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On Wednesday, Caddo Parish Public Schools was recommended for district-wide accreditation by AdvancED, the single largest international accreditation agency for schools and districts. This was the first time Caddo Schools sought accreditation in an effort to ensure the highest quality instruction in district campuses.

Additionally, Caddo earned a higher than average rating than districts evaluated this year globally. While the average Index of Educational Quality (IEQ) score for a school or district is 278.34, Caddo garnered a 294.72 rating in its first review process. The scoring system utilized by AdvancED encompasses the district’s effectiveness in teaching and learning, capacity of leadership and adequate use of resources.

“This process has been incredibly rewarding and humbling as we have taken quite a journey to get to this moment,” said Dr. Lamar Goree, Superintendent of Caddo Schools. “It has been an amazing experience to reflect on what we have accomplished together as a community and as one school system in a short time and the path we are on to continue to improve our schools. I thank our incredible team which has worked night and day to get to this point and also our parents, students, teachers and community members who completed surveys, participated in interviews and added so much to the discussion of what we can do to take our district to the next level.”

The process to become accredited began in February 2015 as Caddo sought to better gauge the district’s strengths and challenges based on an internationally recognized series of standards. District staff and each school underwent the process of reviewing and analyzing Caddo against the standards outlined by AdvancED, which included use of resources, teaching and learning and the district’s purpose and direction.  

By September of this year, Caddo had submitted narratives and supporting documentation for every school to show the district’s commitment to the rigorous standards outlined. As part of the accreditation process, a 12-person team has spent the past three days meeting with nearly 600 district staff members, community stakeholders, parents, School Board members, and hundreds of teachers and administrators to review and assess Caddo Schools. The team reviewing Caddo brought to the district a combined 355 years of experience in education.

“This is a district that has turned a tide and seen remarkable success,” said lead evaluator Dr. Stephen Oborn. “Continue to build on that and we only expect great things ahead.”

The district’s recommendation for accreditation will be provided to the international AdvancED Accreditation Commission, which will reaffirm Caddo’s reported information and award the district accreditation for a five-year period.

“From the beginning, we have stated Caddo’s desire in this process to not only acknowledge what we are doing well, but more importantly provide a focus for the district in areas we can address to continue to improve for our students,” said Keith Burton, Chief Academic Officer of Caddo Schools. “Today’s external evaluation upholds our belief that the systems we are putting in place to provide our students additional opportunities are being recognized and that we join other accredited districts, which include some of the most prestigious schools and districts in the world.”

AdvancED is the global leader in accreditation representing schools from 30 countries. The organization combines more than 100 years of experience and expertise from three well-known U.S. accreditation agencies — The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS), The North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA) and Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC).

For more information about AdvancED, visit www.advanc-ed.org