Why I Am Running for Governor

September 3, 2013 — 32 Comments

I know that the question you are asking is,

“Why is John Barge running for governor? Why isn’t he content to be State School Superintendent?”

These are fair questions.

I ran for School Superintendent because I believed I had the leadership skills to make a difference in education at a state level. I believe I have proven myself to be capable. Unfortunately, I have realized that many politicians in Georgia have declared, at least quietly, a war on education, particularly public education.

Education is critical, not just for our students, but also for the well being of our state. Therefore, I cannot sit back and let the current governor dismantle the department of education, something he has been doing over the past year or more. Education is economic development.

“Education is economic development.”


We can no longer afford to underfund public education. It is not necessary to raise revenues to better fund education—it is, however, critical that we properly fund public education through the proper allocation of existing revenues we have, including some of our surplus.

We must return our children to school for the full 180 days required by Georgia law.

We must return our teachers to the full 190 days of their contracts without furlough days.

It has become obvious to me that this can only be done from the Governor’s office.

Why I Am Running for Governor

At this critical time in our history we need a Governor who understands education completely and has the nerve to do what is best for the state, instead of what is best for himself and a small group of friends.

“…we need a Governor who understands education completely and has the nerve to do what is best for the state…”


Georgia deserves better.

I believe I can do better.

Join the E³ Revolution!

32 responses to Why I Am Running for Governor

  1. Dr. John Barge will be an awesome governor for Georgia. We have had politicians running our state with their own position and benefit in mind, far too long. John has the courage to stand up for Georgia. We deserve the best and I think John Barge is the best choice in 2014.

  2. I would like to know his position on Common Core, and his feelings towards homeschooling families and the role he feels government plays in their, homeschoolers, rights.

  3. Dr. Barge, while your comments elude to a better way for Georgia; I am a skeptic that you are interested in the Education of Georgia’s children. I don’t think the issue is how many days a child attends classes, nor the Teachers fulfilling their contracts when Common Core is a dumbed down, sub standard, data mining, pitiful excuse of and for Education in Georgia.

    As the State School Superintendent, I am interested in your track record specifically concerning Common Core and getting it out of the State of Georgia. I knowledge that Sonny Perdue brought Common Core into the State of Georgia by accepting Race to the Top Federal dollars. However, in your tenure as Superintendent, what have YOU done to get it out of the school systems?

    I would not be able to vote for you or anyone else for that matter who supports, affirms, condones Common Core in Georgia. I am confident that I am not the only person who feel this way.

  4. Why do you oppose Charter schools? Are you afraid of competition with mediocre public schools? Will the good teachers leave the “Government” schools and move to organizations where their talents are appreciated and acknowledged?

    How do you feel about vouchers? Do you believe that all of the money available to fund and support education should be managed by one bureaucracy?

    • Public schools are not mediocre, the funding of public schools is mediocre. Teachers in public education (especially in urban areas) have been wrongly accused of a fictitious “education crisis” created by those who would like to nationalize and privatize public education for profit. Kids who are failing are failing because of a broken economy that is creating more and more poverty every day and because of ridiculous federal mandates and high stakes testing. Charter schools are a scam that too many people have fallen for and are not proven to be any better than public schools. http://www.leftbusinessobserver.com/Charters.html

    • Dr. Barge did not and is not opposed to Charter schools. Georgia has had and currently has the ability to establish charter schools through the local BOE or an application to the state BOE and Dr. Barge has always supported these efforts because they allow good ideas to become experiments to improve the education of our children while at the same time holding local elected or a statewide elected Superintendent accountable for the decisions they make. What Dr. Barge was opposed too was the Charter school Amendment that created an unelected board to establish charter schools in local counties while these members are not accountable to the voters at all.

    • Both charters and vouchers are elitist. They only work for the top students while the bottom are turned away or cannot get to school because there is no transportation. We have to look at this realistically. Charters have not shown any better scores and many are worse. Private charters must bow to the almighty dollar and education excellence comes second to the money.

  5. Dr. Barge, your stance on Common Core will be the litmus test for MANY parents and teachers in GA. Do you have “the nerve” to make a open and firm stance on it one way or another?

  6. Dr. Barge what is your stance on those teachers who hold the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certification? We were promised a stipend as an incentive only to have that promise reversed. Teachers with much less experience and training were just given $4500.00 stipends…what about those of us with PROVEN track records who teach in these high need areas?

    • Dr. Barge what is your stance on those teachers who hold the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certification? We were promised a stipend as an incentive only to have that promise reversed. Teachers with much less experience and training were just given $4500.00 stipends…what about those of us with PROVEN track records who teach in these high need areas?

  7. What is your position on Common Core?

  8. National Board Certified teachers are a cut above. Honor them. Students who are schooled at home deserve what their parents have chosen to provide them, and state resources are not part of that. We are teaching every kid in public school, not just the ones you want your kid to know. Plus, we are teaching curriculum with which you may not agree, but your kid can decide that for himself later, having heard you and his teachers.

  9. Common Core is a disaster!! It takes away the ability of the teacher to do the job that he/she was actually trained to do and puts our children at the mercy of the Government telling teacher what and how to teach. Let teachers do their job and hold them accountable. Stop this idiotic idea of “teaching to the test:” and let teachers be responsible for their own results. If they are doing a bad job, let the results speak for themselves. By doing this, maybe you would also get more involvement from the parents. With the Governments disgusting track record on everything else that they stick their nose in (Social Security; Medicare; Fannie Mae; Freddie Mac) why in the world would we want them involved in education, too??
    If you decide to support Common Core it will be a cold day before I support you.

    • Kari, As a highly trained teacher, confident in my ability to teach Georgia’s children, I am terrified by your statement! At no point do we want TEACHERS deciding what to teach in their classroom…can you imagine the discrepancies from classroom to classroom, not to mention state to state? Common Core is an improvement over the Georgia Performance Standards and I’ve seen my students become amazing critical thinkers and problem solvers through the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in my classroom! Common Core focuses what students should learn, and gives them the tools to actually think for themselves, rather than be spoon-fed volumes of information. Get a copy of both sets of standards, stop listening to what people want you to think, and do some critical thinking for yourself to make a decision about Common Core. You might just see that there is no conspiracy here at all…

      • Well then, we will have to agree to disagree. I never said that teachers should be allowed to teach WHAT they want but HOW they want. It’s the fact that they are told how to teach, and this removes their ability to adjust to meet the demands of their individual students. And I’m sorry but I don’t see how you could have seen such “amazing results” in your students when Common Core only went into effect a little over 6 weeks ago and this is the first year that it has actually been implemented.

        Further, Common Core does NOT allow students to think for themselves. As an example, the math curriculum demands that students do it “their” way. If the student knows how to (let’s say) subtract or add by just doing it the “old fashion way” and that’s not how they were asked to do (which include some of the most ass backwards approaches I’ve ever seen) then the answer is marked incorrect. So, let me understand this wonderful Common Core….even if it’s right then it’s wrong. BRILLIANT!!! How does that encourage independent thinking?? Do it my way or no way at all…yeah, that really brings out individuality in children.

        Additionally, the fact that every day they are onto a different topic is ridiculous!! Since when is a 30 minute session long enough for every student to have a firm grasp on a topic??? What’s the rush??? What ever happened to working for a week (which adds up to a whopping total of 2 hours) on a topic and then testing them on Friday at end of the week? Ever since the US started “teaching to the test” our education system, and its’ results, have done nothing but decline. When an entire class of 22 3rd graders fail a math test (which is exactly what happened last Friday in my daughters class) then something is wrong…do I blame the teacher? NO!! I blame Common Core for demanding that the class keep up with what’s going on all over the country. God forbid, teachers teach at a pace that their class can grasp…no, then we all won’t be on the same page. We need to do what’s best for the students in that specific room.

        And before you tell me what to do as a parent…she has a tutor (a real tutor) three times a week and I work with her every evening. So, don’t tell me that I don’t care what happens and I’m not involved, because that is simply not the case. I also looked at what my kids are supposed to be taught this year on the Georgia Dept of Education website. I think that more time should be taught giving them a good solid foundation (especially in math) before rushing them through as many topics as they can throw at them. Half of which won’t do any good if they don’t have that solid foundation.

        Lastly, I’m not one to be “spoon fed” nor am I one to be influenced into thinking what others want me to think. I certainly do not fall into the “sheeple” category. The fact that I’m completely disgusted with Common Core and the fact that I have no faith, whatsoever, in the Government to do a good job at anything- including the educating of my children- is because of their wonderful (and extremely long) track record of past failures. I’d say that would be a good example of using my critical thinking skills.

  10. Glad to see you call spell “Governor.”

  11. We know you took money from the Gates Foundation. We also know you have been working with Senator Ligon on legislation to remove Common Core. Which is it? The teachers of this state can hand you an election just like they took it away from one of your predecessors. Teachers and parents want to bring back GPS (with teacher input and changes) and we want a reduction in the amount of testing. We need to go back to ITBS every 3 years. ITBS is a great measure and is used nationwide. It has been tested and has been around for decades. The money that remains needs to go back into your teachers. I have been in Hall County for 5 years and received little if any professional development. I got some training from a Dell consultant but I had no technology in my classroom. What was the point?

  12. I think Dr. Barge would be a great governor! It is time we put a true conservative and not a RINO in the highest seat in the state. I stood by Dr. Barge in 2010 for State School Superintendent and I will stand by him in for Governor now. He will do well for Georgia and we are and will continue to be lucky to have him serving for us.

  13. Where has all this misinformation about common core come from? Common core was developed by the Republican Governors association to have general standards across all states. They do not set actual curriculum being taught in the classroom. The curriculum is developed at the county level with support and resources from the state office. The state gives “recommendations” but it is the actual county that has to approve what is taught.

    Now I understand and mostly support how we mistrust the current Federal administration and do not want or need them to dictate what our children will be taught in our classrooms but let us at least not look foolish and misrepresent what the actual facts of the situation.

    • It’s not misinformation. The misinformation is coming from the proponents of Common Core which includes Bill Gates. Standards are not curriculum, true. But standards drive curriculum, and curriculum is derived from those standards. The Obama administration has already said it is beginning work on curriculum. Common Core is just a first step in this attempt at nationalizing our public school education system. If nothing else, the fact that Common Core standards are considerably below Georgia’s existing standards is reason enough alone to oppose it. Why drop our standards even more just so we can be down there with everyone else?

      Next, the National Governor’s Association to which you referred is not what you think it is. It’s actually a private trade organization, and when governors attend their meetings, they are not going in their official capacity as governor. The NGA also takes a sizable amount of funding from . . . Bill Gates. States competing for Race to the Top funding had to sign on to Common Core in order to access those funds. At the time, the standards were not developed yet. Now that the information is out there, that is why so many states are pulling out of it because the problems with it are obvious. One of these obvious problems is there has been no research, pilot programs, or anything to see if they actually work.

      Under Common Core, local school boards and the state school board do not have the authority to make any changes to Common Core standards. Private companies hold the copyright to it all, and states have to ask permission to add to the standards which only amounts to fifteen percent, assuming permission is granted.

      Here is a five-part video series that only takes thirty minutes to watch, and is well worth your time. These videos provide the facts for each of the arguments for Common Core, and will answer many, if not all, of your questions. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coRNJluF2O4&feature=c4-overview&list=UUpkGc1GqkBfou1TGOlh00Sg

  14. A “highly trained teacher” should not stand for mediocrity. “Standardized”, one size fits all education drives the best teachers down to a “standard”. Since superior teachers, by definition, equates to something on the order of 10-20%, there would not be enough of them to match up with the other standard teachers (80%). Logically, then, the only thing “standardizing” does is drive the superior teachers down to a less superior (“standard”)status. Are we afraid to let teachers soar by pursuing some type of equality over quality for at least 20% of our students? Explain that to Harvard and Yale. I propose some Governor, when we get serious about education, have a network of Governor’s Honors type schools throughout Georgia so that any and all superior students and superior teachers can have school there throughout the year. Do not hold them back to some “standard”, average across-the -board classroom so that our students cannot compete globally for the highest of high tech jobs.

  15. I do not agree with the Secretary on his stance of government spending being too low. We as a nation and a state have thrown more money at “education” over the last fifty year period than any of us could possibly imagine. How much money in true tax dollars are raised per child? Enough to send each child in our state to a fine private institution? Money in education is spent on too many “educators”, fun pieces of technology for said teachers, more pieces of technology 2 years later once the teachers decide those pieces are obsolete, breakfast and lunch for children who can get meals at home, new buildings, new programs and things in general that cost a lot but do little in the long term to bring out the best in our children.

    More money? I don’t think so.

  16. Constance Folsom February 9, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    John Barge, what is your position on re-evaluating the pay scale of those that directly teach students versus those that support? Teachers, the people who touch the children EVERY DAY, should be paid more than those that don’t. We have our priorities backwards.

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