Barack and Michelle Obama send their children to the University of Chicago’s highly regarded Lab School. Why not public school, asks “PTA mom” Sandra Tsing Loh on the New York Times blog.
Let us just say that if Mr. and Mrs. Obama â€” a dynamic, Harvard-educated couple â€” had chosen public over private school, they could have lifted up not just their one local public school, but a family of schools. First, given the social pressure (or the social persuasion of wanting to belong to the cool club), more educated, affluent families would tip back into the public school fold. And second, the presence of educated type-A parents with too much time on their hands ensures that schools are held, daily, to high standards. . . .
Volokh Conspiracy’s Jim Lindgren, who sent his daughter to the Lab School, defends the Obamas’ choice.
Personally, I compliment the Obamas for not using their children as political pawns to get elected or to reform society two children at a time. In my opinion, that makes the Obamas good parents.
The Obamas live in Hyde Park, a middle-class enclave surrounded by a low-income black neighborhood. The local schools are not very good, though Chicago has some excellent magnet schools. In fact, Michelle Obama is a product of the city’s magnet schools.
John McCain and Joe Biden sent their children to exclusive private schools, leaving Sarah Palin as the only public-school parent in the bunch, Tsing Loh mourns.
She sends her children to the neighborhood (non-magnet) public school in Los Angeles and has worked hard to improve the school for all students. That’s admirable, but not always possible.