Lot’s of discourse about High School Acreditation.
Most of it was emotional rhetoric aimed at firing up the crowd.
Politicos are not giving straight information to the public.
They are relying upon emotional appeals instead of factual information.
They are either looking at the sound bite or what will fire the anger of the crowd to force action.
This is a huge expense over a number of years.
The High School is not currently in danger of losing accreditation.
Each year we garner more and more college grants and scholarships.
A failing school, generally, sees these numbers declining not rising.
So, if you read the paper, or listen to the school administration, we are at least adequate academically.
There is a criteria for Building evaluation. It is listed in the Support Section;COMMUNITY RESOURCES FOR LEARNING (All the standards are listed here:
Here is a copy of the section. Items 3 through 8 are the applicable sections.

Active community and parent participation, facilities which support school programs and services, and dependable and adequate funding are necessary for the school to achieve its mission and expectations for student learning.
1. The school shall engage parents and families as partners in each student’s education and shall encourage their participation in school programs and parent support groups.
2. The school shall foster productive business/community/higher education partnerships that support student learning.
3. The school site and plant shall support and enhance all aspects of the educational program and the support services for student learning.
4. The physical plant and facilities shall meet all applicable federal and state laws and shall be in compliance with local fire, health, and safety regulations.
5. Equipment shall be adequate, properly maintained, catalogued, and replaced when appropriate.
6. A planned and adequately funded program of building and site management shall ensure the appropriate maintenance, repair, and cleanliness of the school plant.
7. There shall be ongoing planning to address future programs, enrollment changes, staffing, facility, and technology needs as well as capital improvements.
8. The community and the district’s governing body shall ensure an adequate and dependable source of revenue to provide and maintain appropriate school programs, personnel, services, facilities, equipment, technological support, materials, and supplies for student learning.

9. Faculty and building administrators shall have active involvement in the budgetary process, including its development and implementation.

There are 10 Massachusetts High Schools on the Probation list. The oldest on the list,since 1999. Though Methuen saw a note in our accreditation report in 2003 and, I believe, also in 2006, no official action has been taken to place this School on Probation.
Rule changes will take effect in 2011.
We will be re-evaluated next in 2012.

I understand that a loss of accreditation is a blow to a community.
Methuen has been trying to be proactive to stave off any adverse actions to accreditation.
Bringing this up in the current debate is counter-productive.
It simply diverts your attention from the important parts of the debate-COST and the following questions;
Is the upgrades purpose clear? Will this ensure the health, safety, and well being of students and school personnel.
Does the upgrade address a specific and existing problem, interest, or need?
Is the upgrade designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any other Federal, state, local or private effort? Most school construction is financed through local tax revenue, often through the use of bonds. What is our total Bonded Indebtedness over the usefull life of this project?
Is the upgrade design free of major flaws that would limit the program’s effectiveness or efficiency? What is our practical capacity to issue bonds. What is the percent of their bonding capacity?
Is the upgrade design effectively targeted so that resources will address the program’s purpose directly and will reach intended beneficiaries? What is our major need for facilities imporvements.

admin posted at 2010-5-31 Category: School

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