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A Curriculum Management Audit - page 102 / 140

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what is not working and should be discontinued?, what should be modified or improved?, and, finally, what is not being done that should be considered ‘to help us reach our goals?’” The plan does not provide clear means of evaluating its effectiveness.

  • The Clover Park School District Local Action Plan (January 2001) consists of 10 action areas for improved partnering of the school district and Fort Lewis. Although each issue makes reference to evaluation, nowhere does the plan define means of assessment. For example, issue #2 relates to transitioning new students into the school district. It states: “this process would be reviewed annually on the completion of each event by the CP (Clover Park) administrator...responsible for the Fort Lewis schools and the DPCA CYS staff in conjunction with the school liaison officer.”

  • The Clover Park School district, like some other western Washington districts, is experiencing a relatively high staff attrition rate. In the school year 1999 - 2000, for example, approximately 22 percent of principals, 16 percent of teachers, and 50 percent of physical therapists and speech language pathologists resigned. Other than retirements, the human resources department has obtained little information about the reasons for resignations. While human resource personnel have put together a proposal for student teacher development in order to bring a pool of potential replacement teachers into the system, auditors were unable to learn of any assessment of the problem with the goal of reducing the attrition rate in the first place.

Curriculum guides were reviewed for references to use of assessment to drive decision-making. Finding 2.2 addresses the quality of the Clover Park School District curriculum guides in detail. However, in none of the guides was student assessment adequately addressed. For example, while the K-12 language arts curriculum (spring, 1996) indicates that “curriculum and assessment are interdependent,” it gives no indication of how “checkpoints” will be assessed. The syllabi provided for the high schools, reference assessment, but only in regards to grading. These, too, are inadequate in quality to provide direction. Interviews with district personnel, board members, and community members provided additional insight into assessment as it relates to the district curriculum. Several comments follow:

  • “(There is) no district-wide assessment in the math curriculum.” (principal)

  • “A few years ago, we didn’t have curriculum. Now we have one which is pretty well-defined, but we don’t have a well-defined assessment associated with that curriculum.” (principal)

  • “We have a wonderful curriculum in the district, but we don’t have any assessments to go with it.” (principal)

  • “We can’t connect the results from the WASL with teacher grades or make comparisons with knowledge mastery.” (principal)

  • “We need to be further along with classroom assessments.” (administrator)

Auditors held conversations with board members, administrators, teachers, and community members about the use of data for decision-making about program selection, maintenance, modification, or termination. Among the comments heard are the following:

“Reading scores at grades 3 and 4 were poor a few years ago.… Well.” (principal)

(We) used them to adopt Read-

  • “It is really time to evaluate program efficacy. We really don’t know which programs are most

effective.” (administrator)

  • “We’ve done minimal evaluation on ‘Does that make a difference?’” (administrator)

  • “We don’t have a strong program evaluation component in this district, nor the expertise...the

skills...to do this.” (superintendent)

  • “We’ve done minimal evaluation of the national reforms.” (administrator)

  • “A lot of money went into reform models, and they don’t make a difference for kids.” (teacher)

Clover Park School District Audit Report Page 96

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