Clayton learns fate Friday

Megan Matteucci writes that Clayton schools will learn Friday whether the system will get back its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The group revoked the district’s accreditation in August, citing a string of problems, including a dysfunctional board.

8 comments Add your comment

SACS has restored accreditation!!!!!!!

April 29th, 2009
8:15 pm

CCPS has scheduled a press conference on Friday, at 1:30pm to announce that SACS has restored accreditation, and that this year’s seniors will have diplomas from an accredited school system.

Oh, did I spoil the suspense for those of you who lack critical thinking skills? The ones who, for example, blasted those who called this a political power play from the very beginning, and who told you from that same very beginning that accreditation would be restored before this senior class graduated?

The ones, for example, who have speculated that SACS might not restore accreditation? Yes, believe it or not, there have been people so lacking in critical thinking skills, that they actually suggested that SACS might not restore accreditation. Can you believe the ignorance?

Not that your lack of critical thinking skills aren’t fully appreciated by the BOE, who can now bask in the glow of allegedly having “earned” accreditation back. And hey, give them credit. Saying please, thank you, and I second the motion, are indeed tough tasks to master, even with an $80,000 a year baby sitter holding your hand. Never mind you can get The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Robert’s Rules of Order at the local bookstore for $16.95. I mean why expect educators, of all people, and other board members who comprise the BOE to be able to read a textbook, comprehend the material, and then apply it? It’s not like they’re the Jonesboro Mock Trial team after all now is it?

And don’t think for a moment that SACS isn’t also eternally grateful that the non critical thinkers, most notably those at the AJC, didn’t ask questions such as if SACS “accreditation” is actually meaningful, how is it that every school system in SACS’ domain, no matter how pathetic, somehow meets with SACS’ seal of approval?

Let’s hope that, at the least, CCPS throws the AJC a bone for their participation. After all they’ve made sacrifices too, as their lack of real, objective, quality reporting, is among the factors that have lead to the massive staff cuts and loss of credibility as a legitimate news source. Let’s hope that at least CCPS makes them think they are of some value to the community. At least fix the reporters a nice cheese platter to munch on, while they serve up yet another non report on how accreditation was “earned” on a silver platter.

Just don’t forget to second the motion before lunch is served.

Please don't insult our intelligence

April 29th, 2009
8:23 pm

Laura please don’t insult our intelligence by saying CCPS will learn its fate on Friday, when posters have pointed out for close to a year that the entire episode was a political power play and that CCPS, without a doubt, would get accreditation back before this year’s seniors graduated.

Did anybody at the AJC stop to consider that if they did some real, quality, objective reporting, instead of trying to push an agenda, like they have throughout the entire SACS episode in Clayton, that the AJC might not have had such a loss of credibility, and perhaps the latest round of layoffs might not have been so massive?

Political Spectator

April 29th, 2009
8:45 pm

I want to preface my comments with the following thought: I am not sure absent of the loss of accreditation we would have been able to rid the county of such an ignorant board of education. A majority of the board was ill equipped, corrupt, unprofessional, and simply an embarrassment.

I think that Mark Elgart seized an opportunity to piggy back on the ignorance of such a board to push his political agenda. Dr. Elgart understands first hand that stupid boards of education are not exclusive to Clayton County. He needed the public shenanigans of Clayton’s board to push his GEORGIA SCHOOL BOARD REFORM BILL. The bill would give the governor an opportunity to intervene when school boards go WILD!

The sad thing is even with the public dismantling of Clayton’s previous board, the school board reform bill FAILED in this year’s General Assembly. Dr. Elgart’s plan backfired!!! He thought that stripping Clayton’s of its accreditation would scare school districts to take preventive measures and support the school board reform bill (just call Clayton County “TOBY”).

Dr. Elgart grossly miscalculated the rest of the state! 1) He did not count on the rest of the state thinking they were better than Clayton County and 2) He did not count on local governments fighting to keep control and 3) He did not count on the rest of the state being suspicious of an outsider such as SACS delving too deeply in school operations.

We are now left to clean up the collateral damage of this political war. The collateral damage includes 3500 students leaving the county, job loss for teachers and administrators, and other staff members, and federal funds being decreased.

There is enough BLAME to go around starting with but not limited to the past idiot board, the electorate, and the special interest groups.


April 30th, 2009
9:58 am

Thoughtful comments above. No school system is perfect. Every district has flaws and ’skeletons in the closet’. I’m sure many of the ‘engaged’ Clayton citizens openly questioned the selection of several of the previous board members. This episode was definitely a wake up call for that county.

I agree the AJC also played a role is this. Posts above raise legitimate questions that should be asked of SACS.

Where is the AJC?

April 30th, 2009
11:01 pm

Didn’t SACS drone on incessantly about outside influences? Then why hasn’t the AJC ever addressed the sweetheart deal between CCPS and GAE that allows a union official, Clayton GAE head Sid Chapman, to earn years of credit in the Teachers Retirement System?

Mind you, it’s all perfectly legal, as the General Assembly has thrown a bone to the teachers union and condoned this, and the GAE is very quick to point out that they reimburse the CCPS for the salary of union official.

Still given that the AJC has most likely done more stories, with more angles, on CCPS than every other school system in Georgia combined, you’d think they’d at least ask if he’s a union official, shouldn’t he be earning years in the union’s retirement system? Why is a union official earning years in the Teachers Retirement System? Shouldn’t that be reserved for teachers who are fighting it out on the front lines everyday, and not for union officials who work in the calm of a union office?

Seems with all the union bashing the AJC did in regard to the accreditation story, they’d want to at least question this arrangement, and question how SACS can complain of outside influences yet remain silent on this. You know, without a shawdow of a doubt, given the AJC’s political agenda in Clayton, that if any other union had such a sweetheart deal, it would be front page news. So, why the silence on this deal, given the repeated cries of outside influence by both SACS and the AJC?

Maybe the readers of the AJC recognize inconsistencies like the one mentioned aboved, and maybe it’s part of the reason that the AJC is reportedly losing up to a million dollars a month and has been forced into yet another round of massive layoffs.

Still, I’m sure SACS appreciates the lack of investigative reporting, and no doubt a union official who, from the cozy confines of a union office, is earning the exact same years in the Teachers Retirement System that teachers are earning with blood, sweat and tears in their classrooms, is most appreciative of the AJC ignoring that little tidbit.

Maybe given the layoffs, the AJC can work out a sweetheart deal that will allow reporters to earn years in the Teachers Retirement System as well. Maybe, given the lack of coverage of the inner workings of SACS, Mark Elgart would condone that as well.


May 1st, 2009
7:47 am

I have to agree with the posters above. Clayton County’s system is still not right, but they will get the accreditation back. I have seen SACS politics at work in my own county. It i s the GOB network at its best. My system should never have been reaccredited, but of course it was, in direct conflict to what had actually been “achieved”.

I am no fan of conspiracy theory, but this is an example. And the AJC NEVER questioned it. Walk in line, like good little sheep.


May 1st, 2009
12:11 pm

OF COURSE they will get back their accreditation … they shouldn’t, but they will.

I’m no conspiracy theorist, either, but this doesn’t pass the smell test and should be investigated.

The charade continues

May 1st, 2009
6:37 pm

As others have pointed out, how is it the AJC, which seems to have done more stories on Clatyon schools than every other school system combined since the SACS debacle started, hasn’t thought to do even a single story on SACS makes its money, how much SACS officials get paid, or if there were any political connections between anyone in Clayton and SACS’ Mark Elgart?

Seems Clayton readers have made the connection, or more to the point, LACK of connection, between the AJC and good investigative reporting. How sad to be the only major newspaper in town and you STILL can’t sell your product.