The audit ordered by Arizona schools chief John Huppenthal focused on three areas:
• Determine if the Mexican American Studies program is designed to improve student achievement: The audit found that it is designed to improve student achievement based on valuable course descriptions aligned with state standards, commendable curricular unit and lesson plan design, engaging instructional practices and collective inquiry strategies through approved state standards. The auditors saw no evidence of previous questionable material, nor any damaging language that could incite resentment in children during their classroom visits. However, the auditors did not find a well-defined, solitary document that provided the integrated, comprehensive guidance needed to direct, monitor and assess effective curriculum implementation.
• Determine if statistically valid measures indicated that student achievement occurred: Data indicates that the graduation rate of students in the program is higher than those not in the program.
• Determine whether the program's curriculum is in compliance with state law: No observable evidence was present to indicate that any classroom within TUSD is in direct violation of the law.
The audit's findings were released Wednesday shortly after Huppenthal announced the district's ethnic studies program violates state law.