Except this time the turkey is very real:
In an apparent planning snafu, President Obama today will visit an early learning school in Decatur, Georgia that happens to be in recess this week.
But no problem: According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, staff and bus drivers will be summoned back to work for the day to accomodate Obama’s appearance.
College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center Principle Suzanne Kennedy alerted parents that the staff will interrupt their vacations for the “amazing opportunity” for students to “expand their worlds” by seeing the president:
President Obama’s visit is an honor for College Heights and the City Schools of Decatur. Since the school system is on winter break, we are offering a one-day experience for pre-K and Head Start students on the day of his visit- Thursday, February 14, 2013. This day would resemble a normal school day: same bus routes and times, same school beginning and end times, regular instructional day with the same staff, and breakfast and lunch offerings.
Obama will be on hand to promote his State of the Union suggestion that early childhood education be made a new entitlement “available to every single child in America.”
Never mind that it has just been demonstrated that Head Start offers no lasting advantage for kids.
It was a painful experience for me, each and every time. My instinct was always to tell the mother that I’d let her kid into Mann or Key and make the school make room for one more child. But honestly, it just wasn’t doable. Or fair. There were so many parents who visited me with these requests and so many more who were on waiting lists for those schools who had followed all of the rules.
Oh, I could have found a spot for them at another D.C. public school, perhaps marginally better than their home school. But that wasn’t what they wanted. They were looking for the exact same thing that I wanted for my two girls: the best school possible.
Who am I, I thought, to deny this mom and her child an opportunity for a better school, even if that meant help with a seventy-five-hundred-dollar voucher? If they got a voucher, and her child could attend a really good Catholic school, perhaps, why would I stand in the way—especially since I don’t have a high-quality DCPS alternative?
I just couldn’t look mother after mother in the eye and deny their children the opportunity I wanted for my own children. It would have required me to say, “Gee, I’m sorry, you’re just going to have to suck it up. I know your elementary school is a failing school, and your child will probably not learn how to read, but I really need five more years to fix the system. And while I’m fixing the system, I need you and your neighbors to be really patient. Hang in there with me. Things will get better. I promise.”
If someone said that to me, I’d have said, “You may need more time to fix the system but my kid doesn’t have time. She has only one chance to attend first grade, and if she can’t learn to read by the end of first grade, her chances for success in life will be compromised. So with all due respect—heck no!”
After my listening tour of families, and hearing so many parents plead for an immediate solution to their desire for a quality education, I came out in favor of the voucher program. People went nuts. Democrats chastised me for going against the party, but the most vocal detractors were my biggest supporters.
Typically for Obama, his obsession with “fairness” leads to inequities far greater than anything in the nastier novels of Charles Dickens. He doesn’t want to fix the problem; he wants people to think he does.