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.

MACE meme II

     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.


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. 



     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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About the Georgia Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES): It is a Matter of Control. Now the Students are in Complete Control, and Now the Teachers Have to Adjust to Their Wishes and Accommodate Their Styles. Metaphorically Speaking, Yes, the Prisoners are Really Running the Prison!


About the Georgia Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES): It is a Matter of Control. Now the Students are in Complete Control, and Now the Teachers Have to Adjust to Their Wishes and Accommodate Their Styles. Metaphorically Speaking, Yes, the Prisoners are Really Running the Prison!

By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD

     I imagine back to the late 1960s and the early 1970s when I was in high school and taking classes from the likes of Ms. Gibson, Mrs. Hayes, Mrs. Crie, Col. Jenkins, and others. I did not have Mrs. Bland for Senior English, but she was legendary. It was almost impossible to make an A in her class. She was very tough. You had to work very hard to get out of that class with a decent grade, but her former students rave about how good of an English teacher she was. I don’t know if a single one of these great teachers would last in today’s teacher environment. I don’t think that they would want to survive. They, I think, would lay aside public school teaching before suffering the indignities that teachers have to endure today. Teachers today are snoopervised by insultants (not consultants), told what they can teach, when they can teach, and how many mediocre or poor grades they they can issue, and then they are told that the State will hold them responsible if a student (and I use this word loosely) simply refuses to do any school work which today is very prevalent among these so-called students.

In the old days, the student had to accommodate himself to the teacher. He had to adjust his way of learning to the teacher’s style of teaching. All of today’s mandates placed upon the teacher to differentiate his or her instruction is bullsh-t and counterproductive. The ludicrous mandates for teachers to be more student-centered are also bullsh-t. These crazy-a$$ mandates undermine the authority of the teacher and makes the teacher a solicitous fool at the mercy of mendacious children and miscreant teenage thugs who have no intention of learning.

Let’s face the hard facts: All of the disingenuous angst and wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth have nothing to do with motivated students. The motivated students will learn in any type of teaching environment, whether is is 100% teacher lectures, teacher-directed research, games, role-playing, etc., or any combination of teaching methods. But, the lazy and completely unmotivated and determined-not-to-learn-but-simply-disrupt-the-classrom-environment-students and their parents will look for any excuse to blame the teachers for the abysmal lack of effort of these students so-called students. The stupid and scared and spineless politicians and will hasten to blame the teachers for the failure of the parents and their children. The onus and responsibility of the so-called students’ abject failure to learn should be placed squarely in the laps of their indulgent and irresponsible parents. The teachers can only teach the children; they can’t learn the students, despite any perverse and foolish TKES evaluation system in place. An attorney can only defend a client; he cannot acquit the client. A medical doctor can only treat a patient; she cannot heal the patient.


Giving the students who are determined not to learn the power to evaluate the teacher and counting this evaluation-retaliation score and the students’ scores on a standardized test as 50% of the teacher’s total evaluation score is a perverted and evil notion that is the result of the muddled and mindless thinking (or, rather, the lack thereof) of moronic educational dumba$$e$ (EDAs). This empty-headed thinking will decapitate the teaching profession in Georgia…just like Governor Nathan Deal’s Opportunity School Districts (OSDs) will decapitate public schools in Georgia and only grease the palms of this political supporters. This is why MACE was on the streets in March of this past year in front of the Georgia Capitol, calling Deal “Governor ISIS.” He is by far the worst public education governor in the history of Georgia. The worst. He is a step-and-fetch-it child for Bill Gates’s and Eli Broad’s not-too-subtle attempt to to dismantle and destroy public education. He is the billionaires’ willing an excited acolyte. Maybe he too will be rewarded with a “consultancy” within the billionaires’ entangling largess and labyrinth when he exits the Governor’s Mansion.. Always follow the money. The teachers are pitiable pawns in this power game and this money grab. © JRAT, January 18, 2016.

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Georgia Representative Darryl Jordan: Stop Bashing Teachers!

Note:  I have personally known Representative Darryl Jordan for 25 years or longer.  He joined the Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE) the first week that MACE was in operation in 1995.  He is a Charter Member, and his siblings were/are members of MACE also.  Representative Jordan was a loyal member of MACE until the day that he retired as a Classroom Educator.  He first got elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2000 and has served the People of Georgia since 2000.  For years he was a Classroom Educator in the Henry County Schools while still serving under the gold dome.  I dare say that he has more practical understanding of what goes on in public schooling than does any other person serving under the gold dome, including the governor.  He understands the issues and knows what could and should be done to fix the problems. — Dr. John Trotter.

Stop Bashing Teachers!

 By Rep. Darryl W. Jordan

     I was elected by the people to represent them in the Georgia General Assembly in 2000, and almost from the moment that I assumed my duties under the gold dome in January of 2001, we had a Governor from my party attacking the teaching profession in political advertisements, blaming the teachers for the ills of public education. This governor led the charge to take away due process rights for public school teachers in Georgia. He was met with ignoble defeat in 2002 by an under-financed Republican candidate. This candidate led the charge to restore those same due process rights for the Georgia public school teachers. But around the same time, President George W. Bush and U. S. Senator Edward Kennedy led the charge to impose the onerous and ineffective No Child Left Behind Act upon the schools of this country, demanding that schools with lower test schools were to be exposed and embarrassed and entire staffs at those schools were to be removed for the so-called “failing” test scores.

Rep Jordan with others

Rep. Jordan, a man of the People.

     The aforementioned Republican governor did not leave office before he signed onto the current Secretary of Education’s plan to “bribe” the schools with billions of dollars appropriated by the U. S. Congress to go along with the foolish and idiotic Race to the Top program, a program just as fallaciously founded as was the previous No Child Left Behind program. Only this time, the teachers are treated more punitively than before, with their performance being judged by the ratings from their students and, of course, from the students’ performance upon standardized tests (which are normed, meaning that half the students in the country will be judged to be “below the national average”), tests which only examine verbal-linguistic skills and math-analytical skills. The curriculum became very narrow. History, science, the arts (band, drama, chorus, art, etc.), physical education, civics, and vocational education were assigned not just second row seats but back row seats on this educational bus.

The assumption of all of these faulty and so-called reforms is that students are not learning because teachers are not teaching. This is the predicate, viz., that if we improve the teaching, then the learning will automatically improve. This is a wrong theory. Very wrong. I taught students from all walks of life for more than 30 years in Georgia’s public schools. My two parents and four siblings have also been career educators in Georgia public schools. This is not my first rodeo. I know that three things are essential to student learning. I will borrow a concept or two from The MACE Manifesto, a 615 page tome published by two of my friends, Dr. John Trotter and Mr. Norreese Haynes, in 2014. Trotter and Haynes fluently articulate what I have always observed and have known in my career as an educator. You first have to have discipline in the classroom. Without an orderly classroom environment, no learning will take place. The teachers have to be supported by the school administration in this facet, not snoopervised, smothered, and undermined. The students sense when a teacher is either supported or undermined by the administration. Classroom discipline is paramount, but you won’t hear the so-called school reformers (be they Bill Gates or Eli Broad) or educrats breathing a word about classroom discipline. It doesn’t matter what the curriculum is if the students are bouncing off the walls.

The second thing that matters in the learning process is aptitude. Not all students are as gifted academically (in the narrow areas of math and verbal skills) as not all students are as gifted as others in public speaking, arts skills, history, science, drama, athletics, vocational skills, or music. The students just have to have certain aptitudes. We should not judge our students for having different gifts – or skills or talents or whatever you want to call them. We certainly should not bash the teachers because certain students whom they teach may not have the same giftedness in the same areas. Howard Gardner of the Harvard Graduate School of Education has identified close to ten areas of intelligence but our politicians and educrats still want to judge all students in just two narrow areas. This is morally reprehensible.

The last important factor in student learning is motivation. If a student does not want to learn, he or she will not learn. If a student comes to class with the intention of putting forth no effort at all to learn, then why bash the teachers for the student’s determination not to learn? Neither U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan nor Bill Gates could make a student learn if he or she is determined not to learn.

Since A Nation at Risk was published in 1983, there has been an open season of bashing on public school teachers, but in recent years, it has gotten so out-of-hand here in Georgia that we are now facing a teacher shortage. Our public school teachers are treated like hired hands instead of the professionals that they were trained to be. The State tells them what to teach, how to teach, and when to teach. There is no room for creativity or discretion. A professional is a person who has acquired the level of education to be allowed to use his or her professional discretion, wisdom, and judgment. But, the only “judgment” and condemnation today comes from the petty, myopic, petulant, and abusive administrators who are riding herd on the teachers. The teachers are suffocating and they yearn to be freed up to teach and not just jump through rings like circus animals. I will end this by quoting my friends again. On the outside cover of their book they have this quote: “You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.”


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Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES), Georgia Teacher Evaluation System (GTEP), etc., are Useless if the Student Discipline is Totally out of Control!

By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD

     I am been around public education in Georgia my entire life, and I am approaching 62 years old.  In the old days, teachers were the kings and queens of their classroom.  What they said went, and the administrators upheld their decisions and supported them in disciplinary matters.  You always had some “weak sister”-type administrators.  But, they were usually the exceptions to the rule.  Today, if is very rare to find an administrator who supports teachers and makes the students behave.  The moronic administrators refuse to address the out-of-control disciplinary problems in our public schools.  A couple of days ago, a teacher called me and said, “Dr. Trotter, Pointe South Middle School is out of control! The students are cursing out teachers and everything!”  MACE showed up at Pointe South Middle School.  The response from teachers was very favorable.  They are under attack, as are teachers nearly everywhere these days.

MACE - JT meaning business

Dr. John Trotter has been the Chairman of MACE since its inception in 1995.


A hot July picket in Atlanta when Beverly Hall was still in power.  She was later indicted.


A rainy picket in DeKalb when Crawford Lewis was still in power.  He was later indicted.

     These pitiful administrators these days try to “solve” problems by emphasizing more adherence to details lesson plans — but  meantime the students are bouncing off the walls.  The administrators are afraid of the students.  They don’t want to deal with the discipline.  They bury their heads in the proverbial sand.  They hide in their offices, and if a teacher complains about the lack of support in discipline, they start writing up the teachers.  What is sad is that one bad Annual Evaluation can lead to the termination of a career of a bright and dedicated teacher.  All because the administrator — the groveling and ass-kissing administrator — is too incompetent and scared to make the students behave and prefers to use the TKES program (GTEP in yesteryear) to get rid of a teacher who is willing to stand up and speak out (professionally, mind you) about the deplorable teaching conditions.

     At MACE, the mantra has always been this:  MACE is entering its 21st year protecting and empowering classroom educators…one member at a time.  MACE is entering its 21st year protecting and empowering classroom educators…one member at a time!

Lesson plans

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Atlanta Superintendent, Meria Carstarphen, is New but Embattled and Still Catching Hell!

Atlanta.  Cheating, cheating, cheating.  Spending money, money, and money.  Nothing changes.  APS.  Always Pushing Shit.

APS - Atlantic Station 1

Last Monday, we went to the Central Office to meet with some people who could make things happen, but lo and behold!  Guess what?  One-thirty Trinity Avenue was virtually empty.  Yes, virtually empty.  The inhabitants were at The Twelve.

APS - Atlantic Station 2

We see that Arlanta’s new and already embattled superintendent, Meria Carstarphen, wants to abolish a large number of Music, Art, and P. E. positions but she still wants to have a three-day conference for 200 APS Central Office educrats at the swanky Twelve Hotel in the elite and private Atlantic Station.  APS’s administrative costs per student already overwhelmingly dwarf what other school systems pay out per student.  And for what?  Very underwhelming results, especially when you deduct the systematic cheating on the standardized tests and the systematic cheating on the scoring of grades and the systematic cheating of changing of permanent record grades, the latter of which is more pernicious and egregious than cheating on standardized tests.

APS - Atlantic Station 3

SSDS.  Same Shit.  Different Superintendent.

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Teaching: A Battered & Beleaguered Profession


Note: Originally I intended to write a rather long and detailed article on some outrageous happenings in the school systems in McDuffie, Murray, and Montgomery Counties in Georgia, but as I was getting started on this article, I realized that more needed to be said about how teachers in general were being professionally battered on a regular basis throughout Georgia and the United States, resulting in a beleaguered, disheartened, disenchanted, and disemboweled profession which no longer resembles anything like a true profession but more like forced labor in some Gulag-type camp. Since teachers are so often living on the edge and are afraid to speak out for their jobs’ sake, I wanted to lend my voice as an advocate for their cause. I will publish each chapter on one of my many personal blogs, as Mr. Haynes and I initially composed The MACE Manifesto: The Politically Incorrect, Irreverent, and Scatological Examination of What is Wrong with American Public Education (Big Daddy Publishers, 2014, 615 pages) on This book (hopefully not near a large as The MACE Manifesto) will be published a chapter at a time on


The Crushing of Super Star Teachers and the Implosion of Public Schooling in America: A Case Study of Three Rural School Systems in Georgia (McDuffie, Murray, and Montgomery Counties).

Chapter One

By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD

     In the last three months, I have written around 20 articles, many of which have dealt with some smaller school systems in Georgia, in addition to the “regular suspects” like Atlanta City, DeKalb County, Clayton County, Fulton County, et al. It is actually somewhat shocking to witness and to hear of some of the outrageous actions by the superintendents and administrators in some of these smaller school systems which historically have been more genteel on the personal interaction levels. But, what I have been witnessing particularly in three fairly small school systems (one or two high schools) in Georgia in disheartening.

We have been focusing mainly on Murray County which lies about 25 miles east of Dalton and borders the state of Tennessee on the north. In fact, many of the teachers in Murray County reside in Tennessee but travel to Murray County to work because Georgia teachers make more money than Tennessee teacher. In March of this year, we received some calls from teachers from McDuffie County which lies around two hours east of Atlanta on Interstate 20 and only about 45 minutes to an hour west of the city of Augusta. It has one high school, Thomson High. These teachers were complaining about the awful teaching conditions at Thomson High School. Montgomery County (or “MoCo,” as some of the locals call this area) is located further south, about one and one-half hours southeast of Macon on Interstate 16 near “Vidalia Sweet Onion” country.

Osbon 1

Mr. Neil Osbon with two recent Thomson High graduates.

     These three counties are by no means the only small school systems in Georgia or in America which have, in our opinion, extremely poor leadership and operate on a very dysfunctional level and ignore clear Statutory Law in Georgia on how to govern a school system. I am sure that these characteristics are widespread. In fact, I was just talking to one of our MACE teachers the other day on the telephone about the Hart County School System or the Hart Charter School System, as they evidently like now to be called. This school system is now a charter school system, as many either already are (like Fulton County) or are moving in that direction (like Atlanta City, DeKalb County, Clayton County, and others). But, if a school system goes the charter route, it has certain responsibilities that it has to live up to in meeting its obligation under the performance contract. The state allows the school system to get out from under the “burden” of certain state mandates, but there are responsibilities that the school system theoretically has to meet. (I say “theoretically” because Gwinnett County is under a “performance” contract-type model, but it did NOT meet its obligations to perform and the State of Georgia let Gwinnett County off the hook. But, this is a game that is now being played throughout America. Billionaires Bill Gates and Eli Broad who are the Great Educational Interlopers, thinking that since that they were good in the business world that they can lend their “geniuses” to public education. These two men apparently do not really like public schooling and want to make all public schools in Georgia “charter schools” which can be run by private company. This privatization of public schools is already in the beginning stages in Georgia with Governor Nathan Deal’s “Education Plan.” See a previous article on this site about “pickling” Deal’s plan.)


Picketing against Governor ISIS.  

     School systems like Hart County which choose to go the charter school rout are required to have a School System Council and a School Council at each school. Representation from parents, teachers, and the business community must be represented on these School Councils. It appears that the system-wide School Council in Hart County only met once this past school year, just to receive training. But good is the training if the School System Council never meets? By the way, the superintendent erstwhile from Hart County, Jerry Bell, has moved on to Haralson County. Bell was inducted into Superintendent Clowns of America two or three years ago. But, the superintendent revolver door keeps swinging. This reminds me of William A. Hunter, who also has recently been inducted into Superintendent Clowns of America, of the Polk County School System here in Georgia. It appears that he left two other superintendents stints in Georgia (McIntosh and Brantley Counties) not under the most favorable conditions. Recently, a teacher from Polk County sent us this description of the William A. Hunter Administration in that county: “Nepotism, favoritism, retaliation, bullying, no-bid contracts, hiring without posting jobs, fraternization, Apple/PSD conflict of interest, God knows what else. Not to mention that he was FIRED from his last two jobs. Mass exodus of good, long time teachers. Culture of fear and intimidation.” We doubt that Mr. Hunter was fired but that he and the school boards (or at least one of them) just “mutually agreed” to depart ways. But, we do hear today that one of the illustrious teachers of Polk County just resigned apparently due to the frustration of dealing with the Hunter Administration. She had been Teacher of the Year as well as STAR Teacher. So sad.

I remember getting a call from a very effective teacher in Elbert County who had been treated brusquely and had been terminated. His termination process and hearing had been fraught with a number of irregularities, and the school system just refused to turn over information, even though the requests for this public information had been requested under the Georgia Open Records Law. MACE had not represented this teacher in this matter. He came to us after he had been terminated and his case had already been adjudicated at the state level. We still made our presence know. We spoke in an ad hoc manner at one of the school board meetings in Elberton, after the board chairman, Mr. Ben Baker (who seems to pretty much run the show over in the Elbert County School System) asked me what was going on, as several picketers and I held signs in the board meeting. We ended up in the newspaper, The Elberton Star. What was this teacher’s big sin? He spoke out on some matters. He might have been a bit hard-headed about some matters but what great teachers are not a bit head-strong. In fact, most of them are. His so-called “offense” was certainly not of the nature that he should have been fired. In fact, he was a good friend of the previous superintendent. Oops! That might have been the problem! Teachers are no longer expected to speak out, no matter how egregious the conditions are. Teachers today are expected to just grin and bear it and keep their mouths shut.

Elbert County 1

In Elbert County, picketing against school board chairman, Ben Baker.

     In next the next chapter or two, we will address why good, effective (yes, “super star”) teachers are being kicked to the curb. They are told that they are going to be terminated, so that they eventually negotiate with the school board (via the school board’s attorney and superintendent/executive secretary) to continue to get paid for the remainder of the school term.   Some just resign on their own, in hopes of finding better teaching conditions in another school system. There are indeed some better school systems which treat teachers more respectfully than the school systems which we will examine in this book.  In Murray County, the Vickie Reed Administration kicked a very talented young teacher, Justin Frazier, to the curb. His coached the North Murray High School Quiz Bowl team to a Second Place finish in the state competition. The children loved and still love this teacher. In McDuffie County, Superintendent Mychele Rhodes got rid of this year’s STAR Teacher, Neil Osbon.   Again, the children adored and still adore this man. In his first four or five years in McDuffie County, Mr. Osbon won a system-wide Teacher of the Year contest twice (sponsored by Walmart and chosen by students and their parents). Had Walmart continued this program, no doubt that Mr. Osbon would have won this honor several more times. He was selected as an Honor Educator on several occasions (including this year). What was his big “offense”? They claimed some bullshit about using teaching “rubrics,” but I am sure that it was because he confronted the administration about a lack of discipline at Thomson High. Forcing a great teacher like Neil Osbon to deal with cookie-cutter teaching methods like “rubrics” is like the Chicago Bulls terminating Michael Jordan’s contract because he “inappropriately” stuck out his tongue while doing a 360 windmill dunk! It is all about control and shutting the mouths of teachers! By the way, after Mr. Osbon was forced out of the classroom during the middle of the year, a gun was reportedly taken from a student during school-wide testing at Thomson High School. There apparently were rumors of other guns. The administration did not call off the testing and shut down the school.

Brad Lord, the Teacher of the Year in Montgomery County for the 2014-2015 school year (he had also been STAR Teacher at East Laurens High School) was, like Mr. Frazier and Mr. Osbon, illegally (more on the illegality later) forced out of his regular classroom by Superintendent Randy Rodgers. The reason for this is comical, if not so sick. He was apparently the victim of a verbal assault by a teacher/coach, and yet he is the one who was administratively removed (in contravention to the Georgia Statutory Code) from his regular classroom. Of course, the teacher/coach was husband to the principal who jumped straight from the classroom to the principal job a couple of years ago without any administrative experience. The heartfelt expressions from Mr. Lord’s students are overwhelming, as they are from the students of Mr. Frazier and Mr. Osbon. The students and parents in these three counties (McDuffie, Murray, and Montgomery) blew up social media for these teachers. But, the superintendents in these counties have remained cold as a banker’s heart. They just turned deaf ears. Some gave out loads of dissimulation. Some administrators took to having meetings at the schools to try to quell the consternation or they (or their devoted acolytes) went on social media (like Topix) to anonymously and cowardly smear and libel. More on this – particularly in Murray County – in another chapter.

This is enough right now. Stay tuned for more and McDuffie, Murray, and Montgomery Counties…as well as other school systems in Georgia and throughout the country. Our mantra at MACE is and always has been (for 20 years now) this: You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions. Don’t wait until it’s too late to join MACE.

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