Title

Perceived Impact of Curriculum Management Audit Recommendations on Increased Student Achievement

Publication Date

3-2005

Type of Culminating Activity

Dissertation

Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Major Advisor

Roger Stewart

Abstract

Curriculum management audits are an intensive investigation, or audit, of a school district's daily operations, including curriculum, policies, organizational structure, financial operations, and use of assessment data. Curriculum audits are conducted by a team of certified auditors composed of professional educators and administrators. Curriculum audit findings are used to generate recommendations, which are presented to the school district in an audit report. The audit recommendations provide the district with specific recommended actions that are intended to improve district operations and to improve student achievement.

This research examined whether implementation of curriculum audit recommendations, as perceived by key administrators, influenced student achievement as measured by standardized test scores. To make this determination four specific areas were examined: 1) student achievement gains based on standardized test scores, 2) the perception of key administrators regarding the level of audit recommendation implementation, 3) the perception of key administrators regarding the impact of curriculum audit recommendation implementation on student achievement, and 4) a comparison of student achievement gains between audited and non-audited districts.

This study was unable to establish that the implementation of curriculum management audit recommendations, as perceived by key administrators, influenced student achievement as measured by state standardized test scores. It is possible that implementation of audit recommendations influenced student achievement, but there was no way to clearly establish this influence in this study because one variable - implementation - did not vary much: all districts reported high levels of implementation. Additionally, achievement gains in the audited districts were almost the same as achievement gains in the similar non-audited districts. Findings from this study suggest that implementation of audit recommendations may have a positive influence on student achievement in ways that are not demonstrated by standardized test scores, or in ways that are not measured in this study. The positive influence perceived by key administrators may be a result of the overall audit process, not just the implementation of audit recommendations. More research is needed to determine the influence of curriculum management audits on student achievement.

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