CCPS regains accreditation!

Ending over a year of uncertainty, Clayton County Public Schools regained its accreditation last week.

There is still lots of work to be done, however.  CCPS was placed on probation for two years, and must report its progress to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools every six months during this time.

In addition, CCPS still must satisfy three of the nine mandates (3, 5 and 9) that SACS originally administered.  Further, SACS also expects CCPS to: “… conduct a comprehensive revision of its vision, mission and values; “implement immediately” a thorough strategic planning process which includes stakeholder input; review the district’s organizational structure, and establish an action plan for dealing with problems and conflicts between board members and school system staff,” according to the Clayton News Daily.

What I really found interesting is how little coverage this received.  When accreditation was revoked, I distinctly remember hearing about it ad nauseam.  The story ran like clockwork on local news stations as a “special update” even when there was nothing new to report.  I got calls from as far away as California telling me they heard about CCPS.  This good news barely got an honorable mention during newscasts I watched over the weekend.  Makes me wonder if the good news went national like the bad did.  (The AJC played it on Page One on Friday.)

Anyway, I’m very happy for our students who will graduate from an accredited school system.  They should never have had to deal with adult mistakes or be treated as scapegoats in the political agendas of others.  With all the other stuff kids deal with on a daily basis, those who want an education shouldn’t have to endure what our kids did during this past year and half.

Congratulations to everyone who worked hard to make this happen.  Especially CCPS teachers and staff who kept our kids encouraged throughout.

95 comments Add your comment

Clayton Resident

May 4th, 2009
1:21 pm

Okay Clayton, let’s not eff this up again please! We got it back, let’s keep it & vote the right people into office who can get the job done.

Sgt Rock

May 4th, 2009
2:03 pm

Kimberly, you are indeed correct in that there was little coverage for this great news. It just goes to show that the old saying in the news business “if it bleeds, it leads” is alive and well. Without favorable treatment in the news, this mmilestone achievement will not be known by the general public.

I too received calls and emails from far away voicing shcok that a system could indeed loose accreditation. After a lot of hard work by many individuals and organizations the good news is that SACS recognizes we are on the right road after many years of dismal leadership from both our elected officials and a handful of poor administrators within the Clayton County Public School System.

This last election cycle corrected many of the issues by getting rid of the inept, replacing them with more community oriented leaders that by-in large care.

It was also encouraging to see that after the election Michael King was dealt with in quick fashion for his agregious and inappropriate business dealing that was certainly a conflict of interest. He should have had the morale fortitude to recognize the conflict and professioanlly put it aside but by not doing so he aid volumes to his true character.

I was concerned as well that the day of the announcement, it was reported that Board Member Trinia Garrett of District 7. Arrested and charged with battery she told an AJC reporter that it “was a private matter” and hung up the phone. Ms. Garrett should realize that it is a public matter when an elected official is arrested. Voters and constituents have a right to know. After all, when an employee of the school system is arrested they are placed on administrative leave. Should not Ms. Garrett be held to the same standard as paid employee’s of the system? I look forward to Chairman Andersons leadership in the Garrett Battery incident. Distrubing was the fact that antics like this, while occuring on 21 April, could have jeoperdized the SACS decision about conduct of the Board of Education. Apparently Ms. Garrett had so little concern that she is unable to control her behavior regardless of the circumstance. I certainly question her judgement on public policy when she can’t seemingly control herself in a private setting.

Regardless of the challanges, the citizens will need to continue to support forces of good in the School System while remaining vigilant to and opposing the forces of bad. History has shown us that a School District unchecked by the voter and media will presume they have open and free reign to do whatever they desire. The Board now and in the future should take heed not take the voter for granted and that vigilance will prevail and those that do a good job will be applauded.


May 4th, 2009
4:29 pm

I am so glad Clayton now is going in the right direction. Now, the real business of developing a more rigorous program in the schools.Parents need to be taught that students do have to do homework if you want good results. Students need to be given clear directions on how to behave and to dress in a place of business that the school is. Teachers need to be respected for the professionals that they are. The real work is just beginning.

Melanie Lee

May 4th, 2009
8:26 pm

I just hope the voters are playing attention. A day of reckoning is long over due. We will either have justice NOW or justice at the ballot box next year….

Stop Worrying

May 4th, 2009
10:45 pm

I hate to say I told you so, but you were told, MONTHS in advance that Clayton would get its accreditation back, in some form, so that this year’s seniors would get an accredited diploma.

If you jumped for joy at this, jump for joy that May followed April this year, because both were EQUALLY inevitable. The entire episode, as you were told from the beginning, had nothing to do with students and everything to do with adult politics.

Almost as inevitable, sadly, is the the real problems, the real dysfunctions of the system remain unaddressed. Most likely they will remain unaddressed into the forseeable future, as the public’s reation has basically told CCPS and SACS, we are gullible, easily manipulated, and generally uneducated about the bidness of education, and a charade will more than suffice, as long as you allow us to occasionally get drunk on self righteous indignation from time to time.

There are those who say the board couldn’t address these issues, because the focus was on accreditation. Fine. Now that excuse is gone. There are far too many current and former teachers on the board, who know what the issues are, and know what needs to be done to create policies that support the authority of the classroom teacher.

The question is, do they have the courage, the integrity, to expose the facade long enough to deal with the rot that lies beneath, in order to build a real educational foundation? Time will tell.

Oh please

May 5th, 2009
9:12 am

Congratulations to the Clayton County Public School System! We have the best teachers, the best kids, and some pretty good administrators too. Way to go!

Political Spectator

May 5th, 2009
9:41 am

If a teacher gave an A for 40 years to every child that entered his/her classroom, would one not question that teacher’s practices? Why are we not questioning SACS practices? I can not believe that EVERY school district that SACS accredits has been up to par. Come on, EVERY school district. Have you worked in other school districts besides Clayton? I have and there are other districts MUCH worse than Clayton.

I understand that an accredited diploma is more important for our children than winning a political battle. Our children will graduate with an accredited diploma this year, now is the time to question SACS treatment of Clayton County Schools.

EVERY school district for 40 years, that’s ridiculous!

Oh please

May 5th, 2009
12:14 pm

I do have to agree with political spectator on that point. I wondered that myself back when all this began.


May 5th, 2009
1:03 pm

I have worked in several, besides Clayton. They have, by far, the lowest expectations placed on students of any school system I have ever been a part of and have had so for the last 5-8 years. Now the real work begins.


May 5th, 2009
1:45 pm

Anyone who knows a thing or two about quality schools will tell you that acquiring accreditation from SACS is the lowest possible threshold for a successful school system. The fact that these last several years the BOE, community, politicians, etc. have looked to a SACS accreditation as their benchmark for success is truly sad and really provides quite a bit of insight into the state of mind of Clayton County. Truth be told, if people really cared about this school system, SACS accreditation would be an afterthought to what really happens in our school system.

Maybe revoking accrediation was a political move, maybe it wasn’t. But the fact still remains that they were invited to our party and given a backstage pass. If people are smart, they will learn from this and realize that a SACS accreditation is the minimum. Sorry folks, but that just isn’t good enough. So hooray for SACS accreditation but in reality… so what.

Poor Folk

May 5th, 2009
6:37 pm

Those rich Claytonites spend “Big Money” for Media to “Denounce” the old BOE! The new board made the same errors or worst! This Accreditation Issue has never been about children and education. This whole Accreditation Issue was and still is about “The Land Deal Money”! Experience has taught me that there is one chief reason why some people succeed and others fail. The difference is not one of knowing, but of doing. The successful man or woman is not far superior in ability as in action. So far as success can be reduced to a formula, it consists of this: doing what you know you should do. That being said the bravest politicians in Clayton County’s recent history is the “Former Final Four CCBOE members. Now we as a people see how far the “Rich & Powerful would go to destroy a county. The “Rich & Powerful” strangled your children with accreditation threats!

The ONLY question

May 5th, 2009
7:56 pm

Now that there’s a new superintendent, an ex-Marine who KNOWS FULL WELL what the single most important issue in Clayton is, will he address it?

In other words, will he finally address DISCIPLINE, and will he finally implement policies that restore the teacher’s AUTHORITY to maintain order?

If an ex-Marine is not willing to step up to the plate and address discipline FIRST and FOREMOST then, sad to say, we probably have another out of town snake oil salesman like Pulliam and Thompson.

Hopefully FOURTEEN YEARS OF ACTIVE DUTY in the Marines hasn’t been drummed out of him by a dysfunctional public education system, and he will do the one thing, ABOVE ALL ELSE, that needs to be done. Restore the discipline.

Too many current and former teachers on the board not to give him a total MANDATE to address this.

Brave my arse

May 5th, 2009
9:02 pm

Poor Folk MUST be one of the “Former Final Four CCBOE members” because only they think they’re brave, most think they’re losers as a matter of fact that entire group on the last board were losers not just those 4. The final 4 should’ve stepped down, but no they gave SACS the ammunition needed to push this issue in the media and take away accreditation, if they so brave why’d they let Thompson lose in clayton pay him a fortune to put on his dog and pony show. I believe this a political move by Elgart and others like others do but had they stepped down and accreditation was still taken away a lot more people would believe politics were involved. but none of that matters that group is history thank God. Let’s move forward onward and upward HOPEFULLY!

Legally Speaking

May 5th, 2009
10:37 pm

Brave my arse, the legal method to remove elected officials is called a “RECALL” (the people put them in office the people take them out) that didn’t happen so they were unconstitutionally removed. Here’s something you’ll never hear about. Clayton and all of Georgia taxpayers for that matter, will pay them “Millions”; by way of the U.S Justice Department. Politics are touch, especially when are you illegal in your doings, ask Bush and Cheney Adminstration!

The Speaker

May 5th, 2009
10:50 pm


May 5th, 2009
10:59 pm

Poor Folk must be insane! What a laugh. The last board was a bunch of misfits that were chosen by misfits, and some votes paid for by we all know who. (Free rides in the limo, and $75 gift certificates at the mall).

Political Spectator

May 6th, 2009
2:01 am

Brave my arse,

I agree!!!!! The FINAL four CCBOE members were the most ignorant, power hungry, and unprofessional fools I have ever seen. Thank God for the small group of citizens that utilized the court system to have them removed!!!!! I will never defend the shenanigans of those idiots.

With that being said, I recognize the final four was a convenient catalyst to push SACS’ political agenda. My hope is that SACS’ political agenda is exposed. The answer is in Elgart’s failed attempt at the GA School Board Reform bill.


May 6th, 2009
7:18 am

The real public in Clayton know this whole SACS thing was a joke. Those last four girl were braver than rest of Clayton’s Delegation whom are tax violator and unethical, and afraid of the pale power structure.

Brave my arse

May 6th, 2009
9:08 am

Yeah I know what a RECALL is because I signed one twice to get rid of my lousy school board member (who I didn’t vote for in the 1st place) and they didn’t work. Let’s not pretend like the reason those four didn’t get recalled is because voters wanted them to stay, it’s because unfortunately most of the voters in Clayton don’t care enough to come out for a recall or didn’t know any better. That is clear based on the fact that most of them got elected to begin with (Sandra Scott? come on now!) Thouse 4 were an embarassment. If those 4 get millions, then God bless, good night and good bye, they made out like bandits they should thank God for the windfall. I’m still grateful to those that took this to court and got them out because we’d still be stuck with those 4 losers AND Thompson and probably no accreditation. Now CCPS has a shot at turning things around, something we didn’t have when that whole last group was in office. of course there are still dirty politics going on but at least some of the losers are gone, that’s a few less than this time last year.


May 6th, 2009
9:55 am

The Clayton County Board of Education invites you to attend a “Meet the Superintendent Candidate” session on Wednesday, May 6, 2009. The session will beheld at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room of the Clayton County Public Schools Administrative Complex, 1058 Fifth Avenue, Jonesboro.


May 6th, 2009
12:26 pm

RE: Edmond Heatley, the proposed or already hired super.

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
CHINO – Some parents in the Chino Valley Unified School District hope Edmond Heatley gets a new job. They are parents of children whose schools are closing next year as part of budget cut recommendations made by Superintendent Heatley and approved by the school board earlier this year. Parents spoke out as they protested school closures with signs Wednesday morning in front of the school district headquarters.

Here are some of the comments for the article: “…Hmmm. Who will CVUSD get to clean up his mess?***If Georgia talks to the Chino Principals they may get a different view of his leadership.***Washoe County Be Happy …. if truth be known? We couldn’t wait for him to leave. He has made a mess of things here and…***Will the audit by Total School Solutions find unfavorable information regarding Heatley? Is he feeling the pressure put on by United Parents of Chino Valley? Or is he trying to distract the parents from the real issues at hand?***…don’t lose sight of the victimes here. Class size reduction has been compromised, 3 schools closing, 171 teachers laid-off, a District administration that continues to grow inspite of a State financial crisis, all the while, the programs cut and the students are the ones left behind to clean up this mess. Don’t forget, the Superintendent who created this is moving on.***If “transparency” is truly Heatley’s platform then how is it he allowed only 48 hours to transpire before closing 3 schools?***Hurry up and leave Heatley!. The only tool this guy has in his chest is a hammer. He tries to run CVUSD like the military. He creates positions which were never needed prior and does not listen to teachers or parents***…voted himself a 2% payraise, while laying off teachers…***Heatley has created a culture of deceit and secrecy…Whoever hires him will do so to their sorrow; the glowing recommendations he gets here – are they not designed to get some other suckers to take him off our hands?…”

We can only hope this doesn’t turn into another high-priced J.Thompson deal.


May 6th, 2009
3:43 pm


Thanks for the heads up on the BOE meeting. We need to have a large turnout!

RE: my post about Mr Heatley. There were a lot of negative comments in that newspaper article. However, they might represent just a disgruntled few. I’m just pointing out that we need to do our due diligence.

I have to also ask, why would someone in their right mind choose Clayco over Reno, NV? Why would someone in their right mind say they “want” to come to Clayco? These might be good questions to ask the “candidate”.

John Stewart

May 6th, 2009
4:04 pm

I like the guy and it appears he is no nonsense and bottom line. At this point we can’t afford to have anyone to come in and play games. We need someone that plays their position. I think those that are slacking in are in for a rude awakening.

@ Jborodawg – I hope you read other articles where Edmond Heatley was the front runner for the second largest school district in Nevada. I hope you are not just looking at one side of the coin.

“My first reaction is I think that the assessments of all the folks who interviewed him (in Nevada) are correct and he is an outstanding superintendent,” said trustee Fred Youngblood. “I think it would be a loss for the district.”

Sylvia Orozco, Chino Valley Unified school board president, agreed.

“In regards to Dr. Heatley possibly leaving, it would be a great loss to the district, but he’s composed a great team and I think our district would be left in great hands because of the team he’s developed, should he leave,” Orozco said.

Orozco said she was not disappointed in Heatley’s bid for a new job.

“He’s got great leadership capabilities,” she said. “It’s not surprising other districts would want to seek him out.”

She added, “I don’t think Dr. Heatley made any (policy) decisions because he was leaving,” Orozco said. “I think he made the decisions that were in the best interest of the district.”

“The Chino Valley Unified School District, which hired Heatley as superintendent in 2005, will be visited by officials from the Reno-based Washoe County School District within the week, according to Washoe County school board President Barbara Clark.

Heatley was in Reno last week for an interview and answered questions about his leadership style.

“Out of the (candidates), Dr. Heatley was at the forefront,” Clark said.

“He did a very good job while he was here. He showed he believes in collaboration, has accountability and did very well answering the questions, and the public and staff replied they thought he had the majority of people for him or he was ahead.”

The Washoe County district is “looking for a person that has experience in showing academic achievement as well as fiscal responsibility,” Clark said.

The Chino Valley and Washoe County school districts share similar student demographics and are facing a budget crisis. Washoe County school board member Dan Carne asked Heatley how he viewed the relationship and roles of the superintendent and school board members.

“To me, it’s pretty simple,” Heatley said.

“The board sets policy and provides direction. It’s my job to get the team together to accomplish the mission. Simply said, that’s the easy part. There will be times in closed session where we will fight like cats and dogs and when we come out, the board gives direction. That’s the end of discussion. So I don’t see an issue with who’s in charge.”

and another article

“Heatley was apparently a top finalist for the superintendent position in Washoe County School District, the second largest school district in Nevada.

Washoe County school officials had been planning to visit the Chino Valley Unified School District this week.

Clark, who is helping lead the Washoe County district’s superintendent search, said her district is disappointed in the change of plan.

“Yes, we are certainly disappointed in this news and I think it speaks to the quality of Dr. Heatley’s candidacy that obviously he was a skilled and knowledgable candidate that is going to be pursued by other school districts,” Clark said. “I think all the top candidates for superintendent positions are probably being courted by more than one school district.”

Political Disaster

May 6th, 2009
6:36 pm

SACS Elgart and Clayton’s Rich cost Clayton’s School System $23 million per year over the next two years the School System will loss “Every Year” by causing 3500 children and parents to leave the district. Wow! This surely was a costly white political power move for the ailing black district!

They also paid the Media millions to belittled county, lowered your property value, skyrocketed property taxes, revoking your school’s accreditation, businesses left. They pilfered over $23 million educational dollars, caused 300-400 teacher job losses.

What did you as a county “Gain”? More Cost! Three more additional bills one for an overpaid parliamentarian, another for unconstitutional CCBOE Ethic Commission and now an overpriced law firm. That’s three bills you didn’t have before! The only people that prohibited are the pale.


May 6th, 2009
6:39 pm

This new boy Heatley, the superintendent is being “SETUP”! Mark my word he’ll last ten months before the Lilly white in the administration building start screaming. Then those same folk will threaten accreditation again! Then those same folk will sneak a pale superintendent in the back door. It too early after the SACS debacle sneak him now! The majority of the public knews this!

Jesus Keep You

May 6th, 2009
6:49 pm

One day Brave My Arse you will understand and I will pray for you and your children. I feel sorry for your kids because you definitely doesn’t care about them. I am truly glad that this farse is over for now but believe me it will be returning.


May 6th, 2009
7:32 pm

Danger! Trotter at work already trying to sabotage the new super.. Trotterites posting above! Don’t think the public will fall for his crap any longer.

Out and out lies by Megan?

May 6th, 2009
8:53 pm

It appears that AJC reporter Megan Mattecucci has resorted to out and out lies to push the AJC political agenda, at the expense of objective reporting.

Two examples in her latest report about the protest of the new superintendent. First is to say that SACS santioned MACE in last year’s report of the school board. Cite your source Megan, because when I read the twenty seven page report, I didn’t see the word MACE mentioned one time. And don’t say MACE was alluded to, or everyone knows that SACS was talking about MACE. If Elgart was talking about MACE, and he was legally allowed to call MACE by name, why didn’t he?

Second example. To describe MACE as representing only a handful of teachers in Clayton. Unlike GAE, MACE does not accept payroll deductions, which would allow CCPS administrators to know who is a member and engage in retaliation. GAE members of course don’t have to worry about being retaliated against by CCPS, because GAE isn’t going to stand up to abusive administrators in a way that MACE will.

How could they, when the head of GAE is himself a Clayton County administrator? Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse when it comes to an organization standing up for teachers.LOL

So Megan, if membership is strictly confidential, and MACE does not disclose its membership rolls, how is there any possible way you can accurately ascertain that MACE represents only a handful of teachers in Clayton?

There may be only be a small number of MACE members willing to go on the record, but many MACE members enjoy the confidentiality of their membership, and may choose not to disclose it, even in their schools with the ever present threat of retaliation.

You may disagree with MACE, although I’ve never seen anybody make an effective rebuttal of where they stand on their education philosophies. Or, you may dislike their style. But either way, if you are going to be honest, or even if you support the new superintendent, and thus you don’t MACE’s protest, you have to admit that Megan’s reporting on this matter, was anything but honest.

It was in fact, some of the shoddiest journalism I have ever seen, and that’s saying something when you consider the quality of the AJC’s reporting in Clayton.

Now if you want to disagree with this post, please provide the following.

The page number in the SACS report where you see the word MACE mentioned.

A MACE membership role that conclusively shows the exact number of Clayton teachers that are MACE members.

Bottom line, even if you don’t like MACE, have enough intellectual integrity to seperate that from the shoddy reporting that Megan and the AJC engaged in, and call it for what it is.

Can we dare not question?

May 6th, 2009
9:19 pm

Before you have the knee-jerk reation the AJC wants you to have with their biased reporting on the MACE protest of the new superintendent choice, have the integrity and courage to ask yourself the following.

Did MACE not express concerns, before either one of them were even hired, about falling for the educational snake oil of out of town saviors the last two times when it came to Barbara Pulliam and John Thompson?

And was MACE not totally and completely vindicated when it came to those concerns?

I’m not saying MACE is right about the new superintendent, but since they were dead on about the last two out of town saviors, wouldn’t it be wise to scrutinize this candidate, rather than accept him on blind faith like the AJC apparently wants you to?

Was MACE wrong?

May 6th, 2009
11:13 pm

Was MACE wrong about Barbara Pulliam?

Was MACE wrong about John Thompson?

And remember, MACE voiced their concerns at the beginning, not when they were on the way out the door, after everybody else figured out what MACE already knew.

So why are people automatically rushing to call this guy a savior, after what happened with the last two out of town saviors? Granted, he may very well be a good candidate. But are you really willing to give this guy a free pass and a blank check, just because MACE has some concerns?

Are you really that incapable of having any independent thought outside of what the AJC wants you to think?

Stand and deliver Heatley supporters

May 6th, 2009
11:24 pm

All you guys want to come on here and jump on the Heatley bandwagon without reservation, I just have one request. Can you point to one specific proposal or policy that Heatley put forth to empower teachers when it comes to discipline?

Since you’ve gone on at length about his being an ex-Marine, shouldn’t this be easy to do?

And if it’s too much to ask to quote a specific policy or proposal, can you give us at least one person, one source that will vouch for him specifically when it comes to empowering teachers in matters of discipline?

Surely, this is not too much to ask of an ex-Marine is it?


May 7th, 2009
12:05 am

Ok, Here we go?

Trotter Time

Oh please

May 7th, 2009
8:21 am

There I was watching my nightly news at bedtime as always and AHHH!!! I saw an ugly, old troll crying about something that has nothing to do with him yet again. I had nightmares all night!

John Stewart

May 7th, 2009
9:03 am

@ Stand and deliver

Obviously you speak from a uninformed position. If you had taken the time yesterday to come to the meet and greet of Dr. Heatley you would have heard loud and clear his plans addressing discipline problems. Let me give you one specific since you are ignorant as to what said last night. In regards to a student assaulting a teacher, teacher assaulting a student or teacher assaulting another teacher he said clearly and concisely he has a ZERO tolerance policy.

If all these trotterites would have taken time to sit in on the meeting you would know; especially Trotter who only stuck his head in the meeting for all of 3 mins to obviously survey the room and not gain any information.

My only concern as it stands right now are the Trotter moles still left in the administration and the leaking of information for their benefit. I am also concerned with the comments by Chapman in the AJC article –

Sid Chapman, president of Clayton’s largest teachers union, said he was hoping for a superintendent with experience in Georgia.

“Since we have not had a good track record with superintendents from bargaining states, my initial concern is how will he cooperate with the union here and get acquainted with Georgia law,” said Chapman, who represents about 2,800 school employees.”

The choice of Heatley with his military and educational background was the best choice for the county. In my opinion we don’t need anyone that knows the Georgia more specifically the Clayton political game (contracts and favors). We need someone who will come in and assess everything and make changes where necessary and if that means some long time administrators who aren’t pulling their weight need to go then so be it. If that means some principals aren’t pulling their weight need to go then so be it. Heatley appears to be his own man and if he is a true Marine will operate with integrity.

It feels so good to see the grip of those that had a strangle hold on the School system slipping away.

I am so ready to see a board and Supt. function with synergy.

My name is John Stewart and I approve this message.

to Mace

May 7th, 2009
9:18 am

Trotter only needed to stick his head in cuz he had foot soldiers inside the board room already, taking notes and wreaking havoc.

Question to MACE fanatics can you point to one specific proposal or policy that Valya Lee OR Sam King have put forth to empower teachers when it comes to discipline? Based on research so far can’t find any policy put forth by Heatley. But what exactly qualifies Lee or Sam King either? From what I saw last night I’d rather take a chance on Heatley than your candidates.

Valya Lee being from Clayton isn’t and shouldn’t be enough to qualify her for superintendent. and who in the sam hill is Sam King? Must be a Mace fan too.

Oh please

May 7th, 2009
9:25 am

John Stewart for president!!! LOL!

I think Heatley is an excellent choice. I had not been aware of the meet and greet, otherwise, I would have been there. But, I don’t need to be sold. I think he is a proven leader and a vast improvement on Dr. Thompson. I’ve spoken to at least one teacher who likes Valya Lee, but her reasoning didn’t seem to be anything more than she hasn’t rocked the boat these last couple of weeks. I just don’t see that as a good enough reason to give her the job permanently.

Advice for Dr. Heatley

May 7th, 2009
9:50 am

Dr. Heatley,
Do not buy a house on spivey lake, do not alienate the community, stay away from the local poiticians and simply raise the bar for our children and love them. That is the same advice given to two previous superintendents and they did not listen, both are gone. Could somebody pass this information on to him?

Stand and deliver

May 7th, 2009
9:53 am

John Stewart,

John Stewart descends from the night sky, firing the twin thunderbolts of “uninformed” and “ignorant” and protects our man Heatley from the dastardly plot of Stand and Deliver!

Not so fast.

OBVIOUSLY I speak from an uninformed position when it comes to Heatley on discipline. And? That’s why I POSED A QUESTION and didn’t make a STATEMENT about what he will or will not do. It’s called critical thinking skills.

Now do I think it’s a good thing that he said he wouldn’t tolerate discipline problems? Of course. But have I fallen hook, line, and sinker, for his claims just because he’s an ex-Marine? No. Again, critical thinking skills.

What a candidate will SAY and what a candidate has DONE are two different things. Which is why it’s necessary to ask what specific ACTIONS will he put in place to restore the teacher’s authority? What specific actions would he put in place to prevent RETALIATION against teachers who try to address disicpline which, if YOU were fully informed, and not ignorant, about the day to day realities of life in the classroom, would understand is a major ongoing concern. In fact, it’s as big a concern, when it comes to teacher morale and retention rates, as the discipline itself.

Mind you, I’m not in the camp that says he shouldn’t be the new super, just because he’s from out of town. But I recall that Pulliam SAID the right things, Thompson SAID the right things, and I’m not going on the Heatley bandwagon just because he SAID the right things, and certainly not on the bandwagon because the board of education SAID he was the right candidate.

I want to see evidence of WALKING THE WALK. Either policies or persons from his previous position that vouch not for words, but for ACTIONS.
Don’t get me wrong. I really DO want to see these things, and I’m hopeful that his years of Marine service have allowed him to not be brainwashed by an educational system that simply does not get it when it comes to discipline.

I just want to see people STOP and THINK, and want to make sure the words ex-Marine aren’t just the new and improved version of out of town snake oil to come to Clayton.

So again, the question does INDEED remain unanswered. Can we point to a specific policy he has put in place that restores the teacher’s authority to discipline, and if not, can we at least find individuals from his previous stop that will vouch for him on the specific issue of supporting the teacher’s authority in the classroom?

Why is this not a reasonable request John Stewart?

Clayton Parent

May 7th, 2009
10:19 am

John Stewart

May 7th, 2009
11:28 am

@ Stand and deliver

I fully understand your point and know that money talks and BS runs the Marathon. I still stand by my comments. It is one thing to read about a person and another thing to meet a person, look them in the eye and listen to what they say. A 95yr old blind from birth, wearing sun glasses and 2 broken hearing aids could see through and hear the BS that Trotter oops Freudian slip I meant Thompson was spewing out.

Let me address your comment and assumption about me being ignorant about what goes on in the classroom. My wife is a teacher in CCPS and I have several friends who are teachers in CCPS so I hear Firsthand what goes on in the classroom. So with that I will say I am far from ignorant on the subject.

Now you asked I could point to specific policies regarding discipline and his previous tenure. I am so glad you asked!!! Let’s do this. How about we go back to the Chino Valley school district and the board policies he was charged to uphold.

How about section BP 5144(a) on Discipline from the Chino Valley school district –

The Board of Education desires to prepare students for responsible citizenship by fostering self-discipline and personal responsibility. The board believes that high expectations for student behavior, effective classroom management, and parent involvement can minimize the need for discipline. Staff shall use preventative measures and positive conflict resolution techniques whenever possible.

(cf. 5020 – Parent Rights and Responsibilities)
(cf. 5137 – Positive School Climate)
(cf. 5145.3 – Nondiscrimination/harassment)
(cf. 5145.9 – Hate-motivated Behavior)
(cf. 6020 – Parent Involvement)

Board policies and regulations shall delineate acceptable student conduct and provide the basis for sound disciplinary practices. Each school shall develop disciplinary rules in accordance with law to meet the school’s individual needs.
(cf. 5131 – Conduct)
(cf. 5131.1 – Bus Conduct)

When misconduct occurs, staff shall implement appropriate discipline and attempt to identify and address the causes of the student’s behavior. Continually disruptive students may be assigned to alternative programs or removed from school in accordance with law, Board policy, and administrative regulation. At all times, the safety of students and staff and the maintenance of an orderly school environment shall be priorities in determining appropriate discipline.”

Is the aforementioned specific enough for you?


May 7th, 2009
11:40 am

Isn’t it ironic that MACE talks so highly about being “right” re: past supers. but never bring up or apologize for the embarrassment, dysfunction, and carnage their members have left behind in our school system? Sorry Trotter, actions speak louder than words.

Clayton Parent

May 7th, 2009
12:47 pm


@ Stand and Deliver

Yes, we need to properly vet Dr. Heatley and gather as much informaton about him as possible before forming an opinion. However, getting information on the blog and AJC is the not the most reliable source. With a click of a mouse and a little effort on your part, you could have gotten the same information John Stewart posted. Better yet, you could have come to the meeting last night and asked him yourself. Your inability (or reluctance) to obtain readily available information regarding the candidate is an example of being “ignorant” and “uniformed”.

Sgt Rock

May 7th, 2009
1:25 pm

Stand & Deliver (aka Bland & Shhiver) To further assist you in your “ignorance” and being “uninformed”…THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN “EX-MARINE”…You stand corrected.

Great job John Stewart for your informative comments!


May 7th, 2009
2:57 pm

Next thing you know, “Stand and Deliver” will try to debate that Heatley is incapable of discipline or leadership because he was a non-commissioned officer! Ridiculous.


May 7th, 2009
5:08 pm

Re: out and out lies by Megan.

You are correct in the fact that no one knows who MACE’s membership is. In fact since MACE is a private corporation no one knows anything about MACE. That is the way JT wants it. MACE is his personal cash cow and he does not want the members knowing about anything he does with their, excuse me His money.

Stand and deliver stands and delivers

May 7th, 2009
5:58 pm

First thing. John Stewart. The specific policies. They are there. Good work. But, let’s be real, they are there ON PAPER. Just like in Clayton. Now who wants to make the case that IN PRACTICE, Clayton does what it says on paper?

What I don’t see, even on paper, is the NEXT STEP. If your wife is a teacher in Clayton, John Stewart, surely she can tell you what’s on paper, in terms of supporting teachers in discipline, is not the same as what happens in REALITY.

Again, is what’s on paper what happens IN PRACTICE? I’d love to hear what some teachers IN THE CLASSROOM, in his district have to about discipline, and just as importantly, about RETALIATION against teachers who stand up for it.

Barbara Pulliman had policies AND a blue ribbon panel to address discipline. Need I say more?

Sgt. Rock. Does having served in the Marines AUTOMATICALLY mean that you are above reproach, and above question? Should we just say Siemper Fi and let every Marine who is currently incarcerated out, because after all, they are Marines? And organization can stand proud and tall, yet have individuals fall, can it not, Sgt. Rock?

Do we DARE not question Heatley because he was, or is, as you prefer, a Marine? If that were the case, why not replace every superintendent in the country with a Marine? Before YOU say it, I’ll say it. If you want me to be REALLY real, if someone gave me the power to replace every superintendent with a Marine, sight unseen, I’ll be the first to admit, I’d roll that dice in a heartbeat.

But we are just talking one position, and that’s Clayton. And no matter how much people want to steamroll this process without questions being raised, the fact is that recent history of out of towners is not good. Due diligence MUST be done. Let him answer some specifics.

For example, if a child curses a teacher, and the principal walks him back to class a few minutes later with no consequences, and the teacher refused to allow him back in, and the principal threatened the teacher with insubordination what would he do? Would he back DISCIPLINE and the teacher’s RIGHT to discipline, or would he back blind obedience to the chain of command?

Did anybody ask him THAT question, because that question goes to the heart of what’s wrong with CCPS. What comes first, supporting the teacher in DISCIPLINE, or unlimited, unchecked power of the principal, even when it undercuts the best efforts of the teacher?

John Stewart, take MACE out of the question for a moment and ask your wife what she thinks would happen if a teacher refused to allow a child who cursed her back in the classroom over the principal’s objections? And if you really ARE informed about life in the classroom, you MUST know that in CCPS this situations do occur FAR too often.

You think CCPS would come down on the side of supporting the teacher trying to enforce discipline, or come down on the side of the administrator trying not to rock the boat?

You met the man, John Stewart. Honestly, in the above scenario, which side would YOU fall on? And to the point, what’s your gut feeling on what side HEATLEY would fall on? If he actually had the guts to say that he’d back the teacher in that case, I’d say due dilegence is OVER, and gladly welcome him aboard.


May 7th, 2009
6:53 pm

I thought John Trotter and his nitwit followers were gone. Alas – they were just waiting to pounce. Seems, if they are against this nominee, then we should all welcome him wholeheartedly. John seems to hate anyone taller than him – which is most people. It was funny to see his paid protesters outside hiding behind sunglasses – during a cloudy evening. Welcome back JT. (NOT) Get ready to dance.


May 7th, 2009
7:48 pm

Why did Alieka Anderson, Chairperson of the Clayton County Board of Education and her “Spineless Crew” offer Valya Lee a $187,000 one year contract next week, then turn around and Hire the Broad Academy graduate a week later! There is only one viable answer! This BOE “IS NOT” I repeat, is not making any decisions on their own. They’re being led around by their noses by the powers that be in Clayton and elsewhere. They’re soooo sad!


May 7th, 2009
7:52 pm

Spineless: Glenn Brock wants to be the school board attorney, and he cannot control Dr. Val Lee nor Dr. Sam King. Pitiful.

Trotter bashing logic

May 8th, 2009
7:15 am

BB since you claim that we should support Heatley because John Trotter opposes him, by your logic I’m sure you will come on here and tell us what a great guy John The Diploma Shredder Thompson was, and how ClayCo should have never let him go.

I guess you’ll be writing letters of recommmendation for Barbara Pulliam as well.

And I suppose you’ll work hard to convince Rod Johnson that he should run for the board again.

Since Trotter opposed them, I guess we should, as you say, wholeheartedly welcome them back right?

How fedup?

May 8th, 2009
7:18 am

Seems fedup, if they were that upset about MACE being a private corporation, would be really upset with SACS being a private corporation, especially since, unlike MACE, SACS makes their money off your tax dollars.

Must not be fedup enough to think things through.


May 8th, 2009
7:53 am

The Trotterites are fighting for there survival. Not many of them left anyway. Guess Trotter will have to find another”for profit business”.

Oh please

May 8th, 2009
9:01 am

I wonder how Valya Lee feels about having Trotter’s support.

Advice for Dr. Heatley

May 8th, 2009
9:05 am

“Spineless” Where did you get this information? Glen Brock is not the influence for this Board. Dr. Val Lee is an excellent persona nd the community has been impressed with her. Unfortunately, she does not possess the required experience and background that SACS stiputalated in their report was requried for a new supperintent. Does anyone remember reading that the person should have a mininmum of four years experience as a superintendent? That was made quite clear by SACS. Neither Dr. Lee or Dr. King fit that criteria. Having said that the choice made by the Board was the right choice. As in anything else time will tell. But it looks like we have a fresh start.


May 8th, 2009
9:06 am

Trotter will do anything to derail the progress of CCPS. Always have, always will. At least we have a Super who is capable, and free of the local politcal machine. At least we have accreditation back. People need to work together for progress and stop all this Claton bashing

Clayton Resident

May 8th, 2009
9:27 am

I must say, the fact that Mace, Trotter & company are so opposed to Heatley, makes me like Heatley even more! He must be doing something right and won’t be bought and paid for by Clayton politicians the day he takes office. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more from and about Heatley!


May 8th, 2009
11:34 am

John Trotter is smarter than the bozos on the school boards. He always has been. That’s why they are nervous with him around.


May 8th, 2009
12:52 pm

I agree, it does seem bizarre to give Valya Lee, unqualified to be a superintendent, a one-year $187,000 contract and then hire Heatly the very next week. Mind you, the board had to pay thousands upon thousands to buy out Thompson’s contract and put Lee in place (which Lee and Brock conspired to do, so Brock could become the school system’s attorney). How much do you think all of this is costing us as taxpayers!? This smells really bad!

Mojo Mist

May 8th, 2009
2:43 pm

Actually, the recent elections in Clayton County and the potential hiring of Dr. Heatley smells pretty good to me. It’s the first breath of fresh air in about five years.

There are no guarantees but if Dr. Heatley turns out to be as good as what other school districts (including his own) are saying and brings good fortune to what we’ve seen become a muddy hole caused by selfish, self-serving individuals, I have no problem paying out to Dr. Thompson or Ms. Lee. The percentage of those two contracts is very minimal to what we’ve already paid for during this nightmare. Time will tell but I have more hope now than I’ve had in long long time.

Buck Haralson

May 8th, 2009
4:57 pm

Why does everyone think Mr. Heatley is any good. Is it because he is being run out of California or because he got turned down for the Tulsa Job. Clayton County needs The Educator of the Year Dr. Sam King. Why not choose Sam King can anyone on here give me one good reason. Sam King was the obvious choice and they screwed it up again. SAM KING SAM KING.

Will Rogers

May 8th, 2009
5:07 pm

Why wont the school board ever listen to Dr John Trotter. He has more sense than all the board members combined. Why dont the school boards in Clayton county ever listen to Dr. Trotter. They are always jealous and scared of him. This causes them to do stupid things. Hiring The California reject Mr Heatly was only the latest of their stupid actions. They could have hired Dr Val Lee or Dr. Sam King and everyone would have been happy.

concerned oldtimer

May 8th, 2009
5:16 pm

Good luck to the new superintendant. I am glad to hear he is planning on keeping the current staff. Several are very good at what they do. Clayton County has lost enough wonderful staff members do to the board problems. Many retired and many just left. So all us old retired ones are looking forward to a high quality school system again. Just hope Trotter finds a new school system to bothr.

to Mace & and allies ... again

May 8th, 2009
5:21 pm

I asked this question yesterday and all of you (maybe only one of you are actually posting here) ignored it. Here goes again:

Can you point to one specific proposal or policy that Valya Lee OR Sam King have put forth to empower teachers when it comes to discipline?

Based on research so far I can’t find any policy put forth by Heatley, that’s true.

But what exactly qualifies Lee or Sam King either? From what I saw at that meeting, I’d rather take a chance on Heatley than your candidates.

Valya Lee being from Clayton isn’t and shouldn’t be enough to qualify her for superintendent. and who in the sam hill is Sam King?

IN ADDITION – I’ve done my own research on Edmond Heatley and just ran another search on your Tulsa accusation. I have seen nowhere else any indication that he got turned down (or ever applied for) any superintendent position in Tulsa. If you have proof of that allegation, please share with the rest of the class so we know you’re not just blowing smoke.

And Heatley is not being “run out of” California. I really hope you aren’t putting false information out here to try and confuse us and prop up Lee and King. Valya Lee couldn’t even make it to the final round of interviews and again, who is Sam King and why should any of us care? I’ve only read his name on this blog!

Mojo Mist

May 8th, 2009
5:48 pm

Heatley being ran out of California just after receiving Superintendent of the Year for his respective area (Riverside and San Bernardino counties)? Oh, I get it, MACE. Must be that administrator hang-up. A few parents are upset about some school closings resulting from budgetary cuts but that’s about it.

Let’s see,

Heatley brought together a committee of district and community members to develop his District’s first strategic plan which focuses on student achievement. Since 2005, the District has experienced significant growth in student achievement along with schools being recognized as a California Distinguished School, a National Blue Ribbon School, a California Business for Excellence/Just for Kids Honor Roll, a California Service-Learning Leader School Award, a National Network of Partnership Schools-Johns Hopkins University/Working Together for Student Success, a Golden Bell Award, an International Baccalaureate World School and two International Baccalaureate candidate schools.

He continued to teach at the university level, keeping him current with educational trends. Yes, MACE he’s still a teacher. Unbelievable!! An administrator and teacher at the same time?! Oh no! AND in 2008, he was awarded the California League of High Schools, Outstanding Administrator of the Year Recipient for Region 12.

Take a page from Obama's play book...

May 8th, 2009
7:04 pm

When I saw John Trotter and Ms. Norrese Haynes on television with those stupid poster boards picketing the new superintendent, I knew then Heatley was the right person for the job. I am willing to bet money he has already put Trotter in his place and now Trotter is mad!!!!

Valya Lee and Sam King, need to denounce Trotter’s support just like Obama had to denounce Jeremiah Wright. Trotter’s support of Lee and King automatically makes me question their competency and many community members feel the same. Take a page from Obama’s play book and distance yourselves from this poster board carrying FOOL!!!!

Don’t allow Trotter and Ms. Norrese Haynes to cast a cloud over careers you all have worked so hard to build!!!!!!


May 8th, 2009
7:14 pm

Let’s just see what happens. Trotter was right about Hairston, Pulliam, Chavis, and Thompson. He will probably be right about Heatley. He does look to me to be heavy-handed. One thing about Trotter is he is consistent. He doesn’t come dancing up to the new superintendents with his hat in his hand. He lets them know up front what he thinks of them. He seemed to have given a pass to Duncan and Lee. I think he does indeed think that Lee and King would have been good choices. John Trotter is probably right, but the school boards always want to go “outside” for the latest educational gypsey. I really question why they would bring in this fellow. I understand that they conducted a “straw vote” about him. This is illegal as well as the board’s meeting with candidates in California at the San Diego meeting. I don’t think the school board really understands the concept of transparency. I too think that Glenn Brock is running the whole show down here in Clayton County. It’s a shame. I will be voting agains my representative, Pam Adamson.

Political Spectator

May 8th, 2009
7:18 pm

Trotter and the other idiots at MACE know nothing about predicting the success of a superintendent. MACE works hard to plant the unintelligent and the uninformed on the board, then work to influence their vote, then MACE works to distance itself from members they placed on the board when things go wrong. This has been the predictable pattern for Trotter for sometime now!!!!!

Nedra Ware
Connie Kitchens
Noresse Haynes
Lois Bayne Hunter
Michelle Strong
Michael King
… just to name a few


May 8th, 2009
10:30 pm

River (Trotter follower),

Doesn’t it strike you odd that in your mind Trotter is so right and consistent about superintendents but yet his support of prospective and current board members has been a dismal failure and train wreck? Anything wrong to you about that picture? Only those who support Trotter try to throw around “illegal” or “legal” without really knowing the difference. To MACE, anything that promotes a non-supported MACE member becoming a board member or super. is considered illegal. Stop referring to the MACE handbook and become acquainted with real law.


May 9th, 2009
12:20 am

News flash everyone – Sam King didn’t want the job!

District 3

May 9th, 2009
12:44 am

For clarity, Dr. Lee was given her current contract because by law she had to be the highest paid employee in the school district. Please recall that Julie Lewis was the highest paid once Dr. Thompson was released. Her contract is for one year but can be voided with a 30 day notice. The attorney said that that was the proper way to formulate the contract.

Two questions for Political Spectator

May 9th, 2009
12:54 am

You say Trotter knows nothing about predicting the success of superintendents.

Was he wrong about Pulliam?

Was he wrong about Thompson?

Let me say it before you do. Some on the old board who were affliated with MACE to some extent joined with GAE members on the board to bring about John Thompson. But that wasn’t Trotter; it was people who didn’t listen to Trotter.

So the question remains, was he wrong about Pulliam and Thompson?

And as far as MACE distancing itself, I don’t see MACE distancing itself from Norresse Haynes. As far as distancing themselves from the others when they themselves distanced themselves from the MACE philosophy of restoring the teacher’s authority in the classroom first, why would that be a bad thing?

Now if you want to say some have used MACE’s message to get elected, then turned around and acted in their own best interests, that’s a legitimate point. But it doesn’t mean MACE’s philosophy is wrong, and it sure doesn’t mean they were wrong about Pulliam and Thompson.

And if you’re the asute political commentator some of your other comments indicate you are, you should know that GAE has more than their own fair share of mistakes on the board, chief among them Rod Johnson and Ericka Davis.

And don’t forget it’s not a MACE official earning years of credit in the Teachers Retirement System without actually working in a classroom, it’s a GAE official.

Clayton resident

May 9th, 2009
12:15 pm


Trotter acts like he was the only one in Clayton who knew ahead of time that Pulliam and Thompson would crash and burn and just because they did, doesn’t mean this guy will.

I’d like to read an answer to the question asked above that none of these MACE people want to answer. What has Lee or Sam King done about policy in Clayton.

I know the answer – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Any candidate supported by MACE is not one I want running anything with my tax dollars.

Essential Question

May 9th, 2009
1:43 pm

We have fourteen days to ask Heatley THE one essential question that will tell you ALL you need to know.

A student is severely disruptive, defiant, directly insubordinate, so a teacher refers the student to the office. An administrator walks the student back down a few moments later, with absolutely no consequences, and demands the student be allowed back into class.

The teacher, having written up the child for violations that warrant consequences under board policy, and more importantly, wishing to protect the sanctity of the classroom learning environment, refuses to let the student in.

Who does Heatley support?

If he has says FOR THE RECORD that he has the guts to stand up to CCPS administrators and support the teacher, you may indeed have a good candidate who understands discipline.

Fourteen days. If you REALLY want to know, the question MUST be asked.

Who cares about Trotter?

May 9th, 2009
2:03 pm

To those of you are obsessed with this Trotter person pro or con. Let it go the citizens of Clayton county do not give a damn about a Trotter one way ior another. Please stop using this blog and give the man a call yourself. We do not care to hear any more about him.

As for Heatley, Kudos to this board who obviously acted indepedently and made a sound choice based on their own research. I can not wait to see who was against him on the board. It will speak volumes.

CCBOE up to same tricks

May 9th, 2009
2:30 pm

District 3 – you’re wrong. Valya Lee is INTERIM superintendent, not superintendent, so laws don’t apply. Plus, Lewis was gone by the time her contract was approved by the Board, so she didn’t need $187,000 b/c Valya Lee and Brock had gotten rid of her so that Brock could take over as legal counsel (and, so that Lee could conveniently get a fat contract that wasn’t necessary).

Why so afraid?

May 9th, 2009
4:52 pm

Why does the following invoke so much VISCERAL FEAR that no one wants to deal with it?

“A student is severely disruptive, defiant, directly insubordinate, so a teacher refers the student to the office. An administrator walks the student back down a few moments later, with absolutely no consequences, and demands the student be allowed back into class.

The teacher, having written up the child for violations that warrant consequences under board policy, and more importantly, wishing to protect the sanctity of the classroom learning environment, refuses to let the student in.

Who does Heatley support?”

The question gets to the crux of what we need in a superintendent, yet not one of the current and former teachers on the board, to the best of my knowledge even THOUGHT to ask him, much less demand an answer.

Why so afraid? I would hope that as many citizens as possible will seek an answer to this, IF they are willing to make the candidate available.

They, having been in a classroom, know FIRST HAND the importance of the question. Why so afraid to ask it?

Before someone tries to respond by AVOIDING the question, or turning it into a partisan issue, I’m not saying that Sam King or Valya Lee would have a better answer that Heatley.

I’m saying that, if Heatley is the choice at this time, and you want to know if he is an advocate for REAL change, given what goes on in ClayCo’s classrooms today, the question MUST be asked, and it must be asked often, and by as many people possible.

ClayCo MUST have an answer to this question, to see if the candidate has the BACKBONE to take on the institutional dysfunction that currently does not support the teachers of CCPS.

It’s not a MACE question, a GAE question, a Lee question, a King question, or a Heatley question.

It’s a LONG OVERDUE question, and it’s high time someone ask the BOE why they haven’t asked it, and it’s time to ask it of ANY candidate, since the BOE apparently is too fearful to.

Same Old Crap

May 9th, 2009
8:44 pm

As you can tell by the above posts folks, the county is still loaded with misfits with there agenda’s. Ignore them.

A regular voter

May 9th, 2009
10:21 pm

This is pretty sad. Most of these comments here appear to be from people who work for CCPS or have some sort of direct interest in it (various insiders). I don’t see that many posts from the average Clayton county homeowner who has children in the CCPS. Thanks to all these incompetents that the voters of Clayton county voted in, my modest house lost over 50% of its value within just 2 years or so. The bad economy had a small roll the devaluation of residential properties in Clayco; losing the SACS accreditation was the by far the largest culprit. Also because of all this, I have my young elementary-aged son enrolled in a local church private school. I live in a high rental area and most of the rental houses stand vacant; some houses have been empty over a year. No one wants to move here, the ones with school-aged children are desperate to leave. All the home break-ins and high crime deter many people from “Clayco.” The biggest financial mistake of my life was buying an older home in Clayco in 2002 and taking this depreciation of my house. What a basket case, between this and the former Sheriff, Victor Hill, Clayco couldn’t get much worse, but I suspect it will. I am very bitter and willing to take the loss on the house to get out of here, even if I have to take a big loan. Even so, I wish success to this new Clayco Superintendent and hope he can straighten things out, but I have severe doubts due to all the revelations in some of the obviously dysfunctional thoughts found in the posts here.


May 10th, 2009
12:05 pm

You are correct “A Regular Voter”. My husband and I are in the same boat with a house that we can’t give away and private school costs while paying county school taxes. Yes we can celebrate the regained accreditation but this county’s abysmal academic statistics, a majority of inexperienced/uncertified teachers, low academic expectations, low parental involvement and widespread disciplinary problems must be seriously admitted to and addressed before credibility is regained. The dysfunctional school board was only a small part of the problem. I hope that the new super will realistically address these problems even if feelings are hurt in the process. Policies such as mandatory school uniforms are useless window dressing if the polo shirts are worn like dresses and the khakis are still sagging (seen on Riverdale Road). Restored accreditation or not Clayton County schools still have a long way to go.

KimWhit is right

May 10th, 2009
5:43 pm

Amen KimWhit. Heatly is probably just what Clayton County needs, but the dysfunctional Clayton County people will preclude him from being successful. Same old song being replayed over and over again.

And to the person who keeps reposting the same hypothetical about not letting the student back in class, there is no one answer; it would be very fact dependent – what specifically did the student do? What policy did the student violate? What are the consequences for the student violating the policy? There is no one answer based on your very vague hypothetical. Quit beating that drum! You are just looking for a reason not to support someone you don’t think you can control!

Yes there is one answer

May 10th, 2009
7:47 pm

If a student has caused a severe enough disruption to warrant being removed from class, then there is one clear answer when an administrator tries to walk him right back to class with ZERO consequences.

Why are you in such MORTAL FEAR of having this addressed?

It’s already been said the question should be asked of ANY candidate, so it has NOTHING to do with THIS candidate. Nice try to, as I suspected, AVOID the question.


May 11th, 2009
8:01 am

Stop Worrying, The ONLY question, Stand and deliver, Two questions for Political Spectator, Essential Question, Why so afraid?, Yes there is one answer….apparently the same person. It’s disingenuous to post with so many usernames. For consistency and clarity in our bantering, please pick one and stay with it. Thx!

For those of you still wanting Ms Lee and “Dr King”, read once again “…Advice for Dr. Heatley;… SACS stiputalated…that the person should have a mininmum of four years experience as a superintendent…”

John Stewart: You make some very valid and reasoned points. Dr Heatley does seem quite qualified. But, I still have to also ask, why would someone in their right mind choose Clayco over Reno, NV? Why would someone in their right mind say they “want” to come to Clayco (leave Calif)?


May 11th, 2009
4:23 pm

So much mis-information by Trotter supporters and the woefully under-informed. Suffice to say that the times that different Supers were in jeopordy – it was MACE and Trotter in the mix. When the super was pushed out by Nedra and the 4 (Trotter led MACE members) horsewomen of the Apocolyspe. There was MACE. Chavis was nothing but a puppet for the afore mentioned Nedra and when he found his Backbone – he was gone too. Again there was MACE. When the election cycle came around the Trotterites were defeated. We had 2 years of relative peace. Ms. Pulliam was brought in. Only after MACE CEO (what a joke) Noreese Haynes was voted in with sympathyzers Baines-Hunter and Sandra Scott, did we have the personal agenda group raise their ugly heads. Again – there was MACE. Hunter and Scott – were among those who brought in Dr. Thompson. Of course JT wants a local black for the job – He thinks he can flim-flam them the way he has many others and convinced to become MACE. The worst thing for JT – is to have a educated strong black man who is not stuck inside the “victim mentality” as so many in the South have become.

Good Luck Dr Heatley.

KimWhit is right

May 11th, 2009
5:46 pm

Jborodawg – Have you been to Reno, NV????? It is AWFUL!!!! I would never want to live there, or raise a family there!

Why so afraid?

May 11th, 2009
10:23 pm

Why so afraid of a simple question? If a teacher removed a serevely disruptive student, and an administrator tried to immediately return him to class with zero consequences, who would you support?

Why are people so resistant to asking this question?

Why is this question being spun as an attack on Heatley, when no one has claimed that King, Lee, or anyone else mentioned would have a better answer?

For that matter, why is it being spun as an attack on Heatley, when it very well could give him a chance to shine, and set a tone that would allow him to be welcomed with open arms?

Lastly, with the number of current and former teachers on the board who know first hand the legitimacy of the question, why aren’t the voters demanding not only that it be answered, but it be asked?

Will this be another case of citizens refusing to address an issue head on that leads to them getting what they fully and richly deserve?

Clayton Parent

May 12th, 2009
9:34 am

I was at the “Meet the Candidate” forum last week. Someone asked Dr. Heatley why he chose Clayton over Reno. He gave several reasons, but one was that he wanted to move to the East coast to be closer to his (and his wife’s) family. He also stated that he has received extensive training to oversee an urban school district. The Chino Valley School district is not urban.


May 12th, 2009
6:05 pm

Why so afraid,

May I ask you a hypothetical question? What if that same kid you are referring receives no referrals in his other five classes and the teacher you are referring to has such poor classroom management, poor instructional techniques, have no clue about creating boundaries for the high school age student and as a result the student only gets in trouble in that class. How do you suggest an administrator address the average MACE teacher described in this scenario?

… inquiring minds are anxious for your answer.

Why so afraid?

May 12th, 2009
6:18 pm

Why are we are still so very, very, afraid to ask a cadidate a simple question?

Given how the culture of lack of support of teachers in CCPS leads to low morale and high turnover and generally contributes to poor results all across the spectrum, there is no way you can make the case it isn’t a legitimate question.

Given the number of current and former teachers on the board, who know first hand how the lack of institutional support of teachers can destroy the culture of the learning environment, there is no legitimate excuse for them not asking it.

You can’t make the excuse that it’s designed to tear down a candidate, as it’s merely a question that addresses educational philosophy, as oppossed to making an attack on a specific individual.

Really what the question does, is ask if CCPS is committed to real institutional change, or just the facade of a change, which is all you will ever, ever, have until you address the institutional lack of support of teachers.

Maybe that’s why the question isn’t being asked. Too many people want a dog and pony show, instead of real reform that might upset the status quo.

Why so afraid? Just a question, a legitimate question. Why so afraid?

Political Spectator

May 12th, 2009
6:41 pm

Two questions for Political Spectator,

I take pride in being able to look at the issues before me with an objective view. That is why I can see Clayton County being used by Dr. Elgart for political gain.

Through those same lense, I can also see that MACE uses fear/negativity to attract members-”those big bad administrators are going to mistreat teachers;therefore,teachers should join MACE for protection”. That is Bull feces!!!!!

I compare MACE to Bush’s color coded terror alert system. Bush ordered terror alerts to scare the people when it was advantageous for his campaign. MACE uses discipline in the same way. MACE exploits this issue and over dramatize how the organization can help. After the poster board protests, then what?

As a parent,I have no respect for any organization that will advocate for the worst teachers to stay in the classroom. I do not care if it is GAE, Page or Mace.


May 13th, 2009
9:01 am

Valya Lee and Sam King would do well to disavow and refuse any support coming from the direction of John Trotter and his MACE constituents. They have been around long enough to know he and his ilk are poison for their futures.


May 13th, 2009
5:50 pm

Why so afraid,

You did not answer my question. I will ask it again- What if that same kid you are referring receives no referrals in his other five classes and the teacher you are referring to has such poor classroom management, poor instructional techniques, have no clue about creating boundaries for the high school age student and as a result the student only gets in trouble in that class. How do you suggest an administrator address the average MACE teacher described in this scenario?

… inquiring minds are anxious for your answer

Why so afraid?

May 13th, 2009
7:11 pm

Resolve, to answer your hypothetical. I’d say it’s in the students best interest to promote the mindset that the student is in control of his behavior choices. If he can adapt in five classes, he can find a strategy to behave in six.

But I wouldn’t just leave it at that. Obviously your situation raises a red flag. And, truth be told, walk into any school and you’ll see a class or two out of control because the teacher has no clue.

But, just as true, if not more true walk into the same school, and you see a small number of students in practically EVERY classroom who act as they have no clue. If it’s an entire class, you may want to look at the teacher. But if it’s a small group of students, and it’s the same group YEAR after YEAR with TEACHER after TEACHER, I think we know what time it is. Time for some BACKBONE!

Students know this, because even when they ACT like they don’t have a clue, they do indeed have a clue. And that clue is the administration has no BACKBONE. And if a student KNOWS that, then the teacher’s authority is undercut and ALL students suffer. Why should students who do the right thing, and parents who send students to school to do the right thing, have to suffer because CCPS doesn’t have the BACKBONE to deal with students who don’t learn, and parents who won’t parent?

If you want me to say there are cases where it is the teacher, and the teacher is a detriment to the school, fine. OF COURSE there are cases like that. But are they THE core problem when it comes to discipline?

Let me put it this way. If you trained the world’s best police department to make arrests, and the judicial system continually refused to prosecute the arrests the police made, would you continue to pour money into more police “training” or would you mandate that the prosecutors finally start SUPPORTING the efforts of the police with CONSEQUENCES?

That’s basically the dynamic that is going on in CCPS. And that’s why the question needs to be asked.

The thing is, people want to spin this as a MACE question when EVERYBODY should want this question asked, to get to the heart of the philosophy of any candidate.

Now, if we are so willing to ask questions on this blog, why are we willing to ask one simple question of a potential leader of CCPS on the core issue that affects the system most?


May 14th, 2009
8:00 pm

Why so afraid,

I actually believe that without structure/order/discipline effective teaching can not take place. In the words of Morgan Freeman in one of my favorite movies. “discipline is not the enemy of enthusiasm”.

You lose my support when you present a VERY narrow view of this issue. I am not convinced that every administrator acts in the way that you describe just like I do not believe every teacher is unable to handle his/her classroom in the way that I described.

When you paint with a broad brush and people can point out multiple exceptions, you lose credibility. On the other hand, your purpose may be to drum up new business for a profit organization that attracts new members by harping on discipline.

Why so afraid?

May 16th, 2009
4:20 pm


As far as the VERY narrow view. It’s very narrow because SOMEBODY needs to articulate the view. One only has to look at the number of current and former teachers on the board who know FIRST HAND the importance of supporting the classroom teacher, yet they’ve done NOTHING to address the issue.

And no, this isn’t directed AT teachers, only advocating FOR teachers by educating the public at large. Teachers know first hand how the LACK of support affects them. Yet if they choose to make the largest organization in ClayCo one run by administrators, and then sit around and complain about teaching conditions, what can you do? They can complain all they want, but in reality, they are getting exactly what they CHOOSE to pay for in terms of LACK of advocacy.

But the average citizen doesn’t know first hand, the DEVASTATION caused by lack of support for teachers in the classroom. And I’m afraid the term MARINE is just the newest version of out of town snake oil that has poisoned ClayCo education for years.

It is quite logical to think a Marine might have discipline at the forefront of his agenda, and this guy very well might, but it does NOT follow by logical definition that it is so. It also does NOT follow by logical definition that to ask where this guy stands is somehow pushing a Vayla Lee or Sam King canidacy. In fact you can make the case the opposite is true, because asking the finalist could indeed give the guy a chance to SHINE, and enter office with a REAL mandate, but only IF people are willing to ask the question.

So again why are citizens SO afraid to ask a simple question that could speak VOLUMES on where he stands on the checks and balances of supporting the classroom teacher vs. supporting the administrative agenda?

Why so afraid? Why so afraid to ask the BOE what THEY haven’t asked the question?

A week’s worth of being blasted, yet still NO ONE can explain why it is NOT a legitimate question.

New Board, Same Antics

May 19th, 2009
7:37 pm

It’s not legitimate b/c YOU’RE asking it and you have an agenda (CEP).