1. Fulton’s James Wilson. He’s Fulton’s
fifth superintendent in two years (James the Fifth). Jamie Boy hails from Cobb County -- part of the
Cobb Legion which has taken over the Fulton County School System. The Republicans of North Fulton have
stacked the Fulton system with arrogant lads from Cobb County. Wilson and crew apparently think that
mundane laws like O.C.G.A. 20-2-989.5 et seq. (the grievance law for teachers) don’t apply to them. MACE will
break in ole Jamie Boy real well. Right now, he’s learning dumber.
2. Muscogee’s John Phillips. He was arrogant in Bartow
County, and he’s still arrogant in Muscogee County. He’s got the personality of a baloney sandwich.
He’s apparently determined to let the administrators run roughshod over the downtrodden teachers in this very race-conscious
3. Atlanta’s Beverly Hall. She was disastrous in New
Jersey, and she’s been disastrous since coming to Atlanta in 1999. But, don’t tell that to The
Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The AJC has been her cheerleader during her entire tenure in Atlanta. The
discipline is near non-existent in Atlanta. Teaching in Atlanta is a Viet Nam experience. The word of
a student or a parent is often taken carte blanche. Teachers are essentially seen as the enemies. If a teacher reports a major
ethical infraction (like cheating on standardized tests) to the Professional Standards Commission, the teacher may
find himself/herself terminated or abruptly transferred. Atlanta is a hell-hole to teach in. Avoid Atlanta at
all costs! Rumors have it that Hall has been seriously sick. But, she’s still at the helm of this rudderless
system. Atlanta’s logo is "Resurgens" with a phoenix rising out of the ashes. But, in reality, Atlanta
has long since sunk to the bottom of the ash heap. If you teach in Atlanta, you’ll end up with dirty smut
all over you. Don’t say that we didn’t warn you!
4. Gwinnett’s Alvin Wilbanks. This is the same superintendent
who did not report about 40,000 cases of serious disciplinary infractions to the Department of Education as required
by law. (See related story on this website.) Gwinnett is Georgia’s largest school system, and it is changing
daily. There’s a great influx of Hispanic students in the western part of the county. And, like every county in the
metro Atlanta area, there’s a constant black/white racial transition. The central office has historically been
very arrogant with the "we’re above the law" type of attitude. With the great changes taking place, teachers are often
left hanging when it comes to disciplining the students. Sweep it under the rug! That’s the mantra. That’s how
Wilbanks was named the Georgia State Superintendents Association’s Superintendent of the Year. What a joke. His
"good ole boys" at GSSA were shoring him up after he had been beaten up in the media.
5. DeKalb’s Crawford Lewis. Lewis can be quite
congenial when you meet with him. But, he probably was recently named as Johnny Brown’s replacement because he
was seen by the fractious and meddling school board members as weak enough in his personality to be molded and shaped into
their own image. He’s the school board’s play dough. Like most superintendents of large systems, Lewis tends
to want to sweep brewing controversies under the proverbial rug. He has a handful of decent upper management people in place,
but most are fairly inept, slothful, and afraid to make a decision. However, Lewis’s administration is not as
arrogant as Fulton’s and Muscogee’s administrations and not quite as incompetent as Atlanta’s.
6. Clayton’s Barbara Pulliam. Pulliam comes from
a system of about 5,000 on students to a system of more than 51,000 students. Her first year on the job shows that she’s
in way over her head. She put out an ill-advised mandate for teachers to reduce their disciplinary referrals by 10%. She should
have mandated that the students increase their behavior by 10%! Recently, three students beat up a teacher at Forest Park
High School. The Alternative School is a cauldron which erupts periodically. There was a virtual riot at the school
last month. The overall system-wide discipline has declined precipitously since Pulliam’s arrival a year ago.
The teachers are growing very restless. But, believe it or not, the students’ behavior is still a notch or two better
than Atlanta, DeKalb, and Fulton. Also, the administrators are still a notch or two better than those
in Atlanta, DeKalb, and Fulton when it comes to dealing with teachers. But, the administrators’
support for teachers is getting weaker and weaker every day. In another year or two under Pulliam’s reign, Clayton
will be just as bad as Atlanta, DeKalb, and Fulton. There have been persistent rumors that Pulliam
has been interviewing for jobs elsewhere.
7. Hancock’s Florence Reynolds. No list of Georgia’s
sorry superintendents would be complete without mentioning Hancock’s Florence Reynolds. How she got the job,
we’ll never know. She came from DeKalb County with very little administrative credentials. Of course, she followed
a superintendent who earned a 27 count federal indictment. (He may be finishing his career in federal prison.) Reynolds,
like some of her predecessors, apparently thinks that the Georgia law doesn’t apply to Hancock County School
System. The grievance law, local board policy dealing with back pay for updated certificates, etc., are ignored. MACE
refers to Hancock County as Georgia’s "Wild, Wild West." (See related story on this
website.) Hancock County has a sordid history of mismanagement and mercurial in-fighting and vendettas. It’s
a touch of Atlanta in the country. The Professional Standards Commission (PSC) and the Georgia Department
of Education (DOE) are apparently reluctant to take on the Hancock County School System and the Atlanta
Public Schools because they are predominantly African-American. Apparently, the "white boys" in these agencies don’t
want to be accused of racism. Meanwhile, the students and teachers languish in Hancock County and Atlanta. It
is sad. The "nice" and spineless bureaucrats at the PSC and the DOE engage in benign neglect at the expense
of the innocent children and the dedicated teachers. Both the Hancock County and the Atlanta school systems
should be taken over by the state.