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GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
|OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
||ONE JUDICIARY SQUARE
441 FOURTH STREET, N.W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20001
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 13, 2000
|CONTACT: Linda Grant
MAYOR WILLIAMS' SCHOOL REFORM PLAN PICKS UP MOMENTUM AND SUPPORTERS
Greater Washington Board of Trade Adds Support Of Business Community
(Washington, D.C.) Today, Mayor Anthony A. Williams welcomed the support of the Greater
Washington Board of Trade for his bold plan to fix District of Columbia Public Schools and
assure quality education for District students.
"Now that the Board of Trade has joined the D.C. Chamber of Commerce in endorsing
the proposal, there's a real sense that the momentum is going our way," said Mayor
Williams. "Parents, educators, activists, and other concerned citizens are coming
together around an agenda of reform reform that will stop the finger-pointing and
make the mayor clearly accountable for improving our schools. If residents continue to
voice their concerns to the Council, I'm optimistic that we will get legislation that
brings accountability to our school system."
Of the Board of Trade endorsement, Williams said: "It's no accident this reform
initiative is drawing support from the business community. Improving our school system is
absolutely critical to continuing economic growth and making the District a
business-friendly city. If there is one single thing we can do to prevent another exodus
of businesses and families from the city, it's fix the schools."
Williams and others have criticized the existing system under which seven
separate entities share responsibility for schools for lending itself to finger
pointing and buck-passing. This new system, modeled after successful efforts in Boston,
Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, and other cities, would make the Mayor and the Council
clearly accountable for fixing the schools. If approved in a citywide referendum, the
proposal would create an appointed school board and an appointed superintendent, who would
serve as a member of the Mayor's Cabinet.
A list of prominent citizens who have endorsed the proposal is attached.
Supporters of the Mayor's Plan to Fix D.C. Public Schools
- Rod Boggs, Executive Director, Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights
- Maudine Cooper, President, Greater Washington Urban League
- George Ferris, Federal City Council
- Sam Foster, Executive Director and Founder, Concerned Citizens on Alcohol and Drug Abuse
- Duane Gautier, Executive Director, Action to Rehabilitate Community Housing
- James 0. Gibson, President, D.C. Agenda
- Albert "Butch" Hopkins, President/CEO, Anacostia Economic Development
- Angela Jones, Director, DC Action for Children
- Ronald King, Chairman, ANC 6C
- Joyce Ladner, Senior Scholar, Brookings Institution, and former Interim President,
- Mary Levy, former co-chair, Parents United
- Bill Lightfoot, former at-large Councilmember
- Elizabeth Lisboa, President, the D.C. Chamber of Commerce
- Rev. Anthony J. Motley, Redemption Ministry
- Glenda Partee, parent and former Co-chair, Parents United
- John Payton, former Corporation Counsel
- John Pfeiffer, attorney and former Co-chair, Parents United
- John Ray, former at-large Councilmember
- Lloyd Smith, former President, Marshall Heights Community Development Corporation
- Rev. Frank D. Tucker, Pastor, First Baptist Church and Chairman, Church Association for
- John Tydings, Greater Washington Board of Trade
- Bethann West, Executive Director, Advocates for Justice and Education
- Roger Wilkins, Professor of History and American Culture, George Mason University;
former member, U.D.C. Board of Trustees; and former U.S. Assistant Attorney General