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Magnets don't aid desegregation

July 01, 2007

Re "Don't forget L.A.'s race case," Opinion, June 26

I support school racial integration, affirmative action and magnet schools, but I am no longer convinced that in L.A. the third does much to achieve the first two.

As noted in the article, the LAUSD has only 9% white students; because they are the new minority students, they are used to increased white percentages at magnets in black and Latino areas (e.g., an elevated 17% white and 12% Asian at the Bravo Medical Magnet).

My son was one of those white boys at two magnets at predominantly nonwhite schools, for which we were glad. The general public perception that blacks and Latinos are being bused into predominantly white schools is anachronistic, because such schools are rare here. I suspect that the 91% graduation rate at Bravo comes not directly from integration but from better educational programs and students who have chosen to go there to learn (as was true of my son's experiences).

Integration is desirable for many reasons, but finally the way to provide better education is to provide better education -- for all students throughout the city.

DAVID EGGENSCHWILER

Los Angeles

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