The Atlanta school board voted last week to accept a report from a major accrediting agency putting the district on accredited probation and listing steps it can take to avoid losing its accreditation.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools report outlines six actions required by Sept. 30 for the 47,000-student district to keep its accreditation. Losing accreditation could strip the district of millions of dollars in grant money and put students’ college admissions at risk.
The board’s to-do list includes: developing a long-term education strategy, hiring an impartial mediator to resolve board disputes, and putting in place a transparent process for selecting a new superintendent. In nine months, the system will have to convince the sacs, which is part of the Alpharetta, Ga.-based group AdvancED, that it is making progress.
The accrediting organization cited infighting on the board and an inability of the board to govern for the probation order, which is relatively rare. Of the about 5,000 districts nationwide that AdvancED has accredited, only eight are currently on probation.
A version of this article appeared in the February 02, 2011 edition of Education Week as Atlanta’s School Board Accepts Probation Report