The Ohio Department of Education has found that Akron-area school districts performed higher than state performance averages.

The state’s report cards released on Wednesday were delayed for months while officials investigated data tampering that may have inflated performance and attendance in some districts. Nine such districts, including Canton, have been identified as “scrubbing” data. Educators who manipulated enrollment data could face license revocation and districts could lose funding.

Only 11 of Ohio’s 612 public school districts performed better than Hudson and Jackson schools.

Jackson was among 24 districts in the five-county area that received a coveted “Excellent with Distinction” rating — the highest of six possible distinctions.

Hudson along with 26 other districts received an “Excellent” rating. Seven districts scored “Effective” and four districts including Southeast, Akron, Canton and Alliance scored “Continuous Improvement.” No local districts fell into the bottom two categories of “Academic Watch” or “Academic Emergency.”

Akron, Canton and Alliance performance levels align with state trends in areas with concentrated poverty.

“The performance of our state’s economically disadvantaged students and minorities remains unacceptably low,” the state said in its explanation of the latest round of report cards.

Some 63 percent of districts statewide appear to have made performance gains, according to an analysis of the state data. Locally, 64.5 percent of school districts made gains.

“We congratulate Ohio’s students, families and educators for making continued, solid academic progress,” said Michael Sawyers, acting superintendant at ODE, in a statement. “But we will need to set the bar higher to ensure that all of our students are prepared for a future that will demand higher skills.”

Those higher skills include a more rigorous curriculum under national standards, a reading guarantee that could prevent thousands of students from advancing to fourth grade and a new system for evaluating teacher performance.

All of these measures will be boiled down into “easy to understand” A to F grades in state report cards to be released in the next academic year.

Doug Livingston can be reached at 330-996-3792 or dlivingston@thebeaconjournal.com.