Another Georgia School is in danger of losing accreditation. Last time it was Clayton County whose bickering school board clogged any chance of educational progress and endangered thousands of children from getting accredited diplomas. This time it is Atlanta proper. If this happens, not only will Atlanta public schools lose accreditation, but they will also lose a great deal of philanthropic funding from GE Foundation as they are threatening to pull the plug.
Accreditation is important to schools because it says that a school has reached an acceptable standard of educating students. Most public schools are accredited, many private schools are accredited and even some homeschooling programs are accredited. While accreditation is not imperative for a student to receive a good, or even stellar education, it is an widely accepted standard for education. According to the AJC.com, “Accreditation by a nationally recognized association such as SACS essentially validates a school or system and affirms its policies and procedures to educate students. Colleges and universities often look for students to have graduated from an accredited school when considering admission.” Let’s face it, if a public school loses accreditation, one could guess that there are serious quality issues in the instruction.
Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship program is only given to student who have accredited diplomas in their first year of college. (If they get B’s or better in College, they will still receive the scholarships money.) Unless the state makes special concessions for Atlanta students, many students will end up forgoing college as they won’t be able to afford it.
Lack of accreditation will also have an effect on the spirits of students who have worked hard for many years only to find out that their diploma doesn’t carry the weight that it should. Students who are wavering may give up altogether. Others may turn to homeschooling and private schools. The school system will suffer in many ways.
To prevent loss of accreditation, Atlanta GA schools will have to stop the infighting, lawsuits, and personal bickering that is endangering progress, and the student’s education. Will it happen in time? Hopefully they will look back at the woes in Clayton county and get their act together.