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Clayton SACS report delayed

By Ed Brock

The release of the official written report on whether the Clayton County school system should be taken off probation has been delayed until Wednesday.

The report's delay is nothing to worry about, said Mark Elgart, chief executive officer for the Council on Accreditation and School Improvement of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

"It's not a problem. It's just a matter of getting it to the people who need to review it," Elgart said.

Last Monday a visiting SACS team released an initial report that said the county school board is moving in the right direction to get off the yearlong probation. The team also made a recommendation regarding the school system's probationary status but Elgart said previously that he is waiting for the release of the final report before disclosing the recommendation.

The delay in the release of the report doesn't bother school board member Allen T. Johnson.

"Whatever they're doing they need to do it right," Johnson said. "Do it right the first time and let's get it over with."

Johnson said he has a feeling the team will recommend removing the probation.

"I have a sense that they know some things have made great strides in the system," Johnson said. "They've followed it very closely."

The report will be given to a council, which will vote on the fate of the system's accreditation June 9. The council could lift probation, extend probation or revoke accreditation.

"There is always a possibility that the council will take action other than what the team recommends," Elgart said previously.

Superintendent Barbara Pulliam said before that the system has made significant, well-documented progress.

She said that if probation isn't lifted, she would appeal the decision and not take no for an answer.

At the time SACS placed the school system on probation the accrediting agency stated that the school board failed to follow its own policies. In a midway assessment by SACS recommended that the school board meet to address the SACS concerns identified in its initial report, review its policies, complete board training, stop meddling in the day-to-day operations of the system and define the roles and responsibilities of the board and the superintendent.

Since that report, the national search was conducted and Pulliam was hired, the indication is that the meddling has stopped, some training was held and officials have reviewed the roles and responsibilities of each party at the system.