About the Authors

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.

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Caveat.

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.

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The MACE Thesis

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.

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Why You Came to MACE!

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.

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Update on The MACE Manifesto.

By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD

     We started writing intensively on this book on July 1, 2002.  Thirty-three chapters were written 33 days in a row, though I personally had started developing chapters and writing notes as far back as the summer of 2011 while staying in Brazil.  In fact, the first name that I had in mind for this book was School Daze with essentially the same sub-title.  In fact, I printed an outline of the book at an internet café in Rio de Janeiro in January/February of 2011.  I initially was just going to expose 25 myths of American Public Education (APE).  Now “Exposing Myths” is just one part of the book.

     I concluded early on that my former student and now friend and associate, Norreese Haynes, had much to offer, and I enlisted his help on this mammoth and monumental project.  As we stand today, The MACE Manifesto ought to be about 500 pages or more (and this is with a larger format; otherwise, it might be 650 pages or more).  It is not a little booklet.  It is indeed a “manifesto,” outlining our declaration of ideas and beliefs about American Public Education.

     A lot of what you see on this website is content that has already been re-written and edited and expanded.  We have added other parts that you don’t see here.  I don’t go back to this website to update the postings.  The postings really were for “book storage,” as I call it.  The official document which has artwork and has had (I hope) typos removed is kept elsewhere, not here.  But, this rough draft gives you some idea of what is to come.  We think that The MACE Manifesto will be a bombshell and cause a lot of chatter.   You can say that you saw “the sausage” being made.   LOL!

     I hope that by the end of next week, we might be able to send the draft to the publisher, minus the 25 photos that will be in the middle of the book.  Those can be sent later.

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Two Important Conceptual Diagrams About Learning…

Tri-Lational Learning

Motivation to Learn Diagram

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AFTERWARD

AFTERWARD

By Dr. John Trotter and Norreese Haynes

     We have written some strong, rough stuff in this book – stuff that no doubt will offend the fainthearted.  In many respects, when we write, we intend to offend…because we think that it is offensive to allow a certain student population to be rude, disrespectful, and defiant toward their teachers.  Not all students are like this but today a very sizeable population of students just shows no respect or decorum at all.  They are downright rude and unruly.  It is also very offensive for weak-kneed and yellow-belly school administrators to act cowardly vis-à-vis these defiant and disrespectful students (and their rude, demanding, and irate parents) and shuffle all of the responsibility of these irresponsible behaviors of these students (and their parents) onto the backs of the teachers.  The teachers are simply used as Levitical scapegoats for all of the problems in American Public Education (APE).

You simply cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions – and you cannot have good teaching conditions as long as lazy, unmotivated, slothful, defiant, and disruptive students are allowed to remain in the regular classrooms.  These so-called students need to be removed to a Non-learning Center (NLC) until they demonstrate a sincere desire to return to the regular classroom and conduct themselves properly.

While the above scenario is being acted out in the engine room or the underbelly of the educational ship, those influence peddlers (IPs) far from even the nice deck of the educational ship who have a desire to construct a nationwide, federalized, homogenized, and propagandized curriculum have disparate motivations for wanting this Common Crap Curriculum – some hoping that this nationwide curriculum can line their financial pockets and some hoping that they will be able to foist upon an unreceptive American population a leftward-titled curriculum.  Remember how the History Standards were summarily and unanimously rejected and denounced by the U. S. Senate?  Well, Common Core is the second bite at the apple.  Common Core’s ideological roots can be traced back to Chicago and to the likes of former terrorist, Bill Ayers.  Now for people like Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, we don’t ascribe an ideological push for Common Core, but a push which has to do with his foundation and money.  Very seldom does one see the capitalistic winds and the socialistic winds blowing in the same direction to move the same boat.  But, this is precisely what is happening now with Common Core.

Billionaires like Bill Gates and Eli Broad have anointed themselves as the saviors of public education, though they don’t know their asses from deep centerfield with it comes to APE.  Gates and his wife Melinda are the two who are most responsible for Common Core being foisted on the States.  We wrote quite a bit about this in this book.  They pushed and panted and strategically planted millions of dollars throughout the country to get Common Core the needed traction.  Of course, the curricula applications of Common Core will be largely generated by Microsoft for Pearson Education which will sell them to the various States (maximizing the monies for companies like Microsoft and Pearson Education as well as the scores of pilot companies which swim underneath these whales to feed off of the carnivorous crumbs in this curricula ocean).   These whales are pushing hard for merit pay for teachers and unlimited charter schools.  School “reform” to these new educational capitalists (or vulture philanthropists) usually represents some form of privatization of APE.  Any attempt to transfer public school monies to the charter school or voucher plans is deemed to be effective school “reform.”  In actuality, it is the effective denuding of public education, resulting in a dual system of haves and have nots.  It is a not-so-subtle new form of segregation of public education.

The policymakers and educrats are afraid to confront head-on what the real problems are in public education, viz., (1) irate and irresponsible parents, (2) disrespectful, defiant, and disruptive students, (3) petty, angry, and abusive administrators, and (4) school system-directed systematic cheating on not just standardized tests but also on weekly tests and semester grades, just to name the more egregious problems.  Until these concrete and egregious problems are confronted and dealt with, any talk about curriculum (like Common Core) is like pissing into a tsunami.  You’re just going to end up with piss all over you.  Does it really matter what the curriculum is if the students are stone-cold asleep, incessantly playing on their smart phones, or bouncing off the walls?  Good grief.  These educational morons need to wake up and smell the coffee.  Their pitiable attempts to improve public education are like rearranging the deck chairs on the sinking Titanic.

Because the Gypsy Superintendents are either too dismally ignorant or too craven or too evil to even address the real plagues that are killing APE, they bark ignorant orders and act like tyrannical demigods.  They recommend to the school boards little weasels as administrators.  These booger-eatin’ administrators try to mimic their feckless leader with a similar top-down, heavy-handed management style which literally creates so much angst and stress in the lives of the classroom educators that they sometimes end up in the hospital with stress-related illnesses (heart attacks, chest pains, strokes, high blood pressure, and hair falling out in clumps and handfuls).  But, these administrative bitches (males and females) keep up their dastardly deeds because they either actually think that this is what constitutes a good school leader or they don’t give a rat’s ass what it constitutes but only that it gets them promoted up the career ladder.  It is their goal too to become an educational slut (appointed superintendent) so they can bounce from one school board bed to the next, bringing in the big bucks, power, and profile – despite losing their souls in the process.

These soulless self-promoters want to go from being a mere educational bitch to a livin’ large educational slut, using the school system’s American Express Card to travel around to different National Educational Slut Conferences ostensibly to find out the latest information, theory, or program to bring back to the school system to increase the test scores on the deified standardized tests but in reality to network among other national sluts in hope of finding a bigger school board bed (john) to jump in.  This is a bigger scam than the national TV preachers demanding 10% of your hard-earn money under the threat of you going to hell.  (Heck, they say that the money is going to the Lord, but they give the viewers their own personal address.)  The so-called superintendent search firms and attorneys pimp these educational sluts because they get their cut too.  It’s a shameful game.  It’s an unconscionable racket.  It’s a travesty and a joke foisted upon unsuspecting school board members and the public at large.  It has to be stopped.  But, too many of the well-connected are making money off this pimpified system of appointing school superintendents.  They will fight like rabid hell-bound cats to keep this hoax in place.  But, the People need to rise up and demand from their legislatures to change the laws so that the People can once again elect their superintendents – educators whom they know and have vetted locally.

In this book, we deigned to write five chapters on race, discussing this all-important topic in APE.  Whereas most superintendents, educrats, and principals will deny that race matters in APE, they are unmitigated liars.  It matters big time.

What also matters big time is a student’s natural capabilities (or as we say, their “gifts” or “talents”).  Neither one of us happen to be blessed with a lot of mathematical “talent,” but we have other talents.  In our public schools, it is simply politically incorrect to state that some students are more naturally talented in certain endeavors…yes, based on their DNA and genetic-makeup.  And, on top of this, some students have actually been culturally conditioned to aspire to excellence in certain endeavors.  We believe that there are several different types or strains of intelligence.  There are multiple intelligences.  But, American Public Education (APE) only focuses on (1) verbal-linguistic and (2) mathematical-analytical.  We subscribe to the theory of Dr. Howard Gardner of the Harvard Graduate School of Education who delineates at least eight different types of intelligence.  Usually, when someone has the temerity to suggest that DNA and genetic-makeup influence a student’s capabilities in certain endeavors, people get all nervous because they think that race – the all-forbidden topic – will come up.  But, we don’t believe for a moment that race and/or ethnicity have anything to do with intelligence.  We believe that it transcends race and ethnicity.  Saying that it is race-neutral does not mean that it is DNA and genetic-makeup neutral.  It does matter what kind of genes (= capabilities) that a student has when the student aspires to master a certain endeavor.

Some of us are very capable in verbal pursuits, math problems (not us!), artistic projects, musical scores, mechanical craftsmanship, social-political interactions, etc.  Usually, not every person is super-skilled in most or all of these endeavors.  But, once every so often a Leonardo da Vinci comes along.  But, just because a student has the great desire to be a great musical whiz does not mean that he or she will be the next Mozart or Ray Charles or Little Richard – or even Elvis or T. I., for that matter.  These guys were/are musical geniuses.  A youngster can want to be the next great scientist, but he or she must also have the “scientific gene” to be on the level of Albert Einstein, George Washington Carver, Jonas Salk, or Madam Curie.  By the way, Einstein was not a good traditional student in grade school but we know of his genius in science.  Also, Churchill was not a good student at all until his parents finally sent him to military school where he excelled.  His “military genes” kicked in, and we know the rest of the story.

We have mentioned Einstein, Carver, Salk, Curie, and Churchill.  What about others who are considered “geniuses” in their particular field?  Do you think that they were just as capable in every field in school – or are they just prolific in one or two fields?  Einstein once reportedly stated:  “Everyone is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”  Think about geniuses like those above and other geniuses  like Michaelangelo, Mahatma Gandhi, Michael Jackson, Tyler Perry, Nelson Mandela, Rembrandt, Malcolm X, Steven Speilberg, Maya Angelou, Shakespeare, Oprah, Spike Lee, Salvador Dali, Pele, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Husain Bolt, Snoop Dog, Michael Phelps, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, John Grisham, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Michael Jordan, Pistol Pete Maravich, and others.  Do we think that these geniuses in certain endeavors are/were geniuses in all endeavors?  Hardly.  God gives different gifts to whom He chooses.  Just as a person’s toenail has a distinct DNA pattern, he or she also has different and unique gifts or talents or capabilities.  Humankind is a kaleidoscope.  Enjoy it.  Don’t ignore or suppress it.

Our gifts are varied and therefore the curriculum should be varied to fit and maximize the talents of the students.  Trying to impose a one-size-fits all curriculum on the entire country is ludicrous.  Trying to make all students to be college-bound (as Bill Gates has apparently famously claimed that he wants) is crazy and unconscionable.  To push a student into a higher level of algebra (not even calculus or trig) when the student has demonstrated that he or she is not very apt or gifted in this subject area is ludicrous.  Why do so?  Just to make the student feel like a failure?  The student is obviously not going to be an engineer or specialize in other ventures which will call for a grasp and understanding of a higher level of algebra.  We need to totally rethink how we force students into taking courses which they have demonstrated that they are not so talented in.  But, this is what happens with the homogenized curriculum for all, and this will be much, much worse with the Common Core Curriculum.  This is like a country suffering under a command economy.  The Soviet Union and its satellite countries showed that this does not work.  Yes, Bill Gates is pushing like hell to get all of our 50 states to adopt the quintessential one-size-fits-all curriculum.  Come to think of it, Comrade Bill comes across as the new Trotsky of American Public Education Curriculum (APEC).  He is the Premier-in-Charge.  It will not work.  It will be an abject failure.  It will run its course, resulting in an inexorable downward spiral until we hardly recognize locally-controlled public education.

Vocational and Technical Education (VTE) should return to secondary education with great fanfare, not tepidly like the feckless leader sticking his or her proverbial toes in the curriculum pond.  VTE ought to be brought back in full force, and hopefully VTE will go a long way in keeping many students from disengaging in the learning process and dropping out of school at the first opportunity.

Screw the standardized test scores.  Screw the standardized tests themselves.  In fact, jettison those damnable tests faster than you can say “Melinda Gates.”  They are designed to make failures of the students and the schools – at the least those at below the national norm, thus necessitating the “need” for improvement materials sold by the companies like Pearson Education (with Microsoft creating the “digital learning apps”).  By definition, on a norm-referenced standardized test, one-half of all students who take the test will score below the national average.  If you have four children in your family, two of your children will score below the family average.  Do you want to label your two children who score below the family average as your “failing” kids?  Hardly.  This is bullshit!  These damnable standardized tests are bullshit!  Yet, these feckless and ignorant so-called educational leaders lap up shit served to them by the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates.

I doubt that either Bill or Melinda have ever attended a public school in his or her life and yet they seem to think that they know what is best for the poor family living in the trailer park off Tara Boulevard in Jonesboro, Georgia or the upper-middle class family living in the Summergrove subdivision in Newnan, Georgia.  Quite frankly, they don’t know jack-shit about public education and they still have the unmitigated gall to throw around untold millions of their 76 billion dollars to change American Public Education (APE)…for the worse.  No one asked for their help.  They weren’t elected to anything.  But, they apparently want to take away the local control of APE, and we, unlike most others, have the guts to tell you about it.  The Gateses have the right in this country to kibitz in a big way.  We have the right to expose them while they do so.  We expose them for their hypocrisy and their stupidity.  Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, is doing more to destroy America Public Education (APE) than any man on this Earth.

Let us make this clear:  Because we are calling for the jettisoning of those damnable standardized tests does not mean that we are not for the learning of facts, objective facts, and key information.  To the contrary.  We are calling for the learning of this, just like this kind of learning that took place on a high level 40 to 60 years ago – and without the damnable standardized tests having actually dumbed down the curriculum in our public schools.  It is amazing and shocking what little information that our public school children know.  The teachers need to be freed up from the manacles of cookie-cutter teaching methods and the slavish loyalty to the shallow and test-driven curriculum.  This is what is killing our schools.  The teachers aren’t free.  They are treated like pedagogical peasants, being told what to teach, how to teach it, and when to teach it.  Influence peddlers (IPs) like the Gateses, Eli Broad, Arne Duncan, and Michelle Rhee don’t seem to have a grasp on what makes teachers tick and what makes schools click.  They obviously have an industrial view of teaching and schooling, thinking that teaching students is the same as marketing computer software, building houses, or selling insurance.  It is not, and we pointed this out in this book.  These IPs actually think that you can have good learning conditions without first having good teaching conditions.  They are educational morons.  They are clueless.  They are dangerous.  You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.  They are operating under a false theory and therefore they have disastrous results.  Their results will continue to be disastrous – and you read about it here in The MACE Manifesto.

These are some of the things that we unapologetically have written in this book. We have written other things as well.  Read’em and weep.  © Big Daddy Publishers, 2014.

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