August 2, 2008Congratulation, Council member Harry Thomas Jr. You did a bang up job of making a mountain of whine out of a molehill. The graduation was not about you, [censored].
The Honorable Adrian M. Fenty
Government of the District of Columbia
The John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004
Dear Mayor Fenty:
During our 16 months serving the residents of the District of Columbia in our current offices, I have been particularly proud that we began our terms with the common goal of reforming our struggling school system. However, I am greatly disappointed that the spirit of collaboration that was so evident when the Council’s vote was required is no longer apparent.
The most recent display of the loss of cooperation was at the August 1, 2008 Citywide Summer Graduation at McKinley Technology High School, located in Ward 5. Not only was I, and other Council colleagues, not invited to this extremely important event marking the success of our students, but I was denied by the Chancellor’s staff the opportunity to sit on the stage with other dignitaries. Subsequently, I was ushered to a side door and told that I was not allowed to return through that entryway. To date, this is the most egregious display of disrespect to not only me, but also the entire body of the Council. To use a beautiful occasion to celebrate our students’ accomplishments to expound derision is exceptionally troubling.
On behalf of my Ward 5 constituents, and all students in the District, I will continue to seek to work with the Chancellor, and do what I determine is best for our children. However, I feel it is time for the Council to heighten its oversight and scrutiny of all further DCPS reforms to ensure that our partnership returns to the appropriate level of discourse and collegiality. Moreover, I request that any future actions regarding school openings and closings, employee reforms, and administrative measures taken regarding school restructuring be shared with the Council prior to release to media outlets.
I am convinced that we all want to reach the same goal of excellence for all District students, and I am sure we can work together to achieve our desired outcome. As always, please feel free to contact me regarding any questions or concerns at (202) 724-8028. Thank you very much for your consideration.
Harry L. Thomas, Jr.
Councilmember, Ward 5
cc: Chairman Vincent C. Gray
Councilmember Yvette M. Alexander
Councilmember Marion Barry
Councilmember Muriel Bowser
Councilmember Kwame R. Brown
Councilmember David A. Catania
Councilmember Mary M. Cheh
Councilmember Jack Evans
Councilmember Jim Graham
Councilmember Phil Mendelson
Councilmember Carol Schwartz
Councilmember Tommy Wells
Chancellor Michelle Rhee
Joanne Ginsberg, Legislative Director, EOM
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Council member feels snubbed, whines like an emo kid
On August 1st at McKinley Tech High School DCPS held their graduation for summer school students. Ward 5 Council member Harry Thomas Jr, whose Ward McKinley is located in, shows up with a ticket provided by a graduating family and feels that he should be up on the stage with the other dignitaries. The request was denied. Thomas pens the following letter: