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Posted at 5:30 PM ET, 09/ 4/2010

My endorsement: Putting children first

By editors

By Ann Scoffier
Ward 3

I am voting for Vincent Gray because he has proven — as a judicious, effective and financially responsible chairman of the D.C. Council — that he could govern well as mayor of the whole city. In particular, I admire his command of the budget process and his capacity to listen while setting citywide priorities, including on education reform.

He’s right to link academic performance with more than “teacher effectiveness” and to recognize the devastating impact of the economy on the District’s low-income children. If a parent is alone, depressed, out of work, minimally educated or evicted; if a child is unprepared for school, insecure at home, often hungry, then academic performance will inevitably be affected.

I want a mayor who understands that east of the Anacostia River, “putting children first” means urgently addressing the other issues directly affecting their lives — jobs, homes, security. This is absolutely not about rolling back measuring teacher effectiveness, but about putting it in context. Unless we intervene more broadly, the conditions awaiting many D.C. children outside the classroom will inevitably override their chance to make gains in school, no matter how dedicated their teacher.

To me, the reform as implemented may be asking the right questions about student performance but drawing inadequate and often unfair conclusions.

To participate in "My endorsement," make the case for your candidate in the D.C. mayor's race in 200 words or fewer, and e-mail it to with “My Endorsement” in the subject line. Please include your ward number, a day and evening phone number (not for publication) and a note describing any connection you have to any of the candidates, their campaigns or D.C. politics in general.

By editors  | September 4, 2010; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, HotTopic, My Endorsement  
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Next: My endorsement: It's not about your feelings


Could you give us your honest opinion about what you find here on this issue:
Please vote responsibly.

Posted by: jobforce | September 4, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Shoffier,

My only problem with what you said is that your opinion is something from east of the Anacostia River. What you say resounds in the rest of the city, too. Also, forgive me if I'm putting words in your mouth, but it seems to me you're implying that this is a racial issue, as well. Let me assure you that at schools, you'll hear students, parents and teachers all complaining about Fenty and Rhee, and it's not just the African-American ones.

Posted by: DCCharles | September 5, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, Ms. Scoffier for misspelling your name in my first post.

Posted by: DCCharles | September 5, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

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