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 Four. The details follow within separate findings.
The auditors found that assessment information was insufficient to monitor student achievement, and that the Board and staff were disadvantaged by the nature and scope of assessment information obtained. Without good information, decisions by staff or the Board are hampered severely.
In terms of test information gathered, the Clover Park School District students were found to be achieving below expectations and below state and national averages. Large gaps were also evident between groups of students when looked at by gender and race. Also, inadequate responsibility for learning was noted among teaching faculty. District monitoring of results by student, classroom, school, and district was inadequate. Absent such monitoring, needs for improvement would not be noticed.
Finding 4.1: The Scope of the Assessment System Is Inadequate to Monitor the Full Curriculum.
The quality of any organization is influenced by the presence of an assessment process that facilitates informed decision-making about levels of productivity and the quality of the curriculum. As a critical element of sound curriculum management, assessment is comprehensive in nature and guides the system as it considers the need for eliminating, revising, or initiating programs intended to support the mission and vision of the school. Assessment is designed to be a part of the curriculum
development process comprehensive picture
of the progress of students, assessment should occur in all subject
In order to determine the scope of the district’s assessment program, the auditors reviewed appropriate policies, curriculum documents, assessment descriptions, assessment data, and information provided related to the use of data. The auditors assumed the test data presented to them to be all the system wide assessment for the district. Interviews with district personnel also provided the auditors with information regarding the assessment system in the Clover Park School District. The major documents reviewed were the Clover Park District Assessment Program description; Clover Park School District curriculum guides for extended studies, fine arts, fitness, foreign languages, health, science, language arts, mathematics, and social studies; “Why? Files,” volume 2, issues 12 and 23; and Performance Reports for the Iowa Test of Basic Skills/Iowa Test of Educational Development, Washington Assessment of Student Learning, PSAT, Advanced Placement, and SAT assessments.
The auditors reviewed school board policies that relate to the assessment system for the Clover Park School District. The auditors found that Clover Park School District policies state an expectation that standards-based and academic assessment take place annually.
Policy 4001-R3: Assessment of Standards – “Standards which serve as student learning objectives… will be assessed annually. Formal tests will be used to evaluate mastery of the standards specified for K-9 reading, language arts, and mathematics. Standards for K-9 art as well as business education, foreign language, health, home economics, industrial arts, music, physical education, science and social studies, and for all 10-12 courses using appropriate assessment tasks compatible with normal instructional activities… Assessment results for individual students will be reported to parents, and the performance statistics for classrooms, schools and the district will be compiled.”
Clover Park School District Audit Report Page 77