Posted tagged ‘education’

David Do: Candidate for the Ward 1 State Board of Education

October 7, 2014
David Do, Candidate for Ward 1 State Board of Education (image provided by candidate)

David Do, Candidate for Ward 1 State Board of Education (image provided by candidate)

To kick off our review of the Ward 1 Candidates for State Board of Education, today’s feature is David Do. You can learn more about David at his campaign Web site here.

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

Q: Which Ward 1 neighborhood do you live in?

A: I am a homeowner in Park View and have lived here for four years. I bought my home in the neighborhood a little over three years ago.

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

A: I have lived in D.C. for over five years.

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

A: I decided to run for the Ward 1 Member of the State Board of Education because it was an opportunity to bring my background and life experience to Ward 1 students who are struggling to succeed in our schools. My parents were refugees of the Vietnam War and came to the U.S. with nothing. They were fast food workers, earning an honest living to make sure that I could have good education. This is what I want for our kids in Ward 1. I am running because of the encouragement and support of our community and neighborhood parents. The encouragement came because of my tireless work and tremendous accomplishments at Bruce Monroe at Park View Elementary, the Park View Recreation Center, and our community as a whole. I will bring the same record of accomplishment and energy for Park View to the Board of Education.

I am also running because tests like the DC CAS said I was basic or below proficient, the SAT said I should have never went to college, and my first semester of college grades put me on the verge of academic probation. But, I never let the possibility of failure hold me back. What changed in my academic career was a mentor. My introductory economics professor helped me develop my interest in economics. Once I discovered my talent and interest in economics, I exceled tremendously and graduated from college with honors and received the University’s Legacy Award. Tests should never be the end all and be all of education. We need to help our children develop their own special talents and help them learn the true meeting of education. It has worked for me and I believe it will work for our community.

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

A: Ward 1 needs a strong advocate who understands what our children are going through. I was an English Language Learner and a daily recipient of free and reduced meals. I lived in poverty. In Ward 1, many of our children are living what I lived. They too are living in poverty. I want to bring that perspective to the board of education. I want to uplift all of our children.

I also want to bring my experience working for our local neighborhood school Bruce Monroe @ Park View Elementary to the board. We have seen tremendous improvements when different groups work together to create a collaborative and community approach to improving education. A top-down approach where collaboration was not part of the equation has not worked in the last seven years of corporate education reform. We need to take a different tack to reform. I will advocate for a more supportive and respectful process that includes all stakeholders.

Finally, I want to be a part of the Parental and Home Engagement Committee on the State Board of Education. It is a committee that I personally feel will best suit my background and experience. There is a lot of research to support the benefits of family engagement in our schools. That is why I will work within my role on the Board of Education to consider all point of views in establishing an effective and implementable plan for parental and home engagement in our schools.

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 have worked in the Park View community for a few years. I held several events and started a block association. I have also been a consistent volunteer at Bruce Monroe @ Park View Elementary working with our teachers, community leaders, and parents to make sure our school continues its success as a great community school. That is why there are so many parents at the elementary school supporting my candidacy for the State Board of Education including Sarah Sorscher, Gabriel Sobarzo, and Jessica Sobarzo.

I have personally mentored two DC public school students throughout their high school career. They are now graduating seniors at Pennsylvania State University. I was also in charge of the Mayor’s internship initiative for the correspondence unit. I developed workshops for our interns so that they could improve their resumes, cover letters, business wardrobes, and interview skills.

Finally, I have a record of getting safety improvements for our schools including a crosswalk on Georgia Avenue between E.L. Haynes Public Charter School and the Ward 1 Senior Wellness Center. I did this so that all residents can safely cross Georgia Avenue, one of the busiest corridors in Washington D.C.

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 have held the position of Director of Academic Affairs at the University of California, Merced, where I was one of the executives in charge of implementation of a $200,000 budget. During my tenure I introduced and implemented a bill called the Fellowship and Undergraduate Research Symposium Act. This program received initial funding of $5,000 to make sure that undergraduate students were able to present their research at conferences across the country. This program has been extremely successfully and now has an annual budget of $10,000.

Moreover, I provided resources for students who needed extra help in math, writing, chemistry, and economics. These students received free tutoring services that my office funded. I also made sure that students stayed focused on learning by providing them with meals, snacks, and other stress-relieving opportunities during final exams.

I was also an advocate for our students. I made sure that student groups received enough funding to hold major educational conferences where I helped write the grant to fund the African Black Coalition Conference. The conference received $15,000 in grant funding. I have also advocated for individual students by seeing the passage of a bill to allow students to earn a triple major if they chose.

Through my work as Director of Academic Affairs, I received a front-page story in the Merced Sun-Star praising my aspirations and work as Director of Academic Affairs. The Associate Vice Chancellor at the University of California, Merced said that I, “worked tirelessly to support student success in their academic pursuits, in their professional development, and in their self-efficacy.”

I will bring this record of achievement to the DC Board of Education.

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

A: Park View is where I call home. I bought my row house three years ago and have been active in our community for many years. I have seen Park View grow tremendously and I am glad to have played an active role in its success. Here are just some of my accomplishments in Park View.

  • Fought for safety improvements for our school-aged children including a signaled crosswalk for E.L. Haynes Public Charter School on Georgia Avenue.
  • Volunteered at Bruce Monroe at Park View for many years and have been featured on this blog multiple times.
  • Hosted crime meetings with public officials like Chief Lanier to make sure our community is safe and secure.
  • Hosted elected officials and candidates at community meet and greets in Park View to make sure our neighborhood has options when deciding who should represent them.
  • I have the support of Sarah Sorscher, who is a mother in Park View and actively participates at Bruce Monroe @ Park View Elementary. I also have the support of many other BMPV parents.

I am very excited at the prospect of representing Ward 1 and Park View as the next Ward 1 Member of the DC State Board of Education.

Know Your Candidates for the Ward 1 State Board of Education

October 6, 2014
Bruce-Monroe @ Park View Elementary, located on Warder Street.

Bruce-Monroe @ Park View Elementary, located on Warder Street

When voters go to the polls in November, I suspect most people will be thinking primarily about the Mayoral and Council races, but there are many other races that will be on the ballot. As the future of education and our schools is high on the list of priorities, I definitely wanted people to be as informed as possible when deciding who to support for the Ward 1 State Board of Education.

This year we have five candidates for the State Board of Education. In alphabetical order, they are:

  • David Do;
  • E. Gail Anderson Holness;
  • Lillian Perdomo;
  • Laura Wilson Phelan; and,
  • Scott Simpson.

Beginning tomorrow, I’ll be posting profiles of each in the order above. I know it will be a tough decision for many. As I heard one resident say, the problem isn’t that we have no good choices, but rather, that we have several good choices. Hopefully, the forthcoming profiles will help those who are still wanting to know more about this race.

New School Boundaries Adopted by Mayor Gray

August 22, 2014

On August 21st, the Washington Post reported that Mayor Gray adopted the final recommendations on the new school boundaries and that they will go into effect for the 2015-2016 school year. It was announced before the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year complying with a law that families should have at least a year’s notice before any boundary changes go into effect.

The Post also reported that “[e]ach D.C. home now will be assigned to one elementary, middle and high school, a departure from the current patchwork system, in which more than a fifth of all public school students have rights to attend multiple schools, a result of school closings and consolidations.”

The easiest way to see what this means for the immediate Park View area is to look at the new boundaries of the Bruce-Monroe at Park View, Raymond, and Harriet Tubman Elementary Schools. It’s also important to know that both Bruce-Monroe @ Park View and Raymond will feed into MacFarland Middle School and Roosevelt High School, whereas Tubman will feed into Columbia Heights Middle School and Cardozo High School.

The following are excerpts from the map created by the Washington Post showing the new boundaries for each of those schools:

1) Bruce-Monroe at Park View (3560 Warder Street, NW)

Park View Elementary boundaries mapThe Bruce-Monroe at Park View attendance zone expands north to take in part of the old Clark zone and to relieve Barnard; it shrinks southwest and south, losing most of the former Bruce-Monroe zone. (Editors note: with the exception of the expanded zone in the north, the boundaries largely conform to the original boundaries of Park View Elementary).

Feeder information: Anyone living in the new attendance zone for Bruce-Monroe ES is zoned for and has a right to attend MacFarland MS and Roosevelt HS. MacFarland MS is slated to re-open no earlier than SY15-16. Until MacFarland MS re-opens, Bruce-Monroe will continue to feed into Columbia Heights Middle School and families will maintain the right to attend the middle school they are currently assigned to. Any student attending Bruce-Monroe out-of-attendance zone has the right to continue in the designated feeder pathway. Feeder pathway changes were made to better align school building capacity with population and with boundary participation rates, and to support racial/ethnic and socioeconomic diversity, where possible.

Program feeder: Bruce-Monroe ES is a dual-language school. Bruce-Monroe’s 5th grade class will have a right to attend the dual-language program at MacFarland MS. MacFarland MS is slated to re-open no earlier than SY15-16.

2) Raymond Elementary School (915 Spring Road, NW)

Raymond Elementary School BoundariesRaymond’s attendance zone expands slightly north and south to increase walkability and relieve overcrowding at Tubman and Powell.

Feeder information: Anyone living in the new attendance zone for Raymond EC is zoned for and has rights to attend MacFarland MS and Roosevelt HS. MacFarland MS is slated to re-open no earlier than SY15-16. Until MacFarland MS re-opens, Raymond will remain an education campus serving middle grades and will continue to feed into Cardozo HS. Families will also maintain their right to attend the middle school they are currently assigned to, until MacFarlans opens. Any student attending Raymond out-of-attendance zone has the right to continue in the designated feeder pathway. Feeder pathway changes were made to better align school building capacity with population and with boundary participation rates, and to support racial/ethnic and socioeconomic diversity, where possible.

3) Tubman Elementary School (3101 13th Street, NW)

Tubman Elementary boundariesRaymond’s attendance zone absorbs a part of the Tubman zone on the north. The Tubman zone expands east to absorb a part of the former Bruce-Monroe zone. It also expands south to absorb part of the former Meyer zone.

Feeder information: Anyone living in the new attendance zone for Tubman ES is zoned for and has a right to attend Columbia Heights MS and Cardozo HS. Any student attending the school out-of-attendance zone has the right to continue in the feeder pathway to Columbia Heights MS. Feeder pathway changes were made to better align school building capacity with population and with boundary participation rates, and to support racial/ethnic and socioeconomic diversity, where possible.

Next Round of School Meetings Scheduled for Week of June 16th.

June 4, 2014

Knowing that education is among the most important issues facing District families today, I wanted to make sure that people know that DC Public Schools and the Deputy Mayor for Education are hosting the next round of community meetings to present and discuss proposed recommendations to student assignment policies, including school boundary and feeder pattern revisions.

The upcoming community meetings will be held in three locations throughout the city. At each meeting, participants will hear an overview of the proposed citywide policies and then break into one of three groups to discuss how policies would impact specific communities and schools. Each discussion group will focus on one high school and its corresponding proposed elementary and middle schools that feed into it.

See the flier below for more details.

School boundary meetings

Opportunity to Learn More About M.O.M.I.E’s TLC

April 25, 2014

M.O.M.I.E’S TLC is hosting a local business community house on May 8th. It’s a good opportunity to learn more about them.


Don’t know about M.O.M.I.E’S TLC? Well, the description below is from their open house invitation.

Mentors of Minorities in Education’s Total Learning Cis-Tem (a.k.a. M.O.M.I.E’s TLC) is a DC-based nonprofit organization established in 1994 and committed to revitalizing low-income communities. In the spring of 2000, M.O.M.I.E Inc. developed M.O.M.I.E’s Total Learning Cis-Tem (T.L.C), a child development initiative, to respond to the urgent need for high quality educational services for low-income, young children given the tremendous gap in high quality and intentional learning opportunities for our early learners.

Based in the heart of the Georgia Avenue corridor, M.O.M.I.E’s mission is to “nurture the genius” of children and create a transformative educational system through a unique cultural education model. M.O.M.I.E’s has impacted over 500 children and youth through our direct service programs, and over 10,000 children through our community-wide Children’s Gallery of Black History – the majority who are low-income African-American children. M.O.M.I.E’s recently moved into our newly renovated location in the heart of Georgia Avenue, where we are working to realize our vision of establishing an institution for our children and families. We are looking to engage the Georgia Avenue community to collectively enhance our community and help us grow and sustain our work.

In summary, some of our exciting recent achievements include the following:

  • Expanded the After School Program in DC to our new Ward 1 location based at Shining Stars Montessori Academy Public Charter School; Obtained our first federal grant through the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program to implement a new After School Program at Carmody Hills Elementary School in Prince George’s County. We currently support over 175 children and youth year-round through our DC and Maryland program sites.
  • Launched the Youth Ambassadors Initiative, developing academic, career, and leadership skills among our older, long-time youth who have been with M.O.M.I.E’s since their early elementary years; Recently supported the successful transition of 10 long-time youth into high performing middle and high schools including Duke Ellington School for the Arts; School Without Walls Senior High School; Alice Deal Junior High School; Chavez Prep Public Charter School; and Benjamin Banneker Senior High School;
  • Impacted almost 2,000 children in the past year through the Children’s Gallery of Black History, through both the stand-alone exhibition and year-round Mobile Gallery;
  • Secured private funding to complete our “Eco-Green Children’s Center” on Georgia Avenue which currently serves as our new office headquarters and Ward 1 program site.

Our long-term vision is to build M.O.M.I.E’s capacity to serve as a cradle to college pipeline, where we are nurturing our children during the critical early years of their development, making a long-term investment in their lives, and ultimately putting them on that life-long path to success and stability. We are always seeking critical partners to support this journey.

Specifically, we would like to invite local Georgia Avenue businesses, like yours, to take part in creative partnerships that are mutually beneficial to both our organization and yours. While we can offer increased visibility for your business, new contacts, and new potential clients, you may be interested in partnering with us in one or more of the following ways:

  • Offer internships and/or business presentations to our dynamic, motivated and civic-minded high-school aged youth
  • Host in-kind M.O.M.I.E’s events or informational nights at your business
  • Sponsor one of our annual fundraising events that collectively reach over 250 people:
    The Social Justice Gala every February; The Great Persons Ball every October.
  • Sponsor or become a partner of our Community Children & Youth Garden, which is currently in the planning phase and will be located on our back lot. Potential partnership opportunities include receiving produce from the garden once it is built.
  • Participate in one-time or ongoing volunteer opportunities, which range from becoming a mentor for our children and youth to participating in our building beautification day.
  • Provide monetary donation to our organization to help support the critical needs of our year-round programming
  • Rent our space for a monthly meeting, community event, or party!

We invite you to attend our first-ever Local Business Open House at M.O.M.I.E’s on May 8 from 10:00 to 11:30 at our facility at 2616 Georgia Avenue. During this meeting we will bring together multiple Georgia Avenue businesses to discuss how we can all mutually benefit one another and enhance our shared community.

We hope to cross paths with your business soon and continue to impact more residents of the Georgia Avenue Corridor. If you have any questions or inquiries about M.O.M.I.E’s work, please contact me at chitra.momiestlc (at) or at (202) 545-1919.


The Past, Present, and Possible Future School Boundaries for the Park View Community

April 9, 2014

At the end of last week, DCPS released the proposed new school boundaries which have been on many parents minds these days. The Washington Post had an article on this published on the April 5th which is worth a read, but more importantly, they published a good map which shows the proposed changes.  With this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to also post some historic boundary maps (from not that long ago) to help parents in the neighborhood better understand what changes have already occurred.

The Future — Here’s what has been proposed as the new boundaries for Bruce-Monroe @ Park View:Proposed new boundaries 2014(In this map, a small area northeast of Rock Creek Church Road and 5th Street (formerly part of Clark) are added to the school boundary, and everything once part of the Bruce-Monroe School boundary west of Georgia Avenue and south of Gresham will go to neighboring schools)

The Present — The map below shows the current school boundaries that went into effect when Bruce-Monroe and Park View were consolidated in 2008. The boundaries for BMPV are still the current boundaries:Current Bruce-Monroe Park View boundaries

The Past — And here are the school boundaries for Park View Elementary and Bruce-Monroe Elementary prior to the 2008 consolidation. First, Park View:Park View boundaries 2007

Second, Bruce-Monroe:Bruce Monroe boundaries 2007

In comparing the maps, one thing I find interesting is how close the proposed new Bruce-Monroe @ Park View boundary is to the former Park View School boundary, with the lion’s share of the former Bruce-Monroe School area going to either Tubman or Cleveland.

Open House Week at Bruce Monroe at Park View

October 21, 2013
The Park View School building

The Park View School building at 3560 Warder Street

Bruce-Monroe Elementary at Park View is hosting a series of three open houses this week to show prospective parents and other community members the modernized Park View School building and describe the school’s bilingual curriculum and programing. For the first time, the school will be holding one of its open house sessions on a Saturday at the request of families that have work conflicts during the school day. There will also be two sessions on Wednesday, which will include classroom visits to observe teachers interacting with students. Here are the times for the open house sessions:

Open House Week
Bruce-Monroe at Park View

3560 Warder St NW, Washington DC
Wed, October 23rd, 10am – 12pm and 3:30 – 5pm

Sat, October 26th, 10am – 12pm

The new Bruce-Monroe at Park View website is also up and running:

Early Park View Post Office Educated Children While Serving Community

December 7, 2012

Here’s a great image I recently found showing a mail truck at the Park View School. The image comes from a magazine published on September 25, 1919.

Mail truck at the Park View post office, 1919.

Mail truck at the Park View post office, 1919.

The community post office opened in the basement of the Park View School on July 4, 1918. I’ve posted images of the inside of the post office before, but this is the first action shot I’ve found of activity on the outside of the school.

Before the post office moved to the school, there was a branch post office at Park View, in a drug-store. According to a 1919 article in Everybody’s Magazine, the druggist didn’t want it and ran it merely as an accommodation to his customers.  He considered the post office more trouble than it was worth. The community considered it a simply arrangement to move the branch post office to the school, and found it to be a great convenience to the residents of the community.

Reflecting upon the success of the post office in the school and its educational component, in 1920 Miss Francis S. Fairley, community executive of Park View, penned the following in School Life:

Not only has the post office in the school served as a convenience to the public, but as an educational factor in school life its value can not be overestimated. The children attend largely to the postal affairs of the family; they mail letters, insure packages, learn weights and rates of different classes of mail matter, register letters, make out money-order applications, learn about postal zones, and so are brought into direct personal relations with the greatest institution of world interchange.


Bruce-Monroe @ Park View Presented Space Shuttle Tile by Leland Melvin

February 28, 2012

Space shuttle tile

According to a NASA press release, yesterday, February 27,  2012, Leland Melvin, NASA’s associate administrator for education and a former space shuttle astronaut, presented a space shuttle tile to the Bruce Monroe at Park View School and spoke to the students.

During the presentation, Melvin shared his experiences as a crew member aboard the space shuttle Atlantis on two missions, STS-122 in 2008 and STS-129 in 2009. He also discussed NASA careers, including how to become an astronaut, and the opportunities available to students who pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies.

NASA’s education programs employ the agency’s many missions to inspire learners of all ages. The space shuttle tile program is an example of how the agency uses its unique assets to engage student audiences.


ANC 1A Commissioner Boese Speaks Before Class at Howard University

February 7, 2011

Commissioner Boese speaking before a class at Howard University

On Friday, February 4th, ANC 1A Commissioner Boese (1a08) was invited to speak before Dr. Ernest Quimby’s sociology class, “Deviance and the Community.” One of Dr. Quimby’s objectives of the class is the include community participation. One way he does this is by having members of the community speak to his students about neighborhood issues, culture, and history. Another way is through his assignments which require off-campus fieldwork.

Though invited to inform the student’s about the Park View community, Boese began by describing the broader historical framework of the District to set the stage for talking about how and why Columbia Heights, Pleasant Plains, and Park View developed. He also touched upon social forces that contributed to neighborhood development such as segregation, restrictive housing covenants, government interaction, and changing demographics. He additionally shared his views on the differences between Neighborhoods, Civic groups, and Communities and how each of these words can mean different things to different people.

One of the things Boese mentioned when speaking about Park View was the lack of official records or documentation in traditional archives and library collections. He offered that much of that history is available but is in the memories and experiences of our oldest residents. He suggested that an interesting future class assignment would be for students to conduct interviews with the most established members of the community and record oral histories. He furthered that there is a rich history in the communities around Howard, but that much of it has yet to be documented.

Unfortunately, time did not allow for many student questions or in-depth conversations on gentrification and other community issues. As a solution, Dr. Quimby will hold a class discussion to identify areas where further discussion is desired and Commissioner Boese will be invited back to continue the conversation.


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