DeKalb board moving toward dual accreditation

By Mike Hassinger For The Crier

Thurmond-At-ELPCDespite parent wishes to protect accreditation at DeKalb high schools with a back-up plan, School Superintendent Michael Thurmond believes dual accreditation “undermines” his efforts to restore full accreditation for the DeKalb County School System, and does not support it.

“My focus is on gaining full accreditation for the entire district…. That’s what I was hired to do, and that is my focus,” Thurmond told attendees at the May 1 meeting of the Dunwoody Chamblee Parents Council. “I will not support anything that undermines the value of that effort,” he added.

Thurmond’s reluctance flies in the face of direct efforts by parents to seek back-up accreditation, from a state agency, for individual schools should the DeKalb School System lose its accreditation from AdvanceEd, the parent organization of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Since December, DeKalb has been on accreditation “probation,” from SACS-two levels below full accreditation.

Dunwoody Parents Concerned About Quality Education, a newly formed 501(c)3 organization, has taken up the dual accreditation issue, and Dunwoody Councilman Terry Nall is leading the effort to obtain accreditation from the Georgia Accrediting Commission, which has accredited schools in Georgia for 109 years.

Nall said he had spoken directly with Superintendent Thurmond but that his conversations had “reached a dead end.” Thurmond’s concern is that GAC accreditation would somehow threaten or impede SACS accreditation in spite of written statements from Mark Elgart, president and CEO of AdvanceEd.

In an email to Nall, Elgart wrote: “…There is nothing in AdvancED Accreditation Policies and Procedures that would prohibit any institution from seeking multiple accreditations. Accreditation is a voluntary activity. Specific to your particular interest, any school in the state of Georgia can be accredited by GAC as well as AdvancED/SACS CASI. In the state of Georgia, AdvancED/SACS CASI and GAC are both recognized for the purpose of the HOPE Scholarship.”

“I’ve spoken with [District 1 School Board member] John Coleman and [District 2 member] Marshall Orson, and plan to bring a dual accreditation policy before the board at their June 3 meeting,” said Nall.

Read more>> DeKalb board moving toward dual accreditation

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6 Responses to DeKalb board moving toward dual accreditation

  1. H.A. Hurley says:

    Thurmond’s unwavering stubbornness to stick with SACS over exploring options, just in case, makes me think that he may know something that we don’t know. Possible back room deal with SACS? Assurance that SACS promised to restore accreditation? Otherwise, it makes no sense to refuse other options.

  2. Concerned Citizen says:

    Yes, Hurley – this is just one of several times I’ve had to stop what I’m doing to tell you how insightful your remarks are! Thank you. You are right: there is no reaon for such stubborness when it doesn’t affect the students except in a posiive way. I have felt since we “aquired” Thurmond that he woud be our downfall. Far from the inerests of the students and teachers, Thurmod is out for himself only. I am praying for the day we can at last get rid of him. Doesn’t show any signs of departing or make any remarks indicating his good-byes. I hope the Board realizes Thurmond is a nutter.

  3. Just another day in Paradise says:

    Atkinson also had a “back door” deal with SACS when she came in. Full support to allow her to do what she needed to do, despite the Board’s interference or the community’s. We see where that left us. Thurmond is even more connected and feels even less pressure to bow to either group. He is assured of a paycheck for a year and is enjoying his 15 minutes (albeit, 12 months) of fame. All steps meant to plump his resume for the next election.

  4. dekalbite2 says:

    Perhaps Thurmond just wants to link higher achieving schools with lower achieving schools when it comes to accreditation. Mr. Thurmond keeps saying the “primary purpose” for his employment is to secure SACS accreditation (never mentioning student achievement which SHOULD be his main concern – that seems to be something he has no idea how to do so he concentrates on SACS instead). If the higher achieving schools get their own accreditation, Mr. Thurmnd will have much less support from parents in those schools. With accreditation a non issue for those schools, they will begin to press him strictly on academic issues. Academics for students is not his strong point nor the strong point of any of his staff. Most have not taught in a classroom in 20 years.

  5. dmcgrail1577 says:

    Hey DCSS/BOE:
    Where are we with that superintendent search? If we wait long enough, maybe we can appoint another un-qualified, F&F member that is not properly vetted to come to our rescue in the eleventh hour. Time to Lead, Follow or get the he11 out of the way……..

  6. Retired DeKalb teacher says:

    So now the money from after school care, Title 1, etc. is going to be placed in general fund and NOT the schools where it belongs! Miracle money found? Who believes this?

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