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AdvancED / SACS Letter – Our Thoughts

We would like to take this opportunity to clarify recent board actions regarding the latest letter from AdvancED/SACS to the DeKalb County School District. The AJC’s initial report was not accurate and we want to communicate to you what actions were taken by the board at our meeting on Wednesday, September 5, 2012. The Board voted to formally acknowledge receipt of the letter. The Superintendent provided a memo to board members outlining a process to develop the District’s response. The Board voted to accept her process as well.

State law only allows for meetings in executive session for a few, very specific reasons. The discussion of the letter from AdvancED/SACS is not a matter that can be discussed in executive session. Wednesday’s Board meeting was held in public and there will be no meeting of the Board regarding this matter in executive session.

After we receive the draft of the District’s response, we will request a Board meeting to hear from our fellow Board members and vote to accept/reject the draft response. This meeting will be public and all Board members will have the opportunity to discuss the District’s response letter.

Most importantly, we want to share with you that we welcome the scrutiny from AdvancED/SACS. The issues that were raised in their letter have been concerns that we have publicly discussed at Board meetings and shared with various officials. Indeed, we have been the whistle blowers regarding some of these issues. We also want to remind the public that SB84  provides for the Governor to intervene with a Board of Education without the District losing accreditation. This protects the children in our schools while providing a mechanism to correct problems within a school district.

We hope that our statement helps clarify recent events and reports. As always, let us know your thoughts and comments.

Nancy Jester
Don McChesney
Pam Speaks

(7) comments
  1. Will the response itself be made public ?

    If so, when and how will the public be able to see it?

    The DCSS web site does not have any BOE minutes from 2012.

  2. You mention SB84-Do you think this is where we are heaed?

  3. Tucker Guy – The draft response should be made public when it has been prepared. After that time, as we stated in our letter, we are calling for a board meeting to discuss it and accept or reject it.

    Allegra – Anything I say about where we are headed would be speculation. Our main reason for mentioning SB84 was to let the public know that there are important safeguards for our students and communities regarding accreditation.

  4. Thank you Nancy.

    You implied it will be made public before the board votes on it? I understand you would like that to be the case. You are trying to do the right thing.

    I will ask again; how will the draft response be made public?

  5. I doubt this story is going anywhere and the response is subject to the Open Records Act. I’m sure it will be all over the AJC and the numerous educational related blogs around here.

  6. Tucker Guy – Any materials that are drafted regarding the AdvancED/SACS letter are subject to Open Records Law. When we hold a meeting the draft response would be a public document at that point. Normally, any document that we are working on in a board meeting is placed on the “eBoards” website and viewable to the public.

    Also anyone can request it through an Open Record Request. (I have information on how to file these on the home page of my website.) As soon as I get the draft, I can post it as well.

  7. […] During the accreditation process, while still on the Board, Nancy Jester and Don McChesney advocated against closed-door discussions and in favor of openness a…. […]

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