Note: Governor Nathan Deal names six appointees to the DeKalb County Board of Education on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Maureen Downey, the blog master of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Get School blog, posted an article and many people responded to what would be the result of these appointments. I responded. Below is most of what I wrote yesterday. Many people responded to what I was saying, some supporting my statements and some writing anonymous and nasty comments about me. The latter doesn’t really bother me because I know that I can answer them. But, it appears that Maureen Downey had finally caved in to the whiny weenies who can’t bear the thought that John Trotter is allowed to post unedited arguments. She began to take down my posts. I guess that that I offended the sensibilities of those who think that what SACS and the State School Board and the Governor did to the elected process is fine and dandy. I think that it is a crock. But, since I have many other websites and blogs upon which to post, who cares? Perhaps the AJC is a little embarrassed that it was MACE and me who began writing about the “gangsta school systems” of Atlanta and DeKalb, the systematic cheating, the screwy nature of the relationship of the State of Georgia to a private, money-grubbing company, SACS, and its megalomaniacal leader, Mark Elgart, among other issues. Anyway, here is most of what I wrote yesterday on the AJC’s Get Schooled blog, a blog which apparently is now engaging in old-fashioned censorship.
I have had lots of fun blogging through the years on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Get Schooled blog (as its logo and Maureen Downey‘s photo are featured above), but the newspaper’s weeny attitude toward political correctness is somewhat overly stained, resulting in a censorship which zaps the life out of an otherwise healthy journalistic undertaking. In this age of millions of websites and blogs, the AJC just can’t afford to be so nervous about offending those whiners who want to run off those who don’t agree with them. Maureen Downey should never be intimidated by anonymous whiners. But, apparently she is. Too bad. Maybe she ought to take up wine detection fulltime since she is considered a “sleuth do vinos.”
What will change? Nothing…when it comes to what really goes on in the schools. The new members of the school board will go out of their way to be nice in public. The county will essentially be left as a wasteland. No one is thinking this: “Wow, SACS and the Governor of Georgia have really cleaned up the DeKalb School System and improved education there. Let’s now move our company to DeKalb County.” This is laughable. What has changed is this: The State of Georgia has abdicated more of its responsibility to an outside influence, to a private, non-accountable, money-grubbing company which is full of conflicts of interest.
The State of Georgia has allowed SACS to destroy not just another school system but another county. The Governor can name whomever to the DeKalb County School Board…but nothing in the individual school buildings will change for the good. In fact, everything will get worse because, like in Clayton County, everyone will be afraid to even utter the word “pie” because it starts with a “p.” The problems fester and get much worse.
Let’s see now…since Savior Mark Elgart descended from the Alpharetta Heavens upon the lowly Nazarethic Clayton County, its anchor mall, Southlake Mall, just went into foreclosure. Yes, Markie Mark has really “helped” Clayton County. The Piccadilly Restaurant on Highway 85 in Riverdale closed. So did Lowe’s and Publix in Riverdale. D^mn! That Messiah from Alpharetta sure brought industry and big business back to Clayton County. I think that I hear that the Pharaoh Locust Company of Egypt will be moving into the Performing Art Center on Mt. Zion Boulevard next to Interstate 75 this April.
The Plague of Darkness was ushered into Clayton County by SACS in 2008, and I hear that reason that Eldrin Bell was fired by the voters was that he couldn’t pump enough sunshine into Clayton County. Mark Elgart and SACS has ushered in a perennial Tornado Watch. Clayton County was improved like the bombs had improved Dresden during World War II.
Maybe Eldrin and the other Clayton County leaders couldn’t find enough of the “good black people” like the Governor is apparently looking for in DeKalb County. Did the Governor actually say this? This is what I am hearing. It’s all about control and the money, folks. It’s not really about helping the teachers within the individual schools so that they can teach the students. The discipline is out of hand in the individual schools, but we haven’t heard Mark Elgart, SACS, or any Governor mention this one time about Clayton or DeKalb. Not one time. The teachers need to be empowered to do their jobs.
I presume that the Governor has found his “good black people.” Let’s see what they can do. Can they tap dance? Sing upon demand? Or, at least do the electric slide? Or were they duly-elected by the People of DeKalb County like they should have been in the first place? We all know that is wasn’t the latter? Mark Elgart is now the Director of the DeKalb County Philharmonic Orchestra. Nothing will change for the better. The schools will get worse because what goes on in each individual school will not be addressed.
The real problem in the DeKalb County School System is not the lack of holding hands and singing among school board members. The real problems are that teachers are not allowed to teach and not empowered to teach. The students are not held accountable for both academics and comportment. Haven’t you heard me say a zillion times what the problems are? First, defiant and disruptive students. Second, irate and irresponsible parents. Third, angry, abusive, incompetent, petty, and small-minded administrators. Finally, systematic cheating. Yes, we were the ones who kept harping on the systematic cheating too…way before the media got involved.
I wish these new board members well. I hope that they will be independent but I doubt seriously that they will be. They will be led around by Pharaoh Mark Elgart of Egypt…erh, Alpharetta.
Heck, since the Governor and his hallowed Committee can find such “good” people for the DeKalb County Board of Education, why don’t we just dispense with democracy all together in DeKalb…and Clayton…and Atlanta? Or, in the whole State of Georgia for that matter? Yes, let’s just declare that Democracy is Dead in Georgia. No more “Forward Atlanta” for “Georgia on the Move” campaigns in Georgia. Let’s just declare to the world, “Democracy is Dead in Georgia!” We let the Oligarchs choose our officeholders. Voters need not apply. No, sir, we will allow ALEC or Gridiron or the Gentlemen of the Piedmond Driving Club to put together a committee to choose the officeholders. After all, didn’t King George III appoint Sir James Wright to be the Royal Governor of Georgia?
Yes, let’s just go back to Royalty in Georgia. The Royals will rule. The Royals live in the Northern Ring of Alpharetta to Gainesville. SACS, the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, Mark Elgart, et al. Yes, why not bow down to the Royal Ring of North Georgia? We had the Bourbon Ring in the past. Yes, the Royal Ring Runs Georgia today. Those serfs who live below Interstate 20 need to be ruled by the Royal Ring of North Georgia. The Royal Ring can do anything without much opposition as long as it’s done “to help the children.”
I am having fun today, folks. This is comical. These modern day Gnostics actually think that they know more than the voters. D^mn! What hubris! What arrogance! Thomas Jefferson and Leroy Johnson are rolling over in their graves now. Someone has to stop this madness! I think that the descendants of the Royals will even look back on this non-sense one day and blush at the actions of their forefathers.
@ Private Citizen: My “love affair” is not with the former DeKalb School Board. My “love affair” is with democracy.
@ DeKalb County Grad: What “name-calling” and “mud-slinging”? May I not use metaphors? May I not just tell the truth? I told a colleague a few minutes ago that some of you guys don’t really want me to get very blunt. I could tell you what is really happening to the Voting Rights Act in very colorful language. But, some of the posters don’t give a heck about the Voting Rights Act…mainly because you have always been white and have never needed it. But, my immediate family and extended family have “children of color.” And I also know what happened to my ancestor who fought for black people in the Georgia Capitol. DeKalb County Representative Robert A. Alston was murdered in the Capitol on March 11, 1879. What was at stake? Money. The Convict Lease System. It’s all about the money.
Hey “living,” you have to satisfy the voters. Is this concept foreign to you? By the way, I don’t give a rat’s behind if I can across arrogant to you or anyone else. The height of arrogance is taking away the voter’s right to choose their elected officials.
No one is doubting these appointees’ credentials. I am not. I would not care if Governor Deal had appointed Junior Samples or Mitt Romney or David Axelrod. This is not the point. The point is this: The voters’ right to choose was summarily taken away. This is wrong, and I don’t give two cents what anyone else thinks. I don’t care if I am the only one on this blog or in this State of Gerogia who is willing to state this…with my own name attached to it.
Linda, we probably have strong, well-nourished egos…because, unlike you, we use our complete names and don’t really wither like wallflowers at your misguided and small-minded criticisms. Ha!
@ Maude: Is it “hate-filled” simply because it is the truth?
I haven’t mentioned “MACE” one time on this thread. But, you know what? I continue to notice that not one of you little digital-scaredy-cats have been able or willing to take on the content of what I have written. Not one. You just come out with pleas like, “Stop, Dr. Trotter!” or “Enough, Dr. Trotter!” or “MACE is corrupt!” or “MACE only helps rotten teachers!” or “MACE is a tiny third-rate union!” All of this is laughable and quite comical to me. You don’t know a thing about or about MACE, but you can only engage in ad hominem attacks because you simply lack the wherewithal to attack my statements or my ideas. Why? Because deep down in your hearts, you really know that I am right and that I just have to guts to state the truth. You don’t, and this is why you are frighteningly jealous of me. Jealousy is a powerful emotion.
@ “living”: Washington, D. C.’s mayor does appoint the school superintendent, and when Michelle Rhee became so enormously unpopular, she helped bring about the mayor’s defeat in the next election.
As for me, I like an elected State Board of Education. I don’t like that it is governor-appointed. I could go along with an elected state school board with an appointed superintendent (though I think that Dr. John Barge is doing a good job with his hands tied) but not appointed both. I actually prefer elected both…on the state level and the local level. I have worked in each type of set-up…appointed board and elected superintendent, appointed board and appointed superintendent, elected board and appointed superintendent, and elected board and elected superintendent. From my experiences, the last one works the best. When a superintendent and/or board members start acting like as$es, the voters just vote them out of office. This is much better than SACS and the Governor doing a hostile takeover.
@ “insider”: I am well aware of what the Founders intended. I understand the argument between “democracy” and “republic.” You may want to consult Richard Hofstadter’s American Political Tradition for detailed discussion here. But, are you willing to go back to all of the Founder’s original intent. Do we want to allow the General Assembly to select (not elect) our U. S. Senators? What about just returning to slavery and counting the slave’s a 3/5 of a person for Census purposes? I don’t think so. What proves too much proves nothing at all, “insider”?
@ “war eagle”: Two real doctorates…UGA and Mercer Law. Thinking about going back for a third. Perhaps Auburn. My dad earned his undergrad degree there in 1948. I grew up an Auburn fan, but gravitated to the Dogs when I earned two degrees there. I appreciate your concern about my education, “war eagle.” You see? We do have something in common.
@ Private Citizen: If you are going to engage in any exegesis of my writings, please try to get it right. I have never used the phrase “sl-t” to describe any principals. I reserve that very apt and descriptive word for the superintendents (males and females) who traipse around the country, jumping from one school board bed to the next, depending on what the school boards are willing to pay them. I also coined the phrase “gypsy superintendents” many years ago.
No, the school principals who seem to delight in inflicting pain on other human beings (mainly teachers) are called “b-tches.” Again, this is a very apt descriptor of how these principals (males and females) act.
Exegetical analyses are tricky. Please quote the person correctly. Thanks.
@ OriginalProf: I loved being called “the Svengali.” The AJC editorials called me that on more than one occasion. Called me even more comical names, but then, all of a sudden, the AJC apparently erased this data base from its digital archives. Perhaps the AJC began to realize that it wasn’t this “white puppet master” after all who was causing the problems in Clayton County. I just helped people (black and white) get elected in Clayton County…to many different offices (school board seats were minor and pretty easy for me to help them win). I liked the Clayton News/Daily columnist who wrote that I had “hypnotic powers.” So, I warn you…you better watch out and not read too much of what I write. I am sort of like Rasputin, I suppose.
Oh yes, and Mark Elgart and SACS have done wonders for the economy and aesthetics of Clayton County. Now Southlake Mall, the only anchor mall in Clayco, is in foreclosure. Lowe’s, Publix, and Piccadilly Restaurant have closed on Highway 85 in Riverdale. Yes, yes. This Saintly Messiah from the Heavenly Alpharetta descended with grace and mercy to save the little school children of Clayton County, and now the community is just wonderful. Now wonder the voters voted back in the crimefighter, Victor Hill. The thugs had taken over, and the voters needed their own thug, Victor Hill, to get the street thugs back in line. Had I still lived there, I too would have voted for Sheriff Hill. Yes, Markie Mark Elgart, your solution is wonderful. Let’s save this community by bombing it. Call in the Napalm! We want to help DeKalb like we helped Clayton! The sewage pipe is busted on 23rd Street. Let’s nuke all of 23rd Street. This ought to cure the leak!
@ Decatur Dad: Thanks for your encouragement! Some people are probably saying that I have quit preachin’ and have gone to meddlin’! Ha! The truth hurts. Didn’t St. Paul ask the Galatians: “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?”? Gal. 4.16, if my memory still serves me correctly.
Madge: Thanks for your encouraging word too. I too think that people know that I am just telling the truth. But, sometimes, people just don’t want to hear the truth. It is too inconvenient or too indicting. None of us is perfect. But, the good Master has taught us to treat others like we would want to be treated, right? How would the good people of Hall County feel if a governor (far be it a governor of a darker hue!) removed the duly-elected school members up there, regardless of perhaps some lack of college degrees and perhaps some crude mannerisms, and some occasional spit-spatting on the school board? How would these people feel? You would see chicken feathers flying all over Lake Lanier! Heck, the Governor Deal would have to marshal a State clean-up crew to remove the feathers from the lake…because it would be hurting the State’s tourism industry. DeKalb Citizens are no different. They too want to be treated with respect.
@ About Time: I knew nothing of Mr. Royal on the State Board. It was an unintended pun. Perhaps I am writing not “by inspiration” but by intuition. Is this splitting hairs? Ha! I am actually hunger now and about to head for lunch. This has almost been as fun as yesterday’s picket. And, just think, had I not asked Mr. Haynes for a one-day delay in another picket (tomorrow instead of today – I am getting a little too old for consecutive pickets!), I’d be on the picket line now and not conversing with my good friends in Maureenland. Life is good, and I amazed at how much fun I have every day!
By the way, Ned, I have some websites too. When we were in junior high and high school, we used to create our own publications (spoofs, of course). They were a hoot. The Boogerville Babbler. There is actually an area of Columbus, Georgia called “Boogerville.” The kids from this area of town attended my high school. In fact, I wrote a play spoofing Bibb City, Georgia, one of my favorite locales in Muscogee County. My professor in college wanted me to type it up. She wanted to submit it for a contest. I never did.
In law school at Mercer, we created our own law review for three years, The Malum Law Review. It was a real hoot! Much more lively and fun to read than the real and arid law reviews. Believe it or not, I have had very prominent lawyers asking for copies of The Malum Law Review. Not to read for much erudition but for entertainment, though many morsels of truth were hidden within the levity.
Ned, I just like to write. Bear with me. Be patient. I also like to tell the truth, and I certainly don’t mind stirring up the pot.
@ who stands for the children? I simply don’t think that appointed school board members make things better for the students and teachers. Look at Clayton County. It’s much, much worse now since SACS bulldozed its way in like the Soviet Army coming in with tanks into Prague. Much worse. In Clayton County, we have had to picket three times in the last two weeks, including against the interim superintendent, Luvenia Jackson. The school systems begin to think that they are not answerable to the voters and therefore can ignore such laws like the Certified Employee Complaint Statute (O. C. G. A. 20-2-989.5 et seq.). The students get rowdier and more defiant when they see that the teachers no longer have any way to keep them in line. The new SACS-blessed boards and superintendents apparently think that they are above the law and accountable only to SACS.
You may think that it is going to be better in DeKalb. You’re wrong. It will be much worse, although the school board may publicly sit quietly at the table and hold hands, singing “Kum Ba Ya.” The learning conditions will go down precipitously. You are correct in saying that our mantra at MACE has always been, “You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.” This is The MACE Law of Teaching. We stand for the children. We know what works. What works is not an appointed school board which thinks that it is not accountable to anyone except the Governor and SACS. These school board members begin to believe their own press releases…and think that the Star of Bethlehem was shining above their heads, that people saw this light, and this is why they were chosen.
By the way, I like the name “Pope Francis I” for the new pope. I also like the fact that he comes from the Americas where about 40% of all Catholics live. The first from the Americas.
@ Insider: I see that you didn’t answer the 3/5 question but instead chose to attack me. Ha! OK. No problem. I knew that would not be able to answer it…and it goes to blow your whole contention apart. The original intent was indeed to simply count the slaves as 3/5 of a person for the Census purposes. Should we go back to that? Why do you want to observe the “pass over” on this question? You just seem to want to pass right over on this and engage in an okey-doke type attack. “You’re playing the race card!” No, I am just stating the obvious and you jump up and down and scream “race!” There is a difference in playing the race card and simply pitching a fast ball right across the plate. Talking about race is not playing the race card. Using your logic, the U. S. Supreme Court could never have talked about race in the Dred Scott decision (1857), the Plessy decision (1895), or the Brown decision (1954). Insider, I have found that white people want to think about race and talk about it privately but get real nervous, nasty, and defensive when it is brought up in a public forum like this. Or, some posters want to put forth a lot of racist spiel (and fortunately, Maureen catches this). But, an open and frank discussion about race is a “no no.” You know what I am talking about…like why the Cobb County School Board is allowed to have 57 closed, illegal school board meetings without SACS doing anything? Or, why the superintendent in Gwinnett is allowed to NOT report 45,000 serious disciplinary incidents to the State, which is required by law?
I have more to say (to the chagrin of many) but have yet to make it to the restaurant. I am hungry!
Maureen, I am so disappointed. I have been away from this blog now for many hours and when I returned, I was sure to find at least one noble and intelligent poster who could make one cogent argument in contradiction to any thing that I have written today…or any day. No, all I see are anonymous and immature ad hominem attacks. My feelings are bruised. Ha! Not.
I guess that I am your best heel on this blog. I am proud of that. I can get the marks really fired up…almost as well as Buddy Colt, Ox Baker, or Ric Flair. As a former ringer announcer of professional wrestling (at 19 years old), I think that I understand the mark-mindset. The marks get blinded in their screech at the heels. Of course, the heels always make the most money because they put more fannies in the seats. Wrestling fans will spend their last dollar to get back to the arena to see the baby face beat the heel. Heels can stay in one territory longer than baby faces. Wrestling fans tire of baby faces but never tire of hating the heels. Screaming, hollering, and slinging all kinds of vile and nasty comments toward the heels. The heels laugh all of the way to the bank.
One of the best heels to convert over to the baby face side was the Dream himself, Dusty Rhodes (Virgil Runnels in real life). What a card! He is my favorite of all time. He and Dick Murdoch were the Texas Outlaws in the early 1970s. Then, Dusty bolted and became a baby face. I remember seeing the headlines in a wrestling magazine in the summer of 1976 with this ominous question: “The Question Terrifying the Wrestling World…Will Dusty Rhodes Turn Bad Again?” Ha! I love this.
Maybe I can have a personal metamorphosis…and emerge as a blogging baby face! Perhaps I could change my name to Dusty Trotter. But, right now, I am enjoying being your best heel on Get Schooled. You have to admit that I cause more unnecessary angst among your brave and anonymous bloggers. I am always willing to have thoughtful dialecticals about what really works in public education, but when some of my fellow bloggers act like hyperventilating wrestling fans, then I treat them like the marks that they apparently are.
“Trying out the new name. How y’all like it? It feels pretty good.”
I wrote the lines above under the new name of “Dr. Dusty Trotter,” but Mr. Filter would not let it post. Wow. I guess that I am stuck with the name of “Dr. John Trotter” while blogging under my email address. Maureen, help me, OK? I was actually trying this anonymous blogging stuff. It’s scary! Everyone would have probably figured out that “Dr. Dusty Trotter” was really me anyway. Darn it! It looks like I am stuck at being a heel for a while. So much for dreams of being the Dream himself. So much for being a loved baby face. I guess I am back to the role of Tony Montana: “You need me! Make way for the bad guy!” Ha!
Maureen, I see that you are now engaging in great censorship. I have responded to some of the very vicious attacks on me with whimsical levity, but you have taken down my posts and left up my critics’ who engage in nothing but ad hominem and anonymous attacks. When you start censoring my well-thought-out and cogent arguments because you have some (or one?) person whining about me but a person who cannot take on a single thing that I say, then I start to drift away. Perhaps that is your wishes. Fine.