Dr. Heatley Named Education Commissioner

August 26, 2013

[Updated with video + PLP response] American educator Dr. Edmond Heatley has been named the new Commissioner of Education, the Ministry announced this morning [Aug 26].

In addition to his Bachelor’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Southern Illinois University, Dr. Heatley earned his Master of Science degree from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and a Doctorate of Education in Administration and Leadership at the University of Southern California.

Dr Edmond Heatley, August 26 2013-4

Dr. Heatley served on active duty in the U.S. military from 1983 to 1996 and was a member of the Marine Corps Reserves from 1996 to 2004. He began his career in public education as a classroom teacher in the Norfolk (VA) Public Schools teaching students with disabilities in 1996.

In 1998, Dr. Heatley traveled to California where he would spend the next 11 years of his professional life. In 2009 he assumed the Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of Clayton County Public Schools, Georgia, United States.

Dr Edmond Heatley, August 26 2013-1

Speaking today, Dr. Heatley said: “I believe my passion for students learning and continuous improvement is the thing that makes me a good fit for this post. I believe that all students can achieve at high levels regardless of heritage or circumstance.

“What we must provide as the adults is the expectation for them to succeed. Students will meet our expectations as long as we give them the caring and the tools to ensure their triumphs.”

There are various online reports on Dr Heatley, with one report referencing his “tumultuous three-year tenure” and said he was “often criticized for his tough management style,” while another report from MyFoxAtlanta mentioned public reaction to his family members being on the payroll.

Dr. Heatley addressed this saying, “I am sure that some of you have done a Google search on my name and know that there are some controversial comments about me out there. Yes, I too, know what’s on the Internet and in the Blogs and I want to note that none of it is based on accurate information and fact.

“The reality of the matter is that anyone in a leadership position will have people who agree with their direction and leadership, as well as, those who disagree with the decisions that are made. Unfortunately, some people feel it appropriate to attempt to garner support, however appropriately or inappropriately through social media.”

Dr. Heatley’s full comments follow below:

Good Morning.

I want to start off by saying how excited I am to be named the Commissioner of Education for the Island of Bermuda. I have been able to do some research on the Island and feel that we have a great opportunity to achieve greatness. My vision for the Educational System here on the Island is to provide our students with a world-class education that prepares them to compete and be successful globally.

With that being said, here are a few things about myself:
I am an educator of 17 years who cares about the success of all students. I am a lifelong learner, an excellent student who is always for opportunities to expand my knowledge base. I am the youngest of six children and though I was born in Santa Ana, California, I lived all over the United States with my family as my father was an Officer in the United States Marine Corps. I am married to Karen, my bride of 22 years, we have 3 children, including our youngest who is a Freshman in college this year.

As Mr. Dickinson has stated, I see myself as an agent of change. As such, I have been able to forge meaningful partnerships with organizations such as the Juvenile Courts (resulting in transformative initiatives to prevent losing our children to the judicial system); and the Chamber of Commerce (forming the Principal Partnership Initiative to bring our business leaders into our schools as partners in the educational process).

Among my many experiences are the successful collaborations with my prior Boards of Education and stakeholders groups as I guided the development of those systems’ first strategic plans which were focused on educational reform and student success.

Through these efforts I was able to lead initiatives resulting in: the regaining the system wide accreditation from the internationally recognized Advanced Ed/SACS-CASI organization, increased graduation rates, improved student learning outcomes, and increased rigor in the curriculum and instructional delivery system.

At the same time, I led the reduction of the operating budget by more than $198 million over a three-year period by reducing, reorganizing and reallocating resources. Most importantly, this was accomplished without the elimination of instructional programs.

I also led the streamlining of the organization, increasing support and accountability for all schools; as well as increased educational options and programs for students.

I believe my passion for students learning and continuous improvement is the thing that makes me a good fit for this post. I believe that all students can achieve at high levels regardless of heritage or circumstance.

What we must provide as the adults is the expectation for them to succeed. Students will meet our expectations as long as we give them the caring and the tools to ensure their triumphs.

Typically we look at data and interpret it in terms of the achievement gaps of students instead of the expectation gaps of adults.

I believe that I will be able to facilitate a shift in our collective thinking surrounding expectations for our students and adults.

Additionally, I will bring different perspectives and best practices from both my experiences as well as the educational research. I am excited to work with collaborate and lead this esteemed Department into a new era which will focus on continuous improvement and transparency.

Before I conclude, I want to make sure that I address one thing. I am sure that some of you have done a Google search on my name and know that there are some controversial comments about me out there. Yes, I too, know what’s on the Internet and in the Blogs and I want to note that none of it is based on accurate information and fact. The reality of the matter is that anyone in a leadership position will have people who agree with their direction and leadership, as well as, those who disagree with the decisions that are made. Unfortunately, some people feel it appropriate to attempt to garner support, however appropriately or inappropriately through social media.

For me, it is all about the children; I am committed to ensuring ALL students achieve and at high levels. I am a natural collaborator, but do not hesitate to make decisions when needed. I am high energy; high integrity, motivated, passionate leader with a very strong work ethic. I have definite urgency surrounding student learning and am uncompromising when it comes to doing the right thing for children.

Lastly, I want to express how excited I am to have this opportunity to move to the great Island of Bermuda, as well as meet and work along with parents, students, dedicated staff, and community members.


Update 1.44pm: Chairman of the Board of Education Curtis Dickinson said that in selecting the new Commissioner they had a “rigourous process” and reviewed some 70 applications.

“Dr. Heatley has a record of managing and leading change. This appealed to the Board as we continue our reform of Public Education in Bermuda,” said Mr. Dickinson.

Mr. Dickinson’s full remarks follow below:

Good morning,

In February of this year I stood before you to set out the process by which a new Commissioner of Education would be recruited to lead the Department of Education.

Today, I am pleased to introduce to you Dr. Edmond Heatley who will take up the role as our new Commissioner of Education on September 11th.

Dr. Heatley began his career in public education as a classroom teacher in the Norfolk (VA) Public Schools teaching students with disabilities.

In 1998, Dr. Heatley traveled to California where he spent 11 years of his professional life, first as Learning Director for the Clovis Unified School District in Fresno, CA, Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services with the Grant Joint Union High School District in Sacramento, CA, Associate Superintendent for Personnel with the Oceanside Unified School District in Oceanside, CA, Superintendent of Schools of the Chino Valley Unified School District in Chino, CA and Adjunct Professor of Education at the University of Southern California, California State University in San Marcos, CA, and at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.

Dr. Heatley assumed the Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of Clayton County Public Schools, Georgia, United States in 2009. In this role, he was responsible for overall leadership and management of the district’s 67 schools (PK-12 and Adult Education) as well as administrative, school leadership and supervisory staffs, instructional program, and business/operational affairs.

Dr. Heatley has a record of managing and leading change. This appealed to the Board as we continue our reform of Public Education in Bermuda.

Dr. Heatley has an impressive CV and is someone to take our education system forward.

Before I provide Dr. Heatley with an opportunity to address you, I just want to remind you of the process by which Dr. Heatley came to be standing here today.

In January, permission was received to advertise this post both locally and overseas.

A recruitment panel was established including:

  • Board Chair – Mr. Curtis Dickinson
  • Deputy Chair – Ms. Kim Wilkerson
  • Secretary to the Cabinet – Mr. Donald Scott
  • Bermuda College President – Dr. Duranda Green
  • Permanent Secretary of Education – Mr. Warren Jones; and
  • Senior Human Resource Manager – Mrs. Germaine Trott

Following a review of some 70 applications, a shortlisted pool of qualified candidates was interviewed and provided a presentation to the panel setting out how they would take the Bermuda public Education system forward.

Out of that process, two candidates were brought to Bermuda and assessed through an independent provider assessing emotional intelligence, personality profile, performance management and leadership.

While in Bermuda, they also met with the members of the Board of Education which includes parent representatives and representatives from the relevant unions.

This was a rigourous process and I am pleased that we can present Dr. Heatley to you today.

On behalf of the Minister of Education, the Board of Education, Ministry staff, principals and teachers, we welcome Dr. Heatley to Bermuda and look forward to giving him our full support as he works on behalf of the children of Bermuda.


Update 7.36pm: Shadow Minister of Education Walton Brown said, “As Shadow Minister of Education I welcome Dr. Edmond Heatley to Bermuda and as our new Commissioner of Education. I am confident that the selection committee has made an excellent choice in Dr Heatley to guide our education system, to improve our standards and help our young people to succeed on multiple levels.

“I look forward to steady, measured improvement in student abilities, teacher commitment and leadership among our principals. One of a lacuna in the current education system is a satisfactory leadership growth and development structure and it is my hope this too will be addressed by Dr Heatley. I look forward to making a courtesy visit with the Commissioner of Education within the next few weeks.

“I know the board conducted a long, diligent search for a suitably qualified candidate and I believe their preference was to place a Bermudian in that position immediately. Because I have confidence in the integrity of the selection committee I am comfortable with their recommendation but I fully expect a credible plan to be put in place to ensure Bermudians are fully qualified to take over on the expiration of Dr Heatley’s contract.”

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Comments (101)

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  1. Seriously? says:

    A simple google search produces these interesting articles.


    Seriously?? ok then.

    • Colourless says:

      Every teacher, every parent should read these articles. I have two questions: who checked Mr. Heatley’s background? What impressed the person(s)?

      • No problem says:

        It’s okay problem solved he’s only here to educate the Kool-Aid peoples kids, so it does not affect the top brass of the oba since all their children attend private schools.

        :o (

        • Kathy says:

          Really stop putting a label on people ..

          • Tramsparency for Real!! says:

            This is a bad decision by the OBA govt. It is not looking good for the future of our children. Education is a joke to OBA, look at whom is the Minister of Education. Are they really serious, or what, but may be not after all most of their children go to private schools and so did they. Joke at best..what a bad way to go…Once again a job given to a non-Bermudian over a Bermudians, just as the OBA has been doing since they were elected. Well did not say how many jobs they would create are really for Bermudians. This is looking bad….

            • Black Soil says:

              This was not a decision of the OBA govt you fool.

      • Out of flight says:

        He will not last 2 years and when he goes the entire selection committee must resign. 17 years experience is NOt enough. Far too little. We have teachers with more. This is ridiculous. We should not have to put up with this. What a joke.

        • Gibralter Jim says:

          17 years is fine for Bermuda. Look at the rise to power of the new Saltus Head She only qualified in 1999 and is now head of the school despite very little experience outside of her present school. To my knowledge she has no Key Stage 1 or 2 teaching experience. She has been doing a great job. If you are good enough you are good enough. Some people have the wisdom and take the risks. They are the ones who win. If you are a slow plodder then you too are needed. We can’t all be leaders.

      • Not Impressed!! says:

        The history that this individual has amazes me that he can still get a job! He has suckered our current government as they are GIVING him a paid vacation! Sad state of affairs. God heal this land!

    • We know the media will print anything that sells but what I would like to see is an official report done and received from the former employers in the districts that this gentleman has worked.

      I don’t know how successful Bermuda government would be in retrieving the true facts from the state of California but I do know they will and can get all the reports they need from Clayton county in Atlanta Georgia.

      Lets hope we are not about to make the same mistake that was made with K.E.M.H.

      • One other thing I forgot to mention and maybe it was already stated,but why is Mr. Grant Gibbons standing there and where is the education Minister himself.

        • We the people says:

          Grant Gibbons is the Acting Minister because Nalton Brangman is off the island.

          • Black Soil says:

            Dunno why any cabinet member should be there. No one is cabinet (incl the Min of Educ) had any say in this appointment. The decision was with the BPSA.

      • Ms. tee says:

        I am a parent in the last School District Dr. Heatley presided over. He is the worst. I feel sorry for your children. He had so much nepotism going on. His wife worked in the school district in a position she was not qualified for. He is a hot mess. I am so glad we no longer have to deal with him. But I will keep your children in my prayers. Be very vigilant. And no they didn’t do a thorough background check or speak to parents, staff or faculty.

    • Mazumbo says:

      Nobody blaming de PLP yet! LMAO

    • Bing who? says:

      “A simple google search…



      Google > Bing

  2. CONCERNED says:

    Hmm – only two smiling – are the other two not pleased???

  3. Lay down! says:

    Well u said look u up on GOOGLE! Wow u sound like a nightmare! OBA you better reconsider this educator!

    • North West says:

      Where there’s smoke!! One thing, in America you cannot write articles like that without facts! Or else you would be hit with a big slander suit. Time will tell!

      • 100% says:

        I agree one hundred percent. When I heard who he was a few weeks ago, I googled him and also contact a few teachers in Clayton County, GA. They did not have very good things to say. Only in Bermuda (Ministry of Education) do we hire the rejects of others.

        The HR department in MOE do not do proper checks and balances on their teachers abroad or locally. It is about time they revise their policy and procedures for hiring.

    • Hmmm says:

      Look at the recruitment panel, there is a mix. Read the article, rather than shooting from the hip with your hate !

  4. Rich says:

    Seriously? He withdrew as the sole finalist for superintendent in Berkeley? At least in some American jurisdictions, you are given this sort of information before a final hiring decision is made so that members of the public can make their voices heard.


  5. Ridiculous says:

    Glad he told us to Google him.

    Allegedly: anti-union, cuts arts & sports programs, supports prop 8. Clearly doesn’t support teachers or parents speaking out about their concerns via social media.

    Fantastic start… at least he’s there for the children (that aren’t gay).


    • David says:


    • frank says:

      where do most of are children go to colledge American school are not interested in csce or anything like all they want to see is your s.a.t scores

      • Come Correct says:

        Other than S.A.T scores I’m pretty sure they want people who know where to use punctuation and the difference between are and our. Personally I’d like to see someone hired from a country that doesn’t look for loopholes in their constitution with the intent on revoking their citizens civil liberties and pushing their so called democratic government on conquered countries in order to push through their greedy agenda. If you want to know what’s wrong with our world just look to the west. In no way do I blame Americans, just their selfs-serving government who they aren’t willing to take a stand against in the name of “patriotism” and who our politicians are fervently taking notes from because they know getting the blinded favour of the people starts with education (or lack thereof)….because the American system works flawlessly, right?

        …Rant done.

        Knoeldeg is like air, it is essential to life and no one should be denied it.

      • Rich says:

        Actually, most of “are” young students are studying in Canada and the UK.

        • Island Empress says:

          Is that a fact? Most studying UK and Canada? I haven’t seen any figures but would have guessed Canada and USA are the top 2. In any case my issue, is not that they are looking into the USA for educational leaders, because they have those who are making a difference in the USA like anywhere else, but my issues is that we seem to ONLY look to the USA and not the Caribbean or other places. Truth be told I loved my Caribbean educators like i did my Bermudians, some more , some less but we seem to overlook them, just like many kids overlook education over there as an option.

    • Inspector Gadget says:

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. (figuratively speaking not grammatically lol)

    • Island Empress says:


  7. Oh No says:

    I am not one to be quick to jump on the band wagon of various news media around the world, but the commentary on this man is eye-opening! Hoping the Bermuda Public School System does not regret this decision years to come.

  8. really... says:

    Do we really need to hire an expat to get incompetence? A quick google search and it wasn’t a lot of good new for us.

  9. Amazed says:

    I recommend that people also google which countries have the best education systems and you will find that the US is not amongst the best.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/07/us-falls-in-world-education-rankings_n_793185.htmlHuffington Post

    The three-yearly OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world, ranked the United States 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.

  10. Come Correct says:

    Ok where’s my oba election flyer. Did they specify jobs for Bermudians or just jobs?

    • Island Empress says:

      Just jobs no for Bermudians. I read them. That’s why i didn’t vote OBA saw that coming from a mile away.

      • E$ says:

        And you think the PLP could do any better?! LOL FOH with dat garbage!

  11. Chris Famous says:

    Tsk Tsk

    OBA Strikes again

    • Hmmm says:

      Read the article, look at the recruitment panel…TSK TSK Chris Famous jumps to conclusions

      • ABM says:

        Maybe you need to re-read the article

        • Black Soil says:

          Chris Famous strikes again with his IGNORANCE. Or does he lie to make OBA look bad? Either way the truth means nothing to him. Propaganda minister of the PLP.

  12. Family Man says:

    Maybe the former Marine drill sergeant can start to trim some of the deadwood in the Ministry of Education. Weed out those not fit to serve.

  13. SoMuchMore says:

    politricks, the pee l pee tricked us and now the oba is doing the same damn thing.

    just as others have said there’s always need for expats but what about your own?

  14. watchfuleyes says:

    I would have thought that if Bermuda wanted the best we would have gone to Finland or Poland who rank top in education achievements. Why go to the States who are so low on the rung of the ladder that they need someone to rescue them. So we now have an American educator who is going to help our education system when America needs help themselves? How ironic, I can’t believe the OBA couldn’t have done better here. It would have served Bermuda better to look at the Caribbean even, because with little in way of gadgets, tangible materials including electronics, their students achieve good results.
    I think Bermudians need to be outraged, as we have qualified and capable educators here, including principals who should have been offered this position. I know what we have but I don’t know what we are getting other than someone who has been reported to be controversial. I guess in time we will all come to realize what that means, and then the OBA ‘will eat crow’ at the expense of the teachers and students.
    I do not agree that the Ministry couldn’t find a Bermudian out of 70 applicants? I have No faith in that Board who chose this Commissioner and this decision does not surprise me. It seems to be an ongoing trend that Bermudians have no faith in their own, sad.

  15. Tramsparency for Real!! says:

    Once again the OBA/UBP have put a Non-Bermudian in position over a Bermudian. If we could place a Bermudian to head up Bermuda College, a place of higher learning, why not the Department of Education.

    This is another job put into place by the OBAubp to another Non-Bermudian. Why was there no one in place working under Mrs Wendy McDonald to replace her. After all it was known that she would soon reach the golden age to retire. Why do we not value our own Bermudians? Why do we always believe that non-Bermudians have all the answers to fix our problems. It will be interesting as we move forward to see if he can fix the education system and all that is wrong. Bermuda needs to get up and stand up for what they want and need, if not all will fall over.

    • Hmmm says:

      Look at the recruitment panel who presided over this…..then delete your hateful comment.

      • Hmmmmm says:

        Thanks for the reminder. Since December 17th 2012, its the recruitment panel’s fault. Before that every appointment was laid at the feet of the Government. Seriously, do you think we forget what you people said?

        • Hmmm says:

          Did you not see the previous recruitment panels!!!

        • Tramsparency for Real!! says:

          The recruitment Panel is appointed by the Minister of Education. The final decision is made by the Minister of Education, the BUCK STOPS WITH THE Minister OF EDUCATION AND THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMITTEE ONLY PUTS THEIR RUBBER STAMP OF APPROVAL ON IT. Final stamp is by the Governor. The recruitment Panel only puts forward a few names from which the final selection is made. So the final call is made by the Government of the day and that is and show should be held accountable. BAD DECISION BY OBAubp.

  16. David Petty says:

    Oh dear! This doesn’t look look good at all!


  17. RawOnion says:

    The first thing I did was to google his name and sure enough not much good (if any good) was said about Dr. Heatley. I sure hope the correct decision has been made. It would be nice if one of our news outlets sought information on Heatley from his previous employers and co-workers. Judging by the comments in and after the U.S. news media about him, I would be nervous about his hiring.

  18. Real Talk (original) says:

    Why the hell do we continue to look to the US with their substandard education system!? As the parent of a child in the public school system I am scratching my head…

  19. Any idea how much we will have to fork out on this ??salary wise per year??

  20. Youngster says:

    Where is the FB page for Remove Dr. Heatley NOW!!!!!! We need action!!!

  21. Malachi says:

    No wonder the youth of this country suffer from low self esteem! The Government is quietly telling us that we as Bermudians are not good enough.

    I really feel for the suitably qualified local educators who have been overlooked.

    Shame on you OBA!!

  22. Enough is Enough says:

    Okay OBA enough is enough….In just a short time you have shown how much of the same you exactly are. Can Nandi please re-sign, let’s do a bi-election, tie this junk up and go back to the polls and get OBA out….

    Although PLP aren’t any better either and as oppose to recognizing that they need to do better as a Labor government for its people and country and stop saying this is what you voted for….No we voted for your cocky, condescending out of control selves to get off your high horses and recognize you work for the people’s best interest and not your own.

    Need to break up this party system for the best interest of this country.

  23. tax payer says:

    the moment this guy starts to get involved with ANY of my family’s kids,we will tell him to **** OFF back where he came from!..
    how you like that for FACT!

    There are far better and more educated people here on the Island already that qualify for the position,or in the UK where the Education is far superior to anything the USA has to offer.

    • E$ says:

      So all the Ivy League schools and other top medical/research/etc schools are not good schools?! LOL FOH! Dummy

  24. Why says:

    Lets vote out all political parties and have able bodied persons to do the job and they are voted in by the people for the people. This island is too small for this crap! If you can’t get the job done right, vote them out and vote the next able bodied person in. I’m tired of plp vs oba. One Bermuda and that’s it!! Now let’s get on with education!!!

  25. God 1st says:

    Enough is Enough

    I agree with what you said in your 1st paragraph.

  26. Meeeee says:

    Remember that guy, Dr Henry Johnson, who the PLP appointed as Commissioner of Education. Remember him? Remember the miracles that he was supposed to work? Remember his credentials and “how much he brought to the table?” Remember that he ‘left town’ before the end of his three year contract?

    Remember that under him, nothing changed? In fact, things got worse. Then came the “Hopkins Report.” Nothing has come of that Report.

    So here we are, five years later.

    Bermuda has changed governing parties, but Bermuda is still getting exactly the same crappy ‘magic’ solutions that the PLP offered and made so much noise about.

    With this Heatley guy, all that has happened is that we’ve gotten the same crappy answer, five years further down the road.

    This is a massive disappointment. The disappointment is made worse by PLP/MP Walton Brown’s embracing of the man and his selection.

    Fool me once. OK. Try exactly the same trick again…. And what do you really expect me to think?

    Someone – and now it looks like OBA as well as PLP must think that I and thousands of other Bermudians are fools and idiots.

    I was fooled once. I’m not being fooled again – by either political side or by Heatley and his credentials and promises.

  27. SpiritMindBody says:

    While all that is reported about Dr. Heatley may have been sensationalized by the media, there is usually some hint of reality to it. I just pray that the words Dr. Heatley speaks are genuine, as education in Bermuda at whatever level is critical to the success of our country.
    I too would have thought if we were seeking the best outside of Bermuda, USA would not be the right place. Apparently Clayton City Schools in ATL lost their accreditation, I hope it was not under Dr. Heatley guidance.
    Parents of Bermuda please don’t be afraid or passive to demand what our children deserve in public education, stay involved every step of the way and make those at the top who get hefty paychecks accountable, we should demand better outcomes of success whatever that success looks like for your child.

    Parent for Public Education

  28. SpiritMindBody says:

    If that CV is impressive! We are so superficial, when someone has to jump all over the place from school to school, shows some instability there! Share with us the proven data of his success.

  29. Bermuda says:

    What will happen to the Cambridge curriculum? He will not know anything about it, I don’t think, coming from the US. Will we be chopping and changing again before we even gave it a chance?

  30. Whistling Frog says:

    And what all you Bermudians are going to do about it? NOTHING!!! Cause nothing ever gets done… CHATTER! CHATTER!! CHATTER!!! While you all sit back in your comfort seats at home or your office…

  31. Peter Pumpkin Eater says:

    Wowzers. After watching video online and listening to people plead with school Boards not to hire this guy and people protesting and taking to the streets to see that this man is not hired for their schools, we accept him with open arms? He must be very well connected and since he couldn’t find a job in the US, has pulled strings and found something here.

  32. Truth says:

    Dear Bernews. The public should be aware of a few facts:

    1. As early as last year members of the board executive were intently lookin to hire a non-Bermudian Commissioner. This was expressed by outgoing commissioner

    2. Job requirements were chosen, written, and applied to expressly exclude the experiences of any existing Bermudian job holder.

    3. No Bermudian was ever interviewed for the position

    4. No succession plan has ever been implemented or identified.

  33. Truth says:


  34. TED says:

    In case people are wondering what has gone wrong with the Education System, I will give you a hint. There is a major war going on, not like the overt wars being played out in the Middle East and the Near East. This is a war on our minds and our children’s minds. Their plan is to deliberately dumb down the population and keep them ignorant and dreamless with no hope of achievement to be productive citizens.If you look back in history, this started back in the late 1880s in Prussia and was adopted in the West. Education is not about memorizing facts.It’s about processing the information they receive and using it to develop their talents and natural abilities to attain a worthy goal without hindering the rights of others on the way.

    The word “Education” derives from the Latin word “Educe” which means to draw out of and not to cram info into and spit it back out.

    One question I would like to ask is; Why does the Education only concentrate on Academic and Professional Education and leave out one of the most important part, Financial Education? I will leave that for another discussion.

  35. Tired says:

    This is so sad. Why are we messing around with our future’s education. OBA you should have done a massive background on this person. All you hear about in the USA are schools closing. And I thought our educational system was higher than the USA, so why bring in someone who is below our standards. This is really pissing me off. I think some of what is being said makes sense. It is time for a new election. There has to be more Bermuda minded people here to run this place. NO MORE OBA AND NO MORE PLP.

  36. Prayerful says:

    Just another reason to send our children to Private School. In the Photo, Dr. Gibbons looks very smug. Curtis Dickinson, as much as I love him, sends his children to Private School, so why should either of them care who is appointed the Commissioner of Education.

    • We the people says:

      I believe you would say that Dr. Gibbons always looks smug. Anyway, for all you posters, a few facts: the position is a civil service position, meaning the OBA Cabinet (or the PLP if in power) didn’t do the hiring. The Board of Education filled the post, with the approval of the Public Service Commission. The Board of Education selected the recruitment committee. And an independent Bermuda accounting/consulting firm participated in the interviewing (evaluating leadership, performance management, etc.). So be concerned if you must, but the process was transparent and rigorous.

      • Tramsparency for Real!! says:

        @ we the people…….And the final decision and buck stops with the OBAubp government. You are forgetting the OBAubp do not get a free pass here, as they make the final decision, being the government of the day. They are the government of the day, and therefore are accountable for such a decisions. They can not wipe their hands clean nor be excused. They are the government of the day whom are too be held responsible for this current decision.

        • E$ says:

          SHUT UP BETTY. You’re wrong just finally admit it. The OBA had nothing to do with this, SORRY!

  37. Babylon says:

    We should have got someone from England!

    • Bermuda Male says:

      Ya right. Just imagine the reaction to some white Englishman taking the helm. You think the hate and presumptions are extreme now?!

      And these are the same people that are tasked with bringing up the net generation.

      No wonder we are, where we are.

  38. Two years in the classroom in Bermuda doesn’t qualify you for a principal ship ! Why haven’t we hired someone who is familiar with the direction in which we are going ? The Cambridge syllabus route ? Baffles me. Even if the blogs are untrue, Is he familiar with our plans for our system. Can he advise on The Cambridge Syllabus.

  39. Amazed says:

    @ we the people- yes you are correct about the hiring process but I am still concerned. Who do you think appoints the Public service Commission?
    We have a weak unaccomplished Minister of Education and now we have a weak unaccomplished Education Commissioner. No one is trumpeting his previous work as justification for his appointment so that gives me reason to worry! They seem more impressed with what he said he will do rather then what he has already done elsewhere. We are not demonstrating that we are taking very seriously the state of our education system. We do not have the luxury of time to get this situation sorted as we are already well behind the 8 ball!

  40. Just my opinion... says:

    You get what you pay for – We are broke remember. You want top of the line then you have to pay big bucks.
    If we had the leadership on hand already then the necessary changes would already be in place – go figure.
    We are already failing (students leaving high school can not read or write at their appropriate level and are therefore unemployable) – so how much further can we fall.

    Give the man a chance. He says he’s a change agent and CHANGE is what’s needed.Got to try something different to obtain a different result. ijs

    Food for thought…Our Americanized school system (mega high school) has produced these tossed to the side, falling through the cracks, unloved, uneducated bies, these murders, followers that are destroying our beloved paradise. What is sad about all this is that NO ONE is thinking about putting OUR Future Leaders best interest first. Or maybe what @TED said holds more truth than one would like to believe.

  41. E$ says:

    OBA HAD NOTHING TO DO WIT THIS, but you people still don’t want to see it like that.

  42. An Educator says:

    Whilst I want to be optimistic, as we have needed real leadership for a long, long time, the messages and reports are concerning. But the problems with our system are huge and are now entrenched. For those of you who want to know about the US Education system we based our “middle and mega schools” on, have a look at “Waiting for Superman” http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/waiting-for-superman/ . Whilst heartbreaking, it gives you an insight into the reason that the US Education system is failing many children, but also the substantial roadblocks ANY person who wants to make changes comes up against. One of the persons of focus was a woman called Michelle Rhee, who has been vilified by Teachers, parents and others. Once you see her seemingly impossible job of trying to rid the Washington DC schools of the deadwood you will understand the momentous task this commissioner probably had in Georgia. It will take many baby steps to change what has been created in our Education System. I hold out hope that Dr. Heatley will be able to make progress where others have failed.

  43. Gandolf The Grey says:

    Somebody didn’t do their homework on this guy. What a shame! From the little research that I have done on Dr. Heatley, his style of management will not go down very well with the Bermuda Union of Teachers.

    He is a graduate of the Broad Superintendents Academy who’s graduates have stirred up much controversy in the school districts that they have been assigned to in the United States.

    Writing the Christian Science Monitor, Christina A. Samuels states “…Broad-trained superintendents use corporate-management techniques to consolidate power, weaken teachers’ job protections, cut parents out of decision making, and introduce unproven reform measures.”

    As we all know, Bermuda’s Education System has already been damaged by controversial decision making and our children can ill afford any further disruptions in their education.

    Let’s hope that this will not be case Dr. Heatley!



    • Bermuda Male says:

      That’s he problem right there with BDA.

      Instead of being concerned with the quality of the education that BDA children receive, you all are worried about how the Union will react.

      And that’s a damn shame.

      • Gandolf The Grey says:

        As usual, people like yourself want to deflect the conversation away from the issue being discussed and talk about unrelated matters.

        Nevertheless, let me say that Unions have and continue to stand up for the individual rights of those in the workplace whose voices are sometimes squelched by unscrupulous employers. No, they are not perfect and sometimes make mistakes in judgment.

        You should really try to get over your morbid hatred for unions. Do a little bit of research on unions in general. You may find that you have likely been a benefactor of some good things that unions have done for society in general.

        Dr. Heatley has exhibited poor leadership in the past and is one of the reasons that people are upset over his appointment.

        People like you need to stop misleading others with fallacious argumentation. You really do a disservice to intelligent discourse on issues that really matter to people in this community.

        • Double Standards says:

          Great rant mate!

          But your initial post confirms the poster’s point above.

          You are more worried about how this appointment will affect the Unions as compared to the students quality of education.

          So your love of the Unions is now showing your “morbid hatred” of the students themselves.

  44. bubbly says:

    I work in Clayton County in GA and he is a nightmare. We were so glad when he left! Good luck guys!

    • Bermewjan says:

      Any advice for us? How’d you get rid of this guy?

  45. Clayton County Schools Educator says:

    Don’t worry Bermuda. Just give enough rope and he will hang himself! He will truly self destruct. Bad for students and bad for teachers. He starts off really engaging and with all smiles. But then that little napoleon complex kicks in and he acts with little or no conscience as to the impact he has on employees personal lives.

  46. Expat teacher says:

    I can tell you of a couple of HIGHLY qualified teachers who, once they found out Heatley has come with his snake oil, just crossed Bermuda off their list. No doubt there will be more to follow, as this guy has been universally derided.

    Bermuda’s loss.

    It won’t be the first loss Bermuda suffers under Heatley. Time will tell, but then of course, the damage will have been done.