Hello Residents of Ward 5

I am Robert Vinson Brannum, candidate for Ward 5 Representative, DC State School Board of Educaton. I am Chairman of the 5th District Citizens’ Advisory Council, Chairman of the Education Committee for the DC Federation of Civic Associations, and Vice President of the Ward 5 Council on Education.  I am also a former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, 5C04, a resident of Bloomingdale, and former President of the Bloomingdale Civic Association.

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3 Responses to “Hello Residents of Ward 5”

  1. Matthew Richardson Says:

    Hello Mr Brannum. I live here in North Mpls, MN. I read your letter with interested–after I sent the WaPo article to a friend of mine who’s been a school teacher for 40 years.

    We’re all atheists and atheists are opposed to tax dollars supporting religious schools.
    But I’ll tell you, I was impressed with this mother’s success story. Hers is not the only one.

    As for me, I never had children, I went to public schools in the 1950s in Pennsylvania, I flunked 7th grade and dropped out of school after the 11th grade and went into the U.S. Navy.

    Both my parents had no more than 8th grade education, and didn’t see the value in school. Typical Appalachian hillbillies they were! (Uh, we were) At least this mother, in her letter to WaPo, sat down with her daughter and helped her with her school work. Something my parents never did with me.

    After I was booted out of the Navy, I took up residence in Washington, D.C. where I met the right people who motivated me to study on my own. It wasn’t easy! But eventually, I went to UDC (a most delightful experience, 1985-89) and I got straight As (except for Intro to Political Science. Getting a B was punishment).

    I haven’t made up my mind about vouchers. I want the best for children. But I am paying attention to comments made by people like you who oppose vouchers.

    If you wish, you can respond to me at atheistcable@gmail.com

  2. Matthew Richardson Says:

    Hello Mr Brannum. I live here in North Mpls, MN. I read your letter with interested–after I sent the WaPo article to a friend of mine who’s been a school teacher for 40 years.

    We’re all atheists and atheists are opposed to tax dollars supporting religious schools.
    But I’ll tell you, I was impressed with this mother’s success story. Hers is not the only one.

    As for me, I never had children, I went to public schools in the 1950s in Pennsylvania, I flunked 7th grade and dropped out of school after the 11th grade and went into the U.S. Navy.

    Both my parents had no more than 8th grade education, and didn’t see the value in school. Typical Appalachian hillbillies they were! (Uh, we were) At least this mother, in her letter to WaPo, sat down with her daughter and helped her with her school work. Something my parents never did with me.

    After I was booted out of the Navy, I took up residence in Washington, D.C. where I met the right people who motivated me to study on my own. It wasn’t easy! But eventually, I went to UDC (a most delightful experience, 1985-89) and I got straight As (except for Intro to Political Science. Getting a B was punishment).

    I haven’t made up my mind about vouchers. I want the best for children. But I am paying attention to comments made by people like you who oppose vouchers.

  3. Iska Waran Says:

    Matthew Richardson, I too live in Minneapolis. Remember that you can always start a school with an atheist outlook. The First Amendment says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Giving parents a voucher that they can use to pay for a secular school, a Protestant school, a Muslim school, a Catholic school or an avowedly atheist (Atheist?) school does not constitute establishing a religion. That’s what the establishment clause is about – establishing a state religion, not laws that affect religious establishments. Congress does the latter all of the time when, for example, they establish the criteria by which organizations – including, but not limited to churches – maintain their tax-exempt status.

    If you want the best for children, then you want vouchers. If, like Mr. Brannum, you want the best for teachers (he is one) – and especially for crappy teachers who could not keep a job but for monopolized public education, then you might not like vouchers as much.

    Here’s a good video on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7FS5B-CynM

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