John Barge Endorses Valarie Wilson

Updated by Charlie:  Barge has made it official.  From Valarie Wilson:

Before a crowd of parents, community members and educators from all parties in front of Tucker High School, State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge announced his endorsement of Valarie Wilson to lead the position he will vacate at the end of the year.

Valarie Wilson is the only candidate in this race for State School Superintendent who understands the real issues facing our public education system in Georgia,” Barge said. “She knows what initiatives are working and knows where changes need to be made to allow teachers to teach. She also understands that Education in Georgia is headed in the right direction with gains in student achievement on all national indicators. Georgia ranks higher on every indicator than we did four years ago. She knows teachers have been faced with significant amounts of transition over the last several years and more change would be frustrating to teachers.”

“Education leaders also know that, despite the rhetoric, they have taken massive hits to their budgets over the last four years. Valarie Wilson has and will continue to be a staunch advocate for the return of resources to our public schools. Valarie’s commonsense approach to this job is exactly what Georgia needs to continue making improvements in our public schools. That is why I wholeheartedly endorse her candidacy for State School Superintendent.” 

Original post follows:

The AJC reports that John Barge, the Republican outgoing State School Superintendent and Valarie Wilson, the Democrat running to replace him are scheduled for a joint appearance on Thursday. 

Barge says it will only be for a “special announcement” but reading between the lines it sounds like an endorsement will be made.

As the AJC notes, Barge defeated Richard Woods in the 2010 Republican primary for the position. That Richard Woods is loony might also explain why Barge crossed over for his endorsement.

Will this endorsement help? Maybe. I do think endorsements offer a good heuristic for voters. Considering how tight the race is, every little bit helps.


  1. Trey A. says:

    I’d love to see Carter there, too.

    As a politician who believes in competence, ethics and good governance Barge should endorse Carter, too.

    I still can’t believe that Woods beat Buck. That is a travesty.

  2. Salmo says:

    They’re both terrible choices (as were Barge and his right hand Buck, who are only slightly worse). That’s why, despite voting straight-ticket R otherwise, I wrote in “NONE OF THE ABOVE” in that race.

    We really shouldn’t be voting on this one anyway. It is time to make that an appointed position so we can get some more qualified people in that position.

  3. Jon Lester says:

    The guy who couldn’t spell “governor” has endorsed the anti-school choice candidate. He might have influenced five or six more people if he’d done this before early voting began.

  4. John Konop says:

    Paging Bob…..

    If the anti common core message is working so well why is this election so tight, and all other down ticket races show a 8 point spread to the GOP? The only real issue is common core…

      • Charlie says:

        “More nuanced”

        Woods won by a literal handfull of votes. And he’s campaigning that he has a mandate to eliminate Common Core.

        That’s not nuance. That’s a response to tone deafness and unearned arrogance.

        • Harry says:

          I’m not aware that Woods is dead-opposed to common core, but maybe so. I’m just saying the GOP electorate in general seems to have a more nuanced view of this and other issues, while the Democrat partisans just vote for their Dem candidates who follow the narrow party line.

          • Robbie says:

            Woods is definitely dead-opposed to Common Core. He’s even had his people making fear-based videos on why they’re going to turn us all into Soviets.

  5. Harry says:

    From GaPundit:

    John Wood has a take on incumbent State School Superintendent John Barge’s endorsement of Democrat Valarie Wilson, originally published at, excerpted with his permission:

    Barge shows his true political ineptness. He cannot get along with the Governor’s office and the General Assembly and continues to spout the mantra of “staying the course”. “Staying the course” is nothing more than a clear acceptance of the Obama Administration’s education agenda by imposing more excessive testing measures and unrealistic mandates on our students and teachers. Barge’s endorsement is a clear example of his self-serving attitude for his own gain.

    What does he hope to gain from this? A job? His turncoat switching strategy looks to create more fissures in education by “grant dancing” for more federal dollars.

    “Staying the course” means more unrealistic lesson plan audits on our teachers, a failed testing model which has been inconsistent and incoherent. Teachers were not even given testing descriptors for the new GMAP testing to help students prepare. The scores will not be available until after the summer. So by “staying the course” this will cost Georgia taxpayers money for a test that is not even ready for our students but will be used to evaluate teachers with a weight of 50% off of a test that is not even been created successfully. It is expected to be implemented starting this December for some grade levels. “Staying the course” is a ploy to take away time from helping our students achieve and burden teachers with an oppressive amount of paperwork for future Race to the Top dollars. Barge’s leadership has been a failure by accepting these funds and has not upheld the constitutionality of the office.

    Wilson has also been endorsed by Planned Parenthood and GAWinlist. This association is confirmation that Barge is not a principled conservative and has pushed a progressive agenda while lying to voters about his principles. Richard Woods is clearly the leader we should have elected the first time when he ran against Barge in 2010. We need a leader that is willing to uphold the office and listen to the voters.

    • Will Durant says:

      You see the squealing above from Woods regarding the endorsement of his opponent by Barge. From Woods’ own website these 12 are the sum total of his endorsements at this late stage from the 236 member Georgia legislature:
      • Rep. Alex Atwood
      • Rep. Timothy Barr
      • Senator Buddy Carter
      • Rep. Jeff Chapman
      • Rep. Emory Dunahoo
      • Rep. Micah Gravley
      • Senator Tyler Harper
      • Senator Judson Hill
      • Senator William Ligon
      • Rep. Jay Roberts
      • Rep. Jason Spencer
      • Rep. David Stover
      It is worth noting that not a single endorser is a member of the Senate Education and Youth Committee or the House Education Committee.

    • Will Durant says:

      From we get this from an interview with Woods:

      Students also must know their American history. Woods emphasized he didn’t want a revisionist history taught, only the truth, and that “American exceptionalism” should be part of the curriculum. “We have nothing to be ashamed of as a nation,” he said. “We have nothing to apologize for.”


      • Jon Lester says:

        Now that’s a contradictory statement if I’ve ever seen one. Somehow I doubt if such episodes as the Philippines occupation, the first Nicaraguan intervention and the disastrous Polar Bear and Siberia expeditions of 1918 will be added to the curriculum, all of which I didn’t know about until college and after.

        • Harry says:

          Maybe I’m dense, but what’s contradictory about the statement? He didn’t refer to any specific events, did he? Said he just wants the truth with a bit of patriotic emphasis. That’s no different from the approach taken by any other country.

          • Will Durant says:

            C’mon Harry, really? This former “educator” of history panders to patriotism with more than one contradiction in the same statement. If you want the absolute truth in your history books then they have to be revised as new data and discoveries come to light. To state that you only want the truth and then say we as a nation have nothing to apologize for is an insult to the listener’s intelligence. I have no problem with a little patriotic fervor thrown in when merited but some of my first elementary history books bordered on deification of some of the founding fathers and taught fable as fact.

            If our kids aren’t taught that the land grab that was the Spanish-American War was at least partially fomented by propaganda from Hearst’s yellow journalism then we might go to war sometime based partially on propaganda that they are skewering babies on bayonets in the hospitals of Kuwait.

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