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Saturday, August 30

Clayton schools in Atlanta lose accreditation

The process of accreditation in the US is used to ensure that schools and institutions of higher learning comply with nationally set standards of learning and administration in order to enhance continuous satisfaction of the requirements set by the accreditation organizations.

This is why it is very important to check the accreditation status of a college you intend to go to. Usually the college site mentions whether the institution is accredited by a regional organization recognized by the Department of Education. There are six regional accrediting organizations in the U.S. that review degree-granting nonprofit and for-profit institutions within their regions. Attending a non-accredited institution carries certain perils as the credits are not transferable and potential employees will not take such diplomas seriously. Bottom line is that some colleges claim various types of accreditation, however regional accreditation is the one you should be looking for. So before applying, go to Accreditation agencies and see which regional agency covers your state. Then check out the college you are interested in.

Recently HCC went through its re-accreditation process and passed with flying colors. Not even one recommendation!

However, not every college or school district is as well prepared. Last Thursday the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation agency revoked the accreditation of Atlanta’s Clayton County school district that serves a student population of 50,000. Although the district had received a set of 9 recommendations since last February, it had only complied with one. The report has cited as causes a "dysfunctional" school board and a flawed system among other things.

The problem of the impending revocation had been known for six months and about 2000 students had already moved to other school districts. However, registration in another district entailed physical residence which forced those who could move, to do so. The process along with the reputed reasons for the loss of accreditation could drive property values even further down. The seniors who remained face a dire situation as their diploma will not be worth the paper it will be printed on. In other words no college will admit them nor will they qualify for any loans or financial assistance. Some local colleges have accommodated some students through a dual registration system hoping that eventually an accredited high school diploma will be issued, which SACS has assured will have retroactive value.

Other problems springing from the loss of accreditation include district losses of pre-kindergarten funding, teachers losing benefits if they transfer to other school systems and the state not counting Clayton County schools-sponsored professional development toward teachers’ recertification.

The story from Clayton, has spurred a discussion about the problems afflicting many high schools with complaints about administration, teachers, students, parents’ lack of involvement and facilities. However, the most reliable witnesses are always the students. When you look back to your high school days, what were the best and/or the worst impressions?