Wake County Schools

Wake schools lawyer questions accreditation review

Posted September 22, 2010 5:49 p.m. EDT
Updated September 22, 2010 6:19 p.m. EDT

Wake County Public School System

— The Wake County Board of Education questioned the motives behind of a district-wide review by AdvancED, a national organization that accredits high schools.

AdvancED asked the school board to identify a time when the organization could send a special review team to review recent changes in the school system.

In a response to that request sent Sept. 8, Ann Majestic, legal counsel for Wake schools, asked for clarification of questions AdvancED has and what a review would entail. The school board “has serious concerns about the basis, purpose and scope” of the visit, she wrote.

Specifically, she asked Mark Elgart, AdvancED CEO, how the board’s move to adopt a student assignment policy based on community schools is connected to accreditation.

AdvancED asked for details about the district’s controversial proposal to move away from a decade-old policy of busing students for the purposes of diversity. Majestic wrote, “These requests appear to be aimed squarely at the Board’s substantive conclusion that community schools are in the best interests of Wake County students and families. This is surprising, given that AdvancED accredits individuals high schools within the WCPSS, not the district as a whole.”

If any of Wake County's 24 high schools were to lose their accreditation, it could reflect poorly on graduates who apply for higher education.

Officials at several local colleges and universities say there are a number of determining factors in student acceptance – ranging from student grades and test scores to campus and community involvement – but that accreditation is still an important factor for several reasons.