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Fenty No Show At Education Debate, Gray Takes Centerstage

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Chairman of the Council Vincent Gray sits on stage at education forum -- Mayor Adrian Fenty was a no-show.
Kavitha Cardoza
Chairman of the Council Vincent Gray sits on stage at education forum -- Mayor Adrian Fenty was a no-show.

By Kavitha Cardoza

Nearly 100 people attended what was meant to be an education debate between D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and Chairman of the Council Vincent Gray. And this was despite Fenty having canceled his appearance the night before saying he "couldn't make it work."

What was billed as The Great Education Debate was repackaged as The Great Education Forum. And Gray couldn't resist pointing out, "I'm delighted to be here. Not necessarily delighted to be here by myself!"

It was an opportunity for Gray to talk about what he calls his lifelong commitment to education, including his championing of early childhood schooling, more nutritious meals and special education.

When Gray was asked whether he would keep on D.C. schools' chancellor Michelle Rhee, he praised her strong leadership but sidestepped the question, saying reform "shouldn't just come down to the mayor, it shouldn't come down to the chancellor. It should come down to an entire city that recognizes we need to do things differently."

Gray says he'll emphasize more collaboration among stakeholders, as mayor, saying he'll put the "public back in public education."

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