Records of the District of Columbia Citizens for Better Public Education (DCCBPE), 1965-1982

Records of the District of Columbia Citizens for Better Public Education (DCCBPE), 1965-1982

Finding Aid

Collection No. 2 (7 linear ft.)
D.C. Community Archives


The Records were donated by Miles Mark Fisher, IV, President of District of Columbia Citizens for Better Public Education (DCCBPE) in 1984. 


The DCCBPE was organized in 1964 to assess educational needs in the District and to lobby for educational improvements before the U.S. Congress and local government officials. DCCBPE's first public meeting was held on March 28, 1965 at Rankin Chapel, Howard University, with then U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy as the keynote speaker.  The organization was involved in many of the major issues affecting public education during the 1960s and 1970s, including decentralization of the school superintendent's authority, de facto segregation, D.C. home rule, and student rights.  One of its more successful programs was Reading is Fundamental (RIF)  which provided free books to students and was headed by Mrs. Robert McNamara, wife of the Secretary of Defense.  RIF programs eventually spread nationwide. DCCBPE also hosted an Annual Awards Dinner, which honored persons who made exceptional contributions to public education, including Julius Hobson in 1973.  DCCBPE ceased operations in 1984.

Processing Procedures

General processing procedures consisted of discarding duplicates, unnecessary binders, and routine transmittals.  Preservation copying of newspaper clippings was performed whenever feasible.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains annual and board of directors' minutes, administrative directives, legislative testimony, financial reports, and copies of the organization's newsletter, the Bulletin Board.  Also included are numerous studies and reports sponsored by DCCBPE such as Student Responsibilities and Rights, A Quest for Equal Educational Opportunity in a Major Urban School District, and Creating a Resource Allocation System to name a few.

Series Descriptions

Series I: Office Files, 1982-1983 (1.25 linear ft.)

Contains office files maintained by DCCBPE covering annual meetings, board member meetings, copies of Energetic News, executive director's reports, and various topical files.

Series II: Special Education, 1978-1983 (1.25 linear ft.)

Contains fact sheets, plans, newsletters, legislation, publications, litigation, maps, agreements, and reports relating to special education in the District.

Series III: Newsletters, 1965-1982 (1.75 linear ft.)

Contains DCCBPE's newsletter, The Bulletin Board from 1965-1982.

Series IV: Reports, 1974-1976 (1.25 linear ft.)

Consists of reports, some of which were sponsored by DCCBPE.  Topics covered by the reports include decentralization, resource allocation, school lunch/breakfast programs, and student rights and responsibilities for D.C. schools.  Of particular significance is a report prepared in 1974, titled A Quest for Educational Opportunity in a Major Urban School System: The Case of Washington, D.C. which was the result of a study conducted by the Educational Finance and Governance Center of Syracuse University under contract with DCCBPE.    

Series V: Directories and Handbooks, 1973-1978 (1.25 linear ft.)

This series contains a directory of services for handicapped children and guides regarding special education services and student assessment and placement.  Also included is the 1977 edition of the D.C. Public School's Administrative Procedure Handbook prepared during Vincent Reed's tenure as School Superintendent.

Series VI: Publications, 1967-1979 (.25 linear ft.)

Consists mainly of monographs published by DCCBPE. 

Box Inventory

Series I: Office Files

Box 1

  • Board of director’s meeting minutes and agenda, 1982-83 (3 folders)
  • Mercedes A. King, 1982-83 (2 folders)
  • Executive Director’s reports, 1982-83
  • Testimony, 1983
  • Annual meeting working papers, 1982
  • Statement on the fiscal year budget, 1984

Box 2

  • Annual meeting, 1982
  • National Capital Comprehensive Plan, n.d.
  • Conferences and meetings, 1982
  • D.C. Education Coalition, 1982
  • Handicapped hearings, 1982
  • Fiscal budget information, 1983

Box 3

  • Energetic News (Vols. 1-4), n.d.
  • Special Education Workshop, I handout folder, 1980
  • Reading is Fundamental Committee report, n.d.
  • Learning disabilities, 1979

Series II: Special Education

Box 4

  • Residential placements, n.d.
  • Comprehensive plan for the Delivery of Services to the Handicapped Children & Youth, 1976
  • Civil Action #16-77, Children’s Defense Fund, n.d.
  • Miscellaneous notes of Deborah Ramsey, 1981-83
  • Children’s Center, 1972
  • Revised Agreement for Residential Placement, 1980
  • Proposal Board of Education Rules, Special education of D.C., 1980
  • Compliance monitoring branch information, 1980-81
  • Information from Closer Look, n.d.
  • Comprehensive Plan, 1979
  • Committee on Special Education meeting, 9/24/1980
  • Special education complaint management system, 1980
  • Department of Education News, 1980
  • Development I.E.P. information, ca. 1977 

Box 5

  • Fact Sheet, special education, n.d.
  • Intensive Junior high school instruction, discussion paper only, 1980
  • W&S NSC, D. Ramsey information, n.d.
  • 1979-80 Annual program plan amendment, Education of the Handicapped Act, Part B (amended
  • by P194-142)
  • Annual Program, FY 1979
  • Special education memorandum of Agreement, n.d.
  • Special education monitoring and observation, 1973
  • D.C. Law 2-137, Mentally Retarded Citizens Constitutional Rights and Dignity Act of 1978
  • Newsletter, 1978-81
  • Overview of program administration, 1980
  • Parent Involvement Committee Workshop, I.E.P., n.d.
  • Parent Involvement Committee, 1980
  • Quality monitoring, D.C.P.S., 1980-81
  • Referral process for Assessment identification, n.d.
  • Road Map to Special education for Handicapped Children, ca. 1978

Box 6

  • Residential placement agreement, 1980
  • Special education information, n.d.
  • Special education cases, 1980
  • Draft FY 1981-83 State Plan for Part B of the Education of the Handicapped Act, 1981-83
  • Special Education Fair, 1981
  • Special Transfer form, Area A, n.d.
  • General, 1971-75
  • Who is Really Special?, Nagle article
  • Task Force-Cedar Knoll Oak Hill, 1981
  • Waddy decision testimony, 1973
  • Workshop parent training, 1980
  • Court hearing, 1981

Series III: Newsletters 

Box 7

  • Bulletin Board, April 1965-December, 1970 [non-inclusive] (6 folders)
  • Special Report: Merit Pay Differential, December 1970

Box 8

  • Special Report: Staffing: The Clark Plan, December 1970
  • Bulletin Board, February 1971-December 1975 [non-inclusive] (5 folders)
  • Invierno, 1974-1975 

Box 9

  • Special Report, January 1976
  • Bulletin Board, January 1976-October 1978 [non-inclusive] (3 folders)
  • Special Report, October 1978 

Box 10

  • Bulletin Board, December 1978-September 1982 [non-inclusive] (5 folders)
  • Parent Resource Paper, September 1979 

Series IV: Reports 

Box 11

  • Final draft: A Quest for Educational Opportunity in a Major Urban School System: The 
  • Case of Washington, D.C., December 1974
  • A Quest for Educational Opportunity in a Major Urban School System: The Case of Washington, 
  • D.C., August 1975

Box 12

  • Report on the School Lunch & Breakfast Programs in Washington, D.C. by Marcy Gross,
  • August 1975
  • Equalization: A Report on Compliance with Two Court Decisions in the District of 
  • Columbia, June 1975
  • Student Responsibilities & Rights: A Training Booklet, 1976
  • Creating a Resource Allocation System for the D.C. Public Schools, January 1977
  • Creating a Resource Allocation System for the D.C. Public Schools, April 1977

Series V:  Directories and Handbooks 

  • Directory of Services for Handicapping Conditions, September 1973 (3 folders)

Box 13

  • Directory of Services for Handicapping Conditions, September 1977
  • Assessing Special Education: A Guide for Parents and Advocates, 1980

Box 14

  • D.C. Public Schools Central Administration Directory, 1976-78
  • Administrator’s Guide to Student Identification, Assessment and Placement, Vincent E.
  • Reed, Superintendent
  • D.C. Public Schools Administrative Procedure Handbook, Vincent E. Reed, 1977 (2 folders)

Series VI:  Publications

Box 15

  • Toward Better Schools: A Summary of the Passow Report, 1967
  • Early Education: School for Children Under Six, 1968
  • Your School Record: Questions & Answers about a New Set of Rights for Parents & 
  • Students, 1976
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities, 1974
  • What Every Teacher Should Know About Student Rights, 1975
  • A Handbook for Standardized School Testing: For Parents & Students, 1978
  • Kendall Demonstration Elementary School, Galludet College, n.d.,
  • Minorities in Marine Education, 1982


Revised September 1999  
DC Public Library, Special Collections
D.C. Community Archives

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