Requests Are Part of Ongoing Monitoring of School Reopenings by Accountable.US
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, nonpartisan government watchdog group Accountable.US requested records from all public schools in the Big 12 and SEC conferences seeking records to and from school leadership and athletic directors regarding resumption of in-person learning this fall.
While the schools have largely failed to adequately explain their decision making to open and resume sports, their internal communications may help shed light on what went into their decision making.
“The Big 12 and SEC are making decisions that may put their students, athletes, neighbors and communities at risk. These are public institutions and the public has a right to know what conversations are happening behind closed doors,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US.
The group filed 25 requests with the school’s leadership and Boards of Regents. In addition to requesting records from school leadership and athletics directors, the group is also requesting communications with Dr. Michael Ackerman, a controversial research professor who was invited from Twitter by an unnamed Big 12 official to advise the conference on continuing its football season. The New York Times recently wrote that, “Ackerman’s position is outside the mainstream of the dozens of doctors who are advising university presidents and the N.C.A.A. on their decision.”
The requests follow an Accountable.US report released last week, which found that public K-12 schools in Florida, Texas, Iowa, Missouri, and South Carolina are dangerously ill-prepared to reopen.
An example of the request sent to the University of Oklahoma is here — similar requests were sent to the remaining schools.
The findings from these requests will be published on WhereAreTheTests.com and additional findings from the records request will be published on the “50 States Open Records” homepage.