Jay Mathews writing in this morning’s Washington Post reflects on A Crucial Decision for the Obamas: Private or Public? “Like many parents moving their children to Washington, Barack and Michelle Obama will be told to avoid D.C. public schools. Is that good advice?”

Mathews is betting that the Obamas will go with Georgetown Day School, but notes that like other private schools in Washington D.C., the bill for this private education would be $56,000 a year for two kids. Mathews asks, Why not take a look at the public schools to see what their tax dollars are paying for?

Over in the opinion section, Fred Hyatt, the Post’s editor of the editorial page, gives us an answer to that question in his piece, Can Obama Help Rhee?

A principal recently was defending a teacher whom D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee had observed in the classroom and found wanting.

“Would you put your grandchild in that class?” Rhee asked the principal.

“If that’s the standard, we don’t have any effective teachers in my school,” the principal replied.

Recalling that comment a few days later, Rhee is still steaming. “I said, ‘That is the standard,’ ”

I’m giving odds the Obamas won’t be sending their girls to that particular public school.

It should be noted that D.C. public schools cost just about $25,000 per pupil, about $10,000 more than the average for area private schools. And that President-elect Obama is opposed to educational vouchers and school choice for poor children.