The Ida B. Wells Community Academy

Assessment of the Curriculum Audit of 
the Akron Public Schools

Conducted by the International Curriculum Management Audit Center
Phi Delta Kappa, September, 1998

semper novi quid ex Africa
"Everything new always comes out of Africa"  Pliny

Annotated findings

  • No evidence of a written comprehensive curriculum management plan to establish guidelines and procedures for the development and evaluation of written curriculum in all subject areas.
  • No full integration of cultural diversity across all subject areas. Of all subjects that integrated some aspect of cultural diversity, 20% of social studies has the highest number of learner objectives that integrated cultural diversity, and 0% of Math had the lowest number of its learner objectives meeting the standard of cultural diversity.
  • Akron public schools are 49% African-American. The Buchtel Cluster is 95% African American, with 76% of the students on free or reduced lunch.
  • 27% of all African American 8th graders failed all five areas of the 9th Grade Proficiency Test. 12% of all 8th graders passed all five areas of the proficiency test-Spring 1997 [p.193].
  • In all subject areas, African American male students had the highest percentage of failures.
  • In the area of Math, 43% of African American Students received failing grades.
  • Average failure rate for African American males was 39%
  • In most schools African American Females had the second highest failure rates.
  • Less than half of the schools offered Advance Placement courses at the high school level [p. 197].
  • African American students, particularly the males, were far less likely to enroll in Advance Placement or Honor's classes. When they were enrolled, they failed at a higher level than other students [p. 196].
Student Retention
  • African American students were 45.9% of district enrollment for 1996-7; while the percentage of students retained (held back to repeat a grade) was 56%. The schools with the lowest performing rates academically were also the schools with the highest retention rate [pp. 206-7].
  • African American students are 63% of the identified Developmentally Delayed population [p. 209].
  • African American students represent only 28.5% of the Gifted program offerings [p. 210].
  • 20,805 suspensions occurred in the 1996-7 school year. When AFSC began advocacy work in this area in 1993, the number of suspensions were 18,000. Of the 20,805 suspensions, students missed 69,717 days from school.
  • Of the elementary schools with the highest number of suspensions, there also was the lowest number of students passing the 4th grade and 6th grade proficiency tests.
  • Males, especially African American males, were suspended at a greater rate than females. Buchtel had the highest suspension rate, with 44% of the total building enrollment.
  • Grade 6 - 22.7% of enrollment, but represents 40.5% of suspensions.
  • Grade 7 - 23.6% of enrollment, but represents 38% of suspensions.
  • Grade 8 - 24% of enrollment, but represents 34% of suspensions.
  • Collectively the African American percentage of expulsions were 75.2% of high school and 79.3% of middle school suspensions.
  • African American Males are 52% of district enrollment, but are 69% of the expulsions [pp 212- 13].
The above information summarizes the need for thorough and new approaches to serve poor and African American students in the Akron Public School system. The full Audit of the Akron Public Schools presents much more information suggesting that we as a community must be seriously involved in the planning of those new approaches.

The Curriculum Audit was free and is perhaps now available at 
the Akron Summit Public Library

   Board of Education 
  Akron Public Schools
 70 N. Broadway Street
  Akron, Ohio 44307 

This Fact Sheet was Prepared by

Debra Calhoun. Director, The African American Cultural Action Program
The American Friends Service Committee
513 W. Exchange Street
Akron, Ohio 44302 

e-Mail: neoafscal@aol.dom

Updated on December 24, 2000

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