Teachers are Not the Problem with Clarke County Schools

Several years ago, a wise principal told me, “You know, the real problem is that teachers have less and less control over what goes on in their classroom, but more and more responsibility for the results.” (“Results,” of course, meant standardized test score results.) That was right about the time I started noticing how many … Continue reading Teachers are Not the Problem with Clarke County Schools

Library of Congress Education Vimeo on Flagpole.com

Bertis Downs on the State of Athens Schools Best known as R.E.M.'s lawyer, for many years Athens resident Bertis Downs has been an advocate for—and become something of an expert on—public education. --------- In it, Downs argues for continuing the decentralized approach that the Clarke County School District agreed to pursue when it became a … Continue reading Library of Congress Education Vimeo on Flagpole.com

Flagpole: A Crisis at Cedar Shoals, and an Opportunity to Do Better

Over the past several weeks, a fire has raged on the east side of Athens. The Cedar Shoals rape tragedy and the ensuing response by school and law enforcement personnel have shed light on some daunting problems in our community. Like many people, I have followed news accounts closely. What I’ve read in the newspapers, … Continue reading Flagpole: A Crisis at Cedar Shoals, and an Opportunity to Do Better

School Reform and the State Superintendent’s Race

Flagpole, June 2014 Two things have been on my mind about schools during the summer break: the local school board's likely election of becoming a "charter system" and the upcoming runoff for state school superintendent. I think it is probably fine for the Clarke County School District to become a charter district, the best of … Continue reading School Reform and the State Superintendent’s Race

Like Drinking Water from a Firehose

Flagpole, March 2014 Last weekend I had the privilege to attend one of my favorite conferences ever, in Austin, TX, where nearly 500 public education advocates from all over the country (some 30 states I am told) gathered to learn, commiserate, share, listen, engage, talk and have at least some fun as we all sought … Continue reading Like Drinking Water from a Firehose