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Accreditation agency wants to talk with DeKalb schools

August 5, 2010

DeKalb schools must respond to questions from accreditation group  | ajc.com.

I think a lot of people saw this one coming. A dysfunctional school board. Administrators facing jail time. Employees allegedly shaking down schools for profit. Test scores sliding into the abyss. Now this. I told you in a previous post that this system was on it’s way to losing it’s accreditation. Now the proof is in the pudding. SACS has come a calling, and it can’t be nice. Remember Clayton schools. They had similar issues, and eventually lost it’s acreditation. Now SACS has DeKalb in it’s sight. The accreditation group wants the system to respond to a series of questions by the end of August. Here is my first prediction. The system will either not respond on time, or ask for more time to answer SACS. Either way it is going to make the system look really bad. If they don’t answer SACS by the end of August, you can believe this will piss SACS off and make the systems job a lot tougher.

Here is what SACS wants from the system:

• Policies and procedures for effective management, including hiring, whistle-blowers, nepotism and conflicts of interest.

• Information on staff and school board training.

• Information on the board’s role in fiscal oversight and monitoring the district, along with how the board uses closed meetings and how members avoid micromanaging.

• Description of the checks and balances to make sure the board is following hiring and firing policies.

• Information on how the board follows procurement procedures and awards bids to avoid conflicts of interest.

• How the district enforces policies and prevents breakdowns in checks and balances.

• Information on the superintendent search. The board terminated its superintendent in May.

Now check out this quote from board chairman Bowen:

“The SACS inquiry letter is not connected to any possible loss of accreditation,” he said. “The inquiry letter seeks to get additional information from the district on whether the appropriate policies exist and were followed in response to a number of issues. … Although SACS has the power to take away a system’s accreditation, its primary function is to improve DeKalb and all systems it accredits.”

No, it is your job Mr Bowen to improve DeKalb schools. SACS is there to make sure you are doing your job, and that kids are receiving a quality education based on a set of standards. When SACS comes a calling, It isn’t a social call. They obviously see something they do not like.

I hope for the county’s sake that the board is able to answer these questions effectively. Then again maybe it will take a SACS investigation to right this ship.

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