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Roger Wilkins
Letter resigning from Board of Education
February 5, 2003




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February 5, 2003

Roger Wilkins
1253 4th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20024

Mayor Anthony Williams
Executive Offices
John A. Wilson Building
Washington, D.C. 20004

Dear Mayor Williams:

First, I want to express my deepest thanks to you for giving me the opportunity to serve on the Board of Education in the District of Columbia for the last two years. Though it was a clearly difficult and, at times, frustrating task, the opportunity serve the students and parents of this cit was on of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I hope that in this period, I was able to contribute something to the improvement of our educational services, particularly those directed to the poorest members of our community. That was surely my intention.

I am now writing, however, to withdraw my name from consideration for a second appointment to the Board. In the month of silence since I sent word to you about some concerns I had about reappointment issues, I have taken the opportunity to reflect on where I am in my life; my most pressing concerns and my deepest interests. As a result, I have concluded that it is time to return my basics; teaching, civil rights work and writing.

I want you to know that I respect you and share your hopes for our city. I believed you when you said that you wanted to make improvement of education the hallmark of your second term and I hope that continues to be your goal. The nation’s failure to deliver decent educations to so many poor children in our urban centers is in my view, the greatest national shame of our time. As Mayor of our Nation’s Capital, you – working with the School Board and the superintendent – can begin, not only to improve education for our children here but also provide a powerful and needed lesson for the rest of the country. As you know – in addition to upgrading the academic supervisory and teaching corps – I believe that providing services to distressed parents to help them develop the capacities to guide their children’s educations and the development of wrap-around services at schools in our poorest communities should be central elements of that effort.

Finally, I want to thank you once more for the opportunity you have given me to serve in this way and also to express my willingness to render whatever assistance from time-to-time that you may deem useful to the educational efforts of our community. I thus send you gratitude and every good wish for success in you mayorality.

Roger Wilkins

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