Kenosha Unified recently underwent a curriculum audit because we want to provide the highest quality learning environment and outcomes for our students. In order to do this, we must uncover how we are doing against the standards of quality in education today. Through these findings we can make plans and take action toward improvements in key areas throughout our organization.
This audit holds KUSD up to the scrutiny against predetermined standards of quality, cites discrepancies and provides recommendations to improve in certain areas. This audit will be a roadmap to move KUSD forward effectively.
Audit Presentation Video Links
Q: How will your teachers respond?
A: We can’t predict how teachers will respond. What we do know is that they were enthusiastic to have an audit because it is a best practice and provides a roadmap to improvements. Ultimately the teachers want what we all want – to provide the best possible learning environment for our kids.
Q: How much work does this entail?
A: We just received the audit today and need time to read and process it. At that time, we will know how much work is ahead of us. However, we understand that it could take several months to develop an action plan that will address the recommendations.
Q: Who will ensure that this is a district goal?
A: Actually, the plan provides findings and recommendations. It is our job to take action on the information in the audit against the district’s goals.
Q: Does the board have to approve of this audit?
A: The board does not approve the audit; the results are simply presented to them. This is how audits work: The superintendent and her team prepare a response to the audit for the board. Then the board acts, using the recommendations of the audit and the recommendations of the superintendent’s team.
Q: Why did the audit take so long?
A: Actually the audit was quite efficient. The auditors spoke with 180 people and visited 487 classrooms within the course of one week.
Q: Didn’t the district just have an audit a few years ago? What happened with that audit? How is this one different? Why did we need another one?
A: The district conducted its last audit in 1995. There wasn’t sufficient action taken to implement the recommendations of that audit to make impactful changes. The current audit reveals some of the same findings. The current audit makes recommendations as to improving our structure, governance and management, which will drive actions and accountabilities. We are committed to taking a sustainable approach that will outlive the comings and goings of staff or board individuals.
Q: Whose fault is it when an audit isn’t effectively used for positive change?
A: There are improvements we need to make in our structure, governance and management in order for change to happen. That wasn’t done after the 1995 audit. However, we have had recent success with audits: we used our recent financial audit to make marked improvements.
Q: How long will it take to implement the recommendations outlined in the plan?
A: We just received the audit today and need time to read and process it. The superintendent’s team will then prepare a response to the audit for the board. Then the board acts, using the recommendations of the audit and the recommendations of the superintendent’s team.
Q: If this audit morphs into a multi-year plan, who will ensure it happens?
A: The audit makes recommendations that will build a sustainable, effective model for meeting high quality curriculum standards. If we use the roadmap it provides now, all current and future staff and board members will be able to follow it successfully.
Q: How will we know that students will actually achieve more?
A: We will use the facts and findings from the audit to provide clarity within our schools and governance so that we have a continued focus on student achievement. Other districts have found audits are essential to closing to the achievement gap.
Q: Why was Phi Delta Kappa selected?
A: It is the premier organization for auditing best practices, and has done so for districts throughout the country, which have used the information to successfully improve their quality. KUSD worked through the Request for Proposal process and PDK was the top candidate.
Q: What did they do? How did they do this audit?
- Numerous documents were collected prior to on-site visits
- They came in for one full week to work through documents, group interviews, speak with 180 individuals and visit with 487 classrooms
- After the visit more documentation was requested
- They then did an analysis off their standards criteria
- Facts and findings were shared
Q: How many other urban districts has Phi Delta Kappa audited?
A: Over 140
A: What was the total cost of the audit?
Q: Why would you pay so much to find out how bad the district is doing?
A: We want to provide the highest quality learning environment and outcomes for our students. In order to do this, we must uncover how we are doing against the standards of quality in education today. Through these findings we can make plans and take action toward improvements in key areas throughout our organization. KUSD benefits from audits in a variety of areas. For example, the recent financial audit resulted in improved functionality and costs savings for the district.
Q: Do you think that the bad reports are due to the Transformation Plan?
A: The findings of the audit are not related to the Transformation Plan. The audit compared KUSD to predetermined standards of quality to cite discrepancies and provide recommendations to improve in certain areas.
Q: Why does the report focus so heavily on the Board of Education?
A: The audit recommends, first and foremost, that we improve the structure and clarity around governance and management of the system, which is the board’s responsibility. Only with clear roles, responsibilities and assessments can we have accountability within our system.
Q: How do you intend to fix the issues so that KUSD can move forward?
A: Our intention is to make the most of the audit. We will follow audit procedures, and use it as a roadmap for the implementation of recommendations.
Q: When was the last audit done?
Q: This report would have been better if class sizes were smaller, will you focus on making them smaller in all grades now?
A: We only received the audit today and need time to read and process it. We’re not sure what exactly it says about class sizes.
Q: This wouldn't have happened if administration didn't push so many changes, how do you fix this?
A: The audit doesn’t focus on past changes; it focuses on discrepancies and provides recommendations to improve in certain areas. Once we have had time to process the audit, we will make plans for specific changes.
Q: How will we relay audit results to students to garner their support?
A: Students will be the ones experiencing the positive effects of the changes recommended in this audit. They are the primary beneficiaries. They can access detailed information about the audit on the KUSD website and are always welcome to share input at board meetings.
Q: Who sets the standards of quality for education?
A: Phi Delta Kappa does extensive research and uses national standards of quality to evaluate districts during audits.