JCPS Requests Waiver of District Leadership Assessment

by Devin Katayama on April 2, 2012

Jefferson County Public Schools is asking the Kentucky Department of Education to waive its district leadership assessment in place of a private audit the district commissioned last year.

Districts with persistently low achieving (PLA) schools under the No Child Left Behind measure are required to undergo district leadership assessments, which provide corrective steps they need to follow to improve.

“What they would do in a typical district assessment is they would come back in and ask the schools, how has the district supported you? So it’s not necessarily a judgment about the school’s progress. It’s more about how the districts have supported the schools in their efforts,” said Dena Dossett, director of planning for JCPS.

Last year, JCPS commissioned Phi Delta Kappa International to conduct a $302,000 curriculum management audit, which provided the district with an over 500 page report that outlined several recommendations the district should take to improve student achievement and district management. JCPS is requesting the state to allow that report to take the place of the KDE review.

Dossett said the report matches the state’s rubric.

“What we’re hoping to do is alleviate some of the burden placed on the schools and allow them to focus on the instructional piece that they need to focus in on,” she said.

If the state approves the district’s request, KDE representatives would likely still visit JCPS to make sure the audit is in compliance, said Dossett.

The Kentucky Board of Education will take up the issue on Wednesday.

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