David Banks

Cobb County, GA—This Thursday October 7th, The Cobb County school district called an executive session to discuss legal action on the accreditation process. It is said that Cognia, the district’s accreditation agency, received about 50 complaints from the community and a letter from three CCSD board members- Charisse Davis, Jaha Howard, and Leroy “Tre” Hutchins in January. An investigation has been called into order on issues regarding board governance, management of covid-19, the renaming of Wheeler High School, and the needs of struggling schools. The district first announced the special review in April and set the date for a four-day investigation to begin in August.

The board meeting will focus on four specific Cognia standards: the governing authority, equitable opportunities, student performance, and an interview process of relevant members (district staff, board members, teachers, principles, etc…). Many fear that the process will not end well, as there are many unchecked accounts left by the board. In September, there was a failure to address the recent antisemitism that occurred at Pope High School. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Vice President, Allison Padilla-Goodman responds, “As hate crimes surge in Georgia and across the country, it’s unacceptable that Cobb County Schools is failing to address or even name antisemitic incidents occurring in their own schools and refusing to engage with ADL to respond effectively.”

This raises whether the leading Cobb County board members can properly handle sensitive discussions and issues. There are accounts of racial tension, discrimination, and unethical decision-making within the boardroom. On teacher wrote: “Superintendent’s leadership choices have jeopardized the trust, safety, and well-being of everyone who works for CCSD. I believe he is being dishonest with the public and CCSD Employees.” However, to combat the growing tensions, Dr. Jaha Howard is confirmed to be running for the superintendent position.

In Dr. Howard’s LIVE Facebook video preceding the executive session explains that, “All communication goes between our superintendent and crediting body, so as a board member we don’t see the back and forth communication between the superintendent’s team and Cognia until there is official documentation out…We’re expecting to hear something from Cognia from within the next month or two.”

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