US Did D.C. area private schools brush off Trump adviser? Reports about Conway are greatly exaggerated.

20:20  01 january  2017
20:20  01 january  2017 Source:   MSN

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Media reports that D . C . area private schools have brushed off Kellyanne Conway , the woman who ran Donald Trump ’s successful presidential campaign and who will serve as counselor to the president, are , it turns out, greatly exaggerated .

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Kellyanne Conway, campaign manager and senior adviser to the Trump transition team, speaks to reporters at Trump Tower in New York on Dec. 4, 2016. © Darren Ornitz/Reuters Kellyanne Conway, campaign manager and senior adviser to the Trump transition team, speaks to reporters at Trump Tower in New York on Dec. 4, 2016.

Media reports that D.C. area private schools have brushed off Kellyanne Conway, the woman who ran President-elect Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign and who will serve as counselor to the president, are, it turns out, greatly exaggerated.

A piece in the New York Post, which was then picked up by various outlets (with headlines such as “The swamp of Washington’s elite private schools want to drain themselves of Kellyanne Conway’s kids,”) said that she was in Washington with her children looking at schools last Wednesday. Actually, she said in an interview that she was in Florida working with the president-elect. And schools were closed for the holidays.

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It also said that she was worried she couldn’t get her children into private schools because many presumably liberal institutions would be too put off by her politics, and it quoted her as saying that when some of her friends had asked some private schools on her family’s behalf about availability for her children, they were met with “silences and sighs.”

That’s not exactly what happened, Conway said in an interview with The Washington Post.

Conway and her husband, George Conway, have 12-year-old twins — a boy and a girl — in sixth grade at a private school in New Jersey, an 8-year-old girl in third grade and a 7-year-old girl in first grade. The youngest are in public schools, which the twins attended for most of their lives. The media reports suggest that she is looking for private schools for all four children — and that isn’t clear.

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Responding to a query about the report, she wrote in a text: “A few colleagues had offered to call on our behalf to their children’s schools when I first said we were moving. This was unsolicited yet much appreciated. One was disappointed if not shocked to hear the silence and sighs on the other end (hence my comment) followed by talk of a capacity issue for the remainder of the year. At the same time, we literally have heard from a wide collection of friends, colleagues, acquaintances, friends of friends and so forth about every school imaginable (public, private, religious) from MD-DC-VA.”

One person getting a preliminary negative response about school capacity does not equate to private schools ‘dissing Conway and her family.

The New York Post also wrote:

While the posh private schools’ handbooks and websites all preach “diversity” and “open-mindedness,” Conway said, “For some, there is a comfort in sameness.”

Private schools have long struggled with what “diversity” means to their own communities and how to ensure that all students feel like they belong. This issue has largely affected  private schools across race and ethnic lines, but politics too can be a factor, with some institutions known for having families that are mostly liberal and others having more conservative student/parent bodies.

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(Incidentally, the school that Conway’s twins now attend, the Elisabeth Morrow School in Englewood, N.J., says on its website that it “pursues the highest educational standards in a supportive, creative environment” and it terms its community as “diverse.”)

Would some of the schools in the D.C. area known to have more Democratic families than Republican families refuse to accept Conway’s children because she works for Trump? It’s possible, but for most of them, not likely. Children from families of a range of political stripes — including Trump aides — have sent their children to the area’s private and public schools with little fanfare.

Conway wrote in a text: “I have faith that D.C. is a true melting pot and that people are educated and sophisticated such that they accept all types.”

Administrators of two private schools, one known for a liberal student body and the other for being mixed, said they would be glad to have Conway’s children, as well as Trump’s son Barron Trump, who is staying in New York at the private school he currently attends. The administrators spoke on the condition of anonymity because admissions proceedings are private and because of political sensitivities. Ivanka Trump, the president-elect’s daughter who is moving to the District with her husband, Jared Kushner, may enroll two of her young children in private Jewish schools. (They have a third child born in 2016.)

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It is unclear whether Conway and her husband, George Conway, a corporate attorney who is said to be on a shortlist to be named U.S. solicitor general by Trump, will want to put all of her children in a private school or put some of them in a public school. There are some terrific public-school systems in the greater Washington area, and scores of private schools that offer a range of educational experiences. Perhaps the best known is the private Quaker Sidwell Friends School, where President Obama sent his two daughters. Chelsea Clinton also went there when her father, Bill Clinton, was president, and President Richard Nixon’s two daughters attended as well.

While there are some families in Washington for whom four bills for private-school tuition are not a financial burden, that isn’t true for most people. Elisabeth Morrow School costs $35,800 a year for sixth grade — without extra fees. Some District private-school rates are even higher; Sidwell this year costs $39,360 for tuition, a hot lunch and textbooks, but that does not include other fees.

Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway stands next to President-elect Donald Trump as he speaks to a crowd at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., on Dec. 17, 2016. © Dan Anderson/EPA Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway stands next to President-elect Donald Trump as he speaks to a crowd at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., on Dec. 17, 2016.

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