- The Washington Times - Monday, November 29, 2010

It had been penciled in for nearly a month, but now it is set in ink.

President Obama and D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray will break bread together Wednesday at the White House, a meeting the two Democrats began penciling in the week of Mr. Gray’s victory in the general election.
The lunch follows Mr. Gray’s breakfast meeting last week with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, with interim Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson also in attendance.

Mr. Gray told The Washington Times that he “welcomed the opportunity to sit down over breakfast” with Secretary Duncan, his Chief of Staff Joanne Weiss, the architect of the $4.35 billion federal Race to the Top program. She formerly served as chief operating officer of NewSchools Venture Fund, which aids entrepreneurs in the education sector.

The mayor-elect called it “a very productive meeting that Ms. Henderson and I believe will bolster the positive partnership between the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Education.”

The president and the mayor-elect have several education policies in common, including support for charter schools, making early childhood schooling academically meaningful, and making it easier for youths and adults to attend community college.

The White House lunch will be far more formal than the sit-down the president and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty had once Mr. Obama had settled into the White House in 2007. Those two shared lunch at Ben’s Chili Bowl, the D.C. eaterie famous for its spicy chili half-smokes and hot dogs.

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