The Individual School Audit
There are no mysteries to developing high performing schools. Typically, low performing schools conjure up images of poor teaching, lazy or unmotivated faculty, incompetent administrators, overcrowded classrooms, outdated textbooks, or tragically stupid, hostile, or unmotivated students. A low performing school is considered “bad”, and the traditional remedies run the gamut from:
- Doing more work (i.e., “better” planning, staff development, class size reduction, technology, curriculum change, some “off-the-shelf” new remedy);
- Doing something different (extending the school day, parent tutors, community involvement, students in uniforms, block scheduling, peer collaboration); or
- Doing away with them (academic bankruptcy, probation, intervention, takeover, privatization, vouchers, etc.).
None of these approaches exhibit any understanding of the true nature of the problem, which lies in the design and delivery of the curriculum and its alignment with the measured curriculum.
—Fenwick W. English (2005)
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 goal of the Individual School Audit is to gather diagnostic data about the current operation of the school staff and compare this data to a set of CMSi-designed standards for schools with high student performance. From these data, findings are made and action strategies are recommended in a written report to direct the staff in establishing an educational program toward academic excellence. Suggested student achievement goals are recommended for a three-year school improvement plan. Upon request, an optional service can be provided to assist the group charged with the development of a school improvement plan to use the Individual School Audit report to develop a three-year plan of action.
The Individual School Audit is a key piece of data for any school desiring a detailed, diagnostic report focused on those factors shown to improve student achievement.