Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools received district accreditation March 16 after a comprehensive external review conducted by AdvancED, a national accrediting organization for Pre-K-12 schools and districts. The review team evaluated the entire district to determine how well CMS serves its students and identify areas for improvement.
CMS has been accredited since 2005, when it became the first large urban district in the country to be accredited. Accreditation is voluntary. It is used at the K-12 and college levels to distinguish schools that adhere to an identified set of educational standards for quality school systems. To earn accreditation, a district must meet the rigorous standards set forth in five areas: purpose and direction; governance and leadership; teaching and assessing for learning; resources and support systems; and using results for continuous improvement. Evaluations for renewing accreditation occur every five years.
"We are very pleased to have our district's achievements and the hard work of our amazing teachers, principals, support staff and community partners recognized by AdvancED," said Superintendent Ann Clark. "The process of earning and maintaining accreditation gives us important feedback on what we're doing well and where we can improve to maximize learning for every student. This feedback will help us strengthen our district and our schools."
AdvancED reviewed the five areas and determined an Index of Education Quality (IEQ) composite score to measure overall district performance. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools received a score of 276.78. Three sub-scores rated the district's teaching and learning impact, leadership capacity and resource utilization. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools received a score of 271.62 on teaching and learning impact, 290.00 on leadership capacity and 270.50 on resource utilization. The scores were all within the norm when compared to AdvancED network average IEQ scores, which reflect 34,000 institutions worldwide, including small, wealthy suburban and urban school districts. The IEQ scale ranges from 100 to 400.
"CMS continues to make progress in its journey to achieve success for every student," said Dr. Mark Elgart, AdvancED CEO and lead member of the review team. "The district is ahead of the curve for most urban school districts. The results of this evaluation will provide direction to the system and community as to what it needs to do to achieve greater success in the future."
A quality assurance team from AdvancED spent March 13-16 in the district visiting 48 schools and interviewing members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, administrators, teachers, support staff, parents, community and business partners and students. In all, more than 1,100 stakeholders were interviewed.
"We are making significant progress in supporting academic success for all students but there is still much work to do," said Clark. "We appreciate the guidance provided by AdvancED and remain committed to our collective work to prepare every CMS student to graduate college- and career-ready."
The AdvancEd team will issue a full written report on its findings and evaluation of CMS within 30 days. The full report will be made public on the CMS website. To view the External Review Exit Report, click here.