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    Mark Elgart, accreditation boogeyman: $355,024

     

    Elgart

    Mark Elgart, when not scaring the pants off of local school boards, draws a paycheck of more than $350,000 from his Alpharetta-based non-profit, Advance Education Inc.

    Elgart collected base pay of $284,400 in fiscal year 2009, plus deferred compensation of $58,125 and benefits. Tax records show four other senior staffers also earned $150,000 or more that year.

    Advance Education has also set aside $1.5 million for obligations for deferred compensation and retirement benefits, records show.

    More commonly known as SACS, or the Southern Association on Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement, the non-profit hit the headlines in 2008 when it stripped the Clayton County school district of its accreditation. The organization later revoked accreditation for Warren County schools near Augusta. Then-Gov. Sonny Perdue later removed members of both counties’ school boards from office.

    Since then, SACS has placed the Atlanta school system on probation and DeKalb County’s on “advisement” — just one step short of probation.

    Read much more here as the AJC’s Heather Vogell sorts through the controversies over the non-profit’s interventions in local school governance disputes. Click here to download Advance Education’s latest tax filing with the Internal revenue Service.

     

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    3 Responses to “Mark Elgart, accreditation boogeyman: $355,024”

    1. SHS says:

      It would be interesting to see SACS’ budget. My understanding is that SACS (ah — excuse me, AdvancEd) is completely funded by monies from (can you spell “extorted from”) schools and school systems.

      So, that means that Mark Elgart is essentially paid by our tax dollars.

      However, Elgart is not answerable to taxpayers.

      Even when I was given a personal referral to Elgart that was also followed up by a phone call to Elgart from the person who provided the referral, he refused to talk with me or meet with me. And, he was told that I had a good bit of documentation about wrongdoing in DCSS that he would want to see. Eventually, someone named Jennifer Oliver (Elgart’s PR person) called me. She was the only one Elgart would allow me to talk with. I told her what I had and why I wanted 15 – 20 minutes of Mark Elgart’s time. That was nearly a year ago; I’m still waiting. Nice person, Jennifer, but useless.

      SACS/AdvancEd accreditation is baseless. It used to be better — I know because I edited a number of SACS self-studies. In fact, for parents who were trying to make an informed decision in school choice (public vs. private) I always recommended that they go to each school, ask to look at all recent SACS materials, and spend several hours taking copious notes. SACS then provided a relatively reliable benchmark that transcended individual schools and school systems.

      Eventually, SACS/AdvancEd must have figured out that they could make a lot more money for a lot less work if they simply accredited whole school systems. It’s hard to understand how DCSS could retain its SACS/AdvancEd accreditation when the number of DCSS schools not making AYP has been growing each year.

    2. Jim Walls says:

      I don’t have AdvancEd’s budget, but I have added a link above to download their last tax filing with the IRS. And their budget would be obtainable under the Georgia Open Records Act if they get even a third of their money from taxpayer dollars.

    3. Jim Walls says:

      I don’t have AdvancEd’s budget, but I have added a link above to download their last tax filing with the IRS. Their budget would be obtainable under the Georgia Open Records Act if they get even a third of their money from taxpayer dollars.

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