Accreditation agency to inquiry SCS over grading scandal

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Schools District is being investigated again, and this time its accreditation could be on the line.

The newest investigation stems from the grade changing scandal.

A third party auditor found at least 16 schools changed grades.

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It is, in part, those findings that now has AdvancED, the agency that issues and oversees important school accreditations, wondering what’s going on inside SCS?

“It calls into question the integrity into the organization, and that is one of the most serious sanctions and matters that we would look into,” said AdvancED CEO Mark Elgart.

Elgart oversees the accreditation of more than 34,000 schools across the world, including every school in SCS’s system and the district itself.

He said as part of their inquiry, they will ask SCS to show how they are responding to and preventing this type of widespread cheating from happening in the future adding, “We will follow up absolutely to ensure that the system is doing what it should be doing to be accredited.”

Elgart said the accreditations could be put on probation or be lost outright depending on what is found in the investigation and how SCS responds.

“It is something that the education community has done and as a consequence of that should be directed at those responsible,” Elgart said. Elgart did not give a time table for their review.

As for the County Commissions that oversees the district’s budget, Chairwoman Heidi Shafer said she will ask for an update from SCS on how they’re handling the fall out at a meeting in January.

"We have not received any official notification from AdvancED regarding an investigation, however, we will cooperate with any request they may make in the future." 
- SCS Spokesperson