Education, Engagement, & Economic Development

Education is one of the most important issues facing DC, says Dr. Beverley Wheeler, candidate for Ward 1 seat on the DC City Council. As a guest on the Education Town Hall on December 19, Wheeler, an educator with decades of civic engagement, highlighted three areas of particular concern:

  • Neighborhood schools
  • Meeting the needs of 16-24-year-old citizens
  • Parent engagement

WheelerByrdDr. Wheeler joins the program on the third track of the show, archived here. Comments encouraged.

Following the program, Wheeler shared additional thoughts on the role of Councilmembers in education:

The Council has oversight and should be careful not to overstep. They have an opportunity to work in partnership with educational entities in the city and not take it over….Everybody wants to get in it. Everybody is so passionate about it. I applaud David Catania for his focus on accountability, through the Education Committee. But I get nervous when we start to legislate eduction. That needs to be tweaked.

“One of the challenges that I have is around development,” Wheeler continues:

All these one-bedroom condos are not family-friendly. In order for neighborhood schools to work, some of this new development HAS to be for families. If the education system doesn’t work and no one has jobs, our neighborhoods suffer. And if residents will be in an area only until they have children, we’re losing community.

Developers need to work on family units, not consider them a loss-leader. We lose a lot of family units. Houses are being turned into condos….

We also need a conversation around developers and education. That 16-24-age-group — what are they doing to hire, provide internships? They are in the neighborhood, they’re taking advantage: So what are they doing to support young people?

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