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Clarke schools are closer to full accreditation, but some problems remain with Board of Education

Clarke County schools are making progress toward returning to full accreditation.

According to the latest findings from accrediting organization Cognia, the district status remains "accredited under review," but Cognia notes that both the district and the Board of Education have made strides in areas identified in a December 2021 site visit.

[The Board of Education] still does not consistently operate in a manner that demonstrates clear knowledge and understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
Cognia review of Clarke County School District

Reviewers commended school board members for a focus on professional learning, reviewing and revising policy and other items, but said the board, “still does not consistently operate in a manner that demonstrates clear knowledge and understanding of their roles and responsibilities” and that the interactions observed by the review team “stifled the move toward making timely decisions that ultimately could impact student achievement.”

In a statement, Board of Education President LaKeisha Gantt said, "We each dedicated ourselves to increased scope and magnitude of professional development, we attended State and national conferences, and we completed innumerable hours of deliverables, throughout the COGNIA review. Our efforts included review and revisions of over 200 outdated policies, refining board norms, incorporating additional retreats, and establishing a mechanism for improved two-way communication as evidenced by our Board Advisory Council, continued weekly communications with our Superintendent, and new channels for community engagement and input."

The school district's accreditation has been under review for several years, following a complaint in 2019 from then-superintendent Demond Means.

Means' complaint, which focused on the Board of Education's conduct and operations, led to an investigation from Cognia, which identified several problem areas in early 2020.

Since then, the agency has continued to monitor CCSD’s progress, and has noted consistent improvement in many areas.

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!
Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.
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