Sad to hear that Joseph Redden has stepped down from the superintendency of Cobb County schools, but with the media circus which has surrounded the controversy over implementing a 1:1 laptop initiative there, perhaps it is for the best. General Redden’s perceptive decisionmaking has never been something to question, from what I know of him, so I don’t know why we should start now.

The real sad thing, perhaps, is that Cobb County students and teachers may be the biggest losers in all of this. Certainly some detractors of Redden and the laptop initiative must feel they have “won” some points and esteem in the eyes of a public hungry for scandal and controversy. The only “points” won in this case would be similar to those earned by lobbyists, textbook industry moguls, and business interests who prevented the Texas legislature from moving forward on school finance reform or advancing an agenda for 21st century curriculum materials in state public schools. Sad days for education indeed.

My best wishes are with General Redden, along with the teachers and students of Cobb County who must press on amidst the mess left after lawsuits and allegations of wrongdoing. Critical questions for Cobb County taxpayers will be:

  • Now that the laptop initiative has been effectively killed, how will Cobb County seek to prepare its students for 21st century literacy skills, rather than merely 19th century industrial skills?
  • Will the school board or the new superintendent they hire have a better vision which can be made into a reality for Cobb County educational stakeholders?

Time will tell.

These words from a Cobb County insider (previously quoted) make that possibility look slim at this point:

I loath ignorance and arrogance and all of the evil children they spawn. As one educator said to me, “I thought the former governor could no longer harm the children in the state of Georgia when he was voted out of office, but I guess I was wrong.”

The powerful efforts of a very few evil, dishonest men won out in the short term. As a result, the children of this county have been robbed and will suffer substantive disadvantage when they enter the global job market. In my opinion a criminal act has been perpetrated! The citizens of Cobb County will look back on this time when they are frantically trying to catch up with the children every place else on earth.

Ignorance, arrogance, and lots of money in the hands of a very few kept people in the dark ages. Little has changed!

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