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Emergency Transitional Education Board of Trustees
Resolution of Appreciation for Lt. General Julius W. Becton, Jr.
April 21, 1998




Dorothy Brizill
Bonnie Cain
Jim Dougherty
Gary Imhoff
Phil Mendelson
Mark David Richards
Sandra Seegars


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The Emergency Transitional Education Board of Trustees
of the
District of Columbia Public Schools
hereby records its appreciation to

Lt. General Julius W. Becton, Jr.

on his retirement as Chief Executive Officer and Superintendent of the District of Columbia Public Schools for his selfless and dedicated service in launching a major school reform effort

Lt. General Julius W. Becton, Jr., who had already come out of retirement twice to serve his country and the cause of education after an illustrious record in the military wherein he distinguished himself by service in three wars, selflessly came out of retirement again in November, 1996 to take on what he himself has described as his most challenging assignment of all, that of CEO/Superintendent of the troubled D.C. Public Schools.

General Becton inherited a school system whose “management structure and education delivery system have failed our children,” according to a 1996 report, Children in Crisis, by the Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority. He was forced to battle against a culture of indifference where he confronted grave legal and political challenges as adult interests often came into conflict with the needs of the children. By his own example of integrity, probity, and accountability, he reminded all that the system exists not to further these adult interests but solely to enrich the children of the District of Columbia with knowledge and skills. To emphasize this campaign, he entitled his reform effort CHILDREN FIRST.

In just seventeen months, the administration led by General Becton was able to successfully tackle problems that had plagued the District of Columbia’s school system for decades. He managed to close eleven underutilized schools, obtain the first sales of vacant school buildings which had been neighborhood eyesores for decades, put in place a long-term facilities plan to attack the crumbling and neglected school infrastructure, and begin implementing the facility plan with the installation of more than sixty new roofs and an impressive array of other facilities work.

General Becton initiated a new era of academic responsibility by introducing higher academic standards, conducting more comprehensive and reliable student assessments, establishing new promotion policies designed to put an end to social promotion, and developing plans for reconstituting chronically failing schools. Finally, he had the wisdom and responsibility to plan for his succession by enlisting the services of an educator whose vision and skills are nationally-recognized to serve as Chief Academic Officer and Deputy Superintendent.


Than in gratitude for his service to the District of Columbia Public Schools, the Emergency Transitional Education Board of Trustees commends General Julius W. Becton, Jr. for his dedication and selflessness in undertaking this challenging assignment, and for his strong leadership in the most difficult days of launching reform. He has earned the respect and admiration of all who has worked with and for him, but especially those who have served with him as Trustees of this Board.


That this Resolution of Appreciation be made part of the permanent records of the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Presented in accordance with a resolution adopted unanimously at the meeting of the Board of Trustees on April 21, 1998.

Dated: April 21, 1998

Bruce K. Mallory, Chair

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