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MACE Discusses Discipline!
Crossroads Second Chance South Teacher
Pleads for Fulton Board and
Superintendent Avossa to Show Mercy,
Have a Heart!
I am a teacher at Crossroads Second Chance-South in Fulton County and I am a member of MACE. On April 9,
2013, Superintendent Robert Avossa and the school board of Fulton County voted to close down the Crossroads South and North
programs. To add to insult, on Thursday, April 18, 2013, the school board will vote for a Reduction in
Force (RIF) in regards to the faculty and staff members at Crossroads South and North based on the ‘strong recommendation’
of the superintendent. Most of us at Crossroads South have accepted the fact that Fulton County has decided
to turn over their alternative education program to the Ombudsman group. We can no longer fight for this
issue because the decision has been made. What we are fighting for is our jobs. The
superintendent would rather take our jobs from us than to surplus us to other schools within the county. This
is not fair! Keep in mind, the superintendent continues to brag about 800 vacancies in the county last
year. I am a certified Mathematics teacher and I have been teaching for 22 years. For
22 years, I have NEVER had a reprimand or a bad evaluation. In Fulton County today, you still have substitute
teachers in math and science classrooms. So, why would the superintendent vote to get rid of ‘certified’
teachers in critical shortage areas? It makes no sense! MACE, we need you!
We need you to speak on behalf of the teachers at Crossroads South at the board meeting on Thursday, April 18, because
Fulton County needs to know that they can’t just treat us any kind of way. I’ve learned through
this process that Fulton County is NOT ‘where the kids come first’. Superintendent Robert Avossa
tells the AJC that privatizing Crossroads is not about the money. What else could it be about?
At Crossroads South, only three teachers out of 28 do not possess advanced degrees. Therefore, when
you look at the salaries of the teachers, you would see where Fulton County spends the most of their money in regards to the
budget at Crossroads South. So, is it right to punish teachers for earning advanced degrees?
Something is wrong with this picture. Once again, I am asking MACE to stand up and fight for your
members at Crossroads Second Chance-South because we NEED OUR JOBS!
Superitendent Avossa, there is indeed a difference between substantive
due process and procedural due process. They may not have taught you this at Wingate College or
NOVA or may not have taught education attorney Glenn Brock this at the now-defunct Atlanta Law School, but it is a balancing
test of weighing the needs of the school system against the property interests of the tenured teachers. If
you are still in need of hiring new teachers, then why aren’t you surplusing the Crossroads teachers into other Fulton
County teaching positions? I presume that Eli and Edyth Broad, billionaire insurance moguls, didn’t
teach you this at the Broad Academy, heh?
Norreese Haynes and MACE Staff Fight
for Teacher Falsely Accused!
Click Here To View Video!
What Say Ye?
CLICK HERE TO VIEW MACE LIVE TV
If You Go Straight To YouTube,
Or Use Google, You Need To Type In MACELIVETV Without
Retiring Atlanta Teacher, Jill Beracki, Thanks MACE!
Good afternoon Dr. [John]Trotter, Mr. [Jeff] Cox, Mr. [Darryl] Plenty, and Mr. [Norreese] Haynes:
I want to thank you so much for representing me for these
past few years. I could not have made it through the Atlanta Public Schools without you. No teacher should continue to
teach without having MACE to represent them.
DeKalb MACE Member, Dr. Collette Keeton, Praises MACE!
Dr. Collette Keeton, a member
of MACE since 2006, praises MACE for standing in the gap for her. She thanked Dr. Trotter and Jeff Cox, writing: "Thank
you, MACE, for filing my first grievance in April of 2008 and anohter one in October of 2010. Without your assistance and
blessings from the Most High, I do not know where I would be right now. You are truly a Teacher's Best Advocate!"
Men in Black
Have Nothing on MACE, Says Grateful Member!
Retiring Douglas County Teacher Praises the MACE Teachers’ Union
“To my dearest MACE: After 30 years in the classroom, I am retiring from teaching and beginning
a new life. I have taught over 6000 children in the Douglas County School System, many of whom have been
the children of the children I taught. Knowing three generations within some families has created very powerful relationships
and feelings of trust that few other jobs allow. Several former students are now close friends who will
last a lifetime. Parting will truly be difficult.... briefly.
“I have been a MACE member since very
near the beginning. If Dr. Trotter was going to leave GAE to develop a better organization, I was going
to follow. Over the many years since, I have been involved in only one grievance (as a witness) and was astounded at the brilliance
of Dr. Trotter and his team to reduce opponents to whimpering, stuttering, dumbfounded fools. ZAP! ZING!
WHAMMO! It would come hard, fast, and with unquestionable clarity. I have never had
to bring one of the MACE team into a meeting with an administrator or parent because the mere mention of that as my next step
has solved problems. I have played that card only three times over the years (seeking advice from MACE
beforehand) because someone in authority wanted a grade changed to make an outrageously annoying parent go away. Each
time the 'veiled threat' from a weak principal instantly vaporized.
has a reputation for not just having a teacher's back, but their front and flanks as well. It's like having
a kind of Justice League for the classroom educator - or as one colleague phrased it, "Psycho lawyers from hell."
Either way, thank you for being there. I am 'officially' requesting a cancellation of
my membership, including the automatic monthly draft of dues from my bank account. I will continue to read
your website news and encourage good teachers to join your ranks. Best of luck, my superheroes! Men
in Black have nothing on you guys! Truly, Kathryn P. Johnston”
Note from Dr. Trotter: “Thanks you, Kathryn! It is
the unsolicited thank you notes and letters from members like you which make us feel so good about what we are doing for the
dedicated teachers of Georgia. Please enjoy your well-earned retirement! You have the
highest respect from your children and colleagues – and from the MACE Staff as well! I remember when
several of us guys on the MACE Staff first met with you and several other teachers in your classroom many years ago!
Please stay in touch with us!
Click Here To Read What Other Teachers Say About MACE!
Retiring Atlanta Teacher
"On May 26, 2011, I retired from the Atlanta
Public Schools. MACE was one of the most 'peace of mind' supports for me and well worth the price of admission. It is said
that 'Gratitude is the best attitude and Silent Gratitude isn't much use to anyone.' I would like to say 'Thank You' to
the three 'We Got Your Back' gentelmen: Mr. Norreese Haynes, Mr. Jeff Cox, and Mr. Benjamin Barnes. Always Grateful,
Dr. Martha J. Reid." -- Dr. Martha J. Reid (Atlanta Teacher).
DeKalb Teacher/Coach Praises Attorney
Brown And MACE!
Brown, one of MACE's Network Attorneys, did a tremendous job representing me in a hearing when I was falsely accused recently.
Mr. Brown represented me like he was representing someone in a murder case. He was all over them, dotting all of the
"I's" and crossing all of the "T's." He turned their witnesses into my witnesses. Attorney
Brown is personable and thorough. I appreciate what all MACE has done for me!" -- Earl White (DeKalb Teacher/Coach).
DeKalb Teacher Praises Norreese
Haynes and MACE!
“I am short of words to thank Mr. Norreese
Haynes and MACE for the overwhelming support that turned a weak case to success. Prior to visiting MACE, I consulted a few
volunteer attorneys and they advised that my chance of winning the appeal was at most 25%. In fact, one advised that I really
had no case unless I wanted to waste my time. At this time, I had lost hope of any positive outcome on this appeal, but I
just wanted to fight anyway.
“I did not think that I needed
to involve MACE because I considered that my issues with DOL was outside the classroom and consequently outside the scope
of my relationship with MACE. However, as my last resort, I called and discussed my appeal with MACE and I was immediately
invited to the office and was supported all through the preparation for the appeal. Contrary to my expectation, it was an
unbelievable appeal victory. With the assistance of Mr. Haynes of MACE, I achieved victory and the DOL appeal decision was
in my favor. Go To Testimonial Page to See Glad Obiago's Complete Letter...
Click Here To Read What Other Teachers Say About MACE!
"We appreciate the kind notes of thanks that we receive on a regular basis from our members. We have a back-log of new testimonials that we will try to get up on the website soon! Thank you for being
members of MACE, the union for "teachers teaching
in tough situations." We don't apologize for agitating for you. MACE provides the members "aggressive representation when
you need it." Believe me: When you need representation, you want it to be aggressive. Who wants some half-hearted, half-butted attorney or representative? Teachers, if you teach without being a
member of MACE, you are teaching in the danger
zone!" -- Norreese Haynes, MACE Chief Operating Officer
Why You Came To MACE!
"You didn’t come to MACE because we give you a tote bag or do spelling bees for the children or sell you auto insurance
at an alleged discount. We don’t give out tote bags. We have never put on a spelling
bee contest for kids. We don’t sell auto insurance. Heck, we don’t even
endorse any political candidates. You vote like you want to vote. We don’t care.
We don’t even agree in the MACE Office about political candidates or parties! But, we do agree
about this: Teachers should be respected, esteemed, and supported by the administrators to do their jobs
in the classroom. We know that you cannot have good learning conditions until your first have good teaching
conditions. This is an inexorable law. It can no more be set aside or ignored than the
Law of Gravity.
“You came to us because you are frustrated with how public school teachers are now blamed for all the ills in public
education. Students aren’t motivated to learn. You are blamed. Students
are defiant and disruptive in the classroom. You are blamed. Parents are irate and irresponsible
and frustrated with their own children’s lack of effort. You are blamed. In fact,
you came to us because you are tired of being blamed by the angry and abusive administrators for the failure of the students
who refuse to learn and who refuse to behave. You are tired of being badgered and harassed by these angry,
insecure, petty, ignorant, and abusive administrators. We don’t blame you. You
came to the right organization.
“MACE simply exists to protect and empower classroom
educators…one member at a time. You came to MACE because you have heard of the reputation of MACE.
You have heard that ‘MACE doesn’t play.’ You have heard correctly.
You came to MACE because you know that better than any other organization in the State of Georgia, MACE is able to
tighten up your angry and abusive administrator. You know that there is not another union, organization,
association (or whatever you want to call it) for teachers in Georgia which is as effective as MACE in legally scaring the
heck out of administrators who are already terrorizing you. This
is why you came to MACE.”
-- Dr. John R. Alston Trotter and Norreese L. Haynes
A MACE Newsletter!
Click Here For Dr. John Trotter's Blog
MACE Knows the Issues! Read Here.
Supports Special Education Teachers In Atlanta Public Schools!
Pickets Stephanie Amey Again!This Time at DeKalb's
Columbia High School!
Pickets Cobb's Floyd Middle School Principal, Teresa Hargrett. "Hargrett Must Go!"
The Teachers Seemed Thrilled
at MACE's Presence!
Different than Other Teacher Unions!
By John R. Alston
Trotter, EdD, JD
ask me what is the difference in MACE and the other teacher unions in Georgia. They
ask: “What can MACE do for a teacher that the other teacher unions don’t do?”
There are fair questions, and I have been answering them for the last 18 years. So, let me offer the following thoughts
for those teachers who may be new to Georgia.
Dr. John Trotter, circa 2003.
The mantra at MACE is simple and direct: You cannot have good learning conditions
until you first have good teaching conditions. We have found that not a single politician, policy-maker, educrat, school
board member, or snoopervising administrator can dispute this mantra, but like mindless boobs they continue to try to improve
public education by attacking classroom educators. This is indeed mindless and unconscionable. At MACE, we don’t
play. We devour petty, insecure, myopic, and angry administrators who abuse teachers.
I remember when we founded MACE in 1995 that the administrators were immediately afraid of MACE.
There was an attorney for the DeKalb County Board of Education who stated: “MACE terrorizes the principals!”
We are now completing our 18th year, and our message has not changed one scintilla. We continue to legally
terrorize those administrators who seem to gleefully terrorize teachers. Once these abusive administrators find out
that the teacher is a MACE Member, they suddenly change their direction. We say: “They suddenly get religion.”
Although our membership is strictly confidential, there comes a time when you want your administrator to know that you are
a Member of MACE and are protected by MACE!
The other organizations
(AFT, GAE, PAGE) talk a good game, but their walk is different from their talk. In Georgia, everyone knows that the
most aggressive and feared teachers union is MACE, by far. One of our aggressive attorneys just defended a MACE Member
in Hart County and kicked ass for her. In fact, Vivian Morgan, the reporter for the Hartwell Sun newspaper, called me
and stated: “Lowell Chatham [the MACE attorney] was phenomenal!” The teacher still has her job.
MACE Attorney Chatham also recently defended a Clayton County teacher in a four-day hearing. The teacher won his case
and is still teaching in Clayton County! MACE protects and empowers classroom educators…one MACE Member at a
MACE Endure the Hot Sun
in a Picket Against Norton's Terry Watlington in
Gwinnett County! A Real Hot Picket!
Robert Avossa has Recommended and the Silly but Dangerous Fulton County Board of Education Has Passed School Board Policies
which have Truncated Long Cherished and Enduring Rights of Teachers.
Fulton Superintendent Robert
Avossa has recommended and the silly but dangerous Fulton County Board of Education has passed school board policies which
have truncated long cherished and enduring rights of teachers. Among these crazy policies are the right of the superintendent
to terminate any new teacher within 90 days (when the teacher is just trying to learn the ropes, so to speak) and to suspend
any teacher without appeal for up to 20 days. The latter exercise can ruin a teacher’s personal and professional
reputation, and the former superintendent fiat can destroy a teacher’s career forever before it hardly even begins!
What hubris! What arrogance!
Superintendent Robert Avossa (R) and
two members of the Merry Wives of Fulton. (For the record, the Fulton County Board of Education is composed of
seven women and zero men.) Photo by AJC
Avossa has to go! I don’t know which school system in the country would want him when leaving Fulton County, but
his little gimlet administrative ass needs to leave town. Maybe Eli and Edyth Broad can place him again. He needs
to go back to Charlotte-Mecklenburg, back to Pinellas County, Florida, back to the New York-New Jersey area, back to Italy.
He just needs to get the hell out of Fulton County. See what you did again, Glenn Brock? Another one of your USDA
Grade F superintendent choices…from the Broad Academy. Hey, Glenn, do you look anywhere except the Broad Academy?
That’s not much of a “search,” is it?
came to Fulton County with a checkered past from Charlotte-Mecklenburg in North Carolina. Just recently, the new superintendent
up there made a decision to clean up the mess that his department apparently left with the graduation rates which appear to
have been inflated under Avossa’s time at the helm. He’s a Broadie superintendent who came to Fulton County
almost having completed the work for his doctorate from little Wingate College in North Carolina. He strikes me as the
perfect candidate who will try most anything that this new breed of Capitalists-Turned-Self-Proclaimed-Educational-Experts
would want him to try, including turning Fulton County into a charter school system.
Avossa’s latest naked grab for power is symbolic of the new genre of superintendents in the
United States, who seem to want to be Educational Buddhas who would have all of the classroom educators to have to rub their
tummies to receive any blessings or security for their careers. These latest and disastrous school board policies for
the Fulton County teachers remind me of a totalitarian school system where no one has any vested and protected rights
that they can count on for protection against petty, insecure, vindictive, angry, and abusive administrators. These
are the kinds of school systems which you expect in totalitarian societies like China or North Korea but not in the United
Just as the Fulton Science Academy High School (a charter
school) was deemed a flop, I believe that the Fulton County School System going to a charter school system status will be
a complete flop. It is, in my opinion, just an attempt to get out of having to go by rules and regulations that other
school systems have to abide by. Hey, if not going by these rules and regulations is so good for Fulton County, then
why impose these rules and regulartions on the other school systems? Just recently, the Georgia General Assembly passed
legislation exempting the school systems of Gwinnett and Forsyth from having to meet the goals that were set for them for
the year 2013 in their IE2 agreements. Having political friends at the Capitol seems to help, right?
Personally, I would encourage all prospective teachers to stay as far away from the
Fulton County School System as they can. I would also encourage all teachers who are currently working in the Fulton
County School System to plan a safe, wise, and hasty transfer to another school system with a contract in hand. Young
Robert Avossa may have played the political-educational game well enough to be selected for the superintendency of a large
school system at such a tender age, but, when contemplating his own administrative arrogance, he would be wise to take
the counsel of a sage historian named Herodotus: “All arrogance will reap a harvest rich in tears. God calls
men to a heavy reckoning for overweening pride.” © JRAT, April 11, 2013.
Beverly Hall, Among Others, Indicted on Good Friday! What is Atlanta’s Current Superintendent, Erroll Davis, Doing
to Change the Operational Conditions for the APS Teachers? Not Much! He and His Minions Still
Refuse to Comply with the State’s Complaints Law!
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
first thing that Erroll Davis needs to do is re-vamp the APS Complaints Policy which, as I have pointed out over and over,
egregiously and flagrantly violates the Georgia Code (OCGA 20-2-989.5 et seq.). Destiny Washington, the attorney who was acting
as Davis´s designee, shut down a grievance hearing on Wednesday when I just would not let her talk over me when
I was cross-examining a principal (Tyronne Smith of Mays High School). APS´s actions relative to grievances/complaints
are still unconscionable under the Erroll Davis Administration.
about Beverly Hall and the indictments: All one has to do is go to the MACE website or look on my personal blog and see that
it was the people at MACE who were warning about “systematic cheating” on the streets of Atlanta and DeKalb, calling
both systems “gangsta systems” in writing and on the streets with picket signs well before there was any talk
about investigating the Beverly Hall and Crawford Lewis administrations. So much for a prophetic voice, heh?
Naturally, MACE has its detractors among the administrators who can “bravely”
blog anonymously about MACE being a “tiny and third rate union.” But, it was ole Johnny Trotter and “his
tiny and third union” which openly pointed out the complete disregard that the Beverly Hall and Crawford Lewis administrations
had for the law, despite the fact that many, including the major media in the State, were either singing their praises or
looking rather impassively at the goings-on in these systems.
many of the administrators indicted have been the target of MACE (articles, our Needs Improvement List, pickets, letters,
grievances, etc.) in the past. We never called them “criminals.” But, it looks like Paul Howard has stepped up
to the plate and is calling them precisely this. I too believe that their actions were criminal, but we always leave the criminal
stuff up to the prosecutors. I am impressed with Paul Howard´s mettle in prosecuting from the very top on down.
In particular, I remember the extremely hot picket on Trinity Avenue in the boiling
summer heat in July of 2009 or 2010 when we were calling APS a “gangsta school system” and the three pickets three
days in row in front of the DeKalb Central Office on North Decatur Road in 2009. The first day or two was in torrential
downpour of rain, and Keith Whitney of 11 Alive News called to tell me that the company’s van had to return to the station
because of the ominous weather. In these pickets, we were talking about “systematic cheating” and about
DeKalb being a “gangsta school system.” In fact, we also called Crawford Lewis a “Candy Ass”
(because his administration also shut down a grievance when a teacher whom we were representing was about to testify about
systematic cheating at Clarkston High School). Yes, our tactics may be rather ruthless and politically incorrect and
irreverent, but we just don’t care. When as many egregious and unconscionable things are occurring as were occurring
in these two systems, sometimes it takes “a tiny and third rate union” (ha!) to point the finger at the injustices.
I know one thing, anyone who works at MACE has more guts in their pinkie finger than these hollow and feckless administrators
who blog under the cloak of darkness and who would never deign to use their real names.
Men of MACE photographed
in a line at Piccadilly after taking care of business for some teachers. From left to right, Dr. John Trotter, Leroy Walker.
Norreese Haynes, and David Cochran.
What Our Urban Students
Need. What All Students Need. Discipline and Real Knowledge.
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
The average parent has no clue that the average middle school student
in urban schools could not tell you if Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln wrote the Declaration of Independence or if the
Civil Rights Movement took place in the 19th Century of the 20th Century, much less tell you the difference
between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and historical significance of Selma and Hiroshima. These students
are just clueless…and without much future. Now, if you asked the same aged students at Marist or Westminster or Lovett
the same questions, they probably readily know the answers. Public education’s curriculum, by the design, is full of
mush, full of touchy-feely crap, full of games and group discussions/projects. It is this way all the way up to graduate school
Bill Gates even admits that he envisions using games to teach
the kids (using his app, I’m sure). But, the idea of transmitting knowledge (the foundation of a “common”
culture, if you will) is so 1950ish to these new educational policy wonks (who don’t have the good sense to get out
of the rain). But, in the 1950s, at least we could tell you that Idaho was out west and that Massachusetts was in the northeast.
We had a very definite idea about the location of Japan, Iceland, and Argentina. We knew how to multiply off the top of our
heads and how to break down words phonetically. We knew the parts of language and how to write cogent sentences and paragraphs.
But, these poor kids in the public schools (especially in the inner city schools) are lost when it comes to such standard
and basic knowledge. The key to success in the business world is being able to communicate in writing and orally the King’s
English. Now I am not taking away the exceptions to the rule, viz., the entertainers and the athletes who earn incomes outside
this standardization of common knowledge, but how many people are going to be successful in these endeavors? It is really
somewhat criminal to set up expectations for these children to think that they are going to be the next T. I. (“King
of the South”) or another Michael Vick whose mastery of juking skills have earned him millions.
Look at the successful people in our world today. Look at President Barack Obama. He attended Punahou
Academy with very high academic standards. Then, he was off to Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard Law School.
Look at President Clinton. Georgetown University, Oxford College (Rhodes Scholar), and Yale Law School. George W. Bush. Started
off at Midland Elementary and then San Jacinto Jr. High. But, Poppy and Barb sent him on up to the northeast to go to the
very rigorous Phillips Academy before matriculating to Yale undergrad and Harvard Business School. This is just politics.
Look at Ted Turner. McCauley Prep in Chattanooga and then to the very tough The Citadel in Charleston. (I think that I am
right about Ted’s education.) Look at Oprah Winfrey. Fish University, I think. All of these successful people learned
knowledge…yes, information. None of the touchy-feely stuff. None of the holding hands and singing nursery rhymes.
Today, however, none of the educrats or the educational wonks know what to do with urban
education. They are afraid of it. They think, like Social Security with politicians, that it’s hands-off topic. It reeks
with charges of racism. So, they think that perhaps that they can just try the soft approach…you know, group projects
which will not hold each student accountable for how he or she performs. The individual’s success or failure can be
hidden in the collective meltdown. And, be sure, it is a meltdown. It is a meltdown of knowledge. It is, as I often say when
I see that an administrator criticizes a teacher for being “teacher centered” and not “student centered,”
a pooling of ignorance. If the students don’t know squat about the U. S. Constitution or about Einstein’s Theory
of Relativity, then how can they teach each other in some group discussion/project. They first need to have some knowledge
transferred to them. But, as one of my good friends says, “They want a guide on the side, not a sage on the stage.”
This is a good way of putting it. Teachers become mere facilitators, not transmitters of knowledge. Why? Because in this new
way of thinking (can we say, “Common Core Curriculum”?), verifiable, objective knowledge is no longer cherish
or even tolerated. We are now witnessing the philosophical deconstructionism attacking our schools like a far eastern tsunami.
No one wants to first tackle the near dearth of discipline in the urban schools. This
is a dirty job and not very appealing. But, until these schools are put back in order discipline-wise, no significant learning
will take place. We have said over and over that you cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching
conditions. The first thing that any school leader worth his or her salt has to do is to get the school in order. In other
words, he or she has to first establish sound, fair, and consistent discipline in the school, and the students have to know
undoubtedly that the administrators support the teachers when it comes to discipline.
Another happy MACE member after a grievance hearing...
this one in Bibb County (Macon, Georgia).
Bill Gates and His
Common Core Curriculum and His Profitable Common Apps Need Merit Pay to Shut the Mouths of Outspoken Teachers!
John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
Just about everyone starts from a false premise, viz., the students aren’t learning because the teachers aren’t
teaching. A teacher can teach a student but a teacher can’t “learn” a student. First of all, there has to
be three things in place for any learning to take place: (1) Discipline; (2) Aptitude; and (3) Motivation. So-called experts
from educational think tanks (who almost always come from some Ivy League schools with no educational background), educrats,
and business moguls like Bill Gates and Eli Broad start from the aforementioned premise that the problem in public education
is a lack of good, effective teaching. Therefore, their solutions always start with “improving” teaching. More
training is needed, they think. Also, let’s improve the evaluation process! Yes, this will work, they conclude. Make
it more and more onerous to be a teacher! Put more stressors on teachers! Make all teachers teach from the same cookie-cutter
formula teaching the same “common” curriculum (using Bill’s apps, of course). Yes, these things will improve
public education (and make us a lot of money in the meantime).
real ultimate solution is to pay the “best” teachers the most money. This ought to really contribute a lot to
the collegiality of the workplace. Not. Teachers will be hording lesson plans, teaching materials, and techniques and strategies
that really work. Oh, wait! I forgot. Different, creative, and workable techniques and strategies won’t really matter
anymore because the educrats will tell the teachers what to teach, how to teach, and what materials are permitted to use.
Yes, that’s it! Just turn the teachers into mindless robots. Well, maybe we can call them “technicians.”
This sounds better.
Now if we can get the new evaluation systems
passed in all 50 states with the teachers pay tied to the performance of the students and to the fickle dispositions of the
administrator-evaluators, then the teachers will know that their survival in public education is dependent on two things:
(1) Test Scores and (2) Becoming Groveling Sycophants to Petty and Power-hungry and Sometimes Sex-driven Administrators. But,
at least these professional educators won’t be bucking us about this “Common Core” curriculum that we have
essentially forced down the throats of 45 states thus far. Don’t worry…we will dangling enough money under the
noses of Alaska, Texas, Virginia, Nebraska, and Minnesota to get these states to finally succumb. Hey, our buddy Arne Duncan
has already thrown down the gauntlet that if a state wants to participate in Race to the Top and receive the millions of dollars
in Federal grants, then they also have to participate in Bill Gates’s Common Core Curriculum.
Yes, Bill Gates has become the Educational Savior in this country today. He has given millions upon
millions of dollars to the National Governors’ Conference and has lassoed nearly all of them into going along with the
“common core” crap. Now he wants the “value added” evaluations in place all over the country. This
sounds like a half-brother or first cousin to “merit pay.” Merit pay never has worked in the past, and it never
will work in the future. I was an administrator in the only Georgia school system (and only one of two, I think, in the nation,
according to Reader’s Digest back in the mid 1980s) which had merit pay. I saw who received the most
“merit pay” in the school system. It essentially correlated to two things: (1) To whom the teacher was related
or connected and (2) If the teacher was a kiss-up. Outspoken teachers who have integrity don’t receive merit pay. It
is just that simple. Booger-eaters and kiss-ups who may be awful teachers will reap the benefits of “merit pay.”
But, when all mouths are shut and all people in public education are clicking their boots in good goose-stepping fashion,
then Bill and Melinda can keep their children at the Lakeside School in Seattle and enjoy the financial rewards of the nation’s
public schools using Bill’s apps in their curriculum. Mission accomplished.
In recent days, Bill Gates has expressed concerned about some of the most idiotic ways that different states are
coming up with to tie the students performance to the evaluation of the teachers. (The more onerous, ridiculous, comical ones
are in the area of Physical Education.) Bill suddenly is acting like he is hurt and shocked at such scandalous evaluative
I am sorry, but I am not buying Bill Gates’s sudden
concern for teachers. Perhaps a bit of a blow-back from teachers being disgusted with his kibitzing in public education has
him concerned. He needs to stick to software. I like Microsoft Word.
Gates has done more than anyone else out there in getting this Common Core crap pushed down the throats of school systems
in 45 states so far. (Nebraska, Alaska, Virginia, Texas, and Minnesota have still not bowed down to the educational gods of
Nebuchadnezzar.) He’s pumped millions and millions of dollars in the National Governors’ Conference, effectively
lassoing the governors into his Common Core Corral. Make no mistake…Bill Gates undoubtedly hopes to (and stands to)
make billions of dollars when the states with this “common” curriculum finally need the software apps that his
company is already developing and will no doubt sell to Pearson, the world’s largest educational company out of London,
which will sell them to the school systems nationwide. These apps will be tailored to fit in all the school systems with this
No, I am not buying Bill Gates’s
sudden concern and crocodile tears shed over the fact that these new damnable evaluation systems have become veritable monsters.
He above any person is responsible for creating these monsters. He and his wife Melinda have not called for less testing but
very significantly more testing of the students. They have called for more in-depth teacher evaluations…which have
unleashed these ridiculous examples that he himself cites. Despite his sometimes protestations to the contrary, Arne Duncan
essentially ties any Race to the Top monies to the states bowing at the altar of the Common Core god. Yes, just like Microsoft
is Bill Gates’s baby, so is Common Core. Microsoft is his good child and quite “abel” to assist many people,
including yours truly, but Common Core has been his “Cain” from the very beginning, intent on killing creativity
and ingenuity among the teachers.
It’s all about the cheddar,
isn’t it? All of this “reform” stuff never has really been about the children. It’s about business.
R-E-F-O-R-M? Ruining Education For Our Resources & Money. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what school “reform”
has always been about. © JRAT, April 4, 2013.
Here are a couple
of informative links about Common Core [“State”] Standards.
MACE Pickets Zakaria Watson at Clayton's Lee Street For
Second Time This Year!
MACE Returns to Gwinnett!
Deborah Harris Must Go!
MACE Pickets Clayton's Interim Superintendent,
She Needs To Process Grievances!
Luvenia Jackson, the interim superintendent of Clayton
County Schools in Georgia was brought out of retirement. She has been demonstrating lately
that her administration does not understand the importance to go by the Georgia Law for Certified
Employee Complaints (O. C. G. A. 20-2-989.5 et seq.). Former superintendent Edmond
Heatley wanted to routinely violate this law as well. The MACE teachers union effectively
took on Heatley for this and many other issues. Both superintendents were perhaps looking
for “advice” from education attorney, Glenn Brock. One of MACE‘s
picket signs yesterday stated, “Luvenia, Quit Listening to ‘Legal Pimps’ and Obey
the Law!” Apparently, Ms. Jackson had the top security personnel in the school
system to come and try to remove the MACE picketers from the public forum. We have a feeling that she
(and others superintendents in Georgia) will be receiving a lesson on the First Amendment
and Free Speech from MACE‘s Chairman of the Board,
Dr. John Trotter.
MACE Benefactor and Teacher Advocate, Daniel D. Trotter, Sr. Passes!
Daniel D. Trotter, Sr.
(“Dink”) Trotter, Sr., was born on April 21, 1925 in Madison, Georgia and passed away on February 25, 2013.
He was born to Robert Alston (“Doc”) Trotter, Sr., and Nellie Jane Clemons Trotter (both interred in Columbus).
Mr. Trotter was the youngest child in his family, and he is the grandson of Dr. Robert Walter Trotter and Elizabeth
Howard Alston Trotter (both interred in Madison) and the great grandson of Col. Robert Augustus Alston, Esq., and Mary Charlotte
MaGill Alston (both interred in Decatur).
joined the U. S. Navy during the height of World War II and saw horrific action as a teenager. He married
the love of his life, Jo Ann Frazier, toward the end of World War II when he returned Stateside on a mandatory leave because
his ship was blown up by a Japanese Kamikaze plane. After the war, Mr. Trotter matriculated at Auburn University,
graduating in 1948. Daughter Patti had been born in 1947. In 1948, the young Trotter
family moved to Nashville where Dink entered Peabody College/Vanderbilt University. Upon earning his Master’s
degree at Peabody, the young Trotter family moved to Dasher, Georgia, a little community outside of Valdosta where Mr. Trotter
taught and coached at Dasher Bible School (now Georgia Christian School), making many long-life friends at Dasher.
In 1950, the young Trotter family returned to Dink’s hometown of Columbus, Georgia where Dr. William Henry Shaw,
Superintendent of Muscogee County School District, immediately offered Mr. Trotter a principal job. Mr.
Trotter (or Coach Trotter) wisely turned it down to accept a teaching/coaching job at Columbus Jr. High School/Jordan Vocational
High School. Son Dan was born in 1950 and youngest child Johnny was born on New Year’s Eve, 1953.
(Mr. Trotter named “Johnny” after his best friend, Johnny Rhodes, who was killed in January of 1945 while
fighting in the Battle of the Bulge.) Mr. Trotter later became Assistant Principal at Jordan and Principal
at Daniel Jr. High School. He retired from the school system in 1981, after having been blessed with
thousands of cherished friendships and associations of colleagues and former students throughout his career as an educator.
After retiring from the school system, Mr. Trotter accepted a job as the Executive Director of the Columbus Area YMCAs.
(He had earlier turned down a highly publicized offer from Columbus Mayor Jack Mickle to be the Director of Public
Safety for Columbus, Georgia.)
Not only was Mr. Trotter
a great “School Man,” he most essentially was a Christian, a Man of Faith. Many a person, especially
in a time of need, turned to “Dink” for help, and their needs were met and without fanfare. He
was the essence of the benevolent man. He served his church for about 50 years as both a Deacon and an
Elder. If Dennie Trotter was your friend, you had a friend indeed!
In 2011, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp awarded Mr. Trotter “Georgia Citizen of the Year”
and Mr. Trotter was similarly honored by Resolution in the Georgia Houses of Representatives
the same year. Mr. Trotter was respected by all and adored by many.
Since the inception
of MACE in 1995, Daniel D. Trotter, Sr., (aka “D. D. T.”) was one of MACE’s most reliable supporters.
Through the years, he financially supported the young teacher’s union (now a veritable force to be reckoned with)
in a quiet and steady manner, knowing that he too had always been a “teacher advocate.” For
over a dozen years, Mr. Trotter served on the MACE Board of Directors, and the existence of MACE today is attributed greatly
to the support and wisdom provided by Mr. Trotter and by the example that he set in empowering teachers through the years
to do their jobs. This MACE Conference Room was named the Daniel D. Trotter Conference Room in a ceremony
in 2011. Mr. Trotter is survived by his wife, Jo Trotter, his three children, Patti Trotter, Daniel
D. Trotter, Jr., and Dr. John R. Alston Trotter, and by many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and a large extended family.
Bill Gates and His Penchant for Measurements and
His Insistence that Teacher Evaluations be Tied to Student Test Scores are Beyond the Pale!
By John R. Alston Trotter and Norreese L. Haynes
Bill Gates seems to want for the public
schools what he would never tolerate for his own children’s private school. Gates has pumped probably
over $500,000,000 into public school systems like Hillsborough County, Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, and Memphis, Tennessee as
well as into the National Governors Association and other entities tied to public education, all with strings attached.
I don’t call this money “donations” but “investments.” The Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation, along with other billionaire foundations like the Walton Foundation, the Pearson Foundation, and
the Eli and Edyth Broad Foundation, have used its money to try to get its way in educational policies and practices throughout
the country, and we are now seeing – with the Common Core Standards now being implemented and the concrete movement
toward evaluating teachers according to their students’ performance on standardized tests – the results of the
investments. Gates may know how to peddle computer software, the Walton may know how to peddle soap powders,
the Pearson Foundation may know how to publish textbooks and standardized tests, and Eli Broad may know how to peddle insurance,
but none of them know jack-shit when it comes to public education and what really works.
Not all teachers are the same. Granted. Some are better than others.
Some are more skilled than others. Some have better personalities than others. Some have more life experiences and teaching
experiences than others. Some are more educated than others. Some are more motivated than others.
With all this taken for granted, the number one influence in whether or not a student becomes well-educated is his
or her parents (or, in many cases, single parent) and their concomitant socio-economic status. We hate
to say this, but it sometimes boils down to "the Lucky Sperm Club.” But, if teachers were freed
up to teach and to be creative, then perhaps they could tap into these “at risk” students’ motivations and
inspire them to learn. We are talking about real learning of knowledge, not some warmed-over,
feel-good group work which waters down their responsibility to actually learn information. The
more we learn about the much ballyhooed Common Core curriculum, the more we find that it seems to have as its goal the affectation
of the students’ feelings, values, and attitudes more than their acquisition of knowledge. It
is the acquisition of knowledge with the ability and willingness to comport one’s self in a civil manner in a civil
society which will propel these children out of poverty and into the productive mainstream of American society.
For this to happen, teachers need to be respected, esteemed, and empowered to do their jobs, not disrespected and insulted
by a billionaire software salesman.
Perhaps the elite, effete, and Gnostic Bill Gates should pay closer attention to a few facts before he assumes that
the students are not learning because the teachers are not teaching. Wouldn’t it be funny on this
February 6, 2013, the national signing day for potential college football players, if we just assigned players to each university?
Nick Saban didn’t really sign Five-Star rated linebacker Reuben Foster out of Troup County, Georgia. No,
he was assigned to Akron University out of Ohio. He’ll not be part of the Crimson Tide football program,
but he will be a Zip playing for Akron. Let’s see how good of a coach Nick Saban would be if all
of his players were randomly assigned to him. The same goes for Mark Richt of Georgia, Les Miles of L.
S. U., and Urban Meyer of The Ohio State University. We seem to understand the absurdity of this concept
in sports but our nutty educrats and policymakers and billionaire kibitzers like Bill Gates don’t have a clue about
what makes a good teacher and how some great teachers simply don’t have the best talent. Someone
close to us always says, “You can’t win the Kentucky Derby with a bunch of Jackasses.” (We
are not calling students “jackeasses,” but talent does make a difference.) Bill Gates, pay
attention to these three simple facts.
1. The teacher's authority is paramount in the classroom. When
the educrats undermine this authority, they only hurt the children, not help them. The great success of
the Ron Clark Academy is first establishing the unquestioned authority of the teacher. The emphasis should
be teacher-focused, not this cockamamie student-focused crap. How can ignorant kids teach each
other anything? Yet, our teachers are written up today because their classrooms are not student-focused
enough. Oh, so we are to divide up into "centers" or groups and allow the children to teach each
other Latin, heh? Is this how they do it at private schools in Atlanta like Westminster, Marist, Lovett,
Woodward – or at the Lakeside School where Bill and Melinda Gates’s children attend or at the Sidwell Friends
School where the President and First Lady send their daughters? No. The teacher is the
authority figure and the repository of knowledge.
2. The motivation to learn is a cultural process or phenomenon. Without
the proper motivation to learn, no student will learn, regardless of who is teaching. Bill Gates could
begin to teach computer programming each day at Atlanta's Price Middle School (where a student was shot the other day), but
if the students fail to show up for class (but are loitering up and down the drug-infested Henry Aaron Drive) or when they
do show up, they are pushing and kicking each other during class or actually playing digital games on their ubiquitous cell
phones, I don't think even the good ole Harvard drop-out will make a dent in "teaching" these students. Oh, Gates
can teach them, but he can't "learn" them. Only the students can learn, but the students have
to be motivated to learn. This motivation is a social or cultural phenomenon. The motivation
that the students bring to school is determined by the more than 85% of the time that a child spends AWAY from school until
the child turns eighteen. The school only has the child for a small percentage of his or her life. What
happens in the child's overwhelmingly majority life that is spent away from the school building? Whatever
happens is what largely determines whether or not the child brings motivation to learn to the school building. Yes,
the influence of their parents – or lack of parents -- is substantial.
3. You cannot have good learning conditions without first having good teaching conditions. Educrats
and administrators are so mistaken when they assume that coddling and pampering students and constantly berating their teachers
is what the students need. They assume that this is student-nurturing and teacher-accountabilty. No,
this is spoiling the students and turning them into spoiled and rotten brats. They become even more hellions
than their previous potential. (All children can learn, but all children also have the potential to be
hellions.) The students become defiant and disruptive, knowing that the teachers do not have the support
from their administrators. Effective leaning cannot take place. Yes,
a teacher can teach his or her heart out, but if the teaching conditions in which a teacher teaches are so horrific, the student
will not learn. A great lawyer can do a masterful job in the courtroom. He or she can
defend his or her client, but cannot acquit the client. A great physician can treat a patient, but cannot
heal a patient. A great teacher can teach a student, but cannot learn a student.
These three concepts are essential to effective learning. But, wrong-headed
billionaire investors like Bill Gates and the educrats who will go along with any half-ass program just to keep their warm
jobs are blind and don't know their rears ends from deep centerfield. They are great stumbling blocks to learning. They ought
to just step aside and let the teachers teach!
Money Man of Georgia School Systems, Heh?
Who died and made Glenn Brock of the Brock, Clay, Calhoun & Rogers
(aka Brock and Clay) Law Firm the legal expect (or as he refers to himself as “education attorney”) in the State
of Georgia? Come on, folks! This is laughable! Hell, just read in the above link of his antics and practices on the Cobb
County Board of Education before he stepped down apparently in a modicum of shame…only to hand the job off to his legal
teammate, Clem Doyle. Yes, let’s keep this $2,000,000.00 per year (probably more now) in the family, so to speak.
Yes, not only has Glenn Brock taken responsibility for “advising”
the Cobb County Board of Education in its 57 illegal school board meetings – yes, taking votes in Executive Session
– but former superintendent Fred Sanderson apparently refused to bid out the legal work…after several Cobb County
School Board members kept calling for this. By the way, the Cobb County Board of Education admitted its 57 illegal meetings.
Another by the way, this is the same Glenn Brock who seems to have a special relationship with SACS chieftain Mark Elglart.
Where one shows up, the other seems closely behind. In 2008, Mark Elgart, Glenn Brock, Bradley Bryant, and James Bostic
(the last two were State School Board members at the time) illegally met behind closed doors with the Clayton County Board
of Education to “help” this school board. Help?! Are you kidding me?! This kind of “help” did nothing
but to destroy Clayton County…just like it is in the process of destroying DeKalb County.
I have to admit…ole Glenn Brock is quite a businessman.
His firm doubles not only as a law firm, bringing in millions and millions of dollars in revenue from the public troughs
of the school systems, but it is, according to the firm, “a top rated” political lobbying firm in Georgia. Hey,
that’s not all. Ole Glenn has his own “search firm.” What a joke…this “search” usually
means, I suspect, a call to the Broad Foundation to see if Eli Broad’s group has identified a promising superintendent…you
know…like Edmond Heatley whom Glenn recommended for Clayton County. What a disaster. And MACE warned the Clayton
County Board of Education beforehand with pickets, etc., about hiring this “reject” from Chino Valley, California.
But, no, they listened to ole Glenn and got themselves a real character for a superintendent…one whom I believe was
perhaps the most despised of all time by the employees – or at least in the modern era.
I think that it was Glenn Brock who brought in Michael Hinojosa to Cobb County from Dallas Independent
School System in Texas. Hinojosa wasn’t exactly loved in Dallas, and there was not a little cheering when he left.
I don’t think that his “achievements” in Dallas were without majors detractors. After Hinojosa, Glenn
brought Robert Avossa from little Wingate College to the Fulton County School System. Yes, Mr. Avossa, under whose leadership
in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina it appears that a significant number of the student statistics were inflated and
were recently adjusted by the new superintendent, came to Fulton County with his new doctorate from Wingate College almost
freshly-minted to go along with his degree from NOVA out of Ft. Lauderdale. Yes, where does Glenn Brock find these chaps?
Ah, you ask, heh? Well, ole Bobby Avossa is also one of Eli and Edith Broad’s boys. But, I admit that Bobby Avossa
has done well in this American Experience. It is for him a dream come true. Born in Italy. Raised in Italy for his first
few years…and eventually growing up in Florida, he, like other appointed superintendents, wormed his way up the corporate
ladder to bring in a healthy pay and benefits package of around $300,000.00. Not quite as good as Mark Elgart, but a good
healthy chunk of public cheddar.
Talking about backgrounds…
Sergeant Edmond Heatley had only been a school teacher for just two years. Yes, just two years. What a Dream Merchant ole
Glennie Boy Brock is! Not wonder this not-so-highly-qualified appointees seem to always recommend to their respective school
boards that Glenn Brock become the school board attorney! Ha! He helps these cats achieve the American Dream! Of course
ole Glenn doesn’t do this for free. He too gets a good chunk of the public cheddar when he lands someone like Michael
Hinojosa to the Cobb County Board of Education. Little Mikie was born in Mexico. He, like Italian-American Robert Avossa,
is just living the American Dream! It is easy to achieve. Get a few degrees. Go along to get along. Kiss a lot of corporate
ass. Eat a little corporate do-do on the way (sometimes they even allow you to take it capsule-style, but you do have to
take it!). Sell off your integrity. Lose your soul. Ooh-haa! The American Way! By the way, do you think that old Glenn
Brock would have recommended Sergeant Edmond Heatley to the Clayton County Board of Education unless he had been African-American?
Just a thought…
Yes, ole Glenn Brock has done quite well
for himself. He graduated from the University of Georgia in the early 1970s. Worked a little. Decided to go to law school.
Attended the unaccredited and now-defunct Atlanta Law School. A law school a lawyer does not make. I have known some of
the best lawyers in Georgia who attended Woodrow Wilson Law School, Atlanta Law School, and John Marshall Law School, the
latter of which is in the process of trying to secure full Bar accreditation. I actually tip my hat to Glenn Brock for seeing
such a good gig…or two…or three and jumping on board. Yes, there are millions and millions in the public schools.
I read the other day that Georgia spends over a billion dollars testing its children, grading the tests, etc. Could this
really be true?
Yes, folks, it’s all about the money. I
have been telling you for years that it’s about the cheddar. It’s about the cheddar for SACS. It’s about
the cheddar with these law firms. It’s about the cheddar with these laughable appointed superintendent and their damn
Wake up, people. The Educational Industrial
Complex has taken over our schools. Local control is a myth. The corporacrats have been salivating over this school money
for years. Yes, even the seeming altruistic but educationally-misguided Bill Gates had his conversation with Steve Jobs in
Jobs’s house when Jobs was terminally ill about getting the tablets and apps into the public schools. The public school
systems are gold mines…as our friend Glenn Brock discovered years ago. Oh, by the way, did I mention that Glenn seems
to have a fourth gig…helping bail out school systems which get in trouble with his apparent buddy, Mark Elgart of SACS?
Now this man knows how to make money off the school systems! Ha! © JRAT, January 28, 2013.
MACE Pickets Bibb's Dallemand
Click Here To View Video!
September 24, 2012
Dear Classroom Educator:
The mantra at MACE is simple
and direct: You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good
teaching conditions. We have found that not a single politician, policy-maker, educrat, school
board member, or snoopervising administrator can dispute this mantra, but like mindless boobs they continue to try to improve
public education by attacking classroom educators. This is indeed mindless and unconscionable.
At MACE, we don’t play. We devour petty, insecure, myopic, and angry administrators
who abuse teachers.
I remember when we founded MACE in 1995
that the administrators were immediately afraid of MACE. There was an attorney
for the DeKalb County Board of Education who stated: “MACE terrorizes
the principals!” We are now into our 18th year, and our message
has not changed one scintilla. We continue to legally terrorize those administrators who seem to gleefully
terrorize teachers. Once these abusive administrators find out that the teacher is a MACE
Member, they suddenly changed their direction. We say: “They
suddenly get religion.” Although our membership is strictly confidential, there comes a time when
you want your administrator to know that you are a Member of MACE and are protected by MACE!
The other organizations
(AFT, GAE, PAGE) talk a good game, but their walk is different from their
talk. In Georgia, everyone knows that the most aggressive and feared teachers union is
MACE, by far. One of our aggressive attorneys just defended a MACE Member
in Hart County and kicked ass for her. In fact, Vivian Morgan, the reporter
for the Hartwell Sun newspaper, called me and stated: “Lowell Chatham
[the MACE attorney] was phenomenal!” The teacher still has her job.
MACE Attorney Chatham also recently defended a Clayton County teacher
in a four-day hearing. The teacher won his case and is still teaching in Clayton County!
MACE protects and empowers classroom educators…one MACE Member
at a time.
John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
Chairman & CEO
Educrats Nuts or What?
This article is a re-print of what Dr. John Trotter wrote on May 12, 2008. Look what Dr. Trotter
wrote nearly four and one-half years ago about the Atlanta Public Schools and its obsession to raise standardized test scores.
Look what he wrote about the real problems in public education.
John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
Are our educrats nuts or what? Why do we put up with the crazy notion that all children are bound to be scholars? A recent
study (conducted by Colin Powell and others) showed that in the urban areas of America only
about 28% of the students who enter the ninth grade actually graduate. (Detroit led the drop-out rate with
only 24.9% of those entering the ninth grade actually graduating.) Are our educrats (defined as those people, be they legislators
of educational bureaucrats, who never see students each day) blind to this most obvious fact? Do they not see that so many
of our students are totally disengaged from the schooling process? How long has it been since they have actually taught school
(especially in the urban settings) on a daily basis? They are clueless. Are they not aware that students these days actually
curse out our teachers carte blanche and say the most vile and vicious things to them (as well as physically attack them)?
No one wants to state the obvious: Our students are not engaged in the learning process. Remember: Motivation
to learn is a social phenomenon. If the students are not motivated, then they will not learn. A teacher can teach
a student, but a teacher cannot “learn” a student. Note: I want to credit the quirky and brilliant Dr.
Eugene Boyce of the University of Georgia for first putting this concept in writing. He was an educational
expert who engaged in studies throughout the world. I always want to credit others for their research. Dr. Boyce
was a member of my dissertation committee in 1982-84 (as well as other UGA scholars like Dr. Carvin
Brown whom I served as a graduate assistant).
Educrats can blame teachers for the mess
in public education but this does not make it so. Teachers today are the more educated, better trained, and more dedicated
than all the teachers whom we have seen come down the pike. But, teachers today face the most unimaginable of obstacles to
overcome, viz., (1) Defiant & Disruptive Students; (2) Irate & IrresponsibleParents;
and (3) Angry & Abusive Administrators. These are the three main problems in public education. If we
solve these problems, then nearly everything else falls in place.
If you poll all teachers in America, at least 90% will privately concur with our analysis, albeit this conclusion is politically
incorrect. It is politically correct to say that we need more money and resources put into public education. Our
teachers need more training, so the reasoning concludes. Hardly anyone has the guts to state the obvious: The students
are out of control. Discipline is no longer in the public schools (especially in the urban areas). We at
MACE know that you cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.
This is our mantra at MACE. We passionately believe this. We also passionately believe that order is the first law of the
Universe. Without order, a school is just floundering.
Finally, let me say a word about Vocational Education. The notion that schools should rid themselves of the very useful
vocational courses is sick. Yes, it is sick. One of the reasons that our students are tuning out all education and can hardly
wait until they turn 16 years of age (to be able to legally drop out of school) is because they do not see the educational
process as being relevant to them. I remember visiting Mr. James Whitehead’s body shop (for automobiles)
classes in the late 1980s. His classes were taught in the middle of one of Atlanta’s worst hoods at the old Archer
High School. Mr. Whitehead’s students were so engaged and were so proud of their work. Mr.
Whitehead’s students won many state competitions. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Whitehead was informed
that his (and others’) vocational programs were going to be jettisoned in the Atlanta Public Schools.
What happened to “Whitehead’s boys”? Now, so many of them just dropped out of school whereas
before they were gainfully employed at Beaudry Ford and at other establishments. Why did this happen? You
asked me, so I am going to tell you. The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (which got heavily involved in
political races for school board around this time) apparently wanted to raise the test scores of the Atlanta students
on the nationally-normed tests. You know why? When large corporations are trying to decide where
to locate their headquarters, they look at the national tests scores for school systems located in places like Dallas,
Birmingham, Charlotte, and Atlanta. If the test scores of the Atlanta
students are below those of the students in Charlotte, then perhaps Charlotte becomes the
location of the Fortune Five Hundred companies. Then, these large companies deposit their monies in Charlotte
banks instead of an Atlanta banks. So, damn the students from the hood who were joyfully learning
a trade at the old Archer High School! The standardized tests do not ask any questions about bondo!
So, the students now languish until they reach the age of 16. They are totally disengaged in the schooling process.
They resent being taught algebraic equations which they will never use in a million lifetimes (at least this is their thinking)
and thus they disrupt the activities of the classroom just for fun. Our schools are out of control, and our educrats are willingly
ignorant of this fact. Until discipline (and relevant vocational programs) is re-established in our public schools,
all school reform is a joke with no hope of being successful. © May 13, 2008
Dr. John Trotter
of MACE Blasts Superintendent Edmond Heatley For Employing All Of His Family Members In The Clayton County Public Schools!
FOX 5′s Story on Edmond Heatly’s Family
On County Payroll Is Linked Below:
Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE), the South’s toughest teachers’ union which is located in Georgia,
came out blasting Edmond Heatley, the beleagured superintendent of the Clayton County Public Schools, for having his daughter
and teenage children on payroll in the Clayton County School System when the teachers are losing more and more money due to
cut backs. Dr. John Trotter, who has been a fierce critic of Edmond Heatley even before the Clayton School Board even officially
voted for him to be the superintendent, said today that Heatley apparently thinks that the Clayton County School System is
“his private hacienda.” Trotter also said that Heatley has shown the sensitivity of a Marie Antoinette, who supposedly
said when the French peasants complained that they had no bread to eat, “Then let them eat cake!”
Dr. Trotter today told the media that he has known
and interacted with 11 superintendents in the last thirty years in Clayton County and that from his observations, “Heatley
is the most despised of all of the Clayton County superintendents.” He stated that MACE picketed the Clayton County
Board of Education meeting the evening that the Edmond Heatley vote was pending. Trotter recalled that his sign said: “Alieka,
Are You Stupid?” Alieka Anderson was the Chairperson of the Clayton County Board of Education at the time. Trotter commented
that he “knew before the Clayton board voted on him that he had been a disaster in Chino Valley, California.”
Happy Teacher After a Grievance Hearing Before the Atlanta School Board!
Are There Teacher Unions
Yes, MACE is a Teacher’s Union!
Note: A couple of folks on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Get Schooled
blog keep talking about there being “no teacher unions in Georgia.” MACE’s Dr.
John Trotter responded to this banter, setting the record straight.
Teacher unions do exist in Georgia...and Alabama...and South Carolina...and Mississippi...and
North Carolina. What does not exist is collective bargaining. This is what is against
the law in Georgia. Read the grievance law (OCGA 20-2-989.5 et seq.), and in the preamble,
you will see that the legislators hastened to state that this new law (1992) did not in any way constitute "collective
bargaining." Collective bargaining contracts and teacher strikes may not be permissible by law, but
this does not in fact mean that there are no teacher unions in Georgia. I am not talking about mere semantics
If one’s view that the only thing that a teacher’s
union can do for teachers is to negotiate a collective bargaining contract (which in many, many cases the administration violates;
what then happens?) or call for a teacher strike (for better conditions in this collective bargaining contract which will
again be violated by the administration on many occasions), then I suppose in your mind that there is no teacher’s union
in Georgia. But, unions do much more than call for teacher strikes and negotiate collective bargaining
I know that at MACE
we (1) file grievances for teachers and represent them in the grievance hearings; (2) defend teachers in termination, non-renewal,
demotion, and reprimand hearings; (3) write letters on behalf of teachers (I just sent a 14 page letter to Atlanta Superintendent
Erroll Davis this week); (4) write rebuttals for teachers when they receive skewed and biased evaluations; (5) assist teachers
in getting rid of incorrigible and defiant students from their classrooms, according to the Georgia Code Section, as well
as guide them through the Student Tribunal process; (6) counsel teachers each night for hours on end; (6) keep teachers informed
about the going-on in public education in Georgia with informative newsletters and our website (www.theteachersadvocate.com) and through our evaluation of school administrators in the various
school systems in Georgia; (7) intervene on behalf of teachers, especially at the Central Office level; (8) speak at school
board meetings; and (9) visit our teachers at their schools, and when we feel necessary, (10) we picket for these teachers
(a) to relieve the pressure on the teachers by tightening up the administrators, (b) to inform the superintendent and the
public of the issues at the school, and (c) to make the teachers’ day. Yes, the picket is still the
thing that the teachers love! Ha!
know what you’re calling “a teacher’s union.” All I know is that MACE
is united in advocating for the protection and empowerment of classroom educators, and MACE has been doing
this night and day for the last 17 years. We have been proven to be right on the issues and superintendents
over and over. I am amazed at how prescient MACE is as a teacher’s union.
Ha! Oh yes, you might note that in the ten things that I mentioned above, I never mentioned “spelling
bees” and “tote bags.” When angry and abusive administrators become afraid of “spelling
bees” and “tote bags,” then maybe MACE will engage in these silly things. Until
then, we just keep kicking proverbial ass on behalf of classroom educators.
Others Are Now Parroting What MACE Has Been Advocating Since 1995!
Note: Dr. Trotter writes many posts on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Get School blog, one of
which is located below. In this particular post, Dr. Trotter is humored that now some professors in the
State’s colleges of education are drawing the same conclusions about the need for teachers to be supported in the area
of discipline and about the need to scale back the ridiculous standardized testing. These are positions
advocated by MACE since MACE was founded in 1995. It appears
that these educational pundits are now thinking MACE’s original thoughts. ]
Maureen, it certainly is cause for a good chuckle when I see more and more
of your blogs discussing on point the very things for which MACE has been advocating for these past 17 years.
Ha! I do indeed get a kick out of the latter day revelations that certain professors and others
are receiving from the educational heavens about the inordinate time, money, and energy spent on standardized testing and
the paucity of attention given to classroom discipline. To hear these educational pundits now speaking
out for less standardized testing and more classroom discipline certainly heartens me and reassures me that I am not crazy
after all! Ha!
Actually, I have never doubted
my sanity on these matters, and I have always stuck “to my guns,” so to speak – even when all of the false
prophets at the Georgia General Assembly, the Georgia Department of Education, and the colleges of education in the State
may have thought that I was a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
In the first issue of MACE’s publication, The Teacher’s
Advocate!, published in 1995, we called for “quelling the mania over standardized testing.” We
called for teachers being supported in the classroom when it came to issues like discipline and creativity. In
fact, the very mantra that we still use at MACE today (“You can have good learning conditions until you first have good
teaching conditions.”) was spelled out in the first article of this first publication. For years,
we felt like the lone wolf in the wilderness. I am glad indeed to see you publishing articles about others
interested in education enough to speak out on these very pertinent concerns.
This reminds me of children growing
up and realizing that their parents all of a sudden got smarter! Actually, it was the kids who got smarter.
The parents’ positions had not changed. MACE has not changed one iota since our beginning
in 1995. I don’t think that anyone can point out a scintilla of evidence that demonstrates that the
Metro Association of Classroom Educators had “evolved” over the years. No, we are just as “crazy”
as ever, but some educational pundits may have evolved closer to the positions that MACE has been espousing for these 17 years.
Hence, these pundits may think that we are not as “crazy” as we used to be. I assure
you that we are just as crazy now as before for teachers being supported in the classroom as they seek to establish and maintain
discipline or when it comes to respecting the teachers’ creativity, knowledge, wisdom, and judgment in the areas of
methodology, pedagogy, and curricula selection (with curriculum guidelines being followed, of course). It’s
not that MACE has suddenly gotten smart. No, MACE’s position has never changed; it is the pundits
who have suddenly wised up to the positions that we have espoused from the very beginning.
We have several articles written these past few years on the false gods of standardized tests. © MACE, March 13,
Again…MACE Found To Be Right & Prophetic!
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
here we go again. Ha! "Researchers" thinking MACE's thoughts after MACE.
Recently in the national media, some educational researchers have concluded that a student’s family income has
a significant impact on the student’s academic achievement. Duh. We have been
saying since the inception of MACE (Est. 1995) that income is perhaps the most determinative factor in academic achievement
because the students from well-off families have many more opportunities as well as the example of academic importance.
If a kid does not perceive that he or she comes from a reading culture, then reading and other academic pursuits will
not be important to him or her. These kids will not be motivated to learn, and the motivation to learn
is the key factor in achieving in school, assuming that the academic capabilities are there. Most of the
academic material that is served up to kids in the public schools is of the scope and nature that 80% to 90% of the students
could master 80% to 90% of the material if the student only tried, if they only had the motivation to learn.
But, as we have also stated a number of times here and elsewhere, our educrats want to treat all failure to learn as
technical breakdowns (instead of motivational breakdowns) and teaching inadequacies. The theory:
the teachers are not teaching "hard enough" or the teachers just need more training. No,
we need a better class of students -- pun intended. Our students are not motivated to learn, and this often
ties into the culture from which they come. A poor, impoverished culture (especially one dominated by illicit
drugs and the concomitant crimes that come with the drugs) usually does not produce students who come to school "all
bright-eyed and bushy-tailed." This is just a fact.
Until the teachers are freed up to
use teaching strategies and tools of which they are confident will work in motivating these unmotivated students, then the
achievement gap will remain. The academic doldrums will remain inexorably static, regardless of what idiotic
program or plan that numbskulled educrats try to foist upon an unreceptive teaching corps, a teaching corps which knows that
these stupid plans never work because they are not rooted in reality. They ignore crucial factors like
income levels, cultural mores, peer pressure, and the cruciality (did I just make up a word?) of motivation to learn.
I am glad that the rest of the educational
community is finally seeing the stupidity of the plethora of mandated standardized tests (which became the curricula as well
as the fundamental cause for the culture of cheating in our public schools), No Child Left Behind, and a host of other mindless
mandates. School reform has never (yes, NEVER) worked on a nationwide basis, a statewide basis, or a system-wide
basis. The famous Goodlad study concluded this back in the early 1980s (John Goodlad, A Place Called
School). Diane Ravitch pointed this out in one of her tomes on school reform which came out nearly
15 years ago. But, our politicians and educrats keep trying to force “school reform” (of various
flavors) upon an unreceptive teaching corps.
Teachers know what works. What works is this: A secure, confident, and
open leader at each school who respects, esteems, and encourages the uniqueness, originality, and creativity of each teacher
in his or her classroom. This leader facilitates the needs of the teachers and does not operate in a threatening
mode – does not hover over the teachers, does not engage in stupid and silly snoopervision. A good
leader praises the teachers and motivates the entire teaching staff with collegial and friendly collaboration.
An esprit de corps develops among the faculty and staff. The esprit de corps spreads
among the students. The students become fired up. This contagion and pride of learning
becomes infectious, and all of this takes place without the Nazi-type threats from insecure and small-minded principals. ©
MACE, February 11, 2012.
Do Teachers Teach?
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
Many times you see me rail against what has happened to the teaching profession. Sometimes I may
seem like a broken record (ala "You can't have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions").
I am passionate about what has happened to the teaching profession...educrats treating teachers like they are hired
hands and expecting them to mindlessly teach a prescriptive curriculum like they are robots. It is a tragedy.
When I taught in the old days, we could be zany and creative in the classroom. We could have our
own style, a style that the students knew and to which they adjusted...and usually with a degree of delight. That's
the great part of growing up...learning to adjust to different people (teachers, in this case) with different styles.
I have often told
my colleagues and teachers that I would be fired every day under the current culture of teachers being
placed in straightjackets. I even bowed up to the odious structure that was in place in the old days (especially
those horrid TPAIs and the accompanying written lesson plans and behavioral objectives in the old DeKalb County -- when DeKalb
was King of the Rock and thought that their mess didn't stink). I turned down my second contract (didn't
even sign it -- which was stupid of me) and left. Moved back to Athens and the next year car-pooled each
day to Greene County High School. I had a great principal, Dr. Donald Garrett. He was
so supportive of me and just let me do my thing. When MACE picketed the superintendent in Greene County
on three occasions about three years ago (yes, this superintendent moved on not too long after these downtown pickets which
were joined in by local towns people!), I had one of my former students, Vincent, to happily meet me on the picket line.
We laughed, talked about where my old students were today, and just reminisced. I had a blast teaching
at Greene County High School, but I was offered a good assistantship in the Department of Administration at the University
of Georgia for the next year, and Dr. Garrett (who was finishing up his doctorate there at the time) encouraged me to take
it. He said, "You can always come back here anytime you want." But, after
my assistantship, I took a job as Assistant Principal at Washington County High School down the road...at 27 years of age.
This morning I looked at my Blackberry to see my emails and my Facebook comments.
I saw the nicest comment from one of my former Jonesboro Jr. High School students. It was from Eric
Jensen, a First Team All State football player from Jonesboro High School and a student and player whom I taught and coached
at Jonesboro Jr. High School in the early 1980s. Forgive me for my vanity but he wrote the following:
"Well I hope my boys have a teacher as dedicated and passionate about education. A legend is
a person whose fame or notoriety makes him a source of romanticized tales and exploits. That's you coach."
This is why teachers teach. We teachers (and I am still a teacher at heart) teach to have an influence
(not to artificially raise the standardized test scores to fatten up the superintendent's wallet or pocketbook).
We love interacting with the children and watching them grow -- even to adulthood. I get a kick
out of watching Norreese Haynes run the day-to-day operations at MACE...especially since he was the classroom "bishop"
in my 7th Grade History class.
I have witnessed hundreds of people through the years come up to my father at restaurants
or elsewhere and be delighted to see "Coach Trotter" or "Mr. Trotter" (my father was a teacher, coach,
assistant principal, and principal). They love to regale in the old stories. The men
love to recount the times that my father had to paddle them. I remember some over 70 year old retiree recalling
at the Burger King Breakfast confab (a morning ritual at Airport Thruway in Columbus) this to my father (who will be
86, Lord willing, on April 21): "Mr. Trotter, do you remember paddling me when I showed up
for school with no socks?" This man was laughing big time about this disciplinary incident.
I bet he didn't show up anymore to Jordan Vocational High School with no socks! My father didn't
put up with any foolishness, and the students loved him and respected him for this. This is what is missing
in our public schools today. Today's students hold the teachers in contempt because there is NO discipline
(especially in the large school systems). Kids really crave discipline. That's how they
know that they are loved. Pampering and coddling won't do the trick. It's like what
is said in the Bible: "The Lord disciplines whom he loves."
Why do teachers teach? Teachers love the interaction with children. Teachers
love watching the light turn on when a kid finally understands a concept or skill. They love watching them
grown and mature. They love the "relational learning" (I will coin this phrase) that takes place.
That's why teachers are so frustrated today...because all of this has been hijacked for the sake of infinitesimal gains
on a standardized test which does not amount to a hill of beans, with the exception to the gypsy superintendent receiving
financial bonuses and maintaining his or her job for another year or two. (c) MACE,
April 9, 2011.
Which Principals or Superintendents
Want The MACE Strike Force To Show Up At Their Schools or Offices?
About The Cheating...
MACE Told You So!
By John R. Alston Trotter, Chairman & CEO
My kudos to the reporters who have uncovered so much of this cheating mess. With continued reporting like
this, the AJC's subscription base will surely increase. I actually opened up the newspaper at lunch today
and saw the headlines and was pleasantly surprised at how the AJC is actually beginning to uncover what so many of us have
known about for years. We at MACE have been howling about the systematic cheating going on in the schools,
especially the urban school systems where they feel so much pressure about the standardized test scores. Every
time that I would hear some "success" story (like the "success" story about Parks Middle School in Atlanta),
I just roll my eyes, knowing that SYSTEMATIC interventions (i.e., cheating) was taking place. The Law of
the Large Numbers does not change. This is a fact, Jack. Standardized test scores have
a one-to-one correlation with free and reduced lunch counts (or any other measurement of socio-economic status).
You can take a high school athlete who runs a 6.25 forty yard dash and give this athlete the best coaching possible
for three months, but when you time his forty speed again, he will not be running a 4.35 forty.
Am I saying that poor students cannot learn? Absolutely
not. But, the Law of the Large Numbers has demonstrated time and time again, that the students from very
poor economic backgrounds, as a group, continue to score lower on standardized tests than students who are from wealthier
families and who have, all of their lives, had the fortune to have been academically nurtured (from Hooked on Phonics, et
al., their whole lives). For children who come to school with virtually no reading and verbal readiness
skills, it is like running the 100 yard dash and starting 20 yards behind the other runners.
There are, of course, exceptions
to any rule, but the exceptions themselves are what establish the rule. About Atlanta:
Beverly Hall and her minions are educational thugs. I have no doubt that the AJC has just unearthed
the very tip (just the tip) of the Cheating Iceberg. I have dealt anecdotally with many teachers of Atlanta
who have told me war stories about how they raise questions about dubious practices and had their contracts non-renewed but
those teachers who went along to get along were rewarded for their submission. I have always told people
that Atlanta is the worst of all the school systems in Georgia. It is the hub of corruption.
It is an academic cesspool. But, quite frankly, the powers that be through the years have been reluctant
to deal with Atlanta because they are squeamish about the race issue. They are afraid of being called racists.
So, I supposed it is O. K. to mess over thousands of children of color because you are afraid of being called a racist,
Atlanta's schools are rife with miscreant "students" who refuse to obey their teachers; in fact, they actually
intimidate their teachers, and the Beverly Hall Administration allows this to occur. We always say at MACE:
You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions. When children
are not expected and are not required to behave in school, this is what is racism. You don't have to systematically
cheat on tests if good learning conditions were first established in the schools. Even though the composite
test scores may never be as high as the scores in Alpharetta and Crabapple, at least the group test scores will be accurate,
and some of the students will score very high (and their scores will be real scores and won't be cheapened by the fact that
they are students in Atlanta City or DeKalb County).
I have detested the whole standardized testing mania. I have compared
the school systems obeisance to the standardized testing mania to bowing down to the Idol of Baal. Standardized
Tests have become false gods which have made caricatures our of educators. I understand the pressure felt
by the superintendents in large urban school systems. Money, grants, embarrassment, reputations, ridicule,
bonuses from naive and eager school boards, etc., are all tied to the tests which really mean nothing. The
school systems should be able to go back to the non-pressured and generalized achievement tests administered to students just
once per year to help the educators to gage where a student is in reading or math. The SAT and ACT will
always be there. But, since The Nation At Risk came out in 1983, our schools have actually gotten worse!
All of the gimmicks which the states and the federal governments have come up with (especially disasters like George
Bush's and Ted Kennedy's No Child Left Behind) have been totally counter-productive when it comes to children actually learning
how to learn. Everything has been reduced the tests becoming the curricula. Weighing
a pig over and over will never fatten up the pig. The pig has to be fed and fed a lot! This
whole testing mania is as stupid as trying to teach a Kobe Bryant how to play basketball by having him to fill out a basketball
scorebook over and over, and when he makes a mistake, we go back and erase his mistake and make sure that a correct answer
is put in its place. Making Kobe Bryant correctly fill out a scorebook instead of tossing him a basketball
and allowing him to PLAY is sheer stupidity. The same thing goes for LEARNING. Let the
children LEARN. We should quit making the children just regurgitate stuff on the standardized tests and
allow teachers to engage the students in meaningful ways so that real LEARNING can take place. In the current
testing craze, students are bored, teachers feel like they are teaching in straight-jackets, and the students aren't really
LEARNING. For children's sake, we should allow teachers to teach! (c) MACE, February
An 800 Pound Gorilla In The Parlor!
By Dr. John Trotter and Norreese Haynes
Discipline is the 800 pound gorilla in the parlor that
is knocking over all of the marbled-top furniture and is stinking up the mansion big time, but no one is willing to broach
the fact that the gorilla is in the parlor. I mean to say that it is downright nasty in the parlor.
The gorilla is taking huge dumps, and no one will deign to even mention that the darn gorilla is stinking up the entire
mansion. Look at the gorilla! He stinks to high heaven! He's noisy.
He's completely unruly, and the house servants are blithely walking around as if nothing is wrong. The
house servants are concerned about buying name brand vacuum cleaners and the best Persian rugs but are totally ignoring the
darn gorilla which is wreaking havoc in the parlor. Now the gorilla is beginning to roam all over the mansion,
even sleeping in the guest bedroom! When is someone in the mansion going to acknowledge that there is an
unruly and destructive gorilla in the mansion?
For administrators and school board members and politicians,
discipline is like Anthrax. They not only do not want to touch it; they do not even want to approach it
from a distance. Try to solve the problems of public education without dealing with discipline.
It cannot be done. Ignoring discipline (or, the lack thereof) is like ignoring an 800 pound gorilla
in the parlor. It is just that stupid. Focus on discipline, however, and you will realize
an improvement in academic achievement. Focus on academic achievement with no regard given to discipline,
and you will end up with a complete mess...like we have today. (c) MACE, March 2, 2011.
cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions." -- Dr. John
Trotter, MACE Chairman & CEO.
"If you focus on discipline, you will see
some academic improvement, but if you focus on academic achievement with no regard for discipline, you will end up with
the mess that our public schools are in today." -- Norreese L. Haynes, MACE Executive Vice Chairman.
"A teacher should
join a teacher's union which has no conflict of interest -- a union which knows whose needs it is serving, the teacher's and
not the administrator's. MACE is about protecting
and empowering classroom educators...one member at a time. MACE provides aggressive representation when
the teacher needs it." -- Jeff Cox,
MACE Executive Director
We Suppose That MACE Was Right All These Years About The Total
Corruption In The Atlanta Public Schools! Hmm...
Corruption Of Atlanta Schools
To Learn, The Lack of Discipline, The 800 Pound Gorilla In Parlor, & Willingly Naïve Legislators!
John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
If students perceive that they come from a non-reading culture, then these students will not value
reading. If there are not books in the house (just National Enquirer!) and the students do not see their
parents reading, then the students will not value reading. It is very simple. The motivation
to learn is a cultural phenomenon. I always want to credit one of my old UGA professors, Dr. Eugene Boyce,
with this concept. Dr. Boyce studied on location how education worked in Nigeria, Kenya, China, and the
Soviet Union, besides running the lab school at Florida State University. I always thought that he was
brilliant and never got the credit due to him. If I "borrow" an idea, I always like to give credit
to the source. From his observations through the years in several parts of the world, he concluded that
motivation was the key to learning that this motivation was culturally conditioned.
The motivation to learn is a social process or a cultural
phenomenon. And the legislature wants to give these non-reading, irresponsible, and, in many
cases, irate parents the control over the professional educators? Good grief. When desperation
sets in, there's no telling what they will do. It would be nice if they starting off by mentioning the
unmentionable...a lack of discipline in the schools. Discipline (or the lack thereof) is the 800
pound gorilla in the dainty parlor that no one (and I mean NO ONE) is willing to talk about. All of the
moving of furniture in the parlor will not remove the fact that an 800 pound gorilla is still moving around in the parlor,
knocking over marble-top tables and French chairs. This is how ridiculous Fran Millar and the other Georgia
legislators look; they are re-arranging the French chairs in the parlor and ignoring the 800 pound, smelling, and growling
gorilla in the parlor. Ha! © MACE, February 11, 2011
What Makes Good Schools?
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
We always laughingly asked...You know what makes good schools? Answer: Good students.
I remember telling the teachers at Slater Elementary School in Atlanta (located next to the old Carver Homes) in the
late 1980s that I knew exactly how to raise the test scores at Slater Elementary. They would ask, "How?"
I answered that the Slater Elementary School building needed to be moved to West Westley in the Buckhead area.
Keep the same building, the same teachers, the same custodial staff, the same secretaries, the same principal, the
same media specialist, the same supplies, and the same balls and jump ropes. Just move the school building
to another location. Oh, I forgot...the only thing that you change is the student enrollment.
We simply allow the students who live in the area to matriculate to the "new" Slater.
I remember last year when Arne Duncan was talking about changing the principals and the teachers at the chronically
low-performing schools. Maureen Downey wrote an article on this and quoted me asking Mr. Duncan what he
was going to do with the students. He wanted to change everyone except the ones who really mattered...the
students. Many educrats and educators were incredulous that I would make such a statement. This story by
Ms. Downey went viral on the internet. As long as you keep the same students, not much is going to change...at
least the way that educrats try to "improve" the schools.
good schools are indeed good students. And, if you are addressing a low-performing school, it is almost
invariably because the school is fed by low-performing students, not low-performing teachers. The best
thing that you can do for these low-performing students is (1) establish discipline within the school environment and (2)
free up these teachers to be creative so that they can figure out a way to motivate these "at risk" students.
Putting the teachers in straight-jackets, making them teach prescripted curricula in a specific manner under oppressive
top-down, heavy-handed snoopervision will simply suffocate, frustrate, and eventually eliminate the teachers, and these "at
risk" children will continue to be disengaged from the learning process.
hurts, doesn’t it? I will borrow a question that St. Paul used with his Galatian brothers and sisters:
Am I therefore your enemy because I tell you the truth? © MACE, February 11, 2011.
Georgia Pushes For Stupid
By John R.
Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
You know what makes good schools? Good students. When the students lack any (yes,
in some cases, "any") motivation to learn and many (yes, in many cases, "many") just want to substantively
and materially disrupt the learning processes of those students who actually want to learn, then neither Arne Duncan,
nor New City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, Georgia State Representative Lindsey, nor Atlanta Journal-Constitution
educational pundit Maureen Downey or even Bill Gates can make them learn -- or should be held accountable for their non-learning.
These students should be removed from the regular classroom environment and sent to "The Non-learning Center."
(Note that I copyrighted this phrase a while back! When the educational pundits start "stealing"
this phrase like they "stole" my "snoopervision" and "educrat" words, just think about me.
All of this poppycock about "value-added" evaluations all begin with the premise that the woes of today's
public education is largely attributable to the lack of teacher performance. Balderdash, if I might editorialize.
When you see any so-called educational reforms coming down the pike which do not address the lack of classroom discipline
and the lack of student motivation right square in the face, then this so-called reform too will fall flat on its face like
ALL (yes, all!) others have fallen. Until student discipline and motivation are addressed, then all of
the so-called school reform efforts will amount to farting in a hurricane. I hate to be so graphic, but
perhaps this metaphor will bring it on home. The teachers are not the problems; the students and their
lack of motivation and self-discipline are the problems, but one even wants to touch that sacred cow. Or,
are the educrats, legislators, governors, policy-makers, et al., just that stupid when trying to figure out what is really
wrong with public education. If they are, then they need to stay tune for a book that I am writing, along
with Mr. Norreese Haynes, called: School Daze: The Politically
Incorrect and Irreverent Explanation Of What Is Wrong With Our Public Schools! (c).
You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching
conditions. This insulting, inane, ineffective, and stupid "value-added" evaluation of teachers
only adds to worsening teaching conditions. Like merit pay, it will be flawed beyond measure.
Among many downside happenings will be the lack of collegiality among teachers and teachers refusing to share ideas
and materials. The general public cannot begin to comprehend how this evaluation process will be heinously
abused by angry and abusive and sex-driven and power-hungry administrators. (For the record, there
will be more people sleeping their way up the educational corporate ladder.) These booger-eating,
weasel administrators will use this process in a manipulative, retributive, and punitive manner. This "value-added"
evaluation of teachers will do NOTHING to improve public education. Nothing. Like the
No Child Left Behind Act, it will hasten the demise of public education, not the improvement of public education.
It will be the poster child of The Law of Unintended Consequences. (c) MACE, December 29. 2010.
New MACE Brochure!
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The Students' Refusal To Learn!
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
The biggest problem in public (note that I said "public") education
today is the abject lack of motivation to learn on the part of a very large portion of our students. It's
not a problem with teachers, although some teachers are naturally more effective than other teachers...just like some physicians,
lawyers, and engineers are more effective than others.
The motivation to learn is a cultural phenomenon, and until the educrats and
policy-makers understand this and put this in any equation, their new-fangled educational fads may indeed make money for some
publishing companies and other educational-curricula companies but they will not have any positive impact on learning.
Neither Arne Duncan, Mahatma Gandhi, Eugene
V. Debs, Eleanor Roosevelt, Julian Bond, Ronald Reagan, Roy Barnes, Nathan Deal, Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Steve
Harvey, Steve Jobs, Ted Kennedy, Georgia O'Keefe, George W. Bush, William Faulkner, John Grisham, Bill Gates, Martin Luther,
Soren Kierkegaard, Karl Barth, Hillary Clinton, nor Huey Pierce Long could make these unmotivated students learn unless these
students first decide to learn. Julian, Eleanor, and Soren could jump all around the room tooting whistles
(of course, the stilted scripted curriculum would not allow them this kind of creativity!) and blowing bagpipes, but if these
unmotivated students still refuse to learn, they are not going to learn, despite what any adult does. This
is what needs to be in any equation...the students' REFUSAL TO LEARN.
If a public defender's client is found guilty
by the jury (and the evidence is overwhelming that the client is indeed guilty), we are not going to tie the public defender's
salary to "his" guilt rate, are we? What about a physician who is assigned Medicaid patients
who have very unhealthy lifestyles? Are we going to tie his or her pay to the incidence of the patients'
high blood pressure? The lawyer can defend a client but he or she cannot acquit the client.
The physician can treat a patient but he or she cannot heal the patient. The teacher can teach a
student but he or she cannot "learn" the student.
It is easier to just blame the teachers for the shortcomings of the students
and their parents. To heck with it! Let's just blame the teachers, so think these educrats
and politicians. (c) MACE, November 1, 2010.
Four Horsemen of Real School "Reform."
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD and Norreese L. Haynes, BSBM
Reform # 1:
Restore classroom discipline. Make sure that teachers are supported when it comes to classroom discipline.
Order is the first law of the Universe.
Reform # 2: Realize that you cannot have good learning
conditions until you first have good teaching conditions. All of the top-down, heavy-handed snoopervision
is counter-productive to establishing good teaching conditions.
# 3: Put the onus for learning on the students and their parents. This is the
modus operandus of the private schools, and it works. Pampering and coddling the students
do not work.
Reform # 4: Realize
that the motivation to learn is a social/cultural phenomenon. Teachers teach the students, not learn the
students. If a student refuses to learn, then Arne Duncan himself cannot make this student learn and therefore
should not be held accountable for the student's refusal to learn. (c) MACE, September 9, 2010.
MACE's Spring Picket Parade...Shiloh
Middle & More.
Click Here To See MACE's Spring Picket Parade!
When Did The Snoopervision Begin In Georgia Public Schools?
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
In Georgia, this snoopervision thing has been strangling public education for the last 25 years. It
began to rear its head in the late 1970s here in Georgia with the now-infamous Teacher Performance Assessment Instrument (TPAI)
which the courts in Georgia kicked out because of its inequitable results, abuse, etc. At the time, the
new teachers were sentenced to suffer through this TPAI hell. I remember one gentleman who is now teaching
(perhaps close to retirement now) in Glynn County who kept failing the "observation" of TPAI at a school in Morrow,
Georgia back in the early 1980s. He had a wonderful principal, but a horrible, myopic assistant principal
lady who apparently had it in for Jim. She was either totally incompetent herself or simply was going to
refuse to allow Jim to pass his "evaluation." She kept getting him on "enthusiasm."
Jim told me that he was so "enthusiastic" that he was almost jumping over chairs! This
"evaluator" succeeded in ruining this man's career. He ended up working at a restaurant in St.
Simons Island. True story.
When the courts finally kicked out this hellish TPAI, Jim was allowed to teach again, which he did at Glynn Middle
School (and I think that he is still there to this day and getting along swimmingly). I knew Jim and his
mother who had retired from the Clayton County School System back in the 1970s. Good folks.
Jim is a good educator, but he is only one example of many teachers whose lives were destroyed by petty, myopic, and
mean-spirited (and often totally incompetent) administrators.
Now we have Race To The Top (RTTI). It's
just more educational gobbledeegook. Pure gobbledeegook. It won't do anything
but ruin public education even more. I have seen it all...APEG, Minimum Foundation, QBE, NCLB, TCT, TPAI,
CRCT (Creating Results Cheating on Tests?), PRAXIS, GTOI, GTDRI, ad infinitum. All of these programs
are lame attempts to improve public education. They are complete failures. They are
really Simply Hatin' & Insultin' Teachers (SHIT). You know what really works? Just
letting teachers teach! Supporting, esteeming, respecting the professional knowledge, judgment, and wisdom
of the teachers is what works. Making sure the students know that if they try to cause disruption in any
classroom that the teachers have full backing from the administration in dealing with these disruptive students, including
removing them from the regular classrooms. How refreshing it would be to see some of these educational
numbskulls actually learn and implement what school administrators forty years ago instinctively knew worked.
Again, you cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions. (c)
MACE, August 30, 2010.
Dr. Trotter Called The DeKalb School System "A
Gangsta System" Before Others Took Notice! Check
Out This Channel 11 Interview Back
In May of 2009!
Click Here To View Dr. Trotter's Channel 11 Interview!
The Students, Not "Learn" Them.
Race To The Trough!
John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
CRCT, TPAI, NCLB, QBE, GTOI, GTDRI, APEG, Minimum Foundation, A+ Program, RTTT, and on and on. None
have or will significantly improve education here in Georgia. What we need is Discipline In The Classrooms
(DITC), Motivation From The Students (MFTS), and Decent Parents At Home (DPAH). But, how do you fund these
essential components? Harping on these essential components will not secure politicians any votes, so they
think. But, I think that they will secure votes! Nonetheless, President Obama and Arne
Duncan, like most politicians (George W. Bush and the late Ted Kennedy included), continue to adhere to Blame The Teachers
First (BTTF). Added to this is the destructive program called Let Administrators Run Roughshod Over Teachers
(LARROT). Educational Rot. This educational stench is so strong to every fair-minded
and intelligent nostril. But, the masses will continue to eat the slop until someone points out that this
slop is really for educational swine. RTTT? Race To The Top? No,
Race To The Trough. Teachers "teach" the students, not "learn" the students.
Physicians "treat" the patients, not "heal" the patients. Lawyers "defend"
the accused, not "acquit" the accused. Until our politicians and policymakers start holding the
students and their parents responsible for the learning facet of the educational equation, then improving education is like
spitting into a tsunami. Other countries and cultures understand this simple concept, but in our "wisdom,"
we have become educational "fools." (c) MACE, August 27, 2010.
Characteristics Of An Effective Principal.
by Daniel D. Trotter, Sr.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in The Teacher’s Advocate! magazine. The author is the father of Dr. John Trotter, and he serves on the
MACE Board of Directors. Mr.
Trotter is a retired Georgia school principal.
The following is a list of characteristics that
I would suggest to any principal who cares to be respected and admired by both students and teachers:
Always be completely open to teachers.
Be willing to discuss any policy that you have and give the background as to why you instilled the policy.
It is important that you always speak pleasantly to your teachers and
never put them down in the presence of others. All constructive criticism should be done in private.
Never raise your voice when you have a need to correct a teacher. Never strip your teachers of their
Be generous with praise and cautious with criticism.
Be quick to give credit to others when it is due to them. Make it a policy to commend your teachers
often. Look for reasons to commend them and you will see that they will work harder for you.
Always tell the truth – even when it hurts. No
one respects a person whom they can’t depend on to tell the truth. As the saying goes, “Tell
it like it is.”
easily approachable. Encourage teachers to ask you for help, if needed.
Be seen! A principal should be in the school halls when students are in the halls.
You should be in and out of the cafeteria during lunch. You should go into the classrooms often,
if only for a few minutes. You should be visible in order to be a leader.
Make discipline your number one concern.
Without discipline, little teaching or learning can take place. You are the key to any school’s
discipline. You must have a firm policy and be sure that both teachers and students fully understand it.
Be willing to take a stand and then stand.
Never accept an accusation against a teacher until you
first speak with that teacher. Be a friend to your teachers and support them as much as possible.
When they make mistakes, let them down easily.
Be open to teachers’ suggestions and, if you disagree, be pleasant in your discussion.
You have no need to be threatened, if you are open and honest.
The last characteristic is a summary of the other nine.
When you deal with teachers, remember two things: Tell the truth and treat others like you would
want to be treated.
MACE Successfully Intervenes For
The Motivation To Learn Is A Cultural Phenomenon
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
A student will not learn unless that student is MOTIVATED TO LEARN.
The motivation to learn is a cultural phenomenon or social process. Peer pressure, family history
and appreciation for academia, family income, culture, etc., are many of the factors which bear upon a student's MOTIVATION
TO LEARN. What is wrong with so many of our schools today is that students simply do not bring the proper
motivation to the table of learning. It is not that the student is incapable of learning; the problem is
that the student does not want to learn. I have always said that 90% of our students could master (not
just have a grade given to them, as is often the case today) 90% of what we dish out to them in way of academics if they truly
were motivated to do so. After my youngest son attended a Lead America program at Georgetown University
this Summer and studied about the Central Intelligence Agency (and perhaps the F. B. I. too) and met a friend from Missouri
who makes straight As, he announced to his mother and to me that he intended to make all As this school year.
I hope that he does. He is capable. And, what if he falls a bit short of his
goals? What if he makes a few Bs? At least he has cranked up his motivation-to-learn
level. (By the way, his high school has the third or fourth highest test scores of Georgia's public schools.
It's probably tougher than many private schools.) The key to learning is the motivation to learn.
This is nothing that I just stumbled
upon. I begin to observe this phenomenon in the 1970s when I was student teaching. In
fact, my thesis for my Master of Arts degree at UGA was conducted on peer pressure perceptions (which is a major determinant
to a student's motivation to learn) and later published the results of my study in a major referee journal.
As I began to work on my doctorate and was a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Educational Administration and
Bureau of Field Studies at the University of Georgia in 1980-1981 (graduated in 1984 after working two years on a huge dissertation),
I begin to learn from the keen observations of a professor named Dr. Eugene Boyce. I had an office in the
department, and I really appreciated Dr. Boyce's acumen. He was a little eccentric, but highly intelligent
folk often are. Dr. Boyce served on my dissertation committee. He had served as an educational
expert in West Africa, East Africa, the old U. S. S. R., and in the People's Republic of China. He would
ask, "Do you know how they teach students English in the Soviet Union?" He would hold up a glass
and say, "This is a glass," and the response from the students in the Soviet Union would be, "This is a glass."
They did not get into any of the supercilious methods of teaching that are espoused today by our so-called Staff Development
experts (my father always called these people "the Insultants"). They did not have to.
The students were already motivated to learn. Perhaps this is why nearly every student who graduates
from the high school level in Europe or China knows how to speak English. Is it because these European
or Chinese students are smarter than my children or your children in the United States? No, it is because
a student from China brings a higher level of motivation to learn to the equation.
Dr. Boyce noticed that in Africa the students who attended those schools
which were preparing the students to work in the diplomatic field (whether as interpreters or whatever) had much higher motivational
levels to learn than students who attended what Dr. Boyce called the "Village-Tribal Schools." The
latter students did not appreciate the world of academia and did not see how this "book-learning" would be relevant
to their lives as physical laborers. These students had no hope for rising above physical laborers.
They had no hope for a working life different from hard, physical labor. Therefore, their motivation
to learn academic subjects was very low.
I remember teaching one year in Greene County (about half the faculty car-pooled from Athens to Greensboro). I
had several young girls in my classes (I think two in my ninth grade homeroom) who were pregnant during the school year.
There was no stigma whatsoever. In fact, either in this school system or another system (I just
can't remember now), there was an unofficial "Baby Day" where the students would bring their babies to school.
People would ooh and aah over the cute little ones (as we all should praise and stand in wonderment of God's little
creatures). But, the point that I am making is that this was the time that our school systems (including
Greene County at the time) were trying to prevent teenage pregnancy by teaching the teenagers to put condoms on cucumbers
(literal cucumbers). Our educrats had concluded that teenage pregnancy was happening because of a lack
of information, not a lack of motivation. The educrats were treating teenage pregnancy as a technical breakdown,
not a motivational breakdown. These young girls actually wanted to get pregnant. In
fact, I'll never forget one of the older gentlemen who car-pooled with us announcing when he got in the car that afternoon:
"Well, Carrie told the class today that she was going out to the Hill this afternoon to get pregnant."
Carrie was a student in his Special Education class. Motivation is the key, baby! No
pun intended! (c) MACE, August 27, 2010.
Eleven Simple Statements (MESS)
Dr. John Trotter and Norreese Haynes
often see such ludicrous actions or lack of actions taken by public school systems that we are dumbfounded at the school systems
lack of ability to subscribe to simple precepts. When a school system simply refuses to acknowledge simple
realities relative to the public schooling processes, the results are disastrous. From our combined experiences
as a teacher, administrator, and/or representative of teachers over the years, we have compiled some simple realities that
most superintendents, school boards, policy-makers, and politicians ignore when dealing with the public schooling processes.
Below are eleven simple statements which, in our opinion, are irrefutable and intractable. To ignore
these simple statements will imperil any school system.
- All children can learn but not all children want to learn but rather some children even refuse to
- Unmotivated and disengaged students often disrupt the learning environments of those students who want to learn.
- You cannot
have orderly learning taking place in the classroom without order first being established in the classroom, and the chronically-misbehaving
and disorderly students must be removed from the regular classroom.
- You cannot have good learning conditions until you
first have good teaching conditions.
- Creative teaching is effective teaching, and states and school systems need to free
up teachers to be more creative and therefore more effective.
- A smothered, suffocating, beat-down, and beleaguered teacher
is an ineffective teacher.
- A top-down, heavy-handed approach to teacher supervision kills a teacher’s spirit and creativity
and works counter to effective teaching and student learning.
- A teacher can only teach the student, not learn the student,
just like a physician can only treat the patient, not heal the patient, and a lawyer can only defend the accused, not acquit
- Ultimately, the student is responsible for appropriately engaging or not engaging in the learning processes, and
the onus for learning must be put on the student, not the teacher.
- If the student refuses to appropriately engage in the
learning processes and therefore refuses to learn, there is nothing that the teacher can do to make the student learn, and
the teacher should not be held responsible for the student’s refusal to learn.
- The artificial and manipulative inflating of
standardized test scores is no true indication that students are learning but that a superintendent is trying to financially
bolster his or her professional resume at the students’expense.
Too Many Pimps, Sluts, & Bitches Running Our Public Schools!
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.
I was reading a few weeks ago that Douglas Reeves was coming to Atlanta. WoopieDo.
Douglas Reeves and educrats of his ilk start from the fallacious premise that students are not learning because teachers
are not teaching. No, Dougie Boy, most of the time, it is simply a lack of motivation. Largely,
students do not learn because students don't want to learn. It is just this simple. The
Educational Commercial Complex starts with the assumption that teachers need more and/or different types of training (this
is where big money lies) or that the students must be treated from a technical breakdown perspective (lots of
"chedda" here too) rather than from a motivational breakdown perspective. Public Education
has become a big business. Superintendents are essentially Sluts who jump in and out
of different beds (school boards) throughout the country, depending on how much money is offered to them; school board attorneys
are the Pimps who are really telling everyone, including the superintendents, what to do; and, of course, we have far too
many Bitches (males included) who are pretending to be principals in the schools. Now I know that my language
is graphic and makes some people uncomfortable, but sometimes graphic language is what is needed to communicate reality.
I like to speak in terms which cannot be misunderstood. In nearly every county in Georgia (and probably
nationwide), the local school board's budget is the largest budget in the county. Attorneys, book publishers,
consultants (or, "insultants," as my father calls them), and superintendents have long since realized just how "profitable"
these "non-profit" budgets can be. Oink, oink! The pigs are at the public
There's just too much money on the table. If we simply allowed teachers to teach, supported them
in the areas of discipline, quit snoopervising them (and thereby eliminating thousands of useless, inane, and counter-productive
bureaucratic jobs), and selected principals and superintendents of the basis of proven local leadership where they
have been vetted through years, then our schools will be much better off. But, the voracious publishers
and superintendent search firms and law firms would not be making the big bucks. It's all about the money.
That's right. The school business is really a profitable, money-making business for the few.
But, the Educational Commercial Complex is smothering and choking the educational systems throughout the country.
Teachers know what is wrong with the public schooling process, but no one asks the teachers what is wrong.
No, the Educational Sluts, Pimps, and Bitches have the school systems on lockdown. What are the
real problems in public education? First, we have too many defiant and disruptive (and unmotivated) students
in the regular classrooms, and the administrators are either too lazy or too scared to support the teachers in the area of
classroom discipline. The teachers cannot do it without administrative support. This
is a fact, Jack. Second, too many of today's parents are irate and irresponsible. Instead
of supporting the teachers, they are on the rampage against the teachers. When I grew up, if I got in trouble
with the teacher at school, I caught more heck at home when my parents found out. Parents back then, as
a whole, supported the teachers. Third, we have way too many angry and abusive administrators in our central offices and in
our schools. Teacher abuse is epidemic. Teachers are abused by these myopic, incompetent,
and cruel administrators. This too is a fact, Jack. Of course another problem that we
at MACE have been hammering on for a while -- like we were lone wolves in the educational desert -- is the widespread, systematic
cheating on the standardized tests. This too is a fact, Jack. We think that the widespread
use of standardized tests should be jettisoned. The curricula have been reduced to teaching the tests,
but this entails a whole article (and I have already written other articles about this).
There you have it: Let teachers teach and get rid of the Educational Sluts, Pimps, and Bitches!
You read it here first...on TheTeachersAdvocate.Com! (c) MACE, August
Daniel D. Trotter,
Sr., Friend of MACE.
Dennie (“Dink”) Trotter was born on April 21, 1925 in Madison, Georgia to Robert Alston
(“Doc”) Trotter, Sr., and Nellie Jane Clemons Trotter (both interred in Columbus). Dink is
the youngest child in his family, and he is the grandson of Dr. Robert Walter Trotter and Elizabeth Howard Alston Trotter
(both interred in Madison) and the great grandson of Col. Robert Augustus Alston, Esq., and Mary Charlotte MaGill Alston (both
interred in Decatur).
Dink joined the U. S. Navy during the height of World War II and saw horrific action as a teenager. He
married the love of his life, Jo Ann Frazier, toward the end of World War II when he returned Stateside on a mandatory leave
because his ship was blown up by a Japanese Kamikaze plane. After the war, Dink matriculated at Auburn
University, graduating in 1948. Patti had been born in 1947. In 1948, the young
Trotter family moved to Nashville where Dink entered Peabody College (now a part of Vanderbilt University).
Upon earning his Master’s degree at Peabody, Dink and family moved to Dasher, Georgia, a little community outside
of Valdosta where he taught and coached at Dasher Bible School (now Georgia Christian School), making many long-life friends
at Dasher. In 1950, the young Trotter family returned to Dink’s hometown of Columbus, Georgia where
Dr. William Henry Shaw, Superintendent of Muscogee County School District, immediately offered Dink a principal job. Dink
wisely turned it down to accept a teaching/coaching job at Columbus Jr. High School/Jordan Vocational High School. Dan
was born in 1950 and youngest child Johnny was born on New Year’s Eve, 1953. (Dink named “Johnny”
after his best friend, Johnny Rhodes, who was killed in January of 1945 while fighting in the Battle of the Bulge.)
Dink later became Assistant Principal at Jordan and Principal at Daniel Jr. High School. He
retired from the school system in 1981, after having been blessed with thousands of cherished friendships and associations
of colleagues and former students throughout his career as an educator. After retiring from the school
system, Dink accepted a job as the Executive Director of the Columbus Area YMCAs. (He had earlier turned
down a highly publicized offer from Columbus Mayor Jack Mickle to be the Director of Public Safety for Columbus, Georgia.)
Not only is Dink a great “School Man,” he most essentially is a Christian,
a Man of Faith. Many a person, especially in a time of need, has turned to Dink for
help, and their needs are met and without fanfare. He is the essence of the benevolent man.
He served his church for about 50 years as both a Deacon and an Elder. If Dennie Trotter is your
friend, you have a friend indeed! Since the inception of MACE in 1995, Daniel D. Trotter, Sr., (aka “D.
D. T.”) has been one of MACE’s most reliable supporters. Through the years, he financially
supported the young teacher’s union (now a veritable force to be reckoned with) in a quiet and steady manner, knowing
that he too has always been a “teacher advocate.” For over a dozen years, D. D. T. served
on the MACE Board of Directors, and the existence of MACE today is attributed greatly to the support and wisdom provided by
Mr. Trotter and by the example that he set in empowering teachers through the years to do their jobs. This
MACE Conference Room will be known henceforward as the “Daniel D. Trotter Conference Room.”
Click Here To See More Dedication Photos!
Again: Beverly Hall & Cheating, Crawford Lewis & Corruption, and Mark Elgart &
John DeCotis Will Be Missed…
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
(AJC) has finally shone a little light on the egregious and shameless culture of cheating that the Beverly Hall Administration
established years ago (when she arrived in the Summer of 1999). Hall has been atrocious but has had her
Atlanta Chamber of Commerce folk and EduPac folk (more or less the same folk) to have her back, so to speak, all these years.
We have been speaking out for years now here on TheTeachersAdvocate.Com (as well as on the GetSchooled blog of the
AJC and on Teachers.Net) about how completely corrupt the Hall Administration is. This administration makes
previous APS administrations look like they were hatched and nurtured in convents. The effrontery of the
Hall Administration is indeed shameless. Many a good educator/person has had his or her rights trampled
upon and many good people have lost their jobs unjustly because of their willingness to speak out or because of their unwillingness
to "go along just to get along."
the 2008-2009 school year, we at MACE had occasion to visit at Atlanta’s White Elementary (one of the schools in Atlanta
which had apparently engaged in unconscionable cheating). When we walked in and signed in after school
just to meet with a particular teacher, you would have thought that Darth Vader showed up. When I asked
to attend the restroom and was escorted as if I were a criminal, a lady from the Atlanta Central Office called my cell phone
and asked what was going on "at White Elementary" (this is not unusual but this time the anxiety of the administration
appeared to me to be more acute). I explained that I simply had to go to the restroom. Now,
looking back on the situation, perhaps they were afraid that my colleagues and I were there to look for erasures!
I have said many times and continue to say this:
The three most hypocritical people associated with public education in Georgia are Beverly Hall, Crawford Lewis, and
Mark Elgart. It appears that Lewis has turned in his cleats for good. I hope that someone
on the Atlanta Board of Education will have enough sense to tell Hall to turn in her cleats. Then, we have
only the self-righteous and hypocritical Mark Elgart of SACS remaining in the arena. He, in my opinion,
is an educational fake, and SACS is a money-grubbing outfit which uses its powers to carry out personal vendettas for its
personnel or for its friends placed in high places. Mark Elgart is the Elmer Gantry of Georgia Public Education.
I would love to debate Mark Elgart about the uneven-handedness of SACS. Are you listening Mark?
Who can arrange for an open, public debate between Mark Elgart and me? I think that he is not only
an educational fake but also a moral chicken. His unconscionable actions are also shameless.
Dr. John DeCotis will be sorely missed in Fayette County and
in the State of Georgia. He is a kind, good, and caring person who shows that you do not have to be an
ass to be an effective leader and superintendent. A few months back, I wrote to him and wished him a happy,
fruitful, and relaxing retirement. Perhaps he could be used throughout the State to teach some of our superintendents
how to treat people. But, the real jerks (who need to practice his prescient ways) would not show up --
they are already jackanapes and think that they need no one to teach them! (c) MACE, June 30, 2010.
Pay Rears Its Head Again!
Vote The Suckers Out!
By John R. Alston
Trotter, EdD, JD
Sonny Perdue and some
of his henchmen have totally disrespected teachers with this Merit Pay Mirage. Do they really think that
this will improve education in Georgia? (I have written several articles on Merit Pay on www.theteachersadvocate.com.) What
our schools in Georgia need is a better class of students. Do you think that anyone at GAE or PAGE will
say this? Ha! It is true, and in your hearts, you guys know that I am speaking the truth.
You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions. This is
our constant mantra at MACE, and no one can logically dispute this. No one. Another
statement prominently displayed on MACE literature (and even on our envelopes) is this: "MACE Devours
Administrators Who Abuse Teachers." Administrative abuse? Of course.
Every day. It is rampant. In the Spring of 1996, the headline for the lead article
in The Teacher's Advocate! magazine was "Teacher Abuse Is Epidemic!" It's
been epidemic for years, but everyone wants bury his or her head in the proverbial sand. Darn it!
When are governors, legislators, school board members, and other policy-makers (including Arne Duncan in Washington,
D. C.) going to take their heads out of the sand and listen? They are operating like they still believe
that the Earth is flat. They need to sail West (discipline in the classrooms) to reach the East Indies
(academic achievement). They apparently think that they will fall off the Earth if they insist on classroom
discipline. But, there will never be any significant changes in academic achievement without first establishing
classroom discipline, and teachers cannot establish good classroom discipline when a handful (or a whole classroom full) of
miscreants and thugs substantially disrupt the classes, knowing that the weasel, booger-eating, and kiss-up administrators
are either too afraid or too lazy to do anything to the thugs who are running some of our schools. Abject
administrative cowardice, laziness, apathy and/or callousness!
Any legislator who goes along
with Sonny's maniacal Merit Pay plan should be voted out of office! Vote all of the suckers
out of office! (c) MACE, April 28, 2010.
Other Merit Pay Articles:
Again, Merit Pay Is Incurably Flawed!
Teachers Teach Students; They Don't Learn Them!
Merit Pay Again, Jackasses, and Same Histrionic Insults at Teachers (SH_T)!
Merit Pay In Public Education Does Not Work!
Merit Pay, Race, Culture, & Public Schooling!
Teach. Administrators Cheat.
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD, www.theteachersadvocate.com
I wish that the Governor
and the General Assembly would balance the budget by chopping away at the administrative bloat in public education in Georgia.
We could get rid of one-half of the useless administrators in the State, and the school systems would get along just
fine because so many of these administrators are worthless and counter-productive. They hinder learning,
not facilitate it. Hey, I like this slogan on a good picket sign: "Teachers Teach.
Administrators Cheat." Or, "Teachers Teacher. Administrators Snoop."
Or, "Next Election: Teachers With Pitchforks!" Finally, "Let Teachers Evaluate Administrators."
Right now, bad and evil (yes, evil!) administrators can do a lot a damage in the educational process, including destroying
and getting rid of good, dedicated, and effective teachers, but a good teacher has no recourse against an angry and abusive
administrator. The Georgia Code permits the teacher evaluation of administrators but school boards and
superintendents don't want to know about the terrible administrators; they choose not to exercise this option.
This "option" ought to be mandated by the State. You would see many administrators "get
religion," and the teachers would at least appreciate this small effort to mollify their situation in these very tough
If I were running for Governor, I think that I would tap into this huge
frustration and try to actually do some things for teachers that cost the State virtually no money...mandate that school systems
allow the teachers to evaluate the administrators and that the compilation of the scores be presented to the school board.
Also, the State should just simply chop in half the administrative bloat so that teachers would not have to be furloughed.
We have way too many useless, ineffective, and abusive administrators in Georgia. (c) MACE, February
Is Blowing Up!”
blowing up! MACE is a virus to abusive administrators, but MACE is a powerful antibiotic for teachers who
are suffering under the abuse from administrators. MACE is spreading like a California wildfire! We constantly get calls and emails from teachers wanting MACE to come to other states.
We’ve had inquiries from Florida, Texas, California, New York, Alabama, Missouri and other states. But, for now we are holding the line in Georgia. We are
not going to stretch our supply lines, so to speak. At MACE, we believe in keeping the troops intact.
MACE provides aggressive representation when a teacher needs it. At MACE, we protect teachers one
member at a time.” – Norreese L. Haynes, MACE Executive Vice Chairman.
Meet The People of MACE!
Better Candidates In Public Education? That’s The Question?
Stop Treating Them Like Dog Crap
don't attract better candidates into the field of education by consistently treating them like dog crap. Is
this simple enough? Also, your problem today in public education is not the teachers;
it's the defiant, unmotivated, and disruptive students and their irate and irresponsible parents. A loose
net will always catch any weak teacher; a tight net will only suffocate the entire profession, driving off those who refuse
to be treated like dog crap by the angry, incompetent, and abusive administrators. We try to make it plain.
© MACE, November 4, 2009.
School Administrators' Public Enemy No.1? Dr. John Trotter: "Who? Me? You Mean The Administrators Aren't Afraid Of GAE And PAGE? Oh, I Forgot. The Administrators ARE Members Of GAE And PAGE."
MACE has a teacher's agenda, a focused mission, and a clear vision. MACE is about the empowerment and protection
of classroom educators. MACE is forthright in its goals -- teachers securing control of their profession and teachers being
treated as professionals (and not being micro-managed like "day laborers"). MACE is tired of seeing teachers treated
like tall children. MACE is tired of teachers being mistreated. MACE is unapologetic in its mission. MACE will not vacillate,
will not equivocate, and will not back off a single inch from its mission -- liberating teachers so that teachers can do what
teachers were called to do, viz., teach the children.
If you are tired of the I gotcha approach to supervision;
if you are tired of being snoopervised by petty and myopic administrators who seem to enjoy any contrived opportunity to "write
you up"; if you are tired of having your teaching micro-managed and having your professional knowledge, wisdom, and judgment
ignored; if you are tired of being treated like a "day laborer" and dealt with in a heavy-handed fashion; if you
are tired of having little or no input into your teaching environment; if you are tired of having to put up with an inept
top-down management style that's been proven to be ineffective in business, industry, and education; and, if you are just
plain tired of all this mess, then join the Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE).
|N. Haynes (L) and A. Ramay (R)
Attorney Anderson (Andy) Ramay
Gets Another Decision
At State Board Level!
MACE's Legal Department Continues To Flourish!
Enjoy Peace Of Mind!
"Teachers, do yourselves a favor
and join MACE! MACE provides aggressive representation when you need it. At no other union can you tap into the experience
and effectiveness of Dr. John Trotter, Mr. Norresse Haynes, Mr. Jeff Cox, Mr. Darryl Plenty, Mrs. Renee Bishop, Mr. Michael
Robinson, Mr.Tom (Thug) Berry, Mr. J.B. Stanley, Mr. David Cochran, Mr. Ben Barnes and other dedicated people committed
to empowering classroom educators. Join MACE and enjoy peace of mind!"
Cheating In Atlanta Public Schools?
Click Here To Read 11Alive.com Article And See Video!
Cheating In DeKalb County Schools?
Click Here To See Video...WSBTV.COM
Click Here To See DeKalb Grade Changing Scandal Video...WSBTV.COM
Bullying In DeKalb County Schools?
Click Here To See Video... FOX 5 NEWS!
This Joke-of-a-Superintendent Must
Click Here To For Full Article
"Candy Ass" Picket Three Days In A Row!
Channel 11 Comes To The Picket
Click Here To Read Article On 11Alive.com!
Ah...Surely Not "Premier"
Superintendent "Candy Ass " Crawford Lewis Must Go!
Gates & Three Realities Of Teaching
By John R. Alston Trotter
and Norreese Haynes
Not all teachers are the same. Granted. Some are better than others.
Some are more skilled than others. Some have better personalities than others. Some
have more life experiences and teaching experiences than others. Some are more educated than others.
Some are more motivated than others.
With all this granted, the number one influence
in whether or not a student becomes well-educated is his or her set of parents (or, in many cases, single parent).
I hate to say this, but it sometimes boils down to "the Lucky Sperm Club," as one of my political friends
so bluntly states it.
1. The teacher's authority is paramount in the classroom.
When the educrats undermine this authority, they only hurt the children, not help them. As a previous
poster noted, the great success of the Ron Clark experience is first establishing the unquestioned authority of the teacher.
The emphasis should be teacher-focused, not this cockamamie student-focused crap. How can ignorant
kids teach each other anything? Yet, our teachers are written up today because their classrooms are not
student-focused enough. Oh, so we divide up into "centers" or groups and allow the children to
teach each other Latin, heh? Is this how they do it at Westminster, Marist, Lovett, Woodward?
2. The motivation to learn is a cultural process or phenomenon. Without the proper
motivation to learn, no student will learn, regardless of who is teaching. Bill Gates could begin to teach
computer programming each day at Atlanta's Kennedy Middle School, but if the students fail to show up for class (but are loitering
up and down the drug-infested James P. Brawley Drive) or when they do show up, they are pushing and kicking each other during
class or actually playing digital game on their ubiquitous cell phones, I don't think even the good ole Harvard drop-out will
make a dent in "teaching" these students. Oh, Gates can teach them, but he can't "learn"
them. Only the student can learn, but the student has to be motivated to learn. This
motivation is a social or cultural phenomenon. The motivation that he or she brings to school is determined
by the more than 85% of the time that a child spends AWAY from school until the child turns eighteen. The
schools only have the children for a small percentage of their lives. What happens in the child's overwhelmingly
majority life that is spent away from the school building? Whatever happens is what largely determines
whether or not the child brings motivation to learn to the school building. Yes, the influence of their
parents is substantial.
3. You cannot have good learning conditions without first
having good teaching conditions. Educrats are so mistaken when they assume that coddling and pampering
students is what they need. They assume that this is nurturing. No, this is spoiling
the students and turning them into spoiled and rotten brats. They become even more hellions than their
previous potential. (All children can learn, but all children also have the potential to be hellions.)
The students become defiant and disruptive. Effective leaning cannot take place. Yes,
a teacher can teach his or her heart out, but if the teaching conditions in which a teacher teaches are so horrific, the student
will not learn. A great lawyer can do a masterful job in the courtroom. He or she can
defend his or her client, but cannot acquit the client. A great physician can treat a patient, but cannot
heal a patient. A great teacher can teach a student, but not learn a student.
concepts are essential to effective learning. But, the educrats, like those insisting in the old days that
the Earth was flat, are blind and don't know their rears ends from deep centerfield. They are a great stumbling
block to learning. They ought to step aside and let the teachers teach! © MACE, July 14, 2010.
|Trotter. Doesn't Suffer Administrative Fools.
|Haynes. MACE's Executive Director.
|Making'em an offer they can't refuse...
|...and if they refuse the offer...
Stop The Standardized Testing Mania!
War Zone Schools!
DeKalb's Crawford Lewis, Dummy Explanation, and Gasolinegate!
Confront The Real Problems In Public Education!
MACE Told You So!
A Double Standard In Georgia! Administrators At Fault, Not Teachers
Motivation To Learn Is A Cultural Process Part I
Cookie-Cutter Approaches To Curriculum And Pedagogy Do Not Work!
Hey Governor, Balance The Budget By Slashing The Administration!
Georgia Needs More Vocational Education
View A Recent MACE Newsletter!
Jeff Cox...A Man Of Patience & Integrity.
MACE Is Not For Everyone!
|Meeting with a few MACE members at Douglas County High School.
|Keith Murwin was MACE's first member in Douglas County in 1996.
Only for Teachers
MACE started in the Fall of 1995, and within its
first week of soliciting members, it had already enrolled two former presidents of GAE locals (Fulton
and Cobb), a former president of the Atlanta Federation of Teachers (AFT),
and other leaders of other educational organizations. These teachers joined MACE because they knew that MACE
was totally committed to the protection and empowerment of classroom educators. The message
of MACE resonates with Georgia’s teachers. The good news of MACE continues to spread
throughout Georgia, and MACE now represents teachers in over forty school systems in Georgia.
MACE does not allow administrators to join. Why should MACE? Administrators have their own organizations
(like GAEL, GSSA, GAESP, etc.); however, administrators continue to flood
the membership ranks of GAE and PAGE. This is one of the main reasons that GAE
and PAGE cannot speak forthrightly for classroom educators. Sometimes, to advocate for teachers,
you have to be critical of the misconduct of administrators. Sometimes, you even have to call names. But what happens at GAE
and PAGE when there is a conflict between a teacher and a principal and both are members of the same organization?
You know! It’s a classic case of conflict-of-interest. Furthermore, the assistant superintendent
and/or the superintendent may also be a member of that organization. What will GAE or PAGE
do? Nothing, probably. And, that’s what often happens – nothing. The teacher’s interests do not get served.
Frustration and a sense of impotence set in. Not so at MACE! MACE knows that the administrator
is not a member of MACE. MACE knows that there’s no conflict. MACE
knows whom we serve and for whom MACE advocates; therefore, keep spreading the good news that there is
a union for teachers, a union which does not apologize in advocating for teachers. Keep encouraging other teachers to join
the growing union that packs a powerful punch. When you say “MACE,” administrators listen.
MACE Protects Teachers,
One Member At A Time!