The Wenatchee School District will pay nearly $ 170,000 for what’s called a “fairness audit” which staff say will help determine student needs.
Education Northwest will conduct the district audit after the school board votes 4-1 to approve the proposal. Wenatchee’s curriculum, discipline, hiring and much more will be reviewed during the audit.
Superintendent Paul Gordon previously wrote that the audit is intended to support the District Promise, which reads:
“Building a foundation of diversity, equity and inclusion from which every student emerges ready for the future. “
Board member Maria Iniguez said what the district is currently doing is not working for all of its students.
“When I look at our dropout rate, our English language learners have a dropout percentage of almost 17% compared to our non-English language learners at 6%. “Iniguez said,” Our low income students (have a dropout rate of) 11.5% compared to our non-low income students at 3%.
During a community-wide survey earlier this year, respondents were asked to give an alphabetical rating to the Wenatchee school district. According to the district, the community gave it a “C”.
Board member Julie Norton, the only school board member to vote against the proposal, said she would prefer to have more time to further examine student needs before approving the audit. She also took issue with the proposed scope of the audit and the price of $ 169,436.
“Looking at this 265-page proposal, with a price tag of $ 169,000, it wasn’t what I expected when we first discussed it,” Norton said.
Education Northwest’s equity audit will focus on race, with the company saying, “Sadly, racism permeates all social, economic and legal systems in the United States, and it continues to negatively impact our education system. ”
The image below lists the characteristics of the students, teachers, and schools that Education Northwest will examine during its audit.
Education Northwest will then engage stakeholders before building the audit itself and possibly collecting data. The board is due to receive the audit findings by June 30 of next year.