Who supports busing today?: How many Democratic "candidates" support federally mandated busing? Given recent pseudo-discussions, The Atlantic decided it had to find out!
In a murky example of modern-day "youth journalism," Godfrey and (Mark) Harris reported that Candidate (Kamala) Harris has been "hedging on the issue" ever since she dramatically raised it several weeks back.
Other hopefuls have been more clear, the pair of reporters said. In the passage shown below, they began calling the roll.
Ten of the twenty-five (!) Democratic candidates (sic) do support federally mandated busing, the Atlantic's reporters said. Correctly or otherwise, they didn't include Candidate Harris on their list of the woke:
GODFREY AND HARRIS (7/10/19): Other 2020 Democratic candidates, though, are more unequivocal on the issue. After reaching out to the campaigns of all 25 Democratic candidates for president, 10 responded that they support federally mandated busing: Warren; Booker; Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas; Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts; Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio; Andrew Yang; Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam; former Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska; and former Representative Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania.There you see the list of the woke. Just for starters, let us say this about that:
Yang, Messam, Gravel and Sestak are "Democratic presidential candidates" in much the same way that we run the Bolshoi Ballet. In theory, this means that the Atlantic found six (6) real or semi-real candidates who do support mandated busing.
That said, the reporters set a rather low bar for inclusion on their list. For example, does Candidate Booker support mandated busing? Earlier in their report, the reporters quoted his campaign saying this:
GODFREY AND HARRIS: [A]t least 10 2020 Democratic candidates do support federally mandated busing as a means of desegregating America’s schools. “If localities are not taking action to desegregate schools, Elizabeth believes the federal government has a constitutional obligation to step in to deliver on the promise of Brown v. Board, including, if necessary, busing,” a spokesperson for Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts told us. Sabrina Singh, a spokesperson for Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, echoed the sentiment. “At a time of increasing segregation of schools, we should consider every tool at our disposal—including busing—to support desegregation and ensure equal opportunity for all kids,” [the Booker spokesperson] said."We should consider every tool at our disposal, including busing?"
In all honesty, it's hard to see how that statement differs from the "hedging" the scribes attributed to Candidate Harris. But so what? That fuzzy statement qualified Booker for listing among the woke.
That said, does anyone really support mandated busing of the type Candidate Biden opposed in the 1970s (sic)?
Putting it a different way, has anyone ever proposed any such busing? Would anyone have said one word about mandated busing if Harris hadn't delivered her sneak attack, a prelude to the selling of her $30 "little girl" t-shirts?
Does anyone really support mandated busing? Due to his past service as mayor of Newark, Booker lets us ponder this question in a uniquely specific way.
Again, we direct you to Dale Russakoff's well-received 2015 book, The Prize: Who's In Charge of America's Schools? In her book, Russakoff chronicles the chaotic attempt by Mayor Booker to join hands with Governor Christie and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to transform the Newark Public Schools, which were under state control at that time.
In our view, Booker's massive cluelessness is the star of Russakoff's superbly non-partisan book. However well-intentioned he may have been, Booker seemed to have had no idea of the difficulty and the scope of the task he was attempting.
As far as we know, no one currently claims that Booker actually "turn[ed] Newark into a symbol of educational excellence for the whole nation," a miracle he crazily claimed he could achieve within the space of five years.
It's also true that busing for the purpose of diversification is never mentioned in Russakoff's book, not even once! There's no sign that Booker ever suggested any such thing, despite his alleged support for the high-minded practice today.
In many ways, Newark would have been a perfect candidate for mandated busing of the type Biden opposed. As we speak, the district lists its student population like this:
Newark, N.J. Public SchoolsBased upon those data, the typical Newark public school is "intensely segregated" today. But how great! Newark is the county seat of Essex County, whose relatively small area (130 square miles) contains a substantial number of boroughs and townships which are heavily white.
Student enrollment, 2019
White kids: 8.4%
Black kids: 42.9%
Hispanic kids: 47.2%
The Newark schools are perfect for busing! Consider the nearby borough of North Caldwell (population 6200):
According to the leading authority on the hamlet, North Caldwell has been listed as the third best place to live in New Jersey, and also as the 34th richest town in the United States!
Its schools are highly rated. Even better, their demographics seem ripe for diversification:
North Caldwell, N.J. Public SchoolsAn array of such hamlets exists within compact Essex County, whose overall population is roughly evenly divided on a black-white racial basis.
Student enrollment, 2019
White kids: 90.1%
Black kids: 1%
Hispanic kids: 4.1%
As such, this compact county would have been a dream for mandated busing! But Russakoff mention no such proposal at any point in her book, in which a stunningly clueless Mayor Booker pursues an absurdly impossible dream along with a know-nothing gaggle of equally clueless favorite disciples and friends.
Newark's public schools remain "intensely segregated" today. That said, no one is going to ask Candidate Booker why he says he supports mandated busing when he doesn't seem to have proposed any such action back when he was in charge.
That's because no one actually cares about this. This whole "discussion" has been a scam designed for political ends.
The woke have been discussing the bused. A few of the hopefuls are even saying they care.
In the process, the gullible get carted away. Then again, "Consider the species," as an array of top experts have said.
("This species was wired for conduct like this," despondent future anthropologists have told us again and again.)
No one was ever going to suggest that the hamlets and boroughs of Essex County share their schools with Newark's kids! One candidate doesn't seem to have supported or proposed that approach back then, and no matter how "hurtful" Biden's statements have been, that high-minded candidate isn't proposing such actions today.
In saying this, we don't mean to offer a judgment about the actual merits of mandated busing. Instead, we offer a judgment about the conduct of the woke and the bused, along with the fate of the played.
In the current pseudo-debate, busing has served as a way to get there. In truth, none of the hopefuls support such a practice, and none of them ever will.
Newark's schools today: How well are Newark's schools performing today?
We hope they're performing well. But because the city has never taken part in the Naep's Trial Urban District Assessment, there's no real way to compare Newark's schools with those in other big cities.
New Orleans has never taken part in the TUDA either. When "reform"-minded districts avoid this assessment, we're inclined, rightly or wrongly, to mark them down several grades.