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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 dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

 

Articles by Deborah Simmons

D.C. charter school used to tout student-aid program

Two days after President Obama disparaged D.C. Public Schools on national television, Education Secretary Arne Duncan used a highly successful public charter school as a backdrop to publicize a federal college-access program. Published September 29, 2010

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has spoken positively of the D.C. schools chancellor's reforms. (Associated Press)

Obama: D.C. schools don't suit daughters

In a rare and blunt criticism of education in the nation's capital, President Obama on Monday called D.C. Public Schools a "struggling" system that doesn't measure up to the needs of first daughters Sasha and Malia. Published September 27, 2010

Gray, Rhee tightlipped on her future with city

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, widely expected to be the city's next mayor, and schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee emerged Thursday from their first private meeting since the Sept. 14 mayoral primary with her employment status likely still up in the air. Published September 23, 2010

SIMMONS: Educators, pols just don't get it

Like a petri dish in the hands of a bunch of ninth-graders, D.C. school reform has morphed into a UFO -- an unidentifiable fiscal object. Published September 23, 2010

** FILE ** D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray speaks in Washington early on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010. Voters in the nation's capital chose Mr. Gray as the Democratic mayoral candidate over current Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, a backer of education reform who some said had become out of touch with his constituency. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Rhee's status still unclear after meeting with Gray

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, widely expected to be the city's next mayor, and Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee emerged Thursday from their first private meeting since the Sept. 14 primaries with her employment status likely still up in the air. Published September 23, 2010

** FILE ** Former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee (The Washington Times)

Will D.C.'s Rhee be part of Gray's administration?

High noon on Thursday: That is when D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray and Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee are scheduled to hold their highly anticipated meeting. Published September 23, 2010

The new Howard Theatre, now a neglected shell of its former glory, is slated to reopen in November 2011 as part of continuing revitalization efforts to the U Street corridor - one of Washington's liveliest entertainment sections. (The Washington Times)

Howard Theater restoration part of national trend

Communities across America are spending taxpayers' money when it comes to building new performing arts venues or restoring historic old ones, and D.C. residents are proving no exception. Published September 21, 2010

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee

Full slate of education issues on tap in D.C.

The fate of D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee dominated last week's post-mayoral primary debate, but her position isn't the only issue facing city and school officials as voters head back to the polls in November. Published September 20, 2010

ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPHS
D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, presumed to be the next mayor, makes a victory speech Wednesday surrounded by members of his family, including daughter Jonice Gray Tucker. He reiterated that jobs and school reform were his priorities.

D.C. unions will welcome Gray

Top union leaders said Wednesday that D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty fell victim to his own politics and policies, and they are looking forward to working with Tuesday's Democratic primary winner Vincent C. Gray, who made a lot of promises on the campaign trail regarding jobs and school reforms. Published September 15, 2010

D.C. Mayor Fenty loses to Gray in Democratic primary

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty fell to challenger Vincent Gray in a grueling Democratic primary that left candidates and voters waiting until 1:30 a.m. Wednesday before definitive unofficial results were announced. Published September 15, 2010

Delays occur in results for D.C. primary races

Logistical delays pushed a decision on the D.C. mayoral primary late into the night Tuesday, with Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and challenger Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray still awaiting the first announcement of votes more than 2 1/2 hours after the polls closed. Published September 14, 2010

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (AP Photo)

D.C. mayoral election questions likely to linger

Despite the assurances of the top Democratic contenders, D.C. primary voters may go to bed Tuesday night not knowing who will govern them for the next four years. Published September 13, 2010

Vincent C. Gray (left) and Adrian M. Fenty (Associated Press)

D.C. mayoral campaigns target racial divide

Rivals Adrian M. Fenty and Vincent C. Gray haven't agreed on much in the months leading up to Tuesday's D.C. mayoral showdown, but last-ditch get-out-the-vote efforts of both campaigns underscore their common task ahead of the vote: Close the racial divide. Published September 12, 2010

SIMMONS: Haynesworth lesson in not playing nice

Are you ready for some football? Whether your answer is no or in the affirmative, a professional athlete is offering a perfect learning tool for parents whose children play team sports. Published September 9, 2010

Fenty seeks turnabout for backing Obama early

District of Columbia Mayor Adrian M. Fenty is calling in a favor - he wants an endorsement from the other chief executive in town, President Obama. Published September 8, 2010

Fenty

Fenty puts out feeler to Obama

Mayor Adrian Fenty wants an endorsement from the other chief executive in town, President Barack Obama. Published September 8, 2010

Vincent C. Gray (left) and Adrian M. Fenty (Associated Press)

D.C. mayor race defined by race

The three leading candidates seeking the Democratic Party nod to be the next mayor of Washington are black, yet the issue of race and racial divisions remains an inescapable theme in the campaign as voters prepare for Tuesday's primaries. Published September 7, 2010

Fenty

Fenty, Gray talk unemployment

Jobs. The one-syllable word remains a central theme in D.C. elections, where two Democrats, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, are vying to remain employed as the employment situation for other residents remains grim. Published September 5, 2010

Groundbreaking begins Howard Theatre's second act

Entertainer and philanthropist Bill Cosby says the Howard Theatre is a gem "in our community's crown," and on Thursday, D.C. officials and well-wishers held a groundbreaking ceremony to restore that jewel of a historic playhouse. Published September 2, 2010