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Georgia District Closes Chapter on Accreditation Woes

In 2008, the Clayton County, Ga., school district lost its accreditation, the first district to face that sanction in nearly 40 years.

Today, the accrediting agency that oversees the 49,400-student district said that Clayton is running well enough that it no longer requires any special oversight.

Mark Elgart, the president of the accrediting agency AdvancED, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the district has strong leadership and teamwork. You can read more about the case here.

I spoke to Elgart a few weeks ago for an article on AdvancED's work and he said then that he expected that the accrediting organization would lift its sanction on the district. Clayton first got the attention of the AdvancED because of school board dysfunction, which was considered a departure at issues that accrediting agencies are known for monitoring.

Even though the move might have been expected, a Clayton County official said he was "overcome with joy" at the news. From the article:

Clayton County Commissioner Chair Eldrin Bell was wrapping up a two-day housing summit Friday morning when he learned the news. The audience of more than 200 realtors, housing experts and participants erupted in cheers and applause when Bell told them the news. The announcement came at the tail end of the regional conference Bell had called to address the county's tough housing problems brought on by the economy and foreclosures.

"The exhilaration of over 200 people in the room speaks volumes," Bell said by phone Friday.

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