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

Atlanta Public Schools will add 30 minutes to school day to make up lost time
 Atlanta Public Schools will make up seven days lost to bad weather this year by adding 30 minutes to the end of the day from
            Jan. 29 through March 30. (Schools not operating on the district schedule will also add 30 minutes to their instructional
            day.) This means: Elementary schools will release at 3 p.m.
        ...

Posted: 5 hours ago

Atlanta Public Schools will make up seven days lost to bad weather this year by adding 30 minutes to the end of the day from Jan. 29 through March 30. (Schools not operating on the district schedule will also add 30 minutes to their instructional day.) This means: Elementary schools will release at 3 p.m. ...
Another college student crosses the line and uses that word on social media
 Two young women at major public campuses in the south use the N-word on social media and face a barrage of criticisms. Now,
            both have left their universities and fled social media. The University of Alabama, which has successfully marketed itself to students outside the south, moved quickly last week to
             expel Harley...

Posted: 7 hours ago

Two young women at major public campuses in the south use the N-word on social media and face a barrage of criticisms. Now, both have left their universities and fled social media. The University of Alabama, which has successfully marketed itself to students outside the south, moved quickly last week to expel Harley...
Opinion: Trump’s election fueled tensions in my diverse Cobb high school
 Carlo Manuel is a senior at Wheeler High School in Cobb County. He is a writer and content creator for the school’s student-produced
            “Wildcat TV.” Carlo will attend Georgia State University next year to study filmmaking. In this piece, Carlo talks about how the election of Donald Trump has intensified racial...

Posted: a day ago

Carlo Manuel is a senior at Wheeler High School in Cobb County. He is a writer and content creator for the school’s student-produced “Wildcat TV.” Carlo will attend Georgia State University next year to study filmmaking. In this piece, Carlo talks about how the election of Donald Trump has intensified racial...
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: 3 days 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: 4 days 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: 5 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: 5 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: 5 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: 6 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: 9 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...