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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

Should students expect material on AP or IB exams they never studied in class?
 I’ve been spending time around graduating high school seniors this week, my twins and their classmates as well as the children of friends. So, I’ve been hearing gripes about tests, not teacher-produced tests that kids typically find fair but standardized tests. The complaint: Their Advanced Placement or International...

Posted: 12 hours ago

I’ve been spending time around graduating high school seniors this week, my twins and their classmates as well as the children of friends. So, I’ve been hearing gripes about tests, not teacher-produced tests that kids typically find fair but standardized tests. The complaint: Their Advanced Placement or International...
Are our school classrooms too loud to learn?
 An educational researcher and Decatur parent says schools often ignore a major detriment to student learning, noise levels. While schools have eliminated many major threats to children’s well-being including lead, asbestos, cigarette smoke and junk food, Dr. C. Aiden Downey says they ignore noise pollutants. Schools allow HVAC or construction...

Posted: a day ago

An educational researcher and Decatur parent says schools often ignore a major detriment to student learning, noise levels. While schools have eliminated many major threats to children’s well-being including lead, asbestos, cigarette smoke and junk food, Dr. C. Aiden Downey says they ignore noise pollutants. Schools allow HVAC or construction...
Too loud to learn: Do schools ignore the impact of noise pollution on kids?
 Educational researcher C. Aiden Downey is a Decatur parent and an associated faculty at Emory University. (We are not related). Dr. Downey writes today about noise levels in schools, something few of us ever think about it. But it sounds like we should. Here is a shortened form of his bio: Downey lectures in the Intercultural Conflict...

Posted: a day ago

Educational researcher C. Aiden Downey is a Decatur parent and an associated faculty at Emory University. (We are not related). Dr. Downey writes today about noise levels in schools, something few of us ever think about it. But it sounds like we should. Here is a shortened form of his bio: Downey lectures in the Intercultural Conflict...
Does Trump’s proposed expansion of school choice shortchange rural Georgia?
 U.S. Secretary of Education and champion of school choice Betsy DeVos continues to promise schools that her U.S. Department of Education will grant them more flexibility and freedom from federal oversight. What she doesn’t mention is they will also get less money. As I have pointed out many times related to the Georgia General Assembly&rsquo...

Posted: 4 days ago

U.S. Secretary of Education and champion of school choice Betsy DeVos continues to promise schools that her U.S. Department of Education will grant them more flexibility and freedom from federal oversight. What she doesn’t mention is they will also get less money. As I have pointed out many times related to the Georgia General Assembly&rsquo...
Mother: My daughter with ADHD won “Most Likely To Not Pay Attention” award
 I was just telling my husband American schools would have a lot easier task if they focused on academics and ceased the proms, the sports and the other assorted extracurriculars grafted onto their original mission to teach reading and math. Because those extras sap time and energy and are often the source of parent complaints and...

Posted: 4 days ago

I was just telling my husband American schools would have a lot easier task if they focused on academics and ceased the proms, the sports and the other assorted extracurriculars grafted onto their original mission to teach reading and math. Because those extras sap time and energy and are often the source of parent complaints and...
Georgia State study: New charter schools boost surrounding home values
 Interesting study from Georgia State University’s Center for State and Local Finance on the impact of start-up charter schools on the prices of homes in the area. Commissioned by the Georgia  Charter Schools Commission, the study analyzed the economic impact of start-up charter schools on the nearby communities....

Posted: 5 days ago

Interesting study from Georgia State University’s Center for State and Local Finance on the impact of start-up charter schools on the prices of homes in the area. Commissioned by the Georgia  Charter Schools Commission, the study analyzed the economic impact of start-up charter schools on the nearby communities....
Can Georgia schools afford rising teacher benefits?
 I was chatting with my AJC colleagues in the office today about possible candidates for the chief turnaround officer created by the new law on state intervention in failing schools. I wondered about Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield, who is liked and respected by Gov. Nathan Deal. In the midst of that discussion...

Posted: 5 days ago

I was chatting with my AJC colleagues in the office today about possible candidates for the chief turnaround officer created by the new law on state intervention in failing schools. I wondered about Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield, who is liked and respected by Gov. Nathan Deal. In the midst of that discussion...
Georgia Supreme Court: Hall student can be charged with terroristic threat
 The state Supreme Court today upheld charges against a Hall County teenager alleging he made a terroristic threat in a Facebook post. The case speaks to the risks of teens using social media to make threats, even ones written in jest or out of frustration. The gist: Devon Major, a student at Lanier Career Academy, posted on Facebook about...

Posted: 7 days ago

The state Supreme Court today upheld charges against a Hall County teenager alleging he made a terroristic threat in a Facebook post. The case speaks to the risks of teens using social media to make threats, even ones written in jest or out of frustration. The gist: Devon Major, a student at Lanier Career Academy, posted on Facebook about...
Karen Handel assails Jon Ossoff for posh private school and out-of-state universities. Is that a smart strategy?
 I get notifications from both the Democrat and Republican in the heated 6th district U.S. congressional race, where education has not been a major theme.  But an email this morning on behalf of GOP candidate Karen Handel from the National Republican Congressional Committee intrigued me because it dings Democrat Jon Ossoff for attending...

Posted: 8 days ago

I get notifications from both the Democrat and Republican in the heated 6th district U.S. congressional race, where education has not been a major theme.  But an email this morning on behalf of GOP candidate Karen Handel from the National Republican Congressional Committee intrigued me because it dings Democrat Jon Ossoff for attending...