Douglas C. Brown

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Douglas C. Brown
Douglas C. Brown.jpg
Board member, Newport News School Board, North District
Elections and appointments
Last electionMay 6, 2014
First electedMay 6, 2014
Term limitsN/A
ProfessionBusiness manager
Campaign website
Douglas C. Brown campaign logo
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey
Douglas C. Brown is the member-elect for the North district seat on the Newport News School Board in Virginia. He won election to the board against incumbent Pricillia E. Burnett in the general election on May 6, 2014.


Brown works as a manager for a local firm that hires and trains consultants for federal government agencies. He has previously taught at district schools and Christopher Newport University. Brown has two children who currently attend district schools.[1]



See also: Newport News Public Schools elections (2014)


Douglas C. Brown defeated incumbent Pricillia E. Burnett for the North district seat in the general election on May 6, 2014.


Newport News Public Schools, Central General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDouglas C. Brown 50.8% 1,132
     Nonpartisan Pricillia E. Burnett Incumbent 48.4% 1,077
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.8% 18
Total Votes 2,227
Source: Virginia State Board of Elections, "Official Results - General and Special Elections - May 6, 2014," May 6, 2014


Brown reported $3,380.93 in contributions and $1,152.71 in expenditures to the Virginia State Board of Elections, leaving his campaign with $2,228.22 on hand prior to the election.[2]


Brown did not receive any official endorsements for his campaign.

Campaign themes


Brown listed his priorities in the 2014 campaign on his campaign website:

Let's Position Kids For Success

  • Ensure K-12 Success- According to a 2007 Journal of American Psychology study the old adage that reading is fundamental still holds true. The longitudinal study looked at 36,000 preschoolers and tracked them all the way to high school. The takeaway is that Reading and Math skills are the best predictors of school success from Kindergarten to High School even if the child has social and emotional problems. That is why I support pre-K for every child. Let's set a goal to get all of our children reading before Kindergarten and keep them reading at a high level thereafter.
  • Ensure College and Trade School Success- According to the Bureau of Labor & Statistics the courses students take in high school do predict college and trade school success. In fact, students that take a specific mix of courses are three times more likely to earn a four-year degree (BLS 1997). Further, students that take these courses and choose not to go to college earn more than their counterparts even after adjusting for other factors (BLS 1997). What is this special mix of courses? Math. The more Math our students take the more money they will make for the rest of their life. We can position our kids for success by encouraging all kids to finish Algebra I prior to High School and encouraging all High School students to finish Calculus.
  • Reduce unemployment for life- According to the Bureau of Labor & Statistics there are courses that hedge students against unemployment for life. No surprise again, it's Math. In fact, students that complete ALgebra II are 50% more likely to be employed than their counterparts (BLS 1997). Hampton Roads boasts 151,490 STEM jobs, as reported by the VA Pilot in 2013. Those STEM jobs pay well. In fact they pay an average of $63K per year according to Brookings Institute report in 2013. The critical enabler of those jobs is Math which is the gateway to science, technology, and engineering. That's why I'm advocating Math across the curriculum in our schools. Emphasis on Math sets our kids up for success.

Let's Identify And Cultivate The Talents of Students

  • Celebrate our kids- Extra-curricular activities help students get into college. Extra-curricular activities with a high-level of achievement make those activities stand out to colleges. Students that are able to participate in state or national-level competitions make an impact on their college application. As a community we can and should support national competitions. Let's cheer on our own children in national math, writing, reading, and other academic events. Competitions make learning fun; build community pride; and allow kids to master skills they might otherwise not gain in the classroom. That's why I'm advocating school-wide participation in the Virginia FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition, Virginia Math League, National History Day, etc.

Let's Engage Families

  • Greater information sharing- Every study I've read advocates for greater parental involvement in our schools. Getting parents engaged and involved will require increased information sharing and communication with the schools. I think that parents want to know at a minimum what their child learned in a given day, what homework they were assigned, what the homework assignment addresses, and when it's due. Beyond the daily concerns I believe that parents want to know what help is available given their child's age, which activities and programs will benefit their child given the child's current progress in various subjects. The ParentExpress app developed by NNPS is a good first start at centralizing and standardizing this information for families. However, I think we have room for improvement to make all of the relevant information available to parents on demand.


—Douglas C. Brown's campaign website, (2014), [4]

What was at stake?

Issues in the election

April 24 candidate forum

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference held a candidate forum at the district's administration building on April 24, 2014. The forum featured tense discussions between moderators Bill Thomas and Pat Woodbury and candidates answering questions about academic performance, student assessments and anti-gang efforts in the district. Board member Jeff Stodghill stated that the district had made progress on improving academic performance over the past four years. Thomas, the director of government relations at Hampton University, criticized Stodghill's optimistic view and cited poor performance by students at local colleges as an example of the district's struggles. Curtis D. Bethany III expressed concerns about the difficulty level of the state's Standard of Learning assessments, which led Thomas to state that state assessment examples he reviewed were simple.[5]

Woodbury, a member of the Newport News City Council, questioned candidates about the school board's willingness to support the city's anti-gang violence initiatives. She suggested that district officials discourage teachers from seeking disciplinary action against students to avoid damaging the district's reputation. Board member Betty Bracey Dixon argued that gang activity is more commonplace in district schools than is reported. Fellow incumbent Pricillia E. Burnett advocated for alternative education options for gang members rather than seeking criminal punishment.[5]

About the district

See also: Newport News Public Schools, Virginia
Newport News Public Schools is located in Newport News, Virginia
Newport News Public Schools is located in Newport News, a city in eastern Virginia. According to the United States Census Bureau, Newport News is home to 180,726 residents.[6] Newport News Public Schools is the ninth-largest school district in Virginia, serving 29,948 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[7]


Newport News underperformed in comparison to the rest of Virginia in terms of higher education achievement in 2010. The United States Census Bureau found that 23.9 percent of Newport News residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 34.7 percent for Virginia as a whole. The median household income in Newport News was $50,744 compared to $63,636 for the state of Virginia. The poverty rate in Newport News was 14.5 percent compared to 11.1 percent for the entire state.[6]

Racial Demographics, 2010[6]
Race Newport News (%) Virginia (%)
White 49.0 68.6
Black or African American 40.7 19.4
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.5 0.4
Asian 2.7 5.5
Two or More Races 4.3 2.9
Hispanic or Latino 7.5 7.9

Presidential votes, 2000-2012[8]
Year Democratic vote (%) Republican vote (%)
2012 64.3 34.2
2008 63.9 35.2
2004 51.9 47.4
2000 51.5 46.7

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin rather than a race. Citizens may report both their race and their place of origin, and as a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table may exceed 100 percent.[9][10]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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  1. Douglas Brown for School Board, "Home," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. Virginia State Board of Elections, "Reporting," accessed April 22, 2014
  3. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  4. Douglas Brown for School Board, "Priorities," accessed March 18, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 Daily Press, "Sharp exchanges between candidates, moderators mark Newport News School Board debate," April 24, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 United States Census Bureau, "Newport News, Virginia," accessed February 11, 2014
  7. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed May 1, 2014
  8. Virginia State Board of Elections, "Election Results," accessed February 11, 2014
  9. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  10. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.