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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

House GOP to push for school vouchers

Despite the opposition of the incoming D.C. mayor and the Democratic president, key House Republican lawmakers say they will push a popular school-voucher program that was canceled by the Obama administration. Published November 9, 2010

SIMMONS: Loud, clear call for fiscal sense

The midterm elections are over, and both winners and losers are saying they are taking the messages of the voters to heart. But now what? Where are we going, and how will we get there? Published November 4, 2010


Gray's transition team a mix of familiar faces, newcomers

Within hours of his victory in the general election Tuesday, D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray announced the key players on his transition team and said the White House had reached out to schedule a lunch date. Published November 3, 2010

Now it's Gray's turn to face 'hard choices'

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said for months that he made "hard choices" for the city during "hard times." Now it's Vincent C. Gray's turn. Published November 2, 2010

SIMMONS: D.C.'s social conservatives deserve a voice

D.C. conservatives and Republicans deserve a voice in Congress. Unfortunately, that voice is resonated by lawmakers and policymakers who don't even live in the nation's capital. Published October 28, 2010

D.C. mulls anti-bullying law

Missouri lawmakers recently adopted a gender-neutral anti-bullying law, while the D.C. Council is considering legislation that adopts recommendations proposed by a gay rights group. Published October 28, 2010

Education delivers warning on bullying

Echoing recent comments by President Obama, federal education officials warned Tuesday that federal funds could be withdrawn from schools, colleges and universities that don't prevent bullying, harassment and intimidation, which the department says will fall under civil-rights enforcement. Published October 26, 2010

**FILE** In this photo from Jan. 15, 2010, a candlelight vigil is held at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts for freshman Phoebe Prince, 15, who had killed herself the previous day. Nine teens were charged in the "unrelenting" bullying of Prince, originally from Ireland, who killed herself after being raped and enduring months of torment by classmates in person and online. (Associated Press)

SIMMONS: Anti-bullying success begins with parents

OK, Dear Readers, the topic of the day is bullying, and for those of you who prefer to remain deficient in personal responsibility, feel free to flip the page or click the mouse right now. Published October 21, 2010

LONG SHOT: Republican Missy Reilly Smith has not received any D.C. party aid in her bid to unseat Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton. (Provided by Missy Reilly Smith)

GOP candidate for D.C. delegate is on her own

You won't find her mentioned on the D.C. Republican website, but activist Missy Reilly Smith constitutes a kind of one-woman "tea party" movement in the liberal bastion that is the nation's capital. Published October 20, 2010

Special education atop D.C. to-do list

Michelle A. Rhee may be on her way out as chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, but the fights she waged over the city's education policies are likely to linger long after she is gone. Published October 18, 2010

**FILE** Michelle A. Rhee (The Washington Times)

SIMMONS: School reform a 'team' effort

How is it that college and high school coaches are able to turn student-athletes into top drawer professionals, but many of our superintendents and chancellors can't manage to churn out top-flight students? Published October 14, 2010

Hiring, promotion freezes set for D.C.

Facing a projected $175 million deficit in the fiscal year that began Friday, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty plans to issue an executive order that will freeze hiring and promotions to help curb spending. Published October 4, 2010

D.C. charter school used to tout student-aid program

Two days after President Obama disparaged D.C. Public Schools on national television, Education Secretary Arne Duncan used a highly successful public charter school as a backdrop to publicize a federal college-access program. Published September 29, 2010

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has spoken positively of the D.C. schools chancellor's reforms. (Associated Press)

Obama: D.C. schools don't suit daughters

In a rare and blunt criticism of education in the nation's capital, President Obama on Monday called D.C. Public Schools a "struggling" system that doesn't measure up to the needs of first daughters Sasha and Malia. Published September 27, 2010

Gray, Rhee tightlipped on her future with city

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, widely expected to be the city's next mayor, and schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee emerged Thursday from their first private meeting since the Sept. 14 mayoral primary with her employment status likely still up in the air. Published September 23, 2010

SIMMONS: Educators, pols just don't get it

Like a petri dish in the hands of a bunch of ninth-graders, D.C. school reform has morphed into a UFO -- an unidentifiable fiscal object. Published September 23, 2010

** FILE ** D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray speaks in Washington early on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010. Voters in the nation's capital chose Mr. Gray as the Democratic mayoral candidate over current Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, a backer of education reform who some said had become out of touch with his constituency. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Rhee's status still unclear after meeting with Gray

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, widely expected to be the city's next mayor, and Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee emerged Thursday from their first private meeting since the Sept. 14 primaries with her employment status likely still up in the air. Published September 23, 2010

** FILE ** Former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee (The Washington Times)

Will D.C.'s Rhee be part of Gray's administration?

High noon on Thursday: That is when D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray and Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee are scheduled to hold their highly anticipated meeting. Published September 23, 2010