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Audit Audit of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

Audit provides recommendations to improve the accuracy of attendance and waitlist data related to students in adult education (AE) programs. The audit examined the period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: June 2, 2020

Executive Summary

In accordance with Section 12 of Chapter 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Office of the State Auditor has conducted a performance audit of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for the period July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. In this performance audit, we examined whether DESE conducted all program quality reviews and site visits (SVs) of adult education (AE) providers and ensured that AE providers maintained complete, accurate, and up-to-date course attendance records and waitlists in accordance with its policies and procedures.

Below is a summary of our findings and recommendations, with links to each page listed.

Finding 1

DESE did not ensure the accuracy of attendance data entered in the Literacy, Adult and Community Education System (LACES) by its contracted AE providers.

Recommendation

DESE should implement policies and procedures to define a process for entering attendance records in LACES and implement controls to monitor the accuracy of AE course attendance data entered by providers.

Finding 2

DESE did not ensure that its contracted AE providers maintained complete, accurate, and up-to-date waitlists.

Recommendation

DESE should implement policies and procedures to provide guidance and oversight, as well as controls, to ensure that its AE providers maintain complete, accurate, and up-to-date waitlists in LACES.

Finding 3

DESE did not correctly schedule AE provider monitoring visits using its risk-based approach.

Recommendation

DESE should implement controls to ensure that AE providers are placed in the appropriate cohorts and monitoring visits are scheduled in accordance with its risk-based cohort assignment policy.

Finding 4

DESE did not always perform its scheduled SVs for AE providers.

Recommendation

DESE should perform SVs for all AE providers.

 

A PDF copy of the audit of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is available here.

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