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Maureen Downey

Education columnist

Maureen Downey is a longtime reporter for the AJC where she has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy for 19 years. She’s also taught college classes in mass communications and journalism.However, she’s learned more about schools from having four children in them. Her children range in age from 24 to 14, so she’s now dealing with elementary school and college. Her own education includes an undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree from Columbia University. She has worked for newspapers in New Jersey and Florida and has covered many school boards. She has won many editorial writing awards, including a National Headliner award. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for her AJC editorials on the Genarlow Wilson case. Read Maureen Downey's Get Schooled blog

Latest from Maureen Downey

Full slate of speakers set to mark anniversary of Atlanta women’s march
 The final list of speakers at a Saturday rally to mark the one-year anniversary of the Atlanta March for Social Justice & Women features two organizers of the 2017 national march in Washington, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour, and a key catalyst of the #MeToo movement, actress Alyssa Milano. The three women will share the stage at the Power...

Posted: 18 hours ago

The final list of speakers at a Saturday rally to mark the one-year anniversary of the Atlanta March for Social Justice & Women features two organizers of the 2017 national march in Washington, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour, and a key catalyst of the #MeToo movement, actress Alyssa Milano. The three women will share the stage at the Power...
About these snow days: Should districts make them up and when?
 In a note to parents today, Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen summarizes the challenges facing districts trying to decide whether
            to make up days lost to bad weather, including two this week. Under new flexibility contracts with the state, most Georgia districts aren’t obligated to recover the...

Posted: a day ago

In a note to parents today, Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen summarizes the challenges facing districts trying to decide whether to make up days lost to bad weather, including two this week. Under new flexibility contracts with the state, most Georgia districts aren’t obligated to recover the...
A University of Alabama student from New Jersey posts racist rant and is sent packing
 The University of Alabama is 
            reeling from a viral racist rant this week by a 19-year-old student from New Jersey who defended her repeated use of the N-word by saying, “I’m in the South
            now.” That didn’t prevent Harley Barber from immediately being kicked out of her sorority Alpha Phi, which...

Posted: 2 days ago

The University of Alabama is reeling from a viral racist rant this week by a 19-year-old student from New Jersey who defended her repeated use of the N-word by saying, “I’m in the South now.” That didn’t prevent Harley Barber from immediately being kicked out of her sorority Alpha Phi, which...
Whether and when to close schools is tough call even for experienced districts
 There’s always griping about how the south overreacts to snow, while districts farther north soldier through bad weather.
            But deciding whether and when to close schools is an imprecise science even in areas accustomed to wintry weather, as shown
            today in Montgomery County in Maryland. Parents there...

Posted: 2 days ago

There’s always griping about how the south overreacts to snow, while districts farther north soldier through bad weather. But deciding whether and when to close schools is an imprecise science even in areas accustomed to wintry weather, as shown today in Montgomery County in Maryland. Parents there...
Snow day question: Should students be on computers or on sleds?
 At least three local districts, Forsyth, Hall and Gwinnett, treat weather closings, including today, as digital learning days
            so students don’t lose valuable academic ground. Teachers in those districts explained they send their students home with assignments if bad weather is predicted so even those
            without...

Posted: 2 days ago

At least three local districts, Forsyth, Hall and Gwinnett, treat weather closings, including today, as digital learning days so students don’t lose valuable academic ground. Teachers in those districts explained they send their students home with assignments if bad weather is predicted so even those without...
Betsy DeVos: Common Core is dead at U.S. Department of Education
 U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gave a far-ranging speech today in Washington at an American Enterprise Institute
            conference, “Bush-Obama School Reform: Lessons Learned.” She announced the death of Common Core, at least in her federal agency. DeVos also decried the federal government’s initiatives to...

Posted: 3 days ago

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gave a far-ranging speech today in Washington at an American Enterprise Institute conference, “Bush-Obama School Reform: Lessons Learned.” She announced the death of Common Core, at least in her federal agency. DeVos also decried the federal government’s initiatives to...
Today Georgia Tech announces first round of students admitted
 My son was among the high school seniors sitting at their computers last year waiting to find out if they won early action
            admission into Georgia Tech. Today, 4,600 students are about to learn they were admitted. Tech will release the news to applicants at noon today. As usual, the early admits boast impressive academic records...

Posted: 6 days ago

My son was among the high school seniors sitting at their computers last year waiting to find out if they won early action admission into Georgia Tech. Today, 4,600 students are about to learn they were admitted. Tech will release the news to applicants at noon today. As usual, the early admits boast impressive academic records...
Nearly 50 years ago, they integrated the court. Tonight, they got their trophy.
 As one of the first black students to integrate Decatur High School in the late 60s, Samuel Favers experienced racism that
            still chafes nearly a half century later. He recalled the administration leaving his mother in tears after calling her in to tell her that he wasn’t able to learn. “The
            principal...

Posted: 7 days ago

As one of the first black students to integrate Decatur High School in the late 60s, Samuel Favers experienced racism that still chafes nearly a half century later. He recalled the administration leaving his mother in tears after calling her in to tell her that he wasn’t able to learn. “The principal...
Rally goal: turn Women’s March into movement aimed at election
 A year ago, the Women’s March in Washington and 673 sister events worldwide including one in Atlanta brought millions of people to their feet to protest Donald Trump’s election. On this year’s anniversary, organizers hope to bring those people to the polls. Rather than commemorating the anniversary with another march, Atlanta...

Posted: 7 days ago

A year ago, the Women’s March in Washington and 673 sister events worldwide including one in Atlanta brought millions of people to their feet to protest Donald Trump’s election. On this year’s anniversary, organizers hope to bring those people to the polls. Rather than commemorating the anniversary with another march, Atlanta...
Governor’s final State of the State: Saving HOPE and spreading it, too
 In this final year in office, Gov. Nathan Deal delivered his last State of the State address today. Education was a big part
            of it. Here are excerpts in which he spoke about education: We seek to make Georgia a leader in all industries, however, which is why we have invested so much into our K-12 education
            system,...

Posted: 8 days ago

In this final year in office, Gov. Nathan Deal delivered his last State of the State address today. Education was a big part of it. Here are excerpts in which he spoke about education: We seek to make Georgia a leader in all industries, however, which is why we have invested so much into our K-12 education system,...