Welcome To Georgia Teachers Speak Out!

Teacher, if you are mad as heck, frustrated by

your administrator’s insensitivity, rudeness,

and churlish, ignorant, and petulant ways, and

at your wits’ end, remember that there are other teachers                   

out there in similar situations. 

Whereas your spouse, significant other, or

friends may tire of hearing your stories each

day, you can get on Georgia Teachers Speak

Out! and befriend other teachers, be consoled

by them, and let off some steam!  This is good

for your mental health!

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10 Responses to Welcome To Georgia Teachers Speak Out!

  1. In DeKalb Too Long... says:

    Don’t believe anything that the Crawford Lewis Administration says in DeKalb County. Bullying takes place constantly. I have been teaching in DeKalb for 22 year. About five years toooooooooo long. It is time to go. The students, the parents, and the administration just use the teachers as puncing bags. Frusrated in DeKalb.

  2. Jerry says:

    I taught in southeastern Georgia (on the coast) for ten years. Got a divorce and thought the grass was greener in the Atlanta area. I agree with the previous blogger. This is my 14th year in DeKalb, and quite frankly, I don’t know if I can make another six years. The students are awful. The parents are just as bad. The administrations totally kow-tows to these two groups. Teachers are treated like 3rd or 4th class citizens. Certainly not as professionals but as the enemy. I have a principal who, as a person, is pretty nice, but he is totally afraid of the parents and their little hellion children. The school is totally out-of-control. The principal is a nice guy but just a chicken shit.

  3. Dr. John Trotter says:

    Roy Barnes is a smart man, but I just don’t think that he gets it. The problem in public education is not “standards.” It’s “discipline,” Governor. The schools are chaotic, especially in the more urban settings. This is just the truth. No way to dress it up. Students curse out the teachers, are defiant on a regular basis, won’t even bring a pencil or paper to class (much less books), bully fellow students and the teachers, and are simply not engaged in academe. This is not true of all the students, but this is the general rule with the many thugs who are both running and ruining our public schools. Governor, there are four main problems in public education, and if you could come to grips with these problems and not offer up the easy political answer for failing public schools (like “We need highter and stricter standards”), then I could possibly support you, my fellow Bulldog. You, dear Governor Barnes, are very smart, efficient, and effective in governing but if you cannot come to grips with the real problems in public schooling, then I can do no other except to work against your election. These are the preeminent problems in public schooling in Georgia (and probably across America) today: (1) Defiant and Disruptive Students; (2) Irate and Irresponsible Parents; (3) Angry and Abusive Administrators; and (4) Widespread and Systematic Cheating on Grading and Testing. Now, Governor Barnes, if you would accept this reality and start pounding the theme that you want to restore the authority of the teachers in their classrooms and that you want to remove the thugs from our schools, then you will realize that the same teachers who worked so hard against you in 2002 (and who are still so reluctant to accept your candidacy now) would jump on your bandwagon and go to work for you. Learn something from the Bill Clinton playbook after he was turned out of office in Arkansas and was the youngest ex-Governor in (perhaps the history of) America. Just apologize to the teachers and quit using them as political fodder. You teacher-(like race)baited in 2002. It back-fired on you in 2002, and it will destroy you again if you do not demonstrate to the teachers of Georgia that you have finally seen the light. Swallow that pride, show some genuine remorse (ala Mike Vick), and your fortunes (at least among teachers) will probably change. If you don’t, then you don’t at your own political peril. Teachers do vote, and they also persuade others. (c) MACE, 2009

  4. Why should I speak out? says:

    To the blog moderator,

    I want to believe there really is a forum out there for teachers. But how do I know I can speak out, as you encourage, and not be retaliated against? What protections are in place in case a school system doesn’t like what I say, and wants to track down my email address?

    If you know anything about teaching, you have to know about retaliation, and you should assure the teachers you are asking to speak out that their anonymity will be protected.

    Lord knows they need it, and a forum to express it on.

  5. thegeorgiacitizen says:

    Your name and email address will remain completely confidential. But, I have a better idea…just make up a name and an email address. It doesn’t bother us one bit. Anonymity for teachers is good. We are very aware of how petty administrators can be. So, just make up a name (e.g., “Red Rooster” or “Fulton’s Folly”) and give us an email address like RedRooster12345@hotmail.com. We are not trying to gather information on anyone. We just want to provide a safe haven and forum for teachers to speak their minds. GoobledeegookRussianCzarEatingPeanutButter@Yahoo.Com. See how easy it is?!

  6. Incredulous says:

    Dear Moderator, There has been a wealth of responses to several posts concerning furloughs and SPED on the AJC Get Schooled Blogs. I’d like to see a post that encourages respondants to offer up specific examples of wasteful spending and administrative bloat in their districts. For example; systems that double dip central office personell and have few students to warrant additonal school administrators. Numbers of students compared to school administrators and central office personell then compared to other counties would be a great way to highlight budget abuses. The way to chase a roach out of the corner is to shine some light on it.

  7. Concerned Faculty, Staff and Public says:

    URGENT:
    It has been brought to our attention that when Georgia public teachers and the GAE are sending emails to the “Talk to the Governor” online website – PLEASE include the following question:

    “Why is the University System of Georgia hiding major “deferred presidential compensation” packages to USG presidents while the Governor states he has “no authority” to step in and yet public teachers now have mandated furloughs while the USG Presidents are lining their pockets secretly with Foundation and State funds?”

    “Why is the Governor and the State Government not mandating any accountability to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia which has allowed undisclosed “deferred presidential
    compensations” with state and foundation funds when the state is facing major budget cuts
    that have affected the funds to our childrens’ educational funds and mandated teacher furloughs while the pockets of USG presidents are quietly being filled even further (and not disclosed to the public)?”

    One example: It has been confirmed by the State Office of Inspector General that President David Bell, Macon State College, is scheduled to receive $600,000 in January (less than 5 months) – yet his ability to run the college has been in question for now over 2 years and will be addressed in September 2010 in a major Georgia Whistleblower Protection Act Case No. 2009CV165267 in Fulton County Superior Court No. 2009CV165267

    Below are some of the media email addresses that were used with the recent Editorial entitled, “Wake Up Georgia” that has yet to be published (due to fear of newspapers losing their ad revenue from local colleges).

    FYI: MEDIA EMAIL ADDRESSES:

    gamed@georgiasouthern.edu; editor@randb.com; eyewitnessnews@13wmaz.com; me@glennbeck.com; john.gogick@augustachronicle.com; tim@griffindailynews.com; Editor@macondaily.com; jhealy@statesboroherald.com; kay.harris@gaflnews.com; jamese.fraley@gmail.com; jfarmer@gapress.org; brad@11thhouronline.com; jgalloway@ajc.com; columbustimes@knology.net; atlanta@bizjournals.com; ryan.blackburn@onlineathens.com; jim.thompson@onlineathens.com; bholden@ledger-enquirer.com; tom.barton@savannahnow.com; obrown@macon.com, tfain@macon.com; awomack@macon.com, foxaroundtheworld@foxnews.com; newsmanager@foxnews.com

    EDITORIAL: “WAKE UP GEORGIA!”
    Budget cuts for education unfair as University Presidents receive undisclosed “Golden Parachute” bonuses

    On July 23, Charles Richardson wrote on behalf of the Macon Telegraph editorial board regarding the State’s finances, “It is fairly clear what the Georgia Legislature deems important, and it has nothing to do with the welfare of the state’s citizens and even less to do with the state’s children.”

    For almost a year, concerned citizens have been trying to roust slumbering Georgians from their dreams to face the nightmare occurring with our state’s finances – especially as it pertains to the Board of Regents. And, although we are sounding the alarm, citizens, legislatures, media and even Gov. Perdue are failing to stir from their somnolence to see the massive cover-ups occurring in Higher Education. These cover-ups, once exposed and challenged, are costing tax-payers millions of dollars and they are costing our children the education they deserve.

    One of the many cover-ups we seek to expose is the issue of hundreds of thousands of dollars in “Golden Parachutes,” which are paid to University System of Georgia presidents as “deferred presidential compensations” in addition to approximately $7,341,481 in gross yearly salaries. While citizens can consult a website to see the compensation paid to each University president, these presidential compensations are nowhere to be found.

    Case in point, in 2007, Macon State College President David Bell received $203,920.98 and travel reimbursement of $4,058.22. In 2008, Bell received a salary of $212,409.48 and travel reimbursement of $3721.42, according to the website http://www.open.georgia.gov/sta/search.aud. Additionally, in a letter to Chancellor Erroll Davis, Bell thanked him for the “generous” increase he will receive for the fiscal year 2009 (the exact figures are not yet posted on the website).

    In addition to his “generous” salary, Dr. Bell is also slated to receive a “Golden Parachute” in January 2010 in the amount of $600,000 and has an undisclosed annual amount of “supplements” for “miscellaneous, housing, etc.”

    The State of Georgia will provide $200,000 of the compensation while the MSC Foundation will provide $400,000. Lest anyone think I am singling out Dr. Bell, please understand that MANY Georgia presidents receive additional salary that is not disclosed to taxpayers.

    When I questioned Gov. Perdue about these compensations, he failed to respond to me directly. Instead he had Rob Watts, USG Chief Operating Officer, respond to me. He stated “The pay plan to which you refer is a deferred compensation program . . .” Watts explained that “Deferred compensation is simply employment pay that is deferred until some later time, generally after the fulfillment of some multi-year obligation or the attainment of retirement.”

    The reply from Watts raised new questions:

    1. Why isn’t the deferred compensation reflected on the government website that discloses pay for University presidents? The website grossly understates the actual compensation for University System of Georgia presidents.
    2. If this exorbitant compensation is truly employment pay, why aren’t all of the funds taken from the State of Georgia budget instead of from Foundations whose primary purpose is to raise funds for scholarships and direct betterment of the students?

    It has been nine days and I have yet to receive a response from either Rob Watts or Gov. Perdue. Perhaps they are having trouble putting the appropriate spin on their answers.

    This is only one nightmare that Georgians are sleeping through. More serious issues will be covered in the Fulton County Superior Court. The defendants in a Georgia Whistleblower Protection Act case are: The Board of Regents; Chancellor Erroll Davis; Rob Watts, USG Chief Operating Officer; Burnes Newsome, VC Legal Affairs; David Bell, President Macon State College, Levy Youmans, VP for Fiscal Affairs (MSC) and John Cole, new VP at MSC.

    And it’s not just the government who is playing the game of cover-up. In an effort to bring attention to this matter and get citizens to stand against corruption in the University System, emails have been sent to media outlets across the state. However, none of the media has seen fit to answer the emails or print an investigative article addressing issues of “golden parachutes,” questions of who is really running MSC in light of Bell’s failing health, and punitive action taken against anyone who questions the status quo.

    Could it be that the University System of Georgia and its institutions of higher education are too valuable to the media as advertisers? Has money become more important than integrity? The code of ethics of Journalism states, “The duty of the journalist is to [enlighten the public] by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.” By not covering this story, media outlets are ruining their credibility as a member of the fourth estate, watchdogs for the masses.

    Since Gov. Perdue seems intent on letting the University System of Georgia govern itself, and since the media appears not to want to bite the hand that feeds them, it’s up to the citizens of Georgia to take a stand.

    “WAKE UP GEORGIA!” Those government monsters doling out presidential bonuses guised as salary and the media goblins unwilling to reveal questionable practices of the University System of Georgia are real and they are harming our children.

    While education funds are cut and college students are asked to pay higher activity fees for fewer services, how can our legislators and governors justify bonus parachutes equaling approximately 10 years salary of middle-class Georgia taxpayers?

    Put an end to the nightmares TODAY! Contact Gov. Perdue and let him know that we won’t put up with cover-ups and bonuses that rival the national AIG mess. Voice your comments and concerns at :
    http://gov.georgia.gov/00/gov/contact_us/0,2657,78006749_94820188,00.html

    Or simply go to the “Georgia Governor” website and look at the bottom of the left hand side that says: Talk to the Governor

    EMAILS NEED TO BE SENT TODAY.
    THANK YOU.

  8. NOTE: This is a response to a Crosby fellow who was featured in the AJC blog (“Get Schooled”). He is a teacher in California and is advocating merit pay, among other things.

    What does Brother Crosby propose to do with the ass-hole, kiss-up, weasling, and booger-eatin’ administrators who immediately label any teacher a “trouble-maker” when ANYTHING is questioned? (Maureen, you ably pointed out the notion that questioning teachers are labeled “trouble-makers” in your “Endangered [T]eachers” article of July 6, 2009 on the “Opinion” page of the AJC.) These are the same administrators who would sell their own mothers “down the river” to ensure that they can hold on to their high-paying jobs and lifestyles. They use the evaluative process in a manipulative, punitive, and retributive manner. They do not tolerate anyone who deigns (1) to point out that some students are acting like hellions and that the teachers need administrative support in order to deal with these miscreant “students” (yes, “miscreant” because their behaviors often cross the line into criminality) or (2) to refuse to simply “go along to get along,” especially when issues of conscience are involved (like lying about student attendance in order to cook the books for No Child Left Behind or changing answers on students’ test sheets so that the Pharoah-Superintendents won’t terminate, demote, or transfer them). Merit pay has never worked in public education because students are not inanimate objects floating down a conveyor belt in a factory. Students have various IQ levels, have different motivational levels, and definitely come from different home environments which make all the difference in the world. I worked in a public school system in Georgia which was the only school system in the State which actually practiced differentiated pay for teachers. This same school system was hailed in Time Magazine and Reader’s Digest as a forward-looking and progressive school system in Georgia because of “merit pay.” I was allowed to look at the teachers’ salaries at the school, and I can assure you that the salaries did NOT correlate to a teacher’s skill or dedication as a teacher but to the number of butts that his or her lips had pucker up to or whose spouse this teacher was attached to. It was all about politico-familial connections and/or butt-kissing. These factors determined who got the “best” group of kids and who got the “merit” pay. When you can control the input variables, then, and only then, perhaps will some form of “merit” pay work. Until then, it is just a sham and a farce. Teachers start rat-holing everything from teaching materials, lesson plans, and insightful ideas. Teachers become suspicious of each other and very uncooperative. In fact, they begin to act like 2nd and 3rd year law students who are competitively angling to be hired (or, “enslaved”) by the silk stocking law firms. (c) MACE, August 14, 2009.

  9. CO Ghost says:

    From: http://thehallmonitor.wordpress.com/

    Graduation Games
    Posted on July 15, 2009 by Hallconcern

    Let’s take a closer look at AYP in our high schools. Graduation rates and the graduation tests are the big deal here as mentioned in the article. http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/article/21112/
    It seems that there is now a practice (last 2 years or so) where the students who may be graduating without an actual diploma, but with a Certificate of Performance, (these students would count against the graduation rate and passing rates for the graduation tests and therefore AYP for the schools) are systematically being transferred to the Lanier Career Academy right before graduation (a matter of days in some cases).

    This increases all the other 6 high school’s graduation rates artificially. The Career Academy is small and is never expected to do all that well any way so no biggie on AYP there. In fact on the State AYP site it reads “There are not enough students in this school for the AYP determination to be
    statistically reliable, therefore an AYP determination has not been made for this
    school. These students are included in the District and State AYP reports.” in reference to the Career Academy. (http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/ayp2008/overview.asp?SchoolID=669-0105-a-1-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0)

    Interesting. Let’s look at some numbers found on the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement site regarding Hall County students receiving Certificates of Performance over the past few years now ( http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=111&PID=62&PTID=69&CountyId=669&T=0&FY=2008 ) (look under the Report card tab for each school and then under the “Indicators” tab for information on High School Completers).

    Numbers for the 2005-06 school year for the Lanier Career Academy show 12 students graduating with a Certificates of Performance. In 2006-07 The Career Academy had 16 students graduating with a Certificates of Performance. In 2007-08 (the same year Hall County finally made AYP in all High Schools I believe) The Career Academy has a whopping 47 students graduating with a Certificates of Performance. Wow! What is that – something like a 48% increase from 2006-07? HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?!

    Good question. Let’s look at the other 6 High Schools now.

    If you look at the 6 combined (excluding the Career Academy) in 2005-06 they had 97 students graduating with a Certificates of Performance. In 2006-07 the 6 reported 91 students graduating with a Certificates of Performance. In 2007-08 they reported 28, about a 48% decrease from the year before. Oh I see now. Tricky tricky!! It seems like they are transferring the kids that will hurt their scores to the Career Academy between the taking of the Graduation tests and actual graduation. Neat trick! Really helps to make that pass on AYP.

    So in 2006-07 the Career Academy had 16 students out of the Hall County District’s 107 students receiving a Certificate of Performance. In 2007-08 The Career Academy had 47 out of the Hall County District’s 75 students receiving a Certificate of Performance. Unreal! Any statisticians out there want to compute those odds?

    All schools were fairly consistent in their Certificate of Performance numbers between 2005-06 to 2006-07. However, from 2006-07 to 2007-08, West Hall High went from 17 students graduating with a Certificates of Performance down to 0. Johnson High went from 23 to 8. North Hall High stayed at 8 for both years (not going to pull that up there I guess). Chestatee High went from 17 to 2. Flowery Branch High went from 12 to 10 (after being at 19 the year prior) and East Hall High went from 14 to 0.

    Haven’t looked at the numbers for 2008-09 yet, but I will bet quite a bit that they are low again at the 6 high schools and higher at the Career Academy as it seems they did the same thing.

    Have to wonder how ethical this is? Is it cheating? Is it fraud? You be the judge.

    Also have to wonder if a disproportionate number of these students are economically disadvantaged, special needs or of a certain minority status.

    And these folks want more freedom from oversight and rules. I guess so!

    I also have to throw this in: A couple of articles this past week have reported that AYP and test scores are not the name of the game and are the wrong focus for the current Hall County School Superintendent and administration. Then why is the Superintendent currently at a conference on Jekyll Island this week presenting on better ways to hold teachers accountable based solely on CRCT scores?

    Just curious.

    Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Education, Hall County | 15 Comments »

  10. This is a different proposition. Please consider it. I am from India on a toursit visa to US. In India we are all out praise for the US teachers and their method of teaching. There is great scope for these respected teachers to open institution affilated to US education board. Affluent parents in India are ready to pay in US dollar as fees to these institution of teachers who will shape up their words future. So why not these teachers group up and try in this line and beat the job loss. If they require I am ready to work as a ladder completely free of charge as a mark of my respect to these hapless respectable teaching fraternity of United States of America.

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