"Y'all want a fight?Let's go!You guys [school board and administrators] want to blame everything on teachers and fail to place the blame right where
it belongs...with the students and their parents.We have told you over and over that you cannot have good
learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.So, if you want to continue to blame
teachers and abuse teachers, then we're always ready to thrown down.Let's go!I only
wish that there were more hours in the day so we could kick more administrative ass!We're not educational
terrorists; we're just freedom fighters, freeing up teachers from administrative abuse, parental abuse, and the daily abuse
suffered from student-thugs!MACE uses every legal means available to protect and empower our teacher-members
so that they can teach in peace, without the daily abuse affecting their minds, bodies, and souls.So,
yeah, y'all want a fight?Then, as my colleague Norreese Haynes says, 'Bring it.'Unlike
GAE and PAGE, we're not going to tuck our tails and run.MACE was born fighting, and we've been fighting
for Georgia's classroom educators for 15 years, and we offer no apologies for
this fact.This is why the school-based administrators and the central office administrators push for "their"
teachers to join GAE and PAGE.They're not afraid of PAGE and GAE, but I quote one school board attorney in the Metro Atlanta area:'MACE terrorizes the principals.'Good.If they are abusing teachers, then they should be terrorized of MACE.Let's
go!" -- Dr. John Trotter, MACE Chairman & CEO.
These little small-minded, petty, and abusive crocs
are so scary to teachers when they suddendly and without warning bite teachers in the ass. But when the Roaring Lion (MACE)
shows up, they just slink back into the swamp! LOL! This an accurate visual of what happens! When you mention "MACE,"
these picayunish and mean-spirited administrators listen. We tip our hats to the few good administrators who are still out
Superintendent, Mychele Rhodes, Apparently Is Trying to Terminate The County’s STAR Teacher Over Rubrics And Other Such
Silliness! I Never Cease To Be Amazed At Today’s Goofball Superintendents! LOL!
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
cease to be amazed at today’s goofball superintendents and principals of schools. I recently saw on Facebook that
a senseless principal told a child with Downs Syndrome that he could not wear the letter jacket that his mother had made him
for participating on one of the non-varsity teams at the school. He was so proud of his homemade letter jacket, but
this principal, who apparently doesn’t have enough sense to pour piss out of a boot, told him that he could not wear
it because he was not a member of a varsity team at the school. Should this principal be taken out and horse-whipped?
Would that do him any good?
A few years back, we picketed a principal at A. Phillip Randolph Elementary School
in Fulton County because he apparently recommended his Teacher of the Year for the non-renewal of his teaching contract.
People were very upset. How can a principal be without principles so much that he or she would recommend the non-renewal
of the Teacher of the Year? Did this teacher make the principal nervous? Was this teacher reluctant to kiss administrative
ass? How can this happen?
Now the word is in that the Superintendent of Schools in McDuffie County, the home of perhaps Georgia’s most famed racist
of the past, U. S. Senator Tom Watson, is in the throes of either recommending to the school board the termination or non-renewal
of the contract of the popular STAR Teacher at Thomson High School. We write about such silliness and pettiness and
petulance in our book, The MACE Manifesto: The Politically Incorrect, Irreverent, and Scatological Examination
of What is Wrong with American Public Education (Big Daddy Publishers, LLC, 2014, 615 pages). These kinds
of actions take place all over the country these days mainly because non-leaders are put into positions of “leadership.”
Superintendent Clown of McDuffie County
Today, the people who are often put into leadership roles are really tight-ass and controlling bureaucrats. In the old
days, many of the coaches were promoted up the leadership/administrative ladder. And, quite frankly, it most of the
times worked out well. They were firm on student discipline, supported the teachers when it came to discipline, and
they didn’t snoopervise the teachers, thinking that they had all of the answers. They certainly didn’t worry
about such non-sense as “teaching rubrics.” These crazy “rubrics” are insulting. To put
creative teachers on a “rubrics” mandate is like putting them on training wheels. These older principals
certainly didn’t worry about such nonsense as forcing good teachers to act like robots, telling them how to teach and
threatening their jobs for simply being creative in teaching their students. Professionals don’t need training wheels.
Teachers need to freed up to be creative. Freed up
to teach. Stifling and suffocating them in straightjackets is ridiculous. Making them use cookie-cutter methods
is unconscionable. It’s like a coach who has never played basketball telling a Michael Jordan or a Larry Bird
or a Pete Maravich what to do with the round ball each time they get their hands on it. Teachers are professionals who
should be respected and allowed to use their professional knowledge, judgment, and wisdom with the students who are in their
care. They don’t briefcase-toting, tight-ass bureaucrats telling them each move to make. They need these
educrats and snoopervisors to get the heck out of their classrooms and let them teach.
Now back to the STAR Teacher in
McDuffie County: We hear that he was verbally bullied and berated in a meeting today for about two hours.
Apparently, Superintendent Mychele Rhodes told him that she didn’t think that he should be allowed to teach in McDuffie
County anymore. I am thinking that the situation may go beyond just teaching the “rubrics” and other such
silliness. I think that the administration may be upset that the STAR Teacher is openly and vocally a Christian believer
and that he has talked to the administration at Thomson High about the terrible disciplinary conditions which apparently exist
at the school. The administrators these days don’t want to hear about this. They prefer to bury their heads
in the sand when it comes to discipline. Also, it often appears to be “open season” on vocal Christians in public
schools these days, both the students who want to bring their Bibles to schools or teachers who want to share their faith
outside the classroom. If, however, this teacher were Muslim, perhaps the administration would handle him with kid gloves
and make special arrangements for pork not to be served at all in the cafeteria.
For several years, from what I hear, this school system has
been hemorrhaging top teachers, including multiple Teachers of the Year and other STAR Teachers, some of whom are moving to
safer or better schools and others of whom are leaving the profession entirely. What is going on in McDuffie County that is
causing these successful and award-winning teachers to leave the system?
This superintendent-clown in McDuffie County seems to want to snoopervise the STAR Teacher for
no substantive reason. Is this done in other school systems? She is apparently saying that she is concerned about this popular
teacher’s “rubrics” and the number of his writing assignments. What?! She needs to worry about abiding by
the Georgia Statute (O. C. G. A. 20-2-940[g]) that does not allow a Georgia superintendent to suspend a teacher
from the classroom for more than ten days – and certainly not without the teacher being granted all of his substantive
due process rights and having any “charge[s]” given to him by the seventh day. This superintendent, who is the
Executive Secretary of the elected McDuffie County Board of Education, has left this school board in a breach of the law.
This school board, via its appointed superintendent, has egregiously and flagrantly violated this Georgia Statute. No excuse
whatsoever. Yes, she needs to worry about abiding by the law, not about pettiness. This STAR Teacher has been left dangling
in the wind, with his reputation being besmirched because he first of all was apparently just sent home without any explanation
of any “charge[s].” Not until after three weeks was he brought in and told about his “rubrics” and
other such silliness. His reputation could not help but be ruined by such sloppy and sinister and nefarious actions of the
Superintendent’s Office of McDuffie County. Rhodes Must Go! She either does not know the Georgia
Law or does not give a rat’s behind about it. Mr. Norreese Haynes and I went to McDuffie County a couple of weeks ago
and informed the administration there about the law. It apparently went over like water off a duck’s back. Next time,
we will bring a crew and hit the sidewalks. I wonder if the good People of McDuffie County respect the Supreme Court’s
holdings about Category One Free Speech fora? Parks and sidewalks. Ole Tom Watson might not have respected the humanity of
all of God’s creation in older times, but I think that a new day has dawned in McDuffie County and the good People of
McDuffie County will not put up with shabby treatment when they are informed about it. The way this STAR Teacher has been
treated in McDuffie County could make some people draw the conclusion that he had robbed the McDuffie County Regions Bank.
He has still to this day been kept in a “Teacher’s Gulag” or a metaphorical “penalty box.” What
has been his “crime”? Caring for the kids and teaching creatively? Good grief. Rhodes Must Go!
This STAR Teacher is not a one-year wonder. He is
no fluke. He was chosen by the students and parents of McDuffie County as the WalMart Teacher of the Year in both 2006
and 2009. (This Teacher of the Year program has apparently been discontinued. Otherwise, he may have won this
award several more times.) This is in a county of perhaps 250 t0 300 teachers. He has also been named an “Honor
Educator” twice in the last five years. Only students who graduate with distinction are given the opportunity
to choose one teacher who has most impacted them. This year marks the second time this teacher has received this honor.
“STAR Teacher,” “Teacher of the Year,” and “Honor Educator” and yet Mychele Rhodes
is apparently trying to can him. So, does she not want superb teachers positively impacting on the children of McDuffie
County? Or, is this superintendent clown all about control? What is it?
Dr. John Trotter (R) and Mr. Norreese
Haynes (L), authors of The MACE Manifesto.
Big Daddy Publishers
will be publishing a new chapter each day of July of The MACEManifesto. The principal
author is Founder and Chairman of the Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE), Dr.
John R. AlstonTrotter, and MACE‘s Executive Vice Chairman Norreese
L. Haynes contributes heavily to this shocking educational tome. Trotter and Haynes
issue what appears to be a very cogitated call for revolution, not clarification or obfuscation, in American Public
These leaders of MACE
appear to have prescient insights into what is wrong with public education today. Trotter and
Haynes certainly do not pull any punches when they lower the boom on what they call “an educational
state analogous to Germany‘s WeimarRepublic in the 1920s or, better
yet, the Pretorian Government of South Africa during the days of apartheid.”
They contend that the waste and ineffectiveness and inhumanity of the public educational system in the United States is “both
mind-boggling and unconscionable.” Dr. Trotter states: “It appears that no one wants
to acknowledge what is fundamentally and systematically wrong with the system. Everyone appears to be worried about
being politically correct and polite. Mr. Haynes and I are concerned about neither. We simply
tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may.”
Heroes Are Really Teachers!
particular article was a two-page flyer recently given out to teachers at the Hart County (GA)
Education Summit in Hartwell, Georgia on November 1, 2011.Dr. Trotter anticipated correctly that the “summit” would be tightly choreographed with
little to no input from the audience.Therefore, he prepared the following for distribution, along with
the recent MACE newsletter which can be seen on this website.Please read and enjoy.The issues in Hart County are really about the same as in other Georgia school systems.]
do not go into the teaching profession to get rich.They go into the teaching profession because they want
to make a difference in the lives of the children whom they interact with each day.They love seeing the
spark go off when a student finally learns a concept, a skill, or develops an understanding of the world.The
teachers’ rewards are often intrinsic, but these intrinsic rewards cannot be exchange at the grocery
store, the gas pump, or for their own children’s college tuition.They need to be rewarded both intrinsically
and extrinsically.The way that we can show a teacher respect and appreciation is not only in
being free and plentiful with compliments, recognitions, and praise, but in making sure that the school system’s resources
are spread around equitably and fairly.With these thoughts in mind, let’s look at the word R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Recognize and respect those who actively teach the
children each day…
Empower the teachers to do their jobs rather than
Support the teachers in disciplinary matters…
Pay the teachers as professionals, not as afterthoughts…
Effuse the school system with praise…
Cease the carping and snoopervision…
Think before you criticize the teacher…
Classroom educators are in the trenches every day.They are doing battle with ignorance, apathy, defiance,
disruptive behaviors, disturbances (and not just from the children but from adults in the office), and bureaucratic red-tape
each day.They know what the real issues are.They know that the motivation to learn
is a social/familial/cultural phenomenon but that educrats always want to deal with the lack of learning as a technical breakdown
or a lack of training for teachers rather than a student just refusing to learn.The teachers
don’t need the endless and mercurial staff development trainings ad infinitum; what the teachers need is support
from the administration.
Hart County Teachers know what teachers all over Georgia and this country know and
what the Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE) has been harping on from its inception
in 1995, and it is this simple but undisputed statement:You cannot have good learning
conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.Dr. Bell, it is just that simple.Anything else is chasing windmills or urinating in a hurricane.It is just pipe dreaming and trying
to convince the Hart County Community and School Board that you are making a valiant effort
to improve education in Hart County.Dr. Bell, you and the Hart
County Board of Education need to get behind the teachers, show them respect, and pay them accordingly.
Here is the kind of genuine school reform which I think nearly all Hart County teachers can
Horsemen of Real School "Reform"
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD and Norreese L. Haynes,
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.Top-down, heavy-handed
snoopervision is counter-productive to establishing good teaching conditions.
Reform # 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 the spoiled students and indulging their irresponsible parents do not
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 U. S. Secretary
of Education 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.
Good luck to the good teachers in Hart County! Call us if we can be of service!
The MACE Team returns from Hart County and stops for gasoline and refreshments.
2013 MACE Newsletter!
MACE Had a Big Year
in 2012-2013! Saved Teaching Jobs for Several Teachers! Protected and Empowered Many! Picketed on Twenty Occasions –
to the Delight of Hundreds and Hundreds of Teachers!The 2013-2014 School Years Starts with a BANG!MACE Launches the MACE
Criminal Attorney, Steve Frey, is MACE’s General Counsel!Trotter and Haynes’s Book, The MACE Manifesto, will
Rock and Shock the Educational World!
MACE finished the 2012-2013
school year in a flurry, with two pickets during the last week of the school year. Cynthia Dickerson,
the principal at Clayton County’s Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, had the fine
distinction of being picketed by the MACE Picket Squad on the last day of school! The
MACE Strike Force ventured into Gwinnett County on five different occasions, with Shiloh
High School’s principal, Eric Parker, seeing the most MACE pickets (three
in one year). One teacher whom MACE felt that Mr. Parker was not treating fairly received
a transfer to Gwinnett’s Brookwood High School, especially after the promulgation
of Dr. John Trotter’s almost ten page letter to the superintendent and to all of the Gwinnett
County SchoolBoard members on this teacher’s behalf.
MACE reached up into Cobb
County and conducted a wildly successful picket against the Floyd Middle School principal, Teresa
Hargrett. The Floyd teachers seemed ecstatic that MACE showed up. Clayton
County also saw many MACE pickets this past year, with the principal at Lee Street Elementary,
Zakaria Watson, seeing the most action.
MACE made two trips to Macon,
Georgia to picket the very much disliked superintendent, Romain Dallemand. Both of
MACE’s pickets were covered extensively by the media, including the local NBC television
affiliate on each occasion. After the second picket in January, Superintendent Dallemand announced
his resignation a couple of weeks later.MACE also represented teachers in grievance
hearings in Macon.Just recently, Mr. Norreese Haynes, Mr. Benjamin
Barnes, and Mr. Michael Robinson traveled to Macon to meet with some teachers of
Macon’s Central High School.Mr.Haynes’s letter to the principal has apparently already has its good effects.The
teacher on whose behalf Mr. Haynes penned the letter seems empowered and enthusiastic over MACE’s
advocacy for her. One Macon teacher described the Men of MACE as “pit
bulls in pen-striped suits.”LOL!
The mantra at MACE is simple and direct:You cannot have good learningconditions until you first have good teaching conditions. 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.MACE doesn’t play.MACE
devours petty, insecure, myopic, and angry administrators who abuse teachers.
When MACE was founded in 1995,
the administrators were immediately afraid of MACE.There was an attorney for the DeKalb
CountyBoard of Education who stated:“MACE terrorizes the
principals!”MACE is now into its 19th year,
and the message has not changed one scintilla.MACE continues to legally terrorize those
administrators who seem to gleefully terrorize teachers.Once these abusive administrators find out that
the teacher is a MACEMember, almost invariably they suddenly changed their direction and
suddenly get religion.But, if they learn dumber, MACE has to turn up the heat.Although the MACE membership is strictly confidential, there comes a time when you want your administrator
to know that you are a Member of 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 MACEMember in Hart County this
past year and kicked ass for her.In fact, Vivian Morgan, the reporter for the Hartwell
Sunnewspaper, called Dr. Trotter and stated:“Lowell Chatham
[the MACE attorney] was phenomenal!”The teacher still has her job.MACE Attorney Chatham also defended a ClaytonCounty teacher in
a four-day hearing.The teacher won his case and is still teaching in Clayton County!MACE’s General Counsel is Steve Frey, the lead attorney for
Clayton County Sheriff, Victor Hill, in his recent trial in which he was acquitted on all
counts.Attorney Frey is known as one of the top attorneys in the State of Georgia.(You can visit his site at TheFreyLawFirm.com.)MACE protects
and empowers classroom educators…one MACEMember at a time.
Dr. John Trotter, the Chairman and CEO of MACE, and Mr.
Norreese Haynes, the Executive Vice Chairman and COO of MACE,
are writing a book entitled, The MACE Manifesto:The Politically Incorrect, Irreverent, and Scatological
Examination of What is Wrong with American Public Education.The book will be published this fall
but you can see glimpses of the book as the “sausage” is being made at www.themacemanifesto.com.Probably 80% of the book is already written (of about 300 pages).The book is candid, forthright,
and holds back no punches.It is an enlightening, riveting, and entertaining read.Go
quickly to the site and see if you can find your principal.LOL!
Enclosed is a MACE
Brochure/Application for you to look over and to pass along to your colleagues who are not yet members of MACE!Also, please look over the MACE Network card.Call the MACE Office
and ask how you can join the MACE Network and make money by enrolling teachers into MACE.You can make money on three levels!
your friends not to wait too late to join!Please look over the enclosed brochure/application and pass it along to
a colleague. (If you need more, just call the MACE Office at 770/716-2727 and ask for more.)Tell your colleagues that they are in Georgia, and in Georgia, you don’t teach
MACE plans on conducting a Teachers’ Rights Seminar
this school year.Look for details in the mail!
Crossroads Second Chance South Teacher
Pleads for Fulton Board and
Superintendent Avossato 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?
Two Questions In Three Minutes
For New Atlanta Schools Chief Erroll Davis…
If Mr. Davis Demurs On These Two Questions, Then His Rhetoric Is Hollow & His Talk Is Pure
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
was the essence of Dr. John Trotter's address to Atlanta's new superintendent, Erroll Davis, and the Atlanta Board of
Education on Monday night, July 11, 2011.This photo of Dr. Trotter appeared in the AJC Online.]
Will the Erroll Davis Administration abide by the Georgia State Statute (O.C.G.A.
20-2-989.5et seq.) which governs complaints (grievances) filed by certificated
employees within the school systems? Or, will the Erroll Davis Administration continue the practice
of the Beverly Hall Administration and egregiously and flagrantly rape
this Georgia Law? I will judge Mr. Davis‘s administration by whether or not
it obeys this simple law. Mr.Davis doesn’t need a staff of lawyers to engage
in some sordid and sophisticated reasoning about why his administration does not have to follow the Georgia Law
or how that his administration does not have time to follow this law. Mr. Davis simply needs to read
the law himself. It is not long and detailed. A simple man who wants to understand it can understand it.
Others school systems understand it. The Beverly HallAdministration just totally
ignored this law. Hence, those employees who were suffering under the slings and arrows of the administrators who were
intent on cheating had no one to turn to. Reporting the crimes to the Beverly Hall Administration was
like the chickens reporting to the fox. But, if the Erroll Davis Administration actually goes by this
law, then the employees with mettle and integrity can have their “day in court,” so to speak. O.C.G.A.
20-2-989.5(4) states that “the complainant shall beentitled
to an opportunity to be heard, to present relevant evidence, and to examine witnesses at each level” (emphases added).
Erroll Davis Administration will abide by this Georgia Law, then this will be progress.
The teachers and staff will have someone to turn to. I think that I know why the Beverly Hall Administration
did not want to abide by this law and openly hear complaints. Mr.Davis, I hope that you
will not have things to hide. I have read that you are a man ofintegrity. Your
integrity will be tested here in Atlanta. I hope that you pass the test. Your
first test will be charging your administration to abide by the law and not to have some cavalier, antinomiandisposition relative to the Georgia Law. There are several other Georgia Laws which
were routinely and regularly violated by the Beverly Hall Administration (e. g., the Duty Free Lunch
law for elementary teacher outlined in O.C.G.A. 20-2-218 and the Sick Leave Law for school
personnel outlined in O.C.G.A. 20-2-850 and the Due Process Law outline in O.C.G.A.20-2-940 through 944).
Two: I have been reading about Mr. Davis‘s disposition toward those who have
been reported as cheaters. I understand Mr. Davis‘s position here. Reportedly, he does
not want them in front of children. I understand this, as long as due process and the Georgia
Law is followed. Does this not hold true also for the Lieutenants, Captains,
Majors, Colonels, and Generals who carried out this evil and sickening
scheme to defraud the children, the parents, the teachers, and the State of Georgia (as well as the Federal Government).
I read in the Report that one Executive Director told the teachers at Parks Middle School
to stop sending him letters about Principal Waller…that Waller was staying at the
school. In fact, the Beverly HallAdministration apparently gave Mr. Waller
a $10,000.00 incentive to stay at Parks MiddleSchool. Are these
“Officers” in the Beverly Hall Administration going to remain on their watch,
so to speak? Are they going to be relieved of their duties or just shipped off to an irrelevant post with the
same pay and benefits?
Mr. Davis, are you going to seek to repair
the breach in the wall, as Nehemiah of old did? Are you going to be a repairer of the wall, or are
you just going to neglect the hundreds and perhaps even thousands whose lives were ruined by the heinous actions of the previous
administration? What about those teachers who deigned to demonstration integrity and mettle
on the job by demurring against doing wrong and speaking out against injustice and finding themselves banished from the kingdom,
corporately decapitated, and professionally ruined for the rest of their lives? Mr. Davis, it may be
convenient for you and the school board to benignly say that you are going to simply look to the future and forget about the
past. Some type of restitution or reconciliation or reparations are
in order. Lives were destroyed…for standing upfor what is right.
I am reminded of one such person this year at Washington High School. I recently wrote a letter
on his behalf to the Atlanta Board of Education members. He is an excellent, creative, and dedicated
teacher, a teacher whom the students respect and to whom the students respond. He came into teaching from the fields
of study and/or practice of law and accounting. He finally found his calling in teaching children, especially “at
risk” students. In his first year at Washington High, this young teacher scored very high in
the evaluation process and was placed in several leadership roles. The very next year, his evaluation scores plummeted,
and he was stripped of all leadership roles. He didn’t just fall off of the pedagogical cliff. From all
indications, he was brusquely and abruptly shoved off the cliff. What did he do “wrong”? He apparently
spoke out against injustices and against how children were being treated. In Atlanta, a teacher does
this only at his or her own professional peril. He was simply trying to be a man of integrity and of professionalism.
Where did this get him? Unemployment. Mr. Davis, will you right these wrongs?
Edmond Heatley’s Departure From Clayton County Coming Soon? We Hear That It Is. Alert: It's Now Seems to be Official:
Heatley Does Resign! You Got the Word Here First, Didn’t You? We Try to Keep You Informed!
NOTE: Since our early reporting
of Edmond Heatley’s impending resignation, it is now official. The Dark Days of the Onerous & Burdensome Reign
of Edmond Heatley in Clayton County are over! We presume that the school board woke up and smelled the coffee —
or perhaps Heatley and the school board read the tea leaves of the last election and knew that change was on the way!
Whatever happened, we are glad Heatley is on the way out of the Clayco Door. It could have happened sooner, had it not
been for the those on the school board — Alieka Anderson, Pam Adamson, Mary Baker, Ophelia Burroughs, and a couple of
others who kept clinging to the illusion that Heatley was a decent superintendent. Heatley was horrible! Thanks,
Jessie Goree, Trinia Garrett, and Michael King for standing up to the educational monster! Wherever Heatley ends up (and you
know that these Gypsy Superintendents are just re-cycled!), we hope that he takes HR Director Douglas (Doug) Hendrix with
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
Then Board Chairperson Alieka Anderson and
Now Chairperson Pam Adamson Were Leading the Charge to Hire Heatley, Upon the Recommendation of Education Attorney Glenn Brock.
Will They Listen to Any More Lame Recommendations from Glenn Brock?
GeorgiaTeachersSpeakOut.Com just received word from a very reliable source
that embattled Clayton County superintendent, Edmond Heatley, may be stepping down as the head of the Clayton County Public
Schools within one month. No details about this possible forthcoming event are available now. GTSO speculated about a month
ago that something was apparently up in the air. Heatley tried to get Michael Hinojosa’s old job in Dallas, Texas but
was not invited back for a second interview. (Hinojosa is now Cobb County’s superintendent.) Shortly after his effort
to get on in Dallas, Heatley seemed to disappear from the scene, and GTSO kept asking the question, “Where is Heatley?”
Even Clayton County Board of Education members were asking this question. Then, lo and behold, he showed up at the next board
meeting, and we let you know this.
Edmond Heatley Has Used Brusque Tactics In
Heatley came from Chino Valley, California where he apparently had pissed off many of the locals
with some of his decisions, particularly closing schools. His leadership style in Chino Valley was not unlike the style displayed
here in Clayton County…brusque, rude, top-down, and condescending.
MACE Warned the Clayton Board of Education Not to Hire Heatley.
The Soulless, Soviet
Atlanta Public Schools And Its Culture Of Lies, Cheating, Fear, Intimidation, & Retaliation; Beverly Hall's Standards
Were So Low That Snakes Had To Crawl Over Them; Surely Ain't Committed to Standards (SACS); Mark Elgart Is Missing-In-Action;
MACE Had The Prophetic Voice The Entire Time; Parks Middle School Is The USA's Poster School For Cheating; & Mayor Kasim
Reed Will Be Eating Home-grown Crow Instead Of Dining At The Piedmont Driving Club!
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
Atlanta Public Schools (APS) is by no means the only school system in Georgia or in the
nation to engage in widespread cheating, but the cheating in Atlanta was so pervasive and so endemic in the
system itself that it turned the school system into a cruel hoax, a cruel caricature of education, a hackneyed institution
bent on inflicting fear, intimidation, retaliation, and pain on anyone who deigned to summon a scintilla of integrity and
mettle within his or her spirit to speak out — ever how muted the voice — against the heinous actions of those
in positions of power and who feigned to be caring educators but who were really jackals of the night, only pushing their
own fiendish agenda with no regard whatsoever for the innocent children or the still innocent teachers. A prophetic
voice was needed. Speaking truth to power. We at MACE always tried to be this prophetic voice.
We tried to do our part. We were one voice, but some teachers and other employers became single and lonely voices, crying
out for justice and mercy, and suffering for their cries for justice and mercy. They just wanted others to know that
injustice and cruelty reigned in the Atlanta Public Schools. Their voices were heard ever so faintly…not
because of their own failings but because the cold wax of fear, intimidation, retaliation, and pain cluttered up the anvils
of others’ ear drums.
July, 2008 picket in the middle of the day: “Atlanta: Still A GangstaSystem!”
Well, what can I say? We at MACE
said it all many times on the streets of Atlanta. We held up signs through the years which declared
that the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) was “agangsta system.”
I remember when my colleague at MACE, Darryl Plenty, and I were signed up to speak
at an Atlanta School Board meeting three or four years ago concerning the happenings at Douglass
High School, strangely enough Beverly Hall‘s seat was empty and was later filled by Sharon
Pitts. Mr. Khaatim El came up to me before the meeting started and greeted me, saying, “They
told us in the back that you were out here.” I didn’t actually organize the outpouring in the attendance;
Michael Bond called me and invited me to participate, as he had organized a large protest concerning the
closing of the magnet school at Douglass HighSchool. Nevertheless, I noticed that
as soon as Mr. Plenty and I had finished our turns addressing the school board concerning this matter that
Chief of Staff Sharon Pitts got out of Superintendent Hall‘s chair and went into the
hallway and escorted Hall into the room and to her seat. I thought to myself, “Hmm…we
must make her nervous.”
picketing against Beverly Hall in the rain at Douglass HighSchool.
This was not the only picket in the rain at Douglass High. Hall removed the popular
magnet program at Doug.
There has been so much foolishness and pure evil taking place in the Atlanta PublicSchools
under the administration of Beverly Hall that it would take years and years to chronicle. For those
who would like a more detailed view of the fight that MACE has had with this soulless and Soviet-styled administration,
go simply to www.theteachersadvocate.com. Didn’t the Good Master ask, “What
would a man profit if he gained the whole world but lost his own soul?”? Or, what would a man or woman gain if
he or she gained and maintained a $115,00.00administrative job but lost his or her soul?
Understand me: I am not assigning people to hell or to purgatory or to anywhere; I am just asking what good does it
do for a person to have a nice job if he or she can’t look at himself or herself squarely in the mirror? A person
like the infamous Joe Stalin (whom Leon Trotsky described as a boring bureaucrat —
and murderous too!) had consummate and ultimate power in the Soviet Union but had become soulless.
(As a young man, Stalin had actually studied for the priesthood in the Soviet Republic of
Below are some
thoughts and reactions to comments and questions on the AJC‘s GetSchooled
blog. Maureen Downey is the Blogmeister, and we have a link to this
important blog from our Home Page. I encourage you to visit it often. The comments below are
in ascending order, starting with the earliest ones and ended with the latest ones, within a span of about 28 to 30 hours.
FOX-5 TV Interviews MACE's Dr. John Trotter About The Atlanta Cheating Scandal!
MACE "Welcomes" APS's Errol Davis With A Good Ole Fashioned MACE Picket!
Will Return For A Picket!
of Commenting on Clayton's Edmond Heatley!
And Tidbits On Other Matter...
[Most of the following thoughts appeared yesterday
and today, May 11 & 12, 2011, on the GetSchooled blog of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.Maureen Downey is the Blogmaster.The comments were edited to eliminate typos,
etc.--Dr. John Trotter.]
Wednesday A.M.We at MACE
have been getting lots of calls about Clayton County Superintendent Edmond Heatley -- and not just from teachers but from
those who are in administration and on the school board as well.It appears that the Clayco Natives are
very restless.We can't help the administrators nor the school board members.We only
help those who are classroom educators...and then only those who are members of MACE, and we do a good job at that!
We warned this Clayton school board not to hire Edmond Heatley.In fact, we picketed outside the
school board office the that Spring night in 2009 when the board was to decide on his contract.Our picket
was extensively covered by the TV, print, and electronic media.A photo or two was even in the Atlanta
Journal-Constitution (AJC).But, school boards don't listen.The Clayton
County Board of Education did not listen to me on the hiring of Superintendents William Chavis, Barbara Pulliam, John (Shred
the Diplomas) Thompson, and Edmond Heatley.I think that the media and the public are wising up to the
fact that I was NOT pulling the strings on the Clayton County Board of Education.In fact, the school board
members (yes, even the ones whom I helped get elected!) apparently thought that they became super intelligent when it came
to politics and policy once they got on the school board.They quit listening to ole Trotter.How's it worked out for them?
and the MACE Expansion
[Note:I wrote this article on January 1, 2010(I presume the 1st because the Cotton Bowl was
on TV) and January 4, 2010.I never finished the article, and it has been lingering in the documents of
my lap top for over a year.I offer it now because of what has transpired since I wrote it.SACS is all up in APS’s face, but for the wrong reasons.SACS should be all over Beverly
Hall and the abject corruption of her administration, not hovering over whether or not school board members get along.In a democracy, they don’t have to get along.Look at the U. S. Congress.SACS
has overstepped its bounds here.Let the voters decide on governance.Besides, SACS
is a private organization which is money-hungry, and it feasts on the public trough by pimping the fear of a loss of accreditation
to the parents who then get up in arms and raise hell with school board members.In the case with Atlanta,
I think that Mark Elgart and SACS are simply willing pawns of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Big Mule Businessmen
who meet at the Piedmont Driving Club.One other note:I think that DeKalb’s ex-superintendent,
Crawford Lewis, soon stands trial for felonies in Federal Court.Pat Pope, one of Lewis’s top associates
in DeKalb, will also being tried in Federal Court soon.MACE, like a lone wolf in the desert, was the only
organization or group which consistently called out the school systems of Atlanta and DeKalb as being “gangsta school
systems.”Now, we don’t know if Lewis and Pope are guilty of what they have been charged of,
but we know that the DeKalb and Atlanta school systems just ignore the law whenever it so desires, especially when it comes
to things like adhering to the grievance law.Anyway, enjoy the “unfinished article” which
finally saw the light of day.]
I take a
break from incessantly watching football bowl games.I love high school football; I like watching professional
football; but, I adore watching college football.I just like football.I think that
I would be watching Nankipooh play McElhenny if they were playing on television.(Nankipooh and McElhenny
were two elementary schools in Columbus when I grew up there.)I have been watching the Ole Miss Rebels
play the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Cotton Bowl today.I love watching the exciting Dexter McCluster,
a speedster with Ole Miss who weighs about 162 and is 5’8”.He ought to be drafted in the first
three rounds of the NFL Draft.He’s the only SEC player with over 1,000 yards rushing and over 500
yards receiving.Today, thus far, he has scored the only touchdown, a 86 yard touchdown run.He is so quick and cagey.This is what impresses the NFL scouts.He reminds me
of MACE.MACE is not an old stodgy organization; MACE, like McCluster, can turn on a dime and make something
happen very quickly.[Note:McCluster went on to have a great second half and Ole Miss
won.By the way, he also had a great rookie year for the Kansas Chief this year.]
During this game, I began to think about all of the superintendents whom I
have interacted with, directly or indirectly, with the school systems in the Metro Atlanta area, particularly the superintendents
of the Big Four…Fulton, Atlanta City, DeKalb, and Clayton.I have gone through a few, I would say,
in my last 20 years of representing teachers.In Fulton, I went against the very arrogant Jim Fox of Fulton
County.I remember that we picketed Fox for several days in a row at the Fulton County Services Center
on Cleveland Avenue back in 1993.I think this was the year because my oldest son, Robert, was in a stcroller
on the picket line, and he was only a few months old.(Robert was born on September 11, 1992, and I was
still working for GAE at the time.)I remember that it almost took an “act of Congress” to
get a picket approved at GAE.In fact, this may be the last pickets that GAE ever approved.Shortly thereafter, Fox took a superintendency in Texas, and he was followed by Stephen Dolinger.
Back to the Cotton Bowl:Dexter McCluster just scored another
go-ahead touchdown in the “Wild Rebel.”He will, I am sure, win another MVP in the Cotton Bowl.So far, he has carried the ball for 32 times, a Cotton Bowl record.He weighs a little over 160.As a said, he reminds me of MACE!We do not have all of the resources (from a parent organization
like NEA) but we have quickness and heart!
Dolinger came to Fulton County on a doctored-up
resume in 1995, the same year that MACE was founded.In fact, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial
page quoted me about his doctored-up resume, and I asked, “How can we expect the students to be truthful when the superintendent
lies on his resume?”Dolinger lasted a few years, and then came John Haro of Minnesota who lasted
a few months and left in apparent disgust with the school board’s micro-management.Then came Van
Airsdale who left abruptly when questions about construction concerns arose during his administration.Then
came James (Jamie Boy) Wilson who was a Cobb County retiree who probably came out of retirement at the luring of the new Fulton
County school board attorney, Glenn Brock.Jamie Boy retired again and was followed by Cindy Loe, the current
superintendent who worked with Alvin Wilbanks in Gwinnett.[Note:This past month, Loe
announced that she is retiring at the end of this school year.Wow. Fulton is going
through superintendents like a hot knife through butter.]
In Atlanta, I have dealt with
J. Jerome Harris out of New York City.If you look up “Arrogant Superintendent,” it would have
a photo of Harris.He pissed off everyone, including the Atlanta school board who brought in Lester Butts
as the “interim” superintendent.Dr. Butts did a great job as principal of Douglass High but
apparently rose to his level of incompetency.His penchant for good discipline at Douglass High was great;
but, this personality trait became fairly inflexible at the superintendent level.He was followed by the
cherubic-looking Ben Canada.Canada was a nice guy, but he was fairly incompetent in running the Atlanta
schools.He was followed by another “interim,” Betty Strickland who had just served as principal
of Inman Middle School.Dr. Stickland was very pleasant in dealing with.But, the school
board was intent on finding a “savior,” which they thought that they found in Beverly Hall.
to Atlanta in the summer of 1999.She came to Atlanta with a dubious record in New Jersey.Hall was and is still all about good publicity, at the expense of loyal and good-hearted educators whom she would just
as soon throw to the curb.She ruled (still does rule) by intimidation.There has been
much anecdotal evidence about systematic cheating on the standardized test scores.This year, Hall has
been beleaguered by the accusations and investigations of systematic cheating.
this article on Monday, January 4, 2010.Dexter McCluster and his Ole Miss Rebels went on to win the Cotton
Bowl, and Dexter was the Offensive Player of the Game, at about 162 pounds!In yesterday’s Atlanta
Journal-Constitution, the headline article was about the State’s investigation into Pat Pope (the former CEO of Dekalb
School Board’s Construction) and the meager payment for a school system’s vehicle as well as Superintendent Crawford
Lewis’s dubious purchase of another school system vehicle.I think that in each case Pope and Lewis
paid about one-third of the Blue Book value.If the State and the DeKalb County District Attorney’s
Office keep looking under school system rocks, there’s no telling what they will find.MACE has been
on top of the systematic cheating and bullying for a while.MACE will be hitting the streets again about
the corruption in the DeKalb County School System.Before interacting with[At this
point, I must have gotten a phone call or something because I abruptly ended the article.I think that
I was about to talk about MACE’s and my interactions through years with the various superintendents in Clayton and DeKalb.]
Schools:Egregious and Flagrant Violators Of The Law!
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
Someone recently asked if people just "have it out
for Dr. Hall."Do I have it out for Dr. Hall?I have never met the woman (the Dali
Lama's more accessible).(I hope that I spelled the Dali's name correctly.Ha!)Well, I did speak before the school board on Hall first public meeting with the school board in Atlanta in the summer
of 1999.We spoke briefly afterward.Hall has set up an administration not too unlike
the old Politburo of the late Soviet Union.Fear and intimidation just flows from the Taj Mahal on Trinity
Avenueand out into all the schools.The system reeks with fear, intimidation, nepotism,
cheating, and corruption.Hey everyone:Have we forgotten about the "lost"
$75,000,000.00 of E-rate?Where did it go?I know that at least one gentleman went to
prison over this.But, this is just symbolic of how corrupt Atlanta is.
Atlanta, like most urban systems (including
Cobb, Fulton, and Gwinnett) fail to adhere to the State Grievance Law for Certified School Employees as outline in OCGA 20-2-989.5
et seq.One quick example of one of Atlanta's many, many violations of this law:The
grievance law clearly outlines three levels of hearings (with each appeal being a "de novo" hearing).There are definite time lines (which APS just simply ignores...even in their written local policy about grievances!).The gall and chutzpah that APS has relative to the state statutes is mind-numbing.The three levels
of hearings became in the Atlanta Board of Education's policy four levels -- an extra step thrown in there to make sure that
a teacher's grievance never reaches the board of education level.
By the way, Bradley Bryant, our Interim State Superintendent,
wrote an opinion for the State Board of Education in the Gill v. Muscogee County case that there
"three levels" of hearing in the grievance process.So, there you have it, school board attorney
who try to do all that you can to keep me out of representing a teacher before the full school board.I
remember the Gill case well because the Hearing Officer in Muscogee County kicked me out of the hearing...because I was eviscerating
the stupid actions of the administrator before the full Muscogee County Board ofEducation.Mr. Gill, the MACE member whom we were representing in the hearing, must have liked my "thorough and sifting"
cross examination because he reached out and handed me a $1,000.00 check on the way to my car.He said
that it was a "tip."I took it and my colleagues and I drove back to Fayetteville even more merrily.
In the past, I would
raise h_ll in Atlanta board meetings about this and other flagrant and egregious violations of the State's minimum requirements
about the grievance law.(I would always sign in to speak and raise h_ll very "orderly."LOL.I don't have to get loud.I just expose their violations of the law, even
handing the school board members copies of the law.) Going back to the days of Harris, Butts, Canada, Strickland, et al.,
I was always raising h_ll about this.Finally, I think that someone in APS -- perhaps Hall herself -- sent
the message down to make sure that MACE grievances are processed and to try to resolve the matters before they start climbing
the appellate ladder -- and before MACE gets on the sidewalks with picket signs!
As long as the teacher is happy with
the results, I am happy.But, as a matter of law and principle, APS just ignores the law in general.It, like DeKalb, is a "gangsta school system."MACE and I have been saying this for years.We have also been saying for years that systematic cheating was rampant, and we were glad that the AJC shed some light
on this matter and that Governor Sonny Perdue had the mettle to openly address the matter.Most politicians
simply shrink like violets when it comes to addressing controversy, especially if there is an element of race which people
can exploit.I think that most of the highly-connected Blue Ribbon Commission members are white, if I am
not mistaken.I think that it is racist NOT to address this systematic cheating.All
children deserve better than the insults of systematic cheating.It is telling children that you don't
think that they are capable of learning.Dr. Hall, that would be racist, don't you think?(c)
MACE, August 31, 2010).
Meeting with DeKalb Teachers.
"Teach" The Students, Not "Learn" Them.
RTTT.Race To The Trough!
By 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.
The MACE Vidette Stands On The Watch For Teachers!
Promoted to Associate Executive
Jeff Cox Has Been a Mainstay At MACE
Jeff Cox, Membership Director.
E. Jeffrey Cox has been assisting
teachers for going on eight years at MACE. He has taken literally thousands upon thousands phone calls from many distressed,
sad, forlorn, disenchanted, frustrated, and mad-as-heck teachers! Teachers suffer so many indignities so many times
from abusive and insensitive administrators, irate parents, and disrupitve and defiant students. Part of MACE's service
to its members is to listen to the teacher's concerns and to assist them in resolving these concerns (via grievances, letters,
rebuttals, coaching the teachers about transactional interactions, or just common sense counseling. But, the main thing
that makes Mr. Cox so helpful to the members is his willingness to call them back promptly about their problems and to lend
them a kind and sympathetic ear. Jeff Cox is superb in this area.
Through the years, Jeff
Cox's duties at MACE have multiplied. He, as the Membership Director, was usually the first point of contact when members
called the office or when teachers called the MACE Office to inquire about becoming a members. He has a way of calming
the teachers' nerves. I remember on one occasion when a teacher from Gwinnett exclaimed: "I feel so good
after talking to Mr. Cox that I just take my clothes off and start dancing!" We often regale in this story, much
to Jeff's embarrassment! When the First Annual William L. Wood Award was given to Jeff at one of the MACE BASHes in
the past, the entire audience sprung to its feet in an uncontrived and enthusiastic standing ovation. (The late Bill
Woods was MACE's founding attorney and was Mr. Cox's good friend as they both grew up in Jonesboro.) The teachers love Jeff Cox!
his duties have expanded through the years and because he has a keen sense of how to take care of MACE's members, Jeff Cox
has been promoted to Associate Executive Director. David Cochran is now the MACE Membership Director. The MACE
Team keeps expanding, hoping always to be able to offer our members the best service around! This is our reputation
and we intend to always maintain it!
Edmond Heatley, Beverly Hall, Crawford Lewis, Michael Hinojosa, Alvin Wilbanks, Will Schofield, et al., & The Case
For Elected Superintendents!
Do You Think That Kings Henry II & VIII Could Have
By John R. Alston Trotter,
I am still surprised that DeKalb and Atlanta and Clayton did not
and do not break down the doors to beseech Dr. Sam King to come and help.He may well
have put out the word that he was not interested.I don't know.It appeared that
Cobb County was locked in on him recently, but contract negotiations apparently fell through.Dr. King seems an exception to the rule that appointed superintendents of large school systems have
to be arrogant, insensitive, and rather brutish in their dealings with
subordinates.I realize that Rockdale County is not the same size as DeKalb,
Cobb, Gwinnett, Fulton, Clayton, or Atlanta City
-- or Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, and Chicago for
that matter -- but Rockdale is not small either.It is a highly congested county in the
Metro Atlanta area with Interstate 20 dissecting the county.It is growing,
but it will not be able to grow too much more because it is geographically one of the smallest counties in Georgia.This year Dr. King's superintendent-colleagues named him the Georgia Superintendent of the
Year.His career has essentially been unblemished, and those who have worked for Dr. King
in Rockdale and Clayton Counties have high praise for him. Someone might wonder why I have
Alvin Wilbanks in my heading above?Why not?His hubris is the main
factor.His arrogant manner of dealing with State mandates is, quite frankly, amazing...whether
it is the mandate about reporting serious disciplinary infractions (I suppose that he "forgot"
to report the 45,000 incidents for one year a few years back) or the GeorgiaStatute governing
grievances filed by certificated employees.Also, do you reckon AlvinWilbanks can get a hold on the millions of dollars that the Gwinnett County School
Board appears to be paying for property to build schools?Mr. Wilbanks and the
school board should be custodians of the Gwinnett County taxpayers' money.
Dr. Sam King's reputation is a far cry from the reputations of the above-named superintendents, and the apparent relative
contentment in Rockdale County is a far cry from the rancor and rumblings from the those associated with
Clayton County, Atlanta City, DeKalb County, Dallas Independent
(Texas), Gwinnett County, or Hall County under the dubious, obstinate,
truculent, and recalcitrant leadership of Edmond Heatley, Beverly Hall, Crawford
Lewis, Michael Hinojosa, Alvin Wilbanks, and Will Schofield.Someone may be wondering, "Whyare you beating up on Michael Hinojosa before he
gets on the job in Cobb County?"Well, what is research for?Aren't
we looking into someone's past to see if there might be a pattern?Might this pattern portend of things
to come?A superintendent's action in the past more than likely will be a harbinger of things to come.Do you think that the Atlanta Board of Education (I know many or maybe all of the current members
were not on the school board when Beverly Hall was appointed superintendent in 1999) wishes
that it had paid more attention to shambles in which Hall apparently left the Newark, New
Jersey schools?What about the Clayton CountyBoard of Education
and Edmond Heatley's performance in Chino Valley, California?
So many of the large school system
superintendents are cut from the same cloth.I have written about these gypsy superintendents
on a number of occasions in the MACE website at www.theteachersadvocate.com. They are ego- and money-driven...and
are willing uproot themselves from family, friends, community, and church
or synagogue to traverse the country to secure more money and power.They usually bring with them (or hire almost immediately) members of their Cult Family.And, usually, they usher in a Horror Show.Working in a school system run by these
people with insufficient egos (which have to be constantly massaged) is a harrowing experience, one that
cannot be explained unless you have actually experienced it yourself.Can we say, "Dante's
Inferno"? Ha!This type of action from appointed superintendents are not
confined just to large school systems.It can happen -- and does happen often but not as much -- in small
school systems.For example, even recently, I hear rumbling all the way up near Lake Hartwell.There appears to be rumblings in the Hart County School System under newly appointed superintendent
Jerry Bell.He was appointed superintendent on a 3-1-1 vote, with Chairperson
Brenda Jordan voting against Bell being appointed superintendent.
appointed superintendents in general remind me of King Henry II of England and his wailing
words which were interpreted by his Knights that he wanted his erstwhile friend, Thomas Becket,
the Archbishop of Canterbury,to be assassinated.Becket
was assassinated in the Canterbury Cathedral.I presume that Henry II
initially demurred being responsible, though he later engaged in public penance.Or what
about King Henry VIII having his erstwhile and trusted Chancellor, Sir Thomas More (later
Saint Thomas More), decapitated essentially because he quietly demurred about Henry VIII's
determination to tossed his wife, Catherine of Aragon, to the proverbial curb in favor of marrying his mistress,
Anne Boleyn, ostensibly because he wanted a male heir?Oh, charges of treason were trumped
up against the conscientious and honorable Sir Thomas More -- just like they are against the same type of
honest folks in a school system by a self-willed superintendent's sycophantic staffers.History is replete
with strong-willed people wanting to have their way come hell or high water.Likewise,
these egomaniacal superintendents have absolutely ruined public education and many good public school educators
in the process.The appointed superintendents act like mercurial kings, intent on having
all to genuflect before them and to kiss the Royal Ring.
the office of superintendent of schools should be elected by the people.If "appointed" superintendents
are so good, then while not "appoint" the U. S. Senators like we did up into the Twentieth
Century?Taking politics out of schools?Ha!I'd rather
have superintendents who have to put their work before the people.Do you think Beverly Hall
or Crawford Lewis or Edmond Heatley could have gotten or could get 20%
of the voters to approve of them?I doubt it.I prefer true and open politics
in the school systems over closed dictatorial systems.From what I have observed for decades,
I conclude that the appointed superintendency is a flawedmodel.Heck,
don't we still elect the State Superintendent here in Georgia?I don't
see a lot of people complaining about Dr. John Barge.Don't we elect all Governors and
all Presidents?If it is good for these offices, then why not for those people who have inordinate power
over the lives of up to 10,000 to 12,000 employees and budgets in the billions of dollars?It makes no sense to appointed these leaders.Like Mayors and other representatives of the people,
the school superintendents ought to be elected again.
In Georgia before the Constitutional Amendment was passed in the early 1990s, I had
witnessed school systems which had grand jury appointed school boards and appointed superintendents (like Muscogee
County), elected school boards and appointed superintendents (like DeKalb County, Green
County, Dalton City and a host of other counties), appointed school boards and elected superintendents
(like Washington County), and elected school boards and elected superintendents (like Clayton County
and many other counties).Personally, I thinkthat the elected school board and
the elected superintendent model works best.Now don't start coming at me with correlations about
school systems with such and such models have higher test scores.Correlations prove nothing.If Iowa has the elected school board and the appointed superintendent model and the children in Iowa
do well on standardized tests, this means nothing.These kids would do well in any model.The
model does not cause the higher test score no more than it causes the snow in Iowa.Correlations
of this nature does not hold water -- uh, or snow in this example!
The elected school board and elected superintendent
puts politics above board.This is quite refreshing.There's nothing wrong with politics,
as long as it is up front.A wrong-headed,stubborn, and arrogant superintendent
who treats employees and parents brusquely would not survive an election.Thus, the electoral
process rids the county or city of a bad superintendent.If a superintendent only promotes kiss-ups
and sycophants or sorority sisters andfraternity brothers, then superintendent would not survive the next
election.Furthermore, if the superintendent completely ignored disciplinary problems, swept them
under the rug, and punished each employee who openly talked about the lack of discipline in the schools, then this
superintendent would be kicked to the curb during the next election. (c)MACE, June 26, 2011.
Edmond Heatley…Dark Days In Clayton County…The Most Despised Superintendent?
Needs To Address Human Resources Under Doug Hendrix
John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
I have been around the block a few times in Clayton County
when it comes to politics generally and school politics specifically. I have never seen a superintendent in Clayton County who is so apparently despised by the employees of the school system
as Edmond Heatley is. I lived in ClaytonCounty for 27 years, and during
these years, I was intimately involved in the struggles over who would be the superintendent of the schools there. It
was indeed always a struggle...because, besides Delta Airlines,
the Clayton County School System was the big employer in the
county. Clayton County was always considered a "red"
county in the sense that it never pretended to be a "blue-blooded" county. (Well, I take that back...some
blue-blooded wannabes on Lake Spivey did try to have that air about
them but we all knew that they were just one generation from Forest Park
or Mountainview blue collar...which is O. K.) No real country
clubs. No YMCAs. No real museums (the "Gone With The Wind" museum in the old train depot notwithstanding).
Just a working stiff county of good, red-blooded Americans who
took their politics very seriously. Politics in Clayton County
was indeed a "blood sport." Ha!
Ed Edmonds was the feisty superintendent of Clayton County. He was short and bounced around like a bantam rooster. No one ever doubted
who was in control...when Ed Edmonds was at the helm. Ironically,
I believe that I recall that Mr. Edmonds originally hailed from
the state of Kansas. Back when Mr. Edmonds first took the helm of the schools, there was Jonesboro
High and then Forest Park, the two huge rivals.
The location of the old Flat Rock High School (which is now covered
by one of the new runways at Harstfield-Jackson International Airport
at I-285 in northwest
Clayton County) eventually became North Clayton High School.
Depending on his popularity at the time, I understand that the ClaytonCounty legislative delegation would have the superintendency in
Clayton County bouncing back and forth from appointed by the school
board to elected by the people. One old-timer told me that Mr. Edmonds
might show up at a school faculty meeting and chew out everyone with spicy language, but after the meeting he would laugh
and guffaw and hug the teachers. He was one of a kind. One of my best friends grew up in a house next door to
the Edmonds's house on East
Fayetteville Road in Jonesboro (up the street from
the back entrance to what is now the Eula Ponds Perry Center).
Mr. Ernest Stroud was brought over from the West Georgia area by Mr.Edmonds to be the principal of Forest Park High School in its heyday. I believe that Mr.
Stroud arrived in Forest Park in 1958, only two years after Forest
Park High School had won the State Championship
in football, tearing up Randolph County in the State Finals in Cuthbert, Georgia. (The division was Single
A but back then Georgia had Divisions B and C as well.) J. Charley Griswell, who later became the Clayton
County political lion for the better half of four decades, was the star halfback on this championship team.
Coach Wally Butts of the University
of Georgia signed Griswell to a full scholarship.
(I might add that the two most glorious football players at Forest
Park High have been J. Charley Griswell and Hines Ward.) Many eventual politicians like long-time State Representative Jimmy Benefield attended Forest Park
in it glory years. Stroud didn't stay there long...probably
because Edmonds saw a diamond in the rough...or, better yet, didn't
want Stroud to end up being his political rival. So, Edmonds brought Stroud
to the County Office to be his deputy. Emmett Lee took Mr. Stroud's place as
principal of Forest Park High. Eventually he came one of
Mr. Stroud's two Assistant
Superintendents. The other one was Dr. Clifford
who had been principal of North Clayton High School. Until
Dr. Joe Lovin took office as Superintendent in January of 1987, ClaytonCounty only had two Assistant Superintendents,
and the county ran like a top, with the children actually behaving in the classroom, by and large.
When Mr. Edmonds retired, Mr. Stroud ran for superintendent and was elected superintendent in Clayton County in 1970, 1974, 1978, and 1982. Mr. Stroud
ruled Clayton County with an iron grip. Like Mr. Edmonds (his mentor), you never doubted who was in control. But, there
was never the nasty animus toward him...like the kind that we hear about directed toward Heatley. Now Stroud had his detractors,
but his principals generally adored him. But, they too were "his" people. Very few, if any, women in
the early years. Only M. D. Robert, principal of the old
Fountain High School, if I recall correctly, remained as an African American principal during the early days of integration. (There
had been another African American principal when M. D. Roberts was principal at Fountain High
before desegregation. I believe her name was Mrs. Velma Smith
-- again, if I recall correctly. After desegregation, the Jonesboro
Colored Elementary School -- yes, the actual name -- was closed. Now, it is the "White Annex" on Lee Street.) But, Clayton's African American population was 3.5%
during the 1970 Census. Eddie White was Assistant Principal at
Babb Jr. High
in the old days. He was the lone African American administrator
when I arrived in Clayton County in 1982. (After Dr. Bob Livingston
was elected to superintendent, he promoted Mr. White to AssistantSuperintendent of Human
Resources in 1991.) Mr. Henry Garner, an African American
who had administrative credentials, was never given an administrative position during the Stroud Era. It wasn't until Dr. Joe Lovin
was elected in 1986 that Mr.
Garner was given an administrative job within the system.
chose not to run again in the 1986 election. His top associate
at the Central Office was Pete
McQueen, a gregarious glad-hander who was considered to be a very effective principal at Morrow Jr. High School before he was brought to the Central Office to be Stroud's "kinder
and gentler" assistant. Pete could get along with just
about anyone and was most gracious in his interactions with people. But, his close association with the Stroud Regime is probably what cost him the election in 1986. He garnered 46% of the vote
to Republican Joe Lovin's 54%. I suggested to Joe Lovin that he use "...for
the children" on all of his signs, bumper stickers, and literature. He did. McQueen was still using the old hand-painted large plywood signs...with no motivational
logo or slogan. Lovin even put "...for thechildren" on the
masthead of his stationary once he took office. Lovin brought
in a lot of his guys (mainly from principalships in the county). But, when he reached out to Gwinnett County and brought in two Central Office
guys and one principal for Jonesboro Middle School, this was
a little more than the local folk could take. Plus, Joe Lovin
was seen as a superintendent "soft" on discipline. These factors did him in. He lost in his own GOP Primary to John Williams,
a former Director of Transportation in Clayton County who had had several run-ins with Dr. Lovin.
In the Fall
of 1989 at a Jonesboro
High-Forest Park High football game at Tara Stadium,
Dr. Bob Livingston, the long-time principal at Mundy'sMill Middle
(formerly Jr. High) School
at the time, told me that he intended to run against Joe Lovin
the next year for superintendent. He asked me if I would help him. I committed to do so. (I too was disappointed
with Dr. Lovin at that point.) The powers-that-were in the
county at the time were not behind Dr. Livingston's efforts.
They apparently went to Wilt Marchman who was the principal at
Kemp Elementary, encouraging him to run. Marchman eventually backed Livingston,
as Livingston's campaign began to groundswell. Livingston handedly defeated Deputy
Superintendent Dr. CliffEngland and Fulton administrator Dr. Marvin Reddish
in the Democratic Primary, with no run-off necessary. Livingston went on to defeat John
Williams in the General Election, garnering more
votes than any other politician besides Ronald Reagan in the history
of Clayton County. I focused on Dr. Livingston's image, writing some script and designing his logo and creating his slogan, beautiful
if I may say so myself. Dr.Livingston told me that one lady told him, "I voted for you just because of your signs."
They were indeed beautiful. A special red. A special yellow. PMS colors, as I always used. Special
typeface. Beautiful and aggressive brushstroke underneath the name. The slogan? Because Leadership Matters. If may be so vain (and y'all know that I am - Ha!)...Dr. Livingston told me that one particular elected judge told him to "stick with Trotter -- he's a political genius." Ha! Do you
think that I would write this if it were not true...especially with Bob
and Bernice still living in Lake
Spivey? One thing that I will always say about Bob
(besides being a good administrator) is that he is honest. Honest to the core.
I could go on and tell you all of the details about how Dr. Joe Hairston
became the first appointed superintendent of Clayton County under
the provisions of the new Georgia Constitutional Amendment.
I could tell you the gory details of how we got rid of him. He, like virtually all "national" superintendents,
was arrogant and very unpopular in Clayton County. Then
a came Dan Colwell. Dan was a popular local choice, and Mike Barnes, MarkArmstrong, and I cut the deal at Riverdale Radiator that got rid of Hairston
and put Colwell in his place. (Some folks whom I had recruited
and had helped get elected at that point were totally dissatisfied with Hairston
and wanted him gone, even though qualifying for elections was only four months off. Hairston left in January of 2000, and Colwell
was appointed that same night as Interim Superintendent. The
same ones on the school board who made it possible for Colwell
to be superintendent became disenchanted with him when he treated them brusquely in public. I witnessed
Colwell's inexplicable treatment of these school board members.
After the 2002 election, three new board members arrived (two incumbents had been defeated). In January of 2003, Nedra Ware and Gang
cut Colwell with the dull edge in public, which proved to
be a big mistake. Ware handled this situation very poorly,
and the whole episode became a cauldron in the media. Naturally, I was blamed for
everything. Ha! Against my advice, Nedra Ware and Gang
Chavis as the Interim Superintendent.
In 2004, Ericka Davis led the efforts to hire Dr. Barbara
Pulliam (I think her surname is now Davis) of Minnesota (by way of Maryland
and Illinois). Another very unpopular superintendent.
It took the school board a good while to finally settle on a choice. One school board member, LindaCrummy, who
had earlier bolted the Nedra Ware Gang -- by the way,
I had already called for their resignations a year earlier -- said to me: "John,
they are trying to find someone whom you don'tknow." Some
have credited Linda Crummy for "saving" the school system
since she broke from Ware's coalition since it had dropped
from six votes to five votes after Dr. Sue Ryan had stepped
down. (Believe me or not -- I don't care -- but I had encouraged, via an intermediary, Dr. Ryan to step down from the school board, which she did. Now Ware only had four votes out of nine.
She was through. I have always been pretty good in Basic Math.)
Back to Pulliam...I knew what I knew about
John Thompson and Edmond
Heatley (just doing a modicum of research) that she was going to be disastrous. Just like
when we warned the school board not to hire Heatley, we did the
same thing when the school board was contemplating hiring Pulliam.
We picketed inside the school board meeting. But, the school board had made up its mind. She cam. She too
was enormously unpopular. Even Ericka Davis was totally
throught with Barbara Pulliam by early 2007. I even posed a question on the Clayton News/Daily blog (back then you could start your own topics).
I posed the following: Is Pulliam's Time Up? This topic got
more comments than any topic ever put on this blog. Over 2,600comments. No telling how many views it had. Well, the
newspaper finally shut down the blog. (Some folks claim that it was my actions that got the blog shut down. Ha!)
After Pulliam came three straight Interim Superintendents...Dr. GloriaDuncan, Dr. Valya Lee,
and the inexplicable one, Dr. JohnThompson, another of these "national" supes who too was extremely unpopular. Finally,
in the Spring of 2009,
the Clayton County brought in a person who by all indications was
unpopular where he was stationed at the time, Chino Valley, California. Why? Who knows? Dr. Sam King was ready to come "home," if the Clayton
County Board of Education had only asked him to come. I know because he told me so. No, Alieka Anderson and PamAdamson led the way to bring in Edmond Healtey who, in my opinion, has been the most unpopular and despised superintendent in the
history of the Clayton County Schools. He and his apparent
Kappa Alpha Psi
sidekick, Douglas Hendrix in Human Resources, have been the apparent source of much frustration and angst on the part of the school
system employees. I know that Edmond Heatley and Douglas (Doug) Hendrix refuse to process the grievances as mandated by O.C.G.A. 20-2-989.5 et seq. In fact, we picketed Doug Hendrix in the rain before Edmond Heatley
ever arrived in ClaytonCounty.
Now Heatley is calling upon the Clayton community to support the schools. He held a news conference a couple
of days ago, and in this conference, he even referenced rumors about his resigning from the superintendency. The
"comments" after the article in the ClaytonNews/Daily about
his news conference were overwhelmingly negative comments about Heatley.
Such a news conference will not solve Heatley's problems or change
the feelings on the ground in Clayton County.
I suggest that if Heatley wants to turn around
his vast unpopularity in Clayton County, he needs to start in Human Resources. He needs to process employee grievances according to Georgia law. He needs to quit inordinately installing folks from California and Kappa Alpha Psi into the administrative positions. Teachers are howling for
change. I have personally talked to enough of them to know that it's reaching a boiling point. I have personally
known and interacted with a bunch of superintendents in ClaytonCounty (Stroud,
and Lee). I only met Hairston
(I never even wanted sit down with him), and I encountered Heatley
just once when I confronted him at a school board meeting about violating the State's
grievance law. I never even met JohnThompson. He was here and gone in a lickety split. I have seen them come and go.
Unless Heatley drastically changes his ways, he is on his way out.
He may not know it yet, but his professional tenure in Clayton County
will come to a screeching halt. I have always said that Clayton County
is "graveyard forsuperintendents."
When have you ever known one to willingly and graciously leave on his or her own? I haven't known one. Stroud didn't run in 1986
but most everyone knew that his days were numbered, although he was considered by many in Georgia to be the State's strongest superintendent.
One fellow who ended up in the Deputy Superintendent's seat in
Clayton County, reminisced: "Trotter, we all thought you were crazy in the old days when youtook
on Mr. Stroud!" I am still "crazy." In addition to Mr. Stroud, I have personally watched nine more Clayton County superintendents come and go. I am still "crazy," and I'm still around.
Just an afterthought...If
Heatley had to run in a DemocraticPrimary
(or Republican -- but this party is virtually dead locally in Clayton County), I don't think that he could scratch
30% of the vote. He is just that unpopular in Clayton
County. My slogan options? "Promote the Children &
"Save our Schools & Bust the Sarge!" "Stop the Clayton GoldRush! Send the Californians Packing!" "Let's Go Clayco!
Bye,Bye Malibu!" "Say
Nope to Nupe! Bye, Bye Kappa Alpha Psi!" I better stop, heh? Gotta to go eat anyway!
is that "radical teachers union" that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution talks about and so describes. But why is
MACE "radical"? Because teachers are currently given no respect in Georgia. In many Georgia schools,
administrators treat teachers like dogs, blaming the teachers for every ill within the public schooling process. That's why
MACE is a "radical teachers union." MACE does not accept the stupid and sophomoric
notion that if students aren't learning, then it is automatically the teachers' fault. This concept is radically wrong. It
is based on erroneous theory. Public schools are not assembly lines with teachers working on inanimate and equitably-divided
raw materials. This bureaucratic, assembly-line (a la Max Weber) approach to the public schooling process is radically wrong-headed,
and this ill-advised approach to public education produces radically wrong results. Administrators become angry and abusive.
Parents become irate and irresponsible. Students become defiant and disruptive. All three groups (administrators, parents,
and students) shift the responsibilities from their proper locations onto the professional laps of the teachers. It is a classic
case of displacing the blame. Teachers can teach the students, but teachers cannot learn the students. (That's not
even proper English.) No wonder our younger generation of college students do not want to be professional educators! They
have witnessed teachers being treated so unprofessionally for so long. This is why MACE is a "radical
teachers union." MACE radically addresses radically wrong premises, radically wrong situations, and radically wrong treatment.
Yes, as long as the treatment of public school teachers is radically wrong,
MACE will continue to address this issue radically. Any other response would be radically wrong. With MACE,
teachers get the respect that they deserve, and, unlike GAE and PAGE, MACE represents only teachers, not
administrators. Hey, that is radical!
Roswell North Elementary School has never seen such excitement!
Roswell North students and teachers deserve better than Principal Huff!