Dear Mr.

Jeffre, Your email request dated March 26, 2008 to the State Board of Education of Ohio for an investigation of practices by Warrensville Heights High School concerning an after school tutoring program to prepare students for the OGT, based upon the facts in a story in Cleveland.com by Angela Townsend, Plain Dealer Reporter, dated February 17, 2008, was forwarded to me for response. The article to which you referenced indicated that “Freshmen rotated through one-hour workshops with titles like “Test Taking,” “Time Management” and “Handling Conflict”” in the after school sessions. The article goes on to say that “The older students head to math, science, reading and English tutoring.” Ohio school districts have a mandatory duty to provide prevention/intervention services (such as tutoring) to students who have not passed the OGT under R.C. 3301.0711(D) and R.C. 3313.6012(B). OAC Rule 3301-13-05(H)(5) requires each school district to have written procedures that shall include, among other things, specification of a procedure for investigating any alleged unethical testing practice, a procedure ensuring due process for any individual accused, and a procedure for determining an action or actions to be taken in response to any confirmed violation of section 3319.151 of the Revised Code, rule 3301-7-01 of the Administrative Code. Furthermore, OAC Rule 3301-13-05(I)(1) states that “[U]pon receipt of information about an alleged unethical testing practice, the department of education shall call the school district to request the opening of an investigation and shall follow up with a letter to the school district.” OAC Rule 3301-13-05(I)(2)-(6) then provides detailed procedures concerning investigation and resolution of any such alleged violations. Please be advised that the Office of Assessment construes your email concerning Warrensville Heights High School as an allegation of a potential violation of OAC Rule 3301-7-01(C)(5). This Rule states that one type of unethical and/or inappropriate assessment practice is “[P]reparation for an assessment that focuses primarily on the assessment, including its format, rather than on the objectives being assessed.” However, regarding your request for updates on the status of this investigation, OAC Rule 3301-13-05(I)(2) expressly states that “[A]ll records furnished and information gathered or prepared by the department of education in connection with an investigation into an alleged assessment security violation of section 3319.151 of the Revised Code, rule 3301-7-01 of the Administrative Code, an ethical testing practice, this rule, or the school’s security procedures shall be considered confidential information. However, this confidentiality does not prohibit the disclosure of records or information to the school district or participating school for the purpose of the district or school conducting the required investigation.” Because the information you are requesting is confidential, the Department will not be able to provide you with updates. If you have further questions about the practices of Warrensville Heights High School, you may wish to contact the school district directly and request a copy of its written school policies. Matters involving specific school schedules, hours of operation, and curriculum provided, as long as they comply with OAC Chapter 3301-35 (Ohio’s “Operating Standards”) and other state laws and standards, are normally under the authority of the local school district. Judy Feil Director, Office of Assessment