Everyone and their brother is weighing in on where the future First Daughters should go to school once their dad moves to Washington to start his new job. Jay Mathews of the Washington Post wisely avoids grandstanding, noting that school choice is very personal. He assumes the Obama girls will find their way to Georgetown Day School, “because of its similarity to their current school, its historic role as the city’s first racially integrated school and the presence of Obama senior legal adviser Eric H. Holder Jr. on its board of trustees.” However he notes there is a viable public school, Strong John Thomson, a stone’s throw from the White House.
Meet the principal, Gladys Camp, and you understand why Thomson parents think the Obamas ought to check it out. Dr. Camp, as everyone calls her, is a legend. In the past two years, she has won awards from the National Association of Elementary School Principals and this newspaper as the best school leader in the city….Sixty-nine percent of Thomson’s 355 students are from low-income families. Forty percent are Hispanic, 34 percent black, 22 percent Asian American and 5 percent white. That demographic mix often means remedial instruction and little enrichment, but parents say the school offers a feast of music, art and foreign languages as good as what they would find in a private school.
The last President to send his kids to public school? Jimmy Carter. “Thomson is close to capacity,” writes Uncle Jay, “but Camp said she would have room after the holidays for a fifth-grader and a second-grader transferring from the Midwest.”