Term: 4 Years
QUESTION: What could you do to improve the chances for success of D.C. public school students?
Vote for one:
Kevin L. Dennis
Dennis L. Fitch
Priscilla Arlene Gay
Philip G. Hampton II
Lee S. Manor
Nathaniel "Nate" Sims
E. Ned Sloan
Sehon L. Waheed
Kelvin W. Young
801 Varnum St. NW
Telephone number administrator/dial administrator, C&P Telephone Co.; president, Ward 4 Democrats; member, D.C. Democratic State Committee; Communications Workers of America; D.C. State Council's Education Committee; organizer, scholarship fund for A. Philip Randolph Institute, D.C.; program director, Mayor's Youth Program, 15th Street NW, 1979; program coordinator, Youth Opportunity Services, 1982; coordinator, D.C. State Council Scholarship Fund; fund-raiser, C&P Telephone Co., for the Hospital for Sick Children and Children's Hospital; fund-raiser, Jesse Jackson campaign, 1984, 1988; legislative chairman, Council of Women Ministers; secretary/treasurer, Communications Workers of America, D.C. State Council; delegate, Metropolitan Council, AFL-CIO.
A: I would set clear goals to establish objective policy. Policy that will assist in the school system recognizing the diversity of its student population by designing and marketing programs that will provide each student with a viable education, thus preparing them for a vocational career and/or a higher education. I stand firm on policy that prescribes an enforcement of reading, writing and arithmetic. I believe in early childhood counseling from the elementary level. I am committed to the enhancement of vocational education course work to enable our students to enter careers that are economically sound, thereby leading to self-employment and careers that will assist our students in financing a higher education. Further, I strongly support competitive teachers' salaries and more opportunities for educational growth that will continue to qualify our teachers and provide a quality education for our students.
Kevin L. Dennis
217 Underwood St. NW
Administrator, psychiatry, substance abuse, D.C. General Hospital; MPA, public policy, Howard University; BA, Howard University; attended Takoma Elementary, Paul Junior High School; graduate, Coolidge High School, 1971; elected three terms, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4D; president, Pleasant Hills Civic Association, three terms; facilitator, Health and Drug Treatment and Families, Youth and Children Strategy Teams; member, D.C. Public Schools Mentor Program, Takoma School PTA, Coolidge High School Alumni Association; speaker on substance abuse education and prevention to D.C. public school students, faculty, civic and community groups; founder, Parents Against School Dropouts.
A: Our public school system should be accountable to the community for every child, dollar spent and resource. Failing comprehensive test scores and a 40 percent dropout rate reflect the need for a great deal more learning. I would support a community campaign and investigation into the reasons for an education system failing the people it serves. Our curriculums should be ethnically balanced to build self-esteem, teach self-awareness and prepare for self-assuredness in the work place. I would support earmarking all new budget funds for specific in-classroom learning objectives that stress the fundamentals for success in the work place and scholastic achievement; cutting the bloated bureacracy; selling all unused property and cutting attendant support contracts; funding to establish more pre-kindergarten, before- and after-school programs and extended school days; and improve parental involvement in the classroom to challenge students' learning difficulties. In these difficult times, together we can make the difference.
Dennis L. Fitch
Requested information not received from candidate
Priscilla Arlene Gay
1342 Somerset Pl. NW
Former D.C. public school employee; president, Alexander R. Shepherd Elementary School PTA, two years; co-president, Woodrow Wilson Senior High School PTA, two years; president, Alice Deal Junior High School PTA; member, Paul Junior High School Advisory Committee; member, Senior High Parent Advisory Committee; adult vice chairman, Neighborhood Planning Commission; co-designer and director, Project Learn, a basic skills reinforcement program for elementary school children in Ward 4; former employee, Department of Housing and Community Development; graduate, Howard University School of Business; Fashion Institute of Technology and Rockland Community College.
A: Any efforts to improve the chances of success of D.C. public school students must be viewed in terms of immediate and long-range. Progress can only be positive if we serve the whole child. Some of our children have problems unique to our city. I propose a team approach, which allows for the assessment of students having difficulty in the conventional learning environment and those having high absenteeism. The student assessment, completed by the team of counselor, teacher psychologist and social worker, would provide the base for student placement and related services. The team would make up the nucleus of support for the student and would provide continual guidance to that student. Long-range solutions would include not only the team approach, but would include implementation of more early childhood programs. Modification to the existing curriculum concentrating on reading, math and writing with greater emphasis on critical thinking skills.
713 Whittier St. NW
President, Save Our Youth America; former assistant director, YWCA Tower Group Home; former probation officer, D.C. Superior Court; former teacher and family counselor; member, White House Youth Leadership Committee; former member, Mayor's Blue Ribbon Panel on Teenage Pregnancy Prevention; member, Partners in Education, D.C. Public Schools; chairman, Drug Prevention Education Initiative; awards: meritorious public service, Volunteer Clearinghouse, America Youth Services; member, PTA Takoma, Whittier and Coolidge; member, D.C. Child Care Association, Black Social Workers; BA, education, University of Toledo; MA, education, Antioch University; married; three children in D.C. public schools.
A: In order to improve the chances for success of D.C. public school students, I would direct my efforts toward the following six goals: 1) I would advocate for the establishment of a teacher retraining program. This program would be designed to equip our teachers, as well as counselors and principals, with updated skills in the areas of a) teaching methodology, b) diagnostic student achievement assessments, c) classroom management, d) problem-solving and critical thinking and e) effective leadership. These skills would help them to effectively teach our students, whose lives are often affected daily by societal ills; 2) I would promote a strong policy to terminate incompetent teachers. They do not belong in the classroom; 3) I would promote a board policy to consult with teachers and principals when making certain board decisions; 4) I would promote the implementation of the African Centered Education Initiative; 5) I would advocate for adequate funding for our schools and necessary supplies. (6) I would strongly support smaller classroom sizes and family intervention.
Philip G. Hampton II
539 Brummel Ct. NW
Patent lawyer, Kenyon & Kenyon; chairman, Intellectual Property Law Section, 1989-present, and member, executive committee, 1990-present; member, National Bar Association; vice president, Brummel Manor Homeowners' Association; co-founder, Black Alumni of Massachusetts Institute of Technology; life member, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity; received Outstanding Young Men of America award 1981, 1984; MIT Distinguished Alumni Award, 1981; nominated, Who's Who in the Law, 1990; graduate, Coolidge High School, 1972, salutatorian and treasurer; BS, MS, chemical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; JD, University of Chicago; frequent speaker to high school and college students on science, engineering and law.
A: My formula for success is based on the philosophy that all children are entitled to quality education, and graduates of the D.C. public school system must be provided with either academic training for higher education or vocational/entrepreneurial skills for the work place. It recognizes that early childhood education is essential and, therefore, must be available to all. It emphasizes basic skills -- reading, writing and arithmetic -- in the primary grades and recognizes the importance of learning to think critically and analytically at an early age. To ensure educational success, my formula requires a competent, professional staff, modern, unbiased instructional materials and safe, clean and adequately equipped facilities. The curriculum and learning experience must be culturally appropriate and value-centered. Strong parental and family involvement must be encouraged. Academic development must be constantly monitored so that students not succeeding, or otherwise at risk, are identified and helped through individualized instruction.
3 Whittier St. NW
Deputy U.S. marshal, U.S. Marshal Service; former substitute teacher, D.C. public schools; former youth counselor, Abandoned Children from Junior Village; former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (8AO2); BA, Howard University, history/government, 1974; master's degree, University of District of Columbia, adult education, 1990; received Outstanding Young Men of America award, 1977; received Outstanding Community Service award, 1978 and 1982; organizer and president, Takoma Park Northwest Homeowners and Neighborbood Watch Association; part-time football umpire, Metropolitan Boys & Girls Club; former tutor, Adult Education Center, 13th and K streets NW.
A: I believe the primary responsibility of a school board member is to establish comprehensive policy procedures designed to ensure the overall proper workings of the school system, with the ultimate goal of preparing our youth to meet society's demands as adults. The obstacles and impediments to success faced by today's youth are tremendous. For the average urban youngster, these obstacles are even greater, when we consider their environment and their limited resources (home support system, etc.) in fighting these impediments to their success as adults. We began to realize that there is a need for special attention to be directed towards these youngsters. The high dropout rate, the teen pregnancy and the high levels of teenage crime we are experiencing are all directly related to whether or not we as educators are able to reach these youngsters. I believe that education must be flexible and adaptable in order to be successful in properly preparing our urban youth for today's society.
Lee S. Manor
228 Upshur St. NW
Science resource teacher, Thomson Elementary School, 1972-present; coordinator, University of the District of Columbia Faculty Senate Safe Streets Projects, 1988-present; member, Advisory Neighborhood Commission Ward 4, 1987-88; instructor, UDC general equivalency diploma tutorial program, 1978; president, D.C. Distributors Federal Credit Union, 1972-77; member, D.C. Public Schools Union Administration Committee, 1975; graduate, Allen University, 1950; master's degree in administration and supervision, UDC, 1980; graduate work, American University; selected Teacher of the Year by Ward 5 Education Association, 1988; selected A Father of the Year by WUSA, Channel 9, 1990; selected Father of the Year, D.C. Federation Civic Association, 1989-90; ordained deacon, Beran Baptist Church; served in U.S. Army (European Theater Operation) 92nd Combat Infantry, 1943-45.
A: If elected as a full-time board member, I would: establish a Ward 4 board of education community office for parents and community to meet monthly and individually as needed to discuss methods of improving our schools' and students' study habits; schedule biannual workshops keeping parents and community abreast of changes, goals and philosophy of educational process; create partnership with business, community and nonprofit foundations to secure necessary supplies and equipment to make our schools the best (for example, creation of science and technology laboratories beginning at elementary level for each Ward 4 school); recommend the phasing out of the lease on 415 12th St. NW and using the schools slated for closing to house various administrative and central offices; recommend a three-year projected budget to show that there is a sound management plan and using money saved in phasing out of 415 12th St. NW, to reduce the class size to more manageable pupil-teacher (20 to 1) ratio.
Nathaniel "Nate" Sims
1912 Spruce Dr. NW
Program manager, Department of Public Works; doctorate, University of Massachusetts, educational administration and curriculum development, 1971; JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 1974; state licensing officer over private schools in the District, 1979-87; director, graduate studies in teacher education, Federal City College, 1971-74; chief hearing officer for public schools in the adjudication of special education and disciplinary cases; president, Shepherd Elementary School PTA, 1976-78; member, Congress of Parent-Teachers Associations; president, D.C. Reading is Fundamental; doctoral dissertation: A Strategy for Teaching Afro American Studies in the Humanities, 1970; married, five children in D.C. public schools.
A: In order to improve the chances for success of the District of Columbia school students I would, as school board member, work for full funding of the D.C. public schools by joining with the mayor, D.C. nonvoting delegate to Congress and other council and board of education members. I would also lobby Congress for a special subsidy for funding our school building repair program for $150 million to eliminate the backlog of school repairs; $30 million for air conditioning in all school buildings; and for a formula to increase the operating budget by 7 percent over the next five to 10 years. Simultaneously, I would work to get a program implemented for all students not reading on grade level to be placed in a special summer program using the phonetic approach to teach those students to read on grade level. I would further work to establish volunteer reading programs in the schools as well as work to redesign the curriculum with emphasis on Afrocentric subjects and strengthen the bilingual programs with emphasis on English.
E. Ned Sloan
1639 Primrose Rd. NW
Legislative liaison, U.S. Department of Agriculture; commissioner, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A, 1986-90; chairman, Advisory Neighborhood Commission, 1988-90; vice chairman, 1986-88; married, four sons; BA, Youngstown State University; JD, Catholic University School of Law; Martin Luther King Fellowship (law school); member, Nebraska State Bar; commissioner, D.C. Statehood Committee; vice president, Shepherd Park Citizens Association; chairman, Shepherd Park Legal Defense Fund; Ward 4 representative, Citywide Planning Coalition; member, board of directors, Efforts From Ex-Cons; member, board of directors, D.C. Common Cause; U.S. Army, 1957-59.
A: Let the board set policy and the superintendent implement it. I would stop the politicians and bureaucrats from micro-managing the schools because they respond to interest groups. This results in the plethora of rules and policies imposed on the schools that militate against effective learning. I support educational choice tailored to the D.C. public school system. Parents could send their children to the public school of their choice. Decisions about education would be made by the principal, teachers and parents at the school where learning takes place. They would have the authority to design programs to meet the needs of the students and be held accountable. Funding of the school would be based on its ability to attract students by delivering a quality education. This plan represents a radical departure from the current ineffective system. I would start by implementing the recommendations of the Committee on Public Education report.
5712 Fourth St. NW
Married; four children; worked as a small business specialist, April 1990; loaned from Bell Atlantic as an executive to the Greater Washington Board of Trade and D.C. Chamber of Commerce, 1989; manager, Bell Atlantic, 1968-89; small business entrepreneur, 1975-82; studied business at Trinity College and Maryland University; served as a private-sector liaison to the D.C. Department of Employment Services; involved with the Teaching Professions Program, Coolidge High School; serves on parent and business advisory councils; current vice president, Coolidge High School's PTA; former president, Sister Clara Mohammad School PTA; former PTA 3B area council president; former instructor, Project Business; co-founder, Roving Readers; board member, Art-In-Mind Foundation; graduate, McKinley Tech Senior High School.
A: As the biological mother of four children and accepting that there is a societal responsibility for thousands, I pray for an educational system that is founded on solid principles, which are designed to provide the essential tools for each student. The results of such a system would enable all students to discover the many worlds in and around them, understand their greatness and their role and relationship to the creation of nature as well as empower them to make valuable contributions to the world. We must prepare all youths to work, to live and effectively compete in the world. Hence, any educational changes should be indicative of this. When elected, I will be committed to consistently work to: focus on providing the student, teachers and administrators with the proper environment for teaching and learning, which includes, but is not limited to, state-of-the-art equipment, freedom and support to implement new and effective teaching techniques, update the curriculum and books, and as a board member, hold myself accountable to the parents and the students.
Kelvin W. Young
3910 Kansas Ave. NW
Self-employed political scientist and accountant; former D.C. public schools parent coordinator; former accountant, Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO; founding treasurer, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2372; member, Ward 4 Democrats; alternate delegate, Democratic National Convention, 1988; received Maryland State/D.C. AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education award, 1988; Ward 4 delegate, D.C. Democratic State Convention, 1986; coordinator, Ward 4 Friends of the New Columbia Constitution, 1982; Ward 4 coordinator, D.C. Statehood Initiative, 1980; BA, political science, University of the District of Columbia, 1981; former president and vice president, UDC Student Government Association, 1979-81.
A: As the Ward 4 member of the D.C. Board of Education, there is a lot that I could do to improve the chances of success of D.C. public school students. First, I would persuade the school system to refocus on three basic objectives of preparing students to a) get into and succeed in college; b) enter and succeed in the work force and c) function as an informed and involved member of society. Second, I would seek substantial improvements in dropout prevention programs. Most dropouts do so during their junior high years when they're still young enough to be positively influenced by intervention of parents and other concerned adults. Attendance records must be computerized to quickly identify regular truants. We need more truancy officers. Third, I would seek expansion of private sector support for programs such as High School-College Internship Program, work-study internships, operation rescue and mentor programs. Fourth, I would insist that we employ only teachers who believe all children can learn and succeed.