Friday, August 29, 2008

Georgia: County School System Loses Accreditation

(Clayton County, Georgia) The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) has revoked the accreditation of Clayton County Schools, the first in the country since 1969, for repeated citations of micromanaging, abuses of power, conflicts of interest, plus other lapses in ethics.

Officials in Clayton County, just south of Atlanta, had been warned. The district was placed on probation five years ago and, last March, SACS voted to revoke Clayton schools accreditation unless they met improvement benchmarks. The first was to establish a school board to define roles and responsibilities. Apparently, there was no progress.

Without accreditation, diplomas granted may not be recognized as representative of a quality education. Typically, students flee school systems that are not accredited. It's estimated that 2,000 students have already left the 50,000-enrollment Clayton Schools system.

The significance of the revocation action cannot be overstated. Although there are school systems in the U.S. that regularly admit to graduation rates in the 50 percent range, not one has lost its accreditation in nearly four decades.

That is, until now.

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