The Bus Kids Children's Experiences with Voluntary Desegregation Ira W. Lit

Publication date:
17 Mar 2009
Yale University Press
224 pages: 210 x 140 x 19mm
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The Bus Kids offers a compelling and uniquely detailed examination of the experiences of kindergarten students in California participating in a voluntary school desegregation program. Ira Lit focuses on the day-to-day school life of a group of minority children bussed from their poor-performing home school district to an affluent neighboring district with high-performing schools. Through these kindergarteners’ experiences, the book sensitively illuminates the processes of school transition, socialization, and adaptation, and addresses an array of important issues relating to American education.


Lit acutely observes these “bus kids” and the quality of their social, emotional, cultural, and academic experiences. He presents a moving picture of the complexity of challenges, often unrecognized by teachers and parents, each young student confronted every day.

Ira W. Lit is assistant professor and director, Elementary Teacher Education Program, School of Education, Stanford University, and a former elementary school teacher. He lives in Menlo Park, CA.

“Ira Lit provides us with a human portrait of the unintended consequences of educational reform on children. He is a close and expert observer of children at school, and a graceful writer.”—Sam Intrator, Smith College

“Through observations and interviews, Ira Lit offers readers a glimpse of life in kindergarten for desegregation program students. Engaging and original, this book will make an important contribution to the field.”—Denise Pope, author of Doing School