The External School Curriculum Audit is a school-based improvement intervention that is used in the Corrective Action phase for those schools in both the Focused and Comprehensive categories. The Audit identifies how schools, designated as failing AYP for more than four years, have delineated, interpreted, aligned, articulated, and implemented the New York State Learning Standards for one or more accountability measures and student groups. The External School Curriculum Audit must target the identified accountability measure(s) and subgroup(s) not making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and must address:
- the alignment of the school’s curriculum with the NY State Learning Standards and the Common Core Standards;
- the implementation and assessment of that curriculum; and
- the alignment of the curriculum to instruction.
The district is an integral member of this review process and is responsible for identifying and providing supports required for implementation of the new curriculum as written and taught, including professional development. The research-based recommendations are a guide for the district and school in the development of a Corrective Action Plan for improvement in each identified accountability measure. If the school is located in a district that has participated in a District Audit of Curriculum (AOC), the District’s AOC Plan must be considered when developing recommendations for the school’s External School Curriculum Audit Report.
One Additional Corrective Action: Based on the needs of the school, the district selects one additional appropriate NCLB corrective action:
- replace school staff who are relevant to the failure to make AYP;
- decrease management authority at the school;
- appoint an outside expert to advise the school;
- extend the school day or school year; or
- restructure the internal organization of the school.
The ESCA must result in a Curriculum Audit Report by the end of the school year in June 2011 in order for the school to incorporate the report’s recommendations into its 2011-12Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP). The district must ensure the school is implementing the recommendations during the 2011-12 school year.
School Improvement Grant funds must be used to conduct the ESCA and other activities related to implementing the recommendations of the audit. In selecting an external evaluator to conduct the audit, the district should use its own procurement procedures and consider the following criteria:
- sufficient size, capacity and experience to complete the audit within the specified timeframe;
- experience in delivering timely, high-quality pre-K through 12 educational products and services;
- specific expertise in research-based curriculum design, instruction, professional development and/or systemic organizational improvement;
- demonstrated understanding of NYS Learning Standards in the identified content area(s);
- demonstrated understanding of NYS current initiatives including Race to the Top, the Common core Standards and teacher evaluation;
- a proven history of working successfully with districts and schools of similar demographics, and;
- substantial experience in the identified accountability measure(s) and subgroup(s) identified for improvement.
The following are examples of external entities that may be able to successfully conduct a curriculum audit:
- curriculum auditing companies;
- educational consultants;
- institutions of higher education; or
- professional organizations with experience conducting curriculum audits.
Requirements of the External School Curriculum Audit Report
The Curriculum Audit must:
- address the accountability measure(s), grade level(s) and subgroup(s) for which the school has failed to make AYP;
- analyze the learning environment and school culture, including the district and school policies to provide a safe, equitable and orderly learning environment, the social- emotional atmosphere of the learning environment, and the supports for students;
- make recommendations for the school’s improvement that:
- meet all applicable State Education Department (SED) regulations and requirements, including addressing mastery of all learning standards in the identified area(s);
- are actionable in light of district fiscal constraints;
- are both long and short-term; and
- are aligned with SED activities to implement the Common Core Standards at the school level, through use of Network Teams, as outlined in the New York Race to the Top application.
The Curriculum Audit Report must include all requirements in the template below:
- External School Curriculum Audit Report in PDF (34 KB)
- External School Curriculum Audit Report in Word (58 KB)
Follow-Up to ESCA
When the ESCA report is completed, the school must send a copy to NYSED and revise its Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP) to include implementation of the recommendations from the report. NYSED should receive the school’s CEP and ESCA report no later than August 31, 2011. The CEP with ESCA recommendations must be implemented in the 2011-2012 school year. In addition, districts must use the total funds from the school’s School Improvement Grant (SIG) for the subsequent year (2011-12) to continue implementing the recommendations of the audit.
The district will also be required to complete and submit a mid-year evaluation during 2011-12 to NYSED that provides evidence that the audit recommendations are effectively implemented. The Mid-Year Evaluation Report must include all requirements in the template below: