Georgia Teacher Blog Criticises Appointment

August 28, 2013

Dr Edmond Heatley, August 26 2013-4In a blog post entitled “Educational Disaster Pending in Bermuda: Edmond Heatley is Named Commissioner of Education. LOL!”, the “Georgia Teachers Speak Out” blog has slammed the appointment of Dr. Edmond Heatley as the new Bermuda Commissioner of Education.

“We actually had heard that the little Caribbean country of Bermuda had a pretty good public education system. Not for long,” said the post.

In 2009 Dr. Heatley was named the Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of Clayton County Public Schools in Georgia, and left the post three years later after what one news report called a “tumultuous three-year tenure”.

The American educator was selected from some 70 applicants to take over the Commissioner of Education position, replacing Wendy McDonell, who held the position since 2009.

Speaking at his formal introduction earlier this week, Dr. Heatley said: “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.”

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Comments (16)

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  1. Kim Smith says:

    Well, we’ll see. Presumably those in management know how to deal with problems if they arise.

  2. Y-Gurl says:

    So if the blogs are to be beleived, which im sure a lot if not some of it is true layer on that the appointed minister for education and it indeed looks like we are going to have a very tumultuos 3 or so years that may set our system back years and furthermore will take even more time to put back to normal and just about the time that system has fallen apart we will be in election mode……Hmmmmmm

  3. Elizabeth G, says:

    Since when is the little country of Bermuda in the Caribbean?

    Perhaps the OBA should Rethink this appointment for Education, sounds like someone has not done their due diligence.

  4. ed says:

    This will very much put him in the public eye. He will be judged on results. He will have to succeed, education is paramount to the future of Bermuda.

  5. David Petty says:

    Personally I do not know Mr. Heatley, yet even if the blogs aren’t entirely accurate, the breadth and depth of negative feeling about this man should be enough to give anyone pause when considering hiring him to lead our education reform here in Bermuda. That there is further backlash from his previous roles is even more disturbing.

    This seems an odd move to take if we are looking to improve our education system. However, if the intention is to bring in a hatchet man then this move is not surprising.

    For the record, I believe that education is an essential service in Bermuda and public schools should not be privatised or dumbed down. We need to empower our youth for the betterment of Bermuda. It is the best way to provide equal opportunity to all.

  6. E$ says:


  7. The Fact says:

    An educated man with a military background, a marine drill instructor to be exact. I have to agree with David Petty, this sounds more like a “hatchet man” to me and that maybe what the system needs.

    Sounds like the bloggers didn’t like his tactics nor approach to doing business. This is usually the case when you mix exmilitary personal with civis.

    Bottom line, in the 3 yrs he was in Georgia, what was the result of his moves? forget what the bloggers say, lets see some results. If they dont support anything, then YES we maybe in for a rough ride. If there were positive results, then we must suck it up and see what he can do.

  8. Rockfish#1 and#2 says:

    It is a bad move to hire a person with so much baggage to lead the team of ineffective, lazy “professionals” in the MOE who have done precious little to improve our standards. A classic case of the blind leading the blind!

    The Government should bite the bullet and cancel his contract before letting him loose on OUR children.

  9. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    Kiss Bermuda GOODBYE boy!…ya not wanted here!

  10. Oh No says:

    Fact: There are people out there that do not fancy his leadership style. But there is also a chance that there are people who don’t like YOU (persons reading this comment) and does that automatically mean that everyone should turn against you??? NO!

    However, we need to not be so swift to judge the man and believe that he will automatically “destroy” public education. I for one, do not believe that public education is at an all time low…there are plenty of public school teachers whose hearts cringe every time they see these nasty, vile often times inaccurate comments about the system, most times coming from people who are truly not in the know. I know plenty of teachers that put in HARD work all school year long, an genuinely want the best for our students.

    Edmond Heatley is coming into a UNIONISED Dept….any radical changes he makes can and would shut this whole island down…relax, he may have that leaderships title, but trust he won’t be leading anything! He’ll be taking orders from his Bermudian team.

    • Gandalf The Grey says:

      Dr. Heatley is very familiar with working in unionized environments and takes a negative stance on teachers unions. He was a controversial figure in at least two of the schools that he was appointed to in the United States. The evidence of the negative effects of his leadership style is in plain view for anyone willing to do a bit of online digging.

      What makes you believe that he will be any less controversial here?

  11. Triangle Drifter says:

    Hmmmm…Lets not be too quick to judge. Is he here to whip the deadwood & the MOE into shape & throw out the unnecessary people? We shall see. Not a bad idea. Nothing wrong with an ex military guy in charge. Y’all loved Lt Col Burch, the guy who supposedly ‘got things done’.

    Maybe Dr Heatley will change his style a little knowing that he is under watchful eyes.

  12. Amazed says:

    @Triangle drifter- the problem with this appointment is that the chair has said he was hired for what he has promised to do and there has been no mention of any previous successes! It would be helful to know that he has been successful before doing what we need done otherwise we are taking a chance that we cannot afford!

  13. Honestly says:

    @Amazed. I agree with you 100% We need someone with a positive track record. Not a contract built on promises. Who says, when he starts dictating we agree it will be in the best interest of our student population. I’m nervous!

  14. Gandalf The Grey says:

    Somebody did not do their homework on this one! What a shame!

    From the little bit of research that I conducted 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 school districts where they have assigned in the United States.

    Writing in 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 many of us understand, Bermuda’s Education System has already suffered dearly from controversial decision making in the past and our children can ill afford any further disruptions in their education.

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