Professor, University of the District of Columbia; active in Ward 8 educational program at Covenant Baptist Church; has served on parent boards of Leckie Elementary and Hart Junior High schools; active in numerous reading and tutoring programs; board member, Anacostia Economic Development Corporation; president, Far Southwest Civic Association; board member, Potomac Job Corp; adviser to Hadley Memorial Hospital and former member of the Health Care Planning Committee for Georgetown University, George Washington University, Greater Southeast and D.C. General hospitals.
1. Emphasis has been placed on developmental education at the primary and intermediate levels in elementary schools; basically, there is added emphasis at the entry level. A greater focus should be placed on (1) upgrading basic skills through retooling and retraining; (2) using specific reading strategies in the content areas for secondary teachers; (3) emphasizing the concept of a continuum in education, and (4) reducing class size to continue developmental education at the secondary level. At the secondary level, the classroom strategies should be redesigned to meet the needs of limited learners. The lecture method is not working as a single mode of teaching. An eclectic approach should be utilized.
2. The very fact that they are from low-income families adversely affects many students, as this relates directly to lack of educational materials in the homes. Books, journals and even the newspapers may be too expensive. A home library is out of the question. There needs to be a partnership formed between the various social services in the District of Columbia and the D.C. Public Schools. This partnership would include day-care agencies, universities, job bank markets and the like. This unity would be an attempt to elevate the system so that it may compete and provide superb academic development.
3. Three important factors in improving the D.C. public school system are (1) inspection for asbestos and other health hazards in buildings to ensure safe facilities; (2) an increased budget to enable schools to acquire state-of-the-art resources, hence encouraging highly qualified, competent and flexible teachers, administrators and support personnel to enter the teaching profession and stay, and (3) decisions being made relative to an extended school day and year.