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Raymond leaving school board

Lisa Raymond, a member of the D.C. State Board of Education who as president fought to keep the panel relevant in the era of mayoral control, is not running for re-election. Raymond, who represents Ward 6, said in a statement that she wants to focus more energy on local school reform "which is where my passion lies."

Raymond's stint on the board spans the changes in its role in District education. She was first elected in 2006 to represent District 3 (Wards 5 and 6) on the old D.C. Board of Education, then a hybrid of elected and appointed members that wielded budgeting and management power over DCPS. In 2008 she became part of the all-elected board that lost its day-to-day role when Mayor Adrian M. Fenty took over the city school system. The new state board has focused on broad policy matters such as teacher certification and learning and health standards. Raymond, who served as president of the board in 2008-2009, worked on the District's Race to the Top application.

She played perhaps her highest-profile role in fighting budget cuts imposed by the Fenty Administration. In her statement she urged the District officials "to appreciate and embrace the State Board as a full partner in education reform."

"Our Board members represent our communities and can bring great resources toward this effort; yet at times we have struggled to even be invited to sit at that table. While the State Board members are all elected and we have striven to be an independent voice for education, the State Board and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education both remain under the authority of the Mayor's office. This is a potential challenge that we all need to monitor to ensure checks and balances moving forward."

Raymond will remain a DCPS parent, with her twins attending Watkins Elementary this fall.

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By Bill Turque  |  April 19, 2010; 9:42 AM ET
 
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