As Legislature gets ready to convene, education leaders offer their wish list. (Yes, money is on it.)

Whenever the General Assembly makes decisions affecting schools, educators complain their views are overlooked.

So, I asked education leaders to tell me what the Legislature should tackle in 2013 and what it should avoid:

Herb Garrett, Georgia School Superintendents Association:

The issue that I wish our returning lawmakers would address is the continued underfunding of our state’s public schools. As you know, we are now about to enter our 12th consecutive year of the infamous “austerity cuts,” and there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight. While five other states are mulling the idea of actually adding days to their students’ school years, two-thirds of our school systems are unable to offer even the 180-day school year that used to be considered normal. At some point, we simply must ask if we are doing the right thing by our children.

During this continuing saga, there will be much conversation this session about changes to our “flexibility and accountability” models. Most of the discussion around this topic has been ongoing as part of the work of the recently-concluded Education Finance Task Force, and most of it seems to be a sincere and honest effort to encourage systems to find more innovative and effective ways to educate our youth.

The only negative about this is the continued insistence by some policy-makers that we copy Florida’s questionable accountability model of assigning letter grades to schools, even though our DOE friends are hard at work designing a numerical school rating system to comply with our NCLB waiver. Effective leaders know that you can’t expect and encourage improvement by using embarrassment and punishment as so-called “motivators;” we still have a few folks who need to learn that lesson.

We will undoubtedly have some legislation related to our Race to the Top grant. For example, there will be efforts to define just what percentage of a teacher’s and principal’s annual evaluation will be determined by student scores on state-mandated assessments, and those discussions are certain to become heated. Even more contentious might be the talks over how to use student achievement as an evaluation measure in classes where there is no state-mandated test. Interesting times, for sure.

Finally, as always, there is no doubt that there will be other issues that pop up due to specific interests of legislators or pressure groups. School vouchers and neo-vouchers (aka, “tax credit scholarships”) will probably still be debated; legislation mandating the procedure for handling sports-related concussions is already being drawn; and, those interested in strengthening anti-bullying legislation are looking for ways to involve school personnel in the handling of “cyberbullying,” even when such activity occurs off-campus.

I have been contacted by a North Carolina chiropractor who is on a mission to stop kids from having to carry heavy backpacks.  He claims to have a “contact” in our legislature who he hopes will introduce a bill limiting how much students’ backpacks can weigh.  I guess we can weight those at the same time we determine each child’s BMI.  Good grief.

Angela Palm, Georgia School Boards Association:

We hope whatever they do, they will move cautiously, weighing the impact on all students and with consideration to the fiscal impact locally. The AJC did an article a while back about the possible expansion of the tax credit program. That’s definitely an “avoid.” Expanding private options will not close the funding gap in the state budget.

One proposal we have heard mentioned several times is a constitutional amendment to allow local legislation to elect superintendents. We believe that should also be avoided. Tying a new teacher evaluation system to compensation would also be an “avoid.” If a new system is put into place, there should be implementation and time to get some feedback and make any needed adjustments before the question of tying it to compensation is addressed.

They need to make sure the resources are provided to prepare adequately for the Common Core assessment. We hope there will be close collaboration among the Legislature, the Governor’s Office, and Department of Education as parts of Race to the Top are rolled out to more districts and the No Child Left Behind waiver is implemented so everything works together.

Tim Callahan, Professional Association of Georgia Educators:

As you know teachers have a lot on their plates right now, with the implementation of the Common Core and a new evaluation system for both teachers and principals – part of our Race to the Top grant. We hope that legislators will be aware of how both those issues are impacting our schools and our school personnel.

We believe that ensuring all students attend a complete 180-day school year and providing teachers with 10 additional days of professional learning and prep time are two “restoration” priorities for the Legislature to consider. Both are critical for successful Common Core roll-out and a smoother and more thoughtful transition to the new evaluation systems.

The tragic events in Connecticut may well see some additional legislative activity around the issues of school safety.

We would suggest some legislative attention toward smarter standardized testing. We are testing too much and relying too heavily on tests to measure things they were never designed to measure.

Finally we would hope that they avoid focusing on the charter school amendment and punishing groups who opposed it. We need to move forward with purpose to address a wide array of challenges facing Georgia’s education system. PAGE is prepared to do that and we hope that our legislators are as well.

Tracey-Ann Nelson, Georgia Association of Educators:

Lawmakers did a lot of work on the Education Finance Study Commission and significant legislation will come out of those findings. We know there will be an effort put forth on parent trigger legislation.

We hope legislators will also work toward ensuring that every child in public school in Georgia is afforded 180 days of instructional time. (Clearly, the 180-day school year has demonstrated a successful academic impact on kids.) Other states are moving toward more than 180 days. In Georgia, we have systems with significantly less instructional days and the resulting academic outcomes make it hard for our kids to garner success.

We know the state budget remains in difficult standing and we hope lawmakers makers the link between investing in kids in K-12 and economic development for the state.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

118 comments Add your comment

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
6:30 am

Why can’t Herb Garrett give a simple direct answer, to a simple direct question:

****Why won’t your organization take the ethical high road and rescind Beverly Hall’s Superintendent of the Year award?****

What message do you send to the educators who didn’t cheat by allowing her to maintain the award? Aren’t you completely disrespecting those educators?

Why, knowing full well that the award was based on a corporate culture of fear and intimidation of educators which lead to the largest systemic cheating scandal in US educational history, won’t your organization rescind the award?

What does that say about the integrity of your organization that it won’t rescind the award? Are you that willing to support the status quo, at all costs, that you will continue to honor an educator whose actions are now universally condemned (by anyone not named Shirley Franklin) as disgraceful and reprehensible?

You have plenty of examples of organizations that did the right thing to follow. Lance Armstrong, who is a much larger public figure than Beverly Hall will ever hope to be, had all seven of his titles stripped by the Tour de France, even though it was almost a decade after the fact the evidence came out. The Olympics took Marion Jones medals, almost a decade after the fact when they found she cheating.

But thanks to the AJC, your organization didn’t have to wait a decade. It wasn’t long before your organization had incontrovertible evidence that Beverly Hall’s “accomplishments” were based on deliberate deception evidence that has been confirmed in an exhaustive 800 page report. She “knew or should have known.” You, Herb Garrett, know. Yet you still continue to honor her? To what end?

If your actions are just in maintaining the award, at least explain why they are just. If not, send a message to every educator in Georgia who did it the right way and rescind the award.

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
6:40 am

Excuse the typos. They were in error. See Herb, how easy it is to admit you made a mistake? I could have said, “Maureen added the typos to discredit me.” (Actually, even if I had said that, it would be more plausible than what Hall and Augustine came up with; or have you forgotten, “We see no need to investigate; we expect outliers every year”?)

It’s the right thing to do Herb; it’s what ethics requires. It’s what educators in Georgia deserve.

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
6:49 am

@Herb Garrett these are the words of your own organization concerning Values, Beliefs, and Vision.

The constant goal should be transparency in reporting both accomplishments and failures, as requested by citizen input in the community conversations conducted by the Vision Project.

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
6:57 am

Given these words:

The constant goal should be transparency in reporting both accomplishments and failures, as requested by citizen input in the community conversations conducted by the Vision Project.

Where is your organization’s transparency?

More words from your organization about Beverly Hall:

“A system-wide culture of low expectations has been reversed. Low income, but top-performing students who never even thought about attending college are now enrolling in prestigious and competitive universities both in Georgia and elsewhere. The faith of the civic, business, and philanthropic communities in the school system has been restored. And, the nation has taken notice.”

The nation has taken notice? INDEED! Yet these are still, to this day the words you use to laud Beverly Hall. Is this what the educators of Georgia deserve to read on your website?

yuzeyurbrane

December 26th, 2012
6:58 am

My prediction: good luck on getting any restorations. Georgia is pathetic when it comes to public education. They have voted for charter schools and the private sector solution and will now wash their hands of any additional state resources to traditional public education. Why? They are ideologically driven and also have no vision for the state beyond lowering taxes on the wealthy. But Georgians voted for them and therefore deserve what they get. So maybe there is a rationale to keeping Georgians dumbed down.

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
7:06 am

@Herb Garrett since you just used these words, it makes your decision to not rescind Beverly Hall’s award look all the more hypocritical. Just to be clear, these words exist, right now, on your very website:

“Effective leaders know that you can’t expect and encourage improvement by using embarrassment and punishment as so-called “motivators;” we still have a few folks who need to learn that lesson.”

Yet you have named a (now disgraced) educator Beverly Hall as your Superintendent of the Year, someone who utilized embarrassment and punishment as essential ingredients of her corporate culture and used them to squash reports of cheating?

Yet you Herb Garrett continue to honor her on your very website???? And then you want us to then trust the integrity of your words on education issues?

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
7:25 am

Maureen can you not use your bully pulpit to ask Herb Garrett why Beverly Hall’s award is still in place?

And please, no references to the “passage of time”.

Both the IOC and Tour de France understood the importance of restoring integrity by rescinding their awards. As did Downtown Athletic Club when it rescinded Reggie Bush’s Heisman. As did the NCAA when in vacated Joe Paterno’s wins during the Jerry Sandusky scandal. (Though they didn’t use the exact words, it was basically a case of “knew or should have known” and “emphasizing public praise to the exclusion of integrity and ethics”)

Maureen, I’m sure you would agree reporters were doing their duty to ask these organizations if they would be rescinding their awards in light of what was uncovered. Therefore, as this is your domain, do you not also have a duty to ask Herb Garrett why, unlike Marion Jones, Lance Armstrong, Reggie Bush, and Joe Paterno, Beverly Hall is still honored by his organization?

And if he won’t respond, don’t we have the right to ask what then, his organization truly stands for, if it continues to, after the AJC’s groundbreaking work, stand by Beverly Hall on their very website?

Joel

December 26th, 2012
7:46 am

Wow, there’s a lot about teachers making more money and sticking their noses where it doesn’t belong (cyberbullying) but nothing about improving the lives of the adults their students will become.

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
7:54 am

Joel I would suggest to you the problem isn’t teachers making more money in so much as it’s a status quo determined to continue supporting administrative bloat at any and all costs.

Also, you can best believe it’s not teachers who are looking to deal with issues outside the school; it’s administrators who don’t want to enforce discipline inside their schools, so they resort to “making a show” to show they have backbone on discipline issues. Looking at the schools, one knows nothing could be further from the truth.

mark

December 26th, 2012
7:58 am

My family laughed when I told them I only had 182 day contract this year and my students will only show up 176 days. Those family members laughing includes, 80 years in education experience. Three teachers and one retired administrator. The same ole southern backward folk jokes came out. After I told them the chip rodgers story and the great things he has done for Georgia, they said, “why don’t you vote these guys out” I had to inform them of the (R) by their name made them holy, therefore elected.

member of legislature

December 26th, 2012
8:07 am

I would like Mr. Garrett to point out where we can print more money to fund schools, and other projects the the federal government has mandated on the state. Since he is so smart, I suggest he run for governor and suggest a balance budget without any cuts to education.

dc

December 26th, 2012
8:14 am

Yeah, more money is the answer….since it’s worked so well in the past 30 years. After all, doubling after inflation of tax money spent per student has resulted in some truly incredible results….NOTHING!

The first half of the answer is to reward the best teachers, those who both give their all (and there are many), and who get results. And the second half is to get rid of the awful teachers (and yes, there are many of these as well).

Then we’ll see public school results go through the roof.

Eddie Hall

December 26th, 2012
8:16 am

I would agree that funding restoration should be a priority, but most of the pet peeves of legislators should be avoided . Does anyone know what the bill cost local systems to implement that requires someone available at all times trained in diabetes management?
We suffered through many years of elected Supts. That was awful .

williebkind

December 26th, 2012
8:31 am

Yep those teachers will need more money with the charters schools opening up taking all those kids who would really volunteer to go to school. What is left? Those undisciplined kids, parents who depend on the teachers to teach their kids, and smaller class rooms possibly. How much money should the tax payer pay per student from k1 thru k12, $10k pyr, 12k pyr, or more?

Joel

December 26th, 2012
8:31 am

Is anyone able to tell me what difference those four more days of school will make? Or why 180 days is better than 240, or 100?

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
8:34 am

“The first half of the answer is to reward the best teachers, those who both give their all (and there are many), and who get results. And the second half is to get rid of the awful teachers (and yes, there are many of these as well).”

@dc the system doesn’t do that. In many cases, it rewards teachers who are compliant regardless of their merit. It actively harasses good teachers who take a stand on issues of integrity for the betterment of their students, just like those APS teachers who had their contracts terminated when they testified to state investigators about cheating. (Just ask MACE, unlike GAE and PAGE they aren’t so invested in the status quo they can’t tell the truth about this dynamic.)

The best way to reward good teachers isn’t through pay. It’s through good teaching conditions; support for discipline, support against administrative retaliation. But when you notice every advocacy organization Maureen quotes is influenced by the bureaucratic/administrative status quo in Georgia, you see why neither of these things are mentioned.

If you want to blame teachers in Georgia for anything, blame them for choosing, with their ever decreasing pay, to support organizations that have repeatedly demonstrated they don’t have teachers’ best interests at heart.

It would be like tens of thousands of chickens turning their noses up at PETA (”too radical”) to join the “Truett Cathy Chicken Empowerment Group” and then complaining they are being sacrificed for mass consumption.

Teachers, at what point do teachers stop blaming Truett Cathy and start looking at who you chose to protect you and ensure your fair and safe teaching conditions?

The fact that tens of thousands of Georgia teachers seemingly cannot comprehend this simple straightforward analogy is probably the most damning indictment of teachers as a whole in Georgia.

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
8:41 am

“Is anyone able to tell me what difference those four more days of school will make?”

@Joel, next to none. 180 days of poor teaching conditions will have no direct tangible affect.

176 days of good teaching conditions with support for discipline and against administrative retaliation would do more for teaching in Georgia than 180, 190, or even 200 days of the current dysfunction.

But notice none of the organizations Maureen cites can even discuss it. Heck, if you can’t even muster up the integrity to rescind Beverly Hall’s award, how can you even begin to expect to be taken seriously? Even the IOC, with all it’s shortcomings, knew to rescind Marion Jones awards did it not?

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
8:50 am

“I would agree that funding restoration should be a priority”

Why Eddie Hall? What have Georgia school systems done to show they deserve it? Look at almost any system that furloughed teachers and you well see tens of thousands, if not millions of dollars in administrative bloat.

$2100 dollar conference chairs in DCSS central office? Close to a million in administrative bonuses to APS, all based on test fraud? Tens of millions unaccounted for in construction budgets? $40,000 dollars to investigate rumors in central office in Clayton?

Why should the legislature support that type of behavior with taxpayer dollars?

Lynn43

December 26th, 2012
8:51 am

Beverly Fraud must have had a bad Christmas.

Whirled Peas

December 26th, 2012
8:52 am

My wish list includes getting the “educators” out of my pocket. I will spend my own hard earned money to get my kids out of public schools and send them to a good school.

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
9:02 am

“Beverly Fraud must have had a bad Christmas.”

@Lynn43 if I had spent Christmas safely ensconced in the comfort of a $2100 office chair, it wouldn’t change the validity of my words one bit.

Now if you are willing to engage in debate, please point out where I am wrong.

-Do you support Herb Garrett skirting the issue as to why they still display Beverly Hall’s Superintendent of the Year award on their website. Do you find that an ethical decision on their part?

-Do you find it in the best interests of teachers and students that none of the organizations Maureen cited will deal directly with either discipline or administrative retaliation given they are two major reasons good teachers leave the profession?

-Do you disagree that, with their own choice of who they choose to represent them, Georgia teachers are not somewhat responsible in being active co creators in their own misery not unlike if chickens rejected PETA (”too radical”) and joined the “Truett Cathy Chicken Empowerment Organization??

Please @Lynnn43 point out the error in my words or arguments, and move the debate forward.

Fred in DeKalb

December 26th, 2012
9:04 am

Beverly Fraud, in the examples you cited about rescinding awards, they were all in the field of sports. Surely you know that integrity in sports is far more important than integrity in education.

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
9:08 am

“Beverly Fraud must have had a bad Christmas.”

@Lynn43 I would ask one more question at this time. What is the bigger problem, that I am asking these questions or that thousands of Georgia teachers and parents aren’t asking these questions, or specific to this blog, aren’t demanding Maureen asks these questions on their behalf?

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
9:15 am

“Surely you know that integrity in sports is far more important than integrity in education.”

@Fred it does seem that Herb Garrett is acutely aware of the above statement, does it not?

I guess in Herb Garrett’s world integrity in education is even less important than integrity in entertainment. Even the Grammys rescinded the Grammy for Milli Vanilli once it was disclosed they were the musical equivalent of Beverly Hall.

Herb?

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
9:31 am

“Beverly Fraud must have had a bad Christmas.”

@Lynn43 safe to assume one of two possibilities due to lack of response.

You’re either off the blog, or enjoying Herb Garrett Playbook on Ethics and Integrity and the non response to questions of both.

red herring

December 26th, 2012
9:35 am

public education has been a black hole for taxpayer dollars for the last 25 years. especially the salaries of administrators (look at past ajc articles for their bloated salaries and sheer numbers of these positions). we need to move towards more class room teachers, less administration (esp. curtailing salaries in these areas), and actually demanding results or making changes if none are forthcoming. hopefully charter schools and the likes will help bring pressure to bear on how much taxpayer money is spent on education. am all for education just not for excess and there is plenty of it in education. why don’t we look at setting spending levels on public school administration at levels similar to what is spent on private school administration. and NO you don’t need to base it on number of students. when i was educated we didn’t have multiple layers of superintendents, principals, vice principals, deputy school supt., etc, etc.

Fred in DeKalb

December 26th, 2012
9:35 am

Beverly Fraud, as long as APS has the cover of the Chamber of Commerce, we won’t see hard hitting questions you seek. Follow the dollar. Now DeKalb and Clayton counties are a different story…..

Pride and Joy

December 26th, 2012
9:46 am

Herb Garrett misses the point concerning heavy back packs. Other schools require back packs to have wheels — that almost totally solves the problem of a heavy backpack. The chiropractor’s concerns are valid. In kindergarten, my children weighed only about 45 pounds each. When they went to the school library to check out four books each, those hard back books were too heavy to carry in their back packs on their tiny bodies.
What is really concerning is that the public school teacher scolded me for carrying my children’s back packs for them when they were heavy with four library books, supplies, lunch and so on.
Wheeled back packs make much more sense but they WERE NOT ALLOWED in my child’s school because they “take too much room.” Our childrens’ health comes first.
Herb also misses the point about funding. There is PLENTY of money — it just doesn’t make its way to the individual schools because of corruption in the school administration. Traveling to nice warm tropiclal climates in the Carribean and the Bahamas and the like for “conferences” is nothing but an obvious paid vacation. Mary Lin elementary’s principal is using SPLOST tax funds for his own private bathroom — there’s 10k literally down the drain of our tax dollars.
We waste tax payer dollars everday in APS and Dekalb County schools. We don’t need to pay more taxes here; we need to run the crooks out of office and that’s why parents like me voted for amendment one — to escape the corruption.

Pride and Joy

December 26th, 2012
9:49 am

To Beverly Fraud — I am one of those voting tax payers who want Beverly Hall’s “award” rescinded — and burned.

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
10:03 am

“Beverly Fraud, as long as APS has the cover of the Chamber of Commerce, we won’t see hard hitting questions you seek.”

Maureen is this why you are silent? What other legitimate reason do you have otherwise?

Did not reporters ask the NCAA about Joe Paterno?
Did not reporters ask the Tour de France about Lance Armstrong?
Did not reporters ask the Downtown Athletic Club about Reggie Bush’s Heisman?

In that same vein, do you not have the same responsibility to journalistic ethics to query Herb Garrett? And if you won’t ask, does that no give legitimacy to Fred in DeKalb’s statement, as not one single poster has ever (to my knowledge) questioned the legitimacy of asking Fred Garrett?

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
10:07 am

Sorry, that’s Herb Garrett (who I’m sure must be aware Maureen has posted, and at least given a cursory glance, or otherwise been made aware.

As they say (ESPN is it?) C’mon man! It’s your organization. Own up to it.

dc

December 26th, 2012
10:10 am

@BF, agree re the “disincentives” in the current system. And these will continue, until there is some objective way to measure teacher effectiveness. Thus (IMO) the resistance from so many teachers to something like using increases!! in standardized test scores (or lack of increase) to measure each teacher. In particular, the least effective (and sadly, most dangerous) teachers will continue to scream out about how that measure is “unfair” to them.

Until something like that happens, we’ll continue to be at the mercy of those who decry that there is no way to reward and punish, because teacher measurements are too subjective.

Another View

December 26th, 2012
10:13 am

There should be a 30 minute moratorium between posts.

mountain man

December 26th, 2012
10:19 am

“Is anyone able to tell me what difference those four more days of school will make? Or why 180 days is better than 240, or 100?”

I would say that having a 180-day year rather than a 176-day year would give more than 2% more instruction time (maybe). If your boss gave you a 2% raise, would you refuse because it was not enough? An additional solution might be to make sure all the “high-stakes” testing is done in the LAST DAYS of the semester. No testing a week or two earlier, so there is “dead time” after the testing. The legislature can easily make the 180-day calendar a reality: just legislate that 180 days are required and let the counties come up with the money to fund it.

Is 180 days enough? Not if we want to compete with China, India, or European contries. I challenge you, Maureen, to list the instruction days in the different systems correlated with their educational standing.

living in an outdated ed system

December 26th, 2012
10:23 am

I think the statements by the education leaders are remarkably short-sighted and demonstrate they aren’t thinking about the major problems affecting public schools. It’s not about the funding and its not about the longer school calendar. It’s about how the money is spent, and aligning funding with innovation. It’s also about corrupt school boards and how to not only reward success but also deal with failure, both at the school level and school board level.

I would like to see our education leaders show some intellect and vision by articulating some “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” as stated in the noteworthy book: “Built to Last” by James Collins and Jerry Porras.

indigo

December 26th, 2012
10:29 am

I’m sure many hope their friends and relatives get to keep their high paying little or no work patronage jobs.

After all, they can always lay off more teachers.

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
10:37 am

“If your boss gave you a 2% raise, would you refuse

Yes I would Mountain Man, and here’s why: I would refuse it for the red herring it is and instead focus on addressing working conditions

If I advocated for people who worked in an atmosphere of administrative retaliation where the people they are told to “manage” are allowed to openly defy, disrespect and even physically threaten and assault often with minimal-or zero-consequences, I wouldn’t even allow THAT debate to be derailed by a token 2% increase in pay.

But PAGE and GAE routinely avoid THAT debate; is it because the people who retaliate against teachers and don’t support them in discipline are also lining the pockets of PAGE/GAE?

At what point to teachers, who aren’t given authority in the classroom, at least take authority with GAE/PAGE by withholding dues until teaching conditions are put front and center?

And if they don’t, do they then deserve about as much sympathy (as a whole) as chickens who reject PETA (”too radical”) to join Truett Cathy’s Chicken Empowerment Organization only to find themselves served up for public consumption?

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
10:39 am

“There should be a 30 minute moratorium between posts.”

Explain why Another View; of course you’ll have to wait approximately 6-8 minutes LOL

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
10:51 am

“Thus (IMO) the resistance from so many teachers to something like using increases!!”

The resistance isn’t in the measure; it’s the complete lack of trust the well earned lack of trust in how it’s going to be implemented. It’s asking teachers to put their hands in data being “interpreted” by people who seemingly can’t get allowing teachers to be disrespected, threatened and physically assaulted is not acceptable.

These same people often can’t even handle these students one on one yet they want to judge teachers handling them in a group setting, based on statistical analysis that statisticians have routinely rejected as having validity.

If we spent even a tenth of the time we spend on giving teachers authority as we did accountability we might find we would get ten times the results; of course we might also find we need a tenth of the current bureaucracy we need now, and since they pay PAGE and GAE to represent their interests, you aren’t going to hear much about cutting them.

And why should you, when GAE and PAGE teachers continue to shell out dollars?

Dr. John Trotter

December 26th, 2012
10:56 am

Hey Maureen: I noticed that you didn’t ask anyone from MACE about what should be the concerns about education at the upcoming educational session. Perhaps you know what we would say. Answer: Teaching conditions. The MACE Mantra has always been that you cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions. The first teaching condition that has be to be established in every school in Georgia (yes, and in particular the urban schools where discipline basically does not exist) is student discipline. But, I note that the “educational leaders” that you consult with don’t have much to say about this all important issue. Each teacher will tell you that if the administration does not support them classroom discipline that two or three disruptive students can destroy the learning environment for those students who want to learn. But, here in Georgia (and elsewhere in the country), there is a complete blind spot to the importance of classroom discipline.

There are four basic problems in America Public Education (APE): (1) Defiant and Disruptive Students; (2) Irate and Irresponsible Parents; (3) Angry and Abusive Administrators; and (4) The Worshipping at the Altar of Standardized Tests and the Resulting Systematic Cheating that Accompanies the Adoration of These Tests. We have been saying these things for years at MACE.

MACE also pointed out way before the media got involved that DeKalb and Atlanta were “gangsta systems.” We talked about the “systematic cheating” in both systems. We had four people on our “Greatest Educational Hypocrites in Georgia”: (1) Beverly Hall; (2) Crawford Lewis; (3) Mark Elgart; and we added another later in the process, (4) Edmond Heatley. Our list was composed when these people were in the height of their power. On was indicted and two resigned under less than glorious situations. We are just waiting for the shoe to drop on the hypocrisy of Mark Elgart and his phony, money-grabbing private organization called SACS.

We presume that MACE is too prescient for this illustrious newspaper. Ha! But, I thought good journalism meant that you went to the sources which or who have been correct in the past to attempt to gain a kernel of truth of what will take place in the future. Ha! No problem, though, Maureen. MACE is used to being right in our views and stances but also being ignored by the lamestream media.

http://www.theteachersadvocate.com

http://www.georgiateachersspeakout.com

Dr. John Trotter

December 26th, 2012
10:57 am

By the way, why are my comments always “Waiting for Moderation”? Are my thoughts that “radical”? Ha!

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
10:57 am

@Another View; what’s the greater harm; the question gets asked on this blog more than once in 30 minutes, or Herb Garrett doesn’t get asked the question at all?

The answer of course is simple; Maureen asks the question, and Herb Garrett gives a simple, direct answer

What’s the word I’m looking for…ah yes, Integrity I’m sure Herb is aware of it, even if he apparently isn’t a strong proponent of it it when it comes to who his organization chooses to honor for Superintendent of the Year.

Herb?

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
11:00 am

Well Dr. Trotter, I would suggest you also name Beverly Hall the Superintendent of the Year. Seems that way you will be prominently featured within the blog post itself.

Mid Ga Retiree

December 26th, 2012
11:11 am

“Back in the day” when our local school system had 180 day school years, there were 3 or 4 days set aside for “fun”, such as field days, senior days, etc. When the school system had to cut the number of instructional days, do you think they cut the “fun” days? No, they didn’t. Do you think administrative salaries were cut when austerity measures were put in place? No they didn’t. Do you think I’ll ever support raising taxes for the education system as long as the administrators and policy makers aren’t serious about cutting the fat from their budgets and actually “instructing” instead of having “fun”? No, I won’t.

Dr. John Trotter

December 26th, 2012
11:12 am

@ Beverly Fraud: I presume that this total lack of integrity in education is why Norreese Haynes and I have entitled our book, The MACE Manifesto: The Politically Incorrect, Irreverent, and Scatological Examination of the Bullsh*t Involved in American Public Education (APE). Of course, you know that we have spelled the word completely but cannot do so in this family newspaper. Ha! There is just so much bullsh*t that is endemic to APE. These so-called “educational leaders” are the problems. Hey Bev, keep pouring it on! I enjoy reading your humorous yet revealing posts.

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
11:14 am

My favorite PAGE story (though not proven as such, I’m sure it’s an urban legend, but resonates nonetheless)

A PAGE representative goes to a school to meet a principal to let her know, in no uncertain terms, that PAGE will not tolerate the disrespect being shown to one of the PAGE teachers. Turns out the principal had her pet poodle in the office, fresh from a dog pedicure.

The poodle starts barking, so the principal says in a stern voice, “Sit”. So he immediately sits on the floor, whimpering and covering his eyes.

No, not the dog; the PAGE representative!

As stated, no doubt an urban legend, but it resonates nonetheless

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
11:18 am

Well I’m curious MidGa Retiree, would you support Beverly Hall maintaining her status as a Superintendent of the Year? Would you applaud Herb Garrett for allowing her to maintain that honor?

After all, we don’t want to do anything to damage anyone’s self esteem do we?

mark

December 26th, 2012
11:20 am

it is tough to keep the good ones when you cut my pay by 2 to 3% a year. We have two openings, one science and one math!!! apply within. filled the science position, now we just need a math teacher. anyone, anyone, buller. By cutting my pay and all the other good ones, our motivation to look else has been increased. good luck Georgia!!

RCB

December 26th, 2012
11:26 am

Same old. Same old. No mention of anything to help teachers, really. Until egregious actions of those former APS administrators are punished, what are we to think? Beverly Hall should have been indicted months ago. The big elephant in the room is discipline. Until you remove those problems from the classrooom FOREVER, results will continue to deteriorate and teachers will be blamed for poor results. I don’t give credence to any of these wish lists until administrators take that responsibility on themselves.

Beverly Fraud

December 26th, 2012
11:34 am

@Mark if they had a choice, what do you think most Georgia teachers would take?

A 2% raise, or real support for discipline and a legitimate way of addressing administrative retaliation?

I would suggest that, as much as anything, causes Georgia teachers to look elsewhere.