Monday, President Obama paid a surprise visit to Viers Mill Elementary School, which serves the Randolph Hills community in White Flint. http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/schools/viersmilles/ Earlier the President attended parent-teacher conferences at his daughters’ schools in Bethesda and Washington D.C.
According to MSNBC, the President said he visited the school to “congratulate the students and teachers on their hard work. Obama stopped by Viers Mill Elementary School outside Washington, where he met with third- and fourth-grade students during their lunch period. The school receives federal poverty aid and has been celebrated for closing the achievement gap between minority children and other students.”
You can find the MSNBC story at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33382417/ns/politics-white_house/
Ironically, Viers Mill is the subject of much controversy in the White Flint Sector Plan. In addition to its travails with language, race and economic class, the school is severely over-crowded, with almost 250 students over capacity. Friends of White Flint, several local community groups, and the Montgomery County Planning Board have sought immediate help for the school, including by using White Flint-generated funds and by opening a new school at the former Rocking Horse Elementary School site in the Randolph Hills community of White Flint.
The proposal generated an explosive response, with the White Flint Community Coalition, an organization of residents opposed to the current White Flint Plan draft, proposing a “separate” solution for Viers Mill. Walter Johnson Cluster PTAs have voiced opposition to the prospect of a new school outside the White Flint Sector Plan boundaries, fearing redistricting which would take some students out of prestigious Walter Johnson High School and place them in the less-favored “down-county” cluster of schools. The Board of Education reportedly rejected the Rocking Horse proposal in the Plan, and noted that it would cause redistricting. Council sources report “ugly” letters being sent from people opposed to bringing Viers Mill students into the Walter Johnson cluster area. Coalition representatives responded by reminding their supporters to be civil in their comments, and proposing more immediate help for Viers Mill during last night’s Council testimony.
President Obama did not address the controversy during his visit.