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.
A curriculum audit of this type focuses upon curriculum and assessment design and delivery for a single school system, as well as selected systemic factors germane to a selected program. It is an independent examination of the program, using three data sources:
- Documents pertaining to the direction for teacher in content
- Documents pertaining to ways, means, and results from assessments of pupil achievement and progress
- Responses to inquiries posed to individuals within the system
Data are gathered and analyzed, or corroborated, to reveal the extent to which a school system is capable of meeting its goals and objectives, whether they are internally or externally developed or imposed. A comprehensive written report is issued to the client school system as the final phase of the process.
The program-specific Curriculum Audit centers on curriculum, instruction, and the measurement of student progress. The program-specific Curriculum Audit is an intensive, focused, vertical look at how well a school system has been able to set valid direction for pupil accomplishment and well being, and improve its performance, however contextually defined or measured over time. The program-specific Curriculum Audit only examines those areas of operations found to be relevant to efficient and effective learning for the clients of the school system.
The program-specific audit report is often described as a blueprint from which a school system can plan the improvement of teaching and learning in the system, and is especially useful due to the contextualized nature of the report and customized product.