Educational Directions (ED) provides a variety of academic reviews for schools, groups of schools, and districts. The reviews are conducted by a team of educators who have been trained to collect, organize, and summarize different types of data that describe current conditions and current practice in schools. All of the review processes include a preparation phase, a site visit, and an interpretation and report writing by the ED senior team.
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These reviews are different from classical education audits. While an audit checks for compliance in key areas, an Academic Review looks at culture, student and teacher work, and interview data. It then correlates them with the portion of the learner year in which the school presently finds itself.
The Academic Review Process
Ed Directions Staff
The ED staff selected for each phase can vary in size and expertise depending on the type of review being conducted. For a comprehensive review, the senior team would include ED senior staff and the leaders of the on-site team.
The on-site team itself would include a captain who coordinates all activities and conducts the interview process that is a part of the school visit, a set of observers who visit all classrooms to observe teachers and students at work, and can include area specialists, data specialists, or artifact analysts.
As a part of the on-site activities, ED will use an electronic survey of all staff to provide an additional opportunity for individual input into the process.
The complete review process can take from 2 to 5 weeks. The preparation phase, which involves an analysis of school or district data from current and prior years followed by customization of toolset to be used by the on-site team and the selection of the members for the site team, can take from one to two weeks.
The site visit can take from one to four days depending on the size of the project, the objectives of the project, and the time of year. The final phase – organization and interpretation of the data and the report writing – can take from one to three weeks, again depending on the scope of the project.
The first part of the report includes an introduction that includes the objectives and methodologies produced the report, a description of the data sets and the data collected, and a summary of the senior team’s priority findings.
The second part of the report describes the data collected in the different review activities and the summary reflections of the different role groups.
The final part of the report includes the senior team’s reflections on the/district strengths and opportunities for growth. In this part of the report, the team emphasizes if what was observed and heard as a part of the process is an accurate representation of current status.