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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 Maryland at College Park.

An occasional panelist on Roland Martin's “Washington Watch” and Denise Rolark Barnes' “Let's Talk” weekly news analysis cable-TV programs, Mrs. Simmons has also appeared on BET's “Lead Story,” “Real Time with Bill Maher” and Mr. Maher's “Politically Incorrect,” “America's Black Forum,” Fox News' “The O'Reilly Factor,” “The Right Side with Armstrong Williams,” C-SPAN's “Washington Journal,” and “This is America with Dennis Wholey.” She also has been a guest radio commentator on NPR, WAMU, WMAL and WOL.

Mrs. Simmons attended the University of the District of Columbia and Trinity College. She and her husband, who live in Washington, have four children and two grandchildren. Contact Mrs. Simmons at


Articles by Deborah Simmons

**FILE** House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, holds up the gavel during his acceptance speech on Jan. 5 at the first session of the 112th Congress on Capitol Hill. (Associated Press)

Boehner to 'revive' school vouchers

House Speaker John A. Boehner plans to meet President Obama's call for bipartisanship and education reform with legislation that would "totally revive" the D.C. voucher program, which the president killed in 2009. Published January 25, 2011

At-large D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown says that a $600 million city budget gap would not be "a shock to anyone." (The Washington Times)

D.C. budget gap likely over $545 million

D.C. budget officials and elected leaders have been finessing or ducking questions about how big a budget deficit they really have to close in the wake of reports that the gap could widen again, to as much as $600 million. Published January 24, 2011

SIMMONS: Should teachers grade parents?

Every now and again, a bit of news flashes over the transom that potentially raises more questions than it answers. Such was the case this week. Published January 20, 2011

Cosby joins Boehner in drive for more school choice

With Congress and the White House gearing up for a major battle over the future of education policy, Bill Cosby added his voice Wednesday to that of House Speaker John A. Boehner and others who want to give parents a bigger say in their children's education. Published January 19, 2011

D.C. Council honors Lockridge; services scheduled

Memorial and funeral services for D.C. Board of Education member William Lockridge, who died Jan. 12 at George Washington University Hospital after a stroke, are scheduled for Thursday at the Temple Praise in Southeast Washington. Published January 18, 2011

**FILE** D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (Associated Press)

3 special elections loom in D.C.

An unusual turn of events means D.C. voters will hit the polls for an unprecedented three special elections this spring, but the consequences run beyond who wins or loses in the three races. Published January 13, 2011

William Lockridge (Courtesy of

SIMMONS: Lockridge an agitator who will be missed

Unlike annoying activists who pimp causes for fame, political fortune or to rid themselves of spiritual guilt, William Lockridge long championed the need to develop human capital. Published January 13, 2011

D.C. charter school laws earn an 'A'

As unions move to organize charter-school employees, former D.C. Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee rolled out a taut school-reform agenda that pushes charter expansion and public-private vouchers, and she said the untold number of charter teachers she has encountered are not "interested in joining a union." Published January 12, 2011

SIMMONS: Lesson for D.C. in Proverbs 22:6

As the new Gray administration moves forward, policymakers would do well to implement policies that force a man to stiffen his spine. Published January 6, 2011

Gray hits Norton's loss of House privilege

After promising at Sunday's inauguration to press the "taxation without representation" issue, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and other city leaders marched on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to express their displeasure over House Republicans' plans to trim back the D.C. delegate's power in the chamber. Published January 4, 2011

PASSING THE TORCH: D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray receives a hug from former Mayor Adrian M. Fenty after his inaugural address at the Washington Convention Center on Sunday. (Rod Lamkey Jr./Special to The Washington Times)

Gray delivers a message of unity at inauguration

Vowing to stabilize the city's finances, create jobs, improve schools and help residents gain statehood, Vincent C. Gray became the sixth elected mayor of the nation's capital Sunday before a standing-room-only crowd at the Washington Convention Center. Published January 2, 2011

SIMMONS: Redskins return needed in city

Breaking bread together provides a good opportunity for people to get to know one another, especially when the diners are the incoming mayor of Washington and the general manager of a sports franchise that plays its games in one state but practices in another. Published December 23, 2010

Quarterback Donovan McNabb started 13 games for the Washington Redskins in 2010, throwing for 3,377 yards, 14 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

D.C. mayor-elect weighs in on McNabb benching

D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent Gray, a diehard fan of the Washington Redskins who wants to see the city's football franchise return to the District, calls the benching of Donovan McNabb "strange." Published December 17, 2010

Gray taps Ellerbe as D.C. fire chief

A former deputy chief who left the city under unusual circumstances was named to lead the District's fire department on Thursday, the same day Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray announced he would retain Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier. Published December 16, 2010

Schools chief to review union's evaluation worries

D.C. Schools Interim Chancellor Kaya Henderson said she will review union concerns about the teacher-evaluation policy instituted by former Chancellor Michelle Rhee, though she insisted that evaluations themselves are not on the negotiating table. Published December 16, 2010

SIMMONS: It's season for left's intolerance

Dec. 15, Bill of Rights Day, has come and gone, but the many reasons to celebrate it resonate on a daily basis -- and more so at Christmas. Published December 16, 2010

Students change classes at the Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington on Wednesday. (J.M. Eddins/The Washington Times)

Gray eyes more schools cooperation in D.C.

Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray wants to push forward with education reforms by having more collaboration between charter schools and traditional schools, an initiative supported by charter co-founder Joshua Kern. Published December 12, 2010

Vincent C. Gray

D.C.'s Gray defends pace of transition

Defending the pace of his efforts to staff his incoming administration, D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray on Thursday announced a second round of appointments, but revealed no picks for key posts for city schools, the police department or other major agencies. Published December 9, 2010