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District of Columbia Citizens for Better Public Education (DCCBPE) Collection

Identifier: 002

Scope and Contents

The collection contains District of Columbia Citizens for Better Public Education (DCCBPE) annual and board of directors’ meeting minutes, administrative directives, legislative testimony, financial reports, and copies of the organization’s newsletter, the Bulletin Board. Other materials included are numerous studies and reports sponsored by DCCBPE including Student Responsibilities and Rights, A Quest for Educational Opportunity in a Major Urban School District, and Creating Resource Allocation System.


  • Creation: 1965 - 1982


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions to accessing this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

DC Public Library holds copyright to this collection. Noncommerical use is permitted. Please contact with questions.

Biographical / Historical

The District of Columbia Citizens for Better Public Education (DCCBPE) was organized in 1964 to assess educational needs in the District and to lobby for educational improvements before the United States Congress and local government officials. DCCBPE’s first public meeting was held on March 28, 1965 at Rankin Chapel on the campus of Howard University, with United States Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy as the keynote speaker. The organization was involved in many major issues affecting public education in the District during the 1960s and 1970s, including decentralization of the school superintendent’s authority, de facto segregation, Home Rule efforts, and student rights. DCCBPE founded the Reading is Fundamental (RIF) program headed by Margaret McNamara (wife of Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defence) RIF provided free books to students and eventually spread nationwide giving away books to millions of children. DCCBPE also hosted an annual awards dinner, which honored persons who made exceptional contributions to public education. DCCBPE ceased operations in 1984.


7 Linear feet

15 Boxes


Series 1: Office Files (1982-1983; 1.25LF): Contains office files maintained by DCCBPE covering annual meetings, board member meetings, copies of Energetic News, executive directors’ reports, and various topical files.

Series 2: Special Education (1978-1983; 1.25LF): Contains fact sheets, plans, newsletters, legislation, publications, litigation, maps, agreements, and reports relating to special education in the District.

Series 3: Newsletters (1965-1982; 1.75LF): Contains copies of DCCBPE’s newsletter, The Bulletin Board.

Series 4: Reports (1974-1976; 1.25LF): Consists of reports on 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 DC, which was the result of a study conducted by the Educational Finance and Governance Center of Syracuse University under contract with DCCBPE.

Series 5: Directories and Handbooks (1973-1978; 1.25LF): Contains a directory of services for children with disabilities; guides on special education services, student assessment, and placement. Series also includes the 1977 edition of the D.C. Public School’s Administrative Procedure Handbook.

Series 6: Publications (967-1979; 0.25LF): Consists mainly of monographs published by DCCBPE.

Custodial History

The records were donated to the Library by Miles Mark Fisher, IV, 1984 President of the District of Columbia Citizens for Better Public Education (DCCBPE).

Processing Information

Standard processing procedures were applied to this collection at the time of its processing in 1997. This work included the rearrangement and reorganization of documents, discarding of duplicates and unnecessary binders, and all routine transmittal documents. When applicable or needed, preservation copying of newspaper clippings was performed.

District of Columbia Citizens for Better Public Education
An inventory of District of Columbia Citizens for Better Public Education (DCCBPE) at DC Public Library
Finding aid prepared by DC Public Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001