It’s official: Brad Bryant will not run for state school superintendent

Statement from Brad Bryant on falling short of needed signatures to get on ballot:

The Bryant for Kids campaign announced this morning that it will not file a petition seeking access to the statewide ballot in Georgia by today’s noon deadline.   During its three weeks of activity, the campaign collected more than 36,000 signatures from a largely volunteer effort.   However, the total number of signatures collected is not enough to make a valid filing with the Georgia Secretary of State under Georgia’s extremely restrictive ballot access laws.

Georgia School Superintendent Brad Bryant made the following statement, and will be available for interviews this afternoon at the Georgia Association for Educational Leadership (GAEL) conference on Jekyll Island, where he is scheduled to speak:

“Kay and I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and dedication of those who have volunteered on this campaign.  We will be forever grateful for their commitment to public education.  Over the course of three weeks we garnered over 36,000 signatures of men and women from all over the State of Georgia.  Without thinking of their own summer plans, these volunteers threw themselves into the challenge of helping me get on the ballot.  This has been a truly humbling experience, and I will always remember the fantastic efforts of my friends, family and supporters. I am firmly convinced that our efforts are indicative of the widespread support for public education in this state and I am encouraged that this spirit will continue to bear fruit in the years to come.

The next steps are clear. For the remainder of my term as Superintendent, I will use the same passion that fueled this campaign to ensure we are focused on improving student achievement for all Georgia students.

In a short period of time, we built a strong campaign and I want everyone who participated in that effort to know we fully intend to continue to use this momentum to positively change education in Georgia.   While this phase of the effort may be over, the goal remains no less important, and there will be numerous opportunities in the months ahead for all of us to be involved in changing things for the better.”

Democratic candidate Joe Martin issued his own statement upon hearing that Bryant is out:

Since he did not submit a petition to run as an independent candidate in November, Brad Bryant will now be able to concentrate on the important work of interim State School Superintendent over the next six months. He is a friend and a good person, and I know he will do well in this role. It is unfortunate that he was asked to be part of an effort to continue the influence of the outgoing governor, but we can now move on. Georgia needs a new direction in education.

72 comments Add your comment

Maureen you tried so hard

July 13th, 2010
12:01 pm

You really tried so hard to push the agenda Maureen. And to think, if only a tenth of your readers had bought into your vision, he’d be on the ballot.

Maureen don't be so angry

July 13th, 2010
12:11 pm

Maureen I know you must be bitterly disappointed that you couldn’t push your get Brad Bryant on the ballot agenda, even more so when you realize it would have taken only one tenth of your readers to buy into your vision.

By why take it out on AJC Public Editor Shawn McIntosh? Why publicly humiliate her by refusing to pass along the following question:

If, in a letter to the editor, a person defending an organization self identifies as a former employee (and therefore it can be inferred by readers that they have no current financial interest in defending the company) and it turns out that the letter writer has a current financial relationship with the organization, should the editor of the letters section point that out in a subsequent issue?

Wouldn’t a Public Editor relish the chance to interact with the public, and assure the public that journalistic ethics is taken seriously at the AJC? If so, then why humiliate her by not inviting her to address it here?

Or is it that your really trying to save her from humiliation, in that you have no confidence she can answer a simple, direct question, or worse any legitimate follow ups, in a way that the readers of this blog will find credible?

Attentive Parent

July 13th, 2010
12:34 pm

Another casualty of Kathy Cox’s blind personal ambition.

Those who have noted Stephen Pruitt’s departure from to the State DOE to go to work for ACHIEVE in DC should note this Ed Week story.

Apparently pushing the fuzzy math frameworks in Georgia while claiming you are pushing greater rigor makes one experienced to now push fuzzy science nationally while claiming you are raising the bar.

Isn’t it interesting how pushing and misrepresenting certain unfounded educational practices can be so lucrative for adults even though it’s detrimental to the futures of so many children?

Since Mr Bryant’s tenure will only be 6 months, maybe he can use it as an opportunity to start taking some hard looks into the reality behind the rhetoric at the state DOE.

Best of luck.

Attentive Parent

July 13th, 2010
1:17 pm

As Mr Bryant and the candidates turn their attention to the actual implementation of the Common Core standards here’s another article documenting the poor outcomes, expensive tests, and conflicts involved with Common Core and the Partnership for 21st century Learning that’s affiliated with it.

Also if you think I’m being harsh when I refer to these practices as unfounded, you might want to look into the lack of success of the Microsoft sponsored school in Philadelphia or the closing of the Stanford affiliated and Linda Darling-Hammond sponsored school.

Can anyone show a school or state where these ideas being pushed at great expense do work?

Do we really appreciate the national implications to our futures of borrowing money from the Chinese to push unproven education practices that will leave our students intellectually hobbled as a result?

Dr. John Trotter

July 13th, 2010
1:20 pm

Brad: Tough luck, buddy. It is indeed a daunting task to run as an independent in Georgia. Georgia is one of, if not THE, toughest states in the union for an independent effort to succeed. But, hold you head up. Who knows? Perhaps DeKalb or some other Georgia school system will want your services. If you are good enough to be State Superintendent, why not DeKalb or Henry Superintendent? (I don’t think that you would want to leave Georgia.) You seem to have a special interest in public education, and you are still young (and I know this because we are the same age!). Take care.

john konop

July 13th, 2010
1:49 pm

The irony an insider Brad Bryant is appointed by the Governor to continue the failed lobbyist driven No Child Left Behind fiasco, leaving kids behind at tax payers’ expense while lining insider pockets with money. And Bryant the insider promoting the insider lobbyist driven plan is the guy who is the victim of rules set up to protect insiders. You could not make up a story more ironic!

Cry me a river

July 13th, 2010
2:02 pm

Brad Bryant had a clear choice. Take the road of integrity, and promise he would do everything in his power to see to the removal of those who cheated, and the leaders who should have known cheating was going on, even if it did expose the house of cards that some educational leaders built their reputations on.

That would have all but guaranteed him a spot on the ballot, as disgusted as the average citizen is with the cheating. But that level of integrity might have upset his friends and business buddies, and others who stand to gain from what is referred to as reform.

Instead he choose silence, the road of less integrity, and the voters, sensing that lack of integrity, gave him exactly what he deserved.

Cry me a river.


July 13th, 2010
2:04 pm

WOW! Sorry Mr. Bryant did not come out on his own as a Republican earlier. I think he has great intentions, but aligning himself with Sonny was not popular.

AYP status

July 13th, 2010
2:32 pm

I really hope Maureen’s failure to get Brad Bryant on the ballot doesn’t affect her AYP status.

After all, if the people she’s trying to teach don’t even show up to participate, is it really her fault?


July 13th, 2010
2:40 pm

I guess he’ll have to make history some other way.

AYP status

July 13th, 2010
2:45 pm

He already tried to make revisionist history by saying Kathy Cox did a great job. Guess the voters didn’t believe him or Maureen on that one.

An advocate for public education change & choice

July 13th, 2010
2:46 pm

@ john konop : Excellant Observation! I love it when the chickens come home to roost.

Poor baby

July 13th, 2010
3:08 pm

What’s a matter? Bryant could get his buddy Mark Elgart to yank the accreditation of the Elections Commission for not putting him on the ballot? LOL


July 13th, 2010
3:15 pm

Howdy All,

I have been out of commission for a bit. But, as for Brad I can only wish him the best in this short period of time. The GADOE and DCSS is in a mess just like the US. I am just looking forward to going back to work with hopes that things get better and that I can resume what I have lacked based upon my salary. I have a meeting with my principal and I do have a few questions that I hope he will be able to answer or at least tell me who I can ask.

The most unfortunate thing is that the damage has already been done and trying to get back in positive standing is not going to be easy if at all.

New Blood Needed

July 13th, 2010
3:35 pm

New Blood Needed

July 13th, 2010
3:39 pm

Perdue shunned his own party to appoint this guy as his crony to continue his influence and ideas past his soon-to-be over term. Good riddance I say!

The vision becomes a little closer to reality. The people will speak! New blood needed.


July 13th, 2010
3:49 pm

This is great news for Georgia. The last thing needed for students in Georgia is more of Perdue’s influence.


July 13th, 2010
4:24 pm

Brad Bryant failed to demonstrate the integrity needed for the job and the voters decided that they didn’t need yet another candidate who fails to show integrity on the ballot.

check check

July 13th, 2010
4:52 pm

This is really good news; the remaining persons running want to reassemble a Math curriculum that can work for students and align with other states.

Several districts in FL has refused to go along with the RTtT because of the strings involved. From what I understand it also requires a 100% at grade level and graduation rate.


July 13th, 2010
4:55 pm

I don’t see anything particularly wrong with the CCSS, and I think we need to go beyond whether or not you agree/disagree with the CCSS. The CCSS is nothing more than just a collection of grade-by-grade expectations for students. The real work is how to make that into a usable curriculum/textbook/program. I hope that there will be a variety of curricula available for teachers/schools to select from.

I just hope that the state carefully consider the implementation process. The idea of starting the new standards in 2011-12 school year is completely impractical. We should time the implementation with the textbook adoption cycle. Furthermore, there should be at least one year of “transition” period in which some adjustments of contents are made to make sure that students will not have any holes in their programs. For example, in the CCSS, area formulas are discussed in Grade 6 instead of Grade 5 in the current GPS. On the other hand, there is much more discussion of fraction multiplication and division in Grade 5 under the CCSS. So, the year before the full implementation of the new standards, we need to tell teachers that they no longer have to teach the area formulas in Grade 5 since students will see them in Grade 6. On the other hand, they have to learn more about fraction multiplication and division in Grade 5 so that they can keep going with the Grade 6 CCSS expectations on that topic in the following year.

Such a careful planning has to be done and implemented before the full implementation, and if the state is going to use the 2010-11 for a “precision review,” there is no time to make such an adjustment with the 2011 implementation. The contents of the CRCT must also be adjusted accordingly.

I sure hope that the state DOE has learned some valuable lessons on implementing a new standards as they have been trying to implement the GPS. It’s unfortunate that they have to go through this once more so quickly, but maybe what they learned is fresh on their minds this time.

Tacit admission

July 13th, 2010
5:30 pm

If APS just announced they are providing extra tutoring to the 58 schools suspected of cheating, over and above tutoring they are giving to the students in schools that didn’t cheat, aren’t they tacitly admitting that there was cheating in 58 schools, and not the 12 they are trying to claim?

Let’s see if an AJC reporter is willing to ask them about that.


July 13th, 2010
6:04 pm

“maybe what they learned is fresh on their minds this time.”

Nah. The DOE are NOT fast learners. (See all the previous screwups regarding GPS implementation and CRCT.)

Maybe our new Superintendent can concentrate now on cleaning up this mess, since he SHOULD have no one to be beholden to. Forget the glad-handing that would have been imperative if he were running. Go after the graft, the ineptitude, the territory-guarding, the waste, and the general obviousness to what goes on in the classroom by the administrators, consultants, and policy-makers who have not been in the classroom in at least a decade.

He can be a breath of fresh air, and get things moving. Or he can continue the same rotten mess. It is truly up to him! (unless he IS beholden). We will soon see.

Ros Dalton

July 13th, 2010
6:06 pm

This was self evident from the very start. I know I’m not the only one who predicted it. In this state, as with most, it require complete and utter failure on a vast and obvious scale by both parties sufficient to create incredible outrage for an independent to even get in the race. Things are bad here, but not quite that bad yet, especially since the current Dem-Rep tactics involve throwing as many candidates with spoon fed imaginary ‘differences’ at the wall as possible to see if one of them can stick.

Integrity gets notice

July 13th, 2010
6:19 pm

If Brad Bryant had said that his number one priority to is to hold those accountable for cheating, and their superiors who should have known about it, is there any doubt that message would have resonated enough to get the signatures required?

But he took the road of less integrity, the voters saw it for what it was, and they completely rejected him, as they should have.

never thought i'd openly support a dem, but

July 13th, 2010
6:20 pm

i don’t want any part of repubs in education anymore. their answer to everything is “cut spending and increase accountability;” what they mean is “expect teachers to do more for less pay and don’t expect the gov’t to put any effort into it.” brad was just as smelly as his exboss – good riddance to bad rubbish.


July 13th, 2010
6:20 pm

Is it my imagination or is this a very slow day on the blog?

bootney farnsworth

July 13th, 2010
6:59 pm

anytime somebody Sonny supports is blocked from
doing further hard -
that’s a good thing


July 13th, 2010
7:33 pm

never thought i’d openly support a dem, but, Both Republicans were running against Kathy Cox before she left because they did not like the way the system was working. Sonny tried to pull out Bryant to continue to support his agenda because neither Rep candidate would and he could not come out a support a Dem for the job. Joe Martin supports RTTT and merit pay for teachers and neither Republican does. Now who is closer to supporting teachers?

Teachers for a new direction

July 13th, 2010
7:34 pm

As a teacher, I am sick of the stuff that has gone on the last eight years. Time for new ideas and blood.

I am voting for Brian Westlake, a current teacher.


July 13th, 2010
7:54 pm

I still don’t see why Sonny is pushing so hard for one federal mandate (RTTT) and suing to stop another (healthcare)….. frankly, I am excited that there are not any Republican candidates on the ballot who are crazy enough to think RTTT is a good idea.

@td I looked at Joe Martin’s site, I didn’t see his support of merit pay or RTTT, but I did contact his campaign to find out…. will post when I get a response.

Teacher's Husband

July 13th, 2010
7:56 pm

I agree with New Direction. Actually went and did the early voting thing today and I voted for Brian Westlake too!

Ole Guy

July 13th, 2010
7:59 pm

What the hell is the purpose of this blog series? Is it to conduct grass roots discussions on issues which, ultimately, concern the kid in the desk in front of the teacher, OR to discuss failed attempts of a politician’s career? In all honesty, I am not familiar with Mr. Bryant’s credentials, nor his fitness for leadership. I fail, however, to see how resounding endorsements of “…he is a friend and a good person…” can possibly indicate any potential toward the betterment of Georgia schools. Is it AJC’s policy to deviate from the topic at hand in order to discuss the political lives of outgoing leaders. In the grandiose fashion, so typical of politicians, he indicates that, for the remainder of his term, he will continue to (smack forehead with open palm) do his job. Well, sir, thank you very much.


July 13th, 2010
8:09 pm

@catlady, “The DOE are NOT fast learners.” Maybe that’s why they are so “sympathetic” to the students who have trouble reading and doing math, and are so willing to lower cut scores and allow those students to be socially promoted while telling them they are really “proficient”…


July 13th, 2010
8:43 pm

All these candidates are totally worthless and will just be drawing these obscene salaries and keeping the Ga education system a national laughingstock. Enjoy!

South Ga Teacher180

July 13th, 2010
9:41 pm

How long have you been teaching?

Attentive Parent: I like your resourcefullness!!!! There is something to be said for like mindedness.

I have spoken with both Woods and Barge and they would a WAY better job than Cox. Spoken with both of them at length! The key is having a backbone against the Gov. agenda. We elect them to help run education not officals connected to Washington in the Gov.’s office….but keep in mind, true control should be left to local BOEs.


July 13th, 2010
9:43 pm

d, He said so in the democratic debate a few weeks ago. The only dem that did not support RTTT was Westlake.

South Ga Teacher180

July 13th, 2010
9:53 pm

Woods and Barge also do not support Race to the Bottom.

carter is a fool

July 13th, 2010
9:55 pm

TD, thanks for the info. I will base my vote on 3 criteria. Opposition to RTT (Race to the Bottom), NO to Merit Pay. The most important for me is to restore the supplement for National Board Certified Teachers. I have not made up my mind as to the candidate I will support.

It is good news that Bryant is out. I do not know him or his policies or experience. However, anyone that Governor GoFish appointed was not worthy of support. I am so tired of the budget cutting and poor treatment of teachers by the Republicans including the disastrous leadership of Governor GoFish and the idiotic policies of Ms. Cox. Math 1 ,2, 3 or Math ABC, evolution stickers and her nose so far up Governor GoFish’s rectum.

Bryant not qualifying is GOOD NEWS.

South Ga Teacher180

July 13th, 2010
10:00 pm

Carter is a fool: LOL!!!

HS Teacher

July 14th, 2010
12:14 am

Ding Dong the witch is dead (Cox) and we just don’t need a male version or even another female version of the witch. DON’T VOTE REPUBLICAN IN GA!!!!

HS Teacher

July 14th, 2010
12:17 am

@Maureen – Have you changed this education blog to a political one for some reason? Hummmm. Wonder what that reason could possibly be…?


July 14th, 2010
12:33 am

While I wasn’t going to support his run for the office, I do think Ga. needs to make it a little less difficult for write ins, and independents and third party folks to get on the ballot.

spoils system

July 14th, 2010
12:50 am

Didn’t Dana Tofig leave the AJC to take a position at the state Department of Education?

Dana not @GaDOE

July 14th, 2010
10:26 am

@Spoils System: Yes, I did—more than five years ago. And I left GaDOE in October. What’s your point?

spoils system

July 14th, 2010
10:39 am

Touchy aren’t we Dana?

But isn’t it interesting to note how one candidate was pushed so very hard by this blog, when the DOE has a past history of hiring former AJC staffers?

Maureen Downey

July 14th, 2010
11:06 am

@Spoils, Please. DOE hired one AJC employee in the 25 years I’ve worked at the paper, which employs thousands of people. And as for pushing Brad Bryant, I will admit openly to liking Brad Bryant, whom I first met when he began working with the school board mess in Clayton. He is intelligent, fair and seemingly devoid of the sort of ego that many leaders have. I was also impressed that he could work with all sorts of people and that he never escalated situations, but always brought a calm to them. I know that one poster here – someone with whom I usually agree — reported a negative experience, but that literally was the only I ever heard.
I also think there are some capable people running for the post.
And despite the many blisterings I have received here, I still believe that Kathy Cox tried to do what she thought was right for kids and I have no problem with table pounding – as one of her ex employees alleged here — if the passion is driven by improving education.

spoils system

July 14th, 2010
11:36 am


Please back. Didn’t the AJC just find itself under fire for the way it handled disclosing how a reporter left the AJC to work with the Reed administration? Not saying the reporter did anything wrong…

“And despite the many blisterings I have received here…”

And you do print them; kudos for you

“I have no problem with table pounding – as one of her ex employees alleged here — if the passion is driven by improving education.”

Now will you grant the same leeway to the regular classroom teacher, that you would the person who is supposed to be the head role model for the regular classroom teacher?

Again, will you grant the same leeway to the regular classroom teacher, as you would the titular head of education in Georgia?

Dana not @GaDOE

July 14th, 2010
12:00 pm

@Spoils: Not being touchy—just don’t see your point. I left the AJC over five years ago. I never caught a break from the AJC, including Maureen, nor did I give the AJC a break (including Maureen) when I felt like they were wrong. Additionally, I left GaDOE and moved out of state in October, before there was any inkling that Supt. Cox would be stepping down, so I’m not sure what kind of influence I could have exerted living 500 miles away.

And if you are intimating that Maureen was angling for a job at the GaDOE, well, allow me to add my own “please!” That’s not Maureen.

I will say I think it’s funny that you’re the one lobbing these suspicions, yet you’re the only one that’s remaining anonymous. Now, that’s interesting to me. Take off the mask Spoils and join the conversation.

Maureen Downey

July 14th, 2010
12:08 pm

@Dana, When I leave journalism, it will be for a job in a bakery or a coffee shop. I want to spend my golden years either eating good pastries or drinking foamy coffee drinks.
And the only government job I would want is an appointment to the state Ports Authority as I understand they are plenty of pastries and good coffee and you get to enjoy them in tropical port cities.

Dana not @GaDOE

July 14th, 2010
12:22 pm

@Maureen: I can attest that government jobs (both state and local) have no pastries and lousy coffee.