The Civilized Minute

a minute of manners and musings

Warren County Board of Education

The Warren County Board of Education (Warrenton, Georgia) is in a big ol’ fat mess.

Seems their SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) accreditation is being pulled at the end of July.  SACS sets the rules that schools must follow in order to provide a high level or competitive education.  That means the school system in Warren County will no longer be “valid”.  For the 800 students in that system, it means they may not be accepted into their college of choice since their education did not come from an accredited school.  Or, for HOPE applicants, the scholarship may not be awarded to a student who meets the criteria but whose school is not, yep, accredited.

So, what could that school system have done so badly that would bring about such consequences??  Have you heard me talk about this little thing called “professionalism”?  The Warren County Board of Education has done an acceptable job of maintaining a curriculum benefitting their students. Their conduct, on the other hand, has been deemed…well…here’s how the Warren County Special Review Team from SACS described them:

There was evidence to support a finding that the actions and behaviors of one or more board members were not aligned with the policies and procedures of the Warren County Board of Education and the requirements of the Governance and Leadership Standard for accreditation. These actions and behaviors violated the Board’s own policies and procedures and were significant indicators that a systematic process for conducting the business of the Board was not functioning properly. The Team indentified and validated a number of actions and behaviors of Board members that were counter-productive to the effectiveness of the Board’s mission. In fact, there was ample evidence to support a finding that the effectiveness of the Warren County Board was in a state of “perpetual paralysis.”

There are 12 pages to follow these remarks providing examples of how the Board members acted selfishly and for their own interests.  Further, the document draws attention to behaviors during actual Board meetings that have proven detrimental to the function of the entire school system. There are even comments about inappropriate Board member conduct outside actual Board meetings. These SACS people are serious when it comes to representing the brand well.

How would you like to know the way you behave today could have such consequences? For someone in business, it would be like having your business license snatched because your salespeople act boorish and obnoxious when they attempt to sell your product.  It can get scary when you think about it like that.  But, you should think about it like that, because that is your responsibility to the marketplace and your own bottom line. 

Free enterprise is not governed by SACS, you may be thinking, so we don’t have to be so hard on ourselves.  Don’t be mistaken…We are governed by something much more powerful – the consumer.

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