THE GAPS IN TUSCALOOSA: Perhaps a tiny bit of a con!

FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2014

Part 5—Coates buys a slightly flawed package: “Please come to Tuscaloosa,” an old siren song seemed to say.

When Nikole Hannah-Jones obeyed the command, she ran into her nation’s very large achievement gaps. This is what some of the gaps looked like when Tuscaloosa’s class of 2013 was completing eighth grade:
Average scores, Grade 8 math, NAEP
Students in Alabama, 2009
All students: 268.52

Higher-income students: 281.83
Lower-income students: 255.04

White students: 280.31
Black students: 248.01

Higher-income white students: 285.84
Lower-income white students: 269.15
Higher-income black students: 261.63
Lower income black students: 243.98
Using a very rough rule of thumb, ten points on the NAEP scale is often compared to one academic year.

That is a very rough rule of thumb. But even allowing for imprecision, we’re looking at very large gaps.

In their broad outlines, those data track the patterns found across the United States. They reflect the patterns which have always obtained in the course of our brutal racial history.

After going to Tuscaloosa, Hannah-Jones produced a 10,000-word report for ProPublica and The Atlantic. Given the subject matter of her report, everything Hannah-Jones writes must be understood within the context of those punishing gaps.

In our view, Hannah-Jones largely finesses those gaps in her chapter-length report, “Segregation Now...” One example:

She tells us that Tuscaloosa’s current version of Central High was deliberately zoned to be a low-income, all-black school. She then complains that Central didn’t offer Advanced Placement courses in the manner of Northridge High—a school which enrolled a whole contingent of higher-income white kids from the wealthy neighborhoods across the Black Warrior River.

Whatever one thinks of the “gerrymandered” zoning which created the new Central High, anyone with an ounce of sense would know why Northridge offered more AP classes than Central did. Those math scores provide the context for another complaint by Hannah-Jones, about the way schools like Central don't always offer calculus classes.

Go ahead—review those gaps! Are you shocked to learn that the school which enrolls the higher-income white kids might offer different courses from the school which enrolls the lower-income black kids? Do you really fail to understand the obvious dynamic here?

If so, Hannah-Jones is the perfect writer for you! In our view, these obvious matters were largely finessed in her lengthy report—and we’d have to say that Ta-Nehisi Coates may have purchased the misleading package, which we aren’t calling a “con.”

Just for the record, we share the old school tie with Coates. We taught math for one year at Lemmel Junior High. A few years later, Coates arrived there as a student.

Coates does a lot of superlative work about the history of race. In this case, we’d have to say he may have purchased a bit of a con—a pleasing ideological package which grossly finesses those gaps.

This is why we say that:

A few days after “Segregation Now...” appeared, Coates posted this reaction. He jacked her headline up a bit, using the highly dramatic “Segregation Forever.”

As he started, he praised Hannah-Jones’ work on housing segregation, which may be very good. He then posted this excerpt from “Segregation Now...,” thus buying a rather flawed package:
Schools in the South, once the most segregated in the country, had by the 1970s become the most integrated, typically as a result of federal court orders. But since 2000, judges have released hundreds of school districts, from Mississippi to Virginia, from court-enforced integration, and many of these districts have followed the same path as Tuscaloosa’s—back toward segregation. Black children across the South now attend majority-black schools at levels not seen in four decades. Nationally, the achievement gap between black and white students, which greatly narrowed during the era in which schools grew more integrated, widened as they became less so.

In recent years, a new term, apartheid schools—meaning schools whose white population is 1 percent or less, schools like Central—has entered the scholarly lexicon. While most of these schools are in the Northeast and Midwest, some 12 percent of black students in the South now attend such schools—a figure likely to rise as court oversight continues to wane. In 1972, due to strong federal enforcement, only about 25 percent of black students in the South attended schools in which at least nine out of 10 students were racial minorities. In districts released from desegregation orders between 1990 and 2011, 53 percent of black students now attend such schools, according to an analysis by ProPublica.
It’s hard to list all the misdirections lodged in those paragraphs:

From that passage, you’d never guess that black kids’ test scores have risen substantially during this move “back toward segregation.” You’d never guess that black-white achievement gaps have narrowed during this period.

(Hannah-Jones never mentions this fact in the course of her 10,000 words.)

That passage ends with a grossly misleading statistical comparison, which gives the impression that many more black kids now attend schools in which at least nine out of 10 students are racial minorities. As of 2011, the actual number across the South had risen to 34 percent—not to the 53 percent which surely misled many readers.

In the passage posted by Coates, Hannah-Jones compares apples to kumquats, making this increase seem much larger than it actually is. In the course of her 10,000 words, she never notes that this change has occurred during an era when the overall percentage of minority kids in American schools has greatly increased, a fact which helps explain the growth in the majority-minority schools she seems to find so undesirable.

Meanwhile, is there something wrong with attending a “majority-black school?” On the high school level, every white student in Tuscaloosa attends such a school! But in the course of her 10,000 words, Hannah-Jones never reveals the enrollment figures for those “resegregated” schools.

In our view, there’s a great deal of misdirection lodged in those two paragraphs. But we throwback liberals also receive a stirring tale in that passage:

All-black schools were refashioned as “apartheid schools” in that passage; this designation helps fill our souls with a type of moral fervor. Beyond that, we’re told that the move “back toward segregation”—whose size Hannah-Jones greatly embellishes—has been caused by a rollback in court-enforced integration.

This fills us with righteousness too.

In our view, Coates basically bought the package. In comments, he notes that he isn’t an education specialist. In our view, this was apparent in his reactions to Hannah-Jones’ report.

Coates quoted that passage from Hannah-Jones. This rumination same next:
COATES (4/18/14): Hannah-Jones profiles the schools in Tuscaloosa where business leaders are alarmed to see their school system becoming more and more black, as white parents choose to send their kids to private (nearly) all-white academies or heavily white schools outside the city. It's worth noting that the school at the center of Hannah-Jones' reporting—Central High School—was not a bad school. On the contrary, it was renowned for its football team as well its debate team.

But this did very little to slow the flight of white parents out of the district. (This is beyond the scope of Hannah-Jones's story, but I'd be very interested to hear more about the history of housing policy in the town.) Faced with the prospect of losing all, or most of their white families, Tuscaloosa effectively resegregated its schools.
On the high school level, did Tuscaloosa “effectively resegregate its schools?” Once again, these are the enrollment figures for the city’s three high schools:
Bryant High: 19 percent white, 75 percent black
Central High: 100 percent black
Northridge High: 35 percent white, 61 percent black
Does it look to you like Bryant and Northridge have been “effectively resegregated?”

That strikes us as a strange description. But in fairness to Coates, Hannah-Jones never cites those enrollment figures in the course of her 10,000 words. Beyond that, she grossly distorts this state of affairs at the start of her piece, writing this: “[T]he city’s white students generally attend schools with significant numbers of black students.”

On the high school level, that’s a world-class understatement—an understatement so vast that it qualifies as a distortion.

Whatever one thinks of Central High’s zoning, Coates may have been misled a bit about the extent of this “resegregation.” In our view, he bought the package a second way with respect to the older version of Central High.

The original, citywide Central High “was not a bad school,” he writes. “On the contrary, it was renowned for its football team as well its debate team.”

It’s true that Central High’s various teams were very successful. According to Hannah-Jones, this was partially tied to the school’s very large size as compared to other schools in the region and state.

Meanwhile, were there downsides to the old Central High? Were there problems at Central High which may have made other options seem preferable?

Hannah-Jones never interviews any families, white or black, who chose to leave Tuscaloosa’s schools, so there is no way to judge such matters. Beyond that, she offers statistics about the “white flight” which seem to have a peculiar time line, perhaps overstating the amount of flight which followed integration.

Why did families leave Tuscaloosa’s schools? According to Hannah-Jones, white enrollment dropped by 24 percent over a 26-year period starting in 1959. That doesn’t seem like a stampede to us, but city leaders, black and white, were concerned about where the process might end, and so they reconfigured the city's middle schools and high schools.

Hannah-Jones calls this “resegregation.” In Coates’ post, the process ends in a slightly peculiar place, with a gloomy proclamation that white supremacy will never end:
COATES (continuing directly): There doesn't seem to be much of a political solution here. It's fairly clear that integration simply isn't much of a priority to white people, and sometimes not even to black people. And Tuscaloosa is not alone. I suspect if you polled most white people in these towns they would honestly say that racism is awful, and many (if not most) would be sincere. At the same time they would generally be lukewarm to the idea of having to "do something" in order to end white supremacy.

Ending white supremacy isn't really in the American vocabulary. That is because ending white supremacy does not merely require a passive sense that racism is awful, but an active commitment to undoing its generational effects. Ending white supremacy requires the ability to do math—350 years of murderous plunder are not undone by 50 years of uneasy ceasefire.

A latent commitment to anti-racism just isn't enough. But that's what we have right now. With that in mind, there is no reason to believe that a total vanquishing of white supremacy is necessarily in the American future.
There’s a bit more, and we’ll suggest that you read it. For ourselves, we thought Coates was overdoing things a bit. In part, that was because we remembered his earlier columns about where his own son goes to school.

Back in 2012, Coates, a New York City resident, wrote several columns about the fact that he sends his son to a private school. In a column in the New York Times, he started with a touch of self-parody. Eventually, he described a stroke of luck:
COATES (7/12/12): Last month, my 11-year-old son completed his first year at the Manhattan Country School without cataclysmic incident. My wife and I, both being dutiful Hennessy-sipping liberal elitists, were attracted to the school’s diversity of race and income, and even more attracted to the sliding scale for tuition, for reasons both societally broad and personally austere.

The school was the sort I thought I would have wanted as a kid—small classes, a great deal of independence and myriad activities to stimulate the mind.

[...]

By some stroke of luck and by a greater stroke of privilege, my son enjoys a school that is the opposite of what I knew school to be. His teachers have seen him as something more than a potential statistic, as something besides another brown face in a demographic overrepresented in all the wrong columns. For him education has been not just the shield, but the sword.
Coates’ son came by a stroke of luck, as all children should. In 1960, entering eighth grade, we got lucky in a change of states and school districts too.

In September 2012, Coates wrote this second column in the Baltimore Sun. It also discusses his decision to send his son to private school.

There’s nothing wrong with the decision, which Coates and his wife seemed to base on what would be best for their son. We recalled those columns when Coates orated about white flight in Tuscaloosa, about the failure of all those people to tackle white supremacy through the selection of the schools their kids should attend.

Coates could have sent his son to a New York City public school. His son comes from a highly literate background. In such a school, he might have served as a role model for struggling kids from different backgrounds.

Coates gifted his son with a stroke of luck. Parents in Alabama, white and black, are allowed to do that too.

Hannah-Jones did a terrible job reporting “white flight” in Tuscaloosa. She did a terrible job reporting the numbers. (Those numbers don’t seem gigantic to us, at least in the way she presents them.) Beyond that, she didn't interview any white families who left Tuscaloosa’s schools. In that sense, she did a terrible job exploring the reasons they left.

Meanwhile, how many middle-class black families left the Tuscaloosa schools? How many black families left the West End to avoid being zoned into low-income schools, including Central High?

We’ll guess the answer is quite a few, since this has happened everywhere else in the country. But Hannah-Jones doesn’t ever mention “black flight,” let alone say if any such thing happened in Tuscaloosa. She never mentions these enrollment figures from across the city line in this age of “resegregation:”
Public high schools run by the Tuscaloosa County Schools:
Brookwood High: 91 percent white, 8 percent black
Hillcrest High: 57 percent white, 41 percent black
Holt High: 44 percent white, 51 percent black
Northside High: 96 percent white, 4 percent black
Sipsey Valley High: 73 percent white, 25 percent black
Tuscaloosa County High: 60 percent white, 36 percent black
Does that look like “Segregation Forever?” That said, did any black families leave Tuscaloosa in search of these schools? Such “flight” has happened everywhere else. Coates isn’t the only good person who wants the best for his child.

We’ll guess there are a lot of problems in Tuscaloosa’s schools. A lot of lower-income kids go to school there, and the gaps are large. Alienation and despair often hold hands with those gaps.

If the old Central High was still in existence, it would be enrolling kids from across the great divides we posted above. The new Central High enrolls lots of kids from the short end of those gaps. That creates a type of “low-performing” public school, a bit like the public schools in New York on which Coates took a pass.

The new Central High is full of kids from the bottom end of our gaps. You might not want your child attending that school, which is full of kids who are way behind. Coates could have chosen a struggling school, but we went somewhere else.

Today, we conclude “Our month of the gaps.” There are several things we want to know:

We want to know how a great kid like D’Leisha Dent got so far “behind.” We want to know how she was taught in kindergarten, in the first grade.

We want to know about preschool. We want to know where her “word gap” may have stood when she was 3 years old.

We want to know what Tuscaloosa can do to address that early “word gap.” To further the brain development which comes with early engagement.

We want to know what people can do to help the next group of Dents. By way of contrast, it seems to us that Hannah-Jones want to dream an impossible dream.

She wants to dream about “integration”—integration, in a school system whose population is 80 percent black!

Hannah-Jones sold us lots of exciting language, from an era which has passed. Apartheid schools! That made us feel good!

She let us feel like we’re on the front line in the civil rights era. Here's the problem. We aren’t.

Last night, Rachel Maddow played the same game with the story of James Chaney, the civil rights martyr. Therein lies a tale.

Can we talk? Maddow would jump off the Golden Gate Bridge before she would discuss the gaps or look for solutions to same. Maddow doesn’t discuss the needs of black kids, as you know if you’ve watched her show. But we liberals really do enjoy striking the pose.

When we do, we adopt our pose at the expense of kids like Dent, a superb young person on the short end of our nation's large gaps. What can we do to address those gaps?

Let them take calculus, Hannah-Jones says. It seems to us that this sort of thing is done to make adults feel good.

33 comments:

  1. I'm glad I studied calculus, because it's a beautiful subject. But I never used it in my working career.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was required to take it and swore that if I didn't use it, someone was going to pay. It turned out to be fundamental to my graduate courses and continues to be extremely important to my current career. So, it depends on your career choice.

      Delete
  2. OMB (When Thumbs Rule BOBworld)

    "Using a very rough rule of thumb, ten points on the NAEP scale is often compared to one academic year." BOB 6/20/14

    Thus begins BOB's latest (Final?) repetitous rendition of the tale of Tuscaloosa in which he continues to accuse others of misleading.

    "Please get your head out of your ass" the old commenter's song seemed to play on BOB's deaf ears.

    "Warning! This “rough rule of thumb” is very rough; we long for the day when some major newspaper asks NAEP officials to discuss the meaning of these score gains in some serious detail.…" BOB 4/7/10

    So NAEP Officials obliged.

    "An example of the use of this kind of score interpretation appeared in a blog called “The Daily Howler” by Bob Somerby on April 7, 2010"

    "“How many NAEP scale points is one year’s growth?” is a question users of the scores can sensibly ask; there should be an answer. It is not difficult to obtain the answer; it is merely expensive.....

    If “one year’s growth” is to be useful as a value that makes points on the score scale more meaningful, it would be useful to know if the empirical average value of “one year’s growth” is very different for students at different levels of the score scale or from different demographic backgrounds. Because values for “one year’s growth” are not currently available, the answers to these questions are unknown."

    "Either further research is required to support either or both of these classes of interpretations, or greater clarity is needed in the presentation of NAEP results to discourage such interpretations."

    This study observes that while 10 points might be close for 8th grade reading (they estimate 8 points as a whole, not within subgroups) it may be double that for 4th grade math.

    NAEP Validation Study January 2012

    http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED528992.pdf

    If Rachel Maddow would jump off the Golden Gate Bridge rather than discuss gaps, BOB would tongue his large intestine rather than quit misleading with myths repeatedly.

    KZ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For KZ:

      "You’d never guess that black-white achievement gaps have narrowed during this period."

      In this case, Somerby uses the same time period specified by Hannah-Jones in her article to delimit the range of test scores compared to determine the size of the gap and show that they have narrowed. It is Hannah-Jones, not Somerby doing any selection of scores here.

      Delete
    2. Anon @ 6:20 Go ahead. Make my day.

      Does he? Does he use the same time period?

      Here is what Hannah-Jones says:

      "Schools in the South, once the most segregated in the country, had by the 1970s become the most integrated, typically as a result of federal court orders. But since 2000, judges have released hundreds of school districts, from Mississippi to Virginia, from court-enforced integration, and many of these districts have followed the same path as Tuscaloosa’s—back toward segregation....

      "In 1972, due to strong federal enforcement, only about 25 percent of black students in the South attended schools in which at least nine out of 10 students were racial minorities. In districts released from desegregation orders between 1990 and 2011, 53 percent of black students now attend such schools, according to an analysis by ProPublica."

      This was the paragraph in which BOB attacked her for "apples to kumquats" comparisons, despite the fact she clearly says the difference between the two groups to which the statistics apply: all southern schools and those districts released from desegregation orders. BOB obviously thinks his readers are too stupid, too easily misled to figure out exactly what she wrote for them to read.

      So tell me. Is BOB saying achievement gaps narrowed:

      1) from 1972 to 2011?

      2) from 1990 to 2011?

      3) from 2000 to 2011?

      Clearly it could be any of the three.

      And lets pick some fruit shall we? Is he saying test scores went up and gaps narrowed:

      1) Througout the South?

      2) In the school districts released from desegregation orders?

      3) In a place he has chosen but he does not define?

      And exactly how, to quote you, does he "show that they have narrowed" besides merely stating it and you taking him at his word. What is his source? And what are the
      tests upon which we base the gains and gaps?

      BOBfans. They're like little Mikey of TV commercial fame. They'll eat anything. As long as they have BOB cherries.

      KZ

      Delete
    3. Dieting KZ? You seem preoccupied with eating unnatural stuff.

      Delete
    4. We like Kumquats. You seem to be keeping away from those fattening answers. No reason to expect otherwise given the mystery meat BOB feeds his child like followers.

      KZ

      Delete
    5. Have you ever actually tasted a kumquat?

      Delete
    6. I would have to say that KZ got the best of Bob on this one. Facts matter.

      Delete
    7. Don't give KZ any credit. Bob got the better of Bob.

      He does, however, show Bob firmly lost in the very kumquat trees in which Bob tries to put Hannah-Jones in. I can find no data to support any conclusion to support the notion that test scores went up or gaps were reduced in school districts released from desegregation orders.

      Delete
  3. We want to know.....

    "We want to know how a great kid like D’Leisha Dent got so far “behind.” We want to know how she was taught in kindergarten, in the first grade.

    We want to know about preschool. We want to know where her “word gap” may have stood when she was 3 years old.

    We want to know what Tuscaloosa can do to address that early “word gap.” To further the brain development which comes with early engagement.

    We want to know what people can do to help the next group of Dents."

    We just didn't want to know bad enough to not misreport she couldn't get into college for weeks on end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. KZ, Somerby cares about ALL black kids, not just Dent. Dent is representative of all of those kids in Tuscaloosa and elsewhere. You are embedded in specifics to the point that you miss the big picture. That isn't Somerby's fault. I understand that you have anger issues related to your disability but it is very unfair to take them out on an innocent blogger like this.

      Delete
    2. I am KZ. I have no anger. I have no disability. You have no argument. And you seem to have me confused with someone else.

      KZ

      Delete
  4. "...she didn't interview any white families who left Tuscaloosa’s schools. In that sense, she did a terrible job exploring the reasons they left."

    If you interview such parents, they tell you that their decisions are made according to what will most benefit their kids, just as Coates makes his decisions. That answer is assumed to be a cover for racism when expressed by white parents, but not black ones (who cannot ever be racist). So Hannah-Jones didn't ask because she assumes she already knows the answer -- white people don't want their kids to associate with black people. Their stated reasons for selecting a school are thus irrelevant and it would be a waste of Hannah-Jones time to ask such questions.

    I think Somerby's conclusion that people who don't ask certain questions don't care about the answers is correct. When people don't ask about why black kids are doing poorly in Central High, they don't care any more than Hannah-Jones cares about why white people don't want to send their kids there. It is easier to call people racist than to find out what would improve the educational prospects of struggling kids.

    ReplyDelete
  5. KZ has to be the dumbest troll on the planet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He isn't dumb. He is mentally ill or brain injured. Perhaps tweaking Somerby over gaps makes him feel whole.

      Delete
    2. Well, when the two of you are ready to refute anything he says, or contribute anything substantive on your own, let us all know.

      Delete
    3. No anger? This speaks for itself:

      "If Rachel Maddow would jump off the Golden Gate Bridge rather than discuss gaps, BOB would tongue his large intestine rather than quit misleading with myths repeatedly."

      Not only is this incoherent, it is ugly in a special, twisted way. Mentally ill. Angry. Contributing nothing here. A waste of space. A waste of words. Just a waste. Go away.

      Delete
    4. Do you think a writer who repeatedly asserts others would prefer suicide to writing what the author wants them to is a sign of a happy well adjusted person? Do you think suggesting that person has their head up their ass for stating such a thing is anger or parody?

      Delete
    5. I think you are issuing a cry for help but it is the nature of the internet that people cannot respond in any way that would be useful to you. If your problem is that your head is stuck up your ass, try a crowbar. You wouldn't know parody if it bit you on the ass. You are an angry person who is mocking someone else because you have an empty, pitiful life. You are annoying everyone here and you need to go away.

      Somerby has a hobby of blogging. He isn't hurting anyone and he occasionally says interesting things. That is not true of you. Go buy a dog, visit a park, read a book, cook a new dish, iron your underwear, serve soup at a homeless shelter. You are wasting your life here.

      Delete
    6. 11:59 The one exhibiting the anger here is you.

      Delete
    7. "Somerby has a hobby of blogging."

      Yep. Truer words were never spoken.

      Hobbyist Bob also is like a guy who dreamed of designing aircraft, but he had to settle for gluing together models. Then he starts a blog to say that the people who design and build real airplanes haven't a clue about what they are doing, and he could do it so much better.

      Delete
  6. "Hannah-Jones sold us lots of exciting language, from an era which has passed. Apartheid schools! That made us feel good!"

    Hannah-Jones did not invent the term "apartheid schools," so it was not "sold" by her. She reported facts, including the fact that the term is used in the academic community. While he is anxious to repeat the apples-and-kumquats claim, without the intellectual honesty to acknowledge that Hannah-Jones expressly identifies that one statistic is apples and the other kumquats. Except of course, that it is not apples and kumquats, but red delicious and Macintosh. If anything, one would think school districts that had been subject to desegregation orders would be more integrated than those that had not. The 53% figure is stunning in any case. While he remains obsessed with two sentences he thinks are misleading, Somerby seems to have no concern whatsoever with the reported fact that the number of 99% African-American schools has more than doubled in number since 1988.

    "Coates gifted his son with a stroke of luck. Parents in Alabama, white and black, are allowed to do that too."

    Neither Hannah-Jones nor Coates said or suggested otherwise. It appears Somerby has no idea what economists like Paul Krugman are talking about when they use the term, "the paradox of thrift." What is good for the individual in a time of economic downturn -- saving money and reducing debt -- is bad for the society as a whole. This is a perfect parallel to that. Few would say there is a moral imperative for an individual family with the opportunity to send kids to a superior school to forego that opportunity. But we need to recognize as a society that the collective weight of all those decisions is damaging to the country. We were recognizing it with the long-term commitment to desegregation throughout the society. This article (and others one can find with a minimum of effort) finds evidence that that commitment has been weakened severely. It is a very important article notwithstanding the fact that Somerby thinks a different article, one he apparently thinks someone else should write, would be more important.

    "Hannah-Jones did a terrible job reporting “white flight” in Tuscaloosa. She did a terrible job reporting the numbers. (Those numbers don’t seem gigantic to us, at least in the way she presents them.) Beyond that, she didn't interview any white families who left Tuscaloosa’s schools. In that sense, she did a terrible job exploring the reasons they left."

    This is another ridiculous statement. The article wasn't about explaining "white flight" -- as if that subject hasn't been analyzed a zillion times for many years -- it was identifying a national phenomenon that has been described in academic literature and providing a local illustration of it for a general audience.

    This series has in many ways been reprehensible, and Somerby should be ashamed of it. For starters, he repeatedly makes deceptive statements about what Hannah-Jones and Coates actually wrote. After repeating or suggesting arguments that have been used for over a century to justify the idea that "separate but equal" is just fine, he thinks he can resurrect his bona fides by telling us how superb and superlative black kids are. I'm sure some of his best friends are black, too. Whether or not the numbers are "gigantic" or not is completely irrelevant, too, and his arrogance in telling Hannah-Jones and Coates how they should feel about those numbers is almost beyond comprehension.

    This is what you get when your narrative imperative is not just to critique other works and use them to make some other important arguments, but to attack the writers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent work. Thanks for posting it.

      Delete
  7. You do know, don't you, that any white parents in the South that can afford it, and a lot who can't, send their kids to private school? You know, for the sake of "the children..."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You do know, don't you, that any white parents in the South who could afford it once had slaves. And a lot of white kids whose parents couldn't afford it died for their right to keep owning them if they could. You know, for the sake of the children?

      Delete
  8. I will truly miss this excellent informative series on gaps.

    I learned:

    Gaps are caused by poor parenting by parents who are poor.

    We know the gap involves millions and millions of words based on six welfare families in Kansas City in the mid 90's.

    Gaps appear at 18 months, age 3, and can be measured in 4th grade, and in low income high schools. They play a role.

    Reporters never cover gaps except when doing so to not cover gains.

    Reporters are nice people despite writing heinous things.

    Alabama has some very nice kids. So may other places.

    Nobody cares about black kids but some black kids have grown up to be heinous writers or hyprocritical when it comes to their own kids.

    Segregation is beyond doing anything about.

    We don't know what can be done to address those gaps.

    Our wonderful kids seem to be involved in a decade long march to better schooling as revealed by progress on scores at elementary and middle school age on tests which are given to no other kids in the world but ours. Lucky us.

    Standards hurt poor kids, like those who are making large gains on standardized tests throughout our great land.

    Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote a piece between 9,900 and 10,000 words long.

    I think I could pass a mulitple choice test on this series.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I learned how much fun it is to play with educational statistics.

      Using The Somerby standard very rough rule of thumb on his favorite math test"

      4th Grade Math 1996 2009

      'Bama White Kids 221 237
      Mass. White Kids 232 258

      8th Grade Math 1996 2009

      'Bama White Kids 270 280
      Mass. White Kids 283 305


      As you can see, despite white flight or resegregation, Alabama's poor white kids are falling further behind white children from Massachusettes, despite strong gains by both in math!

      Alas! Alabama 4th graders used to be only a year behind. Now they are two, very roughly measured by thumb.

      Gack! 8th graders from the Heart of Dixie do worse.
      They once trailed Bay Staters by a tad over a year. Now it is two and a half.

      We suspect, were Hart and Risley let loose in Birmingham and Boston with babies, that the slowness of speech would reveal a gap of about 10,000,000 words between babies exposed to the southern drawl in their first four years.

      I don't know. Despite a month on the topic, Bob never really covered the gaps between white kids. I didn't explore the difference between black kids in Alabama and Massachusettes. I'm liberal. I don't care.

      Delete
  9. TL;DR

    Somerby's wrong -- press reporting on our schools is informative and unbiased.

    [/idiottrollfucks]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you shocked to learn that the school which enrolls the higher-income white kids might offer different courses from the school which enrolls the lower-income black kids? Do you really fail to understand the obvious dynamic here?

      Delete


  10. Dr.Brave Help Me To Stop A Divorce And Save My Marriage Today?

    Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Jeffrey Dowling,i live in TEXAS,USA.and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(bravespellcaster@gmail.com}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website http://bravespellcaster.yolasite.com,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to "bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{bravespellcaster@gmail.com} , Thanks.

    ReplyDelete