Gray speaks out on Hardy, GU expansion and parking

Photo by RJSmith
Presumptive mayor Vincent Gray is interviewed by Carol Joynt at the Q&A Cafe in Georgetown
Presumptive mayor Vincent Gray is interviewed by Carol Joynt at the Q&A Cafe in Georgetown
Presumptive mayor-elect Vincent Gray told The Georgetown Dish he "can't understand" why popular Hardy Middle School principal Patrick Pope was removed from the school and that as mayor he will consider Pope's assignment as part of his administration's priority-setting
Carol Joynt and Vincent Gray (Photo by: RJSmith) Carol Joynt and Vincent Gray
in education reform.

Gray met with The Dish following an interview with Georgetown journalist Carol Joynt, host of the Q&A Cafe at the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown. D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans, CAG Gala chair Nancy Taylor Bubes and Q&A Cafe regular Jim Kimsey attended, along with CAG's Betsy Cooley and others.

The presumptive mayor expressed dismay that DCPS principals are being assigned to multiple schools. Such is the case of respected Hyde-Addison principal Dana Nerenberg, who was assigned to Hardy earlier this year -- in addition to her duties at Hyde-Addison -- after Pope's controversial removal. Hardy had been a model of high
Vincent Gray answers questions for The Georgetown Dish (Photo by: RJSmith) Vincent Gray answers questions for The Georgetown Dish
achievement and city-wide success leading up to Pope's reassignment by schools chancellor Michelle Rhee to planning projects in the DCPS central office. That move led to universal protest from parents and students, Gray noted.

The presumptive mayor said he has not had a chance to read Evans' new parking bill aimed at reining in what some see as exorbitant and harassing parking meter charges. "We're looking at a $100 million deficit, so we need to look at fiscal implications of any legislation," Gray said.

On the controversy surrounding Georgetown University's expansion plans, Gray agreed to meet
Jack Evans, Vincent Gray, Alan Bubes and Carol Joynt (Photo by: RJSmith) Jack Evans, Vincent Gray, Alan Bubes and Carol Joynt
with Georgetown residents to discuss the university's proposal and its potential impact on the neighborhood concerning parking, increased traffic, and increased housing pressure from the expected 3000+ additional graduate students proposed.

Gray said he has met President Obama twice recently and has had a good relationship with Attorney General Eric Holder for many years. Media reports have suggested that Holder was involved when Mayor Adrian Fenty publicly asked the President to endorse his re-election campaign. No presidential endorsement was offered.

"Don't forget, I'm not an outsider," said Gray, "I've been involved in education reform a long time."

Near the end of the televised interview with Joynt, Gray asked the host to dance, which she did. As she wrote on her blog: "At the end I asked mayor-to-be Vincent Gray about what intrigued me the most from my research: his passion for 'DC hand dancing.' He lit up and happily talked about it for a few minutes, and then asked me to dance. I wasn't sure. I mean, geez. I'm a serious journalist, after all. Haha."

After the dance, Gray spent at least 45 minutes talking with reporters including NBC4's Tom Sherwood, the Washington Post's Tim Craig, and The Georgetown Dish -- aided by Communications Director Doxie A. McCoy.

Tom Sherwood, Vincent Gray and Jim Kimsey (Photo by: RJSmith) Tom Sherwood, Vincent Gray and Jim Kimsey

Nancy Taylor Bubes and Alan Bubes (Photo by: RJSmith) Nancy Taylor Bubes and Alan Bubes

D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans, presumptive mayor Vincent Gray, and Carol Joynt (Photo by: RJSmith) D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans, presumptive mayor Vincent Gray, and Carol Joynt

0 Comments For This Article


Very good article! Will Mayor Elect gray also consider the remaining principals that were not re-assigned in 2008. Many of those schools made AYP- Anacostia High School made Safe Harbour in reading and received several acolades and an award for having the most gains on the DC CAS of the comprehensive high schools in 2008. They have not met that accomplishment since the removal of the principal for no apparent reason. It is such a shame that Chancellor Rhee destroyed the lives of so many good admininstrators because, "she could". I know that principal who was at Anacostia personnally and the chancellor really did not give her a full school year before she handed her the ax!Plus she is a graduate of DCPS and served inthe DC Army National Guard! I hope Mr. Gray gets in contact with her and has her on his ticket!


Well Pope was fired becaused he was lousy. Ask any local prospective parents that went to the Hardy Open Houses...

Anita Marsh

Pope was not a lousy principal. He was a no-nonsense principal focusing on the children, their education and development. Like any good administrator or manager, all of his decisions are not popular nor liked yet he truly put child education first. I did not agree with him on many things but we listened to each other and learned to work together. Was he wrong all the time? No. Was he right all the time? No. But who is right and never wrong?

Is he lousy to you because he refused to patronize you? Was he lousy because you needed more hand holding? He clearly says he's preparing students for high school and life (maturing them); it's a transition for parents but we have to go through it. Lousy because he didn't participate in the racially divisive strategies that many schools have begun to engage in? I saw it raise its head at Hyde in mid 2000s. The parents, all of us, collectively shut that down! Lousy because mediocrity isn't acceptable?

Schools fit the child NOT the parent. We all seek the fit for our child and us. Ultimately, it's our child's education and they ARE NOT us.

Get over yourself and let your child experience the world as it really is in all its glory - diverse soci-economically, gender, racially, ethnically, and geographically. Get out from behind your rose colored lenses and let your child live THEIR life.


Beth:thanks for continuing to cover the concern about Hardy Middle School. As a parent of two children who attend Hardy, we are hopeful the the proposed new Mayor, Vincent Gray will take a critical and objective look at what's happening to Hardy and restore the quality leadership that is currently lacks.


As a Hardy parent, I have been very pleased with the new principal and her willingness to listen, be accessible and make changes when necessary. I hope Gray does not try and rehire Pope. This ridiculous campaign to bring Pope back is disruptive and divisive.