Souther California Integration/Segregation
One of the many beauties of Southern California is how diverse the population is. As someone from Southern California is one of the things that makes me feel proud of where I live. Because of the belief of all the different people and cultures, California is one of the most progressive states in the country. However, according to the study “Divided we Fail” California is far behind when it comes to integration of races in public and private school systems.
According to the study “Divided we Fail” as of 2011 in the LAUSD 10% of students are white, 10% black, 73% Latino, and 7% are Asian. The study says “In Southern California, home to what is by far the nation’s largest population of Latinos, the second largest Asian population and the West’s largest population of African Americans.” Students are placed in schools that match their community and economic status. Even tough Latinos make up the biggest population of students they have been isolated from the rest of their classmates. “The average Latino student was enrolled in a substantially integrated school with a white majority to the most segregated state for Latino students.”
As a Latino alumni from LAUSD the statistics do not surprise me. While in school I never had much interaction with peers from other races. I didn’t wondered why we were separated until I thought about joining the Zoo Magnet in high school, where buses would take students to their classes at the Los Angeles Zoo. I decided not to pursue the magnet program because I was afraid of being rejected since most students were white and Asian. These students were enrolled in my high school; yet, they did not have the same high school experience that I did. For example, my school offered French as a language class, but all Spanish-speaking students were forced to take Spanish because the French class was reserved for Magnet students. Within my own school there seemed to be intentional while-flight.
While the school systems have been trying to find a solution to this since the 1970s when Crawford v Los Angles Board of Education brought proposition I. Proposition I would implement mandatory relocation of students to other schools by busing, in order to desegregate the school system.
The real solution to integration of students in Southern California can be done, but like anything new, it will be opposed and rejected. Government should provide equal funding urban schools as they do to rural schools. Parents of minorities should be able to choose which school to send their children and not be forced to settle for the most convenient choice. Providing equal opportunities for students in the classroom would benefit both minorities and majorities.