DeKalb School System and AdvancED and Texas Education Agency

The Dunwoody Talk Blog has an excellent, in-depth explanation of the lack of value we get from our association with SACS as well as our misguided leadership at the state level. Could it be time to seek a new accrediting alternative? One that looks at student achievement and goal-setting? Could it be time for the state to put their money where their mouth is and fund our schools as promised?

An excerpt:

I like Fran, but I think this reaction is not the right one. First off, SACS does not care about the taxpayer in DeKalb. In fact, SACS, it seems at times, does not care about the students in DeKalb. SACS has accredited DeKalb Schools for many years now. During these years we have seen student achievement decline rapidly, we’ve seen the number of failing schools increase, we’ve seen extreme fraud and waste of taxpayer money, and we’ve seen SACS continually encourage bad behavior in DeKalb by doing nothing. Not to put all our problems on SACS, but the Senator’s suggestion that an action by SACS can somehow correct years of financial mismanagement is inaccurate to say the least.

To give credit to the school board, they are now reacting to new projections from the county. The school system has kept in touch with the tax office in Decatur, keeping tabs on tax collections. They were informed of an even bigger potential deficit and are taking action.

If we want to place blame somewhere, let’s start with the State of Georgia. You do know the State annually audits the DeKalb School System, right? Obviously these audits were either not performed thoroughly or the corruption and mismanagement of funds was overlooked. Either way, the State dropped the ball big time, year after year.

Dunwoody Talk continues as it compares SACS system of accreditation with the state of Texas’ system of accreditation. The devil really is in the details. This blog post is a ‘must read’.

Click here to read the ‘Dunwoody Talk’ post in depth.

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Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
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5 Responses to DeKalb School System and AdvancED and Texas Education Agency

  1. The Deal says:

    I think switching accrediting agencies is the right thing to pursue. SACS has not shown DeKalb parents and taxpayers that they are looking out for our kids. If you set aside all of the board shenanigans and finance issues, we are still left with a school systems whose student achievement has sharply declined in the last years. That should have been setting off an alarm with SACS. We could also relieve ourselves of the political aspect of SACS, who seems to be deeply embedded in local and state politics.

  2. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    The horrible management of both the school system and the county have been the motivator for areas like Dunwoody and now Brookhaven to break away. It won’t be long before these newfound cities begin to seek control of their own city schools. That would be a good idea and just about the only one that makes sense at this point. This action requires less of an adjustment to the State Constitution than one would think, and it also provides the opportunity for these smaller, more efficient systems to seek a more helpful accreditation agency that focuses on student achievement.

    Just check out a new email from the City of Brookhaven proponents; They point out the abuse of park bond funds under our county leadership as well as the back door taxes the county continues to pile on top of property taxes in the form of bonds. Cities can opt out of these bonds. People would not be seeking to break away from the county and the school system if these entities were run well and had the trust of the people to make equitable and responsible decisions.

    The new City of Brookhaven offers an additional tax benefit that has been lost in all of the DeKalb lobbyist-powered ”messaging” leading up to the July 31 referendum.

    That benefit is the right to opt-out of any future DeKalb County bond issues.

    County bond issues, to the detriment of your wallet, have become a backdoor way for the county to fund things other than what voters approved the bonds to be used for.

    In late 2011, the county spent $40 million of park bond funds on general county operations.

    Voters approved these bonds for parks. Bonds are debt. They require principal and interest to be repaid. Even worse, you the taxpayer are repaying this debt on your property tax bill. Take a look at your tax bill. The amount you pay is there in black and white.

    Within the past two weeks it was discovered that CEO Burrell Ellis began construction work on his pet project, a soap box derby track, even though the Board of Commissioners never authorized the work and the voters never approved the project as part of any bond issue.

    CEO Ellis expected the project to be paid for with bond funds.

    Bond funds have become a slush fund for DeKalb County.

    Yet county investment in our local parks is lacking…

    …the county is not pursuing improvements at Briarwood Park claiming “lack of interest”…

    …and the new Brookhaven library promised in the 2005 bond issue has yet to be built.

    You can opt-out of future county bond issues and keep those tax dollars at home.

    But only if you vote YES for Brookhaven on July 31.

  3. Anonmom says:

    You can’t have a city school system without an amendment to the ga constitution…
    I am so in favor of less government… I think too much government is awful but I think that the state should be the one doing the regulating and accrediting. I think it’s just wrong for a private institution, any private institution to accredit and “advise” and “recommend” and get paid to essentially be judge, jury, counsel and witness.

  4. @ Anonmom

    Actually, go read the most recent post on DeKalb School Watch, Less is More.

    All it will take to make it possible for cities to have a school system and for DeKalb County and other large metro school systems (i.e., counties and City of Atlanta) to divide — if they want to — into separate, manageable school systems is to remove a single sentence of eight (8) words which appears only once in the Georgia Constitution (Article VIII, Section V, Paragraph I): No independent school system shall hereafter be established.

    “Equalization” is a separate topic and will not be affected one way or the other by removing those 8 words. Georgia counties that are truly rural and poor will still get financial assistance. Such as it is. Read “Poor schools still get the short end: Biggest share of ‘equalization’ fund goes to biggest systems,” written by James Salzer and Nancy Badertscher in today’s online AJC. Here’s a nugget from that article to contemplate: “The “equalization” fund’s biggest check this fall will go to Gwinnett County — Georgia’s largest school district — followed by Clayton, Paulding and Henry county schools. At the same time, many rural districts in desperate financial condition will receive smaller grants than last year, and some will receive no help at all.” So, poor, rural school systems have funding problems elsewhere and removing those 8 words to enable doing what is right for DeKalb’s students and taxpayers will not affect those school systems at all.

  5. Pingback: Open letter to Dave Huddleston, WSB Reporter | dekalb school watch two

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