Their professionalism was hardly shocking, but what I later learned was truly revealing of their character.
Both girls were supposed to be off the day of my visit, but they volunteered to work because school was closed.
These young people, future professionals in training, don’t need the mayor, council or school officials tethering their hands or those of their teachers or parents to laws, rules or restrictions that would place a noose around their necks.
These seniors and rising seniors, who answered in a chorus of “yes” when asked if they want to go away to college, are the first generation to benefit from the D.C. school-reform seeds that were planted in the 1990s.
The chances that all or any of them will become as renown as Michelle Obama (Princeton) is slim, to be sure. But one thing is certain: The hands-off approach to school reform works for children.
This week, as the Gray administration and the council continue to search for clues to positive educational outcomes, they really don’t have to look too far.
Hey, they don’t even have to leave city hall, where the interns aid lawmakers and their staff, learn what makes government tick, and are ginning up their own perspectives on the rules of public discourse.
If education truly is the next embattled frontier in the realm of civil rights, D.C. leaders would be wise to do right by the current and next generation.
• Deborah Simmons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
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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