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The MACE Manifesto: The Politically Incorrect, Irreverent, and Scatological Examination of What’s Wrong with American Public Education is a gonzoistic examination of what is wrong with the institution known as American Public Education. In this Gonzo style of writing, Dr. John Trotter and Mr. Norreese Haynes make no high-minded pretenses of being objective but give colorful and compelling explanations of what are the real problems of public education, not what the so-called “school reformers” think are the problems. Trotter and Haynes bewail the teaching conditions in America’s public schools and especially in the urban schools. They often cite the MACE Mantra: “You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.”
Trotter and Haynes contend that the so-call school reform efforts are misplaced, misguided, and cause much more harm than good. These efforts start, according to Trotter and Haynes, from a false premise, viz., that the teaching corps is the problem with our public schools. They, however, write that the number one problem in the public schools today is that power has been taken away from the teachers. They contend that teachers have been denuded of power and influence over student discipline and the curriculum that they teach in their classrooms. Trotter and Haynes state that teachers need to be put back on their thrones in their classrooms and that school administrators should get the heck out of the classrooms and quit “snoopervising” the teachers. Instead of micromanaging teachers, good teachers should simply be hired and allowed to have the freedom in the classroom to be creative, and the administrators should back the teachers to the hilt when it comes dealing with rude, defiant, and disruptive students. The authors contend that a loose net will catch any weak or incompetent teacher but a tight net will suffocate creative teachers and drive them out of the profession.
Besides defiant and disruptive students, Trotter and Haynes state that the other major problems in public education are the irate and irresponsible parents; angry, petty, and abusive administrators; systematic cheating on standardized tests as well as on regular tests and assignments; and the treating of most lack of learning as technical breakdowns instead of motivational breakdowns. They rant against the standardized tests which they say have become the curricula as well as “the false gods of public education.” They also bewail the inordinate, onerous, and inane paperwork and meetings that encumber the teachers on a daily basis.
Trotter and Haynes explain that when it comes to mega changes like the pushing of Common Core Standards throughout the nation’s schools (which through the backdoor becomes the national curriculum), it really is “all about the money.” They see the push for Common Core by Bill and Melinda Gates and Pearson Education as the attempt to take over the American schools by nationalizing and homogenizing the curriculum. But, Trotter and Haynes contend that “local control” of the curriculum is very important because each community is different with different needs. Trotter and Haynes see U. S. Secretary Arne Duncan and the controversial Michelle Rhee as the “acolytes” doing much of the work for billionaires Bill Gates and Eli Broad, the latter two of whom they call “denizens” in public education.
The MACE Manifesto is organized in six major parts, though there are many sections that stand alone. The major parts of this book are (1) Expounding Theories (19 chapters); (2) Explaining Race (five chapters); Exhaling Rants (21 chapters); (4) Exposing Myths (five chapters and 25 myths); (5) Eviscerating Accreditation; and (6) Exhibiting Appendices (26 appendices).
This book had been described by attorney Preston Haliburton as “a gripping and riveting read” and by educator James Yawn as “the tour-de-force on public education.” © Big Daddy Publishers, 2014.
The MACE Manifesto…
“Dr. Trotter and Mr. Haynes are true friends of public school teachers, and I know that when they write or speak on public education, everyone needs to take note. Every educator, young and old, and all politicians – legislators, school board members, and even superintendents – need to read The MACE Manifesto!” – The Honorable Darryl W. Jordan, Georgia State Representative
“A gripping, riveting read.” – Attorney Preston Haliburton
“John and Norreese are politically incorrect but are absolutely correct on public education!” – The Honorable Sandra G. Scott, Georgia State Representative
“As a former PTA President at a public elementary school, a public middle school, and a public high school, I appreciate the fact that The MACE Manifesto addresses the need for discipline in our public schools.” – Michael Robinson
“Dr. Trotter and Mr. Haynes are dealing with the unpleasant realities of today’s public schools – and, as a teacher, I can vouch for this!” – Dr. Jose Helena
“As a classroom educator, my life was changed by Dr. Trotter and MACE – and now we have The MACE Manifesto, the tour-de-force on public education!” – James (Gunny) Yawn
“Dr. Trotter and Mr. Haynes have been fighting for teachers for years, and as a son of two Georgia school teachers and as a Vice Chairman of a Georgia public school board, I know the importance of the message of The MACE Manifesto!” – Attorney J. Anderson Ramay
“The MACE Manifesto is the inconvenient truth about what goes on in our public schools – and especially in our urban schools. I know. I spent my whole career as a teacher in the Birmingham and Atlanta schools.” – Charles Melton
“From my educator’s perspective, The MACE Manifesto is the Bible on public education!” – Bo T. Oates
“As a former teacher and a former school board member, I am excited that a book finally tells it like it is on public education.” – Linda Crummy
“This ain’t chicken soup!” – J. B. Stanley
“Each page is RADIOACTIVE!” – Benjamin Barnes
“The unvarnished and sad truth about public education today.” – R. L. Moore
“I spent my career as a teacher and an administrator in two urban schools systems, and Dr. Trotter and Mr. Haynes are right on target in The MACE Manifesto.” – Mark Harris
“As a former teacher and a current administrator, I know the importance of good teaching conditions, and this is what The MACE Manifesto is all about.” – Lee Carter
“Yes, we are going to endorse our own book. It is an impressive manifesto. We’re not falsely modest. In this educational treatise, you will gain many insights about how American Public Education operates. You will learn about how newly appointed superintendents come to town with ropes around their necks, barely escaping the last school system alive but the search firm pimps put cheap perfume on them, recycle them, and sell these educational sluts to other unsuspecting school boards.
“You will learn how the publishing and software industries (most notably Pearson out of London, England and Bill Gates of Microsoft) are driving the American Public Education agenda with an indoctrinating, watered-down, dim-witted, drivel-type, homogenized, and nationalized curriculum called Common Core which is aligned with the values of UNESCO and not necessarily with the values of the local community.
“We show you how the standardized tests have become the false gods of American Public Education and how three essential elements for learning are completely ignored by the ‘school deformers’ – discipline, aptitude, and motivation.
“We deal with subjects that others either don’t know shit about or have parakeet balls and are afraid to broach.
“You will understand that trying to find a school administrator who supports teachers to the hilt and demands that students behave in the classroom is like trying to capture dinosaur farts and bottling them for the Smithsonian. They are just that rare!
“You get it all here…with panache and street cred. Forget hollow platitudes. We give it to you straight…right in the gut!” – Dr. John Trotter and Norreese Haynes
The above video was made in August of 2014. The book ended up with more than 600 pages with almost 200 photos. What publisher besides Big Daddy Publishers could have done such a terrific job publishing The MACE Manifesto?
What in the Hell is The MACE Manifesto?
The MACE Manifesto is a gonzoistic explanation of what is really wrong with the institution known as American Public Education (APE) – with no holds barred. In the parlance of professional wrestling, it may resemble a Texas Cage Match. A gonzo style of writing is written in the first person, uses the vernacular, is loaded with details, and makes no high-minded and hypocritical claims of objectivity – and, quite frankly, doesn’t give a rat’s ass whom it might offend. In fact, Trotter and Haynes state clearly that they intend to offend.
Trotter and Haynes bewail the teaching conditions in America’s public schools, especially in the urban schools. Unlike the common and trite analyses of the so-called school reformers, Trotter and Haynes do not lay the blame of the ills of public education at the feet of the classroom educators but at the feet of the “numbskull” and “dumbass” politicians, policymakers, superintendents, and administrators. They go a bit light on the elected school board members, describing them as too naïve to the games of the school system’s “sluts,” “pimps,” and “bitches” who, according to Trotter and Haynes, have razed any common sense in the school systems, causing the systems to become mental and moral wastelands.
Trotter and Haynes are not calling for more school “reformation” but for a complete return to the ways of the days which produced literate citizens who, upon graduating from high school, could write cogent paragraphs, deftly multiply and divide numbers in their heads at cash registers when buying something, know the difference between George Washington and the Revolutionary War and Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, and generally were culturally literate. The Cromwellian Revolution of School Reform of the last 30 years has resulted in the teachers being denuded and dethroned in their own classrooms. The teachers need to be returned to power. They need to be the kings and queens of their classrooms once again. Order needs to be restored, and when order is returned to the classrooms, learning will take place.
Readily acknowledging that public education is on life-support, Trotter and Haynes assert that it is tragically sick largely because of the asinine rules and regulations that the State and Federal governments have intravenously administered to the collective school corpus. The most recent invasive viruses injected into the collective school corpus in America have come about by the ideas pushed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and vulture philanthropists and denizens like Bill Gates and Eli Broad and their devoted acolytes, U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and his sidekick and educational charlatan, Michelle Rhee.
Trotter and Haynes make a strong case for detoxifying public education in the United States with a series of metaphorical enemas. “The real problem with public education is that the teachers have been stripped of their power and authority in the classroom – over both curriculum and classroom discipline,” they contend. They often quote the MACE Mantra: “You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.”
Purchase Now The MACE Manifesto!
If you want to purchase The MACE Manifesto, you can write to Big Daddy Publishers, Post Office Box 71911, Newnan, GA 30271. This manifesto is over 600 pages and has nearly 200 photos. It should cost $60.00 but Big Daddy Publishers has agreed to sell this manifesto for only $30.00 plus $4.95 for shipping and handling. If you are a MACE Member, the book is just $15.00!
Big Daddy Publishers did what other publishers were probably too nervous to do…publish this manifesto with all of its edginess. This manifesto will prove to be a “timeless classic” on public education and is indeed “a gripping, riveting read,” as Attorney Preston Haliburton describes it. Trotter and Haynes take on the richest person in the world, Bill Gates, who, along with his wife Melinda, is more responsible for pushing the Common Core Standards (as well as unlimited Charter Schools and Merit Pay Evaluations for teachers with their students’ test scores largely factoring into the teachers’ final evaluation) on the public schools nationwide, thus nationalizing and homogenizing this mushy and feckless curriculum and enabling his company, Microsoft, and other companies to reap financial dividends thereof. Trotter and Haynes tear into Bill Gates and his Common Crap Curriculum perhaps like no one else in the country. Literally, Gates has given millions upon millions to other unions and colleges of education throughout the country, effectively shutting down criticism from these organizations.
Trotter and Haynes took on other public figures and public officials, squarely calling a spade a spade. They did not boringly and placidly measure their words. “We told the truth about certain public officials and public figures and let the chips fall where they fell,” quipped Dr. Trotter. “I had so many lies told on me when I was an elected official,” laughed Mr. Haynes, “that we thought that it was time that the truth be told, and truth is the absolute defense against libel.”
Trotter and Haynes outline eight plagues of American Public Education which pretty much sum up all the problems. These plagues are: (1) Irate & Irresponsible Parents; (2) Defiant & Disruptive Students; (3) Angry & Abusive Administrators; (4) Deification of Standardized Tests; (5) School-Directed Systematic Cheating; (6) Common Crap Curriculum & Mushy Thinking; (7) Centralization & Homogenization of the Schools; and (8) Inordinate, Onerous, & Inane Paperwork.
MACE was founded in 1995. The MACE Mantra has been from the beginning: You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions. And, yes, MACE does devour administrators who abuse teachers. MACE does not allow administrators or supervisors to join, and if a teacher becomes an administrator or supervisor, this person can no longer remain a MACE Member. MACE is not mad at them. MACE just has to make sure that there is no conflict-of-interests. This is a major reason that the other unions are so ineffective. They have built-in-conflicts and don’t really know who they are representing. MACE protects and empowers Classroom Educators…one member at a time.
Big Daddy Publishers, Post Office Box 71911, Newnan, GA 30271 ∙ 770/895-6627 ∙ BigDaddyPublishers.Com ∙ Printed in the U. S. A.
About the Authors
Dr. John Trotter’s educational training is in History (BA, summa cum laude, Columbus State University, 1976), Education (MA, EdD, University of Georgia, 1978, 1984) and Law (JD, Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law, 2004). He worked as a teacher, coach, and administrator in several Georgia school systems before working for six years with the Georgia Association of Educators/National Education Association. In 1995, Dr. Trotter was the principal founder of the Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE). He has three children, Marissa, Robert, and Matthew, and he spends a few months out of the year in Brazil with his wife, Luci, and his step son, Victor. He has written hundreds of articles on education, history, politics, and religion for the last 40 years, and he published a research article in a major refereed academic journal at 27 years of age (The Journal of Negro Education in the Winter Quarter of 1981), an article dealing with peer pressure perceptions of academically able black male adolescents. Dr. Trotter’s views and comments on various educational issues have appeared in newspapers and educational journals throughout the country, including his comments about U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s stated intention of reforming failing schools by getting rid of staff members. Education Week reporter Michele McNeil confronted Secretary Duncan about Dr. Trotter’s statement and wrote: “Metro Association of Classroom Educators Chairman John Trotter was quoted as saying, in reference to proposed regulations by the Education Department for turning around the nation’s worst schools that call for firing staff: ‘He [Duncan] wants to replace everyone … except the ones who matter, the children … The problem starts with the students. What is Duncan going to do with some so-called students who act like miscreants each day?’ Those statements lit up the blogsphere [sic] and Twitter feeds” (September 3, 2009 issue).
Mr. Norreese Haynes worked for several years in the Clayton County School System in the Metro Atlanta area where his middle school basketball teams won several county-wide championships before he turned 30 years old. He coached a number of outstanding athletes, including D. J. Shockley who quarterbacked the University of Georgia to its last Southeastern Conference Football Championship. D. J. was named Co-Player of the Year with Jay Cutler in the Southeastern Conference. D. J. was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons. Mr. Haynes also coached Josh Powell who earned an NBA World Championship ring while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Mr. Haynes also worked with some very popular pop artists in his music studio while they were students at Riverdale Middle School. One was Clifford (Tip) Harris (aka known as “T. I.,” the King of the South) and another was Ciara. The popular Mr. Haynes was elected to and served on the Clayton County Board of Education. He was the first person in his family to earn a college degree, earning an Associate’s degree from Clayton State University and a Bachelor’s degree in business from Phoenix University and is about to finish up his Master’s degree in business and management from Central Michigan University. He has two sons, Nick and Zyair.
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
If this book offends you, we are certainly not surprised. In fact, we intend to offend. This book is indeed politically incorrect and irreverent and offensive. We write so as not to be misunderstood, and we use the vernacular of the day. We use words like “shit,” “bullshit,” and “damn” on a few occasions, and once we even use the phrase “fucked up” just to make a point, viz., that the “F bomb” is used gratuitously in the classrooms and the hallways by students and is sometimes aimed, along with “bitch,” at the teachers themselves – and with impunity.
We do indeed describe the appointed superintendents who jump from one school board bed to the next and traipse all over the country for more money and power as “educational sluts.” This is descriptive. This is accurate. This is what they are…educational sluts. We describe the so-called search firms and attorneys who find, recommend, and placate these egomaniacs as “pimps.” They just pimp these sluts.
We describe the petty, insecure, mean-spirited, vindictive, and abusive administrators who are sycophants of these sluts as “bitches” – and we are including the female administrators too! The teachers know that they are bitches – and they regularly call them “bitches” behind their backs. There are, however, a few fortunate souls who actually have an “old school” principal who respects his/her teachers, has their backs, and supports them. These administrators are a dying breed. They don’t last long. If you have a caring and supportive principal, thank the good Lord and count your luck stars! The next principal who comes your way will more than likely be a “bitch.” The bitches actually think that the best way to run a school is to treat the teachers like dog shit.
Come to think of it…what is more offensive? Using the word “shit” in this book or treating the teachers like dog shit? Using the word “bitch” in this book or acting like a bitch when interacting with the teachers? Using the word “slut” or simply acting like a slut by jumping in and out of (school board) beds for the offer of more money, leaving behind their “babies,” as these pseudo-pious superintendents call the students? Actions are more offensive than words; words simply describe actions.
We offer this caveat. You have been warned. This manifesto is not for the faint-hearted. © Big Daddy Publishers, May 26, 2014.
The MACE Thesis
By Dr. John R. Alston Trotter and Norreese L. Haynes
You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions. Assuming that you can is rank stupidity and results in environmental chaos in the schools. The reason that so many of our public schools are chaotic and full of shit today is because legislators, policymakers, school board members, superintendents, educrats, and administrators actually and absurdly think that they can usher in “achievement” (if we deign to call increases on standardized test scores “achievement”) without respecting teachers and empowering them to do their jobs. They threaten, intimidate, and generally treat teachers like dog shit in their quests to increase “achievement.” This results in nothing more than a massive and wholesale systematic cheating on all grades – not just on the standardized tests – and the lowering of academic standards and rigor throughout the corpus of American Public Education. Demigods are put in positions of power, and they terrorize teachers on a daily basis, resulting in a large segment of the best and brightest leaving the teaching field. When the teaching field once again becomes a profession, then these creative and energetic souls who refuse to be treated like dog shit may return.
When you treat teachers like dog shit, public education will carry the stench of dog shit. Right now, sadly, public education is full of dog shit. Everywhere you step, you step in this mess. Those educational demigods who arrogantly traipse around public education seem to be immune from the smell. They are oblivious to this cankering shit that is all over their metaphorical shoes – the same shoes that trample upon the dignity and humanity of the classroom educators, creating this massive mess. By catering to the irate and irresponsible parents and by coddling their rude, defiant, and disruptive children, they have created horrid and unimaginative teaching conditions. They have ignored MACE’s Law of Learning: “You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.” This is how they have wittingly or unwittingly created chaos in our public schools and most especially in our urban public schools. © Big Daddy Publishers, May 23, 2014.
Why You Came To MACE!
By Dr. John R. Alston Trotter and Norreese L. Haynes
You didn’t come to MACE because we give you a tote bag or do spelling bees for the children or sell you auto insurance at an alleged discount. We don’t give out tote bags. We have never put on a spelling bee contest for kids. We don’t sell auto insurance. Heck, we don’t even endorse any political candidates. You vote like you want to vote. We don’t care. We don’t even agree in the MACE Office about political candidates or parties! But, we do agree about this: Teachers should be respected, esteemed, and supported by the administrators to do their jobs in the classroom. We know that you cannot have good learning conditions until your first have good teaching conditions. This is an inexorable law. It can no more be set aside or ignored than the Law of Gravity.
You came to MACE because you are frustrated with how public school teachers are now blamed for all the ills in public education. Students aren’t motivated to learn. You are blamed. Students are defiant and disruptive in the classroom. You are blamed. Parents are irate and irresponsible and frustrated with their own children’s lack of effort. You are blamed. In fact, you came to MACE because you are tired of being blamed by the angry and abusive administrators for the failure of the students who refuse to learn and who refuse to behave. You are tired of being badgered and harassed by these angry, insecure, petty, ignorant, and abusive administrators. We don’t blame you. You came to the right organization. You came to MACE.
MACE simply exists to protect and empower classroom educators…one member at a time. You came to MACE because you have heard of the reputation of MACE. You have heard that MACE doesn’t play, that MACE kicks metaphorical ass, and that MACE tightens up the mean-ass and petty administrators. You have heard correctly. You came to MACE because you know that better than any other organization in the State of Georgia, MACE is able to tighten up your angry and abusive administrator. You know that there is not another union, organization, or association (or whatever you want to call it) for teachers in Georgia which is as effective as MACE in legally scaring the heck out of administrators who are already terrorizing you. This is why you came to MACE. You came to MACE because you are tired of being tired and tired of being afraid and tired of being frustrated. You came to MACE because you want MACE to protect you, to empower you, and to scare the dog shit out of your abusive administrators. Welcome to MACE! © Big Daddy Publishers, 2014.