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Rhee to Pitch D.C. Schools for Kids in the White House

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee says she would never presume to tell any parent where to send their child to school. But she plans to aggressively pitch the Obama and Palin families on the virtues of the District public schools should they come up winners in November.

Rhee was introduced to Obama briefly in San Francisco a few weeks ago, and regrets that she didn't use the opportunity to talk up D.C. public schools.

"I want to set up a meeting with them [both] and lay out a very compelling argument for DCPS," Rhee told a roundtable of education writers Friday morning at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

There hasn't been a presidential offspring in a D.C. public school since Amy Carter attended Stevens Elementary at 21st and K in the late 1970s. Vice President Al Gore's kids attended St. Albans and National Cathedral schools, while Chelsea Clinton was enrolled at Sidwell Friends.

Rhee closed Stevens at the end of the last school year, so the in-boundary school for Obama's daughters Malia, 9, and Sasha, 6, would be Francis-Stevens, the newly consolidated pre-K through 8 school at 24th and N.

For Palin's 7-year-old daughter Piper, Stoddert Elementary in Glover Park is just a heartbeat away from the vice presidential residence at the Naval Observatory. Hardy Middle School would also be the destination for Willow, 14, while Bristol, 17 would also head to Wilson.

Bill Turque

By Marcia Davis  |  September 5, 2008; 8:48 PM ET
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What a charming little story, Bill! Of course, I think it would be very unlikely that Palin would enroll her children in DCPS. Why? Obama would have the pressure from teachers' unions to consider public schools, but Palin? Nah.

There are some wonderful elementary schools in DC. Obama could apply for the lottery at Oyster. I'm sure the lottery results would be completely random.

Posted by: | September 5, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Bristol could also go to Bell, as I believe it has a daycare for students who are mothers. Just kidding. Hoping for an Obama win, his kids could also do an out of boundary thing and pick one of the really excellent west of the park schools such as Murch, Mann, Key, Stoddert or Lafayette.

Posted by: Sasha | September 6, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be surprised if even Obama picks a private school for his kids. There are so many here that all the political types send their children including Sidwell. But did Rhee and Reinoso actually enter into the Oyster-Adams lottery to get their children in, or kind of slip in by virtue of their positions? I know Rhee's neighborhood school isn't Oyster, but probably Brightwood, much lower in student achievement than Oyster and heavily free and reduced lunch.

Posted by: Chloe | September 6, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Why would any national leader residing in DC send their children to DCPS, when the mayor of this city doesn't do the same?

Posted by: WeNeedANewMayorNow | September 7, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Any politician sending their kids to a DC school is only doing it to make a political point. They certainly have the money for a private school, with smaller class sizes, more individualized attention and less rough and tumble kids than the public schools. I hope Obama's beautiful little girls go to the best schools possible, and a DC public school isn't it. National Cathedral, Sidwell, etc would be a better choice.

Posted by: Chloe | September 7, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

It would be great if one of those families enrolled their kids. But, before then perhaps DC residents could get a little assurance that their own mayor has his kids in public school. When Fenty campaigned, he said he was keeping his boys in private school for 2 more years and then they would go to DC public school. Well, the two years are up, and there is no mention of public school for the boys.

Posted by: DC-er | September 8, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

no way in hell is Obama sending his kids to a school system run by Michelle Rhee

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey Fenty: What school are your kids enrolled in?? In your campaign, you made a commitment that it would be a DCPS school this school year, so which one is it?? Your constituents would like to know.

Posted by: NWDC | September 9, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

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