Unfounded allegations

Published 10:42 am Monday, December 3, 2012

JACKSON – Complaints and allegations lodged against the Northampton County Board of Education have been unfounded by AdvancED North Carolina.

On Thursday, Northampton County Schools released a letter dated Nov. 27 from Donna James, director of NC AdvancED, which told of the group’s findings following a review.

In August, Richie Harding, president of Concerned Citizens of Northampton County to Save Our Children (CCNC), filed a complaint through the UNC Center for Civil Rights with NC AdvancED. The 12 page letter from the grassroots group stated the school board was in violation of AdvancED Accreditation standards and/or policies related to the board’s decision to consolidate its two high schools (the former Northampton County High School –West/STEM into Northampton County High School-East).

“After a thorough review and analysis of the response and its corresponding documentation of the extensive and transparent process followed by the Board of Education throughout the decision-making process, AdvancED finds Northampton County Schools is not in violation of AdvancED Accreditations Standards and/or policies,” James wrote. “No further action is needed.”

James wished the district success with their new structure and their “continued efforts to advocate with stakeholders in the community and to ultimately build a new high school in the center of the county.”

“We appreciate your commitment to continuous improvement and accreditation and look forward to working with Northampton County Schools in the future,” she concluded.

In CCNC’s August Letter, the group highlighted four points of concern:

#1-The school board’s two-year, confusing and ambiguous decision-making process prevented meaningful community engagement.

#2-The board’s decision to merge at East was based on inaccurate or incomplete information and violated System Standard 2.2: Governance and Leadership.

#3-The Board’s decision impermissibly favors the district’s small number of white students.

#4-The board’s actions reflect poor planning and resource management, have created mistrust of the system, and leave stakeholders doubting whether the board considered their concerns about student opportunity.