School Choice & Charters

Archdiocese Says Accreditation for All

By Mary Ann Zehr — February 01, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The Rev. William F. Maestri, who became the superintendent of schools for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans in August, has taken the unusual step of requiring all 83 elementary schools in the archdiocese to become accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or SACS.

“We’re seeking more accountability, because we believe accountability is a good thing,” Father Maestri said. “We are already accountable to the people who send their children to these schools and to the church. We also want to be professionally accountable.”

The 23 high schools of the New Orleans Archdiocese have been accredited by the Decatur, Ga.-based SACS for years. Also, since 1999, 17 elementary schools in the archdiocese have voluntarily sought and received the association’s stamp of approval.

But Father Maestri is now requiring all Catholic elementary schools within his purview to start the accreditation process. If they fail, they will have to reapply.

Father Maestri said that while it’s not unusual for individual Catholic schools to get accredited, it is uncommon for a diocese to require accreditation for all of its schools. Catholic schools in the New Orleans Archdiocese enroll 50,000 students.

To become accredited, a school must meet SACS standards, have a plan for continuous school improvement, and submit to quality-assurance reviews, said Wayne Strain, a state director for Louisiana schools for the accrediting association, which is one of six regional accrediting agencies in the United States.

The agency’s standards cover curriculum and instruction as well as other areas, such as financial management, libraries, and student support services.

Students who attend accredited schools can easily transfer from one accredited school to another without losing any course credits, Mr. Strain said.

The association collects dues of $500 a year for an elementary school that has begun the process of accreditation or continues to receive the agency’s services.

A version of this article appeared in the February 02, 2005 edition of Education Week


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Opinion What's the State of Charter Schools Today?
Even though there's momentum behind the charter school movement, charters face many of the same challenges as traditional public schools.
10 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters As Private School Choice Grows, Critics Push for More Guardrails
Calls are growing for more scrutiny over where state funds for private school choice go and how students are faring in the classroom.
7 min read
Illustration of completed tasks, accomplishment, finished checklist, achievement or project progression concept. Person holding pencil tick all completed task checkbox.
Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty
School Choice & Charters How a District Hopes to Save an ESSER-Funded Program
As a one-time infusion of federal funding expires, districts are searching for creative ways to keep programs they funded with it running.
6 min read
Chicago charter school teacher Angela McByrd works on her laptop to teach remotely from her home in Chicago, Sept. 24, 2020.
Chicago charter school teacher Angela McByrd works on her laptop to teach remotely from her home in Chicago, Sept. 24, 2020. In Montana, a district hopes to save a virtual instruction program by converting it into a charter school.
Nam Y. Huh/AP
School Choice & Charters Q&A How the Charter School Movement Is Changing: A Top Charter Advocate Looks Back and Ahead
Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, plans to step down as leader of the group at the end of the year.
6 min read
Nina Rees, CEO of the National Public Charter School Association.
Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, emphasizes that she has "always thought of [charter schools] as laboratories of innovation with the hopes of replicating those innovations in district-run schools."
Courtesy of McLendon Photography