- The Washington Times - Monday, August 27, 2018


Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted a most intriguing question on Monday: “What qualities do want in your @dcpublicschools Chancellor? Let us know at tomorrow’s @OurSchoolsDC Chancellor Search Engagement Forum.”

For sure, parents and others residents should raise their voices at the forum, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at Savoy Elementary School in Southeast. Refreshments will be served, child care is available and the school is across the street from the Anacostia Metro Station on the Green Line — so no excuses, parents.

With those important logistics out of the way, now come the concerns and questions that should weigh heavily on the mayor’s mind every time DCPS is part of any policy proposal that comes her way — regardless of who makes the suggestion.

It’s an easy path to ponder, considering the D.C. mayor will likely win a second term in November and since May has became a mother to a newborn, Miranda Elizabeth.

Would Miss Bowser want little Miranda in pre-K programs where instructors are too busy tending to non-potty-trained kids until they have to skip reading sessions?

Or that kindergarteners are late for class most of the week because mom and/or dad failed to get them to class on time?

How about when it’s time to enroll Miranda in grade school? Will the renovated schoolhouses and playgrounds meet your standards?

As for middle school, are teachers more focused on readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic or the sex-ed fad: How to teach children sexual pleasure? (Yep, that’s making its way into the curriculum.)

And high school? Well, if you can’t pick a D.C. public or charter high school before your forum, none will likely meet your “high” standards by the time Miranda’s promising girls-meet-boys teen years roll up.

There’s much, much more to ponder.

What about the school feeding programs? Does the school have a cafeteria? Will you be preparing Miranda’s lunch in the morning? Did she eat it?

Does she have allergies or need medication during school hours?

Is Miranda corralled in the schoolhouse for six, seven or eight hours a day every school day? Or do her instructors and teachers take her on field trips, so she doesn’t have to imagine what those pigs and zebras in one of her favorite books looks like in flesh and blood?

When she’s in high school, will she get to visit the McCain Senate Office Building (formerly Richard Russell Senate Office Building)? Or the White House? Or the Supreme Court, which helped black kids desegregate the nation’s schools?

Will Miranda learn that, during her mom’s first term as mayor, high school student were cheated out a quality education by the very people her mom put in charge of public education?

I’m thrilled as all get out that Miss Bowser has a daughter. Nothing — not a single thing — can be as rewarding as motherhood.

It offers a different perspective.

It also offers a outlook about the future — especially your child’s future.

Indeed, thanks to Miranda, Miss Bowser is now fully vested. That is why at Tuesday’s Our Schools DC Chancellor Search Engagement Forum, Miss Bowser should think of Miranda — and whether she would fit in.

In other words, the mayor should ask questions of the public instead of simply doing what politicians typically do — and that’s spending the public’s money and making promises.

Think vested instead of investments.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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