The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) has been placed on probation for the next year by an accrediting agency.
AdvancED President Mark Elgart said if DCSD doesn’t comply with its requests over the next year, the loss of the district’s accreditation is “imminent.”
AdvancED is the parent company for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which accredits DCSD.
“Based on a comprehensive investigation by the special review team, there is significant and irrefutable evidence that the DCSD is in a state of conflict and chaos,” Elgart stated. “The system over the past decade has struggled with consistent and effective governance. This failure to govern effectively has resulted in a decline in student performance, financial mismanagement and lack of integrity and ethics in recruiting, appointing and evaluating personnel at all levels of the school system.”
The school district has until May 31 to make progress in complying with the AdvancED’s required actions. The actions, which must be completed by Dec. 31, 2013, include:
- Devise and implement a written, comprehensive plan for unifying the DeKalb County Board of Education so that the focus can become serving the needs of the children of the DeKalb County School District.
- Ensure that all actions and decisions of the DeKalb County Board of Education are reflective of the collective Board and consistent with approved policies and procedures and all applicable laws, regulations and standards, rather than individual board members acting independently and undermining the authority of the Superintendent to lead and manage day-to-day operations.
- 3. Establish and implement policies and procedures that ensure segregation of duties of the governing board and that of the administration including the elimination of Board working committees which result in board members assuming administrative functions that should be the responsibility of appropriate staff.
- Implement and adhere to fiscally responsible policies and practices that ensure the DeKalb County Board of Education will adopt and ensure proper implementation of budgets within the financial means of the school system and that support the delivery of an educational program that meets the needs of the students.
After the media conference, DCSD released the following statement: “Today members of the DeKalb County Board of Education, along with the superintendent and senior team, met with AdvancED and Dr. Mark Elgart, president and CEO of AdvancED. During this meeting, Dr. Elgart reviewed the Special Review Team Report from the Oct. 17-19, 2012 visit.
“As a result, the district is now being placed on accredited-probation until Dec. 31, 2013. The district has received this information and will work collaboratively to review the findings and begin to address the required actions. The district still remains fully accredited and students’ academic status remains unchanged.”
Check back for a detailed report on the school district’s probation by Education Reporter Daniel Beauregard (Twitter: https://twitter.com/danchampnews).