I have expressed great skepticism over the value of program reviews as a replacement for assessment in arts and humanities, practical living/vocational studies, and portfolio writing.
I'm sure that program reviews will reveal any school district that fails to go through the motions of teaching and testing in these areas. I'm not at all sure it will distinguish quality much beyond that. Perhaps the reviews will identify some exemplary districts. In the long run, I think we will find that program reviews allow the legislators and the department to say that they have assured proper adherence to these constitutionally mandated areas of the curriculum, but not much else.
But that's the way it's going to be and the roll out looks like this:
- Develop guiding framework for all program reviews: spring 2009.
- Disseminate guiding frameworks for all program reviews: summer 2009.
- Develop program review drafts: summer and fall 2009.
- Pilot program reviews in a small number of districts to gather evidence and further inform the design: winter 2010.
- Implement program reviews at all schools in draft form, with no accountability: winter and spring 2010-2011.
- Finalize program review design and provide professional development to schools and districts: spring 2011.
- Implement program reviews for accountability purposes in all schools and districts: school year 2011-12.