Obama feels for DC kids assigned to bad schools yet he’s refused to help them

President Obama was asked recently about “Waiting for ‘Superman,’” the Davis Guggenheim documentary about public education which depicts a handful of qualified inner-city students competing for a limited number of spaces in charter schools.

“Oh, it’s heartbreaking,” the president replied. “And when you see these parents in the film you are reminded that … their stake in their kids, their wanting desperately to make sure their kids are able to succeed, is so powerful…. It’s obviously difficult to watch to see these kids who know that this school’s going to give them a better chance–and that should depend on the bounce of a ball.”

Difficult—and instructive, too. The president’s heartbreak about the plight of deserving students denied a chance to attend charter schools might have been more persuasive if his administration, at the behest of the local teachers’ union, had not arbitrarily eliminated funding last year for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, which provided vouchers to poor, mostly black, children in the nation’s capital for private-school tuition.

Some 216 students had been promised vouchers for the coming year under the program, and the Obama White House—in the midst of distributing literally hundreds of billions of dollars in ’stimulus’ funds—summarily cut them off. That was the same year, of course, when the president and Mrs. Obama decided against enrolling their two daughters in the Washington public schools, sending them instead to the Sidwell Friends School (tuition: $32,000 a year).

Just Posted

SFUSD going back to basics with school lunches made from scratch

Upgraded culinary center could serve as model for expanded in-house food production.

Sliding doors could open up more space on Muni buses

A simple engineering change could soon make Muni’s 900 buses roomier across… Continue reading

City struggles to find alternatives for inmates in seismically unsafe jail

Mayor London Breed has given City Hall a deadline to close down… Continue reading

E-scooter company Skip announces layoffs after losing SF permit

San Francisco-based e-scooter company Skip this week announced pending layoffs for roughly… Continue reading

Juul suspends sale of flavored e-cigarettes

San Francisco-based e-cigarette maker Juul Labs announced Thursday that it is suspending… Continue reading

Most Read