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      Birmingham Board of Education hears from accrediting body

      The Birmingham Board of Education now has an idea what it needs to do to move forward with accreditation.{} This after the accrediting body sent a letter concerned about a state take-over and legal battles.{} Tuesday night, the president of that organization made a presentation before the board.

      The President of AdavancED says there's still concern over the board's recent actions. The accrediting body is now looking for evidence the board is improving governing practices and Dr. Mark Elgart let board members know what they need to do to show they're functioning in a governing role.

      The Birmingham Board of Education learned more on how obtaining school district accreditation can save them money. But before the board moves forward, it must show the accrediting body, AdvancED, it's improving governing practices.{} Elgart says "We want them to stabilize the situation and get back to a normal environment when they have a local Superintendent and Board of Education conducting affairs effectively. But October first, we want a plan an evidence and actions that they're moving forward in a positive way working collectively with the state." The board has until October first to send the accrediting body a letter showing what it's doing to ensure it's meeting the regulations of the state. Board members must also show they're engaging in their own continuous improvement and ensuring they're getting proper training to carry out the roles. While some board members showed some confusion during the presentation, State Superintendent{} Tommy Bice, says he believes the board already has a thoughtful strategic plan to help them move forward. Superintendent Craig Witherspoon says "It gave the board an opportunity to ask some questions if they were unsure. It was a perfect opportunity to hear the direction from the accrediting body and what the expectations are."

      Dr. Mark Elgart says if the board does not submit the improvement AdvancED is looking for, then the accrediting body will launch an internal investigation and decide whether the school system is meeting standards for accreditation.

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