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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

CITIZEN JOURNALISM: The screenwriter's dilemma

"I received my entire musical education in the New York City public school system," composer Michael Kamen, who died in 2003, once said. "I had there my most incredible experience. While we were working on '[Mr.] Holland's Opus' I went back to [the] music and art [room] ... and in the room was a graveyard of musical instruments ... 400 or 500 violins, flutes, trombones, trumpets, oboes, everything piled up to the ceiling. And they were all broken and busted." Published July 5, 2009

CITIZEN JOURNALISM: Visually philanthropic

Meet Michael Guillen: scientist, author, Emmy winner and loving husband and father. He also is a child of God who doesn't talk about coincidences. For him, prayer, divine intervention and the golden rule are the simple facts of life, situated along the straight and narrow, that led him to his newest roles as philanthropist and film producer. Published June 28, 2009

D.C. school chief gives herself an 'F'

Despite lower dropout rates, higher graduation rates and improved standardized test scores, D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee gives herself a failing grade on her first 20 months in office. Published March 16, 2009

D.C., charter to restructure Anacostia H.S.

D.C. Public Schools and Friendship Charter Schools are joining forces to restructure the troubled Anacostia High School in Southeast. But Anacostia will remain a traditional public school, Ramona Edelin, executive director of the D.C. Public Charter School Association, said last week. Published February 22, 2009

Mom ruled competent for murder trial

"I am not insane." So said Banita Jacks Friday at her competency hearing in D.C. Superior Court. Judge Frederick Weisberg, who said he considered Miss Jacks competent when she appeared before him a year ago, ruled her competent to stand trial for the murder of her four children. Published February 14, 2009

Accused killer's competency at issue

D.C. Superior Court Judge Frederick Weisberg on Friday told the woman accused of killing her four daughters that he was going to ask her some questions, but defendant Banita M. Jacks had another plan. Published February 7, 2009

Judge probes Jacks' fitness

The D.C. mother charged with killing her four daughters and staying in their Southeast home as the bodies decomposed is scheduled to appear Friday in D.C. Superior Court. Published February 6, 2009

Neurosurgeon extols role of faith and family in life

Fame rests easily on the shoulders of Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson, the Baltimore neurosurgeon who stunned the world when, in 1987, he led a team of more than 70 specialists in a groundbreaking operation to separate Siamese twins who were joined at the head. Published February 1, 2009

Carson fund helps to inspire students

The Carson Scholars Fund helps defer the costs of college for students who maintain a 3.75 GPA and meet other qualifications, including civic mindedness. Published February 1, 2009

D.C. leaders hope for voting rights

D.C. officials basking in the glow of Tuesday's record-breaking inaugural celebration say they came through for President Obama, and now they are hoping the president and his new administration will do the same for them. Published January 23, 2009

District braces for road chaos

Road-closing plans for Tuesday's inaugural ceremony could extend to Interstate 95 and other major highways, going well beyond the unprecedented measures already announced, officials say. Published January 16, 2009

SIMMONS: Confusion reigns

You needn't be well-versed in the opening lines of Genesis to know how we got here or who's really in charge. But with the holiest of seasons upon us, we obviously need to be reminded of the reason for the season. Published December 5, 2008

SIMMONS: Educating the Obama girls

The Obamas in short order will occupy the most expensive public housing in the land and, consequently, will need schools for their daughters –- Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7. There are many possibilities in Washington, which has educated Roosevelts and Gores, actors Dave Chappelle and Jeffrey Wright, and talk-radio maven Diane Rehm and Eleanor Holmes Norton, the city's lone congressional representative. Yet it is unlikely the Obama girls will attend D.C. Public Schools, which don't have much to offer the soon-to-be first family. Published November 21, 2008

SIMMONS: D.C. and Obama

Expectations are unreasonably high. Democrats are hoping the Obama administration and the House and Senate deliver the world. Republicans want Democrats to fail miserably so that they can come back in 2010 and 2012 and say we told you so. "Americans got what they asked for just as they did with [Bill] Clinton," a conservative told me. "In the midterms we can ride to the rescue." Published November 14, 2008

SIMMONS: Where to now, America?

The election is over, but our job is not. President-elect Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain laid out in their respective victory and concession speeches what now lies ahead. Published November 7, 2008

SIMMONS: Illegals vs. American taxpayers

More than a few pundits and commentators have called the Oct. 7 debate between Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama a snoozer because the two candidates didn't go at each other. Whether you concur or not with their assessment, one thing is certain, the candidates are not being grilled on the issue of illegal immigration and its inextricable link to our economic well-being and our national security. Published October 10, 2008

SIMMONS: Republicans' tug of war

The Republican Party ain't what it used to be. Sure, it still takes on the Democratic Party and can be counted on to fight the good fight when it comes to faith, family and freedom. But Republicans have lost considerable ground with the very working-class and middle-class Americans who have delivered resounding victories to them since Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush took on Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale in 1980. The shift in relationship with those same voters began in 2006, when Democrats gained control of Congress, and it continues as the election draws near. This doesn't bode well for the McCain-Palin ticket and the two dozen House Republican seats that are looking more purple than red. Published October 3, 2008

SIMMONS: Obama vs. Obama vs. Obama

Back in the 1950s, when televisions with picture tubes and huge consoles with small screens were the norm, there was a popular show called "To Tell the Truth." The premise was four panelists would question three contestants, and at the end of the questioning the host would say, "Will the real (fill-in-blank) please stand up." Sometimes the panelists were completely stumped (Rosa Parks pulled that off in 1975) and sometimes they weren't. Much, of course, depended on what each panelist looked for in search of clues. "Are you famous or well known?" was a frequent question. "For what?" was a logical follow-up. Can Barack Obama "tell the truth?" If he has the answer, will he reveal himself to America? Published September 12, 2008