I have a question. Here’s an incomplete list of some of the latest
scandals from the Fenty administration. The schools chancellor
deliberately breaks a union contract by hiring hundreds of unnecessary
teachers, so that she can fire hundreds of teachers. The DC Housing
Authority breaks the law by giving out over $80 million in construction
contracts for the Department of Parks and Recreation, almost all of them
to Fenty’s cronies, without submitting them to the DC council for
approval. When the Attorney General admits these contracts were let
illegally, he submits them to the council along with the threat that
they had better approve them, or else. When the DC council disapproves
the nomination of the director of the Department of Parks and Recreation
because she broke two laws in illegally firing hundreds of child care
workers and privatizing their jobs, the Attorney General smears the
council with charges of racism, and then the administration illegally
keeps the director in her job, merely by changing her title from “acting”
to “interim” director — and the Attorney General taunts the
council by claiming that in his reading of the law the administration
has the right to do it, and dares them to try to do something about it.
The Attorney General refuses to allow the DC Auditor to see the books
and financial records of the National Capital Revitalization Corporation
and the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, and defies a court order to
provide them. The administration refuses to provide administration
witnesses and pertinent government documents over a wide range of issues
for many council hearings unless they are subpoenaed.
In the past three years, the Fenty administration has compiled a
record of corruption and outright contempt for the law and the other
branches of government that makes the second and third Barry
administrations look like paragons of uprightness by comparison. Yet
some of the same people who derided Barry and said they could not
understand how people could continue to vote for a mayor who was making
DC a laughingstock of the nation still support Fenty and declare their
admiration for the way he governs.
Here’s my question: why?
Join DC Teachers and Others Fighting to Save
Candi Peterson, email@example.com
Three hundred eighty-eight (388) affected DCPS teachers and other
employees will no longer be employees of DCPS as of November 2.
Unbeknownst to teachers, the legal filings of their representative, the
Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU), did not request a Temporary
Restraining Order (TRO ). WTU President George Parker reported that a
preliminary injunction hearing has been scheduled on November 5 at our
most recent October 22 WTU executive board meeting. The purpose of
seeking legal representation is to obtain a Temporary Restraining Order
against the reduction in force. The WTU’s court case filed promises a
hearing after the affected teachers’ date of termination. This
strategy ensures one fact: teachers and other DCPS employees will be
fired effective November 2, and will be fighting to get their jobs back.
Some legal experts consider “fighting from the bottom” a
disadvantage in this type of case, as courts often are more reluctant to
reinstate individuals than to provide them legal relief if they are
still in their positions.
Nathan Saunders, WTU General Vice President; Candi Peterson, WTU
Board of Trustee and blogger in residence at The Washington Teacher; as
well as rank and file union members make no statements concerning the
WTU’s actions other than the facts herein. Arrangements were made for
approximately sixty affected teachers and other affected employees to
have an exhaustive meeting with Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, P.A. to
discuss legal options this past week. Pursuing this remedy as a group
helps to defray cost-prohibitive legal costs for all involved. This
option to seek a temporary restraining order has been extended to all
laid off DCPS school employees regardless of their union affiliation. If
interested in obtaining additional information about the TRO, you should
E-mail me as soon as possible in care of firstname.lastname@example.org
with your name and telephone contact number.
Rhee’s Efforts Will Miss the Mark Unless
Teachers Are Part of the Process
Mai Abdul Rahman, email@example.com
Deliberative reform can improve school outcomes, but as long as
Chancellor Michelle Rhee continues to assume that she does not need to
engage DCPS teacher in the process, her efforts will fail to bring to
bear the support she needs in the classroom, where teachers are the
implementers of her vision. By definition, school reform involves
systemic change that shocks the entire school system and impacts the
nature, climate, and culture of the overall system. So it is
understandable that her reform efforts may generate some challenge, but
the options she has implemented so far are counterproductive and
disaffect the most important segment of her school reform efforts. A
core requirement for successful school reform to occur requires the
collaboration and cooperation of schoolteachers who are the main drivers
of school reform plans. To succeed, Rhee needs DCPS teacher’s
collaboration, commitment, and most of all their trust. Above all,
successful transformative change is guided and not controlled and must
be built from within each school by teachers and staff, where teachers
assume the more significant role.
So far Rhee appears to have overlooked the fact that change is a time
consuming unpredictable process, which is articulated within each school
differently. To make certain Rhee’s vision is well understood, it is
necessary for her to engage her teachers as partners. Also, for
meaningful constructive change to take hold in DCPS, teachers must trust
Rhee’s intentions, which so far she has failed to gain. As Rhee moves
forward, she must readjust her management practices and rethink her
strategy to ensure the buy-in and collaboration of the same teachers she
has alienated. She must reconsider her approach, since her reform plans
rest on DCPS teachers who will lead and articulate her vision in the
classroom. Otherwise she will end up with a hyper complicated disruptive
school improvement plan much like the countless failed school district
reform efforts that litter California, Texas, Michigan, Illinois, and
Florida, to name a few.
School reform plan success is determined by how school leaders go
about executing school reform as well as the choices they make with
serious consideration of the implication of every option they implement.
If Rhee does not gain the collaboration of her teachers, her reform may
provide slight test improvements, but will not provide our schools the
long-term meaningful transformative educational reform we all desire.
The Barras Report
Jonetta Rose Barras, firstname.lastname@example.org
Was the DC council totally ignorant of the contracts to Friends of
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty issued by the DC Housing Authority? Maybe not,
according to one reporter and sources familiar with internal workings of
the Department of Parks and Recreation. Meanwhile the mayor flipped the
legislature the bird — metaphorically speaking — with the
reappointment of Ximena Hartsock as interim director of the DPR; Elaine
McConnell, cofounder of Accotink, a Springfield, Virginia, therapeutic
day school attended by more than one hundred fifty District students
courtesy of city taxpayers, confirmed, through her attorney, that her
two sons are on the payroll; at least one John A. Wilson source compares
the appointment of Councilman Michael Brown to head the subcommittee
overseeing the taxicab commission to Bernie Madoff leading the SEC; and
a cochairman of the campaign committee for Clark E. Ray tries to slap
Read it all in this week’s The Barras Report. http://jrbarras.com./site/?p=825,
and don’t forget to listen to DC Politics with Jonetta, Tuesdays at
11:00 a.m. on WPFR (89.3 FM).
Nominate a Community Member Who Is Making
Ingrid Drake, email@example.com
As MOMIE’s TLC (Mentors of Minorities in Education’s Total
Learning Cis-Tem, http://momiestlc.com) gears up for its 2010 gala to
celebrate the opening of the Children’s Gallery of Black History, we
are seeking nominations of individuals who have made tremendous
contributions to our cultural, social, economic, and political life in
the Washington, DC, metro area.
We are looking to make three awards to people (or organizations) who
honor the spirit of the change makers featured in MOMIE’s Children’s
2010 Calendar of Black History — Abe Lincoln; environmental justice
leader Majora Carter; abolitionist Frederick Douglass; Polish social
worker who saved thousands of Jewish children during WWII, Irena Sendler;
Iraqi American writer, activist, and social entrepreneur Zainab Salbi;
the imprisoned democratically elected leader of Burma Aung Sun Suu Kyi;
Rwandan who has been internationally honored for saving 1268 refugees
Paul Rusesabagina; 18th-dynasty female ruler in ancient Egypt Hatshepsut;
former President Jimmy Carter; Mohawk Native American activist Richard
Oakes, humanitarian star baseball player Roberto Clemente; and scholar
activist Angela Davis.
Please send your nominations (including an explanation of why this
person deserves the award and which change maker award they qualify for)
by November 23. You can send up to three nominations. The nominee can be
any of age or background. We appreciate your participation and all you
do to make history!
Obviously Councilmember Cheh has never had raccoons making sweet
sweet love in her ceiling all night long. I have, and boy they can
Standard practice for small mammals in the wall is already trap and
release; this unnecessary legislation is a complete waste of time.
Councilmember Cheh is so competent, I would much rather she focus her
considerable skills and energy on more important things.
Too Many Words for Too Little Opinion
Martin Andres Austermuhle, firstname.lastname@example.org
It took K. West [themail, October 21] 1375 words to repeat an opinion
we’ve heard from her plenty of times already -- she demands a
referendum on marriage equality and claims that there is a silent
majority out there willing to punish any local elected official that
doesn’t back one. Instead of constantly telling us of this silent
majority, I encourage K. West to go out and organize it. If she really
think that an alliance of labor, parents, business leaders, educators
and traditional marriage advocates will come together an upend the city’s
political establishment, her time might be better be spent pulling it
together than constantly warning us of the alleged mass of District
residents who are simply fuming that they haven’t been given a chance
to vote on whether a gay couple can commit themselves to each other for
life through a valid legal contract.
Also, she seems to like Marie Johns a lot. Has she asked Ms. Johns
what her position on marriage equality is? She might be surprised. And
Vincent Orange as a possible House delegate? C’mon.
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS
DCBOEE to Hold a Public Hearing on the “Marriage
Initiative of 2009,” October 26
Bill O’Field, email@example.com
The DC Board of Elections and Ethics (DCBOEE) announced on September
18 in the District of Columbia Register that a special meeting of the
DCBOEE will be held tomorrow, October 26, for the purpose of conducting
a public hearing to determine whether the “Marriage Initiative of 2009”
is the proper subject matter for an initiative. The special meeting will
begin at 10:00 a.m. in the Old Council Chamber in the One Judiciary
Square building at 441 Fourth Street, NW.
You can read the short title, summary statement, and legislative text
of the proposed initiative on my blog at http://electioneducationinc.blogspot.com.
Art Salon at the Corcoran, October 29
Lisa Alfred, firstname.lastname@example.org
Experience Art Salon with four of DC’s contemporary visual artists
as they react to and interact with the Corcoran Museum’s two current
exhibitions. This juxtaposition of the old and new will evoke thought
and conversation. Art Salon is modeled after the Paris salons of the
late 19th century to inspire and provoke the minds of the creative
community. Each month, we gather at a different location. This month, we
invite you to converge at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th Street,
NW, on Thursday, October 29, at 6:30-9:00 p.m.
View the Corcoran Museum’s current exhibitions, Sargent and the Sea
as well as Edward Burtynsky: Oil, and see “Recycled Meaning: Oil and
Water,” from local artists Brandon Hill, Aniekan Udofia, Tim Conlon,
and Chanel Compton, with music by Maureen Andary and Kev. O. Curated by
Peter Chang and Shyree Mezick.
Department of Parks and Recreation Events,
John Stokes, email@example.com
October 30, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., Fort Davis Recreation Center, 1400
41st Street, SE. Haunted House of Doom for ages six through thirteen.
Children will walk through a scary maze of ghost and goblins; afterwards
they will be given a candy bag, a hot dog, and chips. For more
information, call Elijah Fagan at 645-9212.
October 30, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Ferebee Recreation Center, 3999 8th
Street, SE. Halloween Party for ages five through fifteen. We will have
our parade of ghouls and goblins, witches, ghosts and more. We will have
refreshments then pass out candy bags to those aged five through
fifteen. For more information, call Gregory Poag, Site Manager, at
October 30, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Brentwood Recreation Center, 2311
14th Street, NE. Haunted House for ages five through fifteen.
Participants will have an opportunity to enter the haunted house and
receive light refreshments and of course candy. For more information,
call Lorenzo Carter, Site Manager, at 516-6667.
October 30, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Trinidad Recreation Center, 1310
Childress Street, NE, Halloween Party for ages six through thirteen.
Youth will have fun playing games, costume parade and contest, enjoying
refreshments and ending with a bag of candy. For more information, call
Anthony Higginbotham, Site Manager, at 727-1293.
October 30, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Joe Cole Recreation Center, 1200
Morse Street, NE. Halloween Party for ages twelve and under. We will
have hot dogs, chips, and juices. The kids will also be able to skate.
For more information, call Andre Pressey, Site Manager, at 724-4876.
October 30, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Kennedy Recreation Center, 1401 7th
Street, NW. Halloween Flashlight Hunt for ages twelve and under. Youth
will be able to show off their costumes as they parade around the
recreation center. They will also be able to compete for prizes while
playing outdoor Halloween games. Don’t forget to bring your
flashlight! As the event ends, youth will search for treats on the
baseball field with their flashlight. Refreshments will be served. For
more information, call Pamela Pugh, Site Manager, at 671-4794.
October 30, 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th
Street, NE. Halloween Carnival for ages five through twelve.
Participants will engage in carnival style activities and enjoy light
refreshments. For more information, call Stephanie Foster at 698-3075.
October 30, 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m., Friendship Recreation Center, 4500
Van Ness Street, NW. Halloween Festival for ages two through ten. The
community is welcomed to participate in the Halloween Egg Hunt. Light
refreshments will be served. For more information, call Enrique Leiva at
October 30, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Kalorama Recreation Center, 1875
Columbia Road, NW. Halloween Celebration for ages thirteen and under. We
will have a parade of costumes, prizes; treat bags, light refreshments
and fun for all. For more information, call John Borges, Site Manager,
October 30, 5:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Arboretum Recreation Center, 2412
Rand Place, NE. Halloween Party for ages five and up. There will be a
Halloween party and costume contest for the community. For more
information, call Donald Perritt or Jean Mason at 727-5547.
October 30, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., North Michigan Park Recreation
Center, 1333 Emerson Street, NE. Halloween Haunted House for ages seven
through thirteen. Youth throughout the city will enjoy a variety of
games, contest, and prizes as well be treated to a haunted house exhibit
along with light refreshments. For more information, call Joe Clark,
Site Manager, at 541-3522.
October 30, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Stead Recreation Center, 1625
Street, NW. Haunted House for ages thirteen and under. Participants will
walk through the hunter recreation center and receive treats at end.
Participants are encouraged to wear costumes. Prize given to the best
costume. For more information, call Jacquay Plummer, Recreation
Specialist, at 673-4465.
October 30, 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Watts Branch Recreation Center, 6201
Banks Street, NE. Halloween Party for ages six through fifteen. The
staff at Watts Branch Recreation will host a Halloween Party. Come out
and enjoy the fun and music. For more information, call Libby Morris at
October 30, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., Bald Eagle Recreation Center, 100
Joliet Street, SW. Halloween Haunted House Party for ages twelve and
under. Games, dancing, prizes, and food. For more information, call
Margie Robinson, Site Manager, at 645-3960.
October 30, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Fort Stanton Recreation Center, 1812
Erie Street, SE. Halloween Party for ages twelve and under. Youth will
play games and snack on light refreshments. For more information, call
Valerie Arnold, Site Manager, at 645-3970.
October 30, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Congress Heights Recreation Center,
100 Randle Place, SE. Halloween Dance for ages six through twelve.
Activities will include music, food, dancing and assortment of fun
games. For more information, call Thomas Bolden, Site Manager, at
October 30, 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., Benning Park Recreation Center, 53rd
and Fitch Streets, SE. Halloween Haunted House and Fashion Show for all
ages. Come out for a fun filled night at Benning Park Recreation Center.
The evening will start with a Haunted House and dance followed by a
fashion show. For more information, call Woody Ward at 645-3957.
October 30, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600
Calvert Street, NW. Guy Mason Haunted House for ages three through
twelve. Come out and enjoy a fun filled day with several football games
followed by a jammin’ Halloween Party with a DJ, food, and lots of
fun. For more information, call Cleveland Dent, Recreation Services,
Community Mini-Walk in Support of Charlie’s
Place, November 1
Robin Diener, firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be a community mini-walk as part of the Fannie Mae Help
the Homeless Walkathon program on Sunday, November 1, beginning at 1:00
p.m., at the corner of 20th Street and Massachusetts Avenue, NW.
Registration is $25 or $15 for those under 25, or we can pair you with a
sponsor. This event is designed for those who are unable to do the 5K
Fannie Mae Walkathon on November 21. We walk from the Farm Market to
Charlie’s Place (St. Margaret’s Church), where we have light
refreshments and a brief presentation about the current work of Charlie’s
Place, our neighborhood breakfast program, and link to social, legal,
and health services for the homeless in our area.
We need your help. Last year Charlie’s Place missed out on a $5000
Fannie Mae bonus because Charlie’s Place was a few walkers short of
its target number. Sadly, our Mini-Walk had enough donations to sponsor
fifteen more walkers than turned out. So, you see, we need your feet,
whether you can contribute a registration fee or not. Tell your friends.
Bring them along, if you can. Register at the Farm Market near the 20th
Street and Massachusetts Avenue corner between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
on November 1. Donations of any size are gratefully accepted and are tax
deductible. In 2008 we doubled out 2007 result. To do that again, we
need seventy walkers. We need you. Please join with us to help the
neediest of our neighbors. You’ll do a good deed, and you will have
Questions or offers of help? Contact Susan Dunn, email@example.com
or 387-2467, or Tom Goss, firstname.lastname@example.org
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