Will teachers back Barnes?

Former Gov. Roy Barnes announced his candidacy for governor Wednesday — seeking back the office he held before losing to current Gov. Sonny Perdue in 2002.

Pundits and others say Barnes lost that re-election because teachers were angry with him. Teachers feuded with Barnes over his plans to increase accountability or take away tenure.

Of course accountability is now standard in all schools because of No Child Left Behind.

While teachers turned to Perdue in 2002, many have since become some of his strongest critics.

Perdue has implemented across-the-board cuts, holding back some of the money all school districts should receive under the state’s school funding formula.  Since 2003, Georgia schools have lost about $2 billion in “austerity cuts.”

Teachers challenged Perdue on other issues, such as proposal to eliminate bonuses for teachers with National Board Certification. (A compromise was reached during the Legislative session.)

What do you think of Barnes running for office? Will teachers support him this time?

NOTE: A co-worker is looking for students who have listened to audiobooks downloaded from iTunes to do their required summer reading or plan to do so this summer. If you can help or know someone who would be good for the story, please contact Ken Sugiura at ksugiura@ajc.com.

32 comments Add your comment


June 4th, 2009
8:08 am

From an education perspective, I think he has a good shot. I seem to recall he may have served on a few national education committees, which should definitely help with his appeal to the educators in the state.

While this is an education blog, we must not forget of other challenges that have not been addressed such as transportation and healthcare, among others. The next governor must address those as they are critical issues that impact our quality of life.

Turd Ferguson

June 4th, 2009
8:08 am

Say No To Barnes

June 4th, 2009
8:15 am

The bottom line is, Barnes did everything in his power to demonize teachers, for his own personal political gain, yet did nothing to support them.

Barnes, by abolishing fair dismissal rights, basically declared open season on teachers, and further eroded the teacher’s authority in the classroom which, as much as any other factor, is the biggest obstacle to quality education in public schools in Georgia today.

When the apologists deny this, ask them to point to a single specific policy implemented by Barnes that had a direct, tangible effect on supporting teachers and their authority in the classroom.

They won’t; because they can’t.

Barnes a psuedo reform shill

June 4th, 2009
8:25 am

If you need any further proof that Barnes absolutely does not get it, look at this quote from the AJC article on his announcement.

“The teachers who were angry at him over his plans for increased accountability or loss of tenure have come to work and thrive in just those environments, thanks to federal and state programs like No Child Left Behind, Barnes said.”

Anybody who thinks teachers, or for that matter students are “thriving” thanks to No Child Left Behind is nothing more than a status quo hack, no matter how much he wants to portray himself as an expert on education.

So called education experts who push pseudo reform, because they don’t have the integrity to address real reform, are a big enough cancer on the public education system as it is. We sure don’t need yet another one in the Governor’s Mansion.

Turd Ferguson

June 4th, 2009
8:28 am

Barnes doenst deserve a 2nd chance…plus he wears too much lipstick.

Earnest are you kidding?

June 4th, 2009
10:25 am

Earnest you must be kidding. Do you really think serving on a few committees that pretend to discuss education reform, while ignoring the real obstacles to education reform is going to impress anyone who has to walk the walk on a daily basis?

Do you really think a former governor who abolished fair dismissal rights in a state where administrative retaliation is rampant, is going to appeal to teachers when he did nothing to address their concerns?

Do you think that Barnes, who did nothing to support teachers subjected to routine verbal abuse and even physical assaults without consequences to students, but instead made them the scapegoat for the systemic failure of the educational system is really going to appeal to anyone who has a clue to what is happening in today’s schools?

Has a second April Fool’s Day been added to the calendar?


June 4th, 2009
10:58 am

It may boil down to which candidate is the lesser of two evils.

Where is GAE?

June 4th, 2009
11:04 am

Why hasn’t GAE come out and said that they fully expect Barnes to support fair dismissal rights as part of any education platform?

And are dues paying members of GAE holding them accountable by demanding they do so?

[...] Get Schooled | ajc.com – [...]

Joy in Teaching

June 4th, 2009
12:35 pm

Perdue has been continuing the tradition that Barnes started in screwing over teachers. Hopefully, teachers won’t fall for his song and dance routine again.


June 4th, 2009
12:40 pm

I’m voting for Nathan Deal. I don’t think Barnes deserves a second chance.

jim d

June 4th, 2009
12:48 pm

if teachers do —they will get exactly what they deserve


June 4th, 2009
1:01 pm

I can’t see why they would when they have a far better choice — DuBose Porter.

Alice Cooper

June 4th, 2009
1:42 pm

Hey RATROY…chew on this lil morsel…

Well we got no choice
All the girls and boys
Makin all that noise
‘Cause they found new toys
Well we can’t salute ya
Can’t find a flag
If that don’t suit ya
That’s a drag

School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
School’s been blown to pieces

No more pencils
No more books
No more teacher’s dirty looks

Well we got no class
And we got no principles
And we got no innocence
We can’t even think of a word that rhymes

School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
School’s been blown to pieces


June 4th, 2009
1:57 pm

Not just NO, but HELL NO!


June 4th, 2009
1:59 pm

No to Barnes–we haven’t forgotten; no to anyone associated in any way with Perdue.

[...] Read the rest here: Will teachers back Barnes? | Get Schooled [...]


June 4th, 2009
2:34 pm

I agree with catlady. However, there is one more name to add to the list…No to Kathy Cox.


June 4th, 2009
3:59 pm

Amen, teacher and mom. Barnes’ only hope is due to the high turnover of teachers, so the new ones, without the history on him, might vote for him. We must be sure the word gets out on his prior actions.


June 4th, 2009
4:35 pm

It will be interesting to see if Roy plays up the National Board Certification since he has served as the chairman for this national organization for the last 6 years. If he guarantees the 10% pay raise to those who achieve this (roughly 2500 teachers currently in GA), he will probably have their support since it was Perdue who tried to cut it this year in the GA legislature. Roy-Beware of teachers, their families and friends-we do get out and vote and if you mess with our paychecks and retirement, you will hear from us!


June 4th, 2009
5:34 pm

DuBose Porter fought for the National Board Certification Program this year. Here’s what he said during the 2009 legislative session about the bill to cut it: “We should not eliminate National Board Certification for our teachers. Teachers throughout Georgia have gone through this rigorous program because they know it will improve their skills in the classroom. This is another step backward for our future citizens. This legislature has once again damaged Georgia’s prosperity in the future by cutting education today.” Please take a look at his record on education during the past 27 years, and I think you’ll see he’s who Georgia needs as Governor. He has worked hard both to improve and grant greater access to PreK-12, college, AND vocational education (which is too often overlooked).

Notice what Barnes hasn't done

June 4th, 2009
6:30 pm

Ask anybody who truly knows education, and they’ll tell you one of the major, if not the major problem that stands out, is the erosion of the teacher’s authority.

Yet notice the Barnes’ shills on the various blogs, when asked to name one specific policy or proposal Barnes has come up with to address this, and they consistently come up with nothing.

And this is the guy who’s trying to reinvent himself as an education advocate?


June 4th, 2009
8:01 pm

no. there’s no way. he can’t sell enough revisionist history to get the teacher vote in GA ever again.

Dr. John Trotter

June 4th, 2009
8:33 pm

Roy Barnes is a smart man, but I just don’t think that he gets it. The problem in public education is not “standards.” It’s “discipline,” Governor. The schools are chaotic, especially in the more urban settings. This is just the truth. No way to dress it up. Students curse out the teachers, are defiant on a regular basis, won’t even bring a pencil or paper to class (much less books), bully fellow students and the teachers, and are simply not engaged in academe. This is not true of all the students, but this is the general rule with the many thugs who are both running and ruining our public schools. Governor, there are four main problems in public education, and if you could come to grips with these problems and not offer up the easy political answer for failing public schools (like “We need highter and stricter standards”), then I could possibly support you, my fellow Bulldog. You, dear Governor Barnes, are very smart, efficient, and effective in governing but if you cannot come to grips with the real problems in public schooling, I can do no other except to work against your election. These are the preeminent problems in public schooling in Georgia (and probably across America) today: (1) Defiant and Disruptive Students; (2) Irate and Irresponsible Parents; (3) Angry and Abusive Administrators; and (4) Widespread and Systematic Cheating on Grading and Testing. Now, Governor Barnes, if you would accept this reality and start pounding the theme that you want to restore the authority of the teachers in their classrooms and that you want to remove the thugs from our schools, then you will realize that the same teachers who work so hard against you in 2002 (and who are still so reluctant to accept your candidacy now) would jump on your bandwagon and go to work for you. Learn something from the Bill Clinton playbook after he was turned out of office in Arkansas and was the youngest ex-Governor in (perhaps the history of) America. Just apologize to the teachers and quit using them as political fodder. You teacher-(like race)baited in 2002. It back-fired on you in 2002, and it will destroy you again if you do not demonstrate to the teachers of Georgia that you have finally seen the light. Swallow that pride, show some genuine remorse (ala Mike Vick), and your fortunes (at least among teachers) will probably change. If you don’t, then you don’t at your own politcal peril. Teachers do vote, and they also persuade others. (c) MACE, 2009

Please educate Maureen Downey

June 4th, 2009
9:56 pm

Can someone please educate Maureen “Yes I am a bed wetter when it comes to students’ defiant behavior; blame it on my unresolved issues with those mean Catholic school teachers who wouldn’t let me engage in my own whiny behavior” Downey, in regard to her latest column?

Friend of your son were NOT arrested for tossing a water balloon. Read your own article. They were arrested for disobeying a DIRECT ORDER from a police officer.

With lapses in logic like the one above, no wonder Downey has turned down numerous offers to debate education issues, even as the AJC tries to position her as their resident expert.

I wonder if Wooten hides in head in shame when Downey makes yet another excuse for our societies permissive behavior?


June 4th, 2009
10:31 pm

I don’t think teachers are the only people in the state who still have unhappy memories of “King Roy”…

Dr. Craig Spinks /Evans

June 5th, 2009
1:56 am

Hopefully, in the 2010 gubernatorial election both We, the People of Georgia, and our former governor will make amends for our mistakes made during the 2002 governor’s race.

NF Teacher

June 5th, 2009
1:09 pm

No way will I vote for Barnes. I will not forget how he intimated that all the problems with GA education were the fault of the teachers.


June 7th, 2009
6:43 pm

Everyone hates this guy. Why does he think he should even run again? He was horrible in office and has been a corporate lawyer since he left office. Suing the citizens of Georgia for out of state corporations has not helped his horrible image since leaving office.

jim d

June 9th, 2009
1:14 pm


“Why does he think he should even run again?”

Because like every good politican he realizes how short voters memory’s are. He fully understands that MOST teachers can’t even tell you why they didn’t support him the last time.


June 10th, 2009
9:57 am

Dubose Porter for Governor of Georgia!

candy d

June 10th, 2009
4:46 pm

I will not vote for Barnes. I remember! I am a teacher, we have no support from our principal, GAE (David Shutton) and county administrators. Why put another person in office who is not going to support teachers.