More than 100 persons attended a hearing last night on the D.C. public schools that began with demands for recall of the school board and criticism of the City Council.
"There is a chaos in the schools, in the leadership and [there is] no direction," said Arthur Whitaker, a community activist who was one of the first speakers at the District hearing sponsored by city councilman John Ray.
"If you're jiving by holding these hearings you'll get it, too," Petey Greene, a radio show host told Ray. Greene said he was angry that it had taken the council five years to hold hearings on "the biggest issue in the city."
Greene and other speakers drew loud applause when they noted that most members of the council were not at the hearing. Councilwoman Charlene Drew Jarvis one of the four members present, said the hearing was being held by Councilman Ray as an individual and other council members did not have to attend. The other three members who attended were Hilda Mason, Nadine Winter and Ray.
"They [council members] make policy and lead the city," said Whitaker. "But they aren't here. That's incredible. We've got an educational system that turns out ill-educated children who stand on the don't care enough to dope . . . and they don't care enough to show up."
Ray will hold three hearings this week on the school system and plans to use the recommendations of witnesses as the basis for a task force that will try to reshape the school system. He said in an interview yesterday that one result of the hearings could be an initiative on the baloot in November 1980 asking District of Columbia residents to approve a special tax to pay the cost of redesigning the public schools system.