AdvancED Accreditation External Review Report

Last February, AdvancED recommended Hoover City Schools for district accreditation.

AdvancED reviewers generate an “Report of the External Review” for the school district. Many school districts (including Vestavia Hills City Schools) post that report online. Hoover City Schools has to date chosen not to do so.

An Open Records request turned up a copy of this report.

Here it is.

Note that on page 36 of the report, the first indicator for “Next Steps” is to “review and discuss the findings from this report with all stakeholders”.

This news article was posted by Public Relations Director Jason Gaston on February 21, 2014. There is no indication in the official Minutes of board meetings that the board of education discussed the report at any public meeting.

Here’s al.com’s coverage of the called board meeting that was cancelled due to snow.

Here is AdvancED’s page on Hoover City Schools, which includes a link to the Executive Summary (posted on October 14, 2014).

Vestavia Hills City Board of Education compiled a much more thorough report.

Dr. Debra Smith, the staff member overseeing the accreditation process, indicated in an email that Hoover City Schools has compiled a report similar to this one.

I have requested a copy of that report and will post it here when it is received.

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Court Documents from the 2004-2005 Apartment Complex Rezoning

A trip to the federal courthouse uncovered these documents, filed with the U.S. District Court, when Hoover City Schools chose to rezone children living in apartments in 2004-2005.

Sincere appreciation to the extremely helpful clerks that were incredibly responsive to my request for these documents.

We’re talking two hours, folks. Two hours from the phone call to the retrieval of the documents. And these documents had to be retrieved from a storage area.

The most shocking thing about these documents is the reason that the Hoover City Board of Education gave for rezoning (page 2 of the PDF, numbered “2.”):

The revised student attendance zones relate to and affect only the elementary schools: Rocky Ridge, Green Valley, Trace Crossing, Shades Mountain, Gwin, Bluff Park, Deer Valley, and South Shades Crest. The new student attendance zones reassign students to redistribute the high concentrations of apartment students more equitably to the various elementary schools.

Wait, what?

MORE EQUITABLY redistribute high concentrations of apartment students?

Can someone define why apartment students need to be redistributed more equitably?

What is inherently wrong with apartment students that somehow a concentration of them results in inequity?

The only thing that is perhaps more shocking is the email response from Pauline A. Miller (from the Department of Justice), copied to Norman Chachkin (NAACP LDF attorney), acknowledging that neither of them “will be objecting to hoover’s [sic] elementary rezoning” (page 7 of the PDF).

No wonder the Hoover Board of Education thinks it’s okay to shuffle students around again.

Here is page 18 of the PDF depicting the details of shuffling of apartment students in and out.

2004 Elementary Rezoning Details

Other Interesting Numbers

Pages 41 through 51 indicate the number of students of each race served through enrichment in Hoover’s elementary schools during the 2003-2004 school year. Almost all of the children are white.

Pages 36 through 40 are a listing of employees, broken down by race, and also by certified and classified employees for both the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 school years.

It defies logic that neither Miller nor Chachkin found any of those numbers remarkable.

Page 58 is the order from Judge Inge Johnson approving Hoover’s unopposed request.

The date Hoover board attorney filed court papers was June 4, 2004.

The date Judge Johnson approved the request was June 9, 2004.