From Matty Rhoades. Email him at matty[AT]borderstan.com
Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Jack Jacobson (2B04) announced Monday that he is running for the Ward 2 DC State Board of Education seat. The seat is held by Mary Lord, a Dupont-area resident, who confirmed she will seek re-election. If elected in November, Jacobson will be the only openly LGBT member of the Board of Education.
DC school board elections are non-partisan — candidates do not run in the primaries on April 3 for party nominations. School board seats are filled in the general election, which is November 6 this year.
In a statement released Monday morning, Jacobson said, “I have been honored to serve our community as a Neighborhood Commissioner, and am eager to take this next step in public service to represent all of Ward 2 on the State Board of Education. Having been the son of a public school teacher and two school board members, I’ve been involved in education my entire life. Recent tours of a number of Ward 2 schools and conversations with parents, teachers and community members have persuaded me that we need new leadership on the Board of Education.”
Lord told Borderstan, “Yes, I plan to seek re-election as the Ward 2 representative on the DC State Board of Education and look forward to a spirited campaign. The more people who engage in discussing the role of teaching and learning on our communities, the better. It takes time to build strong schools.” Lord was first elected to the Ward 2 Board of Education seat in a special election in August 2007, and then to a full term in 2008.
Jacobson was first elected to his ANC seat in a special election in March 2008, and then elected to full terms in November 2008 and 2010 (ANC 2B covers the Dupont Circle area). During his stint on the ANC, he has served as treasurer, public safety liaison, chairman of the 17th Street Moratorium Renewal Committee and chair of the 17th Street Renovation Working Group. He also helped found a consumer group focused on taxicab regulation, DC Taxi Watch.
Jacobson said his main goal will be to work with parents and the community at large to improve neighborhood schools in Ward 2 and to ensure that parents have confidence in the ability of our public schools to provide their children high-quality education. He said that if elected he would also focus on reducing attrition when students move to middle and high schools by ensuring those public schools provide continued rigorous curriculum that give students the life skills necessary to move into the global workforce.
“The District’s difficult effort to reform and improve our public schools has been remarkable and is beginning to show real results,” said Jacobson. “Ward 2’s representative on the Board of Education should fully support school reform efforts here in the District of Columbia. Our children in Ward 2 and throughout the District all deserve to attend strong, effective neighborhood schools, and if elected I’ll do everything in my power to ensure all Ward 2 schools lead the District in student performance and success.”
In a statement to Borderstan, Lord said, “I have led numerous efforts to promote excellence and achievement. That includes being an unwavering partner and advocate for the LGBT community, working to ensure that education policies reflected our shared commitment to social justice, dignity and respect. Ask anyone involved in the fight over the District of Columbia’s first-ever learning standards for health. I pushed to ensure that HIV/AIDS education, gender identity, and other issues did not get watered down or removed — as some demanded. It was the right thing to do, for in approving those standards, we enlisted schools in the fight against our city’s soaring rates of HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancy.”
Lord she has raised two children in Dupont Circle. “We’ve made remarkable strides in creating vibrant options for more and more Ward 2 families. Our neighborhoods are home to some of the city’s highest performing schools. I hope to continue that momentum and engage the broader community in helping all children realize their full potential. Education is everybody’s business,” said Lord.
Jacobson emphasized his involvement with educational issues, citing his work as a reading mentor at Marie Reed Learning Center with Everybody Wins, to becoming a charter member of the DC Public Education Fund’s Young Professionals Committee, to participating in Ross Elementary School’s Safe Routes to School Program. He also announced that his campaign manager is Lee Granados,a former public school teacher for 8 years who is now a consultant for the Center of Applied Linguistics; she is active in the Ross Elementary School PTA where her children attend school.