Supplemental: Piece about black kids completely ignored!

THURSDAY, JUNE 25, 2015

The reason for which should be clear:
Yesterday morning, the New York Times ran a fascinating op-ed column by a pair of professors.

The column appeared in the hard-copy Times; it concerned the interests of black kids. For that reason, the column has been completely ignored. Your favorite liberals haven’t discussed it, and they never will.

Intentionally or otherwise, our favorites have been pushing a lot of our buttons this week. They've fed us a steady diet of outrages, real and imagined, concerning events in the South.

Unfortunately, our favorite liberals don’t give a rat’s ascot about black kids. There’s no sign they ever will.

Yesterday’s column appeared beneath this headline:

“Is Special Education Racist?”

Incredibly, even the R-bomb couldn’t pique the interest of our favorite liberals! Special ed is so déclassé! Who could possibly care about that?

(In fairness, your favorites are not alone. The column garnered just 97 comments from Times readers. By way of contrast, the column in which Roxane Gay condescended to those Charleston rubes racked up 885.)

What did the professors argue in their column? Unfortunately, the professors make a complex bevy of points. Their basic thesis can be found here:
MORGAN AND FARKAS (6/24/15): The belief that black children are overrepresented in special education is driving some misguided attempts at policy changes. To flag supposed racial bias in special-education placement, the United States Department of Education is thinking of adopting a single standard for all states of what is an allowable amount of overrepresentation of minority children.

If well-intentioned but misguided advocates succeed in arbitrarily limiting placement in special education based on racial demographics, even more black children with disabilities will miss out on beneficial services.

Black children face double jeopardy when it comes to succeeding in school. They are far more likely to be exposed to the gestational, environmental and economic risk factors that often result in disabilities. Yet black children are less likely to be told they have disabilities, and to be treated for them,
than otherwise similar white children.
The piece details a depressing set of risk factors to which black kids are disproportionately exposed. But who could possibly care about that when a great flag hunt is on?

If you care about actual kids, you can read the piece. That said, you’ll never see the authors’ claims discussed or assessed at any major site.

Now for a different approach! In this morning’s New York Times, Nicholas Kristof wrote a column which blended the current flag hunt with comments about public schools.

He started, as he often does, stressing his own moral greatness.

No, we aren’t making this up—and it isn’t clear that this passage was meant as a joke. In fairness, this isn’t the start of the column:
KRISTOF (6/25/15): Suppose American women waved flags of Lorena Bobbitt, who reacted to domestic abuse in 1993 by severing her husband’s penis and throwing it into a field? The aim wouldn’t be to approve of sexual mutilation, of course—but Bobbitt’s subsequent acquittal was a landmark in the recognition of domestic violence!

Well, you get the point. That’s how the Confederate battle flag looked to many of us...
In fairness, three other examples were less absurd although, we would say, not a whole lot more helpful, unless we’re mainly trying to Keep Regional Rancor Alive.

Eventually, Kristof began listing additional efforts we can make, now that Bobbitt has been banned from various states’ license plates. He hurried through some familiar remarks about low-income schools and the kids who attend them:
KRISTOF: More consequential than that flag is our flawed system of school finance that perpetuates inequity. Black students in America are much less likely than whites to attend schools offering advanced science and math courses.

[...]

So I’m all for celebrating the drawing down of the Confederate battle flag, but now let’s pivot from symbolic moves to substantial ones.

That means, for example, early childhood programs, which offer the most cost-effective interventions to create a more even starting line. These include home visitation, high-quality preschool and literacy programs.

A Stanford University randomized trial examined a simple, inexpensive program called Ready4K!, which simply sent three text messages a week to parents to encourage them to read to their preschoolers—and it was astonishingly successful. Parents read more to children, who then experienced learning gains—and this was particularly true of black and Hispanic children. And because this was text messaging, the cost was less than $1 a family for the whole school year.
Kristof’s work on public schools often strikes us as dilettante-ish, perhaps even tilting toward simple-minded.

Today, he rushed his work even more than usual, thanks to the time spent on You Know Who’s you-know-what. That said, his educational nuggets may have left readers feeling good, thanks to the mandated reference to a program which has allegedly been “astonishingly successful.”

People like Kristof have been typing such anecdotes since the 1960s. Such anecdotes leave the upper-class reader with a bounce in his step—with the sense that simple solutions are sitting out there, just waiting to be applied.

Was Reading4K! really “astonishingly successful?” If so, how successful is that? Kristof doesn’t say, and no one you see on cable TV is ever going to ask.

Concerning these dueling columns, let’s offer a few quick points:

Black kids are scoring much higher, in reading and math, than was true a few decades ago. On its face, this is important good news.

That said, it’s virtually impossible to learn this important fact from writers like Kristof or from newspapers like the New York Times.

You really have to hate black kids to keep that fact a secret. For what it’s worth, that improvement has been earned despite the obstacles listed by Morgan and Farkas—and a substantial “achievement gap” still exists, due to the fact that white kids are scoring higher in reading and math as well.

Is the achievement gap mainly due to “our flawed system of school finance?” We’d say it pretty much is not. But you will never see the column, the broadcast or the report which thoroughly thrashes out such questions. Simply put, the press corps doesn’t care, not even on our own “liberal” channel.

In truth, our heroes don’t seem to care about black kids very much. Even in this heroic week of the flag, few things could be more clear.

For extra credit only: “Black students in America are much less likely than whites to attend schools offering advanced science and math courses?”

We all know how we’re supposed to react to that statement. We’re supposed to say, “If we simply provided the funding, low-income kids could take advanced math classes too!”

We aren’t supposed to ask this question: “Due in part to the obstacles cited by the two professors, how many kids in those low-income schools wouldn’t quality for those advanced math courses?”

Those anecdotes help make us feel good about our educational challenges. We’ve been reading such anecdotes in our major newspapers for the past 45 years.

46 comments:

  1. It seems like we always come back to poverty as the fundamental way to address education disparities, not in terms of school funding but nutrition, child care and early childhood experience. Seems to me people who care about black kids should be discussing that, not necessarily the kids or their educational progress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poverty is the smaller part of the problem. Kids in poverty who have involved parents and an intact family stand a good chance for success. The larger part is the abuse against black kids by their negligent parents and their progressive enablers.

      Delete
    2. Maybe you could provide a link or two in support of your ridiculous claim that liberals support negligent parenting. Or that liberals aren't in favor of involved parenting and "intact" families.

      By the way, did you notice that SCOTUS upheld the ACA today? The one that helps families stay "intact" by having access to affordable health care? The one that your tribe had been trying to kill since it was enacted?

      Delete
    3. These doomed kids are already on Medicaid. 75% of black kids are born out of wedlock. Deprivation of both parents in the home is the first act of negligence committed against them, in addition to producing them with no means to support them and no intention to be involved with them. Liberals consider these facts verboten or unimportant, which is a form of insanity and complicity in child abuse.

      Delete
    4. Forcing pregnant women to carry their pregnancies to birth, due to religious superstition--and being a sucker for plutocrats pulling your strings--, will teach 'em.

      Delete
    5. 8:34 PM - SCUM ALERT!! Wash your hands before responding.

      Bund meeting tomorrow at 6!

      Delete
  2. Too much truth here for the progressive left agenda, as confused, aimless, and emotion-based as it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. cicero's blowup dollJune 25, 2015 at 6:58 PM

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      Delete
  3. Um, 504. do you see the possibility that poverty or even very low incomes makes it a tiny bit harder to maintain an intact family and involved parents?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A voice in the wilderness.

      Delete
    2. What makes it even harder is producing baby after baby out of wedlock with the knowledge that both you and the other parent cannot afford them and will continue to neglect them, because others will make excuses for you. And pay you to do it.

      Delete
    3. It's a little plastic container with a bunch of little pills inside. It might be in your medicine cabinet. Check there first 7:33, but hurry!

      Delete
    4. Do you even know how much birth control pills cost?

      Delete
    5. @ 8:57

      Target sells a month's supply of birth control pills for only $9 to people who do not have insurance plans covering contraceptives. Much too dear for Sandra Fluke

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    6. 7:33 PM,
      Forcing pregnant women to carry their pregnancies to birth, due to religious superstition--and being a sucker for plutocrats pulling your strings--, will teach 'em.

      Delete
    7. @ 4:01

      Who forces women to wait until the third trimester to invoke Roe V Wade ruling and terminate the life? Are they waiting due to Planned Parenthood pulling their strings?

      Delete
    8. cicero,
      No one.
      No.

      Delete
  4. More work from “professors.” Our greatest burden and scourge,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Especially those darn, pointy-headed English professors that can't even teach proper punctuation.

      Delete
    2. The comma came from Bob. As did the line.

      Delete
  5. So Bob Somerby, cuffing aside the lessons of King, Mandela, and Alana Simmons, continues to show no mercy for Nick Kristoff, who aroused his anger back in 2000 for a couple of lines written about Al Gore.

    Bob writes today: "our favorite liberals don’t give a rat’s ascot about black kids. There’s no sign they ever will."

    Yet he quotes extensively (though selectively) from a column by Nick Kristof. Kristof's theme is that, as important as removing racist symbols like the Confederate flag may be, it is not nearly as important as:

    1) life expectancy of a black boy being five years shorter than a white boy.

    2) black family net worth being $6,314, compared with $110,500 for the average white household.

    3) more than 2/3 of black children grow up in low income households

    4) more than 1/3 of inner city black kids suffer from lead poisoning

    5) black men in their 20s without a high school diploma are more likely to be incarcerated than employed

    6) and yes, the one stat Bob singled out for ridicule because it was his thesis that resegregation in southern schools was not that big a problem, black kids attend schools with less advanced classes.

    Not a sign Bob. Not a sign. Just pretty much a whole column from some liberal who doesn't give a rat's ascot.

    Bob says it is bad to be concerned that black kids don't have access to advanced classes because few qualify for them. Bob says it is bad to ignore for one day a new study showing that despite their overrepresentation on a percentage basis in special education classes black children may need to be even more highly concentrated there.

    And of course, once again we are reminded of the greatest sin: ignoring the rising test scores of these kids who may need more special ed.

    Folks, this post is the work of a lunatic, a hypocrite, or both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristoff alluded to an example (lead), but did not specifically mention nor link to, the previous day's column detailing problems in healthcare between black and white children that could create the achievement gap.

      As TDH put it, "He hurried through some familiar remarks about low-income schools and the kids who attend them. Kristof’s work on public schools often strikes us as dilettante-ish, perhaps even tilting toward simple-minded."

      As TDH put it, the issue with Kristoff. "If you care about actual kids, you can read the piece. That said, you’ll never see the authors’ claims discussed or assessed at any major site."

      I am scratching my head wondering how a text message for literacy will treat and diagnose fetal alcohol syndrome!

      Delete
    2. Or asthma, or malnutrition, or sickle cell, or a variety of other conditions not related to parental behavior but strongly affected by access to good health care and preventive medicine. This was Somerby's point. Easy solutions are pleasing but a real solution needs to examine the less tractable problems.

      In Los Angeles, lead concentrations are highest near freeways, but that is where the lower rent housing is. When parents have low wage jobs how do they move away from the corridors with higher lead (and other air pollution that aggravates asthma)?

      Delete
    3. No. It wasn't Somerby's point. Somerby's point was that liberals hate black children. Except the New York Times published the op-ed he touts and the New York Times column he decries expresses a number of points of concern to the welfare of black children.

      Both fly in the face of his bald, flat assertion that is his main point: "our favorite liberals don’t give a rat’s ascot about black kids. There’s no sign they ever will."

      Delete
  6. With all due respect, Bob, the fact that the New York Times published this op-ed undermines much of what you have been writing about them.

    And it has not been completely ignored. Along with your blog, I find one other link where the op-ed was republished much of it with the headline intact.

    http://www.dailystormer.com/nyt-is-special-education-racist/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristoff alluded to an example (lead), but did not specifically mention nor link to, the previous day's column detailing problems in healthcare between black and white children that could create the achievement gap.

      As TDH put it, "He hurried through some familiar remarks about low-income schools and the kids who attend them. Kristof’s work on public schools often strikes us as dilettante-ish, perhaps even tilting toward simple-minded."

      As TDH put it, the issue with Kristoff. "If you care about actual kids, you can read the piece. That said, you’ll never see the authors’ claims discussed or assessed at any major site."

      I am scratching my head wondering how a text message for literacy will treat and diagnose fetal alcohol syndrome!

      Delete
    2. I am scratching my head wondering why, in his long series on the gaps, Bob himself never mentioned fetal alcohol syndrome treatment either. But your long reach to defend him reeks of fecal ascot smooching.

      Delete
    3. That is not fair. The Daily Stormer article covering the New York Times op-ed piece was a repost of an article from V-DARE. So there have been two other publications which found the same value in it that Somerby did.

      Delete
    4. The black achievement gap isn't because of lead poisoning and fetal alcohol syndrome. How the left contorts itself to avoid the truth.

      Delete
  7. "Black kids are scoring much higher, in reading and math, than was true a few decades ago. On its face, this is important good news."

    Long Term Trends NAEP Most Recent Data
    2012 Compared to a Few Decades Ago 1990

    Black 17 year olds

    2012 Math 288
    1990 Math 289

    2012 Reading 269
    1990 Reading 267

    Reading scores by black 17 year olds on the most recent NAEP Long Term Trends test are 5 points lower than they were at their highest, in 1988. In math the fall off is only 1 point from its high in 1990.

    One its face Bob's statement is the misleading representation of a cherry picker. Worse it is the demagoguery of someone who is dropping an "R" bomb himself by saying the liberals do not care about black children because they fail to present data as falsely as he does.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The drop-out rate is lower now than it was in the 1970s. In theory, that’s an improvement, of course. But it tends to depress the average score attained by 17-year-old students. Because fewer kids are dropping out, the NAEP is testing a wider array of the 17-year-old population. "

      THE DAILY HOWLER
      DAZED MEETS CONFUSED: Brian Williams’ song!
      WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 2013

      Delete
    2. Bob Somerby, Master Chef of Cherries Jubilee is fond of using variations of the dropout argument to justify avoiding use of statistics which measure the performance of childrens whose journey through out public school system is nearing its end.

      You use a quote from Bob's famed Dazed and Confused series. I will use another from the next post in that series speaking in more detail about drop outs. It is a quote Bob selected from an AP article:

      "For instance, Hispanic students had a 32 percent dropout rate in 1990 and that number fell to 15 percent in 2010, said Peggy Carr, an associate commissioner with the National Center for Education Statistics."

      Funny, but during the period when the Hispanic drop out rate was falling in half, the NAEP math test score of Hispanic 17 year olds rose 10 points from 1990 to 2012 (a whole year by Bob's exclusive Rough Rule of Thumb)!

      Bob never mentions that. He must not give a rat's ascot about those damn Hispanic "should have been" dropouts.

      Delete
    3. Let's look at the relevant studies:

      First, it's not just "Bob" who is using the "dropout argument" it's also from the NAEP itself:

      "The changing makeup of the student population is one reason why the overall average score for 17-year-olds
      has not changed significantly even though student groups within the overall population are making gains.
      When an increase in the proportion of typically lower performing students is accompanied by a decrease in
      the proportion of higher performing students, the overall average score can remain unchanged even though
      the average scores for both higher and lower performing groups increase. This phenomenon is known as
      Simpson’s paradox."

      Let's journey into the dropout rates via the NCES 2015 report (where Peggy works):

      "Hispanic students, on the other hand, experienced no measurable change in their event dropout rates from 1972 through 1990 or from 1990 through 1995, but
      did experience a decline from 1995 through 2012."

      Now look at the NAEP data that TDH linked to:

      1990: 284
      1996:292
      1999:293
      2004:289/282
      2008:293
      2012:294

      From 1996 to 2012, as the dropout rate was most significantly going down, the math score rose 2 points, not 10.

      Here is the trend line for 17 year old Hispanics in reading showing the same story:

      1990: 275
      1994: 263
      2012: 274

      Delete
    4. There are several problems with your analysis.

      The first pertains to dropout rates. You present no evidence that there was an increase in student retention from 1996 to 2012 compared to 1990 to 1996. Unfortunately dropout statistics have no national uniformity. Like many crimes statistics they are collected and reported by states and cannot be reliable. So your use of the word "significantly" to report a change in the dropout rate is a dubious choice.

      The exact same score results in reading can be found among both blacks, whose reported dropout rate decreased during this period, but not so dramatically as among Hispanics, and whites, whose drop out rates were lower than both other groups throughout the history of testing.

      Here is the trend line for 17 year old blacks in reading

      1990: 267
      2012: 269

      Here it is for whites

      1990: 297
      2012: 295

      The larger problem is one of logic. If, at the higher age group you are simply testing more of the children who are showing such amazing gains at the age of 13 and the age of 9, shouldn't the positive trends witnessed at those lower ages be visible as they age and pass into higher grades?
      They simply are not.

      Delete
    5. I'm sorry but it is a matter of fact that the data I cited are from federal reports. It's simply not debatable, unless one has a reason to distrust them.

      Delete
    6. Originally TDH was discussing black poverty and abuse by the healthcare system.

      But whatever!
      I was hit with accusations of "dubious" sources and words, that I "present no evidence" for my arguments. In light of the research cited below, I think it can be argued that I am not the one with little to no evidence to support assertions. If this discussion can be done with intelligence and respect for the time and effort each of us puts into it, by all means expect a reply. Otherwise, maybe find another blog to spam!

      Let's get the "larger problem" out of the way first. You query: "shouldn't the positive trends witnessed at those lower ages be visible as they age"? The 17 year olds are not asked to pass the 9 year old's test. They are asked to pass a test designed to challenge them more. I think this is a false equivalence.

      Let's use the conclusions of federal researchers and go through your complete argument:

      You cited that "In math the fall off [of Black 17 year olds] is only 1 point from its high in 1990." This fails to account for the fact that from 1990 to 2012, although there has been no discernable trend up or down in dropouts, black dropouts are much lower on average than when test scores were rising until 1990. As predicted, with less dropouts than before, the upward trend will not continue.

      You have countered this effect several times, and in each time you have plainly gotten the data and attribution wrong.

      You erroneously attributed this effect, the Simpson's Paradox, to Bob. I would like to see this acknowledged. I have accessed the NAEP's discovering it wasn't Bob "cherry picking" at all but an actual statistical principle. It was cited several times over in the actual NAEP reports. I'll also note we jumped into "those damn Hispanic" scores without acknowledging the black dropout rate.

      From this point I corrected the Associated Press summary of NCES data, which TDH had lambasted as horrible misinformation. In remedy, I cited the actual NCES data. In reply to this, you again attributed to your perceived opponent, now shifted from Hypocrite Bob to me, the conclusions of the researchers. You discredited data on dropouts, comparing them offhand to "crime rate," citing yourself apparantly. Quite amazingly, although the federal dropout data is not reliable to you, you did seem to trust "an associate commissioner with the National Center for Education Statistics." It follows from this logic, unforunately for you, that your counterpoint about "when the Hispanic drop out rate was falling in half" also "cannot be reliable," as you were citing an NCES expert. However, at least according to Peggy Carr's organization, "mean absolute percentage errors (MAPEs) for projections of public high school graduates were 0.8 percent for 1 year ahead," and these rise only a few more points when projecting up to 10 years. It's hard to not feel like I'm being trolled.

      I will take full credit for altering the words "did experience a decline" to "significantly going down" but that should be a moot point by now.

      Other things to note. In response to all of this data, which you pretend to have access to but don't seem to read:

      The NAEP's conclusions cannot be debunked when putting together the scores of "both blacks, whose reported dropout rate decreased... as Hispanics and whites." Actually "Black students ...experienced...an increase [in dropouts] from 1990 through 1995, but their event dropout rates fluctuated and no measurable trend was found between 1995 and 2012." It is during this period, where dropout rates never hit double digits but still stagnated, that the grade stagnation occurred across the pooled 17 year olds. This includes white 17 year old readers and math solvers who saw an "increase from 1990 through 1995, and another decrease from 1995 through 2012" in dropouts.

      Delete
  8. This article seems to be overlooking the fact that information is a saleable commodity and altruism comes a poor second to commerce, especially in the health field. Genetic research may be a totally fascinating pursuit for those involved but will it truly provide any realistic benefits?
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