Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Not Accredited

Just. Fing. Wow.

Well, here's something I wasn't expecting. The Recovery School District (RSD), created by the Louisiana Board of Education, is not on the list of entities accredited by the Southern Association of Collges and Schools (SACS).

This could either be a big problem, or an even bigger problem.

If you were to look around on the RSD home website, you would be pressed to find any passing mention of what regional or national accreditation covers the dozens of schools and thousands of students in the RSD. I'm going to keep my ears to the ground and see if there has been some backdoor application to some sort of regional or national body that oversees standards in a school or system, but I don't think I'm going to find one.

I mean, one thing that is bothersome about the RSD is the accountability issue. If there is no overarching standards judged by the regional or national accreditation body, then there is almost no accountability at all.

Is there someone out there who knows what is going on? I sure hope so, but I ain't holding my breath.

Because, not belonging to any standard accrediting body would have been my very first retort to the vouchers-in-New-Orleans debate. I mean, it is legal to operate schools without accreditation, but it ain't a good idea. And while I don't agree with everything SACS requires, or the way they do their work, peer review is vital in the education field to maintain certain standard operating proceedures that are proven to aid student improvement.

Otherwise, schools are doing whatever they want to do, with no layer of peer accountability to go through.



S.A.W.B. said...

and now...the punchline!

The best/worst part about this whole thing, is that you basically can't use this on your resume as 'teaching experience' as you did not teach in an accredited school system.

That means you, and anybody else who's been in the RSD teaching, likely will have a hell of a time explaining what exactly you've been doing with your time, teaching for un-accredited schools.

This will impact anyone currently teaching for the RSD who wants to move to a job in an accredited school system, as most/all of these systems want to see x number of years of experience in an accredited school.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Luckily, the New Orleans public school situation is so high profile in the education world that such situations are unlikely.

Especially if the job is in another public school district, as teachers are in short supply all over the nation.

As far as I know, not many folks have had trouble moving to an accredited system when work in the RSD has become too much for them.

The bigger problem comes from when students from the RSD transfer into and out of schools in other locations (see also: evacuation, disaspora and right of return), including colleges.

Especially those who are attending big name charter schools with college prep focus.