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December 2009

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Obama gives middle finger salute to black DC families

Ok so i'm the only one who'll write it, but putting your children in Sidwell Friends after talking about changing Washington, believing in your country etc. is ridiculous. It may be i'm cranky that the school is two blocks from where i live and the traffic is bad enough already because of the school, but really. Why choose a 20k+ a year school for your children after talking about hope for all Americans.

"Lelyveld said that while public schools were considered, the Obamas felt that a private school was in the best interest of their children."

Pity about every other black child in DC in an appalling public education system, with some of the worst performance figures in the country. They could have taken this opportunity to have the education system dragged up to standards quickly.

But no. Despite their promises of change, the plonk into the standard elite structure: "{an Obama spokesperson} said Sidwell can provide the security and privacy that Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, will need as part of the new first family and Sidwell can help with that. She also said that Sasha and Malia had become good friends with Vice President-elect Joe Biden's grandchildren, who go to the school."

America is so besotted with them that no-one else will criticise the decision - it is just blandly being reported.

They need the best education possible! They aren't ever going to be at a disadvantage in their life - they'll get into whichever college they want irrespective, and be partner at whichever law firm they wish simply to add value to the firm.

They need good security! Secret service guns work everywhere, and there aren't castle walls around Sidwell. And if it's discrete they're looking for, then they're asserting that only rich kids can be trusted. For shame.


i agree with this.
If he had sent his kids to a DC public school it would have looked like a cheap stunt. The school system here needs more than famous kids and money thrown at it to fix.

The reasons the decision hadn't raised many eyebrows:
a) it was totally expected, and
b) they're his kids, and he has to do the best thing for them. Parachuting them into a dysfunctional public school system would not have been in his children's interest. So yeah, fuck everyone else's kids, because he's just doing what parents do.

Also if they did sent them to a public school they would have chosen the best PS on offer anyway right (would that send a similar message? they get to pick and choose when average residents can't) and it would have been very quickly spiffed up to standard if it wasn't already. And then what? would the other schools in the district been quickly and efficiently fixed too? Seriously doubt it.

Bottom line, every parent wants to do the best thing for their children. Two wealthy laywers from Chicago were always going to send their kids to a private school (the girls are at a private school in Chicago). While I agree the state of the district's public school system is deplorable, I can't begrudge the Obama's decision to protect their own children's interests.