Chad Aldis, executive director of School Choice Ohio, has some thoughts on the Obama family's considerations concerning where to send their daughters to school in Washington, D.C. (Aldis is in good company opining on the future first family's decisions, see here and here.)
The country appears enthralled with the Obama family's upcoming big decision-what kind of dog should they bring to the White House? Animal rights supporters have urged the President-Elect to adopt a dog from an animal shelter. Senator Obama has stated he wants to adopt a dog, but he has revealed one of his daughters has allergies requiring a hypoallergenic breed. Seems reasonable to me, he has to do what is best for his family.
The next family decision will be even more telling. He and his wife also have to pick a school for his daughters. No doubt he will again be pressured to make a decision that will please his supporters-namely, choosing a public school. As a parent myself, I am convinced he will put those pressures aside and make whatever decision is best for his daughters' education. Why wouldn't he?
If the best educational environment for his daughters ends up being a private school then I am sure we will be given a list of reasons for it. The school might best meet their academic needs, be safer, or just be a better fit. The Obama family will be exercising a decision that most families in D.C. and around the country want to make for themselves. President-Elect Obama should not stand in their way and should protect and expand all school choice options for America's students. After all, are the educational needs of his children really that much different than the needs of our children?