DeKalb attorney Bob Wilson is cross-examining the state's key witness, AdvancEd CEO Mark Elgart.
AdvancEd is the parent company of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the school system accrediting agency. On Dec. 17, SACS placed the school district on probation, a step away from loss of accreditation.
Wilson, a former DeKalb district attorney, is attacking the reliability of the evidence presented in the SACS report, which was highly critical of the school board.
The report identified dysfunctional leadership and governance, declining student performance and financial problems in the district.
Wilson called the report hearsay at one point, because the accusations are based on unnamed sources. He also got Elgart to acknowledge that three board members who joined the board in January were not involved in problems dating back 10 years that were identified in the SACS report. Two other members joined the board in 2011.
Under questioning from Department of Education general counsel Jennifer Hackemeyer, Elgart said the board's focus has been on adult political issues and not the academic well-being of DeKalb's 99,000 school children.
The hearing promises to be a very long day of complex testimony.
After a brief recess, the state called Louis Byars, the Department of Education's director of financial review.
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