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

Opinion: Our public schools are better than most Georgians realize
 Matt Cardoza is the communications director for the 
            Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and former spokesman for the state 
            Department of Education where he got to visit schools across Georgia on a regular basis. In this piece, Cardoza says Georgia schools are unfairly labeled as failing. He cites...

Posted: 9 hours ago

Matt Cardoza is the communications director for the  Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and former spokesman for the state Department of Education where he got to visit schools across Georgia on a regular basis. In this piece, Cardoza says Georgia schools are unfairly labeled as failing. He cites...
Was DeKalb board member wrong to allow son to wear insulting T-shirt to CNN tour?
 DeKalb elected officials Nancy and Stan Jester live public lives and often take positions that earn them criticism in their
            county. She’s a county commissioner; he is a school board member. I assume a thick skin runs in their family, given what they allowed their seventh grader to wear on a school field trip to
        ...

Posted: 18 hours ago

DeKalb elected officials Nancy and Stan Jester live public lives and often take positions that earn them criticism in their county. She’s a county commissioner; he is a school board member. I assume a thick skin runs in their family, given what they allowed their seventh grader to wear on a school field trip to ...
Opinion: Only wealthy can afford grad school under House tax plan up for vote today
 Jenny C. Bledsoe is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in English at Emory University, specializing in medieval literature. She
            was featured in a 
            New York Times story last week that examined how the GOP House tax plan would impact a range of American students. In this essay, Bledsoe focuses on the
            change that...

Posted: a day ago

Jenny C. Bledsoe is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in English at Emory University, specializing in medieval literature. She was featured in a New York Times story last week that examined how the GOP House tax plan would impact a range of American students. In this essay, Bledsoe focuses on the change that...
Opinion: School counselors learn to prepare students for all careers
 Lee Edmondson Grimes is an associate professor of counseling at Valdosta State University. In this piece, she writes about the expanding role
            of school counselors in career exploration and development. Grimes notes that school counselors are now trained in advising students about all careers, including technical, trade, apprenticeships...

Posted: 2 days ago

Lee Edmondson Grimes is an associate professor of counseling at Valdosta State University. In this piece, she writes about the expanding role of school counselors in career exploration and development. Grimes notes that school counselors are now trained in advising students about all careers, including technical, trade, apprenticeships...
Opinion: I opposed school choice until I had a child who needed it
 Attorney Nina Hickson is the former ethics officer for the city of Atlanta. Hickson had a challenging experience finding a
            school that could meet the needs of her daughter who is dyslexic. In this piece, Hickson explains her conversion from opponent
            of choice to supporter. By Nina Hickson While it is generally...

Posted: 3 days ago

Attorney Nina Hickson is the former ethics officer for the city of Atlanta. Hickson had a challenging experience finding a school that could meet the needs of her daughter who is dyslexic. In this piece, Hickson explains her conversion from opponent of choice to supporter. By Nina Hickson While it is generally...
University of Georgia will announce first round of admitted students Friday
 High school seniors who applied early action to the University of Georgia will find out Friday whether they made the cut,
            according to the 
            UGA Admissions blog. UGA received nearly 15,000 early action applications.  (The university expects 10,000 regular decision applications, which
            are due by Jan...

Posted: 3 days ago

High school seniors who applied early action to the University of Georgia will find out Friday whether they made the cut, according to the UGA Admissions blog. UGA received nearly 15,000 early action applications.  (The university expects 10,000 regular decision applications, which are due by Jan...
Opinion: Sex ed shouldn’t cast conservative parents as ‘weird minority’
 Jane Robbins of Atlanta is an attorney and senior fellow at the American Principles Project, a conservative think tank.​ In
            this piece, she talks about sex education, focusing on the different programs used in DeKalb and Gwinnett schools. As the AJC reported earlier this year: With that background, here’s...

Posted: 4 days ago

Jane Robbins of Atlanta is an attorney and senior fellow at the American Principles Project, a conservative think tank.​ In this piece, she talks about sex education, focusing on the different programs used in DeKalb and Gwinnett schools. As the AJC reported earlier this year: With that background, here’s...
Opinion: Why make it hard for potential parapros to take certification test?
 Diane Loupe is a former journalist turned educator. In this piece, she talks about the obstacles in the path of metro residents
            seeking to take the test to become a classroom paraprofessional. By Diane Loupe If certification is the name of the game to get a job as a paraprofessional in a classroom, then why isn&rsquo...

Posted: 4 days ago

Diane Loupe is a former journalist turned educator. In this piece, she talks about the obstacles in the path of metro residents seeking to take the test to become a classroom paraprofessional. By Diane Loupe If certification is the name of the game to get a job as a paraprofessional in a classroom, then why isn&rsquo...
Georgia schools embrace career pathways but are they dead ends?
 Over coffee in Orlando at the 
            Project Lead The Way national summit last month, the nonprofit’s president and CEO Vince Bertram told me about three questions he once asked a gathering of manufacturing
            managers. Every hand shot up in response to the first two: How many had unfilled jobs and how many had unfilled...

Posted: 7 days ago

Over coffee in Orlando at the Project Lead The Way national summit last month, the nonprofit’s president and CEO Vince Bertram told me about three questions he once asked a gathering of manufacturing managers. Every hand shot up in response to the first two: How many had unfilled jobs and how many had unfilled...
Opinion: Kennesaw State University cheerleaders are kneeling in the stream of history
 A Duke and University of North Carolina graduate, David Parker is a professor of history at Kennesaw State University and
            has been the department’s assistant chair since August 2009.  Parker teaches classes in Georgia history, the history of American
            religion, the Gilded Age, and research methods. In...

Posted: 7 days ago

A Duke and University of North Carolina graduate, David Parker is a professor of history at Kennesaw State University and has been the department’s assistant chair since August 2009.  Parker teaches classes in Georgia history, the history of American religion, the Gilded Age, and research methods. In...