D.C. education experts gathered at The Washington Post on Wednesday to discuss the state of education in Washington, D.C. This was the first forum in a three-part series in which local policy makers, educators, parents, and student advocates will discuss education in the District. (Video by Shani George, Photos by Molly Gannon/The Washington Post)

The Washington Post will host a three-part discussion on the state of education in the Washington area.  The ‘Behind the Headlines’ community forum series will convene local policy makers, educators, parents and student advocates to discuss a range of issues including improving the quality of schools, school takeover and reconstruction legislation, overcrowded school facilities, and teacher evaluation systems, to name a few.  This effort is part of The Washington Post's ongoing commitment to providing readers in the Washington area with timely, informative discussions and original Post journalism about issues that impact their lives. 

“The Post’s education coverage over the years has endeavored to present a balanced look at the landscape of education in the Washington area - - the accomplishments, issues and forecasts for the future,” said Vernon Loeb, Local Editor for The Washington Post. “Through these forums, we are able to facilitate a dialogue between education experts and the community as we work together to ensure a quality education for area students.”

The first forum in the series will take place on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 from 6:30-8:30pm at The Washington Post building at 1150 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC. The discussion will be led by Natalie Hopkinson, contributor to The Washington Post.

Experts on the panel include the following:

·  Emma Brown, DC schools reporter, The Washington Post

·  David Catania, DC Councilmember At Large and Chairman, Committee on Education

·  Daniel del Pielago, education organizer, Empower DC

·  Scott Pearson, executive director, DC Public Charter School Board

·  Cathy Reilly, director, Senior High Alliance of Parents, Principals and Educators (S.H.A.P.P.E)

Admission to the event is free, but seating is limited. To RSVP and submit a question for the panel, please e-mail behindtheheadlines@washpost.com.

In addition to the discussion focused on the District, other planned Behind the Headlines forums will explore local perceptions on education in Prince George’s County, MD and Fairfax County, VA.

Visit www.washingtonpost.com/education for the latest coverage and analysis of schools, home school and education policy for DC, Maryland and Virginia.