Interim school superintendent Brad Bryant begins other job: Independent candidate in November.

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:

Friends:

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,

Brad

53 comments Add your comment

you are kidding ??

June 23rd, 2010
8:21 am

this guy was appointed by the Sonny who vetoed getting rid of 1st and 2nd grade CRCTs. If you like the way education is going in GA (bottom of the list) and K. Cox is your hero; by all means support BRAD

Gee, BRAD, it seems you rescued so many; “nationally recongnized” is a laugh; one size fits all; Math… ; support local school systems

OMG are we even talking about the same state or are you delusional, BRAD?

Morrus

June 23rd, 2010
8:37 am

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.

schooled

June 23rd, 2010
8:40 am

This guy also supports the RTTT application that is being forced on the teachers and students in Georgia. From what I understand he sat on the board that approved one diploma and Math 123. I think Math 123 is “nationally recognized” as a failure in other states. The one diploma system is a one size fits all for students in Georgia. Georgia students need options.

Dunwoody Mom

June 23rd, 2010
8:47 am

Maureen, have you heard any names mentioned to replace Bryant on the BOE?

Mikey D

June 23rd, 2010
8:48 am

So in other words, he’s not really going to be doing the business of running our education department while he’s in office. He’s simply going to be trying to collect signatures and campaign. That’s perfect. Another fine decision by sonny-boy. The prerequisite for taking this job should have been NOT running for it permanently. That way, we could have had someone genuinely interested in beginning the cleanup of cox’s mess while the others campaigned. Get ready for 6 months of nothing getting accomplished. Sort of like the past 8 years.

What a joke

June 23rd, 2010
8:52 am

What a joke!!

Attentive Parent

June 23rd, 2010
9:00 am

The State DOE he is taking credit for turning around is the same one a federal Inspector General in January 2007 cited as being disorganized and poorly run.

Hello?

The phrase “saying it doesn’t make it so” comes to mind.

Maureen Downey

June 23rd, 2010
9:00 am

@Dunwoody, I have not heard. But I haven’t checked. I would assume that Brad Bryant would make a recommendation to the governor. It would have to be someone who shared the governor’s life view.
Maureen

catlady

June 23rd, 2010
9:04 am

Still not impressed. What he lists as his accomplishments I would think he would want to largely DOWN-play.

As to getting the signatures, I am sure that won’t be hard. For some folks, all you have to do is put the petition in front of them and tell them he is a Republican who won’t raise taxes, and they will sign.

TW

June 23rd, 2010
9:07 am

“Today, we have a nationally-recognized, strategically-driven Department of Education that supports local school systems to improve student learning”

Mr Bryant should buy his weed from somebody else.

Education officials at the state level have screwed the schools at every turn for the last decade. That he would try to distance himself from the ilk by running as an independent only underscores his dishonesty.

The problem at the state level is simple – there’s no such thing as an anti-government advocate for public education.

This filth simply wants to keep Georgia stupid so we’ll keep buying their crap.

An advocate for public education change & choice

June 23rd, 2010
9:27 am

@ Mikey D: You hit the nail right on the head my friend. This was a shadow appointment by the Gov Purdue. Expect that the run as an independant will consume enough of his time to make him realtively in-effective taking over for Ms. Cox. The State BOE is on auto-pilot in large part until after the election.

@ Maureen: If Gov Purdue appoints a new State BOE before his term ends how long would that individual be able to hold the post before the incoming governor could appoint someone else? Just a curious question, as I can’t recall the length of appointments to the State BOE.

gojoe

June 23rd, 2010
9:32 am

What we need is someone who is interested in furthering education instead of people who are trying to feather their own nest. Sonny perdue hasn’t helped education a bit but takes monies that should be earmarked for education and put it in his own projects.

What we need is some good honest people in government who don’t put their parties first.

Dr. John Trotter

June 23rd, 2010
9:33 am

Brad is a nice guy. I like him. But, he needs to be totally forthcoming. He brought the failed (yes, a complete failure in Birmingham, Alabama) Johnny Brown to DeKalb where he was also a failure; he, I believe, was heading up the DeKalb board when Crawford Lewis was surprisingly appointed as Superintendent; he, along with fellow State Board member James Bostic, SACS’s Mark Elgart, and attorney Glenn Brock, met illegally behing closed doors with the old Clayton County Board of Education which, ironically, was removed by Sonny Perdue because it met on a couple of occasions behind closed doors in contravention to the Open Meetings Law. Hmm. But, the Cobb County Board of Education (also legally guided by this same attorney, Glenn Brock) met illegally 57 times. Hmm. For some reason, I always thought that people (perhaps like Brad and Elgart and Brock) were just using the Clayton Board as a stepping stone for some career advancement or monetary gain. Was I right?

Dunwoody Mom

June 23rd, 2010
9:41 am

Sorry, Dr. John Trotter, Brad Bryant is an excellent choice for this position. And not everyone agrees that Johnny Brown was a “failure”.

Vince

June 23rd, 2010
9:49 am

Brad Bryant is a good man.

What a joke

June 23rd, 2010
9:50 am

I hope the other Superintendent candidates are given equal advertising space in the AJC. What better way to get your message out across the state-free. Amazing that the Dunwoody Mom praises both Bryant and Brown. This has got to be Brock.

Supporter

June 23rd, 2010
9:53 am

You won’t find a harder working man with the right interest for GA kids than Brad.

Dr. John Trotter

June 23rd, 2010
10:02 am

I never said that Brad Bryant was a “bad” choice; I just want him to be fully forthcoming. Now I totally disagree with you on Johnny Brown. Terrible superintendent. Terrible…just like Crawford Lewis and Beverly Hall and Alvin Wilbanks and Edmond Heatley and Fred Sanderson. There guys are terrible. I just as soon have Brad Bryant as any of the other candidates for State Superintendent. None will make a difference. None, including Brad Bryant, have the guts to make and execute the unpopular decisions to bring order back into our urban and larger school systems. Student discipline is out of control.

Personally, I like Brad. He is hard not to like. He is truly a nice guy. But, he needs to learn to return phone calls. He also needs to be more forthcoming about his “educational” background. He was trained in the law. (He and I both graduated from Mercer Law; he chose to practice law and I did not.) But, in recent years, he appears to have taken a special interest in public education. This is commendable. But, just because David Stern has a special interest in basketball does not mean that he can play the game.

Brad M.

June 23rd, 2010
10:07 am

I’m voting for Repulican Richard Woods. Richard has years of classroom and administrative experience, he’s not a “politictian”. He’s not connected to anyones agenda, his priority is the students, and he is a devoted Christian.We don’t need another Atlanta pawn.

aintnosheeple

June 23rd, 2010
10:20 am

Brad may be a good man, but I can’t vote for anyone that supports RTT, 123 math, and our own homegrown tests.

catlady

June 23rd, 2010
10:26 am

“strategically-driven” sounds good, but what is the strategy? To help Georgia kids, or to cut public school funding to drive the rest of the middle class out of public school, then gut the schools?

How long does he have to get the signatures? Around here, for the local election in November, they have a couple of weeks.

catlady

June 23rd, 2010
10:28 am

When is the RTT announcement?

catlady

June 23rd, 2010
10:29 am

Oops, can’t spell RTtT.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by . said: [...]

Dr. John Trotter

June 23rd, 2010
10:38 am

Maureen: Why was my last comment (about 30 or 40 minuters ago) “filterized”? I have now finished taking my vitamins, and I’m ready to kick some _ss. LOL. Actually, I have been away from the blogs quite a bit this summer. Too busy. But, when I have time, I do like to visit and make occasional comments (not as many — not by a longgggggggggggggg shot — as “Soren Yawn”). Keep up the good work! Brad, you’re going to have to hustle to get all of those verifiable signatures.

Dunwoody shill

June 23rd, 2010
10:38 am

But of course Dunwoody mom can’t offer any reasons Bryant is a good choice.

And Johnny Brown? Now someone’s got jokes.

Dr. John Trotter

June 23rd, 2010
10:43 am

Maureen, my last two comments were captured by the Filter Monster. Is there an APB out on all of my posts? LOL.

Maureen Downey

June 23rd, 2010
11:45 am

@Catlady, RTTT will be announced in September.

Let's stop pretending

June 23rd, 2010
12:02 pm

And what does Bryant say about discipline? Nothing. Let’s get real; you can no more talk solutions in public schools without addressing discipline, than you can talk solutions in Afghanistan without address the Taliban.

Of course Maureen will say it’s not a “pressing issue” which just proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that she’s never had to walk the walk.

Brad Bryant doesn't pass the smell test

June 23rd, 2010
12:07 pm

Look at this quote to see how disingenuous Bryant is.

BEFORE IT EVEN HAPPENED, bloggers were telling anybody who would listen that what happened in Clayton was a POLITICAL POWER PLAY-enabled and abetted of course by the foolishness of Ericka Davis, Rod Johnson and others.

But the reality is YOU WERE TOLD that accreditation would A) be removed AFTER the 2008 senior class graduated and B) would be RESTORED BEFORE the 2009 seniors graduated.

So much for THE LIE that Bryant wants to put out that people thought Clayton’s accreditation would “never” be restored.

Never, Brad Bryant?

Fact check

June 23rd, 2010
12:09 pm

Speaking of Clayton, why is the AJC being silent on the allegations made that the board chair has engaged in illegal activity? Sure, the AJC reported that there were allegations, but if the board chair is innocent of all charges, shouldn’t the AJC also make that fact known?

Maureen Downey

June 23rd, 2010
12:19 pm

@Let’s stop, I think I said that I don’t think it is the most pressing issue.
Still don’t.
Maureen

do u smell whats cookin

June 23rd, 2010
2:15 pm

i dont see how the state of GA is even in the running for RTtT? 23 counties out of 180? Lets see 400 million divided by 180 = 2.2 million for each county; and a ton of strings that go along with that. Hmmm, it just seems some of that money will be tied up in ATL going to admin, testing companies,

Heck, the state leg. has even figured out a way to give students PT test now. Some company will come in and tell parents what healthy is.Issue a report card and take more money from the classroom teacher. If a parent cant tell if their own child is fat, Im sorry dont be a parent.

By when

June 23rd, 2010
2:29 pm

By when does he have to have those signatures? 44 thousand? That’s a lot. How do we know that they are all legitimate signatures? Who checks the signatures for their validity? He also needs to make sure that the people write in their county, or Mary Norwood’s nemesis will have a field day.

Mikey D

June 23rd, 2010
2:30 pm

Maureen-
Without discipline, none of the other pressing issues matter.

DeKalb Mom

June 23rd, 2010
3:07 pm

Brad Bryant is a good, honest man & genuinely has the best interest of Georgia students & teachers at heart. He is a product of DeKalb schools, & his wife is employed by DeKalb schools & has been affected by budget crunches.
There is no hidden agenda here, people.

ScienceTeacher671

June 23rd, 2010
6:57 pm

He sounds delusional to me, and I don’t trust anyone who signed on to further Sonny’s agenda.

Maureen Downey

June 23rd, 2010
7:03 pm

ScienceTeacher, After observing lawmakers in four states, I think being delusional is a prerequisite for the job.
Maureen

Decatur Voter

June 23rd, 2010
8:04 pm

I echo the comments from DeKalb Mom — Brad is quite knowledgeable about the school system and cares deeply about the welfare of the children within the state of Georgia. He is a fantastic leader!

Stop the negative talk

June 23rd, 2010
8:14 pm

STOP all the negative talk. It is about time that the children and teachers of Georgia have a leader who really cares. I believe that is Brad Bryant.

Dr. John Trotter

June 23rd, 2010
8:45 pm

A lack of discipline in the schools is THE issue, but none of the policy-makers or politicians have the guts to address this overwhelming issue. The private schools thrive because they do not put up with the foolishness of incorrigible “students.” The thugs are ruining our schools. The administrators are afraid of the thug parents and the thug students. Just that simple.

td

June 23rd, 2010
9:12 pm

He is an attorney and has never taught. 2 strikes and you are out. Plus, if he wanted to run he should have signed up and qualified under a party. I think both parties should be miffed that this guy and Sonny thinks they can avoid the process and get their way.

do u smell whats cookin

June 23rd, 2010
10:38 pm

@mom and others

to say there is no hidden agenda is like saying Isreal has no “hit” squads; that there are no prostitutes at the mall of GA; that we are winning the war on drugs; or there no illegals here in GA.

there is always an endgame

like Obama passing healthcare before he gives amensity; if you cant figure out why he wanted healthcare done first then you are truly lost

Maureen the disingenious

June 23rd, 2010
11:09 pm

Maureen wants to claim that discipline in not “the most pressing issue” but won’t acknowledge she has never, once ever written a single column devoted strictly to addressing the lack of authority teachers have when it comes to holding chronically and severely disruptive students accountable, without fear of administrative retaliation.

Never.

Once.

Ever.

That’s because Maureen is either A) still scarred by the nuns who schooled her or B) completely unable to grasp the problem because she has never had to walk the walk.

But to claim merely that it’s not “the most pressing issue” is a the most disingenuous way possible to avoid accountability for dodging the issue.

But if the readers won’t call her on it, and demand the newspaper won’t call the candidates on it, well…

Maureen the spellchecked

June 23rd, 2010
11:11 pm

Of course that should have read Maureen the disingenuous.

DeKalb Mom

June 23rd, 2010
11:26 pm

Kathy Cox resigned after the deadline for a candidate to qualify in a particular party, which is why he is running as an independent.

Maureen Downey

June 23rd, 2010
11:29 pm

@Maureen the spellchecked, I liked disingenious. Maureen

@Maureen

June 24th, 2010
12:08 am

Maureen, though we vociferously disagree philosophically, we do give you credit for, even when the full arsenal of the thesaurus is unleashed, and the rhetoric is turned up to 11 on the Spinal Tap volume meter, you still post it.

God only knows what you say of your bloggers when you discuss this column with your coworkers and friends. LOL

On the other hand, even mere mortals have a pretty good idea of what you, in retrospect, would find to be the “most pressing issues” if you had to walk the same walk tens of thousands of Georgia teachers walk every day.

Imagine a Maureen Downey, freed from the constraints of the AJC agenda, and armed with the first hand experience daily life in the classroom. Now THAT might be a blog that people would even be willing to pay to read!

BABY SAY

June 24th, 2010
1:27 am

DAT BEE TURE @MOREEN. U TELL IT LIK IT IZ BOUT DIZCEEPLIN…….AJC NO WANNA HEER OR HAV NO IDEAR WHUT IT BE BOUT!!! TURE. GONNA GO DOWN TU PURTY LAND TUMORROO. JAMS cOX– -HE TRYED BEE GUVNA OHIO IN 1924 OR 28. BUT GIV US AJC. HE OK WIT MEE.

schooled

June 24th, 2010
10:15 am

I would encourage anyone that doesn’t believe discipline is the major issue plaguing education to spend a day, a week or a month in a high school classroom. As a teacher standing in the hallway between classes you see numerous dress code violations, students eating and drinking, public displays of affection between students, inappropriate language, not to mention all sorts of other misbehaviors. Yes, all of these behaviors are addressed in the Code of Conduct at the beginning of school. As theses students enter the classroom they continue this disruptive behavior as the teacher attempts to start class. Multiple students come into class late due to tardiness or trips to the office for misbehavior in classes. The teacher must try to teach as some students talk even though they have been asked to stop, some students sleep, others have their attention focues on the banned cellphone in their purse or pocket. Homework is a joke because student just refuse to do it. The teacher might have planned a lesson with a great introduction to activate prior knowledge. He or she may have worked hours in advance planning an awesome cooperative grouping activity only to have students refuse to take part or work with a certain person in the room. At the end of the lesson let’s by all means assess for understanding??? After all of the disruptions, lack of participation, interruptions from the intercom, and trips to the restroom who could learn? I’m sure you are thinking why doesn’t the teacher just write up the student? She/he has multiple times and the student is back in class after a conference or useless time spent in ISS. What’s a teacher to do? You want to pay the teacher according to whether or not these students pass? Feel sorry for the students that came to class on time and followed the rules. If you don’t think discipline is the BIGGEST issue facing educators then you haven’t spent much time in a school. Why isn’t anything being done about these behaviors? We want to keep everyone one in school so we can increase the graduation rate. This drives everything from discipline to setting cut scores on state test.