This is what happened: We raised our kids in the foothills of Los Angeles. It was a nice neighborhood of sizable, fairly new homes inhabited by Asian, black, Hispanic and white families with similar comfortable living standards. The neighborhood schools were highly rated in the city. All it lacked was a sitcom going on in one of the homes.
The kids played together and went to each other’s birthday parties. Then one day, the City of Los Angeles and its school board decided that it was wrong for black kids to go to mostly black schools in Watts and white kids to go to mostly white schools in the suburbs. The city bought a lot of school buses and started bussing black kids to the ‘burbs and white kids to Watts. Our superior Van Gogh Elementary received busloads of black and Hispanic kids to replace the white kids it lost. The black and Hispanic local residents were swamped by the new arrivals and ironically, some of them were bussed to black or Hispanic areas with the whites.
As parents, we had only a second-hand hand view of this process our kids were enduring. Our first observation occurred when our young son told us that his (black) friend wouldn’t play with him anymore; he was sorry, but the new black group of boys at school wouldn’t allow him to associate with whites. And there were no more invitations to the birthday parties.
Our next observation came a little later; our kids’ grades at school, nosedived. The bussed-in kids, we found out later, were mostly at lower proficiency levels and the classes had to be dumbed down to accommodate them, resulting in many previously good students becoming bored and uninterested. Some of the good teachers, left.
Our older kids were attending Kennedy High School where the effect was greater. The program called for the bussing to produce a balanced student body one third white, one third black and one third Hispanic. Our older kids had been decent students; when the younger ones reached high school, their grades were poor and one ditched school a lot. We discovered that the school’s proficiency levels had dropped like a rock with the onset of the city bussing program. Unfortunately, by the time we understood what was happening, it was too late to correct things for our kids.
We learned that the program was intended to cure the perennially low proficiency of students at the black and Hispanic neighborhood schools by sending the kids to better schools, while providing the ‘poor’ schools with better students to help upgrade them.
That proved to be like seeding barrels of bad apples with good ones to make the bad ones better. Starting with poor schools in black and Hispanic neighborhoods and better ones in economically better neighborhoods, the city ended with weaker schools overall. That was of course, predicted; the predictors were shouted down as ‘racists’ and ‘protectors of white privilege’ and so on.
The Los Angeles City Schools have never recovered. Neither have our children. This is the report of an eyewitness and (parental) participant in that ‘Progressive’ social experiment. I am obviously biased by my experience, so I will not preach about it. But as you react to related current affairs, I offer for your consideration whatever there is to be learned from my experience.