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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

**FILE** D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (Associated Press)

D.C. Council race to test Gray clout

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray will get an early test of his political capital in the April 26 special election to fill a City Council vacancy, and members of both parties already say the new mayor is misreading the tea leaves. Published February 10, 2011

SIMMONS: Playing games on D.C. statehood

Well, Dear Readers, the D.C. statehood crowd is at it again. Instead of launching a serious, concerted national effort with arguments that appeal to Americans everywhere, they are back to their old incestuous ways. Published February 10, 2011

D.C. Council head Brown seeks outside help with finances

As D.C. leaders prepare to defend the city's strong credit ratings on Wall Street on Thursday, council Chairman Kwame R. Brown said he wants to bring on a financial adviser to aid lawmakers as they begin work with new Mayor Vincent C. Gray on the city's budget. Published February 8, 2011

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier (Associated Press)

Cameras in more places for more uses in D.C.

The District of Columbia's top security chiefs are planning to expand their use of electronic surveillance by issuing tickets for more traffic offenses, integrating thousands of private and public cameras into a single feed and adding portable cameras that can be positioned to peek into any neighborhood. Published February 3, 2011

SIMMONS: Path to success has fork in road

Is the college-for-all pathway the only road to success? President Obama doesn't seem to think so, and the proof is smacking us in the face. Published February 3, 2011

FOCUSED: New D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown says the governing body won't be just a rubber stamp. (Rod Lamkey Jr./Special to The Washington Times)

D.C. Council chairman declares independence

Kwame R. Brown doesn't want to be pigeonholed as a liberal or conservative, although at times he sounds more like House Republicans John A. Boehner and Darrell Issa than House Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Eleanor Holmes Norton. Published February 2, 2011

Snowstorm leaves D.C. area feeling powerless

Whatever could go wrong in the region's first major snow dump of the year did go wrong, from traffic gridlock and extensive power outages to slick, snow-covered city streets that even seasoned mass-transit drivers couldn't negotiate. Published January 27, 2011

Boehner backs revived school voucher plan

New House Speaker John A. Boehner formally endorsed a bill Wednesday to revive and expand the school voucher program for the District of Columbia, calling it "a model for similar programs throughout our country." Published January 26, 2011

Boehner-backed bill to boost D.C. school vouchers introduced

New GOP House Speaker John Boehner Wednesday formally endorsed a new bill to revive and enlarge the District of Columbia's school voucher program, increase the amount of individual scholarships, mandate a rigorous evaluation of the program and incorporate several changes requested by Democrats. Published January 26, 2011

U.S. education still found lax in science, math

The National Academies on Tuesday pointed out in a new report that American students still rank only in the middle of the pack when compared with their peers abroad and do poorly in applying science and math concepts. Published January 25, 2011

**FILE** House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, holds up the gavel during his acceptance speech on Jan. 5 at the first session of the 112th Congress on Capitol Hill. (Associated Press)

Boehner to 'revive' school vouchers

House Speaker John A. Boehner plans to meet President Obama's call for bipartisanship and education reform with legislation that would "totally revive" the D.C. voucher program, which the president killed in 2009. Published January 25, 2011

At-large D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown says that a $600 million city budget gap would not be "a shock to anyone." (The Washington Times)

D.C. budget gap likely over $545 million

D.C. budget officials and elected leaders have been finessing or ducking questions about how big a budget deficit they really have to close in the wake of reports that the gap could widen again, to as much as $600 million. Published January 24, 2011

SIMMONS: Should teachers grade parents?

Every now and again, a bit of news flashes over the transom that potentially raises more questions than it answers. Such was the case this week. Published January 20, 2011

Cosby joins Boehner in drive for more school choice

With Congress and the White House gearing up for a major battle over the future of education policy, Bill Cosby added his voice Wednesday to that of House Speaker John A. Boehner and others who want to give parents a bigger say in their children's education. Published January 19, 2011

D.C. Council honors Lockridge; services scheduled

Memorial and funeral services for D.C. Board of Education member William Lockridge, who died Jan. 12 at George Washington University Hospital after a stroke, are scheduled for Thursday at the Temple Praise in Southeast Washington. Published January 18, 2011

Marion Barry

Barry to get purview on ex-felons and other 'natural constituencies'

With the D.C. Council gearing up to vote Tuesday on committee assignments and oversight priorities, Marion Barry is expected to head a panel that will give him power over bills to aid ex-felons — a power the former mayor wants to use. Published January 17, 2011

**FILE** D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (Associated Press)

3 special elections loom in D.C.

An unusual turn of events means D.C. voters will hit the polls for an unprecedented three special elections this spring, but the consequences run beyond who wins or loses in the three races. Published January 13, 2011

William Lockridge (Courtesy of

SIMMONS: Lockridge an agitator who will be missed

Unlike annoying activists who pimp causes for fame, political fortune or to rid themselves of spiritual guilt, William Lockridge long championed the need to develop human capital. Published January 13, 2011

D.C. charter school laws earn an 'A'

As unions move to organize charter-school employees, former D.C. Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee rolled out a taut school-reform agenda that pushes charter expansion and public-private vouchers, and she said the untold number of charter teachers she has encountered are not "interested in joining a union." Published January 12, 2011