Explore student characteristics and innovative approaches in Washington's Alternative Learning Experiences
As part of a newly published performance audit, auditors gathered information directly from all Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) programs in Washington to learn how they are meeting their intended purpose, which is to give schools flexibility to serve a diverse student population. In addition to the survey (explore survey results here), auditors visited programs and interviewed administrators, teachers, parents and students. The report offers insight into aspects of ALE programs that serve populations with challenges that traditional schools might not meet as effectively.
However, the audit also encountered problems in the way school districts report ALE student enrollment in the state's student information system, CEDARS. Auditors found 65 percent of districts reported more ALE students in funding reports than were listed as enrolled in ALE courses. The audit makes recommendations to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to help improve data. Read the full report (pdf, 5 mb). Read the two-page summary (pdf, 523 kb).
This work was part of a mandated series of audits. Learn more about earlier performance audits here, and about financial audits performed by our Schools Team here. Read a letter from State Auditor Pat McCarthy about the overall project.
Recent audit sought leading practices for state's career & technical education programs
A recently published performance audit found that the state's secondary CTE courses with the highest enrollment could more strongly align with high-wage, high-demand occupational areas. Many mid-level-skill jobs, in industries as diverse as robotics, carpentry and medical technology, pay well and require no more than two years of education from a community or technical college. However, Washington employers report being unable to fill many such jobs. The audit identified four areas for improvement, such as improving career guidance given to students in 7th or 8th grade and expanding the number of CTE dual-credit opportunities to increase the number of pathways from high school to college. If Washington adopts leading practices identified in the report, the state could create more opportunities for students while closing the gap between students' skills and employers' needs. Read the full report (pdf, 2.4 mb). Read the two-page summary (pdf, 92 kb). View the videocast (YouTube).
Performance audits work to improve service to the public
We provide the public and state leaders with independent, objective evaluations of the effectiveness, economy and efficiency of public services, at both the state and the local level. We publish a report setting out the actions agencies take to implement our recommendations.
We have now published more than 100 performance audit reports. Click to view a list of all Performance Audit division reports including those published from 2007 onwards. Use the "search text" box on that page to find specific topics within that list.