Sunday, November 23, 2008

Obamas' school choice

An email from a friend:

One of the good readers of Whitney's offerings recently commented that they hoped that President-elect Obama and the First Lady would set "an example" by sending their daughters to a local public school or charter school.  As a career education reformer, with three children of my own, and a native and former resident of Hyde Park, I would urge us not to "require" that the Obama's use their children to send messages or set examples.  As adults, we should work endlessly to improve public education for all.  As parents, we should not make our children statements in that work.


The Obamas made an appropriately personal and private choice in sending their daughters to an independent school in Hyde Park, rather than the local public schools or a very good charter option.  We should honor and respect that choice.  Similarly, if they chose an independent school option in Washington, DC., we should honor and respect that choice.  We know that we will have vital leadership from President Obama on education--that is what we should expect.

I agree.  I would never suggest that the Obamas do anything but what they think is best for their daughters.  The point that I (and a number of articles) made was that it would be the height of hypocrisy to exercise school choice for themselves and then seek to deny it to other parents in DC.

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