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).

Barack ObamaBeltway ConfidentialeducationUS

Just Posted

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler, pictured in July at Oracle Park, says team members simultaneously can be “measured and calm” and “looking to push the accelerator.” (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
How Gabe Kapler sets the tone for Giants’ success with strategy, mindset

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the hands-down manager of the year’

Artist Agnieszka Pilat, pictured with Spot the Robot Dog from Boston Robotics, has a gallery show opening at Modernism. (Courtesy Agnieszka Pilat)
Screenshots of VCs, Kanye and tech parties by the Bay

In this week’s roundup, Ben Horowitz’s surprising hip-hop knowledge and the chic tech crowd at Shack15

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Firefighters extinguish burning material near Lake Tahoe on Sept. 3 in the wake of the Caldor Fire; environmental scientists say the huge fire is bringing to light deficiencies in forest management. <ins>(Max Whittaker/New York Times)</ins>
Cal Fire, timber industry must face an inconvenient truth

We are logging further into the wildfire and climate crisis

Speaker of the Parliament of Mongolia Gombojav Zandanshatar said his country and San Francisco face similar challenges on issues including COVID recovery and climate change.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Mongolian leaders meet with tech, film leaders on city tour

‘I really want San Franciscans to meet the new Mongolian generation’

Most Read