Accreditation General Information from the Florida Department of Education
The Florida Department of Education does not accredit, regulate, approve, or license K-12 private schools. Additionally, the Florida Department of Education does not officially recognize any of the various agencies that accredit private schools.
Section 1002.42, Florida Statutes, requires K-12 private schools to register with the department by completing an annual survey each year and explicitly provides that submitting annual survey data and being listed in the directory of private schools should not be used by any private school to imply approval or accreditation by the state.
There are many organizations with widely variant quality standards and program requirements that accredit private schools. Requests for information about the accreditation of a specific school should be directed to the school staff or its designated accrediting agency. The acceptance of diplomas from private schools will be subject to the requirements of the receiving educational institution or employer.
While, as stated, the Florida Department of Education does not officially recognize any of the various accrediting agencies that accredit private schools, several accrediting organizations have been listed in the Florida Statutes in conjunction with the Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Program and a number of accrediting associations are recognized by the Florida High School Athletic Association for purposes of membership.
Section 1002.55,(3)(b)1., Florida Statutes, states that a private school participating in the VPK program must be accredited by an accrediting association that is a member of one of the following associations of accrediting organizations:
According to the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Bylaws Article 3 related to membership, a senior high school or middle/junior high school located in the state of Florida may become a member of the school is accredited by an agency approved by the FHSAA.
Accreditation is inextricably linked to institution and educational system improvement. All non-charter public schools in the District are fully accredited by Cognia formerly AdvancEd, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools ("SACS"). The Broward County School District is the second-largest, fully accredited, school district in the nation and Florida's first fully accredited school system since 1962.
The accreditation process asks institutions and systems to critically evaluate their vision, strategies, priorities, leadership, programs, and resources. Accreditation is designed to help educational systems boost their ongoing performance efforts for the benefit of their students. AdvancED insists on a relentless pursuit of excellence – for itself and for the institutions it accredits. This ethic of excellence ensures that institutions will find rich benefits from accreditation and that parents can confidentially make informed decisions about their children’s education, knowing their child’s school is accredited. Accreditation matters because our students deserve the highest level of educational excellence possible.
Broward County Information on Accreditation
Why Does Accreditation Matter?
This ethic of excellence ensures that institutions will find rich benefits from accreditation and that parents can confidently make informed decisions about their child(ren)’s education, knowing their child(ren)’s school is accredited.
Students benefit from their institution or educational system's commitment to raising student performance and achievement. Students that attend an accredited institution gain greater access to federal loans, scholarships, post-secondary education, and military programs.
The accreditation process leads teachers to critically evaluate teaching and learning with a focus on academic excellence.
For Communities and Businesses
As a result of schools exhibiting educational excellence, communities are viewed as desirable for economic growth and business expansion.
Broward County will continue to strive for excellence in education. District Accreditation, as a Quality System, has validated Broward County's outstanding accomplishments as well as recognized the efforts of every Broward County School District employee.
In October of 2016, we hosted a 50-member accreditation team that brought in educational experts from around the country. The team spent 3 days in Broward completing a comprehensive review of our system, interviewed over 1600 staff members and stakeholders and reviewed hundreds of our documents. The exit report announced another 5 years of accreditation and validated the quality of our school system.
The district-wide accreditation process involves the following:
a 5-year cycle where we host an external review of our school system
provide a mid-cycle (2 ½ years) progress report
conduct an internal review
complete the cycle by hosting another accreditation visit at the end of 5 years
after each accreditation visit the visiting team leaves commendations (accomplishments) and required actions for continuous improvement.