Pilewski responds to curriculum audit with ‘Innovation Center’
CENTREVILLE — Interim Superintendent for Queen Anne’s County Public Schools, Gregory Pilewski launched the first “QACPS Innovation Center” in August in response to the Curriculum Management audit findings. “The Curriculum Management Audit is a third-party independent organizational analysis of our curriculum and instruction functions to improve achievement for all students,” stated Pilewski.
The audit, conducted by the International Curriculum Management Audit Center Phi Delta Kappa International, found “board policies are inadequate to provide local curriculum mangement direction ... some critical positions for quality control were absent. Job descriptions ... generally met audit standards.”
The audit also noted the Board of Education’s “disharmony has compromised the board’s ability to provide clear direction and focus for the management and operation of the school district.”
Specifically relating to the delivery of curriculum content the audit concluded there was a lack of comprehensive curriculum management plan in place to guide the design, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of the curriculum; fur ther indicating that a broader scope of the written curriculum could be helpful in providing better direction for teaching staff, noted the audit.
The audit also suggested planned and implemented professional development opportunities for teachers would increase student success.
In all, eight recommendations were made by the curriculum audit team to strengthen and develop staff job descriptions and expectations and ensure a more consistent curriculum delivery with an emphasis on clarity and cohesive written plans that would meet audit criteria and be communicated to all stakeholders.
In response to the audit’s findings Pilewski said, “Our classroom teachers, administrators, and supervisors have experienced a tremendous amount of educational reform initiatives over the past several years. Often, educational initiatives were implemented all at once.
“Our teachers, administrators, and supervisors have done a fantastic job making these shifts as we transitioned to new standards and assessments and analyzed our results, we wanted to take a closer look at our core functions of teaching and learning. We reflected and asked ourselves: what are we doing well that we can build on and where can we improve to close gaps in student learning?”
Pilewski said he believes the audit recommendations will help QACPS and the Board of Eduction to narrow their focus.
The Innovation Center is a systemic approach designed to align the work of the Board of Education and Superintendent, Executive Team, and central office and school-based leaders to improve results in the core work of the school district: teaching and learning, said Pilewski.
“The structure allows for greater alignment of our organizational efforts and resource allocations with our district strategic goals. We anticipate improved clarity, transparency and efficiency,” he said.
“The Innovation Center teaming approach will allow us to create a culture of collaboration, innovation, and empowerment to solve complex challenges in a way that provides more effective, efficient, and aligned resources to classrooms, schools, and our communities.” Pilewski said.
“The Innovation Center is aligned to the goals of the strategic plan and organized into five areas of systemic focus: Organizational Effectiveness; Early Learning and School Readiness; Curriculum, Instructional Tools, and Assessment; Leadership and Building Capacity; and Monitoring Progress and Performance, with the overall lens for the work of equity, equality, diversity and culture.”