Data-Driven Audit At Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School


To a great extent, a data-driven audit refers to inspecting various events or monetary transactions to uphold compliance, completeness, and accuracy with relevant regulatory prerequisites or enacted laws. A data-driven audit will be conducted at Thomas Edison EnergySmart School (TEECS) in Franklin Park, New Jersey, to acquire essential insights into the factors contributing to a successful academic institution. Since a data-driven audit promotes an inquiry process, it encourages student interns to design necessary recommendations that enhance pragmatic growth within the school community, particularly by conducting a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. The report will analyze the external and internal environment, curriculum snapshot, key focus areas, and leadership reflection on three-year statistical data of TEECS.

External Environment

The current external environment of New Jersey can be described as accommodating, making it easier for the learning institutions, such as TEECS, to continue implementing their strategic plan. Several forces, including technological transformation, human population growth, globalization, the interaction of cultures, and the movement of individuals, act as current affairs surrounding the TEECS (Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School, 2022). Therefore, TEECS can attain its mission and vision statement due to the ambiance of the external environment. There are secure, safe, stimulating, and structured educational conditions around Franklin Park to enhance TEECS learners’ technical, academic, critical thinking, and personal capabilities per the global standards to enable them to succeed in an international economy based on innovation and knowledge.

The positive external environment for the school includes legal, technological, and social factors. Regarding the technology component, community organizations, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), have provided gadgets and devices to TEECS teachers and students to enable them to attain their learning objectives and outcomes (Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School, 2022). Socially, the New Jersey Authority has constructed over 200 community centers to enhance interaction among people, with fifty of them situated at Franklin Park (US News, 2020). Legally, the New Jersey local government embraces the American Education Act to provide funding for quality learning materials, support educational initiatives, and promote parental involvement, which positively impacts TEECS.

Economic, legislative, and political components in New Jersey will likely threaten TEECS in attaining its goals of providing English learning equitable initiative and enhancing the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GearUp) to accommodate each student. The TEECS must comply with all implemented state, local, and federal rules and policies governing the school or face limited support, which may threaten the objective of having integrated coordination among stakeholders. Such regulations include the Every Student Succeeds Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. When politicians are not wholly engaged as the school’s stakeholders, they may reduce the budget for the district learning institution, which may negatively interfere with the instruction framework, interfering with the set TEECS objective of attaining equitable initiatives (Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School, 2022). The New Jersey general economy was significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in underfunding of TEECS free-lunch, English learning, and lactating equitable and inclusive programs, thus failing to advance responsive cultural instructions.

The economic element is the most critical environmental force that must be urgently addressed. Failure to tackle the component effectively will drive the termination of crucial programs at TEECS, including a free meal and lunch initiative, lactating students’ scheme, and the improvement of innovative centers, which impacts the school negatively. The environmental element serves as the less critical factor, even though it may affect the business operation of the TEECS learning center (Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School, 2022). The environmental factor is less critical as TEECS can adopt new learning and teaching processes, such as online classes, and update teachers and students on the progress to curb the issues with the ecological component.

Trends and the Current Status

TEECS accepts learners from the three area school districts, including South Brunswick, North Brunswick, and Franklin Township in New Jersey. The housing data in Franklin Park (TEECS neighborhood), New Jersey, shows that the permanent individually-owned structures have increased by 5%, translating to 7780004 units (US News, 2022). However, after the outbreak of COVID-19, the housing statistics indicate slowed home sales in almost half the state’s counties, indicating declined economic growth (US News, 2022). In addition, home prices in North Brubswick and Franklin Township increased to 20% in 2021 from 15% in 2020 to approximately 22% in 2022 (US News, 2022). In TEECS’ neighborhood, Franklin Park, 35.99% of renters live in the houses, and 64.01% are owner-occupied houses (United States Census Bureau, 2022). The availability of increased residential facilities showcases economic growth in the state, spearheaded by massive employment opportunities.

Residential demographics refers to the number and ethnic population of people living in a particular region. The 2020 estimated populace was 8.8 million; in 2021 was 9.0 million, and in 2022 stands at 9.2 million, translating to a 0.005% increase (US News, 2022). In Franklin Park, New Jersey, females represent 50.8% of the total population compared to 49.2% of males in 2021, while in 2020 was 51% to 49%, and in 2019 was 50.7% to 49.3 (US News, 2022). The persons under 18 years are 27.4%, those between 18-65 years are 55.7%, and those above 65 years are 16.9%. Based on racial composition, around TEECS, African-Americans are 15.3%, American Indians and Alaska Natives are 0.7%, Hispanic/Latino are 21.5%, Asians are 10.3%, Native Hawaiians are 0.15, and Whites are 53.5% (United States Census Bureau, 2022). The blending of different people having diverse cultures indicates improved inclusivity and practice of adequate utilization of intellectual community resources.

The residential income refers to the total gross earnings received by all members of a particular area within twelve months. In Franklin Park, New Jersey, the relative yearly household income is $126700, whereby the residents between 45 and 64 years have an average wage of $ 112700, and those between 25-44 earn $ 105000 (United States Census Bureau, 2022). In the TEECS neighborhood, people below the poverty level comprise 7300 of the total population of 9.2 million in New Jersey (United States Census Bureau, 2022). Increased poverty in South Brunswick, North Brunswick, and Franklin Township, which surround TEECS, negatively affects the community, students, caregivers, and families. Poverty causes massive stress to TEECS parents and relatives, whereby they cannot provide necessary learning materials to their kids. It makes the Franklin Park society lack cooperation and equal allocation of resources geared towards enhancing the living standards of each communal member. Significantly, poverty lowers TEECS learners’ readiness for school via home life, health, and neighborhood aspects.

To a great extent, almost every person in Franklin Park, New Jersey state attended school, thus capable of reading and writing. Nearly 50000 in the TEECS neighborhood individuals in South Brunswick, North Brunswick, and Franklin Township attended 9th-12 grade, 2.2 million individuals are high school graduates, 1.2 million have college certificates, 700000 are associate degree holders, 2.4 million have a bachelor’s degree, and 1 million have professional degrees (United States Census Bureau, 2022). Therefore, most citizens can secure various job opportunities based on their education levels, indicating that TEECS will continue to grow due to embracing the learning culture in society.

Even though there is low crime around the TEECS neighborhood, it has spearheaded violence, bullying, theft, vandalism, and drug use, which are costly to TEECS students and can interfere with their academic achievement. Compared to 2021, in 2022, in areas neighboring the TEECS (South Brunswick, North Brunswick, and Franklin Township), the violent crime rate declined by almost 6% (US News, 2022). Most misdeeds were committed by repeat offenders, mainly those freshly released from incarceration centers (US News, 2022). The crime rating around Franklin Park provides a favorable environment for TEECS students to not drop out of school. There are 70 hospitals in South Brunswick, North Brunswick, and Franklin Township, New Jersey, and its religious composition is 67% Christian, 14% (Muslims and Hindus), and 18% agnostics and atheists (United States Census Bureau, 2022). Per the 2022 statistics, around TEECS, 57 charter schools, 181 elementary institutions, and 46 school districts exist, among other learning and academic centers (United States Census Bureau, 2022). The multiple commercial districts in the state have resulted in the escalation and booming of businesses and engendered interaction and social bonding among individuals.

The State/Region

In New Jersey, the political climate is substantially liberal, whereby people are open to ideas and respect the behaviors and opinions of others. In the state, in the 2020 presidential election, 57.1% voted for the democratic party, 1.6% for independent candidates, and 41.3% for the republican party (United States Census Bureau, 2022). There is substantial political stability, resulting in the effective functioning of all the state and communal activities. Politically, some of the constraints represented include the imposition of subsidies and taxes, which in the long term, have negative effects on the residents. However, some notable opportunities include drafting educational policies and massive allocation of school budgets to ensure proper funding of the academic institutions’ programs.

Various old legislation, including the National School Lunch Act of 1946 and the civil rights act, positively influences the learning centers of New Jersey. The policies are essential as they mandate the institution to provide low-cost (free) and nutritionally balanced lunches to the students every school day. Therefore, the learners do not drop out of school and engage in other criminal activities, enabling them to record high academic achievements. Equality legislation helps avoid discrimination based on color, race, sex, and religion, creating all-inclusive institutions and thus utilizing the intellectual resources of the community effectively.

Multiple drivers in the social and economic environment negatively and positively influence TEECS academic center. Regarding the economic aspect, federal and local government funding may affect the academic center. The establishment of finances is critical to ensuring proper budget allocation for educational, innovative, and extra-curriculum activities. Providing monetary assistance to schools by the New Jersey government ensures that the schools continue to register higher enrollment and admissions, thus increasing the residential literacy level of people (Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School, 2022). Another force is the cost of providing resources, which might be considerably high. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the prices of basic materials, including books, increased by 20% in 2020 and 30% in 2021, and the wages of community members increased by 10% in 2019 and declined by 25% in 2020 and 30% in 2021 (US News, 2022). In that regard, the quality of education offered at TEECS deteriorates, whereby parents seek for alternative jobs to sustain themselves and their family members. The technological solutions TEECS offer become a challenge as their lack access to resources, such as laptops, due to increased interest rates of 30% in 2019, 25% in 2020, and 28& in 2021 (US News, 2022). The shortage of materials and monetary challenges due to escalated inflation make people shift to other states, thus a low population in New Jersey.

Regarding the social environment, some drivers impact New Jersey’s academic centers adversely and pragmatically. At first, the birth rate is high in New Jersey, whereby approximately 115000 children are born yearly (United States Census Bureau, 2022). The high population growth rate indicates more job opportunities, which helps enhance the revenue collection by state officials. Social media consumption in New Jersey is high as the government supports using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram among its citizens. In New Jersey, the intercultural climate offers massive socialization from people with diverse cultures, including attending TEECS and undertaking social work around the school.

State Environment Influence on Local School

The local school might be influenced by various elements of the New Jersey state environment, including family income, educational attainment, crime, healthcare, crime, nutrition, ecology, and educational spending. To a great extent, improved household income in New Jersey indicates that parents can support their children’s education and enroll them in all educational centers in New Jersey. Notably, higher educational performance translates to hiring highly qualified teachers, matching the job descriptions, and having the skills to enhance the school policies and help the students achieve exceptional grades. The lack of academic achievements lowers the community members’ literacy level, making them not support the school initiatives (Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School, 2022). In Franklin Park, the offense rate stands at 15 percent, negatively impacting TEECS students (US News, 2022). Due to the increased crime rate, TEECS learners have engaged in adverse behaviors, whereby 2% fought other students, 5% bullied others, 3% abused drugs, and 6% vandalized school properties in 2021 (US News, 2022). The 2021 student misconduct was a three percent increase from 2020 and a 5 percent elevation from 2019, respectively (US News, 2022). When the crime rate increases, students in schools engage in negative behaviors, including fighting other learners, bullying, drug use, and vandalism of the school property. The increase in offenses makes it difficult for the school to operate, thus decreasing in performance rank of the local school.

With an increased healthcare system in New Jersey, the learners and the teachers can receive enhanced treatment for multiple diseases they suffer from, enabling the local school to continue offering its services to the community. Nutrition impacts students’ conduct and thinking capabilities significantly, influencing academic performance. Having proper nutrition improves children’s concentration, memory, and energy levels, making them record high academic results, and making the school receive more referral students (Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School, 2022). Educational spending makes the school facilities well-maintained and offers a conducive learning environment for the learners. Lastly, ecological conditions, such as flooding, destroy the school amenities, making the school management and stakeholders incur extra costs in repairing them.

Internal Environment

The school enrolls students between five and eighteen years per the local district policies regarding the physical plan capacity. There are adequate and well-spaced classrooms allowing the teacher-student ratio of 1:16 (Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School, 2022). One of the school’s strengths is the small class size holding 50 students. The classrooms measure 900 square feet, allowing the students to have enough space to socialize and interact effectively. TEECS has embraced technology as it has computer labs and allows students to use laptops for learning.

The school quality is sufficient as it offers a safe studying environment, has counselors and mentors, employs adequate teachers, is clean and well-organized, and has high levels of communication and collaboration. The institution has adequate space as it stands on land measuring 31744 square feet, and the physical plan is not shared with other schools (US News, 2022). The TEECS schedule uses activity (daily half-day, full-day, and lunch breaks) and academic (quarterly educational months) calendars. The current capacity of TEECS is 591, and the enrollment rate of 5% annually, exceeding the student populace, indicates the school is overpopulated and requires the expansion (US News, 2022). Concerning the organizational structure, TEECS is a K-12 academic institution offering free-public tuition to all students in kindergarten and from 1st to 12th grades. For better control of time and schedules in the school, some of the management theories deployed include the pickle jar model, Pareto’s Principle, and Parkinson’s Law.

Pareto’s Theory focuses on the most beneficial activities, including academic lessons and extra-curricular tasks. Students and teachers use the 80/20 rule to determine which tasks require more time, while Parkinson’s Law reduces time spent on each activity. A proper school schedule ensures that all tasks are completed on time (US News, 2022). The pickle jar model shows how unimportant commitments can consume time. Therefore, the school must have a feasible timeline, adhered to strictly by tutors and learners.

TEECS is a science-magnet school (green education) and is a public charter school formed by the community, parents, and instructors. TEECS’s technology and management structure are its strengths as it helps track staff, student, instructor records, discipline, homework, and academic performance (Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School, 2022). The school website lets parents obtain important information without attending class. The systems help manage enrolled and accepted students, store crucial data (fees and online payments), and monitor school attendance.

The Student

Currently, the number of students in TEECS has continued to increase, per the school admission statistics. The students enrolled in 2022 are 591 compared to 550 in 2021 and 500 in 2020, translating to a 0.05% escalation in the admission populace (US News, 2022). The school’s minority learner enrollment is 87%, and the overall population comprises 51% male students and 49% female learners (US News, 2022). The school enrolls approximately 13% of economically disadvantaged students, indicating that nearly 87% of children come from family backgrounds with improved socio-economic status (US News, 2022). TEECS has diversified student demographics admitted to the educational facility (US News, 2022). Of all the learners, 12.9% are whites, 56.5% Asians, 4.4% of two or more races, 5.2% Hispanic/Latino, 19.8% African-Americans, 1.0% Alaska Native/American-Indians, and 0.2% Native Hawaiians (US News, 2022). The increased student population and diversification are a strength to the school, whereby it can continue with its operational activities and improvement of ideas across different cultures. Due to the increased enrollment, the TEECS has developed strategies to support student development of civic literacy, self-management, and pragmatic leadership skills.

The first strategy deployed is team operating agreements, where students construct individual rules to promote free speech. The students’ requirements are met, and they can handle disagreements, boosting their management skills. The school’s management has created adjustable seating and areas that allow students to govern communication, workflow, and time (US News, 2022). The classroom layout provides quiet space and enhances student participation, improving self-management. TEECS professors provide students with time management diaries to track how long they spend on integrative work, assignments, and other activities. These indicators boost students’ self-esteem and efficacy, pushing them to acquire leadership skills like time management and join community change activities.

Faculty, Staff, and Administration

For the school to record exceptional performance, it must have sufficient faculties, administrators, and staff members. TEECS has four functional departments: admission, academics, finance, and human resource. There are 35 full-time teachers and ten administrators, whereby the tutor-pupil ratio is 16: 1 compared to New Jersey’s district school ratio of 17:1 US News, 2022). The average class size accommodates 50 students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Regarding race and ethnicity, 60% of the administrators and subordinates are Asians with an average age of 30-45, and approximately 65% of teachers have educational experience exceeding three years (US News, 2022). The staff and administrators’ turnover rate have been high at 15% over the last three years (US News, 2022). Therefore, this serves as a potential weakness to the school, indicating that the school climate might be unconducive or the teachers are provided with low wages despite the elevated inflation rate.

There is a positive professional climate where faculty interacts with other department members. The division’s management holds meetings and shares ideas to solve school challenges. The six elements of a professional environment are respect, training, teamwork, and communication. Positive faculty socialization with administration helps recognize people’s perspectives and improve behavior. Governance, self-interests, and mistrust are effectively handled for school activities. The school administrators interact with parents and other community members. There is a 99% attendance rate of guardians at parent-teacher organization (PTO) meetings when required to help with fundraising and curricular objectives (US News, 2022). In addition, the school interacts with parent-teacher associations using online/virtual meetings, allowing them to work integratively to enrich the educational experience.

Academic Performance

Data quality review is a methodology and a framework that is developed based on the existing program-specific database standardization metrics by proposing a harmonized approach to measure and enhance data and address the existing problems. The school performance test data shows that the TEECS graduation rate is 95%, and teacher satisfaction stands at 90% (US News, 2022). The statistics show that school achievement is due to high tutor contentment dedicated to helping students in their learning process. TEECS incurs high costs to store information even though the email bounce rates are minimal (US News, 2022). The school report card contains valuable data, including the teacher’s section to record personal comments regarding the student’s behavior (characteristics) and work, the grades attained, student performance and academic growth, and class attendance. The parameters help the teachers and parents track the areas that require improvement to ensure a student performs well academically.

The school attendance records show how often tutors and students have been at school. The overall absence rate of teachers and students at TEECS is 2%, showing that students attend classes without missing lessons, which improves their academic performance (US News, 2022). The promotion records keep track of qualified tutors who are given higher positions than before (US News, 2022). Zero teachers were promoted at TEECS in 2019, 2020, and 2021, resulting in a higher attrition rate, which is a school weakness. The report card data shows the overall TEECS educational performance in 2019 was 95%, in 2022 was 96%, and in 2021 was 97% (US News, 2022). The teacher and student attendance was 90% in 2019, 98% in 2020, and 99% in 2021, and there was no teacher promotion records in 2019, 2020, and 2021 (US News, 2022). The report card data, attendance, and promotion records can be accessed from the school website to help leaders analyze TEECS’ academic performance.

Contrasted to other schools in the neighborhood, TEECS fares exceptionally well in academic performance. The school ranked position one in New Jersey middle and elementary learning institutions in 2019, number two in 2020, and position one in 2021 compared to 790 Franklin Park neighborhood schools (US News, 2022). In addition, compared to other 1370 local, parish, and district schools, TEECS was number five in 2021, number four in 2020, and number four in 2019 (US News, 2022). TEECS was number five in New Jersey in 2019, number four in 2020, and number three in 2021, and position 568 in United States’ national rankings in 2019, 570 in 2020, and 560 in 2021(US News, 2022). At the international level, student achievement is above average, indicating the academic center offers quality education to the learners.

The school has an English language learners (ELL) program, as most of the enrolled students are unfamiliar with reading and writing. The US government regulations prohibit discrimination against ELLs in public education, and the school has all the resources and is sufficiently staffed to make pupils learn English and engage in opportunities offered by the school (Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School, 2022). TEECS adheres to the individuals with disabilities education act (IDEA) by implementing special education (SPED) programs for its 4.8% of special-needs learners (US News, 2022). The school has gift initiatives to ensure students with higher intelligence quotients engage in activities that will boost their capabilities. The other Franklin Park neighborhood schools do not implement initiatives geared toward student achievement. Generally, TEECS’s academic performance is above average compared to the neighborhood, local, statewide, and international schools.

TEECS management has developed strategies for monitoring the execution, revision, and evaluation of school improvement initiative models. The school’s instructional strategy includes curriculum guidance, research-based techniques, engagement, assessment, and flexible groups (Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School, 2022). The approach entails teachers, parents, and students reaching a consensus to improve school performance. TEECS leadership advocates for coaching, training, and review programs to improve teacher practices and school results.

School Climate and Socio-Emotional Context

Figure 1: American School Climate Inventory

Particulars 1 (Does not meet expectations) 2 (Requires attention) 3 (Met expectations)
Academic Environment
Student work on walls 1
Engagement of students in various classroom settings 2
Display of motivational tools 2
Independent academic work for students 2
Active instructional staff 3
School Building and Physical Environment
Graffiti-free restrooms stocked with tissues, soaps, and hand dryers 2
Clean school 2
Well-maintained playground 1
Doors, windows, and desks are repaired 2
Serviced rubbish disposal areas 2
Illuminated indoor areas 2
Social Environment 2
Respectful speaking tone
Evidence of extra-curricular activities displayed 3
Assistance from adult staff members 2
Appropriate dressing code 2
No bullying behaviors 1
Order and Discipline
Appropriate movement of students 2
Presence of visitor log 2
Clear hallways during instructional time 3
No using electronic gadgets during class time 2
Active teacher-parent organization 2
Display of school vision and mission 2
Evident hall pass system 2
Available medical health services 2
Total 3 36 9
Multiply by 1 1 2
Weighted Total 3 36 18
Climate Index (Column B+Column C-Column A) (36+18)-3= 51

The school climate helps in achieving high academic performance across the United States. As illustrated in figure 1 above, the climate index is 51, indicating that the school environment requires attention. The tool used to determine the TEECS climate index is the Comprehensive School Climate Inventory. The data analysis shows that the TEECS has no favorable learning conditions, which help record improved student academic performance. The school has a suspension and incident report in the admission office, meaning it implements disciplinary policy by recording the students who misbehave.

The report helps the management know the overall number of learners who engaged in inappropriate behavior and the reasons for the action for future reference. The data gathered through the questionnaires indicated that the student survey showed that 67% of the learners responded to having experienced a positive learning environment whereby the teachers offered support (US News, 2022). The student survey data shows that the students are excited about the tutors’ access to online learning materials and classroom engagement. The teacher survey data shows a well-rounded curriculum, frequent family communication, and effective learner collaboration. Lastly, the family survey data obtained from the TEECS shows that parents are satisfied with how learning is structured and the guardians-school conveyance. The school improvement plan documents include student assessment and leadership identification materials.

The school-based discipline management policies and plans are developed through faculty and member interaction and administrator and parent socialization. The TEECS behavioral data indicates that 40% of students talk in class, 30% refuse to do homework, and 5% bully others (US News, 2022). The TEECS learning center has counseling (social and emotional development), behavioral intervention, and zero-tolerance policies to ensure the students adhere to the set school regulations without violating them. The behavioral intervention disciplinary rules help create positive teacher-student relationships and fairness for all the ethnic groups enrolled at school (US News, 2022). The school deploys restorative justice to ensure the rehabilitation of student offenders and avoid cases of increased recidivism. The school documents the socio-emotional and enhance the culture-building programs to ensure social bonding and interaction of students from diverse backgrounds.

The school implements various strategies and dynamics to support a safe and secure learning environment, including public relations, crisis management, and prevention. The school management ensures respect for differences and creates a reinforcing classroom environment to avoid escalating student predicaments (US News, 2022). All the mistakes committed by individuals act as a learning opportunity and help curb poor relationships and engagement between learners and teachers.

Themes/Innovative Practices, Programs, and Partnerships

The two themes present and practiced at TEECS include art and finance, mainly designed to provide students with a well-rounded middle, elementary, and high school experience. The NASA robotics and lactating learner programs substantially help distinguish the school from others. The NASA program is geared toward enhancing the green environment by providing renewable energy, and students learn what it entails. TEECS has partnerships with community-based organizations, including Harcourt Education, Pearson Realize, Everyday Mathematics, Think Central and Freckle. The company has partnered with Microsoft to support student achievement, particularly in improving the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GearUp) (Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School, 2022). There are methods and procedures for managing school resources, including school operations, school facilities, and strategic control of human capital. The school management effectively allocates responsibilities to all stakeholders; there is a well-established oversight committee, and proper auditing is done at TEECS.

Curriculum Snapshot

One of the curriculum theories deployed by the TEECS teachers is the academic model that advocates for the students to receive a liberal education. The learner-centered approach concentrates on the demands and preferences of the pupils. At the same time, the society-centered theory advocates that the issues faced by the community must be explored and solved via curriculum. In addition, instructional delivery theories, including behaviorist, constructivist, and cognitive, are utilized by tutors to ensure that students derive educational benefits and help in their development (New Jersey Department of Education, 2022). The TEECS tutors deploy diagnostic tests, and the learners are speedily identified and assessed. The assessments assist the teachers in pinpointing what pupils know and what tutors can adjust in multiple domains to support their learning.

Various data collection methods include surveys, interviews, and document reviews. In teaching, approaches to evaluation involve student feedback, peer observation, personal assessment, and consultation with staff members. The evaluation methods are goal, outcome, or process based to enhance the welfare of the students and ensure improved academic performance. The TEECS management utilizes the data gathered from diagnostic tests to drive remediation and enrichment plans. The enrichment materials are provided to the learners to escalate their lesson comprehension and give them new insights into the content. On the other hand, remedial assist the students who cannot understand the lesson (New Jersey Department of Education, 2022). The strategies are well designed and executed, whereby the teachers analyze errors before retakes, develop study habits, introduce differentiated instruction, and embed a digital curriculum.

Cross-curricular connection refers to the instruction or teaching intentionally deploying several academic disciplines concurrently. It is evident at TEECS, and the tutors apply it to teach learners transferable problem-solving capabilities, escalate participation, and give real-world meaning to school homework (Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School, 2022). The students study history via famous paintings and introduce math vocabulary during English reading lessons. Cross-curricular instruction allows the pupils to have an opportunity to develop multiple skills in various contexts and broaden their lens of comprehension and apply strategies they learn, and make real-world connections.

The school has feasible technological and information systems to monitor and support student learning. Such frameworks include integrating PowerPoints, internet homework assignments, classroom tablets, and online grading systems (US News, 2022). To a great extent, the technology and database networks help tutors track and evaluate their student’s academic progress and performance in the classroom. The systems facilitate communication between learners and teachers and enable the creation of digital records for student development and growth that can be used in various grades.

The school faculty is provided with common planning time to facilitate interdisciplinary units. In that regard, the staff and administrators in each subject area, grade level, and multidimensional team meet twice weekly to plan interventions, review student progress and participate in professional development assignments. Within TEECS, technology is used for instruction, offering improved capabilities for collecting or providing responses compared to traditional methods. Some of the commonly deployed technological tools by the TEECS administration include Google forms, video games (animal crossing), and Kahoot, which help directly engage the learners in the classroom (New Jersey Department of Education, 2022). Such equipment allows the students to ask queries, receive feedback, and access the instructors. The six domains of the school practices exercised at TEECS are learning-focused partnerships, supportive environment, strategic resource allocation, development of professional duties, and coherent curriculum and evaluation.

The TEECS curriculum is effectively mapped to ensure horizontal and vertical alignment. Horizontal articulation is when instructors in the same grade level teach various subjects. It helps the tutors understand the content, skills, and resources covered across different subjects at a given time and help identify gaps taught and whether students are assessed frequently (Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School, 2022). Vertical alignment ensures the curriculum rhymes from one grade to the next by ensuring coverage of the crucial standards, topics, capabilities, and learning outcomes to ensure the students succeed in their school careers.

The curriculum adopted by the TEECS management substantially matches the New Jersey state and Common Core Standards. The school provides various resources: balanced, required state, performance, formative, English proficiency, and interim assessments. Adherence to the standards ensures enhanced accountability by holding tutors responsible for what happens in the classrooms. An example of the state, local, and federal legal policy that creates operational definitions of equality, accountability, and social justice in schools is the equal access act of 1984 (New Jersey Department of Education, 2022). The policy helps the tutors in the examination process and tracks how learning is attained.

The institution’s curriculum is responsive to feedback from the student achievement data. Integrating learner responses helps improve teaching and instructional delivery, making the school leaders develop strategies to adjust to enhance student learning. To a great extent, TEECS management has implemented innovative programs to enhance learner attainments, including international baccalaureate and advanced placement (US News, 2022). The initiatives challenge students to excel in their personal growth (life skills development) and academic studies.

The TEECS administration allows teachers to participate in focused learning walks and inter-visitation, enabling them to gain insight into their weaknesses and strengths via feedback and observation. The teachers see senior colleagues as resources, create self-awareness, scale good practices, and tutors become proficient at accountable talk. The faculty offers resources, such as technology and textbooks, to support the challenging curriculum. In addition, the faculty members have promoted project-based and active learning to help students with diverse study needs (New Jersey Department of Education, 2022). The school has counselors to handle disciplinary obstacles with discretion. The TEECS has feasible school-based cultural competence and diverse social and intellectual resources, including incorporating respect and values upholding. The institution has licenses, trademarks, and patents to continue its business as an educational center.

The school leadership offers the faculty members opportunities to engage in ongoing professional development, including learning interactions, skill-based training, and job assignments. TEECS is a strategically focused institution geared towards providing secure, safe, stimulating, and structured educational conditions to enhance learners’ technical, academic, critical thinking, and personal capabilities, per the mission and vision statements (Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School, 2022). The opportunities given to the teachers are useful to the faculty, giving recommendations on solving dilemmas, improving curriculum, and offering quality learning. The faculty evaluates them to ensure that the teachers improve in the areas where they need advancement to provide enhanced tutoring to the students without discrimination. Practices demonstrated by the teachers showcase principles of fairness and integrity, including valuing diversity, upholding honesty, and not abusing the job position.

SWOT Analysis

Strategic assessment evaluates a venture’s performance against its projected goals. Internal and external data help analyze TEECS’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. TEECS strengths include increased student population, availability of digital citizenship, student achievement programs, the practice of horizontal and vertical enrollment, adequate qualified teachers, and cultural diversification (US News, 2022). At the same time, the weaknesses are a weak school index, a high turnover rate, and limited school space, while the threats include climate change. High population growth, proper budgeting, and working with diverse communities to improve equality and innovation are opportunities for TEECS.

School management should engage key stakeholders to develop a comprehensive benefit and compensation plan to reduce attrition. Creating inclusive and equitable programs encourages cooperative learning, which boosts student achievement. Second, TEECS leadership must adopt culturally responsive instruction and behavior to promote academic achievement and global social awareness. See Appendix A of the leadership initiative project showcasing the connection of SWOT analysis with the data-driven audit.

SMART Goals and Action Plan

Figure 2: Action Plan

SMART Goals Incremental Steps Resources Timeframe
Short -term
Develop a strong relationship between the school management and teachers to offer reputable compensation plans to reduce the teacher turnover rate by 10% by January 2023.

  • Holding teacher’s meetings to highlight their challenges
  • Having a salary review committee
  • Paying tutors per the other New Jersey charter schools

  • Teachers
  • School Board

October 2022-January 2023
Design inclusive and equitable initiatives through cooperative learning to enhance responsive cultural instruction by 35 percent by October 2027.

  • Diagnostic testing of student achievement
  • Reviewing the cultural diversity of the school
  • Implementing an equitable and inclusive plan via cooperative learning

  • Students
  • Teachers
  • School management

October 2022- October 2027

To a great extent, the action plan helps in the creation of goals to help in achieving the desired improvement. As illustrated in figure 2, the compensation and cultural diversification areas will be enhanced, resulting in increased performance for TEECS. The school management has to embrace the lean six sigma and Kaizen continuous improvement models to achieve the desired enhancement. Six sigma helps minimize delivery process variations and defects to improve output quality, churn rate, and cultural diversity (New Jersey Department of Education, 2022). The Kaizen model reduces waste to improve academic delivery to students.

The notable school change processes required for sustainable and continual improvement include clarifying organizational roles and responsibilities, aligned leadership, and embedding implementation design. Professional learning plays an essential role in sustainable and continual school improvement (New Jersey Department of Education, 2022). It helps in acquiring new ideas, increasing expertise in a particular field, solidifying teachers’ knowledge, ensuring they follow set policies and laws, and utilizing skills acquired to benefit the school’s performance.

Personal Leadership Reflections and Synthesis

I have learned that a data-driven audit is essential for analyzing organizational performance and determining growth risks and opportunities. First, I thought school leadership meant managing teachers, students, and parents. The audit changed my thinking when I realized that school leadership involves building strong team relationships, embracing democratic values, promoting cultural diversity in school, and embedding community stakeholders to ensure improved school performance. Performing the duties of a school principal has helped me to articulate audit builds leaders who value diversity, stewardship, integrity, lawfulness, and truthfulness.

The data-audit report helped me differentiate between instructional and managerial leadership competencies. As an instructional leader, one should promote a collegial environment of trust and respect, encourage professional decision-making, and foster skills. Leaders must reach all stakeholders and share knowledge to benefit learners. Shaping culture, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, motivating others, and interpersonal communication are managerial leadership competencies that focus on school performance rather than students. Ethical leadership improves school leaders’ commitment and loyalty. Behavioral ethics foster a positive school culture, improving student achievement and performance. Proper leadership improves students’ psychological, physical, social, and cognitive functioning and happiness.

I faced challenges and opportunities while collecting and analyzing data. Initially, there were few materials, especially document reviews with assignment-related information. The data was retrieved from TEECS and NJDOE educational websites, and manual data analysis was time-consuming and error-prone. Different sites for comparing the collected data ensured its accuracy, which served as an opportunity. My greatest takeaway from this assignment is that organizations must conduct a data-driven audit regularly as it helps the leaders realize gaps in institutions and how to improve them. The project enabled me to engage with school stakeholders and learn the responsibilities of the school principal in auditing, which helped me move closer to my goal of becoming a school builder. The project made me study the demographic composition of the New Jersey community, which represents the school equity and diversity of students and teachers. See Appendix B for the coaching call reflection log, which a student fills upon undertaking a data-driven audit.


In conclusion, the data-driven audit project of TEECS analyzed in three years is essential for designing essential suggestions to enhance practical growth within the school community and developing leadership competencies required for operating learning institutions effectively. Therefore, the TEECS longitudinal analysis shows that students need technology tools, a proper curriculum, sufficient teachers, and extra-curricular activities to improve academic performance. School leadership is crucial in enhancing equity, diversity, and inclusivity and fostering cooperation between students, teachers, and administrators.


New Jersey Department of Education. (2022). Administrators. Official Site of the State of New Jersey.

Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School. (2022). Academics. Thomas Edison Charter School.

United States Census Bureau. (2022). Quick facts: New Jersey. United States Census Bureau.

US News. (2022). Thomas Edison energysmart charter school. US News. Web.

Appendix: Leadership Initiative Project Outline

Summer Principals Academy Leadership Initiative Project Outline
Project Purpose This educational project aims to use the data-driven audit for Thomas Edison Energy School (TEECS) and deploy a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) approach to offer behavioral and academic interventions to improve students’ academic performance.
Project Description The problems identified facing TEECS schools are that most students have deteriorated social conduct and lower academic scores. The MTSS tutors and administration in the school provide core monitoring from the data gathered in the audit and benchmark assessments to the students to minimize the challenges facing them.
Goals and Responsibilities The two goals of the TEECS project, as per the MTSS model, include the following:

  • Improving the existing practices across academic units and systems (special education, cultural instruction, justice, and support) to increase student performance by 15% by January 2023.
  • Organize school resources by aligning behavioral expectations and academic standards to ensure continual sustainability for students to exceed leadership proficiencies by 20% by October 2025.

The curriculum supervisor, MTTS coach, parents, classroom teachers, language pathologists, and intervention specialists are responsible for meeting the goals.

Connection to School Leadership The MTSS ensures improved performance by integrating emotional/social learning. Therefore, it ensures school leaders (principals) acquire the necessary skills, such as time management, decision-making, empathy, and awareness. School leadership is crucial in gaining students’ confidence and making them respect the teacher and learn social values.
Connection to SWOT on Data-Driven Analysis The lower academic performance in TEECS is due to the lack of deployment of the MTSS evidence-based educational model. TEECS faces increased crime and flooding threats and has weaknesses such as a weak school index, limited school space, and a high turnover rate. The data collected from the data-driven audit helps school resources effectively and ensure students with special needs and those requiring support are engaged to improve their academic performance. The TEECS strengths include digital citizenship, achievement programs, qualified teachers, a high student populace, and cultural diversification, while opportunities include school-funding policies, technological advancements, and community growth. The school MTSS team must utilize the available strengths to reinforce behavioral and academic interventions to ensure each learner achieves better educational results.
NELP Standards Addressed The following NELP standards are to be addressed by the MTSS team to ensure that the students acquire accelerated academic performance.

  • Mission, vision, and improvement
  • Learning and instruction
  • Equity, inclusiveness, and cultural responsibility
  • Community and external leadership
  • Ethics and professional norms
  • Internship
  • Operations and management

Leadership Competencies Required The MTSS team at TEECS must showcase strong leadership proficiencies, including managing disputes, effective communication, utilizing emotional intelligence, shaping culture, and being innovative to ensure behavioral and instructional changes among learners.
Projected Hours and Schedule The projected hours for the project will take 8 hours a day for four months, scheduled between October 2022 to January 2023.
Data Collection Process Data collection involves five phases: clarifying data gathering goals, developing operational procedures and definitions, validating the measuring system, and obtaining data. The MTSS project utilizes the data-driven audit data to ensure effective monitoring and assessment of student performance, determined by the TEECS school climate index.
Student Signature/Date Principal Signature/Date Coach Signature/Date

Appendix: Coaching Call Log

Note relevant comments and questions related to the assignment or internship prior to your call.
Coach Comments/Questions Prior to Call: Student Comments/Questions Prior to Call:

  • What does a student benefit from conducting a data-driven audit?
  • Does the data-driven audit project on TEECS make students improve their leadership skills?

Suggested reflection questions for phone call.

Please include notes below, and amend questions as phone call requires.

  • What did you notice about your thinking as you completed this assignment?

I had negative thoughts about the importance of data-driven audits. After completing this assignment, I have realized that school leaders must conduct a data-driven audit to determine the strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities facing a school.

  • If you were the leader, how would you approach the results that you found?

If I was a leader, I could approach the results found positively and utilize them to drive the transformation to ensure improved performance, diversity, and equality.

  • How might this change your current practice?

I could change my current practice of not being a transformative leader and engage in scanning the school’s external environment to enhance my leadership skills.

  • How did you articulate the process of your assignment in your reflection?

In my reflection, I articulated the process of my assignment by identifying what I learned from the data-driven audit and the key leadership competencies leading to diversity and equality.

Format Check – Met Standard/Below Standard/Did Not Discuss

  • APA Format –
  • Grammar/Punctuation –
  • Page Limit –

Paper Revision Goal(s)
The goal of paper revision will be to correct areas that have not been adequately researched and ensure the article is well-formatted.
Student Reflection on Coach CallDue prior to final paper submission.

What changes did this conversation generate for your assignment?

The conversation enabled me to overcome professional shortcomings and spearheaded an environment on how to research materials required for the improvement of the assignment properly.