John Barge has been full of surprises. One is likely coming tomorrow in his press conference with Valarie Wilson.

Democrat Valarie Wilson is holding a joint press conference Thursday with John Barge, suggesting an endorsement is en route.

Democrat Valarie Wilson is holding a joint press conference Thursday with John Barge, suggesting an endorsement is en route.

Democrat Valarie Wilson is holding a joint press conference Thursday with GOP state school chief John Barge, suggesting an endorsement is forthcoming.

Republican State School Superintendent John Barge has been full of surprises, from bucking his own party on the charter school amendment in 2012 to running against Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal in the GOP primary this year.

Seems like we are going to get another surprise tomorrow.

This release from Democratic school chief  candidate Valarie Wilson clearly suggests a Wilson-Barge rapport, better known in political circles as an endorsement.

Stay tuned.

From the Valarie Wilson campaign:

Sitting State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge (R) will join State School Superintendent Candidate Valarie Wilson (D) to make a special announcement and host a press conference on Thursday at 12 p.m. in front of Tucker High, 5036 LaVista Road, Tucker.

WHAT: Press conference with State School Superintendent Candidate Valarie Wilson and sitting State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge

WHEN: 12 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23

WHERE: Outside Tucker High, 5036 LaVista Road, Tucker

 

 

Reader Comments 0

29 comments
cceducator
cceducator

As an educator with twenty-eight years of experience, I can truly say the last four years with John Barge at the helm of Georgia schools have been totally a joke. His CCRPI mess is totally ridiculous. By the time the CCRPI score comes out, it is of no good to a principal or a teacher. Both years it has taken until April or May for the DOE to release the scores. making it of no use to teachers or administrators. His TKES and LKES evaluation systems are ludicrous. They were developed by a department led by an associate superintendent who has not been a teacher in a classroom for about twenty years, who also failed miserably as a principal at one of the best schools in Carroll County. Also, his handpicked candidate, Mike Buck, a sitting big wig, at the DOE could not muster enough support to win the Republican nomination, so can his endorsement really be of any significance? As an educator, I would like to see someone as superintendent who has actual in-the-classroom experience, not a veteran politician, at the helm. 

DeaconBlues
DeaconBlues

Sometimes, it's more important to be an educator than it is to be a politician.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

The voters have been fortunate to be rid of this Democrat posing as an imposter Republican.

td1234
td1234

@The_Centrist The Republican voters were stupid in not replacing Deal with Barge. Barge would have a 8 to 10 point lead over Carter right now instead of having to go to a crap shoot runoff. 

EdUktr
EdUktr

John Barge has demonstrated he's really a Democrat, so this comes as much a surprise as Maureen endorsing one.

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

@MaureenDowney @EdUktr Call it what you want, but he is clearly a dem posing as a Rep.  I have no idea whether he's changed his positions, or just used to profess what he didn't believe.  But he clearly doesn't represent the R party at this point.  


And surprised you would take that tone, since Eduktr's comment was about what Barge "is", not what he "used to be".

td1234
td1234

@dcdcdc @MaureenDowney @EdUktr Wrong. I am as Conservative as they come and when it comes to Education Dr. Barge represents everything a real conservative should want to be represented. It is the far out wacko's that have hi jacked the debate on education. 


Not have some type of cross state standards to be able to compare and contrast how our children are doing is crazy. 


Allowing for profit schools with no elected oversight and taking our dollars is crazy. 


This conservative can not support that type of lunacy. 

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@EdUktr Sorry, you cannot rewrite history to match your dream world. No one who followed the 2010 campaign would ever have called John Barge a Democrat. He opposed Race to the Top. He opposed the federal role in education. Since you seem to doubt my firsthand reporting on Barge's 2009 campaign, here are two other sources on that point:

http://gareport.com/story/2010/07/16/georgia-also-has-some-down-ballot-races/


http://www.mdjonline.com/view/full_story/7444982/article-Tea--eggs-and-issues?instance=home_news_bullets

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

@td1234 @dcdcdc @MaureenDowney @EdUktr Interesting to start with "I am as conservative as they come", and then saying allowing tax money to go to for profit schools was not OK.  That's exactly what we do with colleges, and we have the best system in the world.  It works specifically because colleges are incented to be innovative and creative....not bureaucratic and hidebound.  


Conservatives realize that in most cases, private enterprises are more efficient and perform at a higher level than govt orgs.  Think what you want, but in the real world, being against school funding being used for non-govt schools is the opposite of conservative thinking.

BCW1
BCW1

Did he get that job in Utah was it?

atln8tiv
atln8tiv

@BCW1 No, he didn't. If I remember correctly, they hired a Utah educator for the position.

living-in-outdated-ed
living-in-outdated-ed

Does a Barge endorsement really mean anything?  He has zero popularity and I don't think he takes any meaningful votes away from Woods.


Frankly, I am very disgusted with both candidates.  One is anti-charter schools but supports common core.  The other supports charter schools but is anti common core. Neither is good for Georgia's ed reform efforts. 

Schooler37
Schooler37

@living-in-outdated-ed  Wilson is not at all anti-charter schools. She's said on her facebook page multiple times that charter schools can be great and can be lab schools. She's just not in favor of for-profit schools.

dontstereotypemeyo
dontstereotypemeyo

@living-in-outdated-ed 

Please recall that while 35% of the population is conservative/Republican and 35% is liberal/Democrat, the other 30% is moderate/independent. They are the ones who could be influenced by something like this. You have some people who are "ticket splitters" who try to look for token (in the original meaning of the word) members of the other party to vote for just to show that they are capable of independent thought and action. It is people like that who respond to folks who have endorsements from members of the other party. This case is interesting because there does not appear to be a Libertarian spoiler, just a write-in candidate. So whoever wins in November wins the election. So, rather curious how this could shake out. Even though I would rather not have a pro-Common Core, anti-charter school, anti innovation or reform type at superintendent right now (or ever really). 

dontstereotypemeyo
dontstereotypemeyo

@Schooler37 @living-in-outdated-ed 


That is the typical traditional public school line, which is either:
A) we support charter schools so long as they are administered by the school district

B) we support charter schools so long as they have the same local regulations imposed on them by public schools

C) we support charter schools so long as they are lab schools


If A) or B) is the criteria, then no one will want to open charter schools in the first place. And if C) is the criteria, charter schools will always be few in number and serve only a tiny percentage of students in any given area.


Basically, it is a way to CLAIM to support charter schools while not REALLY supporting them. The ACTUAL purpose of charter schools (despite what those on the far right or far left may claim) is to give parents who do not agree with the leadership of the local public school leadership (i.e. curriculums, discipline, standards, pedagogy etc.) to have a practical alternative at taxpayer expense. Lab schools do not provide that because they serve far too few students to be a practical alternative. District-run charter schools (such as the phony charter schools run by APS and many other school districts) obviously are no alternative to the local leadership. Imposing regulations created by local (or anti-reform state) politicians on charter schools is a roundabout way of accomplishing A). 


Any way you slice it, anyone who opposes giving parents who - for whatever reason - dislikes what is provided by the local school board a practical, taxpayer supported alternative does not support charter schools. Claiming otherwise - as Wilson is doing - does not change that. The only reason why charter opponents even claim to support lab schools, district-run "charter schools" and heavily regulated to being impractical and ineffective charter schools is because such schools are so popular among core Democratic constituencies. If charter schools polled the same level of support in urban and minority areas as (for example) affirmative action rollbacks or the death penalty, folks like Wilson would be as explicit, loud and proud in their opposition to charter schools as they are their other progressive positions. So instead they play the same games that Bill Clinton did back in the day when he was trying to appear centrist: "safe, legal and rare" or "mend it but don't end it."

living-in-outdated-ed
living-in-outdated-ed

@Schooler37 @living-in-outdated-ed that's the rub, isn't it.  She says "can be great, can be lab schools."  They're not lab schools anymore, and she wants you to think she's pro-charter school  Instead, she's in the back pocket of the NEA and AFT.

dontstereotypemeyo
dontstereotypemeyo

@living-in-outdated-ed @Schooler37 

Yeah, and honestly lab schools are not even charter schools. Lab schools are tiny little schools run by a school district or a university's college of education where that the politicians and educational researchers can use the students as experiments to test their educational reform theories on. So basically any new ed reform that you hear about today was tried out in some lab school 10 years ago (usually in trials rigged to produce the desired outcome to "prove" that the reform works). The university that I attended had a lab school; but it was run much more conservatively than most lab schools attached to colleges are ... they had a traditional curriculum, relied on traditional discipline and teaching methods, even required uniforms, it was pretty much run like an old-fashioned non-sectarian private school. It was pretty neat (the school was in a low-income area) but most lab schools are ideologically 180 degrees away from that one. Second, it was the only such school in an entire county of almost 250,000 and the school's enrollment was a VERY few hundred, like 150-200 kids from K-12. They have to keep them that small because if they get too big, they can't serve a lab school functions. So if you were having a problem with your own school and couldn't get your kid into that lab school and couldn't afford private school, you were out of luck. 


So any time the charter debate comes up and someone mentions "lab schools" THAT PERSON IS LYING. That person is someone who is totally invested in the local politicians' entirely dictating how your child is educated with no alternatives. Especially when you consider that these same people also ideologically oppose private schools and especially home schooling. Slate.com had a column not long ago that claimed that if you sent your kid to a private school, you were immoral, a bad and evil person. This is the type of person who tries to pass off support for lab schools as support for charter schools.

ConservativeBlackGuy
ConservativeBlackGuy

@living-in-outdated-ed I'm not sure what you're looking for in a candidate but Wilson supports charter schools. She ran Decatur City Schools which is a charter district. Also she supports common core.

bu2
bu2

@living-in-outdated-ed 


Agree.  However, Barge's endorsement of Wilson may be enough to get me to vote for Woods instead of leaving it blank.

DrMonicaHenson
DrMonicaHenson

@Schooler37 @dontstereotypemeyo @living-in-outdated-ed Charter school systems are NOT charters in the sense that an independent startup or a State-authorized or Commission-authorized charter is. Most districts that became charter systems did so in order to gain the additional per pupil funding that was available for doing so, with almost zero understanding of what a true charter school actually is. Wilson did not "run a charter school system." She served on a locally elected Board of Education that opted to become a charter system. Serving on a BOE is not equivalent to being a public school administrator. 

sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

@DrMonicaHenson @Schooler37 @living-in-outdated-ed


The "reformers" are now the ones stuck with the status quo label since their policies have been shown over and over to do nothing, or barely nothing, to improve educational opportunities for the neediest in our society. Reformers have had over 20 years to prove that their way works i.e. helping to privatize our public schools and turning education over to those who want to make large amounts of money off the backs of our students instead of investing in public education. Just look to see the news about charter operators being imprisoned for massive fraud and for failing to provide adequate resources in classrooms because of the huge amounts they pay themselves through their for-profit management companies.