Wake County Schools

Wake schools told to consider dropping accreditation

Posted January 11, 2011

Wake County Public School System
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— An administrator with a national accreditation group has suggested the Wake County Public School System consider withdrawing its accreditation in light of a pending review unless school officials “can move forward in a more collegial and collaborative manner,” according to e-mails made public Tuesday by the school district.

The statement comes in a Jan. 10 e-mail from AdvancED President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Elgart in response to concerns from school board attorney Ann Majestic that the agency is overstepping its bounds in reviewing changes the school board has made regarding its student assignment policy.

Board member John Tedesco called AdvancED a "totalitarian monopoly from Atlanta." 

"There are several other agencies that do accreditation of a higher caliber we are looking at," Tedesco said.

Wake schools wage bitter accreditation battle Wake schools wage bitter accreditation battle

The board voted in February to move away from busing students to help achieve socio-economic diversity toward community-based schools.

That prompted the North Carolina Chapter of the NAACP to file a complaint with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, – a subdivision of AdvancED – alleging that some board members with “racist attitudes” want to segregate the school system.

Elgart questioned the board's ability to govern effectively in light of the NAACP probe.

"There is a significant amount of evidence to support the notion they are struggling with that ability right now," Elgart said.

Tedesco said the board's ability to govern is not decided by an accreditation board, but by the district's voters.

"If the community does not value their elected officials, they elect new ones," he said.

In an e-mail Sunday, Majestic called the review process “fundamentally unfair” and asked that the AdvanceEd review team limit the scope of its review to issues not subject to an investigation by the U.S. Office of Civil Rights and to allow legal counsel to be present and able to represent the interests of the board.

In his response, Elgart wrote that he was “disappointed and deeply concerned regarding the continued attitude and resistance of school system leaders.”

“Yet, Wake County leadership continues to take action that is confrontational,” Elgart wrote. “I seriously doubt the school system can benefit from the accreditation process with this attitude and approach.”

The visit was scheduled for this week, and the school board was scheduled to meet about the visit Wednesday evening, but AdvancED canceled it Tuesday, citing the weather for its decision. It’s unclear if the visit has been rescheduled.

The school board will meet Wednesday to discuss the issue.

AdvancED, which has no authority over Wake County schools, has said the review has nothing to do with school performance but about governance and leadership and whether the board’s actions are negatively affecting schools.

Accreditation is important, because it can be used in determining a high school student’s acceptance to a higher institution of learning.

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  • dagmudos Jan 12, 2011

    LOL.. I know people are upset but you may want to reconsider dropping accreditation. That is a very BIG deal. Dropping accreditation would mean that your graduating seniors going to a institution would have to take an entrance exam because of the uniformity of education may not meet the standards of an accredited university. SACS does accredit almost every university in this area.

  • josephlawrence43 Jan 12, 2011

    AdvancED?? After 24 years in the classroom in NC public schools--I have never even heard of this outfit until recently. As for accredation and its relative strength of recognition among colleges--SACS--Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is the Big Dog.--and they don't kowtow to the NAACP or anyone else. Sounds as if Wake Co. would be well served if they got shut of AdvancED and the NAACP.

  • gnewsome1 Jan 12, 2011

    "The board is NOT entitled to attorney representation for their personal actions outside of the education of wake county students". Sorry but this issue is not outside of Wake County Education. They are an elected body. They are entitled to attorney representation for this and any other matter relative to their functions on behalf of the school system.

  • gnewsome1 Jan 12, 2011

    Let Elgart and his cronies stay in Georgia, where they belong. They have absolutely no business in local politics where they obviously would like to insert themselves. Find another accreditation group whose concentration will be on the entire school system as opposed to local school board politics. Advance Ed seems to have already chosen sides. They have no business doing so nor do they have any business telling an Attorney that he/she cannot represent his client. You think any of the opponents of the majority of the current board have been in touch with Advance Ed??? I would be they have. Go figure.

  • Remy Jan 12, 2011

    “Yet, Wake County leadership continues to take action that is confrontational,” Elgart wrote. “I seriously doubt the school system can benefit from the accreditation process with this attitude and approach.”

    Translation: This school board has no idea what they are doing.

  • shepherdofwolves Jan 12, 2011

    “Yet, Wake County leadership continues to take action that is confrontational,” Elgart wrote. “I seriously doubt the school system can benefit from the accreditation process with this attitude and approach.”

    TRANSLATION:

    How dare you question the authority of AdvancED! We are the sole and righteous determiners of quality education in America! You will pay for such disrespect and insubordination!

  • cheapskate Jan 12, 2011

    it "means" zero - UNTIL YOU LOSE IT AND YOUR KID CAN'T GET INTO THEIR COLLEGE PREFERENCE... or get a grant/loan etc. Geez, usually schools lose accrediation for serious issues.

  • jonnraleigh Jan 12, 2011

    Accreditation is granted by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to both individual schools and to districts. Many colleges look at SACS accrediation.

  • sendusmessage Jan 12, 2011

    Yes, accreditation is important, but I'd like them to find another accrediting agency, one that is apolitical and not so easily bullied by outfits like the NAACP...
    And speaking of AdvancED, I wonder if they would have caved so easily to complaints from the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka or if they consider NAACP sacrosanct & untouchable. Maybe they really are a politically correct bunch, and if so, I want nothing to do with them.

  • fzero Jan 12, 2011

    "Because those in Wake Co are fortunate enough to have Rev Barber in town. And he can scream and pout real loud and make alot of noise."

    You mean flatulence? Nobody cares about the guy. He stirs up trouble where there isn't any. He wouldn't have a job otherwise. Thanks Rev.

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