2020 Curriculum Audit

  • Dear CCS Community,

    On Tuesday, May 6, at the Board of Education meeting, we presented the findings and recommendations from the curriculum management audit that was conducted earlier in the school year by Phi Delta Kappa.

    This team of education experts from across the country visited our district in December to interview a broad base of stakeholders, observe the work in our school buildings, and examine many documents and artifacts related to the curriculum being taught in Columbus City Schools. Their time in the district was just the tip of the iceberg, as the auditors spent months examining their findings and formulating recommendations for our district.

    Dr. Rosanne Stripling, the team’s lead auditor, presented the results to the Board of Education on Tuesday. I encourage you to watch Dr. Stripling’s presentation and the discussion with Board members. Or you can read the full audit report.

    As a new leader last year, I felt it was important to conduct this type of assessment which allowed an organization to come in and investigate to see what was happening in the many different schools and classrooms across the district. The audit also covered more than just the taught curriculum -- it also evaluated our operations and governance and how each supports teaching and learning in the classroom.

    We know there is great work happening in a number of areas, and the audit confirms that. But we also know there are areas for growth and improvement, and we are committed to using these findings and recommendations to inform the work that is needed to make these improvements.

    On May 14, we are planning to come back to the Board of Education via a virtual public meeting to discuss the audit recommendations and how they connect to our work moving forward. 

    The recommendations are not meant to be implemented and accomplished in year one. As we heard from the auditors, it typically takes a district four or five years to fully implement the recommendations. For CCS, these findings and recommendations will play an important role -- along with the educational visioning of our Portrait of a Graduate work -- as we look to begin a comprehensive strategic planning process in the fall. 

    Our Academic Services team has already started some of the work identified in the audit, specifically around Recommendations #2 and #3, such as adopting a robust multi-tier system of supports (MTSS) framework, developing curriculum adoption cycles for English language arts and math, and beginning a Virtual Learning Task Force to create a longterm plan for what online learning looks like in CCS.

    While we are proud of the progress we have made in the short term, we also know that the findings in the audit cannot be solved overnight. As the Superintendent, my vision is focused on the longterm health and sustainability of the organization. In order to truly address the areas for improvement, our district needs to work together over the coming months and years to implement the strategies and practices that will most benefit our students and set them up for success.

    It is critical that all of our district stakeholders understand the importance of this assessment and how the recommendations will help inform our strategic path forward. It will take all of us -- the administration, teachers, and staff, the Board of Education, our union and association leaders, and the Columbus community -- to affect meaningful change in our organization.

    I look forward to your partnership as we work together to provide Columbus City Schools students with the educational opportunities and resources they need to be successful in the classroom and in life.


    Dr. Talisa Dixon
    Superintendent/CEO, Columbus City Schools