Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Accreditation:Impact on Elementary Student Performance


  • Darlene Y. Bruner University of South Florida
  • Lance Lamar Brantley Ware County Public Schools (GA)



Currently, 848 Georgia public elementary schools that house third- and fifth-grades in the same building use the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation as a school improvement model. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether elementary schools that are SACS accredited increased their levels of academic achievement at a higher rate over a five-year period than elementary schools that were not SACS accredited as measured by the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS). Independent variables included accreditation status, socioeconomic status (SES) of schools, and baseline scores of academic achievement. Dependent variables included mathematics and reading achievement scores. There was a statistically significant difference found when examining the SES of schools and baseline scores of the elementary schools. SACS accredited elementary schools had higher SES and higher baseline scores in third- and fifth grade mathematics and reading. However, the multiple regression model indicated no statistically significant differences in gain scores between SACS accredited and non-SACS accredited elementary schools in third- and fifth-grade mathematics and reading achievement during the five year period examined in this study.


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Author Biographies

Darlene Y. Bruner, University of South Florida

Darlene Y. Bruner is Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at the University of South Florida. She teaches course in leadership and curriculum and her research interests concern the work culture of schools, curriculum issues, teacher leadership, and the principalship.

Lance Lamar Brantley, Ware County Public Schools (GA)

Dr. Lance Brantley is a graduate of Valdosta State University and is currently principal of William Heights Elementary in Waycross, GA.




How to Cite

Bruner, D. Y. ., & Brantley, L. L. . (2004). Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Accreditation:Impact on Elementary Student Performance. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 12, 34.