DEAR EDITOR:

Thank you to the MDJ for an excellent report regarding the upcoming special accreditation review of the Cobb County School District. The MDJ reports frequently on the friction that exists within the Cobb County School Board among its members, and the paper’s recent update seems to confirm suspicions that political partisanship, ego, and personality conflicts between elected officials who just can’t get along is the foundation of this unfortunate review. The MDJ quotes the CEO of the accreditation agency Cognia, Mark Elgart, as saying “If the reason they’re not operating effectively is because of those relationships then that has some relevance” and “in this case, it’s surmised that relationships are getting in the way of their ability to operate effectively.” Executive Director Phil Murphy with the Georgia Accrediting Commission, the state’s other option for school accreditation, is also quoted as saying “we don’t get into board behaviors, because we’re focused on the school and it meeting its standards,” but adds “It’s a shame districts lose their accreditation because of board behaviors.”

It appears that the conflict within the Cobb County Board of Education is just a microcosm of the division that is negatively effecting our entire country, currently due to squabbling politicians who lack wisdom with an ability to truly lead, both Democrat and Republican, and refuse to put their own myopic opinions and arrogance aside for the good of their constituents. Cobb County residents already suffered the negative economic fallout of this with Major League Baseball’s decision to pull the All-Star game from our county due to the stupidity and fear-mongering of Georgia Republicans and Democrats. Must we now risk losing the accreditation of our excellent public school system populated by dedicated teachers and administrators who faithfully perform their jobs daily in spite of a dysfunctional, squabbling school board? Must the students suffer because of the childish behavior of this school board?

Hopefully after Cognia carefully reviews the complaints, they’ll provide a list of suggestions and guidelines for how this disappointing school board can work together and better serve the constituents who certainly deserve better. Thanks to the aforementioned outstanding principals and teachers. It’s doubtful the worst-case scenario of a loss of accreditation will happen, but if it does, then every Cobb County citizen should do their civic duty and send the entire board packing during the next elections.

William K Howard

Marietta

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