SIMMONS: School reform a ‘team’ effort

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Now, with Ms. Rhee on her way out the door, Naya Henderson, the lead negotiator on the D.C. schools-Washington Teachers Union contract, has become the interim schools chief.

To her and Ms. Rhee’s credit, D.C. students are showing measurable progress. But the city still falls way short when it comes to preparing students for jobs and careers.

The D.C. dropout and illiteracy rates are maddeningly high, and too many of our 18-to-21-year-olds still get caught up in the juvenile-justice system instead of in the hands of a Geno Auriemma at the University of Connecticut.

The interim chancellor needs to use her bully pulpit to tell parents, teachers and students that a solid education takes teamwork. Messages like that don’t take a national spotlight, but results do.

Both teachers and D.C. leaders are giving Ms. Henderson a thumbs-up.

Still, here’s hoping Ms. Henderson implements a new strategy for students and athletes alike. At the very least, she will need a winning playbook.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at

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About the Author
Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons

Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...

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