That the Los Angeles Unified School District, the country's second-largest after New York, faces a crisis is hard to dispute. Some 81% of the district's middle school kids attend failing schools, which might be one reason that one in three eventually drops out. L.A. schools superintendent (and former Democratic Colorado Governor) Roy Romer dutifully notes that elementary math and reading scores have risen in recent years. But the fact remains that only 13% of students are reading at grade level, and 11% are at grade level in math. The only word for such results is horrifying.The WSJ goes on to predictably blame the bloated and ineffective school district. The teachers' unions aren't doing much good, but that's obviously not a complete explanation.
Among minority students in the district, who comprise the vast majority, the situation is even worse. Last year, nine out of 10 black and Latino fourth-graders scored below proficiency in reading and math. Eighth-graders fared worse. Just 8% of black eighth-graders are proficient readers, and 7% are proficient at math. For eighth-grade Latinos, the numbers are 9% and 6%, respectively.
Don't expect publications like the WSJ to explicitly tell you that the rapidly growing Hispanic underclass is coming to resemble the African American underclass. Look forward to more ethnic partisanship in politics, a continuing drop in the US student population's abilities as compared to other developed countries, and open border apologists blaming everything under the sun except the realities of human biodiversity.