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By the deadline this coming Friday, some 60,000 kids will have applied for just 15,000 slots in the LA Unified Magnet School Program. All over the district, parents are trying to game an admissions system that's based in part on racial quotas that are 30 years out of date. The magnets were born to accomplish integration. If they don't do that, what are they good for? Are race-based admissions even legal under California law?

Producers:
Dan Konecky
Christian Bordal

Main Topic Have Magnet Schools Outlived Their Usefulness? 24 MIN, 45 SEC

In the 1970's, California courts ordered forced busing to achieve racial integration in LA's public schools. Thousands of white parents then moved away or sent their kids to private schools. So the Los Angeles Unified School District developed the Magnet Schools, with programs of such high academic standing that all parents would voluntarily send their kids across town. Now, forced busing is a thing of the past, but magnet schools have become the most popular in the district. Parents have until Friday to turn in their applications for next year, and one of the criteria for acceptance will still be race.  We get an assessment from parents, educators and administrators.

Guests:
Paul McCudden, parent and professor
Ryane Straus, assistant professor of political science
Sharon Curry, assistant superintendent of student integration services

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