This story was written by Mark Erbacher, Kansas State Collegian
Barack Obama has many important decisions to face in the next four years, but for now, as his family moves to Washington, D.C., he has a decision that he makes not as a our president-elect, but as a father: the choice of where to send his children to school.
You would think being such a huge proponent of fixing the public school system, Obama would obviously send his children to public school. Yet this week when future first lady Michelle Obama visited our nations capital, she visited Georgetown Day and Sidwell Friends two private schools.
It seems that Obama, while trying to convince the nation that he will reform public schools, has decided that while those run-down, underachieving public schools are being fixed, they are still not good enough for his children.
During his campaign for president, Obama spoke out against a federally funded voucher program that would aid poor families in Washington and allow them to free their children from a failing public school program.
According to the Washington Post, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program provides up to $7,500 per child so families less fortunate than Obamas also can have the opportunity to send their children to good schools. Only about 1,900 children receive the aid, but many more are trying to get on board with the program.
It seems like hypocrisy if the Obamas send their daughters, Malia and Sasha, to a private school. Obama never will allow the vouchers that would allow families who have not been as blessed as his to send their children to a school of their choice. This is in part because of the strong ties the Democratic Party has to the teachers unions.
More than likely, if he decides to send his daughters to private school, Obama will make the claim that it is for security reasons that he did not opt for public school and that the caliber of education had no influence on the decision.
Yet this answer is no better, as the threat of violence in public school is as bad of a problem - if not worse - than the subpar performance teachers and administrators exhibit in their attempts to educate youth.
Ultimately, its a question of if its not good enough for your children, President-elect Obama, then how are you going to convince us it should be good enough for ours?
For someone who claims to be just another American in touch with our needs and values, Obama is starting off on the wrong foot.