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.
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).
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.
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.”
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!