Audit Helps to Cultivate Culture of Continuous Improvement

curriculum auditThe Curriculum Audit Team from International Curriculum Management Audit Center at Phi Delta Kappa International presented its formal final report to the Kenai Peninsula Board of Education at their monthly scheduled meeting in Homer on September 13. The report is the final phase of the curriculum audit process, which began in January 2010.

"We are pleased to have the findings of the audit; they allow us to establish a baseline for our improvement efforts. It would be wrong to assume that because the study contains numerous recommendations for improvement that the District is in trouble. As I visit schools I am continually impressed by the many great things going on in our classrooms," said Dr. Steve Atwater, KPBSD Superintendent.

The audit was not a requirement or mandate. Rather, the Board of Education and KPBSD administrators requested the audit in order to ensure that the District is prepared for the rigorous standards of the future, gain strategic insight into key policy and institutional level issues and to examine core curriculum and instruction in order to provide the best education for every KPBSD student.

The audit team scrutinized hundreds of documents and data, and conducted site visits throughout the District. The final report is an exception report, which is designed to find gaps and areas that can be improved.

"Over the past several years, I have conducted several dozen curriculum audits in over 12 states and KPBSD is above average in terms of organizational structure with good people in the right places. The curriculum is about where we typically find it in terms of quality. Significant improvements can be easily made to the written curriculum documents. It is also important to keep in mind that a rating of adequate in some areas of this audit is no less than 100%. Most importantly, I feel that KPBSD has the capacity to address the issues cited in the report. KPBSD is poised to really move forward," said John Rouse, Curriculum Audit Team Chairman.

It is important to note that this audit is a snapshot in time. Although it is an invaluable tool as a third party unbiased source of information, it is not the only benchmark that the District will utilize to assess and improve its curriculum efforts. Some of the items noted in the report had already been identified by School District personnel and administrators. Plans were already underway to address the needs.

The leadership team is in the process of working through the audit to create a comprehensive plan of curriculum and curriculum-related changes. On average, strategic plans of this size and scope are implemented over a minimum of 3-6 years. KPBSD will communicate with all District stakeholders throughout the process.