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Fenty: Don't Ask Me About My Kids!

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty told reporters again that he will not answer any questions about twins Andrew and Matthew attending Lafayette Elementary.

The Northwest school is not within the boundaries of his Crestwood neighborhood. Their in-boundary school is West Education Center. School sources say the boys skipped the city's lottery system to win their spots at the high-performing Lafayette.

The 9-year-old fourth-graders are attending public school for the first time. Fenty promised that they would join the system he is trying to turn around once they completed third grade at their previous private school.

Media swarmed the mayor after he gave a key to the city to the Washington Kastles tennis team on the steps of the John A. Wilson Building.

"I'm not answering any more questions about my kids," he said.

Fenty said reporters should find new topics. "Please, just stop asking me the question."

By Anne Bartlett  |  August 27, 2009; 1:12 PM ET
Categories:  Mayor Fenty , Nikita Stewart  
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Actually, Matthew Fenty did attend their neighborhood public schhol, West EC, for pre-kindergarten for a few months. So technically, one of them was in public school previously.

Posted by: chelita | August 27, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

We dont care what school they attend (we already know) we just want to know how they got in there? I applied for out-of-boundary for a school for my child for the last two years and she's still on the waiting list. And it wasn't lafayette. I just want to be able to have the same options that you do - for my child. Is that too much to ask?

Posted by: boo2 | August 27, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I really don't mind if any mayors' kids skip the lottery to get into a public school. I think the kids deserve some privileges for the unwanted exposure they get for having parents in the public eye.

I think it's ridiculous, however to not answer a question that any citizen can find out.

Ask any 4th grader at Layfayette, for instance. Or hang around outside when school lets out.

Then ask Fenty if he'll confirm the report that little Johnny Jones sits next to one of his sons in class and see how he responds, or if he'll identify the twins in a photo taken as they bounded out of school.

Maybe his response could be used in campaign ads for his competitor.

Posted by: efavorite | August 27, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't care where his kids go to school. I still care that his name is on the field of the Tubman athletic field. On Fox news this morning, once again he "didn't know" it was going to be there but he said "Move it! I don't care." He acknowledged that his name appears on so many other things and he's right. It appears appropriately on signs not sprawled across that would indicate something being named after him. Give the kids at Tubman their field!!! The mayor still gets credit for the upgrade. Give it back to the kids!!!

Posted by: candycane1 | August 27, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

If Fenty and Rhee are doing such a wonderful job at reforming DCPS, then why don't his kids and her kids and the deputy mayor for education's kids go to their neighborhood schools? As usual, there's one standard for Fenty and Rhee and another standard for everyone else. Fenty and Rhee preach accountability and transparency for DC Government and DCPS but apparently it doesn't apply to themselves. I can't wait until November 2010 when we vote him out of office and send her packing. I will say that they both have been entertaining--it's always fun to go to a circus!

Posted by: UrbanDweller | August 27, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

It is a serious problem that Fenty gets to skip the lottery process. I know that this kind of thing is not new compared to what other politicians do. This still does not excuse him. I have two problems with it:

1)Fenty is not admitting that he is using his position as mayor to go around the rules. Instead he is trying to avoid the issue by not answering valid questions.
He is now saying that questions about his children are off limits but he used them during his campaign promising to send them to public schools.

2)Fenty took mayoral control of the schools, stripping citizens of democracy by making the School Board powerless. As a person who has so much power to decide which schools to close schools, which ones to renovate or which ones will receive extra funding (now that the weighted student formula is gone), he needs to feel the effects of his decisions. Attending Lafayette is a completely different experience than attending other DC public schools on the other side of the park. These parents are more organized and raise a vast amount of funds that supplement what the get from the city. It is more like attending a private school.

So when Fenty decides to close a school or cut funding, he won’t have to worry because it won’t affect his children at Lafayette. If Fenty decides to partially renovate a school during the summer which does not get finished on time and major questions about the safety of the air quality abound, it won’t be Lafayette because the parents wouldn’t allow it there.

Maybe if the politicians had to share the experiences of us common folk who don’t live west of the park or can’t pull strings to get the school of their choice, they would legislate a bit differently.

Posted by: letsbereal2 | August 27, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

letsbereal - thanks for the clarification -- I get it now, and agree.

Posted by: efavorite | August 28, 2009 6:47 AM | Report abuse

In this recession why has no one come up with the bright business idea of creating anti-Fenty tshirts,lawn signs, baseball caps and bumper stickers.

A starter slogan could be…”Fenty Fooled Us” or “Everybody Hates Fenty” colored in green and white which are Fenty’s campaign colors.

Or “Fenty Fired Me” tshirts for Fenty’s contribution to DC’s unemployment rate.

Maybe bumper stickers for cab drivers that say in every language, “Welcome to DC, we hate our mayor” so that tourists can see and Fenty becomes the national embarrassment he deserves to be.

For school kids shoulder bags can be made that say “My Education has not been Rheeformed!”

Lastly, mens tshirts that say “Fenty I know your wife, hire me!”

Since Fenty wants his name everywhere in this city let’s give it to him.

Just a thought.

Posted by: TheMadnessShop | August 28, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Let's open the gates of transparency and see where the Councilmembers' kids go and how they got there. What's fair is fair. The Mayor should be called out on the carpet for this, as should other elected officials that circumvent the process - if indeed that's what they did.

Posted by: DistrictIndependent | August 28, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

This incident is no different from all of the other things Fenty has done since his election and other alleged dishonest acts before when he was an estate attorney. This incident makes his behavior and arrogance more obvious to many people who for whatever reasons have not acknowledged them before. His children attending the school is not the issue as both reports who obviously tried to explain. What does matter is the process or lack thereof he and his wife used to get the children where he wanted them to be. He apparently believes either his children are too good to go to their neighborhood school or that the children at the neighborhood school are beneath his children. Adding further insult, neighborhood schools are also not good enough for his $275,000 a year plus bonuses (what the bonuses are for no one knows)Chancellor and his Deputy Education Mayor, whose children are also out of boundary. As to Councilmembers children,if their children are out of boundary, I'm not surprised about that either.

As for the Council, they should be held accountable for all of the Fenty incidents as well because most of them have sat back and allowed Fenty to wreak havoc when they
empowered him in the first place. They could have halted a lot of things and haven't.

FOIA the information and get an accurate picture. DCPS is a public entity and private information can be redacted. It's not about the children, it's about the process.

Posted by: southyrndiva | August 28, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

When Fenty ran for mayor, there was just something about him that I viscerally disliked. I had this unshakeable impression that he was basically dishonest and arrogant, notwithstanding that his credential on paper looked pretty good.

Boy, am I glad I listened to my gut. FENTY=FAIL

Posted by: WashingtonDame | August 28, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I believe the chancellor's ex-husband who has joint custody lives in-boundary for Oyster, so she's OK.

I agree we should check council members' kids and as long as they are in out-of-boundary schools according to established procedure, it's OK with me. There are a lot of out-of-boundary kids around, especially at the high-school level. If there's enough room, they can go to whatever school they want.

Posted by: efavorite | August 28, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Letsbereal: I thank you for your comments. You are absolutely correct. I don't care that the mayor has his kids at Lafyette but you are correct when stating that his kids don't feel the effects of what has happened to other parents and their children who want the same. A process is a process and a law is a law. This administration has operated above the law from the beginning. If in fact he abused yet another law, then we need to hold his feet to the fire.
Unfortunately our politicians ask for our votes with the famous "You can trust me". However, when they get in office, they forget that they are public servants. They begin to treat the public as their subjects and not constituents. They assume that they are entitled to the many perks. In fact while they are getting paid too much, enjoying baseball,(Fenty and the council) having athletic fields named after them,(Fenty) using fire cadets to host xmas parties,(Graham) wanting a shower built in a council office,(Evans) hiring girlfriends(Barry) and cabinet members are receiving bonuses,(Rhee) the average citizen is losing a job, a home and city services are declining. So if the mayor is getting his butt kicked about his kids, so what? I will side with the district employees that also want the best for their kids but are getting their butts kicked with pink slips and have to worry about keeping a roof over the heads of their kids.

Posted by: candycane1 | August 28, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

If the Mayor had said something like: We considered the local school (West) and based on what we know about our kids, especially easing the transition from private to public school, we decided that Lafayette was the best school for them, then it would have been okay with me. I transitioned my son from a private school to a public school and for me, the size of the school was an issue. I wanted him to go from a small private school to a small public school, where he would get the attention he needed. I found that school and was fortunate enough to get him enrolled. Another good reason: a school with two third grades, so the kids could be put in seperate classes. Another good reason: the kids have special needs that would be best served by Lafayette. Another good reason, Michelle's office is close to the school (I have no idea about whether these things are true or not). But at the very least the Mayor needed to explain his choice and I don't think that anyone would really begrudge him using his power to get into Lafayette. I mean, if I were Mayor, I would have made sure my kids went to the school that was best for them.

Unfortunately, the Mayor chose to sneak around, and not answer questions. This makes it looks like he is hiding something.

Posted by: tm7333 | August 28, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

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