SACS ‘concerned’ over Clayton schools governance

Accreditation at risk — again

— Clayton County Public Schools may be facing its third accreditation crisis in less than 10 years, as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is once again expressing concerns over the district’s governance, according to school board members.

Board members received a warning letter from SACS Tuesday, and the accrediting agency — which revoked the district’s accreditation in 2009 — listed concerns about the conduct of board members. The letter all but accuses board members of continuing the micromanagement that got the district in trouble with SACS four years ago.

“The current Board of Education continues to operate with much conflict between and among board members, as well as individual board members launching attacks on the school system and its personnel,” SACS President Mark Elgart wrote in the letter.

The school system has until Jan. 15, 2013, to respond to SACS’ concerns before the accrediting agency decides whether to investigate the board’s actions. The school system was already scheduled to undergo a review for full district accreditation next spring.

Governance was the central reason why SACS revoked Clayton schools’ accreditation three years ago and it took nearly a year for the district to get it back. Once it got it back, it had to stay on probation for two years before SACS finally lifted the last remaining sanctions in May 2011.

Before that, the district was put on probation in 2003 over governance issues when the school board fired former Superintendent Dan Colwell.

Although the district’s last accreditation crisis ended last year, when SACS lifted the two-year probation that followed its nine-month loss of accreditation, Elgart’s letter to Superintendent Edmond Heatley reveals the district never really left the agency’s microscope.

School board Chairperson Pamela Adamson said she was not surprised, and pointed to repeated conflicts involving board member Jessie Goree as a likely cause for the new accreditation issues. Goree, who frequently battled Heatley at board meetings since 2009, has been censured and stripped of her voting rights as a board member because of her conflicts with the district’s administration, said Adamson.

Adamson said Gov. Nathan Deal should get involved, and consider removing Goree from office. Deal’s predecessor, Sonny Perdue, removed four Clayton school board members on the same day the district lost its accreditation in 2008.

“The majority of the people on this board are good people who work for the children of this county,” said Adamson. “We just need some help.”


Michael 1 year, 10 months ago

What is it in the air, or water in Clayton County that makes our BOE so incompetant that they could not run a one car funeral procession?


OscarKnight 1 year, 10 months ago

.....It leaves very doubt that Clayton County is suffering from a terminal case of memory loss :

....How did the Voters take the loss of our accreditation in our school system ?

...Does anyone remember Sandra Scott ?

...Sandra Scott was one of four Clayton County school board members removed by Gov. Sonny Perdue in 2008.

.....Sandra G. Scott is now serving as our Representative in the State House District 76 .


james171 1 year, 10 months ago

I am appalled that Pam Adamson would blame Jessie Goree for the SACS mess in which the BOE now finds itself. Ms. Goree is NOT the problem!! The problem is Pam Adamson and her blind allegiance to Dr. Heatley. I have attended BOE meetings and witnessed first-hand Dr. Adamson's unprofessional behavior during the BOE meetings. She is rude to Ms. Goree and to anyone who is critical of Dr. Heatley or to anyone who tells the truth. Pam is the problem, and, for those of us who have known and worked with her over the years, we are not at all surprised that she is the problem. Clayton County residents and taxpayers should be thanking Jessie Goree for holding Pam Adamson and Dr. Heatley accountable for their actions. Pam is the person who needs to be removed from the BOE!


ApalledEducator28 1 year, 10 months ago

Clearly Adamson had developed a deep bond with Heatley. In doing so, she forgot that she was HIS BOSS. This was something that Ms. Goree has been censored for ...reminding the other Board members that his practices hurt a lot of people. Namely the people he was hired to help but only used his position to intimidate, bully, demean, and rob its employees of their earning all while his salary, incentives and bonuses kept increasing. If Nathan Deal steps in Ms. Adamson, he should look at the facts and not the feeliings of your following Board Members.

Your fighting took place because you were defending Heatley while Ms. Goree was defending the Employees of Clayton County which is what all of you should care enough to do. Why is this so hard for somone of your eduational status to understand. Stand up for the Employees and do right by them.


james171 1 year, 10 months ago

You are absolutely right!!! Pam has been looking out for Pam and not looking out for the employees and students of Clayton County. We need a new BOE chairperson and a new BOE member in her place since she has forgotten her real purpose in being on the BOE.


GospelTruth 1 year, 10 months ago

Mike, the real question is why do we allow dark forces "Oscar Knight" and media hype to define and haunt our county?

Locals know Clayton's beauty and its promise. Our civic institutions need more visionary CONCERNED LOCAL CITIZENS to get involved. How? Blog. Attend meetings. Petition. Protest. Whenever mudslinging occurs, CONNECT THE DOTS and follow the money!

Certainly, I'm not the only one who thinks it a bit strange that all of a sudden SACS is alerted during Ed Heatley's final week of employment! The man is losing a very lucrative job and will move on shortly...what does he care about those who are living and raising families here?

As the ancestors said, "when the spiderwebs unite, they can tie up a lion." Visionary locals must stand up for their community and its potential!


OscarKnight 1 year, 9 months ago

Quote : GospelTruth :"Mike, the real question is why do we allow dark forces "Oscar Knight" and media hype to define and haunt our county?

....Because I tell the real Gospet Truth about our county, and I post the Real Facts. If the Truth hurts, take an AhsBurn and call me tomorrow.

...By the way, I couldn't help but notice that this is the only comment that "GospelTruth" has ever made on The Clayton News Daily.


MD 1 year, 10 months ago

The idiots are doing the same as last time, blaming SACS! Must be democrats. Hey blame George Bush! The state should disband this county. It is an experiment that went really,really bad.


GEV 1 year, 10 months ago

Can somebody please tell me how fair it is to place an entire school system in jeopardy of losing accreditation due to "rumors" about board problems? If SACS is so powerful, why don't they or the governor "impeach" the board? Seems very unfair to punish an entire system of teachers, students, and principals/assistant principals due to a board's lack of cohesiveness?


DE 1 year, 10 months ago

There are thousands of school boards that SACS oversees in this country. Why is it that they continue to find problems with CCBOE? The obvious answer is the Board itself, and the people that are elected to it. The way I see it, the only answer to this problem is to take away the election process of Board Members from the voters, and let the state select a impartial panel to perform the job. Only then will this county get off of the SACS radar and get something useful accomplished. When uneducated and uninformed people are allowed to elect their officials, they will only elect other uneducated and uninformed people. Just because you may have a degree from a university doesn't make you qualified to do the job you are doing. A prime example. Our Clayton County students are graduating each year with a diploma, without the skills or knowledge to compete for positions in the workforce today.


james171 1 year, 10 months ago

Who notified SACS???? I have heard some very disturbing rumors about the alleged notifier of SACS. If the rumors prove to be true, then the BOE has an even bigger problem. one on the inside not on the outside.


OscarKnight 1 year, 9 months ago

....The Real Dark Side of our county, are those that views our county from their Rose Colored Glasses, for the Truth. I applaud The Clayton New Daily and those that cares enough about our county to vent here.


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