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SACS issues "letter of concern" to Clayton School Board
by Bill Baldowski
September 26, 2012 01:39 PM | 5919 views | 2 2 comments | 112 112 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Clayton County Public Schools Superintendent Edmond Heatley, Ed.D. has received a “letter of concern” from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools expressing its trepidation with what SACS said were governance issues.

The letter further stated that such governance issues appear to be a challenge to the Clayton County Board of Education on issues, including its search for a new superintendent.

In the letter, signed by Mark Elgart, Ed.D., president of AdvancED/SACS CASI, it stated the “current actions of individuals on the board of education could put the school system in jeopardy of losing its current and future accreditation.”

According to Elgart, one of the primary areas of focus in district accreditation is governance.

“The current Board of Education continues to operate with much conflict between and among board members as well as individual board members launching attacks on the school system and its personnel,” Elgart added.

He emphasized there is a “clear and documented distinction” between the roles and responsibilities of a local school board and its appointed elected administration.

He also cautioned Heatley that the current action of individuals on the board of education “could be considered outside of the roles and responsibilities (e.g. micromanagement) and put the school system’s accreditation in jeopardy.”

Elgart added that it was important to remind the school system that any search for a new superintendent should be supported and facilitated with the help of outside experts who have a proven record in superintendent and executive searches.

“There is no evidence that the current board of education has the skills and experience to conduct such a search without professional assistance and guidance,” he said.

Elgart also said that on or before Jan. 15 of next year, the Clayton County School System must submit a letter to SACS indicating “what, if any, progress has been made in addressing the current issues relating to governance as described in this letter.”

He further stated SACS would continue to monitor the Clayton County School District closely as the system continues its preparation for the District Accreditation External Review Visit, scheduled this spring.

“It is our expectation and hope that the school system will initiate appropriate actions to ensure that the Standards for Accreditation are met and that the school system has properly prepared for the External Review Visit for District Accreditation,” Elgart said.

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