I appreciated Elaine Woo's conscientious reporting on "A Tale of 2 Schools Bound by Busing" (Times, March 17). This is the first in-depth report on the reality of trying to solve overcrowding in inner-city schools by busing overflow students to "under-utilized" schools. If only it was as easy as moving a student from one school to another. However, as The Times pointed out, a great many of the children bused in the "capacity-adjustment program" are recent immigrants and "predominantly Spanish-speaking," and their educational needs can differ greatly from their English-speaking classmates.
It should be heartening to read of the positive efforts at Pacific Palisades Elementary to adapt an academic program and strive so consistently for equity in education. But the achievements in equity are only half the story at Pacific Palisades Elementary. What I missed in Woo's article was the school's unflagging determination to strive for excellence in education, above and beyond what is required by the district and state. Parent-sponsored enrichment programs of four and five years standing are being expanded and improved each year. The art room, hands-on science lab, computer lab, journalism class and music and drama programs are all incorporated into the weekly schedule to enhance regular classroom work.
The faculty and parents at Pacific Palisades Elementary believe that excellence and equity are attainable goals--and you must have both if our education system is to serve our social and economic well-being.
We would like to invite The Times to return to our school to report on how "excellence" is flourishing along with equity.