The Curriculum Audit and Audit Training

The Curriculum Audit is a rigorous, straightforward process that focuses on what it will take for any school system to deliver teaching and learning in the most effective ways.

The Curriculum Audit provides an intense and independent scrutiny of policies, planning, organizational relationships, administrative functioning, curriculum design and delivery, equity, feedback use, budgeting, facilities, and many other factors that contribute to the optimization of the school system.

It is not an option for the fainthearted, but it fills the need for accurate, objective, and meaningfully useful information for those serious about making their school system better in terms of student achievement.

Essentially, the curriculum audit is a system of organizational analysis, which originally started about thirty years ago by the national accounting firm, Peat, Marwick, and Mitchell. The curriculum audit trademarks and copyrights have been owned by Curriculum Management Systems, inc. since 1996, and CMSi has authorized Phi Delta Kappa International and the Texas Association of School Administrators to conduct audits under a contractual agreement. PDK offers a rigorously independent, unbiased organization dedicated only to quality universally available educational opportunity on an international scale, and TASA similarly offers services to school systems in Texas only.

The audit investigates three things: two fundamental instructional management issues and one important issue in learning:

  1. Does the school system have a properly managed instructional program (curriculum) that is planned, executed, and assessed in accordance with appropriate standards?
  2. How does the school system conform to the standards of quality in instructional organization which includes the following?
    1. Adequacy, specificity, and scope of board policies and planning?
    2. Sufficient quality in direction for teaching and learning?
    3. Consistency and equity in schools and program implementation?
    4. Effectiveness of program and process monitoring and assessment?
    5. Use and allocations of budget and resources for productivity and quality improvement?
  3. Are all students achieving success equally and effectively within the school system, and if not, what can be done about it?

The analytical process follows standard auditing procedures, and the product is a comprehensive, detailed, and highly useful report. The detailed report analyzes the district's programs and policies, diagnoses strengths and weaknesses, and recommends concrete courses of action for the board and superintendent to follow in order to improve and advance quality in the educational organization.

The audit involves examination of three key data sources documents (provided by the district), interviews (with all key personnel and selected clientele), and an on-site visit to all classrooms in the system. The site visit usually requires the better part of a week, depending upon the size of the district.

Over 250 school districts across the country have had curriculum audits. The standards and criteria used in audits are found in the book, The Curriculum Management Audit: Improving School Quality (Frase, English, and Poston, 2002). The process supports the belief that the curriculum audit is a very useful tool for superintendents and boards who wish to learn the needs and status of their school district in terms of a productive and effective educational system.

The community is able to identify how well the system delivers teaching and learning, and what is working satisfactorily and what needs attention or improvement. The audit report frequently becomes an “agenda for action” and is based on an external, unbiased perspective that focuses on essential components of quality improvement.

Click on the links below to learn more about our specific audits and trainings:

The Curriculum Audit

The Curriculum Audit™, developed and owned by Curriculum Management Systems, Inc., is a structured approach to organizational analysis, policy direction, curriculum quality and equity, and system use of feedback to determine school district effectiveness in promoting student educational attainment.The curriculum management audit was originally employed over 25 years ago to provide policy makers, educational executives, and community constituencies an independent review and a series of recommendations.

The Small School Audit

The Small School Audit was designed especially for school districts with enrollments of less than 2,500 students, and is based on the methodology and approach of the Curriculum Audit. The purpose of the Small Schools Audit is to comprehensively evaluate, in an affordable manner, the quality of the system's curriculum management processes.

The Individual School Audit

The Individual School Audit is a diagnostic process designed to reveal the extent to which the administrators and professional staff of a school, in conjunction with district officials, have developed and implemented a sound, valid, and operational approach for high student achievement performance. Such an approach, set within the framework of adopted board policies and administrative regulations, as well as state regulations, helps the school make maximum use of its human and financial resources in increasing the achievement of its students. The diagnostic Individual School Audit’s scope is centered on curriculum and instruction, and any aspect of operations of a school and the school system that enhances or hinders its design and/or delivery.

The Program-Specific Audit

The Program-Specific Curriculum Audit process is based upon generally-accepted principles pertaining to effective instruction and curricular design and delivery, some of which have been referred to as the “effective schools research” and quality improvement processes related to school excellence. Each program-specific Curriculum Audit focuses on a content area or areas selected by the school system; audits have been done in reading/language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, special education and vocational-technical education, and can be customized to suit the needs of the district.

Level One Audit Training: Curriculum Assessment, Design, and Delivery

This 3 1/2 day training program is designed to prepare you to examine and evaluate deep alignment issues in order to improve student achievement.

Level Two Audit Training: Systems Factors: Governance, Leadership, and Support Services

This 3 1/2 day program is designed to prepare participants to examine and evaluate system-based issues in order to optimize the delivery of effective teaching and learning.

Level Three Audit Training

This level is for those who desire to become an auditor.

Curriculum Management Solutions, Inc.
5619 NW 86th Street, Suite 500
Johnston, Iowa 50131

cmsi@curriculum.bz
Phone: (515) 276-8911
Fax: (515) 276-8912
Toll Free: (877) 276-8911

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