Wake County Schools

Group drops accreditation for Burke County schools

Posted January 14, 2011 2:10 p.m. EST
Updated January 19, 2011 11:06 p.m. EST

— A national accreditation group looking into the effectiveness of the Wake County school board has dropped certification for another North Carolina school system.

This week, Atlanta-based AdvancED pulled accreditation from Burke County Schools in Morganton, partly because board members’ behavior, factions among the board and last-minute meeting changes.

The district, however, can still keep its accreditation if the school board can show by June 30 that it has made significant progress in meeting required actions outlined by the AdvancED review team – specifically that the board actions align with district policy and AdvancED standards, professional decorum at board meetings and that board members are educated on district policies.

AdvancED, the parent company of Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement, plans to review the Wake County school system next month after a complaint that the North Carolina NAACP filed alleging that some board members want to segregate the school system.

The school board’s attorneys have sent e-mails and letters, questioning the review team’s scope of the pending review.

That’s led AdvancED officials to tell school officials they should consider dropping accreditation – something school board member John Tedesco has said is a possibility.

"There are several other agencies that do accreditation of a higher caliber (that) we are looking at,” he said Wednesday.

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

How institutions use it varies.

Great Schools in Wake Coalition says that dropping accreditation could cost students millions of dollars in academic and athletic scholarship and educational loans and limit acceptance to colleges, universities and military programs.