As the Dunwoody Crier reports, in addition to our precarious SACS accreditation, all DeKalb high schools have now been fully accredited by the Georgia Accreditation Commission >>
Interestingly, it wasn’t an educator who pointed a way forward. Dunwoody Councilman Terry Nall began to search for a backup plan. It led to a state agency not widely familiar to the public.
The Georgia Accreditation Commission exists to do exactly what SACS/AdvancED does but with a lower profile and lower costs.
Nall used city council resolutions and persistence with the DeKalb school board and its superintendent, Michael Thurmond. They agreed over time to seek that second opinion and GAC was hired.
Its consultants began site visits and earlier this month rendered a verdict.
In a letter to Nall, the executive director of the GAC, Phil Murphy, told Nall his board had voted unanimously to approve the DeKalb consultants’ recommendation.
“All high schools were ‘Accredited with Quality,’ which means they met all standards,” he wrote.
That is the commission’s highest rating.
The DeKalb school board heard the news last week.
Since Nall began the effort, SACS/AdvancedEd has lifted the county school system from probation, but even if school board behavior again turned below standards, high school students’ diplomas, scholarship efforts and the like would be unaffected.
Many thanks to Dunwoody Councilman Terry Nall!!
So, to recap the board actions of late >> (A DSW digression)
- Stan Jester asked the board to allocate most of the mid-year extra funds to give raises to teachers. The board voted him down.
- Jim McMahan asked for a motion to require next year’s budget to adhere to the state’s mandated minimum standard of spending 65% of the operating budget directly in the classroom. The board voted him down.
- Now, in response to SACS placing DeKalb schools on probation, mainly due to board behavior and budgetary issues, it was a local politician from Dunwoody, not the DeKalb school board who after forming an alliance with Michael Thurmond, pushed and received accreditation for our high schools from a state accrediting agency that actually analyzes educational outcomes as part of their formula for accreditation.
[UPDATE & CORRECTION: The board didn’t have a chance to vote it down, the school district attorney prevented them from taking a vote]
Looks like this school board is zero for three. Add to these failures, our board chair publicly gave and continues to give District 1 rep Stan Jester a large amount of grief because Stan wouldn’t allow the DCSD internal HR staff to do his required background check, opting instead to use the Dunwoody Police, DeKalb Police and GBI — Chair Melvin Johnson then turns around and appoints a convicted felon who publicly asked the Board to circumvent bidding rules and hire black firms to the community committee charged with narrowing the list of candidates for superintendent.
John Evans, convicted felon [ John H. EVANS, Jr., Petitioner v. UNITED STATES. ] and president of the DeKalb County NAACP, is on record publicly urging the school board to “look past qualifications and a straight forward bid process” and hire a “black firm”. Evans said, “in a normal straight forward bid process [black firms] won’t make it. I know we won’t make it.” Evans went on to suggest they [DeKalb School Board] “massage the process to make sure we have black representation.” Evans is urging the school board to conduct illegal activity.
Being a convicted felon is perfectly ok to our board chair. But just try circumventing the school system’s HR department and there will be hell to pay from Chair Melvin Johnson – who also negotiated a contract between New Birth Church and DeKalb schools for over $10,000 a month for ‘rent’ for the Leadership Prep Academy Charter School, which has since replaced the private Christian school that used to operate within the walls of New Birth… brilliant move! Use public funds to pay for your private school! We wonder if Dunwoody Baptist could get away with the same thing. Think about it – It’s worth a shot!