Dearborn Schools reaccredited for another six years

Cognia accreditation seal

After an extensive review process, Dearborn Public Schools has again been accredited by a national organization.

Accreditation was awarded by Cognia Global Commission at its meeting on June 28, 2023.  Cognia is a newer organization incorporating legacy groups the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).  

The district was accredited by AdvancedEd five years ago and before that by NCA CASI.  The AdvancedEd accreditation expired this summer. 

To keep the Cognia accreditation for the full six years, Dearborn Public Schools has to continue to meet the group’s requirements including continuing to identify, implement, and evaluate improvement activities.

According to Cognia, “Accreditation is the launchpad for school improvement. Based on rigorous research-based standards and evidence-based criteria, the process probes the whole institution—from policies to learning conditions and cultural context—to determine how well the parts work together to meet the needs of every learner.

“Accreditation isn’t about passing a one-time inspection—it helps education providers meet improvement goals and sustain commitments to better learner outcomes.”

A team from Cognia led the accreditation for Dearborn Public Schools last year and worked with administrators to conduct a detailed engagement review process.  Dearborn Public Schools is the third largest district in Michigan with 37 schools, 2,800 staff members and a combined budget of $490 million.

Dr. Mark A. Elgart, president and CEO of Cognia, stated, “Cognia Accreditation is a rigorous process that focuses the entire school district and its community on the primary goal of preparing lifelong learners in engaging environments where all students can flourish. Dearborn Public Schools is to be commended for demonstrating that it has met high standards and is making progress on key indicators that impact student learning.”

The accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance where schools, districts, and universities are held to rigorous standards and heightened accountability.  The accreditation covers all of Dearborn Public Schools’ programs.

“For the past two decades, our district’s commitment to accreditation sends a positive message that we are focused on improving student achievement, maintaining systemic district practices, and providing a quality learning environment. The noteworthy or powerful practices as well as the improvement priorities identified by Cognia support our continuous improvement efforts for our district and schools,” said Fatme Faraj, who spearheaded the re-accreditation process for the district.  Ms. Faraj is also the Executive Director of Student Achievement for the Dearborn High feeder track. 

View the Dearborn Schools 2023 accreditation engagement review for more details. Those with questions about the accreditation report can contact Ms. Fatme Faraj at