D.C. Board of Education President R. David Hall, sounding themes of cooperation among school board members and the need for improved secondary education, announced his bid yesterday for a second term on the board.
"Last time we carried every precinct but three," said Hall, who represents Ward 2. "This time I am going to carry every precinct. Tomorrow I will take off this suit and roll up my sleeves."
Hall, who was unanimously chosen as president by his school board colleagues last year, said he will be "available" for the job again if he wins election to a five-year term in November.
Voters will also elect two at-large members and representatives from Wards 3 and 8.
During a press conference at the Washington Plaza Hotel, Hall stressed he would work to improve programs for gifted students, increase security for District students and try to cut the dropout rate from 16.2 percent to 8 percent.
Citing a decline in the District unemployment rate over the last four years, Hall linked the higher employment to improved education in the city.
"The truancy rate is going to drop," he predicted. "The dropout rate is going to drop. I think we will find the unemployment rate is going to continue to drop."
Four other school board members and City Council member Polly Shackleton (D-Ward 3) endorsed Hall, 36, a real estate broker whose two young children attend District public schools.
Shackleton's praise for Hall's "outstanding job" on the school board was echoed by board members Barbara Lett Simmons (At Large), Edna Frazier-Cromwell (Ward 1), Linda Cropp (Ward 4) and Robert D. Boyd (Ward 6).
"David's decision to run again reminds me of an old on television ad," said Cropp. "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is."
Boyd, referring to what he said was the harmonious operation of the board that contrasted with the divisiveness of the past, praised Hall as a leader who prefers a "quiet search for solutions, rather than the noisy clamor of headlines."
Hall, who has a bachelor's degree in political science from Howard University and a law degree from Georgetown University, in 1972 founded the D.C. Street Academy, an alternative high school for dropouts.
As a school board member, he has supported bilingual education, funding increases for buildings and grounds maintenance, asbestos removal, merit pay for teachers and cooperation between private business and public schools.