Tuesday, 18 Dec 2018
News

Proponent of traditional public school wins race for D.C. school board seat


Joe Heim, Reporter polling a range of topics, including race, white nationalism, schools, student culture, Native American Issues December 5 at 6:39 PM In the last act of a busy local election year, District voters Tuesday in Ward 4 picked Frazier O 'Leary to represent the DC State Board of Education. O'Leary, a District teacher who had the support of the Washington Teachers' Union, took 47 percent of the vote in a four-person race in the special election held by Lannette Woodruff. Woodruff gave up her post earlier this year when she moved out of the city. Rhonda Henderson, who was backed by charter school supporters and D.C. Council member Brandon T. Todd (D-Ward 4), came in second with 37 percent of the vote. Elani Lawrence and Ryan Tauriainen took the remainder of the ballots. Turnout was low in the election, with just under 8 percent of registered voters in the ward – about 5,000 people – casting bales. The issues of separating the candidates, particularly a divide between support for schools and schools of the schools. [Meet the candidates running to represent Ward 4 on the D.C. State Board of Education] O'Leary's victory in the school of this year, the Washington Teachers' Union won. "I think the people in the city want the public schools to be leaders in education," O'Leary said in an interview Wednesday. "O'Leary, a 74-year-old veteran who is a Vietnamese veteran." in DC schools for 47 years, said he wants the school board to become a stronger force in directing and guiding the district's schools. During his campaign, he called the control of the school district "a disaster," and he pushed for an educator to be fully in charge of schools. When he joins the board in January, O'Leary said he will "advocate for the board to have something to do with the chancellor and have something to do [the Office of the State Superintendent of Education]Elizabeth A. Davis, president of the Washington Teachers' Union, said O'Leary's win is a major victory for her members who wants a strong advocate for traditional public schools on the board. "It's imperative that you have people on the board who are interested in stabilizing and improving your public school system and not going to focus on privatization schemes," Davis said. In November, the usually sleepy breeds for the D.C. State Board of Education has come into contact with a powerful advocacy organization. The city's elected school board was stripped of most of its power in 2007 when then-Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) wrested away control of the school system. Now, the State Board of Education is limited to the rules and regulations, academic standards and teacher qualifications. The contentious elections came in a year when D.C. schools were mired in scandals. Many of the races were defined by the candidates' stances on how much power the mayor should have over the city's schools. Perry Stein contributed to this report. .

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