The State Education Department (Department) receives extensive data from approximately 700
school districts in the State and uses this data for assessing school district performance and
allocating $10 billion in annual School Aid. The New York City Board of Education (Board) reports
such data on behalf of the 32 Community School Districts (elementary and intermediate schools)
and the 5 Divisions of High Schools in New York City. During our audit, we visited 13 of over
1,100 City schools and found that there were unexplained differences between daily attendance data
and the computerized attendance records at some schools, and that teachers are allowed to process
machine-readable exam answer sheets completed by their own students. Although the Board has
established an oversight function to promote accurate attendance and enrollment data reporting and
a post-review analysis to identify altered exams, we believe the Board needs to further strengthen
controls to ensure it is reporting accurate data. We make a number of recommendations for control
improvements, including providing schools with specific directions for verifying attendance records
and requiring that teachers do not correct their own students' answer sheets.
For a complete copy of Report 98-N-2 click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.