You Cannot Ape MACE!

John R. Alston Trotter, BA, MA, EdD, JD

Recently I was talking to a friend who manages a Marriott Hotel in North Carolina.   He told me that a teacher was checking out of his hotel and he struck up a conversation with the lady.   The lady told my friend that she was heading back to Georgia, and she also mentioned that she was a school teacher. My friend asked this teacher if she had heard of MACE.   The woman got excited and told my friend, “MACE saved my job!”   My friend was excited to tell me this.   This story could be repeated countless of times because in MACE’s 22 years, MACE has saved many teachers’ jobs, and MACE has empowered teachers throughout Georgia to do their jobs without a snoopervising and petty and vindictive administrator breathing down their necks.   This is what MACE does. MACE does not purport to do anything other than to protect and to empower classroom educators…one MACE Member at a time.

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Dr. Trotter relaxing after a Clayton County picket.

MACE doesn’t do spelling bee contests for students.   MACE doesn’t give apples to school board members during American Education Week.   MACE doesn’t give teachers cute little tote bags or raffle smart TVs during new teacher orientations.   Quite frankly, MACE is flatly not a tea and crumpet group flitting around and giving out Peanut M&Ms during pre-planning week.   These cute and fluffy activities are not our thing. MACE doesn’t do this.   Pure and simple…MACE kicks ass, and this is why you came to MACE!   You want MACE to fight for you when an administrator comes attacking you.   Or, when an unruly student and his or her unreasonable parents blame you for all of the student’s shortcoming and actions, and your administrator just sits blithely by and allows them to attack you…and then proceeds to start giving you negative evaluations for the whole damn mess.   This is why you join MACE! MACE protects and empowers Classroom Educators…one MACE Member at a time, and MACE does this better than any teachers’ union in the South!

In recent years, people have looked at MACE’s phenomenal success and have tried to mimic MACE’s success.   They apparently think that they can go to the MACE website and use a MACE brochure, steal MACE’s terminology and classic phrases, and simply ape MACE.   They cannot do it.   They do not have the knowledge, understanding, wisdom, chutzpah, insight, or courage to do what MACE has been doing since 1995.   They do not have that magical portfolio, so to speak, to be able to ape MACE.   The depth of MACE’s understanding of educational issues coupled with the ability to break down what is happening in the public schooling process and to identify the motivation for certain crazy actions by superintendents is unmatched and simply cannot not be duplicated. Phrases like “snoopervision,” “educrats,” “educational sluts” (for superintendents), and “Leadership by inspiration, not intimidation” are MACE originals.   MACE’s original mantra since MACE’s inception in 1995 is this unalterable, inexorable, and unchallenged principle of action:  “You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.”   This is the MACE Law of Learning.   You will not find this law anywhere except in the literature of MACE.   As the MACE Founder and Chairman of the Board, I have been interviewed and discussed in newspapers, journals, and blogs throughout this country (from Savannah to San Francisco, literally), in Bermuda, public television, and even in the White House Rose Garden (by a reporter from Education Week asking President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about my stated opinion about removing the staff from a “failing school” but not addressing the real problem, viz., lazy and unmotivated students who refuse to do any work).

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Darryl Plenty picketing Principal Horton at North Cobb High School.

MACE has real opinions about public education, and, as Chairman, I am not afraid to state MACE’s positions, and I am called upon for MACE’s position on educational matters by local news media and by far-flung media like The Christian Science Monitor. In fact, this past week, a production assistant for CBS called me, wanting me to be on an upcoming program about a changing America, including a changing public education.   I told the young lady that if we can work out the logistics, that I would be willing to be on the program.   Why do they call MACE?   Because MACE has a distinct voice and a clarion vision about public education, not because MACE serves the best coffee rolls at a teacher orientation.

Other organizations and would-be organizations do not have a philosophy of learning.  None.   They do not have a clarion vision of what is being done in the public schooling process and what should be done.   For example, they do not grasp how administrators use the evaluative process manipulatively, retributively, and punitively.   The angry and abusive administrators impose a crazy-ass, stupid, and completely ineffective Five-Step disciplinary process on teachers simply because they are too afraid to deal with the defiant and disruptive students and their irate and irresponsible parents and/or they are too lazy and incompetent to support the teachers in disciplinary matters.   MACE understands what is happening and why it is happening.   MACE clearly understands that order is the first law of the Universe and that teachers have to have order in the classroom.   Order in the classroom cannot be established if the students and their parents perceive (and they do) that the teachers do not have the backing from the school’s administration.

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At Morris Brandon Elementary School in Atlanta.

MACE has richly earned its reputation as the most aggressive and most effective teachers’ union in the entire South.   MACE invented and promulgated the D-QuadA System.   The D-QuadA System stands for Direct Action Against Abusive Administrators.   When MACE perceives that an administrator is abusing a teacher, MACE jumps into action.   MACE intervenes and/or pickets the administrator; writes a scorching and enlightening letter to the superintendent or against the superintendent and copies this letter to the elected school board members’ home addresses; writes or assists the teacher in rebuttals against skewed and biased evaluations; writes articles about the situation; files grievances and represents the teachers during the grievance hearings; and/or evaluates the administrator(s) on MACE now-famous Administrative NI List on http://www.theteachersadvocate.com.   MACE guarantees its members in good standing representation in any job action against the teacher.   (Of course, if a teacher comes to join MACE with a train wreck, so the speak, MACE has to evaluate each such case separately.)   I guess you could say that MACE has its own multi-step process. Administrators seem to get the point.   Therefore, when you say “MACE,” administrators listen.  MACE’s keen understanding of the educational issues is beyond question (see The MACE Manifesto:  The Politically Incorrect, Irreverent, and Scatological Examination of What is Wrong with American Public Education, 2014, 615 pages) and MACE’s rock solid commitment to its MACE Members have been established from the very beginning, as noted by a school board attorney who told a school board very early on in MACE’s existence, “MACE terrorizes the principals.”

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MACE is the real thing.   MACE is the Hope Diamond of “aggressive representation when you need it” (another original MACE phrase which was brazenly stolen by one of these dubious groups).   MACE is not an aluminum ring with mounted glass that you get out of a bubblegum machine when you leave the Piccadilly Restaurant.   MACE is the true diamond, and we know that diamonds can cut steel.   MACE has brought low many administrators who thought that they had reputations of steel, but the MACE Diamond cuts through that false façade like a hot knife cutting through soft butter.   This kind of effectiveness and reputation cannot be copied, mimicked, or imitated.   You cannot ape MACE…no more than a person can drop a teaspoon of brown sugar into faucet water and then call it bourbon or brandy…or drop a slab of baloney in a skillet and call it a Porterhouse Steak.

MACE has a sterling reputation for fighting for its members, making things happen, and securing positive results.   MACE.   Don’t teach without it!   MACE is truly the teachers’ union for teachers teaching in tough situations, and MACE is undoubtedly the most aggressive and effective teachers’ union in the entire South!

 

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What has MACE Done for Me Lately?

 

Note:  Recently one of MACE’s longtime Members posed this question to me, and I took the time to provide her, I think, a thoughtful answer.  We essentially learn by space repetition and sudden impact.  So, I certainly do not mind repeating what MACE stands for and how MACE provides an invaluable service for each MACE Member.  I would certainly not want to see a longtime MACE Member give up his or her membership, and then suddenly need MACE’s services because of a frightful and unexpected and undeserved accusation from a petty and abusive administrator, an irate and irresponsible parent, or a lying, defiant, and disruptive student.  Here is what I wrote back to the teacher, with names (including schools) redacted and changed).  MACE certainly hopes that this Member and all of its Members steadfastly remain MACE Members.  MACE values all of its Members.

Ms. Smith,

I am sorry to hear that you apparently feel so disgruntled about MACE.  I am sure that no one made you join MACE, but perhaps you were feeling a bit more vulnerable in your first three years of teaching at Jameson High School.  I am sure that the student discipline is a bit more challenging at Jameson than Willow Junction High School, but each school has its own personality, quirks, idiosyncrasies, etc.  Although the student discipline may be more challenging at one school (especially with little or no support from the school’s administration) whereas at a school with higher socio-economic status, the parents can be more demanding, capricious, and unreasonable.

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MACE speaks before the Atlanta School Board on issues that affect teachers.

MACE is a no frills union.  MACE makes no bones about this.  None whatsoever.  MACE does not put on spelling bee contests each year for students…like the other unions do.  MACE never has.  MACE has its occasional Holiday BASH and Spring Fling to help teachers release the tensions of teaching in terrible situations.  MACE has its Teacher Rights Seminars.  But, putting on the conventions, giving out tote bags and coffee cups, doing the spelling bees, etc., is not the MACE shtick.  You can get this at the other unions/associations…but you won’t get the same kind of protection that MACE provides.  The administrators join and are members of GAE and PAGE.  So, who is going to be defended when there is a conflict?  There is a built-in conflict of interest.  MACE aggressively defends the teachers…from verbal (and physical) and evaluative assaults from petty, small-minded, insecure, vindictive, abusive, and anal-retentive administrators; from irate and irresponsible parents; and from defiant and disruptive students.  And when an administrator starts giving you skewed and biased evaluations because you simply will not give a grade (whether on an assignment or a test) to a student or because the administrator believes that “you give too many bad grades,” you will be wanting MACE to represent you, not GAE or PAGE.  Schools are fraught with this kind of systematic cheating.  Systematic cheating is not just the purview of standardized tests.  And it is this type of cheating that puts much undue pressure on teachers.   It was MACE which first exposed the cheating scandal in both the Atlanta City and DeKalb County school systems.  The media and the Governor’s Office came in a slow second and third.  MACE had been on the streets for years and writing for years about the “miracle growth” on standardized test scores.  In fact, I think that MACE coined the phrase “systematic cheating” on picket signs in Atlanta and DeKalb.

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The media contacts MACE on a regular basis.

Now if you want protection and empowerment to do your job, you stay with MACE.  If you want to go to a convention in Savannah or Macon and try to be a big shot in that organization, you got to GAE or PAGE.  But, if you have an issue with a student, a parent, or an administrator, you stick with MACE.  When you let the administration know that you are represented by MACE, you will get a different kind of respect.  I have witnessed administrators “get religion” very quickly when they find out that the teacher on whom they were picking was a MACE Member.  A complete turn-about takes place.  The MACE Membership is strictly confidential.  But, there might very well come a time when you want your administration to know that you are a MACE Member and not the one to be messed with.

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The MACE Team makes an impromptu visit to the Hart County superintendent on behalf of a teacher.

Ms. Smith, I know that you grew up in the idyllic setting of ______ but teaching in Georgia (or any state for that matter) is not always so idyllic.  You want to have MACE as your ace in the hole, so to speak.  I am wondering if you have ever asked MACE to assist you in any way.  I don’t think that you have.  The MACE response time is remarkable.  The goal of MACE is to respond to each teacher the very day that he or she calls the MACE Office.  (Other organizations will take up to thirty – yes, thirty – days to respond, if they respond at all.  I am hearing now that one or two of the other organizations are requiring their members to leave emails.  In other words, no more direct talking to representatives.)  Ms. Smith, you have been a loyal Member of MACE for 10 years now.  You pay on time.  There are no issues with your MACE Membership.  It could be that you are thinking of becoming an administrator.  That’s no problem.  We quietly stop your MACE Membership.  No fanfare.  No ballyhoo.  We simply wish you the best and hope that you become a great administrator and very supportive of classroom educators.  My nephew went back into administration this year.  So, again, we stopped his MACE Membership.  (His wife who teaches remains a MACE Member.)  And he is one heckuva an administrator!  The teachers and the students like and respect him.  There is no conflict with you being a MACE Member while you are still teaching and still having the goal of becoming an administrator one day.  As I previously mentioned, when you become an administrator, MACE simply quietly stops your membership.  There are and have been school administrators all over Georgia who are former MACE Members.  I think that a few have even gone on to become Assistant Superintendents and even Superintendents.  But, when you are a teacher, you need to belong to a teachers union that represents only teachers, not administrators.  Heck, the Georgia School Superintendents Association (GSSA) and the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL) do not allow teachers to join.  They have strictly an administrative agenda.  Then, why not be a member of a teachers union that strictly has a teacher’s agenda?  Ms. Smith, when you call the MACE Office, you don’t have to worry about whose side MACE is on.  Everyone knows.  MACE doesn’t waffle.  MACE doesn’t vacillate one scintilla.  MACE doesn’t leave your side.

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The MACE guys with a happy teacher after MACE aggressively represented her before the Atlanta Board of Education.

I remember back in 1997 when a MACE Member was falsely accused of telling a high school student that she would give him an A for his grade if he would have sex with him.  This scandalous accusation was covered on national news.  MACE defended the teacher before the school board in a hearing, then before the Professional Practices Commission (before the Professional Standards Commission took over this role), and in a three-day trial in the Clayton County Superior Court.  The jury verdict was “Not Guilty.”  This teacher thought everything in her career was just fine.  She had been a successful teacher in Clayton County for about 15 years before this little thug falsely accused her of this reprehensible action.  The case was very controversial and tinged with many racial overtones.  But, this teacher stated, “MACE never left my side.”  (You can read her full testimony on the MACE website.)  After these grueling three hearings (the last of which could have sent her to prison for many years, if she had been found guilty), she finally went back into the classroom and taught about 15 more successful years before retiring.  MACE was very, very aggressive in her defense, and Ms. Walker was extremely grateful.  She never once asked about a tote bag or a spelling bee contest.  Why do you really join a teachers union…for an alleged discount on tires or some alleged ineffective lobbying at the Capitol…or for job protection and empowerment?  This is the issue.  This is the question.  If you are looking for fluff, then, yes, join the other organizations.  But, if you want to have the peace of mind that you will have aggressive representation when you need it, then by all means stay a Member of MACE.  We value your membership.  We really do.  At MACE, we love teachers, and we do not apologize for this!

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The MACE Picket Squad is always ready to picket an administrator(s) on behalf of a MACE Member.

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MACE is the only teachers union/association that has the proper vision and accurate mantra for teachers:  You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.  This has been the inalterable and unchallenged mantra of MACE since MACE’s founding in 1995.

Now about stopping your bank draft:  You simply send a short letter to the MACE Office, send an email to MACE, or send a note to MACE via facsimile, explicitly telling MACE that you no longer want to be a member and want your bank draft stopped.  You understand that it has to be in writing to avoid anyone fraudulently posing as you on the phone.  This communication needs to be in the MACE Office by the 15th of the month previous to the month in which the bank draft will stop.  This two-week notice is needed because MACE has to notify the bank well in advance before the next scheduled bank draft.  It is painless, Ms. Smith.  Goodness.  We would love for you to remain of Member of MACE.  By remaining a MACE Member, you will have the backing of by far the strongest and most aggressive teachers union in Georgia.  By far.  And when you say, “MACE,” the administrators listen.   I remember back right after MACE was founded, a school board member in Clayton County told me that the school board attorney (who was also the school board attorney in DeKalb County) told the school board that “MACE terrorizes the administrators.”  I remember a teacher who was a good friend with a middle school principal in DeKalb County telling me that his principal friend was approached about taking the principal job at Southwest DeKalb High School.  His friend turned down the job, saying words to this effect:  “Nope, I don’t want to go there.  MACE is there, and once MACE gets after you, they don’t ever let up!”  Now, Ms. Smith, if this is not important to you, then you are indeed in the wrong union.  You need to be in the tea and crumpet groups.  That’s OK.  We are not mad at you.  But as soon as someone comes after you (and someone will, no matter how good a teacher you are; in fact, sometimes it is because you ARE a good teacher), you’ll realize then that you should have stayed a member of Georgia’s toughest and most aggressive teachers union.  On a regular basis, MACE receives nice letters of thanks like the one below…

“Mr. Barnes, I wanted to let you know how thankful I am that you worked everything out for me!  Not only did you send a letter for me (thanks Mr. Haynes and Dr. Trotter), but you helped me get a contract, and on top of that, negotiated with central office to get my transfer approved.  Words cannot express how thankful I am!  Every dime that I have spent for my membership is well worth it!” – Jackie Warren.

We wish you well in your career, and we hope that you remain a loyal MACE Member.

Respectfully,

John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD

 

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Two Pertinent Articles are Reprinted… The MACE Thesis & Why You Came to MACE!

Note:  Administrators are still acting like educational fools all over the State of Georgia — and nationwide — clueless as ever as how schools function effectively.  They have mindlessly bought into the top-down, heavy-handed management of teachers as if the teachers are the problems in public education.  No,  the problems in public education are the unruly and unmotivated students (or, in some cases, outright thugs), the irate and irresponsible parents, and the angry  and abusive administrators.  Since MACE’s very beginning in 1995, the mantra at MACE has been that “[Y]ou cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.”  In some schools, the teaching conditions are horrific.  MACE protects and empowers classroom educators…one member at a time.  MACE is the only teachers’ union in Georgia which makes no bones about devouring any school administrator whom MACE feels is abusing teachers.  The ONLY teachers’ union in Georgia.   Enjoy the two articles below. 

The MACE Thesis

By Dr. John R. Alston Trotter and Norreese L. Haynes

     You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.  Assuming that you can is rank stupidity and results in environmental chaos in the schools.  The reason that so many of our public schools are chaotic and full of shit today is because legislators, policymakers, school board members, superintendents, educrats, and administrators actually and absurdly think that they can usher in “achievement” (if we deign to call increases on standardized test scores “achievement”) without respecting teachers and empowering them to do their jobs.  They threaten, intimidate, and generally treat teachers like dog shit in their quests to increase “achievement.”  This results is nothing more than a massive and wholesale systematic cheating on all scores and grades – not just on the standardized tests – and the lowering of academic standards and rigor throughout the corpus of American Public Education.  Demigods are put in positions of power, and they terrorize teachers on a daily basis, resulting in a large segment of the best and brightest leaving the teaching field.  When the teaching field once again becomes a profession, then these creative and energetic souls who refuse to be treated like dog shit may return.

When you treat teachers like dog shit, public education will carry the stench of dog shit.  Right now, sadly, public education is full of dog shit.  Everywhere you step, you step in this mess.  Those educational demigods who arrogantly traipse around public education seem to be immune from the smell.  They are oblivious to this cankering shit that is all over their metaphorical shoes – the same shoes that trample upon the dignity and humanity of the classroom educators, creating this massive mess.  By catering to the irate and irresponsible parents and by coddling their rude, defiant, and disruptive children, they have created horrid and unimaginative teaching conditions.  They have ignored MACE’s Law of Learning“You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.”  This is how they have wittingly or unwittingly created chaos in our public schools and most especially in our urban public schools.   © Big Daddy Publishers, May 23, 2014.

Why You Came To MACE! 

By Dr. John R. Alston Trotter and Norreese L. Haynes

     You didn’t come to MACE because we give you a tote bag or do spelling bees for the children or we sell you auto insurance at an alleged discount.  We don’t give out tote bags.  MACE has never put on a spelling bee contest for kids.  MACE doesn’t sell auto insurance.  Heck, MACE doesn’t even endorse any political candidates.  You vote like you want to vote.  MACE doesn’t care.  We in the MACE Office don’t even agree 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 MACE 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 MACE 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.  You came to MACE.

MACE 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, that MACE kicks metaphorical ass, and that MACE tightens up the mean-ass and petty administrators.  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, or 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.  You came to MACE because you are tired of being tired and tired of being afraid and tired of being frustrated.  You came to MACE because you want MACE to protect you, to empower you, and to scare the dog shit out of your abusive administrators.  Welcome to MACE!  © Big Daddy Publishers, 2014.

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Hey Calhoun County School System, the Eyes of MACE are upon You!

Dr. John Trotter, Chairman, Norreese Haynes, CEO, and Rafael Garcia, Membership Director, of MACE hit the road to Southwest Georgia yesterday.  The MACE Trio made an extemporaneous stop at Randolph Clay High School in Cuthbert, Georgia, visiting with staff there for over an hour.  Then the trio headed to a planned meeting with some Calhoun County teachers in Arlington, which is located in Calhoun County.  Some of the stories that were shared at this meeting were very disturbing…a lack of books for students and a lack of curriculum guides and pacing guides.  But, what disturbed the MACE Trio the most were stories about how teachers are treated and how the student discipline is apparently out of control at the elementary school.  Calhoun Elementary School apparently has a “blame the teacher first” practice in place.  Obviously, the administration has never heard of MACE’s indisputable mantra:  “You cannot have good learning conditions until you have good teachings conditions.”  Perhaps Superintendent Yolanda Turner has never heard of this law of learning either.  But, she should have because she spent many years in the DeKalb County School System where MACE has been very active for over 20 years.

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How long, oh how long will teachers be treated shabbily in the Calhoun County School System?  We are looking for change…real change.  The eyes of MACE are upon you!

The MACE Trio left the teachers with a copy of The MACE Manifesto:  The Politically Incorrect, Irreverent, and Scatological Examination of What is Wrong with American Public Education (described as “the tour-de-force on public education“), a 615 page tome on public education.  The MACE Trio was heard discussing booking hotel rooms in the area and transporting more men on the next trip to Southwest Georgia.  One of the administrators at Randolph Clay High School was heard saying that he thought that the trio was the mafia showing up.  No, just MACE on the road.

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This is a photo of Superintendent Yolanda Turner when she was a principal in DeKalb County and surrounded by books.  Where are the books in Calhoun County, Superintendent Turner?  Why are teachers apparently not cherished and esteemed and respected in Calhoun County, Superintendent Yolanda Turner?  Were teachers treated disrespectfully at Murphy Candler Elementary School, Superintendent Turner?  Does MACE need to go down to Southwest Georgia and camp out?

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Hey Superintendent Richard Autry, What in the Hell is Going on Out in Rockdale County?

Hey Superintendent Richard Autry, What in the Hell is Going Out in Rockdale County?

By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD

     Most public schools are going to hell in a hand basket. The students are not made to behave. In fact, they think that they run the show…and they do! MACE has been railing against this from MACE’s inception 21 years ago. We have written extensively about such non-sense (hundreds and hundreds of articles…and one 600 plus page book about it, The MACE Manifesto: The Politically Incorrect, Irreverent, and Scatological Examination of What is Wrong with American Public Education). But I never cease to be amazed at the weakness and stupidity of many school administrators.

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Richard Autry, Supterintendent

We have a situation in Rockdale County where a student engages in assault and battery against the teacher, and the superintendent apparently wants the teacher to agree to a five day suspension on the matter. Yes. You heard it right. The student assaults and batters the teacher, and Superintendent Richard Autry apparently wants the teacher to take a five-day suspension on the matter. (The school system apparently did suspend the student for five days.) Incredible and unconscionable. I say “apparently” because we plan on getting it straight from the horse’s mouth in short. Rockdale County. I remember the days when Dr. Sam King was the superintendent out there, and none of this kind of non-sense would have taken place. (Dr. King is now the superintendent, I think, in Norfolk, Virginia, but I have known him since his first day as Assistant Principal of Oliver Elementary School in Clayton County nearly 25 years ago.)

For the record: The school system has sent the teacher on an undetermined “administrative leave,” wanting him to accept this “deal,” under threat of termination.  Of course, OCGA 20-2-940(g) allows for the superintendent of schools to suspend a teacher, if the teacher’s actions are so egregious that they threaten the mission of the schools, but only for 10 days. Meantime, by the seventh day, the teacher has to be provided his or her complete due processes rights. He or she has to be presented a charge letter, outlining the school system’s charges against the teacher and also the time and place of the evidentiary hearing as well as giving the teacher notice of his or her right to counsel and right to subpoena powers (relative to documents and witnesses). None of this has been done in Rockdale County. The 10 day limit has long since expired. The teacher still languishes at home. Things are about to change. I feel sure. MACE is now involved. LOL! Hey, Mr. Richard Autry, wake up and smell the stink in Rockdale County. And while you are at it, try abiding by the Georgia Statutory Code. © GTSO, 2016.

 

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MACE. The Choice is Clear!

Bo and JT

     Dr. John Trotter with his nephew, Bo Trotter Oates. Mr. Oates was a long-time MACE Member as a teacher. When he became an administrator, MACE had to terminate his membership, even though he is a true teacher advocate and the teachers love him! MACE has many ex-members who are now administrators, and most are supportive of teachers and are doing a great job. But, MACE has no built-in conflict of interest like GAE and PAGE. Unlike GAE and PAGE, MACE represents only classroom educators, not administrators. The choice is clear!

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Governor Nathan Deal’s Opportunity School Districts Plan is just a Small Part of a Large Overall Conspiracy to Privatize America’s Public Schools. An Unholy Alliance of Big Business, Big Government, and Big Education is Destroying Local Schools and Local Control of Public Education.

Governor Nathan Deal’s Opportunity School Districts Plan is just a Small Part of a Large Overall Conspiracy to Privatize America’s Public Schools. An Unholy Alliance of Big Business, Big Government, and Big Education is Destroying Local Schools and Local Control of Public Education.

 

By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD and Norreese L. Haynes, BSBM

     What are the Opportunity School Districts all about? Money. Pure and simple. This raw effort to privatize the public schools of Georgia is a small part of a behemoth hostile takeover of the public schools of America by private multinational companies, mainly Microsoft and the Gates Foundation, Pearson Education and the Pearson Foundation, and the Broad Foundation. Bill Gates and Eli Broad are American billionaires, and Pearson Education is the largest producer of educational materials (textbooks, teacher and student preparation materials, standardized tests, software, etc.) in the world and has been around for nearly 250 years. The latter is a British company which dominates the educational supplies to American schools and universities, from kindergartens to universities.

Book - JT and NH Mexican Restaurant

Norreese Haynes, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of MACE, and Dr. John Trotter, Chairman of MACE

   American Public Education is a nearly one trillion dollar industry, and Pearson a few years back realized quickly how profitable this market was. In 2008, Bill Gates decided to jump in on the push for Common Core, a nationwide and standardized curriculum of our public schools. He jumped into this cause full force and became the leader for pushing for the adoption of Common Core by state legislatures and state school boards throughout the country. He too saw how enormously profitable this could be for Microsoft. So, he first set out to “buy off” the National Governors’ Conference, pumping millions upon millions of dollars into the Conference’s trough. He even used Jeb Bush to lobby them hard when the governors initially resisted the notion of a national curriculum because they felt that it infringed upon the local control of education. Gates spread his billions around profusely among the public education community, “buying off” any potential voices of opposition, whether it was in the colleges of education in universities or from the teacher unions. He gave millions to NEA and AFT.

Bill Gates and Eli Broad had strong connections (because of their donations) with Arne Duncan when he was a political appointee to the superintendency in Chicago, and their connections followed him to Washington, D. C. when President Obama named him the U. S. Secretary of Education. So, when the U. S. Congress appropriated several billion dollars for public education, leaving the details up to Secretary Duncan about the spreading of the monies to the states in the Race to the Top program, naturally Duncan including in the measures the mandated adoption of Common Core, with the additional mandates for merit pay for teachers (with a strong element of the students evaluating the teachers) and unlimited charter schools in the states.

The Opportunity School Districts that the Nathan Deal Administration came up with for so-called “failing schools” is all part of the overall effort to privatize the schools which billionaires Gates and Broad want as well as does Pearson Education. Governor Deal didn’t just come up with this idea on his own. He is a bit player in this raw and shameless hostile takeover of our public schools. If Gates, Pearson, and Broad are the priests in this takeover conspiracy (and it is indeed a conspiracy), Deal is just one of their small acolytes, much smaller than other acolytes like Arne Duncan and Michelle Rhee.

There are gross and unconscionable profits in this takeover game. In 2013, the Los Angeles School System paid more than one billion (yes, billion!) dollars to purchase iPads from Pearson for its students. The State of Illinois recently paid Pearson $138 million to develop their standardized tests. In 2014, Pearson commenced to take over the certification and evaluation of the teachers in the State of New York, at a handsome sum of money. Now Bill Gates has his eyes focused on taking over teacher education. Again, there are billions of dollars to be made in the preparation of teachers and their subsequent certification and even more money in the standardized evaluation of these teachers. All of these monies made by these voracious and greedy philanthropic vultures is being made at the expense of turning our children into unimaginative machines and turning our teachers into mindless and robotic serfs.

Before the hostile takeover could began, there first had to be a way of narrowly defining successful or failing schools. This has been done via the standardized tests. These tests are very, very narrow in focus, only testing the students in the areas of verbal-linguistics and math-analytical. They test only these two areas of intelligence. But, we know from the research of Dr. Howard Gardner at the Harvard Graduate School of Education that there are eight or nine or more areas of intelligence, including musical, artistic, vocational-technical, athletic-kinesthetic, dance, drama, social-political, speech, science, humanities, history-civics, etc. Why not test the children in these areas of intelligence?

It is so much easier to just administer to students a quick and dirty, narrowly-focused verbal-linguistics and math-analytical exam, get the result in, and then label the school as a “failing” school no matter how well the community and students love the teachers and principal and no matter how much progress is being made. Boom! It’s a “failing” school because it is located in a very impoverished environment and the kids come to school with virtually no readiness skills, but the teachers are performing miracles. But, if their almighty test scores on these very narrowly-focused exams are not as high as those children in affluent neighborhoods, then Governor Deal wants to turn over these schools to businessmen who do not have a stake in the communities of these schools except to make a quick buck. They will be complete and utter failures, despite the extra resources that the State will allot to these schools because they are now Governor Deal’s grand project.

We were reading a blog the other day that came out in 2014. Look at this quote: “Counting on widespread failure of the Common Core State Standards, school districts and parents will be pushed to purchase even more training technology, teachers in low-ranked schools will be fired, and school[s] will be turned over to private management.” Does this sound familiar? This is exactly what is happening now. Collectively, we have allowed these billionaires to define what a “successful” public school is. Bill and Melinda Gates, the billionaire couple who has been unconscionably and shamelessly allowed to set the entire agenda for public education in the United States probably never even darkened a public school door until way into their adult years. Their precious children also attended the wealthy and tony private school, the Lakeside School in Seattle. Yet, Bill Gates has anointed himself as the Messiah of American Public Education (MAPE). At least the Pope is appointed by the College of Cardinals, but the MAPE anoints himself. The MAPE orchestrates this hostile takeover of local public schools by the unholy alliance of Big Business, Big Government, and Big Education.

     For more details about these issues, consult with The MACE Manifesto: The Politically Incorrect, Irreverent, and Scatological Examination of What is Wrong with American Public Education, a more than 600 page tome that we published in the fall of 2014. © MACE, 2016.

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What’s Really Wrong with Public Education?

What’s Really Wrong with Public Education?

The MACE Mantra is Rock-solid Law, and All So-called “Educational Reformers” (whether they are Billionaires Bill Gates and Eli Broad or their Acololytes like Arne Duncan and Michelle Rhee or Governors like Nathan Deal or Superintendents like Atlanta’s Meria Carstarphen or Politicians like Jeb Bush) are Total Frauds and Charlatans about Public Education or Simply Don’t Know Shit from Shinola when it Comes to Public Education.

By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD

     You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions. The MACE Mantra. This is the law (principle of action) of teaching and learning. The reason that all (yes, ALL) so-called “school reform” efforts fail (and they ALL fail miserably) is because politicians and educrats are pitifully ignorant of this law…or for political expediency choose to ignore this law. But, it is a law like the law of gravity or the second law of thermodynamics. Laws are inexorable, and if you ignore laws, you do so at your own peril.

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     This has been the MACE Mantra since MACE was founded in 1995. In fact, this statement, with a little more embellishment, was bluntly stated in the first issue of The Teacher’s Advocate! magazine in 1995. We also railed against the worshipping of the false gods of public education, the standardized tests. All so-called “school reform” efforts have failed…for over 100 years. ALL. Over 100 years of abject failure. And they are ALL doomed to fail until the politicians and educrats understand and respect this law (principle of action) of teaching and learning.

Teachers are not the blame for the woes in public education. The rank lack of support and respect for the teachers is the problem. The fact that teachers are no longer allowed to control their own classroom is the problem. Teachers are told what to teach, when to teach, and how to teach. We have a culture of snoopervision. Angry, abusive, petty, myopic, and petulant administrators engage in a sickening minutia of snoopervision of the teachers when the truth of the matter is that the administrator needs to get the hell of the teacher’s classroom and simply get out of the way. Day after day, we have calls and visits from teachers whose students, by all measurements, are doing very well and much higher than the state average on the statewide exams. But, the insecure and, quite frankly, the crazy-ass administrators continue to breathe down the teachers’ necks, driving the creative and self-motivated teachers to simply leave this noble profession.

I received a call just the other day from a first-rate, top-tier teacher (in fact, Teacher of the Year last year) in a small school system in middle Georgia. This school system should be grateful for this teacher teaching in this rural county, but the first year principal seems determined to find anything wrong with the teacher – maybe his daily goals written on the board were not in sufficient detail or he didn’t outline in enough detail in his daily lesson plans which activities the students would be working on. This is an experienced teacher with years of successful performance. The students love him and so do the parents. Ahhhh. This must be the problem. This young, first-year whippersnapper principal has to bring this popular teacher down a notch or two. This popular teacher just by his presence apparently makes this insecure principal nervous. He wants to shine more but this popular teacher is apparently taking some of his shine, so thinks the principal. So, he evidently thinks, “Let me get his ass on the evaluation process.” So, the principal proceeds to attempt to torment the teacher. We see it all the time. The Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES) is the evaluation tool that so many small-minded and ignorant administrators use in a manipulative, retributive, and punitive manner to wreak havoc and stress on any teacher whom they do not like or whom they are nervous around. This is what I see going on in this instant case of which I speak. Right in the heart of Georgia. More bullshit from ignorant-ass administrators who need to simply shut up and get the hell out the teachers’ way. Let the teachers teach!

So, what really are the true problems in public education? First, the angry and abusive administrators are huge problems. They simply need to support the teachers when it comes to classroom discipline. They need to follow through on sure and significant disciplinary measures against the students whose unruly behavior in the classrooms causes material and substantive disruption of the learning processes for those children who want to learn. Second, these defiant and disruptive students are ruining our public schools. They have to be dealt with by the administrators post haste. If they refuse to straighten up, then they have to be shipped out. They cannot remain in the regular school environment. The thugs have to be removed from the regular school environment. And, if they refuse to behave in an alternative school setting, the school boards simply have to expel these so-called students. Let the courts deal with them. Thirdly, the irate and irresponsible parents have to be dealt with firmly. Administrators cannot cower to crazy parents. They come to the schools raising hell and trying to blame anybody and everybody for their children’s academic failures and lack of proper decorum. But, when we see their railings and rankle, we see where their children get their behavior. Lastly, the systematic cheating on grades has to stop. We obviously know about systematic cheating on standardized tests (thanks to the Atlanta, DeKalb, and Dougherty school systems), but we are talking about forcing teachers to give students grades which they did not earn. We are talking about telling teachers that no students can receive less than a 60 or 70 on a semester grade. We are talking about forcing teachers to allow students to re-take exams or to turn in papers late. We are talking about using the dreaded TKES evaluation process to mark down a teacher because “the teacher fails too many students.” No, the students fail themselves. The teacher just records the grades. Systematic cheating on grades has become epidemic in Georgia and in America in the public schools.

So, in summary, if we really want to improve public education, we need to forget all of the shit that Bill Gates and his take-over (and this is what it is…a hostile take-over of the public schools) comrades and comlites (like Nathan Deal) are trying to force on the public. Their goal? It’s pretty obvious. Make as many schools to be labeled as “failures” so that this schools can be privatized. Bill Gates and Eli Broad are philanthropic vultures. Gates has shown that he will spend millions buying off opposition to his Common Core. These guys have played complete hardball to take over the public schools. It is their agenda that is driving everything in public schools now…whether it is making the students’ test scores account for 50% of teachers’ evaluation scores in Georgia or whether it is the U. S. State Department’s mandate that a state not only has to have this “merit pay” element in place but also has to have a provision of unlimited charter schools in the state, if that state wants to receive their share of the “bribe” of millions of dollars from the U. S. State Department.

Don’t let all of this “school reform” shit fool you. It’s not about “reform”; it’s about the money. If we really want to improve public schools in Georgia and in other states, then we need to deal with deal with (1) Angry & Abusive Administrators; (2) Defiant & Disruptive Students; (3) Irate & Irresponsible Parents; and (4) Systematic Cheating on Standardized Tests and Daily Grades. © MACE, 2016.

 

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When MACE Discontinues a Teacher’s Membership…

NOTE:  MACE does not like to discontinue a teacher’s membership in MACE but it happens every year or two for various reasons, but mainly for the teacher’s refusal to listen to the advice that MACE is offering.  No teacher has an “inalienable” right to be a MACE Member.  Membership has its privileges but one of the privileges is not to simply be bull-headed and refuse to listen.  At that point, MACE and the teacher have to part ways.  This does not happen often at all (probably ten times or less in 21 years).  The following is a letter that I felt compelled to send to a MACE Member recently.  The name is not the real name.

January 28, 2016

Mr. Buddy Lee Jackson (Made up name)

Dear Mr. Jackson:

MACE will not be deducting the membership fee from your checking account on the 8th of next month, effectively terminating your membership in MACE at midnight on February 7, 2016.

It is the intention of MACE to protect and empower classroom educators…one member at a time. When MACE feels that the goal of the organization and the goal of the member are not in sync with each other, then a discontinuance of membership is the best path for both parties. You have personally told me on a number of occasions that you do not care if you are terminated. You have continued to ignore my advice for about two or three years about your constant railing against your school administration on Facebook. You have written, among other things, the following on your Facebook page: “Teachers unions officials are our employees.” If you are referring to MACE, then you are categorically wrong. Neither I nor any associate of MACE is your employee. In fact, MACE is terminating your membership.

Through the years, you appeared to harbor resentment toward the leadership of MACE. The irony of this is that MACE has bailed you out of many problematic situations. A lack of gratitude and constant whining does not go over well with MACE.

You may continue your crusade to reform the entire school system with membership in another union. GAE and PAGE may even let you take over and run the show. MACE will not. The goal at MACE is to protect and empower MACE Members and to keep them gainfully employed, not to chase windmills. MACE is not the Metro Association of Students (MAS) nor the Metro Association of Parents (MAP). MACE is the Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE). Those teachers who may entertain the fanciful notion that they are lonely martyrs in the educational desert would do well to join GAE or PAGE, go to their conventions, raise heck at these conventions, try to take over, and eventually become president of such an organization. I have watched this process up close. Guess what? It is the classroom educators who are forgotten as these self-perceived martyrs rub shoulders with the Governor and other politicians and profess how much they love the children.

Meantime, the beleaguered and bedraggled and disemboweled classroom educators suffer at the hands of conniving, angry, petty, and abusive administrators. This is where MACE comes in…for the MACE Members. MACE does a heckuva job protecting and empowering its Members, just as it has done in your case time and time again. But, MACE emphatically will not jump through any hoops at the temperamental beckon call of any teacher. MACE will not be dictated to. Teachers cannot demand a picket. MACE is highly independent, and the leaders of MACE, unlike the leaders at other organizations, do not sit around navel-gazing and wondering which MACE Member the leadership may have offended. MACE is powerful. MACE does not play, and, quite frankly, MACE is not even one iota afraid of any of its Members. MACE knows for a fact that it is the most-feared teachers union in the South, bar none. MACE knows that it is loyal to its Members. MACE has lots of patience, like in your case. But, it comes a time when the leadership at MACE just sees that your goals and the goals of MACE are not the same. Therefore, MACE will be terminating your membership forthwith on the date certain.

Sincerely:

John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD

Chairman of the Board

                                                                                                                                                    

P. S. You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.

John Trotter with two glasses

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Atlanta Superintendent, Meria Carstarphen, in Apparent Panic Mode, Does What all Educational Sluts do…She Blames the Teachers for the Students’ Refusal to Learn!

The motivation to learn is a social process.  Atlanta’s superintendent, Meria Carstarphen, so typical of all ot these educational sluts who traipse all over the country jumping in and out of school board beds for more money, is blaming the Atlanta teachers for the students’ lack of home preparation to learn and the culturally-induced abject lack of motivation to learn.  This sophomoric notion that if the students aren’t learning (sufficiently, according to a norm-referenced test where, by definition, 50% of the students are “below average” and thus “failures”) is indicative of a complete ignorance to the dominant social factors which have a tremendous influence on a student’s motivation to learn.  The lack of learning in Atlanta is not a technical breakdown (ala “We need better teachers!”); rather, it is a motivational breakdown. 

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     Quite frankly and bluntly, we need a better (and more motivated) class of students with more responsible parents.  The intractable problems with which the beleaguered and disemboweled teachers of Atlanta have to contend are unimaginable.  The last thing that they need is another educational slut playing to the peanut gallery, trying to save her own incompetent and clueless hide.  The Atlanta teachers need support and respect from this shallow superintendent.  The MACE Mantra which has never been successfully contradicted (because it is an inexorable principle of action or law):  You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.

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http://m.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/major-overhaul-atlantas-struggling-schools-announc/nqFDk/

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