We have mentioned the Georgia Accrediting Commission (GAC) before, but it is worth mentioning again. The accreditation concern (i.e., losing HOPE eligibility, college admissions difficulty) for high school students is easily resolved through GAC – and is affordable, as well. So affordable, that GAC accreditation could be facilitated and paid for by the individual PTAs of each interested DCSS high school. Plus GAC provides some desperately needed competition – feared by SACS.
A list of Georgia schools (including high schools) that are currently accredited by GAC is available in the DSW Archives. Also available in the DSW archives are accreditation standards for ALL schools and for high schools. More information is available at the GAC website.
Compare GAC’s specific, measurable standards for “Accreditation with Quality” to SACS/AdvancED’s highly subjective “processes.” SACS/AdvancED appears to take the position that our children have unlimited “do-overs.” It is gratifying to see that GAC’s standards deal in reality and in those things that we know lead to better education.
Further, GAC, located in the College of Education at the University of Georgia, is all about measurable, quality standards for education at a reasonable, affordable price. GAC is not trying to sell their “products” to schools. Nor are they expecting schools to foot their bills for extravagant facilities, extravagant travel and other expenses and equally extravagant salaries.
Frankly, we think that disagreement among board members – especially in DeKalb County, where constituent culture and board member abilities are markedly different from district to district – is not a bad thing. Nor is it unexpected. It might be a good thing to have a professional facilitator at board meetings, including “Executive Sessions” to help board members learn to “disagree without being disagreeable.” However, we seriously doubt whether students are taking their behavior cues from board members. No. Students are much more directly affected by too many students in a classroom; media centers with no full-time media specialist and that are thin on books and resource materials; too few qualified and experienced counselors; and too few high quality teachers.
So, stop kvetching … stop wringing your hands. Take control. Assemble a committee from your school and get in touch with the Georgia Accrediting Commission – today! Tell Executive Director Carvin Brown that DeKalb School Watch sent you!