He has a background in education, a plan for what Georgia's Department of Education should do and an arsenal of Linda Schrenko stories.
It's time for Joe Martin to hit the campaign trail.
"We need somebody that can make the system work," Martin told members of the Columbia County Democratic Party last week.
Martin has nearly 10 months of campaigning aHEAD:The Democratic primary for Georgia school superintendent is scheduled for August.
In the interim, Martin said, he's focusing on the issues: Getting educators more involved in reform, stepping up accountability efforts, dealing with social issues, helping education systems evolve and adapt and refining Gov. Roy Barnes' education-reform package.
He said it is time to call a truce between Republicans and Democrats, to stop blaming others for the problems in education and to stress the importance of reading.
"Every child can learn and will learn if expected to learn," he said.
The 2002 campaign is not his first for state school superintendent. Martin ran for the post in 1998 but lost to Schrenko.
"When the dust settled, I was 3 percent behind," he said.
Since then, he has worked closely with the governor on reform issues and has kept his hands in education - currently teaching world history near Atlanta.
"No matter how you cut it, we are not doing what we need to do, and we need to do better," he said. "It's not the teachers' fault. It's not necessarily the parents' fault. It's all of our faults."
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