The Obama Girls Aren't Like You and Me

By Megan McArdle

I'm willing to countenance the possibility that Barack Obama genuinely believes that the DC voucher program is not helping the students who participate--indeed, I think the most hard-core voucher advocate would have to admit that its modest gains are not what we had hoped.

Here's what I don't understand though:  how come the Obama girls benefit from leaving the DC public school system?  Surely, if it doesn't make any difference, the Obama girls would do just as well in ordinary, democratic, thoroughly American public schools as in an elitist Quaker institution.  Wouldn't it bring wonderful diversity to both the school, and the Obama daughters, to have the children of the president rubbing shoulders with the children of the district's more ordinary residents?  What is it about the Obama girls that enables them, nearly uniquely, to benefit from school choice?

If you know me on this issue, you know that I am very, very upset.  And that I think that there is probably a special place in hell reserved for politicians who betray our nation's most helpless children for the benefit of a sullen and recalcitrant teacher's union.  There they spend all eternity explaining to their victims why they couldn't possibly have risked their precious babies' future in the public school system, yet felt perfectly free to fling other peoples' children into it by the thousands. 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2009/05/the-obama-girls-arent-like-you-and-me/17334/