Special Reports

The Only U.S. President Who Sent His Kids To Public Schools


In the last century, U.S. presidents have sent their children to private schools. This decision involves other factors than quality. However, there is one president in the history of the United States who sent his child to a public school in Washington, D.C.

The only president who decided to send his child to DC public schools was Jimmy Carter. When he took oath into office in 1976, he sent his nine-year-old daughter Amy to Stevens Elementary School then to Hardy Middle School, both of which are public schools with a predominantly black student population.

Carter's decision was considered symbolic at that time because it embodied the ideals and principles he talked about during his campaign, which were public education and integration. Aside from that, he showed that as a Democrat, he did not just support the idea in principle only.

It turned out later that his decision was not just merely symbolic but the information his daughter provided served as a source of insight to guide his actions where public school education was concerned. For example, he asked his daughter how smart students were continually challenged by teachers and what help was given to those who were lagging behind. He also gained information whether public school students were properly immunized or whether their lunch was okay.

According to Carter, these questions might just be normal for any family. For them, however, these meant a lot because they were in the position to do something about it.

Carter has been praised for his decision but it should not be used to criticize the other Chief of Staff who preceded or followed after him. One of the primary reasons why presidents chose private schools is a matter of security. It is easier to guard and monitor presidential kids if they are in a private school because there are fewer students.

Realistically, however, the quality of education in DC public schools need a lot of improvement than when Carter was the president. Even former President Obama candidly said that in a 2010 interview via the Washington Post about his daughters' education.

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