Race determined special election results

Re: "Election victory?" April 26

By returning to a bygone era in the annals of the District's history in an effort to minimize the election night victory of Councilwoman Anita Bonds, Jonetta Rose Barras seems fixated on the past.

I fail to realize why the venue of Bonds' victory party should cause Barras such obvious consternation.The fact of the matter is that Patrick Mara, the candidate she endorsed, failed miserably with the electorate, a fact she conveniently omitted in her column.

Barras also rather disingenuously quotes political operative Tom Lindenfeld, who said: "The big surprise is not that Anita won, but that Elissa [Silverman] did as well as she did."

Memo to both Barras and Lindenfeld: No surprise here! Any political neophyte could have predicted the outcome of this election, especially given the fact that Michael Brown opted out of the race. This unexpected dynamic was indeed a game changer because African-Americansdid not have to split their votes.

Regardless of how you look at it, this election unfortunately came down to race. Silverman and Matthew Frumin split the white folk, making it easier for Bonds to secure the victory.

Marvin E. Adams


Hard work pays off for young entrepreneur

Re: "The 3-Minute Interview," April 26

I am highlighting this "3-Minute Interview" on my Facebook page, especially for some of my D.C. young'uns. And although I'm not a drinker, I do plan to visit Avery's Bar and Lounge on the H Street corridor as a result of this spotlight in The Examiner.

Avery Leake noted that he's had 24 jobs in his 28 years, even beginning a menial one when he was just 11. Now he has his own bar at such a young age.

This should be a lesson to all young people: Get a work ethic. Work is good for you!

Ronald R. Hanna


Teacher evaluation system inevitably leads to cheating

Re: "Cheating found at 11 D.C. schools," April 14

Kenyan McDuffie stumbled onto a profound scientific insight when he urged his colleagues on the D.C. Council to consider whether tying teacher evaluations to test scores might be encouraging teachers to cheat. But any psychologist, myself included, could have explained that this "signature reform" would inevitably lead to cheating by teachers.

Without discounting reason, ethics and morality, normal human behavior comes down to incentives, i.e. rewards, benefits, goal achievement. Common sense alone would tell you that if you give someone control of educational testing and also use the results to evaluate the tester, the likelihood of test rigging would be substantial.

Furthermore, the "signature reform" involves the logical fallacy of backward reasoning -- or what trial lawyers call "circumstantial evidence." Poor teaching is a plausible antecedent of poor test performance, but it's only one of many possible antecedents. So reasoning backward is logical nonsense and grossly unfair.

Angelo Mirabella

Silver Spring