Last week, State Auditor Dave Yost released an “interim” report on his investigation into attendance reporting practices across the state, and it took less than a day for the attorney representing the Columbus Board of Education to respond at length with a list of corrections that the Auditor should take into account. In that press conference, the Columbus attorney directed strong rebukes directly to the Columbus Dispatch reporters who have been jumping to conclusions about the data they are grossly misinterpreting in the series of articles they rehash weekly.
In a press conference last week only one day after being blindsided by the Auditor’s interim report, lawyer Robert Trafford offered an informed response that called into question multiple “findings” by the State Auditor who elected to release the report without first discussing any of the allegations with representatives in the major districts involved. In the first video segment of Trafford’s part in the press conference, he articulates the initial flaws in the Auditor’s claims of improper reporting, explaining that Yost’s interpretation of the law sets attempts to set legal precedent while ignoring simple rules of both the English language and the proper format of standard legal text.
In the second segment of the press conference [below], the district’s attorney explains more about the Auditor’s flawed understanding of truancy, seemingly debates with an unidentified male reporter trying to tell his own story, explains how student mobility in a large urban district wreaks havoc on record-keeping, and repeating states how the district is unable to respond to the specific claims in the report because the Auditor isn’t communicating any of the findings back to the district to allow them to clarify mistakes made through the many apparent misinterpretations. At the end of this clip, Trafford even explains why it is so important to “scrub” large data sets, an especially important practice for a large school district to engage in and one that Auditor Yost undoubtedly has engaged in during his tenure as an auditor.
We’ll post the final two segments of this press conference tomorrow where you can watch as Trafford calls out the Columbus Dispatch for their embarrassing misunderstanding of the data they have used to craft their attacks on the school district.