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26

WEDNESDAY

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You certainly can’t argue with the panel assembled by the Woodrow Wilson Center to address “Education Reform in the District of Columbia: Lessons From Other Cities.” There are poli-sci experts from Duke and Northeastern Universities, a troubleshooter from the prestigious D.C. Agenda Project, and a D.C. expert from George Washington University. The pedagogical brain trust will no doubt highlight how other big-city school systems have done what the District has famously failed to do: teach youngsters to read, write, and then maybe think. But as any D.C. school observer will tell you, any panel on education reform in this city should start a few brow levels lower. The panel should include an electrician, to tell the audience how to fix the exposed wiring that runs through many schools, a mechanic, to wax instructional on how to fix the brakes on the yellow special-ed “cheese” buses, which have been known to plow into lampposts for no apparent reason, a Secret Service official, to go over strategies for finding knives and handguns stashed in backpacks and textbooks, and perhaps a Denny’s line cook, to provide a seminar on rubbery but bacteria-free institutional food. At 2 p.m. at Woodrow Wilson Center Library, 1000 Jefferson Dr. SW. FREE. (202) 287-3000. (Erik Wemple)