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

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have taken different approaches to transit and infrastructure funding. <ins>(Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)</ins>
Bay Area transit has big hopes for a Biden administration

The best chance for local agencies to get relief may be a change in federal leadership

BART Ambassadors are being called on to assist riders in social situations that don’t require police force. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Unarmed BART ambassadors program formalized with a focus on community service

Public safety and police reform are key elements in campaigns of Board members Dufty and Simon

East Bay hills and Port of Oakland visible from Point San Bruno Park jetty. (Shutterstock)
East Bay agencies urge precautionary evacuations ahead of wind event

At least two East Bay jurisdictions suggested Sunday that residents in the… Continue reading

Nate Durand of Chug Pub created an election-themed cocktail which has several names: Biden Harris, Barris, Hiden, and/or Dem Juice. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Drink blue, no matter who

But bar parties aren’t planned for Election Day

Lee Vining and Inyo National Forest are excellent fall color tour destinations. (Matt Johanson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Gold Rush: Go now to see Sierra fall color

Maples, oaks, dogwoods, aspens glow in the next few weeks

Most Read