Wake County Schools

Accreditation review focus again for Wake schools

Posted November 29, 2011 7:03 p.m. EST
Updated January 26, 2012 5:30 p.m. EST

— Wake County's school superintendent said Tuesday that the school board has made a number of positive changes in how it operates after a national group threatened to revoke accreditation for the district's high schools.

Representatives from Atlanta-based AdvancED met Tuesday with Superintendent Tony Tata and current and newly elected school board members to follow up on a number of actions that the group recommended if the district didn't want to lose its accreditation.

"Much of this, we were already doing, and it was good to know that what they were asking us to do we were already doing, so we felt like we were on the right path," Tata said.

The team is scheduled to meet with community groups, including the NAACP, on Wednesday.

In March, AdvancED placed the school system on an "accredited warned" status for what it called a "lack of effective governance and leadership" as well as a "climate of uncertainty, suspicion and mistrust throughout the community."

Major policy changes, heated debate and fears over segregating schools sparked protests and arrests after a new board majority took control in 2009. A complaint filed by the state chapter of the NAACP prompted AdvancED to visit Wake County and review how the board conducts its business.

Last week, the school system released a progress report saying it has already addressed most of AdvancED's concerns by developing a new strategic plan for the system, switching to a choice-based student assignment plan and changing the way the board conducts business.

"They seem to think we have done a lot to remedy things that they were concerned about last time," board member Carolyn Morrison said. "They seemed pleased, so I'm pleased."

Tata said he expects a final report from AdvancED in about 30 days.