Tuesday, December 18, 2012

SACS finds "little evidence of the Board's concern for the academic well-being of the district's students and a constant focus on the adults serving the system"

SACS stopped short of suggesting these; we don't.
Image via brosen.com

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) is

"placing the district on probation, leading to possible removal of the school board. After a six-month investigation, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools found evidence of missing money, school board nepotism and board member influence on which schools students, particularly athletes, attend. Read it and weep @ AJC

The full report appears at http://www.11alive.com/assetpool/documents/121217025005_SACS%20Review%20Report%20for%20DeKalb%20County.pdf. A few choice quotes:

• "The Board models a negative behavioral image that affects leaders and staff throughout the district.... The Board operates in a dysfunctional manner in several areas... Board members brazenly disregard the policies set forth for the effective operation of the school system... Although Board members have participated in conflict resolution... they display what was described as abhorrent behavior including yelling at each other during meetings...."

• "Board members do not demonstrate professionalism, respect for each other, or knowledge of their roles and responsibilities... and interfere with the functioning of schools by demanding information" and insert themselves into "issues that clearly should be addressed by the Superintendent and her staff." 

• "A review of the board meetings provided.... Interview and artifacts revealed that the system is dealing with a financial crisis... excessive amount of resources used to pay legal fees, purported to be approximately $11 million annually..."

• "...the district's current policy and procedure associated with drawing attendance zones as well as closing or opening new schools is poorly constructed and ineffectively administered. The result has been community outrage, confusion, and feelings of abandonment." Individual board members "barter with each other for votes to amend the attendance zones to satisfy individual or constituent groups of people in the county rather than establishing a proper infrastructure based on the needs of all students in the county."

• And sadly, the Board's dysfunctional behavior is catching: the report also cautions that "board members-elect... are already visiting 'their' schools and thereby perpetuating a culture of interference and ignoring the autonomy of the staff in its day to day operations of the system and schools."