Wake's accreditation could be lost?

January 12, 2011 8:35:31 PM PST
College admissions and scholarships could be up in the air for thousands of Wake County students according to critics of the school board.They are afraid that's what will happen if the board decides to lose high school accreditation instead of cooperating with an investigation.

On Wednesday night, Wake County School Board members were supposed to listen primarily to comments on the third year of the current assignment plan, but the focus quickly turned to accreditation and what losing it could mean for students.

After concerned parents offered harsh words and students held a brief protest, Wake County School Board Member John Tedesco read a motion to authorize the council to draft yet another letter to AdvancED reiterating the board's interest in trying to continue the process with the accrediting agency and share the board's concerns and conditions.

"That the board and staff would be able to enjoy fair legal representation, so that if objections are noted in the scope that attorneys would be able to participate in that," Board Attorney Jonathan Blumberg said.

Board Vice-Chair Debra Goldman says the decision to support the motion isn't easy for her; she has a senior in the Wake County School System who could be affected if the system loses its accreditation.

"This is not about politics, this is ultimately about academic achievement," she said.

AdvancED launched an investigation into the board's decisions and policy changes after complaints from the community.

The president of the accrediting agency claims to be disappointed and deeply concerned by the board's reaction to the investigation and encouraged the board to consider withdrawing its accreditation unless it cooperates.

The questioning of board members was supposed to begin this week, but it has been delayed.

Still, there are those board members who feel the latest letter is the wrong thing to do.

"I don't support the sending of anymore correspondence or letters, only serve to further inflame the situation," Board Member Keith Sutton said.

"Anything that we can do to speed up this process we should be doing that at this time," Board Member Anne McLaurin said.

The letter will be drafted within a few days and will be made public. The board says it will then wait for a response, before deciding what to do next.

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