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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Helping Students Get Course Credit: Credit Recovery Programs in School Districts (2012MS-8)
We also released 8 letter reports to the following School Districts: Amityville [pdf], Binghamton [pdf], Buffalo [pdf], North Syracuse [pdf], Rochester [pdf], Schenectady [pdf], South Colonie [pdf], and Utica [pdf].


Released: April 5, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if school districts ensured that Credit Recovery Programs (CRPs) conform to Regulations, and if the school districts adequately monitor students’ progress in successfully completing CRPs.

Background

If a student is unable to complete a course satisfactorily, the student can earn credit for the course by participating in one of the make-up credit programs. Two of these make-up credit programs, intensive instruction in deficiency areas of the course and on-line study, are referred to as CRPs. Although Regulations allow school districts to provide CRPs to students who did not pass a course during the school year or at the end of a summer school program, districts are not required to provide CRPs.

Key Findings

  • All eight districts, with minimal exception, provided evidence to show, to the Department’s satisfaction that Credit Recovery Programs (CRPs) aligned with the Learning Standards. However, the Department’s current measure of satisfactory alignment is very easy to meet. More explicit Department expectations for demonstrating alignment with Learning Standards would provide better assurance that online CRPs provide intensive instruction in a subject that is equivalent to teacher-provided classroom instruction.
  • Seven of the eight districts did not approve students’ participation in CRPs in accordance with Regulations.
  • Four districts could not prove that CRP students were instructed by teachers certified in the applicable subject areas.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that all CRP courses are aligned with the Learning Standards to ensure adequacy of education and awarding of appropriate educational credit.
  • Properly approve students’ participation in CRPs in accordance with Regulations, and document their approval process.
  • Ensure that teachers certified in the appropriate subject areas directly instruct, or supervise the instruction, of students in CRP courses.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236