Scott Simpson: Candidate for the Ward 1 State Board of Education

Laura Wilson Phelan, Candidate for Ward 1 State Board of Education (image from campaign Web site)

Scott Simpson, Candidate for Ward 1 State Board of Education (image from campaign Web site)

The fifth and last in the series featuring candidates for Ward 1 State Board of Education is Scott Simpson. You can learn more about Simpson at his campaign Web site here.

Here are the questions each candidate received along with Scott’s answers:

Q: Which Ward 1 neighborhood do you live in?

A: I live in LeDroit Park.

Q: How long have you lived in D.C.?

A: I’ve been a D.C. resident for 12 years.

Q: Why did you decide to become a candidate for the Ward 1 Member of the State Board of Education?

A: I’m running because I want to help make sure our school reform efforts continue and are inclusive. I’m a professional civil rights and education advocate who can give students a representative on the State Board of Education who can navigate the bureaucracy of our education system to get things done, who can provide proper oversight to schools, and can push for the reforms that increase access to a quality education for all students –regardless of their identity, life circumstance, or zip code.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish on the State Board of Education?

A: It’s imperative that the next member of the State Board of Education view the role as an independent education advocate for students and constituents. I would champion greater community engagement from schools and the school system, more supports for teachers, greater access to meaningful data about student achievement, and reforms to ensure that disadvantaged students have access to the resources they’re entitled to under the law.   Our school reforms are working, but not for all students, we need an advocate to make sure that all students benefit from our progress.

Q: How does your professional and/or life experience make you a good candidate for the State Board of Education, and how will it help you be a successful Member of the Board?

A: I’ve volunteered thousands of hours with D.C. youth and understand how some students have had to trek across the city for a quality education or suffer with inadequate access to support services and the resources needed to thrive.

My first job in D.C. was at a youth center working directly with teenagers every day. I worked my way through career college and now I’m a professional education and civil rights advocate at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

My education advocacy at the state and national level has helped to narrow resource disparities in low-income schools, has promoted access to science and math learning, and has helped promote equity in the distribution of qualified teachers.

I’m the only candidate that offers this experience with D.C. students and the know-how to navigate the bureaucracy of our education system.

Q: Is this your first bid for elected office? If not, please describe other elected positions you’ve held, briefly note your accomplishments, and describe how the community benefited by your advocacy.

A: I’m one of the few candidates who has not run for another office. It’s important that the person who serves Ward One on the State Board of Education be interested in the job, not on other political ambitions.

Q: Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

A: I’m the only candidate in this race who has been a consistent presence at the State Board of Education for the past year, who has studied the office at almost every meeting, and who has taken an active interest in the job. I already understand how to make a difference on the SBOE and will put that experience to work on behalf of the District.

You can learn more at or at You can also email me directly at Scott (at)

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4 Comments on “Scott Simpson: Candidate for the Ward 1 State Board of Education”

  1. Angry Parakeet Says:

    What is “career college?” Which one? I met Scott when he came to my door. I was impressed.

    • Thanks AP. I went to a college for working adults…night school essentially. I was a member of the last graduating class of Southeastern University and went to an adult education program at George Washington University. Most of my classmates at SEU went to DCPS, and did not get adequate preparation for college. School should prepare you for what comes next in life and the unevenness in quality at DCPS was holding many of my classmates back from reaching their life potential. It’s not fair and it’s not right. I studied policy advocacy and public relations and use that to fight for educational equity at the national and state levels. I want to take that experience to my own community.

  2. DistrictDude Says:

    Scott knocked on my door and I’m totally with his position on school discipline. He earned my vote.

  3. Brian Says:

    I’m excited by Scott’s candidacy for State Board of Education. He knocked on my door on a Sunday afternoon over the summer when candidates for most other seats were taking it easy. I was impressed by his passion and dedication for improving the quality of (and access to) education throughout DC. He also has a firm grasp of the challenges of creating meaningful institutional and policy change. After speaking with him, I’m confident that he has the qualifications, expertise, and persistence to help lead us into the future. He has my vote!

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