Is this a sign of progress or status quo?

Probably too soon to tell.

Corrective Superintendent John Thompson hired another member of his personal inner circle last month to help save the school system’s accreditation — Richard Schwartz, the North Carolina attorney who negotiated Thompson’s contract to lead Clayton County Schools.

He replaced Glenn Brock, the special attorney who was hired by the board of education in December 2007 to deal with the Southern Association of Colleges and School’s (SACS) investigation of the school system. The school system has to meet nine mandates for improvement by Sept. 1, or it will lose its accreditation.

Schwartz, who also negotiated Thompson’s contract to lead the school system in Pittsburgh, Pa., was brought in as part of Thompson’s transition advisory team in early May, shortly after the new superintendent took charge of the school system. The attorney was soon hired to work specifically on the accreditation issue.

The school system is paying Schwartz a $3,000 retainer, and $210 an hour, plus expenses.

I know this much is true: if the voters in Clayton County don’t purge the school board in the July elections, they get what they deserve.