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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

Wylona Rogers teaches students attending a class in-person as well as students attending virtually at Driggers Elementary School, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, in San Antonio. After seeing two academic years thrown off course by the pandemic, school leaders around the country are planning for the possibility of more distance learning next fall at the start of yet another school year. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) **FILE**

Back to the classrooms

Teachers are being urged first to give instructions and lessons to those students who are virtual, and then repeat themselves for in-school kids. It's fairly clear who benefits from that academic deal. Published February 22, 2021

Fourth grade teacher Kelly Brant stands in her classroom as she talks to her students who were learning remotely Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021 at Park Brook Elementary School in Brooklyn Park, Minn. While prekindergarten through second grade students returned for in-person learning, the older elementary students will return to the building for class in February. (Christine T. Nguyen/Minnesota Public Radio via AP)

A pop quiz on education

Forget, momentarily, that Joe Biden is president; Nancy Pelosi is the speaker of the House of Representatives, which controls the nation's purse strings; Chuck Schumer of New York rules the Senate roost; and a relatively unknown union leader oversees the federal Department of Education. Published February 18, 2021

Save D.C.'s music history

The global music scene ain't what it used to be. Indeed, if DJ D-Nice hadn't taken to online music airwaves from his kitchen in March as the world shut down clubs, bars and concerts because of COVID-19, we all would have been deprived of one of the few things that unite us. Published February 15, 2021

President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Wear the mask and do as I say

To lean in on the words of Donald John Trump, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. is a "swamp" creature, a member of the silent generation who's waded in Washington waters since 1973. Published January 18, 2021

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters during a news conference, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) **FILE**

Who does Chuck Schumer mean by 'we?'

A lot depends on what Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer do in the next few weeks and months. All four will be trying to placate young people, who have been moved to protest for the past couple of years and allowed to skip school in the name of free speech and civics lessons. Published January 14, 2021

Preparations take place for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the building. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) **FILE**

MLK and Inauguration Day shutdown

Martin Luther King Jr. Day won't be the same next week, neither will Inauguration Day two days later on Jan. 20. Published January 11, 2021

Washington, D.C. City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 12, 2016, before a House Oversight Government Operations subcommittee hearing on whether the District of Columbia government truly has the power to spend local tax dollars without approval by Congress. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)  **FILE**

The new D.C. agenda

Having been duly sworn in on Jan. 2, the new D.C. Council should be preparing to wrestle with the No. 1 and No. 2 issues facing the nation's capital: spending and the pandemic. Published January 4, 2021

Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) in action during an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.) **FILE**

Who is Dwayne Haskins Jr.?

There's something not quite right with the Dwayne Haskins Jr. backstory. The bio for the former "starting" quarterback for the Washington Football Team never seemed, well, to square with his pre-2019 NFL draft story. Published December 28, 2020

Presumptive President-elect Joe Biden and presumptive Vice President-elect Kamala Harris arrive at an event to introduce their nominees and appointees to economic policy posts at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)  **FILE**

No Inauguration Day throngs for Biden, Harris

You know what no tickets will be allocated for Inauguration Day means for the D.C. region in general and its Metro system in particular: A day off is likely, and losses in revenue are certain. So now the burning question: Does the buck stop at Joe Biden's desk, with Congress or the ambitious Pete Buttigieg, the boy wonder slated to hold the reins of the Department of Transportation? Published December 17, 2020

District of Columbia Police Chief Peter Newsham, joined by District of Columbia Council member Charles Allen, left and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, speaks during a news conference at One Judiciary Square in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) ** FILE **

What is the role of a police chief?

Well, Peter Newsham is on his way out the door as chief of the D.C. police. He plans to leave after Inauguration Day events. His departure is not the end of the world, but it does beg a pertinent question: What, precisely, is the role of a police chief? Published November 26, 2020

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, what was the average cost of a classic Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people in 2015?

Stick to the basics for a happy Thanksgiving

Faith, family, village, food and football -- all stirred with loving and giving hands -- and never, ever argue when preparing and cooking food. In other words, ignore the acid and criticism on reality TV and social media, temptations that can lead to "acidic" food, which, in turn, can bring on acute indigestion. Stick to the basics. Published November 23, 2020

Washington, D.C. City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 12, 2016, before a House Oversight Government Operations subcommittee hearing on whether the District of Columbia government truly has the power to spend local tax dollars without approval by Congress. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)  **FILE**

Hey Chairman Mendelson, what's up?

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson has been juggling budgets since the pandemic hit. However, what he has yet to do is hold a press conference to announce how much money the city has spent so far battling COVID-19. Published November 19, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden pauses as listens to media questions at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

School Joe Biden on education

As the husband of an educator who stayed home with their children when they were young, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden likely appreciates the similarities of teaching and learning. Published November 12, 2020

Christina Henderson won a hotly contested at-large seat on the D.C. Council. (Image courtesy of Whitney Porter)  **FILE**

D.C. gals rule the roost

The complete list of winners and losers from the Nov. 3 elections is lengthy. The District of Columbia, though, is a unique fishbowl. Not only because it is the nation's capital, but because its hybrid status allows RINOs, DINOs, Libbies, Greenies and Shadows to game the democratic system. Women candidates latched on and, if Tuesday's elections results run the current course, will control the political, cultural and socio-economic strings. Published November 4, 2020

Pedestrians stand beside a fence covered in protest signs on the north side of the White House, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, on a section of 16th Street renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, on the day before the U.S. election. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

All eyes on election results 2020

Tuesday's the day. Election Day. And the day after, if you live in the nation's capital or around the Beltway, all eyes and ears will be focused on election results after what happened on Election Day 2016, when The Donald beat Hillary. Published November 2, 2020