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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 [email protected].

 

Articles by Deborah Simmons

High School juniors Brian Keyes and Isabel Suarez, both 16, pose for a photograph in front of Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, Thursday, March 3, 2016, after recently taking the new SAT exam. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) **FILE**

Education by ZIP code

The ZIP code of a child should not determine where that child attends school. Should it? Published January 23, 2020

In this Aug. 13, 2019, file photo a worker gets ready to pass out instructions on how to fill out the 2020 census during a town hall meeting in Lithonia, Ga.  (AP Photo/John Amis, File) **FILE**

Oklahoma points the way to better quality of life

Oklahoma is the fist-shaped state in south-central United States that looks like its pointy finger is pointed westward. That's Oklahoma in a itsy-bitsy nutshell, and that's why the headline from the editorial board of the state's largest daily is worthy of attention. Published January 20, 2020

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan speaks during the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding between Maryland and Kanagawa, at Maryland's State Capitol, in Annapolis, Md., Monday, July 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Hogan cracks down on crime and criminals

A poll released this week suggests that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is targeting the bull's-eye by proposing to crack down on crime and criminals. Published January 9, 2020

Cameron Bray donates to the the Salvation Army outside of Hobby Lobby in Janesville, Wisconsin, on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2019. Bell ringer Debi Pulver averaged $63 raised per hour while ringing the ball last year. (Anthony Wahl/The Janesville Gazette via AP) **FILE**

Pay it forward with charitable contributions

Santa's done his thing, and you've sifted through his deliveries to decide which you'll keep, which you'll regift and which (shrug) you'll return to brick-and-mortar stores -- or struggle to find the return labels for shipping. While you're at it, consider paying it forward. Donate to a worthy and reputable cause, and get a tax credit to boot. Published December 26, 2019

This 1860-75 photo made available by the Library of Congress shows Harriet Tubman. (Harvey B. Lindsley/Library of Congress via AP) **FILE**

Christmas and Harriet Tubman

So, on Christmas Eve 1854, she again trekked from Philadelphia, where she was safe -- relatively speaking, of course -- to Maryland, where her parents and three brothers were enslaved. Her brothers knew she was on her way, because she had sent word via the agents and conductors of the Underground Railroad. Published December 23, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Former Vice President Joe Biden waves before a Democratic presidential primary debate Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, in Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Say it ain't so, Joe Biden

Joseph R. Biden, who twice strode alongside Barack Obama to win the White House and now is in a comfortable pace in the 2020 race, seems to have forgotten Mr. Sharpton's 2009 warning about education not being an option. Published December 19, 2019

In this Jan. 25, 2017, file photo, students fill their lunch trays at J.F.K Elementary School in Kingston, N.Y., where all meals are now free under the federal Community Eligibility Provision. A donor inspired by a tweet raised money to pay off lunch debt in districts around the country, as well as thousands of dollars in overdue lunch fees at other schools in the Kingston district. (AP Photo/Mary Esch, File) **FILE**

Food stamps giveaways takeaways

Shame on those grown folk, of course, because they are not only wasting good food but good money, too. Federal, state and local coffers pay for school feeding programs, and your taxes fill those coffers. Published December 9, 2019

At-large D.C. Council member David Grosso said "public financing of campaigns would give greater voice to all voters and reduce the disproportionate influence of big city donors in D.C. politics" under a bill he has crafted. (The Washington Times) **FILE**

D.C. lawmakers consider robbing PTAs and PTOs

Three D.C. Council members -- David Grosso, Vincent Gray and Brianne Nadeau -- hastened Tuesday to be the initial bearers of glad tidings by introducing the D.C. Public Schools Family and School Community Fundraising Equity Act of 2019. Published December 5, 2019

 In this Feb. 28, 2019 file photo, actress Lori Loughlin, center, poses with daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli, left, and Isabella Rose Giannulli at the 2019 "An Unforgettable Evening" in Beverly Hills, Calif. Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli were charged along with nearly 50 other people Tuesday in a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed college coaches and other insiders to get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, federal prosecutors said. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)  **FILE**

Community service benefits young students and athletes

Young people like Mayce Wood and others who volunteer to do good for their communities' sake aren't so jaded. They don't just see a need; they feel the need. Sometimes, again too often, young people only do things merely because an adult tells them to do it. Published December 2, 2019

Dan Villegas stocks items in preparation for a holiday sale at a Walmart Supercenter, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, in Las Vegas. Black Friday once again kicks off the start of the holiday shopping season. But it will be the shortest season since 2013 because of Thanksgiving falling on the fourth Thursday in November, the latest possible date it can be. (AP Photo/John Locher) **FILE**

A Thanksgiving postscript

As the turkey's roasting -- or frying, if that's your thing -- and the family's trying to keep young ones and grandfolks occupied with that old invention called television, there are behind-the-scenes fixins and people to be grateful for. Published November 28, 2019

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg fills out paperwork, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., to appear on the ballot in Arkansas' March 3 presidential primary. Bloomberg hasn't formally announced a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, but his trip to Arkansas is the latest indication that he is leaning toward a run. (Staton Breidenthal/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP) **FILE**

Bloomberg and Trump, meet Gladys Harrison of Nebraska

Republicans, Democrats, independents: Lend me your eyes and ears -- and if Michael Bloomberg and President Trump are paying attention, here's the American voter you both need to court. Her name is Gladys Harrison, and she lives in Omaha, Nebraska, where she runs a restaurant called Big Mama's Kitchen and Catering. Published November 25, 2019

At-large D.C. Council member David Grosso said "public financing of campaigns would give greater voice to all voters and reduce the disproportionate influence of big city donors in D.C. politics" under a bill he has crafted. (The Washington Times) **FILE**

Divisive Democrats in D.C. City Hall?

Leave it to a D.C. politician to pick up on the far left's scent. As if Ms. Pelosi had handed him a rod and staff, D.C. Council member David Grosso appears to be training for a run against the chairman of the council. Published November 21, 2019

In this Feb. 14, 1984 file photo, first lady Nancy Reagan sits with a fourth and fifth grade class at Island Park Elementary School on Mercer Island, Wash., where she participated in a drug education class. At left is Amy Clarfeld, 10, and Andrew Cary, 10, is at right. During a visit with schoolchildren in Oakland, Calif., Reagan later recalled, "A little girl raised her hand and said, 'Mrs. Reagan, what do you do if somebody offers you drugs?' And I said, 'Well, you just say no.' And there it was born." (AP Photo/Barry Sweet, File)  **FILE**

Drug testing Ohio school kids

Now the opioid crisis is upon us, with folks old and young using what they know are deadly compounds. America's opioid epidemic is so out of control, antidotes such as naloxone are part of first responder and schoolhouses across the country. So, what's a schoolhouse of 550-plus eighth- and ninth-graders to do? Just say no? Published November 14, 2019