Political Privilege Goes to School

So… Rahm got his children enrolled in a private school. Read all about it (or most of what was printed) here:

Report: Emanuel’s children going to private school this fall

For starters, let me make a couple of things clear:

  1. I don’t fault a parent for wanting the best for their child(ren).
  2. I’m glad these parent are concerned about their children’s education.

OK. With that said. Allow me to continue. What strikes me as wrong, call it unethical, is the following:

  1. He used his political power to get his way. (If ya don’t believe me, I got’s Wrigley Field World Series box seat tickets to sell ya.)
  2. He used his privilege as a political leader to meet his personal agenda.
  3. His children will receive better (and possibly more) attention from their teachers than the average Chicago student.
  4. He plays the pity card to get us to be good, sympathetic, quiet listeners. Note: He used his kids words to protect himself. Objectification of the youth continues.

Don’t get me wrong. I know how the game is played. As one smart man once told me, “Wouldn’t you do the same if you were in his shoes?” Probably.

However, from the outside lookin’ in, I just want ALL students to have the same, eqaul, and fair educational opportunity. Rahm lives in a good neighborhood with good school. We should all live in good neighborhoods with good schools. Enough of this members only bs. What’s available for the mayor’s children should be available for all children.

I’d like him to have the same concern for city children as he does for his own. It’s not too much to ask since he is the mayor. He’s not your average parent with school children. He’s king Rahm and he got the throne he was after. If he uses that throne to only serve himself and his family, well then, we got ourselves a problem. That throne ain’t there to serve personal needs. That’s just wrong.
We elected him to this position so that he would serve all citizens of this city equally, not just those under his roof. Go on, Rahm. I hope this is the start of true educational reform in this city.

BTW, I’d like to know if he met the admission and registration deadline like all the other parents. If not, then double-shame on him.

[Update: I contacted the school shortly after this post went public and inquired as to when Rahm had completed the application process for his children. (In case I was wrong, I was ready to admit my mistake.) This was the school’s email reply: “…we do not comment on our students and where they are in the application process. The Mayor and his wife made a decision, and the Laboratory Schools will not comment on their decision.”]

2 thoughts on “Political Privilege Goes to School

  1. It is embarrassing that Rahm isn’t sending his children to public school. The head of CPS sounded crazy trying to defend Rahm’s choice to send his kinds to the Lab School (sound clips on the radio).

    I agree with (both sets of) points 1 and 2 above.

    This is like the Dean’s Milk CEO buying Oberweiss Milk for her family.

    “What i make is good enough for you, but not for me!” (Evil LAUGH)

  2. This is not a defense of Rahm, but I do not think this particular argument against him carries much weight.

    The Realist accuses Rahm of using his children for political goals. But wouldn’t sending them to a public school for the purpose of looking like he supports a failing school system be a more extreme case of using his children for political goals? It is one thing to quote your kids during an interview; it is quite another to send them off to an inferior school to make a political statement.

    To say that the public schools of Chicago will provide his children with an equal education to the Laboratory School is a highly dubious claim. He is the mayor, but he is also a father, and he has a duty to his children to raise them as best as he can. He has the financial means to send his children to the Lab school on his own dime.

    The Realist states, “However, from the outside lookin’ in, I just want ALL students to have the same, equal, and fair educational opportunity.” I’d like that too, and very likely, so does Rahm. But we are nowhere close to that state of affairs, and even though he may be the most (or amongst the most) powerful individuals in Chicago, wishing it doesn’t make it so. Sending one’s children to a public school as a show of support doesn’t make it so either. Closing all the private schools in the world, and providing equal and superior funding and support to all schools would be a dream, but that is a distant dream.

    I am completely unclear as to why he’s being accused of using his political power to get his way. There seems to be no evidence or suggestion in the articles that he used his political power for private goals.

    It is a tenant of our society that every citizen should have the right to some privacy. That should not be lost when a citizen serves a public office. How an individual conducts their private, family life, is no concern of anyone but that individual’s friends or family, so long as they do not violate the law: how he governs the city is a different, but largely unrelated matter.

    Furthermore, it’s not as though he is responsible for the current state of the Chicago Public Schools either. This would be a different story if he’d been serving twenty years, made grand claims about how well he’s improved the schools during that time, and then still sent his kids to a private school. I’m still not sure I would change my position in the end, but it would raise my suspicion.

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