Tuesday, April 15, 2008 | I live in the Lincoln High School cluster and recently received a letter from Lincoln saying that they do not have room for all the students, so my daughter would have to go into a lottery for a place at the school.
They told me that after the closing date for application to a VEEP school. Luckily, my kids are already in VEEP, so I was OK. But how many, I wonder, were not?
You touched on the point I have found most ironic about the busing. Most of these kids that are bused are low-income. The schools here south of 8 have pretty good programs that fit the specific needs of the low-income family, and can help those kids achieve. But the schools that receive the kids don’t spend any money on such things. They assume every child has a computer – my kids are required to send their homework to an Internet web site which checks for copying. The teachers assume the kids can pay for things at will, and often require purchases as a condition of passing. And the help for college age kids has no relevance to those who are low-income.
A friend of ours attended La Jolla High and was led by her counselor to apply for UC Berkley. She was accepted, she was a great student. But she had to turn the offer down because the advice she received from her counselor did not take into consideration the fact that her family is in the federal poverty level, and could not possibly afford the high cost of living rates in that town. Low-income kids need different services from those of higher income—and that fact is completely forgotten by the staff at the schools north of the 8.
And finally, I received a letter from Pershing Middle School principal which said that the school had failed its test for the No Child Left Behind Act. The letter was quite clear that the failure was the result of busing minority children into the school. With principals who consider the kids a bane, and a good scapegoat for their failures, what kind of environment are we fostering?