The Bus Kids
Children's Experiences with Voluntary Desegregation
Yale University Press 2009
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in EducationNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Public PolicyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network May 18, 2016 Trevor Mattea
Many of us are familiar with the court-mandated bussing programs created in an effort to achieve school desegregation in the 1960s and 1970s. Far fewer of us realize there were also voluntary transfer programs that were crafted in out-of-court settlements in the decades that followed. For example, as part of the Canford Program, wealthy districts like those in Arbor Town accept between 6-60 students from nearby South Bay City, where resources are more scarce. These children who win the lottery have access to all of the same teachers, facilities, and curricular materials as the students living in the surrounding neighborhoods. Still, their experiences are far from the same. Canford students ride the bus each morning. Their trips are long and chaotic, and as a result, they often arrive late, hungry, or unsettled. These students must quickly transition into routines that fail to take this reality into account, and issues of equity quickly arise. Do the benefits of such a program exceed its costs? How might such a program be redesigned? To what extent is the bus (or recess) part of school anyway? In The Bus Kids: Children’s Experiences with Voluntary Desegregation (Yale University Press, 2009), Ira Lit, recounts the experiences of small children participating in an inter-district transfer program designed to allow students living in a low-income community to attend better-resourced schools in other nearby towns.
Lit joins New Books in Education for the interview. You can find more information about his work with the Stanford Teacher Education Program on its website.To share your thoughts on the podcast, you can connect with him via email at [email protected]
Trevor Mattea is an educational consultant and speaker. His areas of expertise include deeper learning, parent involvement, project-based learning, and technology integration. He can be reached at [email protected].