Monday, November 24, 2008

Anti-Choice Obamas Choose $30k Sidwell Option

Michelle and Barack Obama have settled on a Washington, D.C., school for their daughters, and you will not be surprised to learn it is not a public institution. Malia, age 10, and seven-year-old Sasha will attend the Sidwell Friends School, the private academy that educates the children of much of Washington's elite at a cost of almost $30,000 per year for tuition.

A number of great schools were considered," said Katie McCormick Lelyveld, a spokeswoman for Mrs. Obama. "In the end, the Obamas selected the school that was the best fit for what their daughters need right now."

Note the word "selected," as in made a choice. The Obamas are fortunate to have the means to send their daughters to private school, and no one begrudges them that choice given that Washington's public schools are among the worst in America.

Most D.C. parents would also love to be able to choose a better school for their child, but they lack the financial means to do so. The Washington Opportunity Scholarship Program each year offers up to $7,500 to some 1,900 kids to attend private schools, but Democrats in Congress want to kill it. Average family income for kids in the voucher program is about $22,000.

Mr. Obama says he opposes such vouchers, because "although it might benefit some kids at the top, what you're going to do is leave a lot of kids at the bottom." The example of his own children refutes that: The current system offers plenty of choice to kids "at the top" while abandoning those at the bottom.

~Wall Street Journal


At 11/24/2008 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s a difficult position to argue that those with more money deserve more advantages than those who had the same opportunities and did not take advantage of them (education, hard work …) and not apply that same reasoning to their children as well. I guess that shows those who have more money/wealth have more choices across the board. Why do those who find nothing wrong with income inequality have a problem with educational inequality? Isn’t it the same thing?

At 11/24/2008 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The US is banana republic with an elite oligarchy making up a two class society the small number of rich and everyone else.

At 11/24/2008 12:53 PM, Blogger Scavinger said...

@ Walt G.
I think that the people you are referring to DO have a problem with income inequality. They want to knock the rich off the top. Except themselves, of course.

At 11/24/2008 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Throwing mud due to sour grapes.

At 11/24/2008 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walt G.:

If I'm reading you correctly, the counterargument is that in the absence of government (and the taxes it imposes to support education), those without money/wealth would still have the freedom and resources to obtain educational outcomes better than they receive now. Not everyone would be able to choose a $30k option, so yes, more wealth leads to more choice, but everyone could choose something better than the current schools.

Or something like that. Let me know if I'm not understanding your argument.

At 11/24/2008 5:52 PM, Blogger destilando cafe said...

It doesn't look as if $7,500 would buy much time at the Sidwell Friends School. So, is WSJ saying that the Obamas are hypocrites for sending their children to private schools while paying lip service to public school reform? Or that this $7,500 voucher thing is the answer? (It doesn't seem nearly, enough). The last President who really got down with the people was Jimmy Carter, who sent Amy to the DC public schools--and he is not exactly the darling of the conservatives who want to abolish the teachers' unions, let the "magic of the marketplace" take over in education, etc.
The Obamas cannot sacrifice their kids on the altar of a social experiment--and here is the dirty litle secret. The reason middle and upper class parents will not send their kids to the schools in DC, Detroit, Newark or Flint has little to do with the conditions of the buildings or the qualfications of the teachers--(which are usually high, given the competition for these jobs)--it is because of the other kids who would be in the classroom. Teachers in low-performing schools spend a good deal of their time establishing order, because there are so many kids with serious emotional problems in their classrooms. This is a reality which does not fit conservative idealogy of competition and choice. The multiple charter schools in Genesee County take public money--but bounce problem kids right back to their public schools of last resort.

At 11/24/2008 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Obamas are elitists.

At 11/24/2008 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We decided not to allow our kids to become another 'public school' case and decided to home-school. Our kids will not be chastised due to social status or physical characteristics.

At 11/25/2008 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since Government (fed, state, local) has near monopoly powers, i.e. mandating a public school system, it will always abuse that privilage in favor of a few influential constituents. In this case the Teacher's Union. The only way there will be CHANGE will to encourage competition. Like the USSR, central planning will doom us to mediocrity.

At 11/25/2008 12:34 PM, Blogger Arman said...

but everyone could choose something better than the current schools.
If people UNDERSTOOD that this school or that school will produce this outcome or that outcome, everyone would do homeschooling! If parents were really aware, no one would go to school.

The Obamas are elitists.
You really want a leader that is rather uncouth?

Or that this $7,500 voucher thing is the answer? (It doesn't seem nearly, enough).
The public school system is SUPPOSED to provide good education. It doesn't work too good, and it isn't because the teachers are unqualified or uncaring. These vouchers are another attempt to inject money into an overall educational system that in the main, doesn't work. Take that money and use it to promote and support homeschooling, and get the government out of the indoctrination, oh, I mean education system. That isn't going to happen, because we've all been brainwashed into thinking that if we don't go to school, we'll grow up stupid.


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