Beware pundits blaring mandates, especially in the state school superintendent’s race

The two candidates for state school superintendent, Valarie Wilson and Richard Woods, have different takes on how teachers view Common Core. (AJC Photo)

The two candidates for state school superintendent, Valarie Wilson and Richard Woods, have different takes on how teachers view Common Core.  (AJC Photo)

The two candidates for state school superintendent, Valarie Wilson and Richard Woods, have different takes on how teachers view Common Core. (AJC Photo)

I am suspicious of election night pontificating that sees “mandates” in the outcomes.

Posters on this blog have suggested the election of Republican Richard Woods as state school superintendent would represent a mandate to rid Georgia of Common Core State Standards since Woods opposes Common Core.

At this point, we don’t know whether Woods or Democrat Valarie Wilson will triumph.

Even when we get the results later tonight, I don’t think we can offer any definitive summations – at least not immediately — on why voters chose Wilson or Woods.

I still find many voters don’t understand the role of the state school superintendent. And I think voters have only a glancing awareness of Common Core.

I talked to two voters today who confused the state superintendent with their county superintendent. One asked why J. Alvin Wilbanks didn’t run again. (Wilbanks is the longtime leader of Gwinnett Schools.)

A twenty-something asked if Phyllis Edwards, the City Schools of Decatur superintendent, was retiring since he didn’t see her name as one of the choices on his ballot.

It is understandable Georgians without school-age children may not care about who leads the state Department of Education, no matter that leader’s role in setting the direction of Georgia’s schools.  Their solution in the polling booth may be to either skip the race or vote their party.

Reader Comments 0

14 comments
bu2
bu2

Actually, Wilson did better than any down ballot Democrats and nearly as well as Carter and Nunn.  All the other down ballot Republicans picked up at least 57%.  Woods only got 55%.


I suspect Woods anti-common core position hurt him.

Astropig
Astropig

A 10-1 spending advantage was largely wasted by the NEA et al...

Astropig
Astropig

Oh, by the way...Scott Walker is still the "govenor" of Wisconsin. More NEA dues money flushed.

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

@Astropig Out of everything that happened tonight, that might have been the biggest.

Astropig
Astropig

@dcdcdc @Astropig


I'm glad that there is someone on this board smart enough to understand the implications of another Walker win.Teachers unions from all over the country have now targeted the guy three times and are batting .000.He has BLED THEM DRY. God bless him.

Astropig
Astropig

Congratulations "Govenor" Deal. You survived the onslaught of negative attacks and a goofy turncoat in your own party and your vision for education has prevailed.I know that you'll do a good job in your second term.


Just beware of those surprise snowstorms! ;)

Astropig
Astropig

It's official - Congratulations Mr. Woods- You have won a mandate with a CRUSHING victory.


Georgia made the right choice and I know that you will do well.

Astropig
Astropig

Maureen-

You've got this whole democracy/representative government thingy backwards-You win elections and THEN dictate policy.

Politicians go to where the voters are,it's not the other way around.State legislators are very aware,you can be sure, of the public polling on Common Core,and while we don't run government on polls, you best believe that the people with the power are aware of which way the wind is blowing.



Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

I'm guessing Maureen had two blogs ready to go:

#1  If the Dimocrats were winning, it was a sure sign of a mandate from the voters.

#2  If the Republicans were winning, no mandate and time to put the election behind us and focus on bipartisanship cooperation.

Astropig
Astropig

@Lee_CPA2 

You betcha.


Legislators don't take these columns seriously.They listen to the people that elect/elected them.In Georgia, the Republicans know that the press is working the other side-that's a given.But they can count.

EdUktr
EdUktr

But of course, Maureen, even if it becomes clear that a majority of Georgians don't share your views on Common Core—you will contest the issue. Just as you continue to do with charter schools.

And accountability and parental choice.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

The heavy educracy spending outlined in today's earlier blog seems to be a reverse mandate when Wilson loses - as this blog is now only acknowledging.

dg417s
dg417s

This race doesn't matter nearly as much as the governor's race because the state Board has the power and they are all the governor's cronies.

NewBomb
NewBomb

Maybe everybody shouldn't be voting.  Honestly, if someone isn't even smart enough to do a little research they should just leave the box unchecked.