May 24, 2013

The Post’s May 22 editorial accusing the D.C. Council and member David Catania (I-At Large) of “micromanaging” the D.C. Public Schools [“Stop micromanaging”] was beyond the pale. As a parent of children in three DCPS schools, I am glad someone on the council is taking a leadership role with regard to the school system. Former chancellor Michelle Rhee and her successor, Kaya Henderson, are not rock stars in my book; gains made under their leadership have come at a huge price — for example, the demoralization of teachers and high-stakes standardized testing that now has most schools “teaching to the test” — that will have negative implications for years.

As an elected official, Mr. Catania is accountable to me, a voter with a stake in DCPS. In his capacity as chairman of the council’s education committee, he is making a concerted effort to visit all DCPS schools to meet with staff and parents. The verdict is still out on his work in education, but it is good that Mr. Catania is methodically looking at the system in a meaningful and holistic way. This is more than can be said for leaders at DCPS, who seem far more concerned with the latest trends in education policy than with those whom they are meant to serve — the students.

Jennifer Wood, Washington