Archive for the ‘election2010’ Category

Georgia school board elections: The morning after. Are you toasting or are you toast?

UPDATED:Now, it appears Cobb District 2 school board incumbent Holli Cash has not won, edged out by write-in and absentee ballots. So, the current winner is Republican Tim Stultz, suggesting that this GOP sweep was broad and wide.

Looks like incumbent school board member Holli Cash pulled it off in Cobb, retaining her post on the school board by 50 votes. She may be the one Democrat to have won in a metro Atlanta partisan contest last night.  (Many school board races are nonpartisan. although voters seem to know their candidate’s party affiliation regardless.)

In DeKalb, incumbent Jim Redovian and challenger Nancy Jester are headed to a runoff in District 1, as are incumbent Zepora Roberts and challenger Donna Edler in District 7.

In Fulton, Linda McCain took an impressive 70 percent of the vote in a three-way race in District 5. And the  Republicans won easy school board victories in Cherokee, Fayette and Forsyth.

Republican incumbent Bob McClure also retained his seat in …

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Georgia school chief: Republican John Barge wins it all

 New Georgia school chief John Barge

New Georgia school chief John Barge

Congratulations to Republican John Barge who won the state school superintendent’s job today.

Barge had worked for former state school Superintendent Kathy Cox at the DOE, and decided to run against her in the GOP primary. He was director of career, technical and agricultural education at the DOE in 2004-2005 but resigned after 12 months, saying he wanted to go back to being a high school administrator.

Cox was assumed a sure bet for a third term, but she stunned the state by resigning her post for a think tank job in DC, throwing the July primary contest into chaos and creating an opening for the unknown Barge. Gov. Sonny Perdue was so unsettled that he tried to get an independent on the ballot.

Barge capitalized on the opportunity created when Cox resigned and landed the job. Some DOE officials who worked with Barge while he was at DOE told me they would not stay on if he won. We’ll see if folks follow through now that he has won. It may …

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Cobb election: GOP school board candidates take the lead

Updated later Wednesday: As of this afternoon, Republican Tim Stultz is now the winner in District 2, edging out Cash as more ballots were counted.

Updated Wednesday:  In a true squeaker, Democrat Holli Cash keeps her District 2 school board seat by a margin of 50 votes.

Two Republicans appear poised to win seats on the Cobb school board.

The closest race is in District 2 where GOP challenger Tim Stultz is leading Democratic incumbent Holli Cash. Stultz has 52 percent of the vote, while Cash has 48 percent with 81 percent of the precincts reporting.

In District 6. Scott Sweeney has a commanding lead over Democrat Ricky Alan Welkis.

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DeKalb election: Most school board incumbents survive

Updated Wednesday: Redovian and Jester are in a runoff in District 1, as are Zepora Roberts and Donna Edler in District 7. All other incumbents won. (Please note that Gene Walker was also endorsed by both eduKalb and the DeKalb teachers’ group.)

Despite a perceived clamor for change, incumbents on the DeKalb school board appear to be facing little problem holding onto their seats tonight — with the exception of District 1.

Jim Redovian is trailing challenger Nancy Jester, who ran a high profile and well organized campaign.

Oddly, Redovian was one of the two incumbents endorsed by both eduKalb and the DeKalb teachers’ group, raising questions about the influence of endorsements. (Gene Walker did retain his seat.)

Incumbents Sarah Copelin-Wood, Jesse Jay Cunningham, Zepora Roberts and Gene Walker are leading in their races.

Many posters to this blog are not fans of the DeKalb incumbents, but clearly they have their fans. There is also the familiarity factor. Voters have no real …

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Georgia election and GOP sweep: More of the same or less for schools?

Tonight’s returns suggest a GOP sweep in Georgia, which means either more of the same for education or even less. Nathan Deal is in the lead for governor and John Barge is well ahead for the state school chief job.

We already have a Republican governor and a Republican school superintendent so we should not see any dramatic shift in how our schools or the Department of Education operate.

But Deal is not as interested or as versed in education as Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Deal’s comments on education have been platitudes rather than policies — restoring “the joy of teaching and the magic of learning” — so we are in the dark about what he will do with education, if anything.

One policy that Deal did articulate — letting elementary and middle school students take the CRCT whenever they are ready during the year and then moving them ahead — lacked specifics. In fact, when Deal announced the plan at the Capitol, a GOP lawmaker/educator on hand whispered to me later that he had no idea how …

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Georgia election: Who won your vote today and why?

I just voted at my local school where poll workers told me there had been a steady stream of folks all morning.

Chatting outside with neighbors, one expressed relief that the robo calls were finally over. She lamented the horrible campaign mailers in which candidates castigated their opponents for all varieties of vile wrongdoing.  If you believed all the charges and countercharges, she said the election came down to “pick your perve.”

Nathan Deal

Nathan Deal

I think this election offers two stark options for education. A Nathan Deal/John Barge regime will delight educators who believe that less is more. Districts that want less direction, intervention and guidance from the state will like the hands-off GOP team.

But I think the GOP will also mean less money. Deal has made clear that he’s promising greater flexibility to systems, not greater resources.

Those who believe that education needs the spotlights turned up to push change would like the Roy Barnes/Joe Martin regime. However, …

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Election 2010: School chief has critical role in setting tone, but I’m not sure public cares

When a friend asked me if Alvin Wilbanks was the front-runner for state school superintendent, I got a sense of how hard it must be to run in a race that few people follow. Wilbanks, the Gwinnett County superintendent, is not among the three candidates seeking the state post.

Joe Martin is one of them, and the Democratic candidate wasn’t happy with a comment I made on the ajc.com Get Schooled blog that many voters will likely resort to eeny, meenie, miney, mo to decide the question.

“There is a huge difference in the philosophy, executive experience, and political independence of the three candidates, and the outcome of this election will have significant implications, regardless of who is governor,” Martin said. “I thought this would be a major concern for you.”

I am concerned. And, certainly, other voters are, too. But overall, this race has been eclipsed by the duel for the governor’s mansion.

The indifference reflects a lack of understanding of how important the state …

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Gay student harassed at Emory: Was it his sexual orientation or his hat? Either way, his assailant ought to quit the bottle.

The mistreatment of a gay student at a frat party has turned Emory into a flashpoint for the current concerns over homophobia on campuses.

The mistreatment of a gay student at a frat party has turned Emory into a flashpoint for the current concerns over homophobia on campuses.

I read the account of the gay student being tossed out of a frat party in the Emory Wheel newspaper in a Decatur coffee shop earlier this week, but felt the story lacked some key elements, including comments from the frat brother who allegedly did the tossing. Nor was I clear that this party — at a private residence off campus — qualified as a frat party.

In a nutshell, a gay student in a wizard hat, lime-green jacket and red slacks drew the ire of a recent Emory grad at a Sigma Nu party. According to the alleged victim, the grad, Adam Smith, threw him out of the party amid anti-gay comments and “cheering” from other party goers. Beforehand, Smith had taken the student’s wizard hat and was needling the guy.

According to a statement from the alleged victim to the Emory Wheel: “This guy approached me and asked why I was wearing my hat. … I …

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Democratic school chief candidate protests GOP flyer attacking him as “radical liberal.” Over the top or politics as usual?

Here is a mailer for John Barge that his opponent Joe Martins thinks is appalling.

Here is a John Barge mailer that has irked opponent Joe Martin.

Democratic school chief candidate Joe Martin is unhappy with a flyer being sent out by his GOP opponent John Barge.

The flyer calls Martin “Obama Liberal Joe Martin” and an “Unqualified Radical Liberal” and charges that Martin has spent no time working in public schools.

“This flyer is a throw-back to the hard-nosed tactics of attacking one’s opponent by hurling epithets and playing to fears, ” says Martin in a mass e-mail.

To me, it seems that Barge is playing to the audience dissatisfied with President Obama, as are most Republican candidates this election season. The flyer seems like typical Georgia politics.

I am showing it for your judgment: Politics as usual or over the top?

I have now attended three school superintendent panels and noticed that Barge has  softened his disdain for federal aid over the course of the campaign, especially Race to the Top. I was told that he has chatted with the governor or at …

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Past domestic violence charge: DeKalb school board candidate Corey Wilson releases statement

Corey Wilson

Corey Wilson

Here is the release from Corey E. Wilson, candidate for DeKalb School Board, District 3,  in response to revelations of arrests in his past, including a 2006 arrest for domestic violence:

“I have worked to address the real issues that impact our children in the DeKalb County School System: improving our schools; and supporting our teachers. I encourage everyone to look at my complete record and focus on the big issues. Let me be clear. I have been in love with my wife since we were teenagers, and I still love her. After recently celebrating our 12-year wedding anniversary, I am committed to my family, this school board district, and winning this race. I have a history of community service that speaks for itself. Look at the lump sum of my achievements and not a just few acts.”

Wilson’s campaign provided this additional statement:

In 2006, Corey E. Wilson and his wife experienced a marital disagreement. The incident occurred just after the death of Mr. Wilson’s …

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