The Emergency Transitional
Education Board of Trustees
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
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 Columbias 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.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:
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