Archives for category: Atlanta

Ed Johnson is a passionate advocate for quality education for all. He lives in Atlanta. Ed is a follower of the philosophy of W. Edwards Deming, who taught that you don’t blame frontline workers for the failure of the system and its poor leadership. He frequently writes letters to the members of the Atlanta Board of Education, hoping to enlighten them.

Here is the latest:

New-age colonialism in Africa, and in Atlanta public schools

Want to know and understand what new-age colonialism (neocolonialism) in Africa is starting to look like? Then grab a cup of coffee or whatever and read…

Old-age colonialism, of course, went after capturing and controlling African bodies for profit.

Now, new-age colonialism aims to capture and control African minds for profit.

Fortunately, the many African nations operating cooperatively to make Agenda 2063 a reality are not buying new-age colonialism. Why are some African-Americans buying it?

Unfortunately, African-Americans who opt for or support charter schools and “school choice” help to catalyze new-age colonialism here in the U.S. as well as in Africa and worldwide especially in developing countries, perhaps not knowing that is what they do. But why wouldn’t they know that is what they do?

So please understand, for example, no matter how currently serving Atlanta school board members and their superintendent try to influence your thinking to favor “school choice,” there is no such thing as “public charter schools.”

If you want to understand why there is no such thing as “public charter schools,” then grab another cup of coffee or whatever and spend some time with Princeton University’s publication of Paul Starr’s article, The Meaning of Privatization, at…

http://www.princeton.edu/~starr/articles/articles80-89/Starr-MeaningPrivatization-88.htm

A short except:

“The rhetoric of the public choice school is a kind of hard-nosed realism. The theory dismisses as naive civic ideals such as public service; it denies the capacity of voters or politicians to act on the basis of a national interest wider than their own private aggrandizement. Rather like Marxism, public choice theory claims to face up to the self-interested basis of democratic politics and therefore treats all claims of higher purpose as smoke and deception. And also like Marxism, the theory presents itself as a scientific advance over earlier romantic and idealized views of the state. But rather than being an advance of science over intuition, the appeal of the public choice school is precisely to those who are intuitively certain that whatever government does, the private sector can do better. Together, the property rights and public choice schools show only that, if you start by assuming a purely individualistic model of human behavior and treat politics as if it were a pale imitation of the market, democracy will, indeed, make no sense.”

Without question, “school choice” is “a purely individualistic model of human behavior” hence arguably and unavoidably leads to democracy making no sense simply because democracy is about “We …,” not “I,” the individual.

However, contrarily though not surprisingly, the Atlanta superintendent is widely known to praise new-age colonialism’s “choice” of schools as being “appropriate in a country focused on democracy:”

https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/school-choice-appropriate-in-a-country-focused-on-democracy-atlanta-superintendent-says

Accordingly, one might reasonably assume the Atlanta superintendent also praises old-age colonialism’s “choice” of slaves as being “appropriate in a country focused on democracy.”

Ed Johnson
Advocate for Quality in Public Education
Atlanta GA | (404) 505-8176 | edwjohnson@aol.com

Bcc: Various

Ed Johnson is a relentless watchdog over public education in Atlanta. He happens to be a devotee of the thought of W. Edwards Deming, and he opposes the current corporate reform philosophy of disruption, top-down orders, ranking, rating, punishment, and rewards. Johnson understands that accountability begins at the top, and that the role of leadership is to support those who work in the organization, not to micro-manage or give orders. He recently sent this mini-essay to members of the Atlanta Board of Education:

Atlanta Superintendent: “Changes are never easy”

Why yet another trifling and regressive catchphrase of the same variety as “change is hard” and “people are afraid of change?” Augh!

All too often the reason the autocratic, self-absorbed leader summarily talks about change being hard or never easy amounts to the leader implicitly self-promoting the leader’s standing and implicitly denigrating the standing of others. It is an ingrained, intentional, and perverted psychopathy of blaming meant to intimidate and silence dissension from the get go. It provides for immediately reframing and thereby dismissing dissenters as “being afraid of change.” It is a slick, accusatory way of saying: “Others have to change, I don’t.”

Heaven forbid such a leader should be asked: “Well, why are changes never easy? What are you doing to make it otherwise?”

change (v.) make or become different

Meanwhile, in reality, in general, change is indeed easy simply because change is a ubiquitous fact of life. No change, no life. In fact, ones very being is change. We all do and experience change, every day, every hour, every second, every whatever time unit. We are so embedded in and involved with change that we rarely notice change. We tend to notice change only when change is imposed, and then when change seems pointless, untenable, threatening, unjust, amoral, unethical, evil, etc.; in short, change for change sake.

Then what, in reality, is not a ubiquitous fact of life? Improvement.

improve (v.) make or become better

Unlike change, improvement stems from getting new knowledge; no new knowledge, no improvement. However, the autocratic, self-absorbed leader already knows all there is to know, so is generally fearful hence wickedly controlling of others learning and getting new knowledge and improving because, for the leader, the collective role of others simply is to perform well to benefit mostly the leader’s standing and aspirations.

Sadly, nowadays, with competitive market-based school reform and school choice and such, “others” includes children controlled and manipulated to perform to “high expectations” and “high standards” of college and career readiness and such, with authentic learning and getting new knowledge and improving made secondary.

Then for whom is change truly hard and not easy?

Consider change is truly hard and not easy, if not impossible, for the autocratic, self-absorbed leader who chooses the easier task of imposing change upon others rather than choosing the harder challenge of leading improvement.

Why bother making Atlanta Public Schools better when making it different, at a cost now approaching one billion dollars, is so much easier, quicker, and efficient to do. Plus, top leadership need not change their ways.

Ed Johnson
Advocate for Quality in Public Education
Atlanta GA
(404) 505-8176 | edwjohnson@aol.com

Portland parents, if you want to learn more about the person who is going to be your next school superintendent, please contact Ed Johnson, a watchdog over the Atlanta Public Schools.

Edward Johnson: edwjohnson@aol.com

Mercedes Schneider dug into the background of Chris Clemons, the Atlanta charter school principal, who has been accused of stealing $600,000 from his school.

She found an article from his days at MIT, explaining how he developed a passion for teaching “impoverished children in urban areas.”

He trained as a school leader at “Building Excellent Schools,” a Boston-based program to prepare principals to open and run charter schools. He launched a charter school in Denver, his hometown. And then he went to Atlanta to open charter schools. He was charged by the FBI with theft, not only for the missing $600,000 from his current school, but for another $350,000 that was missing from two other charter schools that he ran.

With the Georgia legislature poised to create a statewide charter district modeled on Tennessee’s failed “Achievement School District,” the usual cast of reform characters has rushed in to privatize as many of Atlanta’s public schools as they can get away with.

Here comes the Boston Consulting Group, the Waltons, and many more, looking to transfer schools from democratic to private control.

Edward Johnson is a citizen of Atlanta who tries to get the school board and city leaders to think of improving the system and to stop looking for quick fixes. At the moment, the quick fix is charter schools, especially the New Orleans “miracle.” This too will pass and another generation will be lost.

 

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Here he writes to the leaders of the city and the schools:

 

 

In his latest and recently published book, From School Delusion to Design: Mixed-Age Groups and Values-Led Transformation, and drawing on W. Edwards Deming, Peter Senge, Russell Ackoff, John Seddon (Sir Michael Barber’s antithesis), and such other Systems Thinkers, U.K. educator Peter Barnard begins his Chapter 3, “Complexity and Demand in Systems Thinking,” as follows:

 

“So in a public service-like school, what exactly is complexity in systems thinking terms? The answer is relatively simple. It is the huge variety of customer value demand on the school’s learning system. The value demand is all that customers need to be able to drawn down from the school to live worthwhile and useful lives. Value demand is defined by the customers and the greater ecological system to which we belong, not just by what the school and the bigger school system decides to offer. In essence, the value demand is all that allows a child to grow and develop into who he or she was meant to be.

 

“Parents tell us that what they want and value comprises a long list, the variety of value demand. Each is concerned with their unique child. ….

 

“Any failure to absorb and meet value immediately creates failure demand. Failure demand takes the form of complaints, reworking, dropouts, anti-social behavior, and (of course) a loss of trust and increases in both cost and bureaucracy. The list of failure demand is long and expensive, and weakens the school, causing it to require even more back office staff, more money, and external help. It also makes it more difficult to support new teachers and develop their expertise; the lists goes on and on. It creates a mess that can quickly become a crisis.

 

“In other words, if the school is unable to absorb the variety of value demand made on its system or simply assumes such demand is being met by the system it has, failure demand is an inevitable consequence. The school, being unable to absorb the complexity of the variety of value demand on its system, tries to control it through limitation and separation, but all that this does is increases complexity (management of failure demand) and make things far worse.”

 

Today, more than ever, Atlanta Public Schools is being managed and controlled as a “turnaround” opportunity. Unfortunately, no evidence specific to APS exists to support any assumptions the district, any district schools, or anything else about the district requires a turnaround solution. Improvement? Certainly. But turnaround? Don’t be silly. APS is a wondrously complex, multi-directional social system, where any number of matters go on in any number of directions, all at once, all the time. APS is not merely a simplistic un-directional train or automobile going in one direction – the supposed “wrong” direction, so it must be “turned around.” Simplistic solutions applied to complex, dynamic systems invariably generate “failure demand.” (Look at any corporation’s Call Center and you will see failure demand institutionalized.)

 

Even so, Atlanta school board members and superintendent cling to school reform ideology’s simplistic “turnaround” delusion. They do this because they think only to try to manage and control and ultimately standardize the “huge variety of value demand” that shows up at school every school day, mostly in the form of children. They know not to think to learn to absorb the value demand the children bring with them to school. After all, the children are the students, not them. Their delusive decision to turn APS into a Charter System exemplifies the genesis of the kind of failure demand they generate and then try to manage and control through standardized teaching and learning and performance.

 

But, of course, the school board’s and superintendent’s decision to turn APS into a Charter System demonstrates they do not know they generate failure demand. Otherwise, they would be providing the district the leadership – servant leadership, in fact – to continually learn to develop the capability to absorb value demand rather than always trying to manage and control it, as by standardizing teaching and learning. Continual learning also requires the ability to unlearn, and unlearning is something they simply will not, and perhaps cannot, do. No matter the evidence, they simply will not or cannot unlearn that all charter schools and such generate failure demand to far greater extents than do any public schools on the commons. “Knowledge has temporal spread,” as one may learn from Deming.

 

By always trying to manage and control value demand, Atlanta school board members and superintendent constantly rob themselves of learning to provide for principals, teachers, and even children to get knowledge to improve teaching and learning in ways that absorb value demand. And because standardization is their paradigm, and because they have not the capability to do or even think otherwise because “I have been trained to do this work” (Carstarphen) of turning schools around, they have given Governor Nathan Deal great, well, “opportunity” to legislate state takeover of so-called “failing schools” to be handed over to public school privatization interests to operate.

 

There is a reason Governor Deal calls his New Orleans-style plan “Opportunity School District” (OSD). And it is reasonable to suppose the reason has more to do with Deal providing himself “opportunity” than any children. Governor Deal pretty much proved his OSD plan is a self-serving opportunity when he gave no mind to having been informed there are better ways than state takeover of public schools (see here and here). So let it never be said the Governor had no options.

 

Actually, it may be a bit too kind to say Atlanta school board members and superintendent are always trying to manage and control value demand. More accurately, it is clear, or it should be clear, that Atlanta school board members and superintendent operate as pass-through agents primarily in service to the interests of philanthropic oligarchs, plutocrats, and corporatists (including, but limited to, Eli Broad, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Arne Duncan, and Pearson). And nothing more recently demonstrates the fighting they do than Superintendent Carstarphen’s response to Frederick Douglass High School Alumni Association’s (FDHSAA) wanting to know the real deal behind the superintendent’s decision to dismiss Douglass High School’s principal. See, copied and inserted below, both FDHSAA’s letter to Carstarphen and Carstarphen’s response.

 

Note that Carstarphen’s response to the FDHSAA is, in essence, just this (bold emphasis mine):

 

“I have no idea why people decide to do what they do but this job is for a seasoned ‘turnaround’ principal – no one forced anyone to apply for these SIG [School Improvement Grant] schools. … I can’t discuss the evaluation but I am certain we are making the right decision.”

 

Well, firstly, in their letter, the FDHSAA does not ask Carstarphen to discuss the principal’s evaluation (and neither do I; see here). Then, secondly, the paper “School Improvement Grants: Ransoming Title I Schools in Distress” makes clear Carstarphen is making the wrong decision, yet a decision Broad, Gates, Obama, and Duncan would likely approve, as would public school privatization interests.

 

Also note that Carstarphen begins her response to the FDHSAA by expressing being “saddened” by FDHSAA’s letter and characterizing FDHSAA’s concerns as “meanness.” Yet, it is not at all apparent that Carstarphen entertained in the least the thought that perhaps the FDHSAA bothered to write her because of their(!) sense of sadness brought on by Carstarphen’s cruel and mean treatment of their school’s principal and disregard of community.

 

So, please, let us hear no more disingenuous rhetoric from the Atlanta Board of Education and especially their Superintendent, Meria J. Carstarphen, Ed.D., about “fighting for the children,” when they make it abundantly clear they fight for and with forces out to destroy public education as a common good, with the consequence of dumping onto the public ever more failure demand.

 

Clearly, firing Frederick Douglass High School’s principal is just the latest failure demand created by Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Carstarphen. Otherwise, Carstarphen likely would not have received from the Frederick Douglass High School Alumni Association a letter that “saddened” her and she perceived to be “meanness.”

 

By the way, Peter Barnard once offered to travel from the U.K. to visit with our Atlanta Board of Education and Superintendent, all on his own dime. Want to put a wager on your guess of response that came from APS at the Top?

 

Ed Johnson
Advocate for Quality in Public Education
(404) 505-8176 | edwjohnson@aol.com

 

 

Cc: Frederick Douglass High School Alumni Association and Members
Cc: Atlanta Board of Education Members and Superintendent
Cc: Atlanta public community organizations and members
Cc: Atlanta City Council Members and Mayor
Cc: Nathan Deal, Governor, State of Georgia (via contact form)

 

 

Frederick Douglass High School Alumni Association writes:

 

From: Frederick Douglass High School Alumni Association [mailto:fdhs.odf.42@gmail.com]
To: Carstarphen, Meria

 

Subject: Seeking Transparency and Accountability

 

FREDERICK DOUGLASS HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

 

 

Dr. Meria Carstarphen, Superintendent
Atlanta Public Schools
130 Trinity Avenue, SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

 

May 15, 2015

 

Dear Superintendent Carstarphen,

 

Seeking transparency and accountability, we, The Frederick Douglass High School Alumni Association, retired administrator, retired faculty, teachers, parents, and stakeholders, met with you and your selected staff on Tuesday, May 13, 2015, at 9:15 a.m. We were shocked and dismayed that you reported to us that Frederick Douglass High School, under the leadership of Dr. Tony L. Burks, II, had made …”no progress”. This is quite different from our own research and observations. We have read the Douglass January 2015 summary report, excellent commendations, and comments from the State, and we are confused as to why Dr. Burks was not allowed to complete the 2015-2016 suggestions in the Transformation Model. We noticed on the web that the recruitment for a new principal is listed as a Turnaround Model instead of the Transformation Model that Dr. Burks was implementing under his administration. The State summary reveals that Douglass is on a trajectory for success. We came as supporters of Dr. Burks and, more importantly, the children who need a stable learning environment.

 

The mentoring piece supposedly done by Dr. Timothy Gadson, III was lacking to say the least. Dr. Gadson stated first he met monthly with Dr. Burks. Additional questions led Dr. Gadson to the modification that he texted and e-mailed the principal daily. Surely, being a qualified professional administrator, Dr. Gadson recognizes that mentoring involves more than a text or an email. The mentoring by him was not a collaborative effort as he suggested. He later stated he came out after the end of the first semester (February). If he had read the State January 2015 commendation documents, he could have provided support and recommended to you that Dr. Burks be allowed to continue the implementation of the Transformation Model instead of immediately placing him on a PDP in March, especially since leadership was one of the commendations listed by the State. We now know that it is within the Superintendent’s power to allow Douglass to continue under the Transformation Model given the upward trajectory indicated in the State summary document.

 

We provided some data to you and your staff of the proud history of our school. We shared our concerns with you. You stated that you would get in touch with the State and provide clarifications in regards to Governor Nathan Deal’s letter of leadership commendation to Dr. Burks and the SIG grant. We were to work on a Plan of Action.

 

As of today, we have not gotten any feedback on the clarifications you volunteered to get. There was no plan of action. In fact, the only thing we did was to establish a follow-up June 3, 2015, meeting at 9:00 a.m., which comes directly after the June Board Meeting. To be transparent and honest, we feel our meeting with you on Tuesday was simply to neutralize us, while you went ahead with your plans.

 

Errors in communication were made when Dr. Gadson scheduled a community meeting on the same date and time as the seniors’ graduation Visions of the Future program. To schedule a community meeting on May 19, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. to tell the Douglass family of the removal of Dr. Burks as principal for 2015-2016 in the midst of their graduation is totally insensitive to the seniors with whom he has worked during this school year. Dr. Gadson had to hurriedly change the community meeting date to May 20, 2015, at 6:00 p. m., which is still in the midst of the students’ celebratory graduation activities with their families. Once again, this provides evidence that Dr. Gadson is unaware of what is going on in this school.

 

We are insulted with your disrespect in not being transparent. You did not make us aware of the community meetings, even though the APS Ombudsman collected our signatures and email addresses on Tuesday. In fact, being honest, you should have told us of your plans (meeting with faculty, letters given out to students, meeting with community), while we were at the Tuesday meeting. Our voice will be heard! We shall proceed with our project and pray that you and your administration will make decisions for the advancement of the children. The children, teachers and parents at Douglass need to hear from you. We encourage you, as the head of this administration, to be available to hear and respond to the concerns of the students, teachers, parents and community.

 

We have many alumni who live in cities across this nation and abroad. Because of this, we are requesting live streaming of this meeting on May 20, 2015, at 6:00 p. m. If this is impossible, please allow us to have a professional, independent person to videotape the meeting. Please let us know of your decision, so we will know how to plan accordingly.

 

Sincerely,

 

Frederick Douglass Alumni Association

 

Hardy Blash, President
Judy Davis Carroll, Presenting Board Member

Email: fdhs.odf.42@gmail.com

 

 

From: “Carstarphen, Meria”
Date: May 15, 2015 at 7:50:45 PM EDT
To: ‘Frederick Douglass High School Alumni Association’
Cc:

 

Subject: RE: Seeking Transparency and Accountability

 

Dear Mr. Blash,

 

I am so saddened by this letter. It is just mean. I did not create this Douglass situation and did not act in any way that was not transparent or disrespectful in our meeting. At the request of the alumni association I met with you as soon as I get it into my schedule without delay. How could I plan to “neutralize” people when I didn’t even know you and wasn’t the person who asked for the meeting. Given the tone of this letter, I suspect that if I had not had the meeting you would be criticizing me for not meeting with you. Goodness, no good deed…

 

As for the next date to meet, I wasn’t even in the room when you came up with it. My schedule is completely crazy this time of year. I thought we agreed we were going to work on understanding the history more and what you all could teach me so that we could rebuild it again. In that meeting I was clear: the current principal is not coming back next year but I did want to work with you all to plan for the future. I cannot wait on the interview process to ensure we have quality, viable candidates to consider. This is the time of year principals are looking and we don’t want to have to wait until the end of the summer like last year to rush and find candidates.

 

I have no idea why people decide to do what they do but this job is for a seasoned “turnaround” principal – no one forced anyone to apply for these SIG schools. It’s clear you have to be a turnaround principal and that’s why the State sits in the room. And, yes, while we mentor and support, all principals must still do their jobs and more so in these type roles. Blaming other people is not going to change our decision. I can’t discuss the evaluation but I am certain we are making the right decision.

 

I have no idea why you are saying I didn’t give you feedback on the state call. I told you in the meeting – you all were waiting for me to get off the phone so I could share. I then shared the feedback as soon as I walked back in the room. And, further, yes, I did find out about the letter from Governor Deal – it’s a form type letter that is written by the Office of Constituent Services for people who apparently ask for one. This one was requested by someone in Butler, GA…no idea the connection. Anyway, that’s what I learned.

 

The community was noticed by letter about the change in leadership. The meeting is about the first step in the principal selection process. The communication in the date was not messed up by our central office staff. The draft was shared with principal and he probably accidentally sent out the draft because the draft did not have a signature on it. It was corrected immediately.

 

As we originally agreed, yes, I would love to have your guidance on how we can help the school. It would be my hope that it could be done in a way that inspires us all.

 

I love this district, this city and these children. I will do whatever I have to do to ensure they get the quality education they deserve. I will never apologize for that.

 

Finally, I do appreciate your email and do still look forward to working with you.

 

Regards,

 

Meria

Just when you thought that the mainstream media had forgotten how to do investigative journalism, along comes a surprise.

In Atlanta, local NBC channel 11 station did an exposé of the secretive far-right group called the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC. Under the aegis of ALEC, Georgia legislators met in a posh resort with corporate lawyers to decide their priorities for the next session.

Except for Bill Moyers on PBS, this is a topic the mainstream media won’t touch.

For a thorough and chilling review of ALEC’s plans to privatize education, see ALEC Exposed. ALEC loves charters and vouchers, hates unions, loves profits.

ALEC has model legislation, which legislators introduce into their states. It even has tax credit legislation, similar to the one that Governor Cuomo introduced in Néw York. It has already been adopted by several states to benefit private and religious schools.

Edward Johnston of Atlanta is the most persistent gadfly in that city. He regularly writes open letters to the school board and administrators, in an effort to hold them accountable. Johnston is an adherent of the philosophy of W. Edwards Deming; he believes in collaboration, not competition; in encouragement, not punishment. He believes in improving the system, rather than shaming individuals.

I have been on his email blast list for a few years. He is not a teacher. He is a public-spirited citizen. We need someone like him in every community to hold the powerful accountable.

Here is his latest open letter:

May 17, 2015

“Dear Superintendent Carstarphen and Atlanta Board of Education members:

“Regarding your:

“Dear Frederick Douglass High School Parents/Guardians:

“As we end the 2014-2015 school year there are changes occurring at Frederick Douglass High School. We want to make sure that you are informed and engaged in what is happening.

“There will be a new principal of Frederick Douglass High School for the 2015-2016 school year. Please be assured that students, parents, staff and community will remain a priority during this transition in leadership.

“Chief Academic Officer Dr. Carlton Jenkins and Associate Superintendent of High Schools Dr. Timothy Gadson III invite you and the community to attend a meeting on Wednesday, May 20, at 6 p.m. in the school’s auditorium to discuss and provide input into the future direction of the school.

“Frederick Douglass High School Auditorium
225 Hamilton E. Holmes Dr., NW 30318”

Ed Johnson writes in response:

I write to ask you to immediately publish to the Frederick Douglass High School public community, in particular, and to the Atlanta public community, at large, an explanation of your decision to place a new principal at Frederick Douglass High School next school year, 2015-2016. Please do this in consideration of the fact that Frederick Douglass High School’s current principal has been the school’s principal only this school year, 2014-2015. And please do this to demonstrate APS openness, transparency, and trustworthiness, with the pending Wednesday meeting with Drs. Carlton and Gadson notwithstanding.

In your explanation, please cite or otherwise cover beliefs, theories, research, vetted practices and any other details that support your decision, appropriately. And please explain both negative and positive effects you theorize student learning at Douglass High School will experience as a result of your decision, given the fact that you, the APS, have placed a new principal at Frederick Douglass High School every year or so for the past several years, seemingly always based on the school reform and accountability ideology that firing principals and teachers necessarily results in school improvement without harming the children or anyone else.

The Frederick Douglass High School community group Concerned Citizens for the Education Advancement of APS Students has meet with Superintendent Carstarphen about this matter, the group’s chairperson tells me. However, it appears the group came away from meeting with Superintendent Carstarphen without a substantively coherent explanation of why Frederick Douglass High School must have yet another new principal, and understanding only that your decision seemingly derives from your wanting to realize some manner of benefit from the state.

So please note: The explanation you will publish will be summarily dismissed if it tries to “shift the blame” to the state, or to any other external entity, or otherwise contend, in effect, “they made us do it.”

Kind regards,

Ed Johnson
Advocate for Quality in Public Education
(404) 505-8176 | edwjohnson@aol.com

The judge who sentenced educators to jail for as long as seven years changed his mind.

“Before sentencing on April 14, Baxter had urged the convicted educators to accept an offer from prosecutors that would have allowed them to avoid extensive time behind bars in exchange for taking responsibility, apologizing and waiving their right to appeal. Only two accepted.

“Clearly rankled that the majority refused to accept the last-minute deal, Baxter sentenced the remaining eight educators to prison, reserving his harshest punishment for the highest-ranking educators. Sharon Davis-Williams, Michael Pitts and Tamara Cotman, all regional supervisors with Atlanta Public Schools, each received seven years in prison, 13 years of probation and a $25,000 fine.

“But a few days later, Baxter had second thoughts and notified the trio of senior administrators that he had scheduled another hearing. On Thursday, he reduced the administrators’ sentences to three years in prison and seven years of probation, with a $10,000 fine and 2,000 hours of community service.

“I’m going to put myself out to pasture in the not-too-distant future, and I don’t want to be out in the pasture with any regrets,” the judge said.”

Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” will be greatly missed when he steps down in August. He is the only national television figure who really gets what is happening in education, perhaps because his mother worked in the public schools of New Jersey.

In this segment, he contrasts the treatment of the Atlanta educators convicted of “racketeering” for changing answers on students’ tests with the treatment of Wall Street fraudsters. He is the best.