Should Obama Kids Go to Public School?

Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 09:35 am
Should the Obama Kids Go to Public School?

Today's NYT has a thorough story about Michelle Rhee and her efforts to reform D.C.'s supremely screwed up public school system--efforts that, since they involve abolishing tenure, are being fought tooth and nail by the teacher's union. Basically, Rhee is the best thing to happen to the public school system in the District since, well, maybe ever. And if she pulls it off, D.C.'s public school system might actually serve as a model for other public school systems across the country--which, if you know much about D.C. public schools, is more implausible than the notion that the United States would ever elect an African-American as its president.

I think it's inappropriate to tell someone where to send his or her children to school, but I'll confess that I'm rooting for the Obamas to send their children to a D.C. public school--which, according to Politico, is something they're seriously considering. A president picking a D.C. public school for his children is significant whenever it happens (and it hasn't happened since Amy Carter lived in the White House); but, given Rhee's efforts and what she's up against, it would be especially significant right now. Again, that's not a reason for the Obamas to choose a public school for their daughters, nor is it a reason to criticize them if they don't. But it's the truth.

P.S. On a pettier note, if the Obamas do send their kids to public schools, the schadenfreude to be had from watching current Sidwell and GDS parents gnash their teeth will be ample. And so will the relief among those in D.C. who are hoping to one day send their own kids to those schools since, if the Obamas' do choose one, getting in will become that much harder.

P.P.S. TalkBackers johnlcm and rozenson are right: this Atlantic story on Rhee by Clay Risen is great--even better than the NYT one I linked to above. And jhildner is right: I'm terrible with apostrophes; typos now fixed!

--Jason Zengerle
TNR 11/13/08
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Bi-Polar Bear
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 09:38 am
I don't care where his kids go... Obama, through his own efforts (and his wives)...can now afford to send his kids anywhere he wants....I don't resent those who have earned enough money to do whatever they can for their children...and people who would fault a person for giving their children every advantage they can afford should grow up....I do however feel that the children of the wealthy should be raised in a way that makes them understand life requires work and you can't be an entitled little **** just because you come from money....that's breeding....and you can't buy it...
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 09:44 am
They're going to a private school now, and probably continue to do so.
With secret services and their own publicity, a public school would offer too
much distraction.

No, they shouldn't go to public school.
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Bella Dea
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 09:47 am
If I could afford to send my kid to a private school, you can bet your ass she'd be going.

I'm with Bear on this one.
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Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 09:55 am
@Bi-Polar Bear,
Bear is correct.

The biggest problem is that the two girls would be targets for kidnapping and assination. Given the white supremist movement threats against Obama, a private school could provide better protection. That's what the Clintons discovered for daughter Chelsea in Washington D.C. after years of being in public schools in Arkansas.

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Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 10:04 am
Only if the Obamas want them to grow up to be stupid...

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Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 10:08 am
Perhaps Michelle Obama could homeschool them? She's obviously intelligent, sparks enthusiasm, and communicates well. Her daughters would learn much from her.
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 10:13 am
The Obama's want their daughters to have as normal a life as possible. Socialization in a private school would be more beneficial than home schooling isolation.

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Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2009 08:12 am
YES. They should. Are the kids in public schools not human? If he can't send his kids to a public school then there must be a reason which definitely is not because of money. Atleast that will make him to put more effort in the upkeep of the public schools.
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