Georgia is a leading exporter of teaching talent to the Middle East

Georgia teachers are trading I-285 traffic for camels blocking the road as more of them move to the Middle East for better jobs and conditions. (AJC file photo)

Georgia teachers are trading I-285 traffic for camels blocking the road as teachers move to the Middle East for better jobs and conditions. (AJC file photo)

Regular readers of this blog know that we often get comments from Georgia teachers who have moved abroad to teach and who urge their states-bound colleagues to join them in Abu Dhabi or Al Ain. Several of those teachers agreed to be interviewed for a recent AJC story. (Cobb parents might recognize some familiar names.)

One interesting fact in this story: A company that specializes in placing American teachers overseas gets more recruits from Georgia and Texas than any other states.

That ought to trouble state school Superintendent John Barge and the Legislature. Georgia should be concerned when strong teachers leave the state, whether they are going to the Mid-Atlantic or the Middle East.

Here is the story by AJC reporter Bo Emerson:

Carrie Cooper of Sandy Springs frequently encounters a traffic hazard on her way to her school-teaching job: camel gridlock. That’s because Cooper has traded Atlanta classrooms for a job overseas, teaching in the United Arab Emirates, and camel racers use a training route that crosses her daily commute. She is one of perhaps 200 teachers from Georgia, most from the metro area, who have accepted jobs in the Middle East.

Some have gone for adventure or for the better salaries, but many are fed up with the way teachers are treated in the U.S.

“I found it extremely frustrating to be a teacher in Georgia, ” said Sheldon Kohn, a Cobb County teacher who is in the middle of a two-year appointment in Abu Dhabi. Kohn listed the reasons for dissatisfaction back in the states: a loss of autonomy, a lack of respect, micromanagement by school administrators and “an emphasis on test scores above other measures of excellence.” In the Emirates, he said, teachers are appreciated.

Driving the trend is an effort by the government of the UAE to boost the English skills of schoolchildren there. They want native speakers who will teach only in English.

So many teachers from Georgia have found their way to Abu Dhabi, in particular, that they invariably collide. Jonathan Stroud, a former Pebblebrook High School teacher who teaches high school students in a desert town near Abu Dhabi called Al Ain, has run into Cooper at the mall. “It was strange to move halfway across the world and end up with a lot of people who talk just like me, ” he said.

Schools in the Emirates pay to fly teachers and their families home once a year, so this month many of Atlanta’s expatriate teachers are in Georgia. The new school year will bring them back overseas in September. Free flights are among the many perks of working overseas.

Others include salaries that range from $40,000 to $75,000; a $20,000 housing allowance (enough to pay for a four-bedroom, four-bath villa in Al Ain); subsidized utilities; cheap gas and virtually no taxes.

For Stroud, 35, the overseas stint was also an adventure. “A father of five doesn’t get much opportunity to travel. I never owned a passport, never left the country, Mexico or Canada included. I decided that this was too much of an opportunity to pass up. My children were young. They weren’t going to argue with me.”

Not many teachers make the trip in a caravan the size of the Stroud clan. Cooper’s children are grown, and she traveled on her own. Despite concerns about the status of an unaccompanied woman in the Middle East, her experience has been excellent, she said. “I feel like a very welcome guest.”

Of some local customs — women wear head-scarves and, in certain settings, must be covered wrist to ankle — she is philosophical. “It’s not my country and not my culture, ” said Cooper, 53. “I try to be respectful.”

Many of Georgia’s traveling teachers were recruited by TeachAway, a Toronto-based agency that specializes in placing American teachers overseas. Dave Frey, the firm’s director, said more of his recruits come from Georgia and Texas than any other state. “A lot of it has to do with the state of the job market there, ” he said. “A lot of teachers aren’t able to find work [in Georgia].”

Another impetus may be a deepening pessimism about schools in Georgia, aggravated by the cheating scandal in Atlanta Public Schools. (News of the scandal even made the papers in Abu Dhabi, Cooper said.)

“It is difficult to work in an environment where you are respected less and less each year, as well as compensated less each year, all the while being asked to do more, ” David Platt said. Platt, 40, and his wife Jennifer Hager, 33, both taught Advanced Placement science courses at Wheeler High School in Cobb County before they accepted a two-year contract in Dubai.

Now they teach students from all parts of the globe.

Traveling to the Arabian Peninsula has been an eye-opening experience for most of these Georgia transplants. They’ve found ways to cope with 110-degree days. Some maintain ties to Atlanta, while others, such as Sheldon Kohn, decided to sell both home and car before embarking on a new life. For many, the opportunity to travel in Europe and Asia compensates for being so far from friends and family at home in the U.S.

Though the UAE is among the wealthiest and most stable of countries in the Middle East, friends worried whether Kohn would be safe in Abu Dhabi. “I might get run over by a Bentley, ” he told them. “Other than that, we’re fine.”

Kohn and others said their biggest discovery has been how different life in a Muslim country is from their preconceptions.

“The people in this region have welcomed us with open arms, and have been some of the kindest, supportive and open-minded individuals we have met anywhere, ” Platt said.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

131 comments Add your comment

posterchild

August 19th, 2011
9:58 am

I’ve seriously considered this, but now that I am working at an independent school, things are looking up.

Oh Intown Writer...

August 19th, 2011
10:44 am

You should consider folks from the Georgia university system in your interview poll. I know of one who’s considering leaving an Atlanta area university early to go to Dubai, for many of the same reasons are regular school district teachers are looking to flee…

Good Mother

August 19th, 2011
11:07 am

It’s so nice to see Americans getting jobs but I really worry about their personal security, especially for women. Women are not allowed to drive there and will be arrested.

The statement from the teacher is especially ironic; however, She claims she wanted to leave the United States teaching profession because of the way she is treated here yet willingly submits to sub-standard treatment in Abu-Dhabi. She must cover herself from head to toe, wrist to ankle in 100 degree plus heat because they consider her body to be filthy. She is not allowed to drive or be in the company of a male who isn’t her relative.

I consider that very poor treatment.

V for Vendetta

August 19th, 2011
11:07 am

This doesn’t really surprise me in the least. Though I hesitate to say one country’s approach to education is better than another–they often come packaged with larger social/political/economic issues that need more unpacking than people care to hear–I think the general premise of dissatisfied teachers leaving for greener pastures is valid. What do we expect when we continually marginalize and degrade our teachers and their profession. Many people are so quick to hold up the bad apples as examples of the profession, which, to a certain extent, I understand as it is a profession that deals with children and is therefore subject to a much different kind of scrutiny. However, no other profession must defend itself so vigorously and so often as teaching. It’s not just the powerless position in which many teachers find themselves; it’s also the complete and utter lack of respect people have for how hard they work and how driven they are to improve their craft.

And for the job they do.

Remember, we’re talking about education here. Today’s children have the potential to be tomorrow’s lawyers, doctors, and scientists. At least, that’s how many people would put it. Funny, I bet very few would include teachers on their perceived list of movers and shakers.

It was only a matter of time before talented teachers would seek to practice the job they love elsewhere. I can imagine that many passionate teachers are willing to swallow a bit of distaste for local politics and/or culture in order to do the job they love in an environment that rewards them for their talents and ability. If we continue on our current downward trend, I fear that there will be more to follow. So many people bemoan the quality of teachers coming out of Education programs–just wait until the really great ones begin leaving in droves.

I knew I wasn’t the only one who was researching the value of the dollar against other currencies. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve had my sights set on New Zealand and Australia for a while now . . . Maybe I’ll see some of you down there. :-)

V for Vendetta

August 19th, 2011
11:09 am

Good Mother,

While I agree with your statements about the cultural/religious beliefs of the Middle East, I think her willingness to put up with such social treatment speaks volumes about how much she loves her job and what she is prepared to deal with in order to practice it on her own terms.

TeachMom

August 19th, 2011
11:17 am

Kudos to them. My husband and I (both teachers) have recently relocated to Northern Virginia because he couldn’t find a teaching job in Georgia. I’m very interested in the differences we will encounter in public education here. The salary is much higher but so is the cost of living. Overall, the benefits are pretty good. When speaking with some of my new coworkers, they complained about some of the things they have to do paperwork wise. I let them know that there is no paperwork like Georgia paperwork. LOL! I’m looking forward to new adventures. Someone remind me how excited I was when I start complaining about not having the entire week of Thanksgiving off. Oh my!

NewMinority

August 19th, 2011
11:21 am

An AMAZING and timely bit of American history that your will NEVER see in a public school:
http://rationalrevolution.net/special/library/di11626.htm

To V for Vendetta

August 19th, 2011
11:23 am

You wrote about the teacher who moved to Abu Dhabi that “I think her willingness to put up with such social treatment speaks volumes about how much she loves her job and what she is prepared to deal with in order to practice it on her own terms.”

..at the expense of her own personal freedom and her complicit response speaks volumes about her personal beliefs…that it is OK to treat women like dogs as long as they are paid pretty well and get to do their own thing in their classroom.

It’s only a matter of time before one of our own Georgia teachers is arrested, threatened, tortured or killed by that barbaric society.

I would refuse to sacrifice my integrity and allow myself to be treated like a dog just so that I could enjoy my work more and live in a few extra bedrooms.

newly retired teacher

August 19th, 2011
11:25 am

I’m certainly considering it. I retired this spring earlier than I originally planned because I couldn’t stand the frustration of teaching any longer. I came home too many times utterly exhausted from discipline problems, meetings, paperwork, unexpected hall duties or class coverage, class interruptions…you name it. It all did me in because teaching was secondary to everything else. But I’m by no means a burned out teacher I just couldn’t teach.

btw…..two Ga teachers I know choose this route rather than stay in Ga schools. After about a 1 month adjustment period and some homesickness they’re in love with their jobs. They have “real” planning periods, students that work and listen, support from administrators and parents, small classes, and fabulous benefits. They don’t intend to ever teach in the USA again.

HS Public Teacher

August 19th, 2011
11:29 am

Mother – If that teacher is willing to accept “mistreatment” as a women in the middle east, consider how much badly she was treated professionally here in Georgia to make her want to go there!!!

The general public needs to understand how poorly the general classroom teacher is treated from ALL perspectives.
1. From many students, we get rude talk/cussing, disrespectful actions/talk, sometimes physical threats. They know that can do these things and GET AWAY WITH IT because neither the parents nor administrators will do anything. If a child cusses at us or hits us, it is our fault.
2. From parents, we get excuses and accusations that are false. We are told it is always our fault that Sally is failing even though the parents SEE that Sally never studies at home. Of course, the administration ALWAYS sides with the parent because everything is always our fault.
3. From administrators we get more and more paperwork and documentation requirements. Yes, we’d love to spend our time to actually prepare a great lesson for our students, but there are only 24 hours in a day. If we don’t have a great lesson for the kids, it is our fault. If we don’t have all of the documentation and paperwork compelted, it is our fault.
4. From the school system, we get more and more “professional learning” meetings to attend. These are nothing more than a way for the system to be covered from a legal perspective. We have to sit through hours and hours of STUPID “training” and sign an official sheet to show that the school system now has their tail covered….. so that it will all be our fault.

Do you REALLY think it odd that Georgia teachers are fleeing at any opportunity?

newly retired teacher

August 19th, 2011
11:29 am

VforVendetta…..both the overseas teachers I know are in Saudi. Both are strong women who don’t put up with much baloney and neither feel really hindered by the social mores they’re under. They cooperate with the dress and do what they want when they leave the country for vacations. I would guess they would say they felt more like being treated like a dog here than in Saudi….they feel extremely respected in their jobs over there. Not so here.

Tammie Diehl

August 19th, 2011
11:38 am

I told my cousin just yesterday that if I were in my 20s I do exact what you have done. I commuted 15 years from East Cobb Co. to Jonesboro High School. I’d ride a camel rather than do that again! I just finished a novel about a young teacher from Tennessee who went to teach in Abu Dhabi so reading this today was like a sign that I will have a reading audience! Lots of humor,cultural shock and a romantic interest for my teacher

NewMinority

August 19th, 2011
11:38 am

I think it is great that good teachers are exercising their free market options. This will create some genuine competition for good teachers here at home. Unfortunately, Georgia is broke and chained to NCLB, the main source of parent/teacher dissatisfaction, so they will lose out. Teacher quality will continue to decline.

I am curious about how UAE schools are run. Are they Muslim only? Are other nationalities present? Are boys and girls segregated in class? Do they tolerate other than heterosexual relationships? If a student is disobedient or disruptive, how are they disciplined? Do they teach any pro-Israel perspectives? Why do they see the need to learn English instead of Mandarin? Do students have unfettered access to the internet? Video games? Do they value reading?

William Casey

August 19th, 2011
11:42 am

Some of my very best former students have taught overseas, in the Middle East and elsewhere. One of their common themes is that other cultures hold teachers in much greater esteem than America does. You don’t hear much of that old “Those who can’t do, teach” BS elsewhere.

Face Book and Abu Dhabi

August 19th, 2011
11:46 am

So for all those willing to move Abu Dhabi to teach…you really want to make sure you have no nude photos of yourself have ever been taken or you have anything at all that will go against Shari law.

A teacher was working in Abu Dhabi and her former boyfriend posted nude photos of her on the Internet. Of course in Abu Dhabi they have computers too. Someone there saw the photos and alerted authorities. She killed herself because she was afraid of what would hannpen to her.

So, for example, say the teacher who lost her job over photos of her on the Internet with alcoholic beverages in her hand…that could easily make its way to Abu Dhabi. A photo of oneself in a bathing suit, with a middle finger in the air….anything can be used against you. In Abu Dhabi a woman is considered worthless.

As an adult, if you decide to teach there, you will also be required to discriminate against little girls. You subject them to the same sub-standard treatment. That’s what I cannot stomach.

I couldn’t and wouldn’t discriminate against an innocent little girl. I couldn’t enforce one set of rules for her and be complicit in that degrading society. The teacher shrugged her shoulders and said “It’s their laws.”

Yes, it’s their laws,teacher, and when you innocently or unknowingly break one of their Shari laws and go to prison or be tortured I doubt any teacher would shrug her shoulders and say “it’s their laws.”

William Casey

August 19th, 2011
11:53 am

@NewMinority: I suggest that you do a little more research on the “Dearborn Independent” and its demise before suggesting it as a source. My AP American students were taught about this part of American history but, probably not with the spin you would prefer. I do applaud you for using primary sources. Analyzing such sources is a vital component of the AP program.

Independent

August 19th, 2011
12:01 pm

I don’t know if I would suggest that a (female) teacher go to the Middle East, but I would NOT suggest that anyone aspire to a teaching job in Georgia in a public school. This has got to be one of the most frustrating jobs available, being commanded to accomplish miracles when you have no power to do anything, and then getting the blame when it doesn’t happen. You are threatened with your job if you don’t cheat, and then when you do cheat, you are fired. Why would ANYONE want to put up with this nonsense. Perhaps if all teachers quit, then the school systems would make changes. As of now, the good teachers leave for Private Schools and other professions, leaving only the worst teachers who are willing to put up with the crap.

Why not make the PARENTS responsible when their child is absent from class more than two days a year. Why not make the PARENTS responsible when their child acts up in class and needs to be removed. Why not make the PARENTS responsible when the child does not complete the homework.

There is a lot that teachers can do, but they can’t teach to kids that aren’t there.

V for Vendetta

August 19th, 2011
12:11 pm

Good Mother et al.,

Let’s be clear about something: much of Islamic culture is abhorrent and based on religious fundamentalism and dogma. That having been said, there are places in the Middle East–especially in places duch as Dubai and Abu Dhabi–where they have embraced more Western approaches to culture in order to attract more tourism. In addition, there are plenty of cultural views in our own backyard–also often predicated on religious dogma–that are equally abhorrent. I would say that the mistreatment of women in Islamic culture is only a degree or two worse than the mistreatment of homosexuality in American culture. (Of course, it must be noted that the treatment of homosexuals in Islam is truly barbaric and disgusting.) That example is based on no rational premise, only the musings of an ancient text that is itself completely irrelevant in today’s modern age. If you account for the hundreds of years difference between the origins of Islam and the origins of Christianity, you’ll find that Christians were once as bloodthirsty and vile as modern day fundamentalist Muslims.

Of course, if we all embraced reason and logic as our guiding principles, the need to mistreat or hate others different from ourselves would vanish and we would evaluate people as people on an individual basis. What a nice world that would be.

NewMinority

August 19th, 2011
12:23 pm

@William Casey
The end of the Baby Boomers in elementary school was the end of Christian moral influence in public schools. Remember classroom scenes in “Leave it to Beaver?” That was the norm back then. Personally, I remember being selected to read from the Bible every morning in my PUBLIC school classroom. The Ten Commandments were prominently displayed on the wall. The class upstarts were corrected immediately with the “board of education”. NEVER, in K-7, did I here a curse word uttered in school. Modest dress was the norm. Parents backed up the teacher, even if they disagreed. Respect for the teacher was required. When we threw out the moral foundations from public school, we reaped the whirlwind. UAR schools are fundamentally RELIGIOUS schools, whose morals were also derived from the Mosaic code. There seems to be a cause and affect operating in the schools.

NewMinority

August 19th, 2011
12:24 pm

Oops! Should read “UAE.”

Parisa

August 19th, 2011
12:36 pm

The reason woman are asked to be covered from head to toe is because the female body is beautiful and desirable and may tempt a man to sin. It is not because Arabs or Muslims think the female body is filthy. Where do you get your information? Also, with the right kind of fabric covering the body actually is cooler because it keeps the sun off the skin. Just ask a Bedouin. It is in fact very sad that teachers are leaving the U.S. to teach over seas.

V for Vendetta

August 19th, 2011
12:37 pm

NewMinority,

Moral foundations? Morality is relevant, and it’s certainly possible without religion. All of the examples you list are better representatives of respect, dignity, and hard work–none of which are purely religious ideals.

Maureen Downey

August 19th, 2011
12:45 pm

@Facebook, I looked up that story, and here is the BBC’s reporting on it, which makes it seem that it’s not clear what happened in this tragedy:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/8534899.stm

NewMinority

August 19th, 2011
12:45 pm

@William Casey
Let me challenge you to dig deeper. AP courses are funded/written by Educational Testing Service, which was created/funded by Carnegie Corporation, one of the original foundations established by Andrew Carnegie money. At the same time, Rockefeller and Ford set up their “charitable” tax-exempt foundations. The following is a primary source account by Norman Dodd, “a chief investigator in 1953 for U.S. Congressman B. Carroll Reece Special Committee on Tax Exempt Foundations.” He describes their collusion to use the foundations to take over/influence public education in America.
http://tobefree.wordpress.com/2009/05/25/the-hidden-agenda-of-tax-exempt-foundations/

To connect this with the formation of the Federal Reserve, check out this interview with Edward G. Griffin, author of THE CREATURE FROM JEKYLL ISLAND. Read the book. It is thoroughly documented.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWKlz2Z4Nlo

thomas

August 19th, 2011
12:55 pm

@ Mother and others,

V said, “Let’s be clear about something: much of Islamic culture is abhorrent and based on religious fundamentalism and dogma.” I think you can say the same about much of the deep south – you just replace “Islamic” with “conservative christian.”

Mother is operating with a stereotype of Islamic culture. As V stated, some Middle Eastern countries are more westernized than others (whether or not that is a good thing can be debated). So, you see women who are covered from their heads to toes along side women who are dressed like people walking down Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta. In some Middle Eastern countries, women are not only allowed to drive but hold some important business/government positions. So, Mother perhaps needs a bit more education.

Ole Guy

August 19th, 2011
1:12 pm

Better jobs?…Maybe. Better conditions?…NO F’in WAY!

The weather’s a boich…120 to 140 w/(what seems like) negative humidity. Winter temps are ok…75 to 80 daytime, but freeze nuggies off at night. I don’t know how’nhell people can live there.

However, apparently, the powers that be are willing to pull out all financial stops in getting the populace up to speed on English and such…by all means, take advantage of these opportunities while they’re (litterally) hot. However (and this is purely a personal view), it’s a global powder keg; be prepared accordingly.

Back in the 70’s, still of “cowboy” mentality from the glory days in uniform, Iran was THE place to be for helicopter hotshots. Of course, we (should) know what happened when ole “Killmeany” went ape.

Go to the Mid East, have a ball, but keep your sea bag packed at all times; it may not be a bad idea to gettcha an AK…they work ALL the time EVERY time. The sand can be a problem, but not like the problems with US-issued. Just put a little compressed air on the moving parts now and again; no big deal.

Good luck, have fun and, above all else…develop a “third eye”.

Dr. John Trotter

August 19th, 2011
1:12 pm

It is a shame how teachers are treated in the United States. An absolute shame. I have been incensed about this treatment since my first year of teaching. Since my father was so respectful of teachers when he served for many years as a school administrator, I was in total culture shock when I saw first-hand the disrespect shown to teachers by administrators. This shock propelled me into my career and avocation as a teacher’s advocate. This was the genesis of MACE.

I don’t blame a single teacher for leaving Georgia or other states to teach in the Middle East or elsewhere. These Americans teachers are actually in culture shock over how respectful that they are treated in other countries. This is how it used to be in the United States up until the 1970s. The change for the worse started with the accountability movement emanating from California in the 1970s. After The Nation at Risk was published in 1983, all hell broke loose and teachers became the target and the enemy. But, the educrats of today, the good Nazis who enforce the hellacious mandates of the Unenlightened Educational Reprobates like Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, Eli Broad, or Bill Gates, still cannot deal with one simple truth: You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions. Therefore, when I see these new “national” superintendents coming to town, be they Cheryl Atkinson, Michael Hinojosa, Edmond Heatley, or Robert Avossa, and I hear nothing from their lips about respecting, esteeming, and empowering classroom educators to do their jobs, then I know immediately that they are part of the problem, not in any way part of the solution.(c) MACE, August 19, 2011.

http://www.theteachersadvocate.com

Ole Guy

August 19th, 2011
1:17 pm

Tammie, please be advised…camels stink, and they can be rather mean. I got about 10 feet from one and decided to abort that mode of transport.

HS English Teacher

August 19th, 2011
1:35 pm

@ To V for Vendetta 11:23 am “I would refuse to sacrifice my integrity and allow myself to be treated like a dog just so that I could enjoy my work more and live in a few extra bedrooms.”

I take it then that you did not read the portion of the report on APS cheating where a teacher whose class had low test scores was forced by the principal to crawl under a table while the faculty watched? And you think teachers have respect here?

Digger

August 19th, 2011
1:36 pm

Camels only spit on people who talk too much.

Lee

August 19th, 2011
1:46 pm

The only advice I have for folks wanting to work overseas is to be aware at all times of the political climate – which can change almost overnight. Especially in the middle east.

A buddy of mine was working in Bagdad as an engineering consultant in the late 80’s. He loved it. A year or so after he came home, Bush Sr. was bombing the heck out of that place. I never have understood the Bush’s infatuation with that place, but we taxpayers have spent hundreds of billions (trillions?) to satisfy it.

The Anti-Gnostic

August 19th, 2011
1:50 pm

Yes, such an impenetrable mystery, a paradox, an enigma. Why would good teachers forego the delights of teaching to Georgia’s bright, shiny, diverse student body for a place like the UAE?

Because their students will actually participate in the educational process, not insist that their every impulse be indulged.
Because they won’t be pressured to cheat by incompetent, affirmative-action administrators with Ph.D.’s in Finger-Painting.
Because it’s a courteous, traditional culture.
Because thuggish behavior is not tolerated.

Ashley

August 19th, 2011
1:53 pm

Did anyone not see this coming?….European countries and the Middle East have plenty of American capitalist ventures on said continents. Its about money and respect for ones profession, apparently something teachers and professors weren’t getting in the good ol’ USA….pity!

Ellen Kendall

August 19th, 2011
1:55 pm

What an interesting article. I am Dr. Sheldon Kohn’s mother. The article failed to mention his wife, Irina Kohn, who always teaches in Abu Dhabi. They have recently visited the States and had only very positive things to say about teaching overseas. Sheldon doesn’t have overcrowded classrooms which allows more time to spend with each student. Abu Dhabi is a very modern, progressive, safe place to live and work.Their 14 year old son plays a viola in the Dubai Philharmonic Orchestra, played in a string quarter for Queen Elizabeth when she visited the UAE last November, studied with Yo Yo Ma, went to China to study, has performed at the Emirates Palace and so many other places. These are all things that never would have happened in Atlanta.As a mother and grandmother I miss them terribly, but so thankful for all the wonderful opportunities they have at Abu Dhabi.All teachers need respect and should be paid better salaries no matter where they teach.

Dr. John Trotter

August 19th, 2011
2:07 pm

@ Anti-Gnostic: You hit the nail right on the head. Hey, I thought that I was the only anti-Gnostic on this board. Ha! I feel like Elijah (or was it his mentee Elisha?) when he was informed by God that he was not the only one in Israel who had not bowed down to Baal.

Dr. John Trotter

August 19th, 2011
2:10 pm

@ Anti-Gnostic: You might note that in my post above I called (tongue in cheek) Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, Eli Broad, and Bill Gates the “Unenlightened Educational Reprobates.” Ha! I did this because of this group’s apparent thinking that they are actually enlightened (erh, the knowing ones or the Gnostics).

To Parisa

August 19th, 2011
2:13 pm

Parisa, regarding the barbaric society thinking women’s bodies are filthy. I see it constantly while flying for business. The disrespectul Muslim in traditional attire has the nerve, the gall to ask the flight attendant if she is on her menstrual cycle. He won’t accept his first class meal from the flight attendant because she is “unclean.” She is too filthy to serve him a meal.

Women are blamed for rape. If a man or cleric can merely see the silouette of a woman’s body under her head to toe garment, she can and will be arrested.

The fact that you defend the barbaric actions of such a heinous society speaks volumes about you.

another comment

August 19th, 2011
2:13 pm

We have filthy pigs teaching here in Georgia schools as well. My daughter signed up for Weightlifiing as a class in a top rated North Fulton county school. There are only 3 girls in the class. So far this week the Football coach teacher of the class has not allowed the girls, or the non-football player boys to even enter the weight room. The Football coach has stated the weight room is for Football players only. He has ordered my daughter and the rest to sit in the hall and not leave.

Yesterday, I tried to contact the Principal, I left a message, that this was discrimination. I am still waiting for a call back. My daughter is a varsity cheerleader. The varsity cheerleaderes were going to the weightroom for practice yesterday, my daughter told her coach about this. Her coach was outraged. She tried to get the Football coach to come speak to her from his office, but he refuse. The cheer coach went to the Athletic Director about this. The AD promised resolution.

The same day, my daughter heard that several starting Football players were arrested by the Sandy Springs police for Hazing other football players on school property. They shaved the head of some freshman players, and attempted to shave the head of another player who was a junior. The freshman went to teachers, who called the police. The parents pressed charges. Somehow, it seems this football coach is a pig.

Duder

August 19th, 2011
2:16 pm

Good mother is clearly a dumb bigot. The UAE is the most westernized Middle Eastern country and women enjoy virtually all of the priviledges there that they do in the States, particularly if they are not natives.

Women CAN drive.

Women CAN associate in public with men they are not married or related to.

The women that get themselves in trouble do so by making themselves deliberate or egregious in their behavior. When you’re a guest in someone else’s country, you don’t show your a$$ and act a fool.

To another comment from Good Mother

August 19th, 2011
2:25 pm

I hear ya, another comment. That’s blatant discrimination against your daughter. The very same things happened at my high school many years ago when I was a cheerleader. As varsity cheerleaders we were required to clean the football players locker room. I had to pick up their dirty jock straps and was required to buy them a bag of candy and basically worship the football team. We weren’t allowed into the inter sanctums of the weight room, except of course to clean it.

My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry to hear it. I had hoped nonsense like that would be gone by now but it is still alive and well in our football worshipping Southern-American society.

Duder from GM

August 19th, 2011
2:28 pm

You’ve obvisouly never been to the Middle East. We were stationed there in the first Gulf War in 1990. The women in my unit were treated like filth. The signs on the restaurants read “No dogs or women allowed.” Even on base in stifling heat on an American base on American soil, we weren’t allowed to wear our PT gear. We had to be careful of the barbaric society, the same society for which we were there sacrificing our lives..

I’ve been there. Done that. They can keep their hell hole.

Professor Arrested from GM

August 19th, 2011
2:39 pm

…and of course there is the professor arrested in Abu Dhabi for blogging that he favored a transition to democracy.
http://www.rue89.com/2011/04/21/un-prof-arrete-a-abu-dhabi-la-sorbonne-fait-lautruche-200750

Professor Arrested in Abu Dhabi, French Look the Other Way
Nasser Bin Ghaith, a professor of economics, has been arrested in Abu Dhabi, apparently for stating on a blog that he favored a transition to democracy. The professor may or may not be employed by the Abu Dhabi branch of the Sorbonne. His relatives tell Rue89 that he lectures weekly on the campus there, whereas two Sorbonne officials in Paris claim that he has merely been an invited guest lecturer from time to time. In any case, no one at the Sorbonne seems willing to intervene on behalf of Prof. Bin Ghaith even as a colleague. This is a rather odd position to take at a time when French forces are engaged elsewhere in the Arab world in support of the very transition to democracy that Prof. Bin Ghaith advocates. About the attitude of French university authorities, Amnesty International says this:

« C’est une honte. On aurait pensé que la Sorbonne, qui agit en temps normal pour le développement d’une certaine culture, aurait au contraire soutenu Nasser bin Ghaith sans son combat et pour sa libération. »

Such a wonderful, civilized Western culture indeed.

Intelligent Journalism re: education in middle east

August 19th, 2011
2:48 pm

This is an intelligent article about the arrrest of the professor and a debate about being an educator in the area discussed. It has blog comments too you will likely find interesting.

http://chronicle.com/article/Lecturers-Arrest-in-the/127190/?sid=at

GM

Old South

August 19th, 2011
2:50 pm

Good for The Emirs. They clearly care about their citizens, to spend so much effort and money.

They have lots of $$$, but still nothing compared to the national wealth of the USA. And yet we (the people who are our own Emirs) care so little about ourselves. We could learn from the UAE.

William Casey

August 19th, 2011
2:53 pm

@NewMinority: I’m well aware of the Carnegie and Ford Foundations’ (among many other charitable trusts) efforts on behalf of American education. Carnegie did it on his own because he truly believed that education was the path to prosperity. Old man Ford had to be talked into it by his family while on his deathbed. I don’t understand your criticism. Do you believe that there is some vast conspiracy against American public education?

William Casey

August 19th, 2011
3:01 pm

@NewMinority: I get it, just read your post previous to the one I referenced. You’re one of those guys who wants to shove your religious beliefs down everyone’s throats. I grew up during the 1950’s. BTW– “Leave it to Beaver” was a TV show designed to sell products. It wasn’t reality.

Tychus Findlay

August 19th, 2011
3:02 pm

The Emirs are something like a 13% minority population in their own country. They write the laws to protect their own interests and if you don’t like them, then don’t move to their country. A friend of mine moved there for the economic opportunity and neither he, nor his wife, have had anything negative to say about their experience as ex-pats.

Ernest

August 19th, 2011
3:43 pm

Maureen, there was an aritcle in today’s AJC about Gwinnett schools moving their citizen comment section to the end of the meeting, after business has been conducted. I think this takes away for the citizen that may want to comment on a pending action item. Any thought to a blog topic on this?

To Maureen from Good Mother

August 19th, 2011
3:52 pm

I read your link. The account is clear and validates what I said:’”For whatever reason Emma expressed concern she was about to be arrested and put in prison,” he said.

“She agreed the best course of action was to leave Abu Dhabi and return to Britain.”

Whether or not she committed suicide can be argued but her actions and fear were clear in all accounts. A photo of her nude appeared on the web. A man from her school saw it and accused her of being a prostitute so she feared Shari law so greatly she was on her way to leave the country when she died.

What are the consequences for a teacher in the US if a nude photo of her showed up on Face Book?

Maybe, like the teacher with alcohol in her photos, she would have lost her job…maybe..

but in Abu Dhabi…we know what they do with prostitutes…they stone them to death.

Some culture. Some society. Just peachy.

Texas Pete

August 19th, 2011
3:57 pm

Why be treated like a dog overseas when you can be treated like dog crap at home?