John Barge

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John Barge
John Barge.jpg
Georgia State Superintendent of Schools
Former officeholder
In office
January 10, 2011 - January 12, 2015
Base salary$127,500
Elections and appointments
Last electionMay 20, 2014
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Campaign $$145,797
Term limitsN/A
High schoolCampbell High School (1984)
Bachelor'sBerry College (1988)
Master'sState University of West Georgia
Ph.D.University of Georgia
Place of birthCobb County, Georgia
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
John Barge is the former Republican State Superintendent of Schools in Georgia.[1] Barge was first elected on November 2, 2010, and took office on January 10, 2011. He did not seek re-election, running instead for governor. He lost the Republican nomination to incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal in the primary on May 20, 2014.

Barge came into the office of state superintendent with over 20 years experience in education. During that time he served as a high school English teacher, middle school Spanish teacher, assistant principal, and principal. He was also the State Director of Career, Technical and Agriculture Education for the Georgia Department of Education.[1] Prior to his election as Georgia schools chief, Barge was director of secondary curriculum and instruction with the Barlow County (GA) School System.


Barge was born in Cobb County, Georgia. He graduated in 1988 from Berry College in Rome, GA, with a bachelor's degree in communications and public relations. He also holds a master's degree from the State University of West Georgia and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of Georgia.

Before becoming superintendent, Barge was director of secondary curriculum and instruction with the Barlow County (GA) School System. He has also served as a principal and assistant principal, and has taught both high school English and middle school Spanish.[1]


  • B.A. in communications/public relations - Berry College (1988)
  • M.A. - State University of West Georgia
  • Ph.D. in educational leadership - University of Georgia

Political career

Georgia Superintendent of Schools (2011-2015)

Barge served as Georgia State Superintendent of Schools from 2011 to 2015.


Common Core

See also: Common Core State Standards Initiative
"We need to know that students are being prepared, not at a minimum-competency level but with rigorous, relevant education to enter college, the workforce or the military at a level that makes them competitive with students from other states."[2]

—John Barge, The Citizen, June 11, 2014

On July 8, 2010, the Georgia Board of Education adopted Common Core or Common Core State Standards Initiative, an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school.[3] When Barge took over as superintendent in January 2011, he assumed partial responsibility for developing a plan for realizing the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) adopted under the leadership of his predecessor. The "Georgia Milestones Assessment System" was hence designed to bring Georgia in line with the raised educational standards coordinated by the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers. The Milestones Assessment System consists of various final exams for specific courses worth 20 percent of a student’s grade; reading and math exam scores for third, fifth and eight graders will factor heavily in whether they advance to the next grade.[4][5]

To clear the way for the state to implement the new nationally-aligned standards and achievement metrics, the Milestones System will supersede Georgia's existing achievement testing regime--anchored by the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) for grades 3-8 and the End of Course Tests (EOCT) administered to high school students--effective in the 2014-2015 school year. The changes are scheduled to arrive amid transition in the superintendent's office, since Barge forwent a bid for re-election in 2014 to run for governor and must retire his current position upon the expiry of his first term in January 2015. Whomever is elected to replace Barge will inherit authority over the Georgia Department of Education's implementation of the Milestones System, as well as accountability for any apparent decline in student achievement following the switch to the more challenging Milestones testing regime. Barge has warned that the adjustment may yield disappointing scores in comparison with those of past CRCTs and EOCTs, however he stressed the importance of finding a "new and more realistic baseline of student performance" which can be used to help Georgia schools meet heightened national standards.[5][4]



See also: Georgia gubernatorial election, 2014

Though eligible for re-election as state superintendent in 2014, Barge opted to run for Governor of Georgia instead.[6] He sought the Republican nomination in the primary on May 20, 2014, losing to incumbent Nathan Deal. The general election took place November 4, 2014.

  • Republican primary
Governor of Georgia, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngNathan Deal Incumbent 72.1% 430,170
David Pennington 16.7% 99,548
John Barge 11.2% 66,500
Total Votes 596,218
Election Results via Georgia Secretary of State Election Results.


Barge won election as Georgia State Superintendent of Schools on November 2, 2010.[7]

Georgia State School Superintendent, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Barge 53.5% 1,366,355
     Democratic Joe Martin 41.6% 1,061,124
     Libertarian Kira Griffiths Willis 4.9% 124,547
     Write-In Howard Miller 0% 88
Total Votes 2,552,114
Election Results via Georgia Secretary of State

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Barge is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Barge raised a total of $145,797 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 8, 2013.[8]

John Barge's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Georgia Superintendent of Public Instruction Not up for election $28,254
2010 Georgia Superintendent of Public Instruction Won $117,543
Grand Total Raised $145,797


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of John Barge's donors each year.[9] Click [show] for more information.


Barge currently resides in Floyd County, with his wife of 22 years, Loraine. They have one daughter together.[1]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Georgia State Superintendent of Schools
Succeeded by
Richard Woods (R)