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

Alarmed National PTA to Georgia PTA: We can’t allow you to further tarnish our brand
 After a power play that ousted a popular president and caused local units to consider abandoning the Georgia PTA, the state
            leadership now seems bent on self-destruction. Already on probation, the group has run afoul of National PTA again by its clumsy manipulation of the election process. In
            a strong letter sent...

Posted: a minute ago

After a power play that ousted a popular president and caused local units to consider abandoning the Georgia PTA, the state leadership now seems bent on self-destruction. Already on probation, the group has run afoul of National PTA again by its clumsy manipulation of the election process. In a strong letter sent...
Opinion: Next week is too early to go back to school. Bring back summer.
 Camila Knowles is the mother of four, a supporter of Save Georgia Summers, and 
            commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. In this column, she asks a question shared by many Georgia parents buying
            school supplies this week in 90 degree weather: Is there any compelling reason for Georgia schools to...

Posted: 20 hours ago

Camila Knowles is the mother of four, a supporter of Save Georgia Summers, and commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. In this column, she asks a question shared by many Georgia parents buying school supplies this week in 90 degree weather: Is there any compelling reason for Georgia schools to...
Typical U.S. teacher: Female, well educated, underpaid and nearing retirement
 Here is a concise graphic identifying the country’s typical teacher. Pay attention to the retirement data as that’s something
            Georgia will have to reckon with in a few years. At the same time Georgia is seeing a rise in teachers retiring, the state is seeing fewer college students enrolling in teaching
           ...

Posted: a day ago

Here is a concise graphic identifying the country’s typical teacher. Pay attention to the retirement data as that’s something Georgia will have to reckon with in a few years. At the same time Georgia is seeing a rise in teachers retiring, the state is seeing fewer college students enrolling in teaching ...
Teachers share their best advice on how parents can help children succeed
 With an estimated 1.7 million Georgia public school students starting school this month, let’s talk about one of the neglected
            keys to their success — 
            
               parents
            . Most school improvement efforts in Georgia have rightfully focused on 
            
               teacher
      ...

Posted: a day ago

With an estimated 1.7 million Georgia public school students starting school this month, let’s talk about one of the neglected keys to their success — parents . Most school improvement efforts in Georgia have rightfully focused on teacher ...
Sign of the times in Georgia: No flipflops in UGA labs, but Glocks allowed
 Georgia rose to the front page of
             Reddit a few days ago over the 
            state’s campus carry law that went into effect on July 1. “Madbiologist,” a poster to the mega online discussion site, shared the above photo, saying
            it was outside of a University of Georgia lab. I asked UGA about the...

Posted: 2 days ago

Georgia rose to the front page of Reddit a few days ago over the state’s campus carry law that went into effect on July 1. “Madbiologist,” a poster to the mega online discussion site, shared the above photo, saying it was outside of a University of Georgia lab. I asked UGA about the...
Study: Children as young as 3 attempt to discern rules of reading, writing
 When I first began covering education, there was an assumption schools were on a solo mission to educate the youth of America;
            parents dropped off their kids and teachers did the rest. It didn’t matter whether the child was raised in a home with hundreds of books or just the telephone book: schools were supposed
       ...

Posted: 2 days ago

When I first began covering education, there was an assumption schools were on a solo mission to educate the youth of America; parents dropped off their kids and teachers did the rest. It didn’t matter whether the child was raised in a home with hundreds of books or just the telephone book: schools were supposed ...
Can students get lost at big schools like UGA? Yes, but they will find their way.
 Many high school seniors considering colleges are intimidated by a large campus. In this essay, a recent University of Georgia
            graduate says there are challenges to sprawling schools — days when you eat alone or don’t run into anyone you know on campus
            –but they are many benefits, too. AJC intern...

Posted: 2 days ago

Many high school seniors considering colleges are intimidated by a large campus. In this essay, a recent University of Georgia graduate says there are challenges to sprawling schools — days when you eat alone or don’t run into anyone you know on campus –but they are many benefits, too. AJC intern...
A league of their own: Dating app caters to elite college grads
 AJC intern Allison Gordon wrote an interesting essay today on dating apps, which are increasingly the domain of young adults.
            A friend recently told me her three kids — all college students at private universities — met their significant others through
            dating apps. Among the apps favored by college-age...

Posted: 3 days ago

AJC intern Allison Gordon wrote an interesting essay today on dating apps, which are increasingly the domain of young adults. A friend recently told me her three kids — all college students at private universities — met their significant others through dating apps. Among the apps favored by college-age...
Luring good teachers to poor schools not so easy, Fulton finds
 In an effort to entice top-rated teachers to transfer to low-rated schools, Fulton County offered $20,000 stipends in a pilot program announced with great fanfare in 2014. It was not an easy sell. Although 375 Fulton teachers were eligible to participate, only 32 applied. Teachers were daunted by the long commutes and concerns over how they&rsquo...

Posted: 4 days ago

In an effort to entice top-rated teachers to transfer to low-rated schools, Fulton County offered $20,000 stipends in a pilot program announced with great fanfare in 2014. It was not an easy sell. Although 375 Fulton teachers were eligible to participate, only 32 applied. Teachers were daunted by the long commutes and concerns over how they&rsquo...
Is college about producing well-rounded citizens or graduates with job skills?
 Alma Washington is another one of the talented college interns working at the AJC this summer. She is a rising senior at the
            University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studies interactive multimedia journalism and creative writing. She
            is interning in the audience department at the AJC. In this piece, Washington...

Posted: 6 days ago

Alma Washington is another one of the talented college interns working at the AJC this summer. She is a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studies interactive multimedia journalism and creative writing. She is interning in the audience department at the AJC. In this piece, Washington...