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Columbus schools superintendent touts academic gains

Academic performance among Ohio students continues to improve. That's according to a statewide report card released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Education. Columbus schools superintendent Gene Harris used the occasion to tout her district's improvements.

In the 2003/2004 school year, the Columbus Public Schools earned a 71.4 rating on the state index. That puts the district in the "academic watch" category, just one step above emergency status, but an improvement over previous years. Superintendent Gene Harris says the state report card shows the district is making gains. Attendance is up and students improved in 15 out of 17 performance categories. But Harris also admits the district still has a lot of work to do.

The school district will ask voters in November to approve a $62-million a year operating levy. Harris says a large part of the campaign will be convincing Columbus voters that the school district is a worthwhile investment.