The AJC invited the candidates for state school superintendent to answer four questions, which appeared in the weekend newspaper and here on the Get Schooled blog. (Look back a few entries and the candidates are listed one by one.) Newly appointed interim superintendent Brad Bryant declined, saying that he was not yet officially on the ballot as an independent candidate as he had to first collect 44,000 signatures to earn a spot.
He is now in search of those signatures. See the e-mail that Bryant is sending out to supporters that serves both as a resume of his achievements and a call to arms:
As Kay and I celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary this week, we are so very thankful for your friendship. The last week has been extremely exciting because it confirms what the two of us already knew – that Georgians across this state are passionate about providing our children with a great education. We look back at our adult lives and are proud that education has been a priority at all times. We see our reward in our children and yours.
By July 13th, we must collect the signatures of more than 44,000 registered Georgia voters to qualify for the general election. Each and everyone one of you can play a part in this effort.
Here’s what you can do to help:
1). REPLY TO THIS EMAIL WITH YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION AND HOW MANY SIGNATURES YOU WILL COMMIT TO OBTAINING OVER THE NEXT 3 WEEKS.
2). Forward this email on to your friends, family, and colleagues and enlist their support.
This campaign will be a daunting task – some say impossible. But we choose not to dwell upon the possibility of failure because we know there will be real consequences if we sit back and do nothing. Skeptics told us:
- DeKalb County Public Schools would not emerge from decades-old desegregation when I ran for my local board position. We went to the United States Supreme Court and won. We then worked out our differences with DeKalb stakeholders and the cased was settled without further appeals;
- The Georgia Department of Education was “too broken to be fixed” in 2003 when I went to work with Kathy Cox and fellow State Board Members. With hard work, we transformed the Department culture of disorganization and mistrust. Today, we have a nationally-recognized, strategically-driven Department of Education that supports local school systems to improve student learning;
- Clayton County Public Schools would not regain its accreditation and there was no way to right the ship on their severely dysfunctional board. State Board Member Jim Bostic and I went to work with key partners in Clayton County and the State and helped put in place an entirely new board that regained accreditation.
To the skeptics, I agree that we still have a lot to do. I agree that the task that lies ahead will not come easy. Daunting . . . perhaps. Achievable . . . absolutely.
We need all who believe that education should be a priority to offer their assistance and we need your help today. I promise not to let you down.
Please help support Georgia’s children by:
1). REPLYING TO THIS EMAIL WITH YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION AND INDICATING HOW MANY SIGNATURES YOU WILL COMMIT TO OBTAINING OVER THE NEXT 3 WEEKS.
2). Forwarding this email on to your friends, family, and colleagues and enlist their support.
We will get petition forms and instructions to you ASAP.
Thank you in advance for your help and support,