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February 14, 2007

Schoolyard Brawl

Dear Brawlers:

Alice Rivlin, Brookings Institute scholar, Georgetown University professor, former chair of the Control Board, and former director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, is one of those people who is always treated as an eminent expert on all the affairs of the District of Columbia. Her opinions carry weight except, of course, for when they don’t. Rivlin testified yesterday at the city council hearing on the mayor’s plan to take over the schools, and no newspaper — not the Post, Times, or Examiner — covered what she said. Rivlin was diplomatic, and she listed what she saw as the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the mayor’s proposal. But there was no question where she stood: “Our political and educational leaders are not arguing about what the schools actually need. . . . Collectively, the mayor, council, and Board of Education have the power and the resources to get the job done. What is absent is the willingness and determination to work together to improve outcomes for the kids. . . . The Board of Education has not always functioned well, but it is not my perception that the Board deserves much of the blame for the slowness of reform in recent years. With vigorous new leadership I believe that the Board’s functioning could be improved without taking divisive and disruptive action to strip its powers and transform it into an advisory state board.”

If the mayor, council, and, yes, the Board of Education were rational adults and if their primary interest were to benefit the students, they would cooperate and work together, rather than engage in a schoolyard brawl over power and control. But the school system has enormous assets and a massive budget, and power and control over them are what the mayor and council want. The interests of the children come in a distant second, and working together isn’t an option, when that kind of money is at stake. The mayor and the council are no more interested in Rivlin’s advice than the press is.

A keystone of the mayor’s argument is that the school system can’t manage its money and spend it well. The mayor’s proposal calls for transferring procurement authority from the Board of Education to the chancellor, under the mayor’s authority. But the Board of Education does no worse than the Office of Contracts and Procurement, which is under the mayor’s authority. Today, Rep. Tom Davis released a report by the Government Accountability Office about DC’s procurement system ( Here’s how Davis described the report’s findings in his press release ( “This is a scathing Report that should serve as a wake-up call to all involved in DC procurement issues, and all those who, like me, care about the health of the nation’s capital. The reform that is needed is substantial and statutory. The report makes clear that DC procurement is fatally flawed, both in its structure and execution, affecting all aspects of governance. The GAO is advising us that procurement in the District of Columbia lacks ‘transparency, accountability and competition’ and that in its present form it ‘increases the risk of preferential treatment for certain vendors and ultimately drives up costs.’ Current practices clearly do not reflect sound management and oversight. Current procurement practices are totally unacceptable.” Only a cliche could do the mayor’s plan justice: from the frying pan into the fire.

Gary Imhoff


DC Vote Responds to Congressional Research Service Report
Ilir Zherka,

The issue of DC voting rights is a hot topic these days as Congress prepares to address legislation that would give Washingtonians their first-ever vote in Congress. As a result, Kenneth Thomas, an analyst at the Congressional Research Service (CRS), released a report on January 24, questioning the constitutionality of the DC Voting Rights Act (HR 328) []. Thomas’ views directly contradict the reasoning of leading scholars around the country and are simply his opinions. In fact, another CRS report released just six days after Thomas’ offers a much more neutral view of HR 328 [].

The American Bar Association has said the bill is constitutional. Former Judges such as Kenneth Starr and Patricia Wald have also concluded that Congress has the power to use the District Clause of the Constitution to provide voting representation in Congress for DC residents. These, and other scholars including Viet Dinh, have found that Congress has repeatedly treated DC as if it were a state for purposes of the Commerce Clause and Diversity Jurisdiction section of the Constitution. Therefore, if Congress can use the District Clause for purposes of those provisions of the Constitution, in our view Congress can use that power to provide representation.

No court has ever decided whether the DC Voting Rights Act is constitutional, so Thomas’ views are not supported by the case law. Once HR 328 is enacted into law, there may be a legal challenge. Ultimately, the courts will decide these different interpretations of the Constitution. We believe, given the arguments presented by nationally-renowned scholars and former judges, that the courts will find that the DC Voting Rights Act is constitutional. Links: American Bar Association letter to Congress,; Kenneth Starr testimony to Congress,; Kenneth Starr and Patricia Wald op-ed in the Washington Post,; and Viet Dinh testimony to Congress,


Finally, Thanks to CRS
Anne Anderson,

And thanks to Timothy Cooper for posting the "news" that the DC Voting Rights Act (HR 328) is likely to be unconstitutional. I have received several calls over the last several months from well-meaning and misinformed activists working to get this bill passed. Each time I have brought up the question of the probable unconstitutionality of this act. I have also mentioned the fact that the act was probably unconstitutional to representatives of DC Vote and received basic brush-off responses.

I hope that soon now we can get back to the real struggle for our rights as US citizens to effective self-determination and equal representation in our national legislature. There is lots of energy out there for rectifying this situation, as evidenced by all the calls I have received. I still don’t see any real options to get equal treatment that other than statehood or retrocession to Maryland, which doesn’t want DC. We have already tried a constitutional amendment, which died in the various state legislatures. That leaves us with becoming a state, at which time we could join the rest of the United States on an equal footing. We have already had one vote on the floor of the House for statehood, proving that such an effort is not impossible. Let’s try again.


The New DC Flag and Other Fractional Media
Nikolas R. Schiller, DC Statehood Green Party, DC [at] NikolasSchiller [dot] com

Fellow friends and enemies of fractional representation, last Thursday I received a phone call from the executive director of an organization that is promoting fractional democracy on behalf of the disenfranchised residents of Washington, DC. I was kindly asked to refrain from using Photoshop to alter copyrighted images, even when done as a parody. However, when an injustice is currently being promoted in the name of democracy, I cannot in good conscience be silent, or even one-third silent.

So to complete my fractional trilogy, I have redesigned the DC flag to represent the one-third representation DC residents will get with the passage of the unconstitutional DC Fair and Equal Voting Rights Act of 2007 (HR 328). I also created an animated version to accentuate the stupidity of claiming one-third representation as progress. The flag is based on this proposed design: The new DC Flag (if HR 328 passes):, Fractionally related (if HR 328 passes):, Marginally one-thirds related:, Look at both and ask yourself, “Who is still getting screwed?”

Don’t forget, if you have the time, take one-third of a day off work on Thursday and go to Capitol Hill and tell Congress what it’s like to be forced to take the back seat on the bus of democracy.


Just Say No to a DC Vote in Congress and Yes to Federal Tax-Exempt Status
Jonathan R. Rees,

A careful analysis of the issue of any benefits DC would receive if our congressional member would have a vote versus if DC residents would be exempt from federal taxes, like Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands shows there is no comparison. A Congressional vote would have little or no impact on DC.

Many studies have shown that a tax exempt status would benefit DC by: 1) a major influx of new residents (300,000 in the next decade) who want the benefits of no federal taxation; 2) a major housing boom to meet the needs of new residents; 3) a major increase in DC tax revenues; 4) a major increase in businesses wanting to locate in DC to tap into our new labor pool; 5) a major increase in money in each Washingtonians’ pocket that would be spent and bolster the DC economy; and more

Federal tax exempt status would bring into the DC Government coiffures close to forty times the revenue that any proposed commuter or other taxes that has been proposed! Those promoting a congressional vote are dummies who do not understand that a congressional vote would have no benefits for DC resident, and it is time we stop supporting a congressional vote and those behind it. DC’s mayor and city council should ask Congress either to give us a full vote or, if not, then to give us the same tax exempt status as US territories.


Christmas Tree Collection
Linda Grant,

The DC Department of Public Works is continuing to collect residents’ holiday trees and asks residents to remove ornaments and lights before placing them where their trash is collected.

“We realize not everyone has finished enjoying their holiday trees,” said DPW Director William O. Howland, Jr. “So, our trash collection crews will pick up the trees during an upcoming trash collection cycle. We just ask residents to put their trees where they place their trash.” Mr. Howland explained that collecting trash is the priority so the truck’s capacity will determine when trees are collected. He added that residents may call the Citywide Call Center at 727-1000 with questions.


Why Janey Should Withdraw His Proposal to Increase Graduation Requirements
Erich Martel,

An open letter to Dr. Clifford Janey, Superintendent, DC Public Schools: Your proposal to increase DCPS graduation requirements from the current 23.5 Carnegie units (a measure that refers to a two-semester credit) to 26.0 credits will undermine, not improve, teaching, learning and measurable student achievement in our schools. The permissive atmosphere in many of our high schools will get even worse. The obstacles it imposes, especially the increases in both math and science requirements from 3 to 4 credits, will create more high school dropouts. They will also make our high schools more unmanageable — and more unsafe — by increasing the number of “internal dropouts,” students still enrolled, but truant, tardy, with incomplete schedules, cutting class, and roaming the hallways and disrupting the orderly school atmosphere that learning and mastery require. These long-standing and serious student behavior problems that drive parents to charters and teachers to better managed schools are ignored in your Master Education Plan (MEP).

The Master Education Plan provides no explanation or justification for the increased requirements. It is based on no analysis of students’ actual performance and therefore does not describe the real deficiencies and learning needs of our students. It employs an important-sounding, but meaningless and deceptive phrase, “to master the academic core,” to give the appearance of a proposal based on educational research. It is apparently designed to force all high schools into 4x4 schedules, which cram yearlong courses into a semester and semesters into an advisory by shortening overall class time. (Entire letter online at


Board of Education Management Structure
Harold Goldstein,

Leo Alexander asks [themail, February 11], “How will the mayor’s proposal affect student achievement?” That is the only real question relevant to the issue and no one, apparently, is asking it. Do we really know where the breakdown is in the delivery of the product? Has the mayor presented any logical rationale to expect an improvement in the product under his plan? No. No. No.

Rushing into a new management plan without a clear understanding as to why the present system is failing and a clear understanding of why a particular new system will change — that is a mistake that is doomed to fail. I am not one to suggest that “study is needed,” but here study is needed — and from the outside. Without it we will be having this discussion in eight years when the next mayor wants to leave his personal touch.


Proposed Compromise on Fenty School Takeover Plan
Jeff Norman,

I agree with Mayor Fenty that the Board of Education has not done a very good job in running our school system. However, instead of taking over everything right away, I think that the city should first take over those functions that are not directly related to education, such as the maintenance of school buildings and the school bus service. School building maintenance should be transferred to the Department of Public Works; and the school bus system should be run by the Department of Transportation. Perhaps the school cafeterias should be taken over by the Department of Health in order to make sure that the children are served well balanced meals.

It doesn’t matter whether you are fixing a broken boiler in a Department of Finance and Revenue building or a school building; the skills needed are exactly the same. I don’t think that Superintendent Janney should have to hire contractors on an emergency basis to fix broken school boilers in the middle of winter. There should be one agency that maintains all the buildings that the DC government owns, regardless of their purpose.

Under my proposal, the Board would still control such things as the hiring and firing of teachers and principals and the standards they must meet; the enrollment, curriculum and testing of the students; and the purchase of school books and other supplies. If the Board were limited to controlling those functions directly related to education, they might do a better job. After a trial period, an independent commission should evaluate the Board of Education and the other city departments to see how well they have performed the functions assigned to them.


An Open Letter to Councilmembers
Erich Martel,

On February 13, you heard from a number of education leaders from other jurisdictions, including NYC Chancellor Joel Klein. I will send you a few articles about the NYC schools that show a different perspective than the successes he and Mayor Bloomberg are claiming. I have sent you several articles and reports over the past few weeks. I also testified on February 7. You will recall that the focus of my testimony and submissions was the educational policies and mandates at the point where subject-area standards and curriculum, textbooks, teachers and students meet: the classroom. If any one element is deficient, the others are overburdened, thereby impeding improved student achievement. These elements of successful schools are far more important than the actual governance structure. Good governance sees to it that each of these elements meets the highest standards.

Since problems with any of the elements are first noticed at the classroom level by teachers, parents, and administrators, good governance provides the means for deficiencies to be reported, objectively evaluated and rapidly addressed with corrective measures. The failure of DCPS leadership, from Board and Superintendent to central staff and local school administrators, to be guided by such a policy is why I cautiously favor mayoral control with aggressive council oversight. Nonetheless, I hope you will see that the NYC example is not the story of success Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein portray. The improved learning they cite from state tests is contradicted by results on the national NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) tests. The absence of any public acknowledgment of this by our mayor should concern us all. Bloomberg and Klein selected Diana Lam as the Deputy Chancellor (the real superintendent), who then selected some of the worst instructional policies and imposed them dictatorially on NYC schools. That is why it is imperative that you question all claims with the same skepticism that you would question a DCPS official or Board member.


DC Kids’ Test Scores Can’t Be Fixed Like Broken Toilets
Len Sullivan,

NARPAC has completed its comparison of DCPS test scores with those of ten other large urban school districts. The new Fenty Administration argues that DC’s relatively poor educational achievement is the result of lousy school management, but we find that it is more reasonably rationalized by differences in the kids’ home environments. Based on our previous work relating school performance to both poverty and parental involvement, we have developed a less-than-perfect “family potential” index that essentially grades the capacity of families to support their kids’ learning efforts. The correlation is surprisingly good, and DC kids fall roughly where they should along the trend line. Fixing their scores will require fixing their home conditions, and that’s a whole different "management" problem.

There are other areas, however, where DC does not fall on the “trend line” of the other ten schools. All ten of those other schools get better test scores with both larger school enrollments and fewer teachers and staff personnel per student. Those shouldn’t be such tough management problems to solve! See if you agree with our findings at Our nation’s capital needs to get it right this time.


When Education and Children Really Matter, Leaders Come Together with Stakeholders
Kathryn Pearson,

When education matters, DC leaders take advantage of citizens’ frustrations and try to pacify stakeholders with political theater and a power grab. When education matters in DC, leaders go on a blaming binge, divorcing themselves of any involvement. In the District of Columbia, when education matters, DC leaders capitalize on disappointments with the school system to make their bid for a power grab while unabashedly orchestrating the disenfranchisement of its citizens. When education matters, DC leaders cut through defenses and wait until political antenna are down, to acquire absolute power.

However, when education really matters, government works to strengthen communities and collaborative partnerships. Visionary leaders partner with others to make a difference and effect change. Leaders unite communities in the true of name of education and helping our youth. When education really matters, genuine leaders turn to citizens, businesses, the faith community, labor unions, PTAs, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, civic groups and others to make a difference in neighborhoods and with families where the true battle for excellence in education needs to take place. When education matters, parents parent, teachers teach, and leaders lead. When education really matters, the stakeholders are valued and called to action for the common cause. They do not become replaceable props in a plan conceived by some talented ten determined to accrue absolute power. As in the Beyonce hit song, residents with contrary opinions are put in her words, “to the left, to the left.” One is replaceable when put “to the left.”

There are some that tout a mayoral school takeover as the saving grace for the D.C. public schools and there are those that enjoy engaging in this political theater. However, those that have observed the changing culture over the years in the District of Columbia, know that the problems with schools does not require a change in governance structure, rather a commitment from the powers-that-be, parents, schools, and communities to work together for the common good of the city.

When education really matters, government deals with the real root causes of poor academic performance and provides the resources and teamwork; parents show their offspring love, caring, nurturing, and patience; and teachers work with children where they are to bring them up to where they need to be. When education really matters, respect for the goal of an educated populace is shown and appreciated in all circles. Education becomes a crime deterrent, an economic boost for the city, a catalyst to revive deteriorating neighborhoods, a means toward upward mobility, and hope for a better tomorrow.

All around the city, one learns about individuals and communities struggling to survive in a costly city. One hears about kids being raised by parents addicted to or abusing drugs. Some have left their kids to fend on their own or to be raised by a foster care system or other relatives. There is a revolving door at youth and adult detention centers/jails, with some youngsters not getting the rehabilitation that they need. The focus on youth services, detention, truancy, and juvenile delinquents needs to be more deliberate and effective. Other youth need some help in staying away from prison. The streets seem to be too much a lure to some young people and guns have become the friend of many. Lessons in conflict resolution, fundamental life skills, and respect for human life need to be reinforced or emphasized in the lives of those that ignore the laws, values, and mores of a civilized city. But then again, with the proposed school takeover, city leadership plans to circumvent the law by going to Congress to get what it wants. Laws are indeed though expected to be followed by the majority.

There are members of the DC council who profess to have experience working with youth, recreation, and social programs. Can’t they work toward strengthening the communities that they serve instead of immediately adding to their plate the takeover of the schools, too? Others have experience working with businesses. What can they do to bring businesses to neighborhoods and create self-sustaining communities? How can they help create jobs and provide apprenticeship programs to teach the minimally skilled? How can they work to keep a few jobs in DC for residents and improve workforce skills development?

Others on the council are supposedly great with constituent services. How about making sure that services are distributed equitably throughout the city? Those that have the know-how can work toward providing affordable/workforce housing and realistic down payment assistance. Others can help to dry up drug use and keep guns out of the hands of those that would commit crimes with them. Guns by themselves are not the culprit. There are those who went from the school board to the council who know what they would have needed when in those leadership positions that would improve schools more. For some reason, we didn’t see them clamoring for a takeover until they got their hands on the real reins of power on the council and above. The District of Columbia has so many needs that the mayor and council need to work on. They have a full plate, and now they want to add education when they have yet to prove that they can handle what they have. Instead we get more political rhetoric and promises of a better tomorrow if only they get a chance to control today. Learn to share power and ideas leaders and work together with all parties. One does not always need to show one’s might by taking power and control. Leadership is more than taking. It is also inspiring and motivating and using resources and what you have wisely.

Now, say citizens buy into the takeover plan or even just aspects of the so-called education plan. Why can’t the mayor trust the residents, the taxpayers, the voters, the stakeholders with a vote on this supposedly sincere plan? Why make it look like there are other motives and that there is a desire to control so intense that the administration would do whatever it could to achieve the goal. Why put up what appears to be a pretense that citizen input is welcome while the administration is off on its own theory of reform searching for any piece of evidence to justify the takeover mission. Forget that taxpayers pay the salary and that elected officials work for the citizenry and not to further their own ambitions or self interests. The mayor was on the news talking about the snow and he mentioned the word “control.” It’s always about control. Are there some “control” issues citizens need to know about? Is the word “control” carefully scripted in remarks to show a good public relations can-do attitude? Or has he been around Congress or oppressors so much that he now covets the same power? Perhaps the thinking is that power must be taken, not earned.

The city is listening to anybody that is for the plan or that wants to make minor adjustments. Even the defeated mayor of Cleveland has been called to testify on reform in Cleveland and to give the DC mayor the thumbs up on a mayoral takeover. Are there others than colleagues that can give objective viewpoints and evidence of success? Let’s see the metrics being used to evaluate the programs. Maybe citizens would appreciate hearing more from jurisdictions with favorable school boards and quality education. Aren’t there some best practices there or is the mayoral takeover the panacea of the moment? Or have mayors become more astute at wresting control with an unsuspecting frustrated community? Mayors are trying to take control at a time when the poor are being driven from the city and other demographic changes are taking place. Do the other jurisdictions measure success after the population has changed significantly or are studies made with the original subjects in the study? Are race, ethnicity, income, upward mobility, length of stay in schools, class room size, and teaching style factored in the evaluations, studies, and measures of success? What are the comparison groups? How is success defined and measured? Can or could there be the same success with mayors and city council members working with the school board without being in control? Why do school boards work in some jurisdictions and not others? Why do school board members move up to the council and some eventually to mayor if the board is not a good proving/grooming ground? School boards appear to be working in the suburbs.

Finally, if the takeover plan is so wonderful, why not allow the good people in Ward 4 who are proud that their former council member moved up to mayor a chance to have a new council member in place before the vote on the plan? Why not allow the good people in Ward 7 that are equally proud that their former council member moved up to council chair to have their council member in place? Why disenfranchise city residents and go to Congress for takeover permission and cover? Why not detail and cost out each item/service in the education plan so that citizens can see what they should expect? Where are budget forecasts for the plan? What is the financial impact? And will anything in the plan become an entitlement? The takeover plan and the rush are suspect. City leaders need to prove that they can handle what they have before they take on more and they need to show that they can work with an empowered and active school leadership. Oh, and also don’t ask citizens to help lobby Congress for a vote for the city when citizens are not good enough to vote via a referendum on the takeover. There’s a lot of naive and contradictory thinking going on along with the mandatory daily photo op. Let’s work together for DC and its youth. Don’t’ make people give up on a new government that has to do everything his way and who ignores the sanctity of the vote, particularly in certain communities, cultures, and with some groups with a history of oppression or with a history for fighting for the right to vote. Continue to give representative democracy at all levels a chance by coming together without the power grabs and turf batters. In the name of children, work together.



The Teenarama Story, February 17
India Young,

Saturday, February 17, 3:00 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, Room A-5. Discussion and screening of the new documentary, Dance Party: The Teenarama Story. The documentary focuses on the phenomenon of teen television dance shows of the 1950’s and 60’s, and the success of an African American teen show, The Teenarama Dance Party, which aired live on DC’s WOOK-TV from 1963-1970. For more information, call the Music Division at 727-1245.


National Building Museum Events, February 17, 22
Lauren Searl,

Saturday, February 17, 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Festival: Discover Engineering. The National Building Museum and The National Engineers Week Committee welcome families, scout groups, and all curious visitors to meet engineers and discover how they turn their ideas into reality. Have your picture taken with Digit from the hit PBS series Cyberchase and meet cast members from the new PBS series Design Squad. Take part in slime making; day-long robot demonstrations and competitions; design bridges and helicopters; and much, much more! Free. $5 suggested donation. Most appropriate for children ages 5-13. Drop-in program.

Thursday, February 22, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Spotlight on Design: Educating the Green Way: The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. The 2004 expansion to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is a case study in the successful combination of design excellence and sustainable practices. The 80,000-square-foot project received a Silver LEED rating in 2006, making it the largest sustainable museum in the United States. Additionally, the museum has received a number of prestigious recognitions, including a 2006 National Preservation Honor Award and a 2006 National Honor Award for Architecture from the American Institute of Architects. In a moderated discussion, Jane Werner, director of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and Julie Eizenberg, AIA, principal of the Santa Monica-based firm Koning Eizenberg Architecture, will discuss the successes and challenges of using the museum’s mission as a starting point for sustainable design. This program is presented in collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums. $12 Museum members and students; $20 nonmembers. Prepaid registration required. Walk-in registration based on availability. Both events at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Judiciary Square stop, Metro Red Line. Register for events at


Help an Older Child Find an Adoptive Family, February 24
Susan Punnett,

On Saturday, February 24, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., please join Kidsave Weekend Miracles for ice skating at the Fort Dupont Ice Arena. Put on a pair of skates and spend time with Weekend Miracles participants. Weekend Miracles, a partnership between Kidsave and the DC Child and Family Services Agency, is an innovative program that recruits host families to help older children in foster care find adoptive families. Together we make miracles happen for kids without permanent families. To learn more or to RSVP, contact Catherine Ryan at 237-7283 or Need a ride? Let us know and we will help arrange one for you.

Fort Dupont Arena, 3779 Ely Place, SE, is near the intersection of Minnesota and Pennsylvania Avenues, SE. Driving directions at:


Race to Execution Screening, February 25
Michon Boston,

With the upcoming death penalty federal trial of the former M Street Gang member, Washington, DC, residents and DC officials should make time to see Race to Execution. A Community Cinema screening and discussion will be held Sunday, February 25 at 5 p.m. at Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th Street, NW. This documentary will air on WHUT in April (check local listings). There is no admission fee for the public screening, but an RSVP is requested: or 939-0794.

Race to Execution traces the fates of two death row inmates, Robert Tarver in Alabama and Madison Hobley in Chicago. Through these compelling personal narratives and the often unexpected results of research on race, justice and the media, Race to Execution exposes the factors that influence who lives and who dies at the hands of the state.


Ward Three Democrats on Education, February 27
Tom Smith,

The Ward Three Democratic Committee will meet on Tuesday evening, February 27, at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church located at 4201 Albemarle Street, NW. The meeting will start with a roll call of delegates beginning at 7:30 p.m. sharp. We have a packed agenda and an exciting program and public forum on school governance and student achievement planned for the evening. Mayor Adrian Fenty is currently scheduled to make general remarks to the Committee beginning at 7:30 p.m., following the delegates’ roll call. Immediately following the mayor’s remarks, a panel discussion and public forum on school governance and student achievement will begin.

Entitled “Cutting Through The Rhetoric Of School Governance: What’s Really At Stake?,” the panel discussion will focus on a critical issue with significant implications for the future of public education in the city. School governance legislation proposed by Mayor Fenty is now being considered by the DC city council. The council is conducting a series of public hearings through February 27 on the issue. The DC Board of Education also is conducting a series of public hearings on an emergency proposal to improve student achievement in the DC public schools. We have assembled a distinguished panel of experts to discuss these proposals and help educate our community about this important issue. Confirmed to participate in the panel discussion and public forum are Robert Bobb, president of the DC Board of Education; Kathy Patterson, former Ward Three DC councilmember; Victor Reinoso, Deputy Mayor For Education; Darlene T. Allen, president, D. Congress of PTAs and member, PTA National Board of Directors; Mary Levy, director, Public Education Reform Project, Washington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs; and Mary Filardo, founder and executive director, The 21st Century School Fund.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Hugh Allen, a longtime and highly respected education activist in the city and a member of the Ward Three Democratic Committee (Precinct 33). Hugh, who has organized the panel, also has agreed to chair the Education Policy Committee of the Ward Three Democratic Committee. If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call or drop me an E-mail.



Roofer Sought
Jon Katz, jon at markskatz dot com

Please recommend a good roofer to fix a small leak in a house in Rockville, Maryland.


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