An article in yesterday's Metro section incorrectly characterized the position of the Rev. Charles Briody, a Ward 2 candidate for the D.C. Board of Education, on a referendum to change the city's new rent control law. He favors approval of the referendum.
The Washington Teachers Union yesterday endorsed four of the five members of the D.C. Board of Education seeking reelection, but voted to support Absalom F. Jordan Jr. over longtime incumbent R. Calvin Lockridge in the Ward 8 race.
Nearly 150 teachers who gathered at Dunbar High School initially voted to reject a slate of candidates proposed by the union's political committee. But under the prodding of union president Harold Fisher, the teachers reconsidered and voted to endorse School Board President R. David Hall (Ward 2) and board members Wanda Washburn (Ward 3) and Barbara Lett Simmons and David Eaton (At Large).
"You're in a political world and when you decide you're not going to support anyone politically, look for repercussions," Fisher told the group. "When you don't endorse anyone, you're saying no one has done anything in your favor . . . . There is such a thing as cutting off your nose to spite your face."
In the Ward 8 race, the teachers followed the recommendation of the political committee in backing Jordan, executive director of the D.C. Unemployment Compensation Board, over Lockridge, an outspoken member who frequently has differed with the school board majority.
But in backing Simmons for one of the at-large seats, the teachers disregarded the recommendation of the political committee to support Phyllis E. Young, the chief of the performance evaluation branch of the Federal Highway Administration.
"Basically, we did not recommend Simmons because we were interested in knowing how the candidates felt about teachers' concerns and Lett Simmons is on the administrator's side," said Geraldine H. Alexander, chairman of the union's Committee on Political Education. "We're a union. We're primarily concerned about teachers."
But Emily Y. Washington, a School Without Walls teacher and one of the union members who objected to the process by which the recommended slate was chosen, said, "Barbara Lett Simmons is the senior member of the board and she has a history of committed work for programs for the less fortunate . . . . "
Norman Peters, the Parkview Elementary teacher who asked that the union not endorse candidates, said, "I am concerned about Calvin Lockridge and Barbara Lett Simmons. They have consistently endorsed teachers. Simmons fought with us all the way on the city budget."
A total of 15 persons filed as candidates for the five school board seats in the Nov. 5 general election.
The school board members elected in November will serve for three years instead of the traditional four-year terms as the city begins to phase out odd-year elections for school board seats. School board members are paid $22,828 a year.
The other at-large candidates include Jacqueline B. Shillings, a registered nurse and administrative supervisor at D.C. General Hospital, and Benoit Brookens, a lawyer and former candidate for D.C. City Council.
Charles Briody, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of the District of Columbia, is challenging Hall, the school board president. In Ward 3, Washburn is running unopposed. In the Ward 8 race, others challenging Lockridge include Lin Covington, a D.C. public school teacher and former Advisory Neighborhood Commission member; William Lewis, a letter carrier; Frank Sewell, a former school board candidate, Virginia Howard, a UDC professor, and Charles E. Logan, a lawyer and former ANC commissioner, who indicated yesterday that he may withdraw.