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The Choice: It Seems to Be Down to Two Private Schools

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The Obama school search appears to have narrowed -- and the much-buzzed-about Maret School is apparently out of the running.

Sources close to the process say Michelle Obama felt that the elite private school in Woodley Park -- endorsed by advisers Susan Rice and Greg Craig, who both sent children there -- would be too small for her girls; and she doesn't want to circumscribe their lives any more than the White House will.

That seems to leave two finalists: Sidwell Friends and Georgetown Day School, which Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, toured with their mother over the past two days. The Obamas are said to like GDS for its diversity mission (it was D.C.'s first integrated school), but Malia is said to have warmed to Sidwell because some of the Biden grandchildren she bonded with on the campaign go there. (Eric Holder, a top prospect for attorney general, sends two of his kids to GDS.)

Meanwhile, yesterday afternoon the girls spent about an hour checking out their new home, with their mother and grandmother Marian Robinson. Laura Bush returned from a day trip to Kentucky to greet them at the White House; reigning first sisters Jenna and Barbara joined the party from their homes in Baltimore and New York -- and showed their younger counterparts their rooms in the private residence.

By The Reliable Source  |  November 19, 2008; 1:03 AM ET
Categories:  First Family  
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This is how it should be. I know millions of us are impressed at how the Bushes are handling this transition. The Obamas, particularily Malia and Sasha, are undergoing a huge change and the cooperation helps smooth the way.

I'm always amused at how schools founded by humble "Thee and Thou" Quakers have turned into "hotsy" institutions with a roster of kids whose parents are in "Who's Who?" I too wish for GDS, but friends are friends and those help as well.

Posted by: NotBubba | November 19, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

My vote goes to GDS and I only hope the girls will not be affected by their new residence, school and popularity. They are quickly becoming America's darlings..they are very charming and appear to be very well behaved. Hats off to Mr & Mrs O and grandmother Mrs. Robinson, whom I hope resides with them at the White House.

Posted by: PCMerry | November 19, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

You need to fix the coding on this page. The photograph overlaps about 1/4 of the text of the opening paragraph. Thanks.

Posted by: kwpenland | November 19, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

It is just too bad that these girls - or anyone's kid, for that matter - cannot get a good education in D.C. public schools. The need to send them to private schools does, unfortunately, smack of "elitism."

Posted by: sameolddoc | November 19, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Clearly the Obamas are aware of the crumbling public education system, which is sadly the case not only in DC but also across the country. My hope is that soon-to-be-President Obama will make education a top priority. Why not offer tax credits so that other children, whose parents are not as wealthy as the Obamas, can have the blessing of an educational alternative such as private or home schooling? (Oh wait, I think I know the answer to this one: the powerful teachers' union.)

Posted by: MomToFour | November 19, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised that so few Democrats living in Washington DC send their kids to public schools. How ironic is that!?

Posted by: bfarmer1 | November 19, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Bfarmer, what makes you think that few Democrats living in DC send their kids to public schools? What party do you believe the majority of DCPS parents are affiliated with?

Posted by: captiolhillmom | November 19, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Let us let those who know the children best, the Mom, Dad, and Grandmother pick what they feel is best FOR THE CHILDREN!

Some of your readers will remember what happened when President Carter sought to "make a statement" by sending Amy to DC Public Schools.

If I were the head of the Secret Service and charged with the safety of the children, I would consider recommending tutoring--in the White House. As a former teacher of writing in the DC school system and considering the approximately 140 juniors I was responsible for, unless things have drastically changed, it is hard to get the right kind of education there.

So, back off media, and let the parents (and the children) deal with this one. They do not need your help or endless speculation.

Posted by: johnshcarter | November 19, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I am so happy and relieved the new first daughters will be attending a private school. I am hoping it will be Sidwell Friends, since the Biden grandchildren also attend there. Chelsea also attended Sidwell.

Posted by: gametheory | November 20, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

D.C. Public Schools are among the worst in the U.S. and typical of inner city schools. I attended one semester of ninth grade in a D.C. public school - and it was supposed to be one of the better ones - before my parents put me in private school. And while that was years ago, D.C. schools have only gone downhill in their comparisons to others.

I would love to see a study of how many D.C. public school teachers and administrators send their own children to D.C. schools, vice the burbs or private schools.

Posted by: WestTexan2008 | November 21, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

The Message did a parody of this very argument using the Harry Potter series as the motif.

Posted by: WestTexan2008 | November 21, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

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