BREAKING: Rational animal strikes again!


Would "integrate" L.A.:
The rational animal has struck again at the New York Times. We refer to a puzzling op-ed column in today's hard-copy editions.

The piece appeared beneath this headline: "Choice Is the Enemy of Justice." The boxed sub-headline says this:
Charter schools make it possible to avoid the hard work of integration.
You're looking at the latest fuzzy declaration in favor of public school "integration." In this case, the author complains that charter schools in Los Angeles have undermined the power of integration:
KAPLAN (8/15/18): Today Los Angeles and California as a whole have abandoned integration as the chief mechanism of school reform and embraced charter schools instead.
Has the Los Angeles Unified Public School District "abandoned integration as the chief mechanism of school reform?" We don't know. More to the point, we aren't real sure what that claim even means.

We do know what the student population is like in this giant district, the nation's second largest. Live and direct from the LAUSD site, the district's demographics look like this:
Student population, Los Angeles public schools
Latino students: 74.0%
White students: 9.8%
Black students: 8.4%
Asian-American students: 6.0%
Given that student population, how could the district use "integration" as "the chief mechanism of school reform" in L.A.? Maybe you understand how that would work. We'll admit that we pretty much don't.

We pseudo-liberals love the sound of "integration" when we discuss pubic schools. In some ways, it seems to be part of our tribal love of the general idea that, in terms of "race relations," it's still 1955.

At any rate, our love of this sound has led to years of heartfelt opinion pieces which make no apparent sense. The New York Times has a special fondness for such puzzling efforts.

We humans! Long ago and far away, we developed the ability to gossip and the ability to invent and affirm group fictions. However irrational or unfounded the group fictions may have been, affirmation of the fictions conferred membership in the group.

Professor Harari made those claims. Those claims don't come from us!


  1. "We pseudo-liberals love the sound of "integration" when we discuss pubic schools"

    What you liberal zombies really do love is virtue-signaling. Whatever the pseudo-substance is to be used for your virtue-signaling, that you don't care about.

    Could be "integration", or could be, just as easily, those "suffering children", or a suffering blackmailer-whore.

    1. Wow. That's unusually garbled.

    2. Trump and the rest of the GOP couldn't give a shit about "integration" or "suffering children".
      They are too busy comforting the establishment elites.

  2. "We support the sensible use of charters. We even support the sensible widespreaduse of charters, where such widespread use can be done in a sensible manner."

    Somerby once again sidesteps a discussion about charter schools vs traditional public schools. Kaplan isn't advocating for a return to busing or forced integration. She recounts her and her family's own history in LA and expresses some regret about the way the school system, like our society, has become more, not less segregated, over time. Her article looks at the rise of charter schools and sees them as a result of the failure to live up to the Brown decision. They are a result, she says, of increasing segregation, white flight, and impoverishment of inner city families. Charter schools aren't going anywhere. Many liberals support them nowadays. But it is worthwhile to ask, as Kaplan does, what effect they have on the remaining traditional public schools with whom they are in competition, what the motivation is of billionaire charter backers, and whether the original idea behind public schools is being fulfilled by charters.

  3. Those figures of Somerby's don't necessarily imply that integration is a hopeless goal. If all 9% of the white families are found in a few schools that are mostly white, instead of spread across all of the schools, fewer kids will have experience of diversity.

    Los Angeles has always been more integrated in the sense that members of different racial and ethnic groups interact with each other more and are less self-segregated and less "Balkanized" than in other large cities. It results in more intermarriages and more favorable attitudes toward members of other groups. It is a historic accident, but Somerby's figures showing large numbers of Hispanics conceal the many different immigrant and non-immigrant statuses and the many different nationalities of origin among Hispanics, who are diverse within that category. The same is true for the 6% who are Asian. So a school can be non-integrated and still diverse, if you consider other aspects of diversity.

  4. "We pseudo-liberals love the sound..."

    Here Somerby admits that he is a pseudo-liberal, whatever that is. I suppose I could call Trump a pseudo-liberal if he chose to label himself as a liberal. What is Somerby actually, when he is pretending to be liberal?

    1. You really nailed Bob with that one!

  5. School choice may not be the enemy of integration, but it is the enemy of the teachers' unions. These unions don't want competition among schools, because some schools will be shown to be less effective than others.

    1. Vouchers for defense!
      Zero out the Pentagon budget, and give every man, woman and child a $10,000 voucher to choose how to defend themselves the way they want.
      Certainly that makes as much sense as providing vouchers for schools.

  6. Previous topic: the question of Trump's support among blacks was debated recently. Staggering new figures, according to Rasmussen Reports

    President Trump’s approval rating with African Americans hit 31% on Monday.

    And today Trump’s approval with African Americans jumped again… to 36%

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