The nation's major school accreditation organization has placed Burke County's four high schools on probation, saying school board members have created an atmosphere of “chaos” that makes teaching and learning difficult.
Click here to read the full report.
Among the findings by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement:
"There was no evidence of an Ethics policy. The Board was not following its own policies as demonstrated by the hiring of staff for positions that have not been posted or interviews conducted. Additionally, the student transfer policy is being totally ingored as Board members are interviewing parents and students individually who are requesting transfers. One Board member had to be sanctioned for sending racial e-mails across the system e-mail. Although this sanction aoccurred on May 18, 2009 , he has yet to fulfill the requirements of the sanction."
Accreditation from SACS CASI is a key for students who wish to attend college.
Interim Superintendent Rick Sherrill said the report's findings would be discussed at today's school board meeting.
The critical report follows months of bickering between school board members and the community, mostly over the board's highly controversial decision in April to remove longtime Superintendent David Burleson. That decision, which came in a 5-2 vote, led to lawsuits and a court decision blocking the ouster.
The board, which asked for police protection at several of its meetings, responded to the court ruling by buying out Burleson's contract in late June.
- Steve Lyttle