Wake County Schools

Wake schools' accreditation review likely next month

Posted November 11, 2010 7:29 p.m. EST
Updated November 12, 2010 5:13 p.m. EST

Wake County Public School System

— A national accreditation group that will review recent changes in the Wake County Public School System could pay a visit next month.

Jennifer Oliver, a spokeswoman for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, said the AdvancEd team is still finalizing dates for a two-day visit but that it appears that it will likely happen during the first half of December.

“Our team will interview each of the board members, the superintendent, members of her senior staff and various individuals from the community,” Oliver said. “Additionally, the team will visit a sampling of high schools.”

Wake schools Interim Superintendent Donna Hargens, School Board Chairman Ron Margiotta and others met last week with AdvanceEd to discuss the focus of the visit and the activities and interviews that would take place on the visit, she added.

The review comes in response to a complaint filed in March by the North Carolina Chapter of the NAACP, in response to the school system’s controversial idea to move away from an assignment policy of busing students toward community-based schools.

Opponents fear the plan will segregate schools and prevent lower income students from receiving the same quality of education as their counterparts.

Oliver said the team will submit a report to AdvanceEd that would include any actions that the school system should take to meet accreditation standards.

The report will be reviewed and be available approximately 30 to 45 days after the visit, she said.

If the school system is found to be in violation of SACS standards and doesn't comply with them, each of Wake County's 24 high schools could eventually lose its accreditation.

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