Fulton and Cobb school chiefs: Making changes, taking heat

The AJC ran profiles this weekend of the Fulton and Cobb school chiefs. The two men are part of the wave of new school chiefs who arrived in metro Atlanta over the last three years.

Here are excerpts from both AJC profiles:

First, from the profile of Cobb’s Michael Hinojosa, who came from Dallas where he was credited with many improvements.

Dr. Michael Hinojosa

Dr. Michael Hinojosa

Going into his second year, Hinojosa, 55, said he has few regrets. “I wanted to build trust and confidence, but we still have to move quickly, ” he said. “I hate waiting. But I want to take a punch and for it to have staying power.”

Hinojosa has received national recognition for his six-year stint in Dallas for raising at-risk students’ test scores and turning around several schools. During his tour of the district, Hinojosa learned of Cobb’s strengths: Its parents are heavily involved. It has four of the highest performing high schools in the state.

And he learned of its struggles: The school board was fractured over a school calendar dispute, and there’s a widening achievement gap between white students and students of color. “This district has tremendous talent at every level of the organization, ” Hinojosa said. “But good is the enemy of great. I’m pushing hard for great.”

He soon restructured his administration and set up an advisory committee of high-performing principals and another of local business leaders. He radically changed the principal-selection process so parents have more say.

“He’s a very good listener and follows up with you, ” said Kiddada Grey, a parent of two children in the district. “He’s earning the respect all over the district.”

He decided to scrap the strategic plan and set up academic teams to advise struggling schools, which has shown early results. But he took heat when he proposed that the district join the Teach for America program.

“We have qualified teachers, ” said board member Alison Bartlett. “Why would you want to bring in an unqualified teacher” when some teaching jobs are being eliminated?

It’s a proposal Hinojosa says he now regrets, but, “If I could do it over again, I would work harder on building broad-based support for Teach For America because I believe it’s a great program that could help our school district.”

Hinojosa does not shy from innovation in classrooms. This year, students are allowed to bring cellphones and laptops into the classroom at a few middle schools. At a handful of others, students will do their homework in class and watch videos of teachers’ lectures at home, flipping the traditional classroom model.

Hinojosa’s biggest challenge came in April when, with the board’s consent, he closed a $10 million budget deficit by eliminating 350 teaching positions, giving teachers three furlough days and delaying pay raises for several staff members. “We’re at the tipping point on how we use our resources, ” Hinojosa said. Some of the cuts, such as increased class sizes, riled board members and county residents.

And from the profile of Fulton’s Robert Avossa, 40, who came to Fulton from the well regarded Charlotte-Mecklenburg system in North Carolina:

Robert Avossa

Robert Avossa

The demographics of Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Fulton are almost identical. Both systems have 33 percent white students, just over 40 percent black and Hispanic populations in the low to middle teens.

Peter Gorman, who was Charlotte superintendent when Avossa worked there, said he expects great things from his former right-hand man. “He’s one of the rising stars in American education, ” Gorman said. “He’s incredibly bright and has a bias for action, but he doesn’t jump blindly into anything. At the same time he doesn’t put up with lack of performance.”

Avossa said Fulton’s designation by the state this spring as a charter system will give him and the board the flexibility to improve the district, school by school and student by student.

In Charlotte, Gorman and Avossa were criticized for a regimen of 52 tests they put in place to measure performance, as well as a pay-for-performance plan that financially rewarded the best teachers. When Avossa toured Fulton before taking the job last year, he told parents he would not subject the district to that scheme, which he said was “very aggressive” and “too fast-paced.”

Still, raising the bar and then clearing it is all Avossa has known from childhood, when his father, a blue-collar auto worker in Naples, Italy, moved the family to the United States because he thought Italian public schools were inadequate. Nobody in the family spoke English, least of all Avossa, who was 3 years old. He still didn’t speak English when he entered the first grade and didn’t read to level until third grade. But he never doubted he’d finish school and go to college, because that’s all he ever heard at home.

Avossa’s time in Fulton has seen him make enemies, especially for his handling of Fulton Science Academy’s application for a 10-year extension of its charter, which Avossa and the board of education rejected after an audit found what they thought were irregularities in the school’s financing.

Avossa has a three-year contract. Assuming he survives in a district where superintendents have changed frequently, he has a five-year goal to get the districtwide graduation rate to 90 percent — a stiff challenge given some schools are in the high 30s and low 40s. “I won’t be happy until I’ve moved the bar, ” he said.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

58 comments Add your comment

Pride and Joy

August 27th, 2012
9:41 am

“Good is the eneny of great?” Huh?
Good and Great are good friends. They help one another and help others who aren’t good and great. Why would a super say that?

Cammi317

August 27th, 2012
10:20 am

I believe his point is that good is not good enough. Why settle for good when things could be great….

joeybiten

August 27th, 2012
11:38 am

“there’s a widening achievement gap between white students and students of color”.
wonder why? will the answer be to “take from the achievers” and give to the “less successful”?
will the black leaders actually address the problems (and not blame “whitey”)? will blacks take responsibility for their men? who father multiple children with multiple women (and don’t support them)? will mothers? stop having multiple children with multiple men? just asking and no, I’m not attempting to be racist…would just like to see all children have a chance.

Prof

August 27th, 2012
11:53 am

Just as a note that may be relevant since Fulton is now a charter system, the dialogue about state commissioned charter schools going on between Dr. Monica Henson and Mary Elizabeth still continues, though now “John Barge and Charters” is filed under “Older Posts.” This discussion—well-reasoned, factually detailed, and above all civil— seems to me a model of blog debate.

In the Know

August 27th, 2012
12:03 pm

Pride and Joy – know your stuff, Good is the enemy of Great according to the book From Good to Great. If you accept good, you will never strive for greatness which is what too many of our public schools have done. Strive for Greatness everyday, DON’T settle for good. That is why a super would say that.

Pride and Joy

August 27th, 2012
12:24 pm

To Cammi317…yes, I understand. My remark miss the mark.
To say that his system’s schools are “good” is incorrect.
His system as some good schools and some bad ones too.
HIs goal should be to lift all the bad schools to good while allowing the good schools to continue to achieve higher levels.
….but I appreciate your response and offer of help.
Thanks,
P and J

Pride and Joy

August 27th, 2012
12:29 pm

joey biten — I understand and appreciate your comment. What is awful to me is that leader like Sharpton and jackson are quick to blame outside influences for failures within the black community but they will not address inside influences for the failiures within the black community.
Black comdedian, Bill Cosby, tried to do this but was criticized by his own black community.
Your points are right on the mark.
Delaying and limiting child birth is one of the key ways to fight poverty. The other being gaining an education.
Good points.

Pride and Joy

August 27th, 2012
12:45 pm

To In the Know — yes, I agree with you and I understand the context as well. The quote was from a book that talked about good companies becoming great ones.
Here’s my point.
The problem in GA and in in every school district in Georgia is not that all are good schools and the problem is that we cannot make them great schools.
The real problem is that Georgia’s schools in every district are 48th ad 49th in the country and even those systems with “good” schools are still far behind the rest of the nation.
Also, even when GA schools are compared to other GA schools, many are abject failures.
Our problem is NOT good schools aren’t becming great schools.
Our problem is that most GA schools are not even adequate and many are abject failures.

williebkind

August 27th, 2012
1:00 pm

Pride and Joy

August 27th, 2012
12:45 pm
So you dont think it is the quality of students?

say what?

August 27th, 2012
1:05 pm

well Cobb and DeKalb will become the Charlotte-Mecklenberg of GA. Strang that when leaders come from that area, they bring in anyone who wants a job. Happening in DeKalb schools. Happened at DFACS years ago. Thgey are dedicated to creating opportunities for the adults they worked with. Why bring people into the metro Atlanta area for employment, when Atlanta has qualified applicants for any position posted. With a higher than national average unemployment rate, metro Atlanta has no need for more transplants brought here as the superintendent’s favorites.

When will a story be written about Atkinson and March ( cannot separate the two) in DeKalb, and their transitioning DeKalb to C-M South?

The profiles on these two men give the rest of metro Atlanta an opportunity to meet them and read for self, how those two districts will be transformed for the better.

Pride and Joy

August 27th, 2012
1:06 pm

williebkind,
What makes a quality student a quality student?
Is it only the SES and the parents?
No, it isn’t.
I’m living proof.
Teachers and schools systems are the major variable in a child’s life, not SES and not the parents.
The problem with low performing schools is also low-performing teachers and admiinistrators.
Children should never be blamed for their poor education.
If a child cannot read, it is not their fault, It is the fault of the school system.

Tancred

August 27th, 2012
1:06 pm

What has come to be known as “education” in this country is really a Euro-Western concept. I think a lot of black folks just don’t want to be “educated” by and about a culture that was responsible for colonialization, slavery, and Jim Crow (to their detriment). And I don’t think a lot of the rigid, patriarchal cultures of the Middle East want that kind of education either. Keep women in their place: barefoot and pregnant. One certainly should not look toward post-colonial Africa for any models to follow. I see disturbing parallels between the alleged “leaders” of African nations and some of the “leaders” of black people around here. Think of charasmatic men like Creflo and Long that bilk their flocks for their own garish lifestyle. A lot of whites have their own version of these guys (Joel Osteen). This country is messed up. And watch as this comment is deleted because the AJC doesn’t want to put any of this on their blog, even though it is all valid criticism.

Mountain Man

August 27th, 2012
1:11 pm

“watch videos of teachers’ lectures at home”

I am sure that will work out well in “high at-risk” schools. I can see the parent of a low-SES household making their child watch the lecture. Heck, they don’t even make them attend school!

Pride and Joy

August 27th, 2012
1:11 pm

ssay what? you ask a good question “Why bring people into the metro Atlanta area for employment, when Atlanta has qualified applicants for any position posted.”
It could be that the super is paying back political favors by offering jobs to his cronies and/or
It could be that the super has to remove the existing people in those jobs because they were only there because the previous super put them there to pay back political favors to his cronies…
or…
it could be that the super worked closely with trusted advisors and he knows they could be the most effective people to help him make positive changes.
or he could have hired them because he likes the way their hair smells in the afternoon…
who knows?
All I can do is watch and wait and see…
To your point…I wish we knew.

Mountain Man

August 27th, 2012
1:13 pm

“If a child cannot read, it is not their fault, It is the fault of the school system.”

It would be the PARENT’S fault if they did not get them to school and on time.

And if a child REFUSES to learn (I don’t want to seem too white to my gang), it is the STUDENT’S fault.

Pride and Joy

August 27th, 2012
1:14 pm

Best quote this morning “A lot of whites have their own version of these guys (Joel Osteen). ”
Thanks for the laugh.
P and J

Pride and Joy

August 27th, 2012
1:15 pm

Mountain Man,
Children should learn to read no later than eight years old (third grad).
An eight year old child is not responsible for anything more important than putting his shoes and toys away and helping to clear the dinner dishes.
When an eight year old child cannot read, it is never EVER the child’s fault.

Pride and Joy

August 27th, 2012
1:18 pm

I agree with you whole-heartedly, Mountain Man, whey you say this “I am sure that will work out well in “high at-risk” schools. I can see the parent of a low-SES household making their child watch the lecture. Heck, they don’t even make them attend school!”

Sending kids home with instructions to watch videos of their teacher teaching is absurd. There are so many reasons not to do this I couldn’t have enough space in this entire blog to name them all.

Mountain Man

August 27th, 2012
1:24 pm

“When an eight year old child cannot read, it is never EVER the child’s fault.”

But it very well could be the parent’s fault. It is not necessarily the teachers’.

So when a child reaches the end of the third grade and cannot read – then what? Socially promote them and hope someone in the future “catches them up”? Give them a diploma even though they STILL can’t read after the 12th grade?

Dr. Monica Henson

August 27th, 2012
1:38 pm

Thanks, Prof. I admit getting a little testy in the late-night hours this weekend. :)

LD

August 27th, 2012
1:41 pm

@P&J – you state that “. . . Georgia’s schools in every district are 48th ad 49th in the country and even those systems with “good” schools are still far behind the rest of the nation.” By what measure? Most measures I have seen lately do not put GA that low. On AP scores, GA is 13th overall, in NAEP, GA is around the middle (granted not as high as it can be, but not scraping the bottom of the barrel, either). If you’re going to continually blast Georgia schools, at least of the courtesy to give us the criteria you are using.

LD

August 27th, 2012
1:46 pm

correction in the last sentence: “…schools, at least have the courtesy…”

Mountain Man

August 27th, 2012
1:52 pm

“Good is the enemy of Great”

Until you get all of your low-performing schools up to good, I would not worry about the “great”.

Lynn D

August 27th, 2012
1:54 pm

Maureen

Is Pride and Joy also known as Good Mother or Another Comment, pre chance?

williebkind

August 27th, 2012
1:55 pm

“Osteen said that he is opposed to same-sex marriage in an interview wth Fox News.[22] In an interview with CNN, he further said that he believes “that homosexuality is a sin”.[23][24]”

Well that makes him a pariah at AJC/CNN.

Andi Young

August 27th, 2012
1:58 pm

I am so confused, so if a black child is poor and fatherless does that mean that they should not get an opportunity for a decent education because their parents are not parenting?

williebkind

August 27th, 2012
2:01 pm

Pride and Joy
What is the difference between a college teacher and a k1-12 teacher? Most here praise college education but tell what is the difference in teachers? If it is not the students then why doesnt the entire population have a college degree? You are living in a priviledged world and every opportunity has been given to you. You must have succeeded to some extent. Was it the teachers or was it you opportunity coupled with ambition.

Maureen Downey

August 27th, 2012
2:14 pm

@lynn, Pride and Joy shares a lot in common with Good Mother. Another Comment is not related.
Maureen

Hillbilly D

August 27th, 2012
2:15 pm

An eight year old child is not responsible for anything more important than putting his shoes and toys away and helping to clear the dinner dishes.

By eight years old, they should have more complicated chores than that, in my opinion.

Pride and Joy

August 27th, 2012
2:41 pm

ANdi YOung, you asked a good question “I am so confused, so if a black child is poor and fatherless does that mean that they should not get an opportunity for a decent education because their parents are not parenting?
Some might say yes but I disagree.
What I would like to see is black leaders teaching their own community to delay and limit childbirth. By doing those two things, poverty weakens and the innocent child has a better chance to get an education.
It is in the best interests for EVERYONE if the “baby daddy” culture stops.
We need parents, both parents, to take responsibility for their kids.
That means black men have to use birth control and when they produce a child, they need to take responsibility for that child. I’m not talking about just money. I mean time and love too.

Pride and Joy

August 27th, 2012
2:44 pm

williebkind, you don’t know my history. I don’t come from a privileged world.
I came from the poor and lower middle class and I came from abuse and neglect. I am successful today thanks to two good teachers and a nurse.
To your point, bad teachers aren’t limited to k-12. They exist in colleges too. Remember, those Atlanta public school teachers who “taught” my chilidren were “graduates” of colleges too and they speak poorly and write poorly too.

Pride and Joy

August 27th, 2012
2:48 pm

Hillbilly D, I agree some kids may have more complicated chores than that. I certainly did.
That’s not really the point.
The point is that children cannot be responsible for learning to read. We adults are responsible for teaching them to read.
A high school student is responsible for reading his homework when it is assigned to him and his parents are accountable for him.
The age of the kid determines the level of responsibility and I’m pointing out that we shouldn’t blame the victims.

Pride and Joy

August 27th, 2012
2:49 pm

Mountain Man, I lay down my keyboard in your honor. YOu said “Until you get all of your low-performing schools up to good, I would not worry about the “great”.

Touche’

That is exactly what I meant but obviously couldn’t spit out. Glad we agree.
P and J

Hillbilly D

August 27th, 2012
3:07 pm

P & J @ 2:48

We’re in agreement that it’s the responsibility of adults to teach children to read. Teachers are, of course, part of that but the parents bear a responsibility, as well. How you can make irresponsible parents responsible, is beyond me, though. That requires a change of hearts and minds. We can try but they have to be receptive.

I also agree that worrying about “great” before you’re “good” is putting the cart before the horse.

williebkind

August 27th, 2012
3:07 pm

“I am so confused, so if a black child is poor and fatherless does that mean that they should not get an opportunity for a decent education because their parents are not parenting?”

Somebody got to tote the bricks and make the mud! Education does not stop! It is a life long adventure. Many have to wait until they are adults before education is deemed worthy. That is a reason for the GED program.

williebkind

August 27th, 2012
3:12 pm

Maybe I am confuse, how can an uneducated parent know what responsibilities to perform for a child to learn? After all, they are not hungry, they are not left in the cold, they have cell phones, they have new cars, they have paid power bills, and they can not be scolded because that would make you a racist, sexist, or a homophobic.

Teacher, Too

August 27th, 2012
3:14 pm

Shouldn’t the parents also hold the responsibility if their child can’t read? Shouldn’t parents and children be reading together? Shouldn’t a parent notice if his/her child can’t read?

I understand that teachers should be held responsible, but when the admins are putting more and more children in a class, especially the lower elementary grades, there are only so many hours in a day, and so many days in a year (which keeps getting shorter and shorter as well).

There is plenty of blame to be shared here. Funny, when teachers try to make the curriculum rigorous, parents complain that it’s too hard. If we give homework, that impedes on the kids’ social and extracurricular time.

Maybe the focus needs to shift back to students being academics instead of having every night of their lives scheduled with “extras”. Can’t summer vacation and all the other vacations be used for enrichment opportunities for all the “extras”? I know I don’t assign homework over any of the students’ vacations (and rarely over the weekend, unless I have to give a test on a Monday- and that’s with plenty of notice ahead of time).

In the meanwhile, parents and children MUST read together in the early years. That’s just one way that a parent can tell if his/her child can read or not. It also builds in together time and may just instill a love of reading.

Hillbilly D

August 27th, 2012
3:24 pm

Shouldn’t parents and children be reading together? Shouldn’t a parent notice if his/her child can’t read?

In an ideal world yes. What if the parent can’t read? They can’t read with the child if they can’t read. They probably can tell if their child is struggling, though.

I grew up in a home where education was stressed. My Daddy didn’t finish high school and that was his strictest rule is that we would all finish. It wasn’t open to discussion, it was just something that was required. He could read and did read to us (Mama did too). As we advanced in school, my parents couldn’t really help us with homework but they could, and did, see that we did it and that we were in school everyday, went to bed at a decent hour, etc. We weren’t poor but we never had much in the way of extras. Daddy understood the importance of education and was determined we wouldn’t do what he’d done. As he told us, “Even if you can’t do the work, you can sit there, behave and act like somebody”.

It all starts in the home and all it takes is somebody who cares. Sadly, there are too many kids who don’t have that.

Teacher, Too

August 27th, 2012
3:43 pm

Ben Carson’s mother could not read, she was mentally ill, but she knew she wanted a better life for her children. She only allowed one hour of television a week, and she made them go to the library and check out books every week. They read to her, and she made them explain what they were reading to her.

She may not have been “book smart”, but she did know she wanted better lives for her children, and she knew enough to turn off the tv and have her kids read.

Teacher, Too

August 27th, 2012
3:44 pm

BTW, if you don’t know who Ben Carson is, read his book “Gifted Hands.” It’s an incredible story, and it’s autobiographical. Truly inspiring.

Mountain Man

August 27th, 2012
3:57 pm

“I am so confused, so if a black child is poor and fatherless does that mean that they should not get an opportunity for a decent education because their parents are not parenting?”

They DO have the “opportunity”. But the teachers can’t teach them if their parents don’t make them come to school. It is apparent that the school systems (and the long arm of the law) are not enforcing truancy laws.

If the child comes from a low SES background (see, I didn’t say “black”) and never was read to by his single mother, and never went to pre-K and never learned to even START reading until entering the first grade, then he/she is at a serious disadvantage compared to children in East Cobb (for example). That does not mean he is entitled to less of an education, but he may not be up to speed at the end of his first year and may need to be RETAINED to try to get him up to speed.

Mountain Man

August 27th, 2012
3:59 pm

How many “low-SES” children enter the first grade never having heard the book “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss? Tragic.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

August 27th, 2012
4:01 pm

My word Pride & Joy must have a lot of time on her hands.

My research shows that both Charlotte-Meck under Gorman/Avossa and Dallas under Hinojosa had adopted the curriculum and practices associated with Transitional Outcomes Based Education. That’s what both men were brought by SACS to push on Cobb and Fulton in practice. It’s why Avossa brought in Cambridge Education to stop the transmission of knowledge in Fulton schools just as Cambridge always does as I wrote about here back in May http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/you-mean-i-cant-teach-because-the-economy-should-not-grow/

Mott MacDonald’s relationship to Sustainability agenda is an important part of the ed story getting foisted on us. Especially now that Peter Senge’s systems theory is becoming such an important part of the actual Common Core implementation story.

Dallas under Hinojosa’s successor, Mike Myers, and Charlotte-Meck now under Heath Morrison are both moving to Transformational OBE just as William Spady and Spence Rogers described it back in the early 90s.
Colorado Springs and Wahoe/Reno were already there. Nevada as a state has been undergoing the Senge/Waters Foundation systems theory training so lucky Charlotte.

You might better learn what the Senge/ Scharmer Blind Spot is for your children’s sake.

Avossa is even using Spence Rogers’ PEAK to train Fulton teachers which is absolutely abhorrent. Hinojosa went with OBE guru Willard Daggett.

And the various statutes that Georgia’s legislature has passed all have it as the first state to formally adopt Transformational OBE. Which will not be a political or business winner but they do say those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Here we go I suppose.

OBE all over again. Virtually no academic content. No more North Fulton and Cobb high schools being beacons of academic excellence. And the APS model goes statewide just as the Council of Great City Schools always wanted.

Bev Hall won and now we have Hinojosa and Avossa pushing the same policies and practices.

And Bruce Katz coming to speak at the October State of the Region breakfast. I would ask what it all means but since I have Katz’s 2000 book, I know.

All of this should really be described as how to use education policy to destroy a great city and a fine state. We taxpayers deserve better from so many people living off of us.

williebkind

August 27th, 2012
4:19 pm

“How many “low-SES” children enter the first grade never having heard the book “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss? Tragic.”

But they know some rap!

Hillbilly D

August 27th, 2012
6:25 pm

In the interest of disclosure here, I have to admit I had never heard of Dr Suess until I saw one of his books in a doctor’s office when I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade.

Ed Johnson

August 27th, 2012
6:42 pm

@Pride and Joy said: “’Good is the eneny (sic) of great?’ Huh?”

Obviously, Hinojosa has read Jim Collins. “Good is the Enemy of Great” is the title of the first chapter in Collins’ widely read book, “Good to Great.” It will take one heck of a paradigm shift for some folk to get it.

A better read for educators is Collins’ much shorter book, “Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great.” In this one, Collins sets straight those who think business-styled leadership is best for the public sector, which includes public education.

Rich

August 27th, 2012
7:13 pm

joey biten,
You say that you are not “attempting to be racist.” I would not call you a racist, but I would ask that you do some research before you focus so heavily on the failures of Blacks. Are you aware that there are more poor Whites than there are poor Blacks?
Are you aware that there’s a widening achievement gap between White students from middle income families and those from low income families. The gap is not only racial; it is mainly based on socio-economics..
You ask if Blacks will take responsibility for their men? Why aren’t you asking the same question about Whites “who father multiple children with multiple women (and don’t support them)?” You ask if Black mothers will “stop having multiple children with multiple men without asking the same question regarding White mothers. You need to look at the statistics on the number of Whites who have the same behavior that you have singled our for Blacks. You do not get to see the poor Whites who are uneducated, having babies out of wedlock, not providing support for their children because most are in rural areas instead of in major cities. That is why you must read and educate yourself instead of continuing to pass on steoreotypes.

bootney farnsworth

August 27th, 2012
9:31 pm

considering how bad things have been, I’d be happy as a little clam if we could get to “good”

beware of administrators bearing the promise of quick turnaround

LD

August 27th, 2012
9:47 pm

@bootney : I’ll ask you the same question I asked P&J – please at least give us the criteria you are using for “bad.” My husband and I are both products of GA public education – including bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees. I do not feel the schools were “bad” then. And as for now, I have two children and both have more course offerings and opportunities than we did. I have family in New England that is envious of the education my children are receiving.

And as for a “quick turnaround” I do not think Dr. Avossa’s time frame of 5 years for a 90% graduation rate is “quick.”

another comment

August 27th, 2012
9:51 pm

@ Lynn, you are so funny. It worries me that you are a teacher and can not tell obvious differences in writing styles and patterns. I am an educated engineer ( I have never aimed for perfect grammar since this is a blog, not a professional work going out to clients, I am a yankee and proud of it. Luckily, I was educated up North in both Catholic and Public Schools. I went to a small Catholic University and a Big 10 University for Graduate School before getting recruited here by an old line Atlanta firm. They could not find any local job applicants who fit their needs, so they went out of state to hire their engineers.

I write mostly about my children, or about the absolutely sorry teachers and administrators they have encountered. I retired early so I am bored. I also find that many teachers who blog on here simply should not be teaching. I also find it awful that so many teachers want to inject their politics and right wing christianity into the public schools.

I will come right out and say it over and over again, that the teachers in this state have only themselves to blame for their current poor working conditions. When Roy Barnes was in office with a Dem. majority, classrooms only had 17 children. Roy told the Supt. that the classroom funding had to come first, that they had to figure out how to make it work with what was left. The last 10 years has lead to what has come, of the bloated administrations.