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

KKK roleplaying and crude rap lyrics: Mistakes but should they end careers?
 Education professor 
            Peter Smagorinsky peppers his University of Georgia undergraduate students with daily email compendiums of teachers-gone-wrong news stories
            under the heading “Don’t try this at home.” “I share these stories any time a teacher gets in hot water due to poor judgment...

Posted: 14 hours ago

Education professor Peter Smagorinsky peppers his University of Georgia undergraduate students with daily email compendiums of teachers-gone-wrong news stories under the heading “Don’t try this at home.” “I share these stories any time a teacher gets in hot water due to poor judgment...
KKK roleplaying & obscene rap lyrics: Mistakes but should they end careers?
 Education professor 
            Peter Smagorinsky peppers his University of Georgia undergraduate students with daily email compendiums of teachers-gone-wrong news stories
            under the heading “Don’t try this at home.” “I share these stories any time a teacher gets in hot water due to poor judgment...

Posted: 14 hours ago

Education professor Peter Smagorinsky peppers his University of Georgia undergraduate students with daily email compendiums of teachers-gone-wrong news stories under the heading “Don’t try this at home.” “I share these stories any time a teacher gets in hot water due to poor judgment...
Sign on University of Georgia campus about Georgia Tech shooting upsets students
 This sign displayed outside the Tate Student Center at the University of Georgia Wednesday shocked some students. I assume
            the sign writer was asking students whether the shooting of Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz was justifiable in its reference
            to a “clean shoot.” UGA senior Alli Carton told me: &ldquo...

Posted: 20 hours ago

This sign displayed outside the Tate Student Center at the University of Georgia Wednesday shocked some students. I assume the sign writer was asking students whether the shooting of Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz was justifiable in its reference to a “clean shoot.” UGA senior Alli Carton told me: &ldquo...
Opinion: People too quick to assume police at fault in Georgia Tech shooting
 Rick Diguette is a local writer and retired college instructor who often writes about higher ed issues for this blog.  Today,
            he raises concerns about the early news reports on the Georgia Tech shooting and how they may have shaped the narrative that
            police were at fault. By Rick Diguette On Saturday night, a...

Posted: 2 days ago

Rick Diguette is a local writer and retired college instructor who often writes about higher ed issues for this blog.  Today, he raises concerns about the early news reports on the Georgia Tech shooting and how they may have shaped the narrative that police were at fault. By Rick Diguette On Saturday night, a...
Georgia Tech student: University must improve outreach and help for suicidal students
 Duo-Wei Yang is a sophomore at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She majors in Computational Media (CM) and is a freelance
            reporter. She has written a thoughtful piece about how Georgia Tech ought to look at the resources and supports it offers troubled students.
            Suicide is the second leading cause of death for...

Posted: 2 days ago

Duo-Wei Yang is a sophomore at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She majors in Computational Media (CM) and is a freelance reporter. She has written a thoughtful piece about how Georgia Tech ought to look at the resources and supports it offers troubled students. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for...
Georgia Tech students rally around their campus and their police force
 Upset with the damage to their campus and its reputation by a vigil-turned-violent tonight, Georgia Tech students are in the
            midst of organizing a Tuesday morning clean-up of the protest area, including anti-police graffiti. And they also want to clear up a few facts. Students on social media tonight are blaming the vigil violence...

Posted: 3 days ago

Upset with the damage to their campus and its reputation by a vigil-turned-violent tonight, Georgia Tech students are in the midst of organizing a Tuesday morning clean-up of the protest area, including anti-police graffiti. And they also want to clear up a few facts. Students on social media tonight are blaming the vigil violence...
Georgia school chief: Governor’s accountability plan relies too much on testing
 Not everyone agrees with the vision for Georgia’s 
            education system submitted today to the U.S. Department of Education. Including Gov. Nathan Deal. Georgia was among 33 states facing a deadline today to turn in their school accountability systems under the Every Student
            Succeeds Act, which replaced No Child...

Posted: 3 days ago

Not everyone agrees with the vision for Georgia’s education system submitted today to the U.S. Department of Education. Including Gov. Nathan Deal. Georgia was among 33 states facing a deadline today to turn in their school accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced No Child...
A Georgia Tech student dies in tragic confrontation with campus police
 With a child now at Georgia Tech, I’ve been following the shooting death late Saturday night of senior computer engineering
            student Scout Schultz by campus police. The deadly incident occurred behind my son’s dorm on the west campus. My husband and I had driven past the site only a few
            hours earlier after...

Posted: 4 days ago

With a child now at Georgia Tech, I’ve been following the shooting death late Saturday night of senior computer engineering student Scout Schultz by campus police. The deadly incident occurred behind my son’s dorm on the west campus. My husband and I had driven past the site only a few hours earlier after...
Cherokee tempest in a T-shirt shows political climate affects schools
 The tense political climate dividing America does not spare the classroom, as can be seen in a drama in Cherokee County. A few weeks ago, River Ridge High School math teacher Lyn Orletsky instructed two boys in her pre-calculus class to turn their “Make America Great Again” T-shirts inside out to conceal the slogan, which she...

Posted: 5 days ago

The tense political climate dividing America does not spare the classroom, as can be seen in a drama in Cherokee County. A few weeks ago, River Ridge High School math teacher Lyn Orletsky instructed two boys in her pre-calculus class to turn their “Make America Great Again” T-shirts inside out to conceal the slogan, which she...
Cherokee teacher: Why I objected to ‘Make America Great Again’ shirts in class
 When River Ridge High School math teacher Lyn Orletsky instructed two boys in her pre-calculus class to turn their “Make America Great Again” T-shirts inside out to conceal the slogan, her motivation was not political, she said. After teaching five years in conservative Cherokee County where nearly three out of four voters endorsed...

Posted: 7 days ago

When River Ridge High School math teacher Lyn Orletsky instructed two boys in her pre-calculus class to turn their “Make America Great Again” T-shirts inside out to conceal the slogan, her motivation was not political, she said. After teaching five years in conservative Cherokee County where nearly three out of four voters endorsed...