Friday, March 12, 2010

Who Benefits?

Here is a question I posted over at Steve’s place regarding his coverage of Obama’s attack on the Los Angeles Unified School District:

Who benefits?

I mean, it's easy to see who will be hurt: White and Asian students (and above-average children of any race) who use magnet/charter/AP programs to extract a decent education from LAUSD; their families who then have to abandon the public schools and/or pack up and move to communities with no minorities to disparately impact; and the LAUSD tax base. Meanwhile, the minority students themselves will not be helped by this, and will probably be harmed in the long run.

Politically speaking, this appears to be a Democrat administration pouncing on a heavily Democrat jurisdiction. Granted, it's hard to see how it hurts Democrat fortunes in California -- whatever centrists start leaning Republican will be offset by white-flight -- but I don't see how it helps, either.  Nationally, it will attract the notice and ire of any public school parents in school districts with substantial minority populations, but aren’t these already heavily Democrat?

So . . . why is Obama doing this? It's very difficult to see the upside for him or his party.

UPDATE:  One possibility crosses my mind:  this represents Obama’s effort to force LAUSD to re-introduce bilingual education.  In theory, this will benefit professional Hispanics, who like keeping their people in a linguistic ghetto.  But Hispanics are already heavily Democrat, so the upside to Obama has got to be small.  And I’m not sure it will work:  English immersion is in the California constitution, and LAUSD couldn’t officially abandon it even if it wanted to.


Anonymous said...

A way of creating taxpayer-supported jobs for bureaucrats and bilingual teachers?


Dr. Φ said...

Perhaps, but LAUSD is already out of money. Any bureaucrats hired would be at the expense of existing teachers.

There is some talk over in the comments at isteve about a consent decree as an end-run around state law, and this should be easy to do when you're suing (potentially) you're own side. But we still don't know what the end-game really is.

Elusive Wapiti said...

A good analysis.

In the end, the students with parents with means will leave (physically) or leave (start to homeschool) and the LA basin will become even more concentrated with lower-achieving NAMs and a shrinking tax base.

44's actions strike me as grandstanding. A way to shore up his support among the race warlords in the black and Mexican communities who drool like one of pavlov's pooches at the mere mention of disparate-impact racism.