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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

Statewide internet outage disrupts, delays Georgia Milestones tests
 An internet outage today disrupted Georgia Milestones testing across the state. As a result, some districts including Gwinnett and Clayton had to delay testing and will resume their exams next week. In an email response to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution tonight, state Department of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza said, “PeachNet...

Posted: 3 days ago

An internet outage today disrupted Georgia Milestones testing across the state. As a result, some districts including Gwinnett and Clayton had to delay testing and will resume their exams next week. In an email response to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution tonight, state Department of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza said, “PeachNet...
Betsy DeVos joins chief critic on tour of public schools
 President Donald Trump’s secretary of education has promoted school choice in many of her public statements and in visits to private and charter schools. This week, however, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos toured traditional public schools, which she has contended are failing their students. DeVos was in rural Ohio at the invitation...

Posted: 4 days ago

President Donald Trump’s secretary of education has promoted school choice in many of her public statements and in visits to private and charter schools. This week, however, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos toured traditional public schools, which she has contended are failing their students. DeVos was in rural Ohio at the invitation...
Are schools throwing in towel on cheating?
 Does everybody cheat? When you look at survey results of high school and college students, it appears cheating has become not only widespread, but openly acknowledged. A survey of 24,000 students at 70 high schools found 64 percent admitted to cheating on a test, and 58 percent owned up to plagiarism. Overall, 95 percent said they had cheated...

Posted: 4 days ago

Does everybody cheat? When you look at survey results of high school and college students, it appears cheating has become not only widespread, but openly acknowledged. A survey of 24,000 students at 70 high schools found 64 percent admitted to cheating on a test, and 58 percent owned up to plagiarism. Overall, 95 percent said they had cheated...
A new corporate, civic effort to improve metro schools: Will it work?
 A new civic coalition with some high-powered supporters hopes to turn around metro schools. A collaboration of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and the United Way of Greater Atlanta, Learn4Life unites metro school systems, communities, business and nonprofits around a...

Posted: 6 days ago

A new civic coalition with some high-powered supporters hopes to turn around metro schools. A collaboration of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and the United Way of Greater Atlanta, Learn4Life unites metro school systems, communities, business and nonprofits around a...
Georgia’s 28 public colleges will see 2% tuition  increase 
 The Board of Regents today announced a 2 percent tuition increase at Georgia’s 28 public colleges and universities for full-time, in-state students. “With the generous support of the governor and legislature, we continue to focus on college affordability, while providing quality education,” said Chancellor Steve Wrigley...

Posted: 7 days ago

The Board of Regents today announced a 2 percent tuition increase at Georgia’s 28 public colleges and universities for full-time, in-state students. “With the generous support of the governor and legislature, we continue to focus on college affordability, while providing quality education,” said Chancellor Steve Wrigley...
State Farm donates $20 million to aid college completion in DeKalb
 Georgia State University President Mark Becker and State Farm CEO Michael Tipsord announced a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership this morning. State Farm is donating $20 million to help local schools and nonprofits improve outcomes and boost completion rates among students at the GSU’s Decatur campus of Perimeter College....

Posted: 7 days ago

Georgia State University President Mark Becker and State Farm CEO Michael Tipsord announced a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership this morning. State Farm is donating $20 million to help local schools and nonprofits improve outcomes and boost completion rates among students at the GSU’s Decatur campus of Perimeter College....
Opponents urge governor to veto guns on Georgia college campuses
 Will he or won’t he? Both sides of the campus carry debate are watching Gov. Nathan Deal to see if he will repeat last year’s veto of a bill allowing guns on Georgia’s public colleges campuses. This year’s version of campus carry, House Bill 280, contains concessions designed to persuade the governor to sign it, including...

Posted: 11 days ago

Will he or won’t he? Both sides of the campus carry debate are watching Gov. Nathan Deal to see if he will repeat last year’s veto of a bill allowing guns on Georgia’s public colleges campuses. This year’s version of campus carry, House Bill 280, contains concessions designed to persuade the governor to sign it, including...
Opinion: Crime data show Georgia college students, faculty, and staff don’t need guns.
 Will he or won’t he? That’s the question thousands of parents, Georgia college students and professors are wondering as Gov. Nathan Deal has 27 days left to veto the campus carry bill. House Bill 280 would allow anyone with a concealed weapons permit to carry firearms on public college and university campuses, with exceptions...

Posted: 12 days ago

Will he or won’t he? That’s the question thousands of parents, Georgia college students and professors are wondering as Gov. Nathan Deal has 27 days left to veto the campus carry bill. House Bill 280 would allow anyone with a concealed weapons permit to carry firearms on public college and university campuses, with exceptions...
Are AP classes still the gold standard in high schools?
 AP classes have long been deemed the gold standard in high school, but is the glitter starting to fade? Some private schools are re-evaluating AP classes and tests. In DeKalb, school board member Stan Jester has questioned applauding high schools for increases in students taking AP tests without a frank discussion about how well students...

Posted: 12 days ago

AP classes have long been deemed the gold standard in high school, but is the glitter starting to fade? Some private schools are re-evaluating AP classes and tests. In DeKalb, school board member Stan Jester has questioned applauding high schools for increases in students taking AP tests without a frank discussion about how well students...
Are AP classes worth it? Absolutely, say some Georgia educators
 Kenneth S. Lawrence is the 2016 Muscogee County School District Teacher of the Year. Christine Hull is director of advanced learning and gifted programs for the district. In two essays below, they respond to a column I wrote about how some schools are questioning the value of Advanced Placement courses and exams. AP courses are...

Posted: 12 days ago

Kenneth S. Lawrence is the 2016 Muscogee County School District Teacher of the Year. Christine Hull is director of advanced learning and gifted programs for the district. In two essays below, they respond to a column I wrote about how some schools are questioning the value of Advanced Placement courses and exams. AP courses are...