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 more than 20 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 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. In June, the Education Writers Association named her Opinion Writer of the Year. Read Maureen Downey's Get Schooled blog

Latest from Maureen Downey

In gunfights, trained officers have 18 percent hit rate. Yet, we want to arm teachers?
 After meeting Wednesday with student survivors and parents of teens killed in last week’s shooting spree at a Florida high school, President Donald Trump endorsed the idea of arming teachers. "If you had a teacher who was adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly," he said today. "This would be obviously...

Posted: 2 days ago

After meeting Wednesday with student survivors and parents of teens killed in last week’s shooting spree at a Florida high school, President Donald Trump endorsed the idea of arming teachers. "If you had a teacher who was adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly," he said today. "This would be obviously...
Teacher: How can we prevent the next school shooting?
 Educators are offering their own solutions to preventing more school shootings. Here are the suggestions of Ben Needle, a history teacher at Wheeler High School in Cobb County. By Ben Needle With every school shooting, I struggle as an educator. What can we do and what have we done? My training as an educator coincided with the shootings...

Posted: 2 days ago

Educators are offering their own solutions to preventing more school shootings. Here are the suggestions of Ben Needle, a history teacher at Wheeler High School in Cobb County. By Ben Needle With every school shooting, I struggle as an educator. What can we do and what have we done? My training as an educator coincided with the shootings...
Student: College should revoke Charlie Rose’s honor after sexual misconduct charges
 In a guest column today, a campus leader addresses the failure of her university to rescind a 2016 honorary degree to veteran journalist Charlie Rose, despite disturbing revelations about his sexual misconduct in the workplace. Claire Brickson, a senior at Sewanee: The University of the South, criticizes the Tennessee liberal art college&rsquo...

Posted: 3 days ago

In a guest column today, a campus leader addresses the failure of her university to rescind a 2016 honorary degree to veteran journalist Charlie Rose, despite disturbing revelations about his sexual misconduct in the workplace. Claire Brickson, a senior at Sewanee: The University of the South, criticizes the Tennessee liberal art college&rsquo...
Will more guns and armed teachers protect students?
 A friend overheard her second grader instructing playmates huddling under a climbing structure at their local playground, “You’re in lockdown. If you come out, the bad man will shoot you.” This is morning in America where parents pray their child’s school doesn’t become the next scene of a mass shooting by an...

Posted: 4 days ago

A friend overheard her second grader instructing playmates huddling under a climbing structure at their local playground, “You’re in lockdown. If you come out, the bad man will shoot you.” This is morning in America where parents pray their child’s school doesn’t become the next scene of a mass shooting by an...
Opinion: No money for priority schools yet lawmakers find $17 million for charters
 Janet Kishbaugh is co-chair of the Georgia Coalition for Public Education, formerly the Committee to Keep Georgia Schools Local. In this commentary, Kishbaugh questions the lack of adequate funding for Gov. Nathan Deal’s signature initiative, state turnaround schools. While the state says it can’t come up with more funding for...

Posted: 4 days ago

Janet Kishbaugh is co-chair of the Georgia Coalition for Public Education, formerly the Committee to Keep Georgia Schools Local. In this commentary, Kishbaugh questions the lack of adequate funding for Gov. Nathan Deal’s signature initiative, state turnaround schools. While the state says it can’t come up with more funding for...
Fulton investigating whether Alpharetta coach used N-word with Valdosta player
 The Fulton County School System is investigating an allegation that an Alpharetta High School baseball coach used a racial epithet toward a Valdosta High School player at a tense Friday night game.  According to the player’s mother LaVerne Rome, the incident occurred after Valdosta High School defeated Alpharetta High School in...

Posted: 5 days ago

The Fulton County School System is investigating an allegation that an Alpharetta High School baseball coach used a racial epithet toward a Valdosta High School player at a tense Friday night game.  According to the player’s mother LaVerne Rome, the incident occurred after Valdosta High School defeated Alpharetta High School in...
The path from troubled teen to mass murder suspect
 Is this now every American parent's silent prayer as the school bus pulls away?  Seventeen Florida teens came to school to learn Wednesday. They were doing what they were supposed to be doing.  We failed to do what we were supposed to do. We did not keep them safe.  This is on the adults. We are to blame. We now accept school...

Posted: 9 days ago

Is this now every American parent's silent prayer as the school bus pulls away?  Seventeen Florida teens came to school to learn Wednesday. They were doing what they were supposed to be doing.  We failed to do what we were supposed to do. We did not keep them safe.  This is on the adults. We are to blame. We now accept school...
Deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history: What do we tell kids? 
 Here is a letter to Marietta families from Grant Rivera, the superintendent of Marietta City Schools. Rivera wrote the letter in the wake of the  high school shooting in Florida Wednesday that killed 17 students and sent 15 others to the hospital.  The rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is the deadliest high school shooting...

Posted: 9 days ago

Here is a letter to Marietta families from Grant Rivera, the superintendent of Marietta City Schools. Rivera wrote the letter in the wake of the high school shooting in Florida Wednesday that killed 17 students and sent 15 others to the hospital.  The rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is the deadliest high school shooting...
When schools mine data to death, teacher spirit also dies
 A frequent contributor to the AJC Get Schooled blog, Peter Smagorinsky is an educator, researcher, and theorist at the University of Georgia. He holds the title of Distinguished Research Professor of English Education.  This piece comes out of his ongoing study of teachers. In an earlier blog essay that has been read by thousands...

Posted: 10 days ago

A frequent contributor to the AJC Get Schooled blog, Peter Smagorinsky is an educator, researcher, and theorist at the University of Georgia. He holds the title of Distinguished Research Professor of English Education.  This piece comes out of his ongoing study of teachers. In an earlier blog essay that has been read by thousands...
How do we get black students in the picture and in computer majors?
 Kamau Bobb is senior director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech. In this column, Bobb cites the lack of students of color in STEM majors, a failure that he believes ought to be on everyone’s mind as Atlanta pursues Amazon’s second headquarters.  He contends the plan to lure Amazon here must...

Posted: 11 days ago

Kamau Bobb is senior director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech. In this column, Bobb cites the lack of students of color in STEM majors, a failure that he believes ought to be on everyone’s mind as Atlanta pursues Amazon’s second headquarters.  He contends the plan to lure Amazon here must...
Opinion: Stop funding Georgia charter schools ‘on the cheap’
 Corey DeAngelis is a policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom. In a guest column, DeAngelis endorses a bill in the Georgia Legislature that would increase state spending on charter schools. Sponsored by Rep. Scott Hilton, R-Peachtree Corners, House Bill 787 would increase charter school investment by...

Posted: 12 days ago

Corey DeAngelis is a policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom. In a guest column, DeAngelis endorses a bill in the Georgia Legislature that would increase state spending on charter schools. Sponsored by Rep. Scott Hilton, R-Peachtree Corners, House Bill 787 would increase charter school investment by...