokesman said there is no record of having received the letter or taking up the request.
“I will bring it up,” Reed says of the March 12 board meeting. “If someone else doesn’t bring it up, I certainly will.”