STANDARD 2: A School System Has Established Clear and Valid Objectives for Students.
A school system meeting this audit standard has established a clear, valid, and measurable set of pupil standards for learning and has set the objectives into a workable framework for their attainment.
Unless objectives are clear and measurable, there cannot be a cohesive effort to improve pupil achievement in the dimensions in which measurement occurs. The lack of clarity and focus denies to a school system’s educators, the ability to concentrate scarce resources on priority targets. Instead, resources may be spread too thin and be ineffective in any direction. Objectives are, therefore, essential to attaining local quality control via the school board.
What the Auditors Expected to Find in the Clover Park School District Common indicators the PDK-CMAC auditors expected to find are:
A clearly established, system-wide set of goals and objectives adopted by the Board of Education that addresses all programs and courses,
Demonstration that the system is contextual and responsive to national, state, and other expectations as evidenced in local initiatives,
Operations set within a framework that carries out the system’s goals and objectives,
Evidence of comprehensive, detailed, short- and long-range curriculum management planning,
Knowledge, local validation, and use of current best practices and emerging curriculum trends,
Written curriculum that addresses both current and future needs of students,
Major programmatic initiatives designed to be cohesive,
Provision of explicit direction for the superintendent and professional staff, and
A framework that exists for systemic curricular change.
Overview of What the Auditors Found in the Clover Park School District
This section is an overview of the findings that follow in the area of Standard Two. The details follow within separate findings.
The auditors found that the curriculum requirements for students were provided in grades K-8, but not in 9-12, leaving teachers without direction as to what should be taught and the teaching sequence. In terms of high school coverage, only 58.6 percent of the courses and grade levels had specifications for teachers about teaching content and context.
Of the guides that were available, quality was very poor, making the curriculum guides of little value to teachers. The guides provided didn’t give teachers much information about what to teach, and information about actually carrying out the curriculum was sparse and of low quality. Curriculum guides were so disparate and low in quality that direction in teacher lesson planning could not be adequate or aligned with either Board goals for learners or assessment instruments in use. The instructional program is severely hampered by a poor set of curriculum documents.
Classroom instruction was most likely to be characterized by seatwork (33 percent) on the part of students. Active participation of students in learning was limited to only 20 percent of the instruction observed, and only six percent of instruction was focused on students’ active involvement in problem-solving. Teaching quality is not reflecting the descriptions provided by the system as to what it wants in its classrooms.
Clover Park School District Audit Report Page 31