by Barry Burch Jr.
When deciding where to send your child to school, parents take a lot into consideration, such as student teacher ratio, academic performance, extracurricular programs, but what about state accreditation?
To be valid, a high school diploma must be issued by a school that is accredited, or approved, by the state. If a school does not receive this accreditation, or have temporary charter, the diplomas it issues are virtually worthless.
A Wisconsin Family found out just exactly what this means when their daughter applied to college and was told her degree was not valid. Amanda Sheriff was told by Milwaukee Career College (MCC) that her degree was not valid because the high school she attended was not accredited. While the school Amanda attended was chartered, it lost its charter shortly after she graduated.
Thankfully, MCC was incorrect in its initial assessment, but it highlights a seemingly new area of concern for parents. With so many choices between voucher, charter and online schools, parents are pushed to ask questions about a schools future plans regarding chartering and accreditation. If Amanda had graduated the year after the charter was pulled, her degree would have been worthless.
According to MCC, parents should inquire into school accreditation, and be particularly weary of schools that require payment and online schools. MCC stated that these schools which are not accredited are not giving students the real code to college, and are providing them with little more than a piece of paper with “Diploma” etched on it.
To avoid being scammed by one of these schools, Julia D’Amato, the principal at St. Anthony High School, one of the largest, private, Catholic voucher schools in the nation, says to visit the school, and ask to sit in on lectures, view the syllabi, etc. Also, Ms. D’Amato suggests to look into your state school accreditation, and make sure your school survives the cut.