ERIC Number: EJ930035
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr-27
Reference Count: N/A
Reach of School Accrediting Agency Called into Question
Samuels, Christina A.
Education Week, v30 n29 p1, 20 Apr 2011
A newly signed law in Georgia that gives the governor the power to remove school board members in a district that does not have full accreditation is bringing fresh scrutiny to the role of AdvancED, a private agency that accredits schools in that state and 48 others. The target of the new law, signed by Gov. Nathan Deal, is the 48,000-student Atlanta public school system. In putting the district on probation earlier this year, the accrediting agency cited fierce infighting on the school board and a breakdown in district leadership. The Georgia legislature passed a bill last year that gave the governor similar powers, but it applied only to board members elected after July 2010. The new law is retroactive to July 2009, which means all the school board members in the Atlanta district are subject to its provisions. The governor's actions, which he acknowledges were influenced by the critical accreditation report, point to the growing influence of AdvancED, the nation's largest accreditor of school districts and individual K-12 schools. Some observers are asking, though, whether the accrediting agency has overstepped its bounds by getting involved in politics and governance matters that may not directly affect education--a charge that AdvancED leaders strongly dispute. AdvancED has expanded across traditional regional boundaries for accrediting agencies, which are funded by schools and districts that voluntarily submit to the evaluation process. As the result of a 2006 merger, the Alpharetta, Georgia-based AdvancED now encompasses the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) and accredits more than 27,000 public and private schools and districts across the United States and overseas.
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation, Educational Change, Boards of Education, Accreditation (Institutions), School Districts, Public Schools, State Legislation, Public Officials, Educational Improvement, Academic Probation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia; United States