From Clayton County to Berkeley, Calif: Change of job and coast for school chief

Dr. Edmond Heatley resigned today

Dr. Edmond Heatley is California bound.

Clayton County Schools superintendent Edmond Heatley apparently  resigned his post here last week to take the top job in the Berkeley, Calif., school system. His resignation is effective the end of this month.

According to the AJC: (This is an excerpt. Please read full piece before commenting.)

Heatley announced his resignation from the 51,000-student Clayton County district last week, just days before officials from the Berkeley Unified School District visited Clayton to interview school board members, teachers and parents. That site visit is the final step in an extensive vetting process to verify the credentials of Heatley, the sole finalist in what was a national search for a superintendent, according to a press release sent out by the Berkeley school district.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to join a high achieving team focused on ensuring that every student has the opportunity to achieve greatness,” Heatley said in the released sent out by the Berkeley district. “I believe in a fair break for every child and that all students can learn. It is great to see that the Berkeley community feels the same way, putting action behind their words.”

Those words come less than a month after Heatley in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reiterated his commitment to Clayton County students. “My plan is to be in Clayton County until the work is done,” Heatley said in the Aug. 21 profile about him. “Is that a number of years? I don’t know. I will know when my team says we’re able to stand on our own two feet … when disciplinary rates go down and graduation rates go up.”

The new job would mark Heatley’s return to familiar territory. Heatley served as superintendent of the Chino Valley Unified School District in California before coming to Clayton in 2009.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

53 comments Add your comment

William Casey

September 3rd, 2012
9:57 am

School Supers = Don’t Matter

claytondawg

September 3rd, 2012
10:13 am

Readers, especially Clayton County readers, need to read this entire article to get Dr. Heatley’s disrepectful and

Lee

September 3rd, 2012
10:15 am

Once again, this just highlights the folly of local school systems who go out and hire a superintendent from outside the system – they inevitably will jump ship at the first opportunity.

It’s called “succession planning”. Successful corporations do it all the time. If the CEO of my company were to get killed in a plane crash, they already know which of the VPs would take his place.

With all of the high dollar “Deputy Superintendents” and other central office folks running around and the BOE thinks they have to go outside the system for the superintendent, then that is a red flag that something is wrong with the system.

Interesting that five of the big six metro systems have all hired outside superintendents…. Cobb, Fulton, APS, Clayton, Dekalb. Think about that. Literally hundreds of central office hacks running around and not one is deemed qualified enough to be superintendent…..

bfg

September 3rd, 2012
10:15 am

Why can’t we have elected school superintendents? Wouldn’t that at least help with the hefty salary issue?

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

September 3rd, 2012
10:17 am

Forty years ago, Berkeley was synonymous with academic excellence. Its UC campus was the best public university in the US, if not the world.

UC-Berkeley’s still a great school but its presence in the same city as “The Clown from Chino and Clayton” will constitute the height or, better yet, the depth of irony.

claytondawg

September 3rd, 2012
10:18 am

OOPS. “disrepectful and” deplorable attitfude toward the students of Clayton County,. I suggest we buy him a ticket to leave immediately. The very fact that a committee from California was even allowed in our district to showcase this man’s “accomplishments” is ridiculous. As my name states: Go ‘Dogs. Let’s add to this: Go Heatley!!!

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

September 3rd, 2012
10:22 am

Most regrettably, Heatlley’s presence in Berkeley will not only be ironic but will also make for a bad joke on the poor kids of the Berkeley public school district.

drew (former teacher)

September 3rd, 2012
10:59 am

“I’m excited about the opportunity to join a high achieving team focused on ensuring that every student has the opportunity to achieve greatness,” Heatley said in the released sent out by the Berkeley district. “I believe in a fair break for every child and that all students can learn. It is great to see that the Berkeley community feels the same way, putting action behind their words.”

Well, he’s certainly got his eduspeak down pat…”high achieving”, “team focused”, “all students can learn”, “opportunity to achieve greatness” (uh-oh…left out “data driven”…educrats love data driven!). After all, it’s not what you do…it’s what you SAY you’re going to do. Right?

I think there’s got to be a fraternity of inefficient, unqualified, superintendents in the country. That just rotate around from bad system to bad system, spreading their BS, talking the talk, then when they’re “found out” they just swap places with some other ineffective. These “supers” are no better than whores (except they get paid a lot better!). Running around sleeping with any school system willing to pay them. School supers = eduwhores.

Don’t worry though…Clayton County, with it’s sterling reputation and knowledgeable BOE, will no doubt land an even better ho to take Heatley’s place. I bet they’re busy right now…updating, doctoring, and sending their resumes.

Ho ho ho!

Bernie

September 3rd, 2012
11:34 am

Good Riddance…..Off to misuse another school systems funds with JOBS for his wife and kids with full benefits and retirement plan made payable by the taxpayers of Clayton County.

In California they can afford such nonsense, never in Clayton County, Georgia. The families and children will find some else who is a REAL LEADER and not a pretend one.

WARNING : There MUST be OVERSIGHT of the selection board. There must be more accountability this TIME! of their decision.

bootney farnsworth

September 3rd, 2012
11:54 am

it does amaze me how the same people cycle around the nation, having little appearant successes in their stops.

kinda like waiting for superintendant man…

Dr. John Trotter

September 3rd, 2012
12:17 pm

The Berkeley, California School System is much more stupid that I ever gave them credit for. Edmond Heatley is by far the worst superintendent that the Clayton County School System has ever had. The worst. I am sure that the people of Chino Valley, California have similar sentiments. Now you folks want to know what is wrong with public education. This is a case in point. The Gypsy Superintendents (I am using my nice phrase here!) trot from one school board bed to the other, reaping much taxpayer money and wreaking havoc wherever they go. The first thing that we need to do is get rid of the appointed superintendents and give power back to the local people to control local education. Then, and only then, do you get rid of these superintendent-clowns like Edmond Heatley who are the Elmer Gantries of Public Education.

Bernie

September 3rd, 2012
12:24 pm

Just wait for Georgia’s New Charter School System if it survives the VOTE. If it does, you will see FAR more ACTS of planned ineptitude. This time the costs will be far greater in Dollars spent. Many of those valuable Student slots have already been filled,
Your CHILD will likely not be AMONG them.

Maude

September 3rd, 2012
12:36 pm

Employees of Clayton Public Schools do not care why he is leaving they are just glad he is leaving.

William Casey

September 3rd, 2012
12:45 pm

There is something to be said for “home grown” superintendents who work their way up through the ranks and have 25+ years of experience in the district. However, the danger is “good ole boy” cronyism. Fulton County (the only system I know well) decided 20+ years ago to go exclusively outside, looking for new ideas. This began with James Fox and has had mixed results at best. The new guy is young enough (40) to have a long tenure and have an impact. Doubt that this will happen, though. He’ll get tired of the “North County vs. South County” political battles and move on after 3-4 years. Katie Reeves, the Sarah Palin of Georgia, is forever, though.

Robin

September 3rd, 2012
12:57 pm

They’re welcome to interview this parent. My verdict can be summed up in two words: “Not impressed.”

Interesting

September 3rd, 2012
1:22 pm

Well said Dr. Spinks and Dr. Trotter!

Mitch

September 3rd, 2012
1:29 pm

Fishermen think that to catch the big fish, you have to cast you lure way, way out. It does not work, but they do it anyway never believing that there are big fish right near them. Likewise, it is fashionable for school boards to find someone who does not have a clue what he/she is getting into to lead their children to success. Big money lures big pretenders to the gullible school boards.

catlady

September 3rd, 2012
1:40 pm

I guess in 2 weeks since that August 21 interview, Heatley found out that Clayton had achieved all those things he noted! Wow!

I find it hard to believe that 2 weeks ago he didn’t know he would be leaving.

I also find it hard to believe that the school system, after vetting him, would proceed to hire him.

Maybe at this new system he will encounter ” a high achieving team focused on ensuring that every student has the opportunity to achieve greatness” unlike, apparently, what he found in Clayton.

What doofus is next?

Dr. John Trotter

September 3rd, 2012
2:04 pm

Joe Hairston, William Chavis, Barbara Pulliam, the Thompson fellow (can’t even remember his first name), Edmond Heatley. I was opposed to all of them. They all did terrible jobs as superintendents in Clayton County. I pushed for the Clayton County Board of Education to select Dr. Sam King as superintendent. He, as superintendent of Rockdale County Schools, was selected Georgia’s Superintendent of the Year. No, Pamela Adamson and Alieka Anderson kept pushing to go along with whomever education attorney Glenn Brock brought to them. Ha! What a joke! And, Mary Baker, Ophelia Burroughs, Wanda Smith, and Carlton Bivins just went along with the program, so to speak. Edmond Heatley has been a disaster in Clayton County, and his selection in Berkeley, California just shows how are public education has sunk in the U. S. of A.

Dr. John Trotter

September 3rd, 2012
2:05 pm

“how far,” not “how are.” Sorry about the typo!

Lynn43

September 3rd, 2012
2:11 pm

School systems should never go through “head hunters” to find a superintendent. No matter what information is provided, you never get the true story.

G

September 3rd, 2012
2:19 pm

Hopefully, Clayton will choose a new superintendent who has more than two years of classroom experience this time.

Bernie

September 3rd, 2012
2:27 pm

If it were up to the Republican Party, surely the honorable Karen Handel would be up for consideration for the next Clayton County School Superintendent. I am on the look out for her chosen participation in the planned Georgia Charter School System.
A move that would not be surprising to many.

Prof

September 3rd, 2012
2:32 pm

@ catlady. Well, it explains why Heatley took all of the angry brow-beating by the parents at that Aug. 21 hearing with what was described as a “military calm” due to his Marine background.

He was thinking all the while: “You can take this job and….”

Old Teacher

September 3rd, 2012
2:53 pm

I do not care who hired him as long as he is GONE! He and his forsaken split/hybrid schedlue are way overdue to depart Clayton County. I just hope the board has the sense to hire someone who is concerned for the students and is a team bilder this time, instead of someone who is in it only for the money and himself. I hope the rest of his gang goes with him.

drew (former teacher)

September 3rd, 2012
3:51 pm

“I’m excited about the opportunity to join a high achieving team focused on ensuring that every student has the opportunity to achieve greatness,” Heatley said in the released sent out by the Berkeley district. “I believe in a fair break for every child and that all students can learn. It is great to see that the Berkeley community feels the same way, putting action behind their words.”

Well, he’s certainly got his eduspeak down pat…”high achieving”, “team focused”, “all students can learn”, “opportunity to achieve greatness” (whoops…left out “data driven”!). After all, it’s not what you do…it’s what you SAY you’re going to do. Right?

I think there’s got to be a fraternity of inefficient, unqualified, superintendents in the country. That just rotate around from bad system to bad system, spreading their BS, talking the talk, then when they’re “found out” they just swap places with some other ineffective educrat. These “supers” are like loose hose, sleeping ’round with any school system willing to pay the price (and PAY they DO!).

Don’t worry though…Clayton County, with it’s sterling reputation and knowledgeable BOE, will no doubt entice an even more incompetent fool to take Heatley’s place. I bet the prospects are already busy, updating and doctoring their resumes.

Ho-ho-ho!

AlreadySheared

September 3rd, 2012
4:07 pm

Run Forrest! Run!!

Dr. John Trotter

September 3rd, 2012
4:09 pm

Glenn Brock, Glenn Brock, Glenn Brock. This will be the “education attorney” who will bring another one of these superintendent clowns to Clayton County. I recently wrote an article explaining how school systems end up hiring these benighted boobs as superintendents.

http://www.georgiateachersspeakout.com

Hillbilly D

September 3rd, 2012
4:16 pm

These guys always seem to land on their feet.

Lee @ 10:15 makes excellent points. All the Metro school districts are big enough and have enough employees that each one should be able to find a qualified person from within. Of course, that isn’t sexy and doesn’t make a big splash, so they never go that route.

Old timer

September 3rd, 2012
4:37 pm

I would hate to see the mess Clayton County voters would make of electing a superintendent…..

gsmith

September 3rd, 2012
5:55 pm

going to use last years tax return of $4500.00 to buy a home in clayton county

catlady

September 3rd, 2012
6:05 pm

“Beknighted boobs,” Dr. Trotter? I like it. I would use the word buffoons, however.

Pride and Joy

September 3rd, 2012
6:09 pm

Did anyone actually read the full article? Heatley hired his wife and children wihile laying off teachers. This is exactly the “friends and family plan” alive and well in APS, Dekalb and Clayton County.
It’s the good ole boy network no matter what color the super is.

Reallyperplexed

September 3rd, 2012
6:43 pm

He was disrespected and no amount of money pays for that type of treatment. Good for him!!! I hope he finds happiness and respect. Clayton Co. parrents need to be ashamed of themselves!!!

red herring

September 3rd, 2012
7:46 pm

administration in ga. high schools and colleges has run amok. these people are raping the taxpayers of the state of georgia. there should be a review of every georgia school administration to see how many administrators they have vs. how many they need (as well as their staff)—they should also have a limit on total administrative budget for each county as well as each college. these government employees (and make no mistake that is what they are) have found a way to raid the taxpayers pocket books. it’s a disgrace that our elected officials can not stop this foolishness. from the comments of the folks that know this man it is apparent that he is another educator that has found a way to riches on the backs of the taxpayer. this is another reason there must be more competition in our education system. our colleges are no better—they suck donors and taxpayers dry as well. the more people give and are taxed then the more these administrators holler about how bad they are being treated and how much more money they need. it’s never enough. administration should be downsized prior to teachers—the taxpayer funded education/vacation trips aka as training/etc sessions should be stopped as well. these sessions can be held via video conferencing rather than hotel rooms, meals, and travel expense.

Bernie

September 3rd, 2012
8:16 pm

Reallyperplexed @ 6:43 pm – This Gentleman disrespected Himself, his family and the thousands of taxpayers of Clayton county, Teachers and students.

A Good Leader LEADS by example. He is a former MARINE. Marines know what Real Leadership IS and is not.

His actions reflected DISRESPECTFUL behavior of his own doing.

Dr. John Trotter

September 3rd, 2012
8:39 pm

If any of you would like to weigh in and tell the wonderful people of Berkeley just how great (gag) Edmond Heatley has been for Clayton County, then here is your opportunity >>>

http://www.berkeleyside.com/2012/08/31/berkeley-school-district-homes-in-on-superintendent-candidate/

Dr. John Trotter

September 3rd, 2012
8:41 pm

I don’t mean for you to lie and to say that he was actually “great.” But, it’s your opportunity to sound off!

Ron F.

September 3rd, 2012
9:58 pm

“kinda like waiting for superintendant man…”

Now THAT’S a good one!!! :-)

I’m just so, so, very ecstatic I don’t have the ringside seat anymore in that circus of a system to see who they pick next. Their track record is to go from bad to worse to worst ever. I wonder how many more they’ll hire before they, and many systems like them, realize the folly of treating superintendents like corporte CEO’s and actually expect them to be reasonable, experienced educators. That will likely never happen, but a boy can dream, right?

Football Widow

September 3rd, 2012
10:03 pm

Reallyperplexed, you are either (1) his wife, (2) one of his children, or (3) his right-hand man, Doug Hendrix, who is probably afraid of losing his job. You most definitely had no experience in the Clayton County school system because you would know better.

Marshall

September 4th, 2012
5:29 am

I read that the hiring folks from Berkley were in Clayton County last week interviewing the people that their prospective super told them to. Now there is due diligence for you! The residents of CC will be better off.

Puzzled

September 4th, 2012
7:26 am

BFG…we had elected superintendents until the people of Georgia voted to not vote on superintendents and leave it up to the school boards…which was a BIG mistake.

Truth in Moderation

September 4th, 2012
8:12 am

Gwinnett County has a home grown super, and while he has his detractors, GCPS schools have a generally good reputation and the top school in Georgia, GSMST, which he and the Board had a hand in establishing. Yet, it wasn’t originally meant to be. The PARENTS of Gwinnett made the difference. It began back in the early ’90’s when a handful of parents caught wind of the push by the then super, George Thompson, to bring in “Outcomes Based Education” or “OBE”. Using hard research and government documents, this group made the info about this dangerous “reform” available to the parents countywide via the FAX machine and public meetings. Once parents were informed, they put up so much resistance to the plan, that the super was forced to resign. One can search the AJC archives to find this well documented. These same parent activists made sure a new school board, who did not want OBE, got elected. When the time came to replace Mr. Thompson, this new board was somewhat railroaded into using the “approved” head hunters who hired from the “approved” pool of applicants (who attended special superintendent training schools). Two parents were not happy with this. They thought we should hire within the county and did not trust the “outsiders”. It turned out they were right. They did their own private investigation of the proposed new superintendent in his home school district in Virginia. It turns out that he had a “misappropriated” funds problem and was loose with the school credit card, which they obtained records of. This info was given to the Board and to the AJC. The bad publicity was enough to get the board to fire him, and he was finally replaced with a local, Mr. Wilbanks, who is still there. Two PARENT citizens, dedicated to doing the right thing, CAN make a difference!

redweather

September 4th, 2012
8:15 am

That about the opportunity for every student to achieve greatness really sticks in my craw. What’s wrong with achievable goals? Greatness? Beware of people who talk like this. They are phony to the core.

MannyT

September 4th, 2012
11:14 am

If the people of Clayton County are so unhappy with the superintendent, why is there such uproar that he is leaving? Should be good news unless you believe the board will make a worse selection next.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

September 4th, 2012
12:19 pm

John-you are welcome to use the Gypsy Super term anytime but I have added the phrase Locusts of the Mind to deal with the intentional push by the accreditors like SACS and Western Association that has California to bring in supers and principals and other administrators who will push the districts away from academics to the Deweyan Best Practice scam.

I was at a luncheon a few months ago where someone mentioned that the Clayton super felt no need to even return phone calls or speak to board members in the voting minority. Not surprising that Berkley would want an idealogue then in charge of its schools. This post http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/self-efficacy-cultural-proficiency-training-critical-reflection-and-change-agency-development/ explains how the group California Tomorrow plans to use the CA schools and Hewlett Foundation Deep Learning Strategies to deliberately introduce Critical Race Theory and Change Agent training to obtain a “just tomorrow” as the primary focus of the schools.

How exciting for Heatley. How tragic for this country. Ignorant and aggrieved is a sad way to go through life.

claytondawg

September 4th, 2012
12:24 pm

@Manny T, you could be right. I’m definitely worried that this dysfunctional school board will do the same thing. @ Truth in Moderation…nice post; really enjoyed reading it. I not only enjoyed reading the post, it also gives me hope that maybe–JUST MAYBE–this dysfunctional board will see the error they made and choose another direction. As someone else posted earlier: “I can hope, can’t I?”

Mary

September 4th, 2012
2:27 pm

DUHHH Manny! All of the uproar is that Clayton Co employees are SUPER EXCITED that he is finally leaving AND we were warning the folks in Berkley to get ready for rough times ahead. Chino tried to warn us and we’re trying to warn Berkley but it’s probably too late. If you can’t tell that from reading these posts then you might need some help.

system destroyed

September 4th, 2012
2:55 pm

Heatley has destroyed the system. Overcrowded classrooms, lack of materials and leadership in schools with inexperienced power hungry principals. Get rid of Kappas and oher greeks who are collecting fat pychecks. Maybe we can move to twice a month pay now.

system destroyed

September 4th, 2012
2:56 pm

typo: paychecks