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Mayor Fenty wants the Obamas'--and all new DC residents--to consider public school for children

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WASHINGTON--Mayor Adrian Fenty told me Tuesday he hopes the president-elect and Michelle Obama--and all new District of Columbia residents--give some thought to enrolling their children in public schools.

Fenty commented the day after the school shopping Michelle Obama toured Sidwell Friends and Georgetown Day, elite private schools . The Obama girls, Malia, 10 and Sasha, 7 attend the University of Chicago Lab School, where Michelle serves on the board.

"Our goal is to have DC public schools be as serious an option as any charter or private schools, not just for the Obamas' but for any family making the decision," Fenty said.


Fenty and D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee have been trying to overhaul the troubled school system. Fenty said there are schools the Obamas' could consider that are achieving results on par with the private schools here.

The mayor, an early supporter of president-elect Barack Obama, told me he would not personally pitch the incoming First Couple. School selection is "an extremely personal decision for any family," he said.

He does want to send the message that there are D.C. schools "that can compete" with private schools.

"By this point people realize that under Chancellor Rhee we are moving the system as fast forward as humanely possible," Fenty said.

And this closing note from the mayor: "Please write that we are fixing this system for all the children of the city."

The last White House child to attend a public school was Amy Carter.

11 Comments

HELL NO! These kids are at much greater risk than the Carter kids were. What the heck is he thinking? PRIVATE school is where they have been all their lives and that is where they should be, now more than ever. Did the mayor kids go through the public school system?

I think Mayor Fenty's advice to the Obamas reflects his disconnect with reality.

Fenty wants the Obamas to send their children to DC Public Schools, yet he refuses to do the same with his children. Although Fenty promised to send his children to DCPS instead of private school while running for mayor, he has yet to fulfill his promise.

By enrolling his children in DCPS he could show that there are some excellent DC Public Schools. Unfortunately, the negative media has led everyone to believe that all of DCPS is rotten to the core. Mayor Fenty fueled this negative media perception when campaigning to take over the school system. Why then would the Obamas want to send their kids to this supposed broken system?

What a hypocrite!

DON'T EVEN TRY THAT, HIS YOUNGSTERS CURRENTLY GO
TO PRIVATE SCHOOL, AND THAT'S WHERE THEY WILL
STAY!
NICE TRY, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK WITH THE SCHOOLS
BUT THE OBAMA'S WON'T BE THERE!
THE KEY WORD IS THAT FIXING IS STILL GOING ON!

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee has been doing an amazing job overhauling the schools, but this is a Secret Service issue. The best place for the kids is a private school.

I could be wrong but didn't Adrian Fenty send his children to private school? Wouldn't that be relevant to this story?

Tell you what Mayor, you take your twins out of Private school and enroll them into a public school and I might consider sending my kid to a public school. Fair Deal right?

Sit your ....... down Mayor!!!

The Obama girls are already in a private school, have been their entire lives and should remain in a private school.

This issue is no-ones' business especially not the "My boys are in private school" mayor.

DCPS had 45 - 48 students in their Jr & High school classrooms. Violence is an everyday occurence, where bullies and gang members, not the teachers control the classes. Since the 23 school closed, children are bunched up and warehoused. It's probably not possible to find out how many children are seriously hurt physically or mentally while attending DCPS. After school, the community becomes the victims to the violence. On my block, a 13 year olds can't find a public school that will accept him, and the social worker says, "that's not my job to get him in school. In some classrooms, Rhee's staff is used as substitute teachers until a teacher can be hired. Social workers, teachers, principals, librarian and others are being fired on an ongoing basis to save money to increase the salaries for NEW teachers and pay the students for learning. WHAT A DISASTER,

THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB FOR A PARENT IS TO ADVOCATE AND PROTECT THEIR CHILDREN. IT'S GREAT TO SEE PARENTS WHO TAKE TIME TO FIND THE BEST SITUATIONS AND SCHOOLS FOR THEIR CHILDREN. The schools will never be fixed until Rhee stops being a dictator and listen more.

Jeez, lighten up folks. Fenty only said that he wants newcomers to CONSIDER DC schools as they make their decision about their kids' education. In that hundreds of new families will likely move to DC with the Obama admin, it is an appropriate message for the mayor to make.

I'm also a DC resident, a public school teacher (in MD) and have my child in DCPS. I agree with the other posters about the mayor. He should lead by example. And quite honestly, Rhee isn't doing that great of a job either by alienating parents and teachers. The media constantly covers the negative, but rarely shows the great things that take place in DCPS. For example, my son is three and enrolled in an all-day Montessori program (not Head Start).

Mayor Fenty can send his kids to whichever school he wants but what private school do they attend? Is it Georgetown Day? I hope it is a private school in DC.

Mayor Fenty has made good on his promise to send his two children to DC public schools. I saw him today at my childrens' first day of class enrolling his children! To call him a hypocrite last year is rather rude and shallow since his kids were in the midst of the school year at that point. This is the first day of the new school year and there he is.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on November 11, 2008 10:09 AM.

Michelle Obama tours elite private schools for Malia and Sasha was the previous entry in this blog.

Obama, Tammy Duckworth honor Veteran's Day with visit to Bronze Soldiers Memorial at Soldier Field in Chicago is the next entry in this blog.

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