Chick on schools

"It is clear from this initial review that there is a disturbing lack of transparency and accountability at LAUSD." Release after the jump.

CHICK CITES LAUSD:
DISTURBING LACK OF TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Reiterates Offer To Conduct Audit of District

Los Angeles -- City Controller Laura Chick has released a much anticipated review of over 1,000 audits, reports and studies of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

"It is clear from this initial review that there is a disturbing lack of transparency and accountability at LAUSD," said Chick who offered in December to conduct an outside independent management audit of the district.

"Basically the School District buried me in paper. I could spend the next three years of my term reviewing these mounds of paper. Of course, that was exactly the District's point," said Chick.

The Chick report found three major conclusions:

* While subject to hundreds of reviews, LAUSD Management appears to lack a clear, overall picture of what has been reviewed, where the problems are, and what areas may need additional attention.

* Audits, analyses, and reviews focus primarily on general administrative functions, rather than on how LAUSD can more effectively meet its core mission.

* It is unclear how the LAUSD uses the information provided by the audits, analyses, and reviews to effect positive change.

"The most important question is: What has the School District done with all these hundreds of reports? Audits aren't worth the paper they are printed on unless they cause change and improvement," said Chick who reiterated her offer to oversee an independent audit of the District.

"LAUSD's mission is to "educate all students to a high level of achievement...." But instead of focusing your audit efforts on improving our children's education, approximately 70% of the reports are focused on petty cash audits, budget analysis and contract reviews. All of these studies, all of these analyses, all of this work and yet there is still no way to see if these reports have indeed made a difference," wrote Chick in a letter to School Board President Marlene Canter and District Superintendent Roy Romer.


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