GAPS AND TRACKS: The New York Times doesn't like "screening!"

TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2018

Part 1—"Cherry picking" practiced, decried:
The New York Times doesn't like screening, a practice it also describes as "tracking" and "cherry picking."

More specifically, the New York Times doesn't like the amount of screening (or tracking) which is permitted by the New York City Public Schools as part of the school admission procedure.

The New York Times thinks too many of the city's schools are permitted to "screen" incoming students on the basis of academic achievement. And who knows? In that ardent if cloaked belief, the paper may even be right!

Does New York City permit too many high schools to "screen" incoming ninth-graders? That question is hard to answer, but the New York Times thinks it does.

How do we know what the New York Times thinks? The paper didn't publish an editorial in which this view was stated.

Instead, the Times published a comically slanted "news report" on yesterday's front page. The report appeared under this hard-copy headline:
Schools Cherry Pick, Leaving Minorities Behind
Already, the editorial view seems abundantly clear. But we knew the famous newspaper thinks the screening is out of hand when we reached the comical passage shown below.

The passage appears fairly late in the report by Hu and Harris. The reporters are discussing the procedures by which New York City kids gain admission to many high schools and middle schools:
HU AND HARRIS (6/18/18): The process at every level can be grueling for children and their families. “I don’t think anyone who’s gone through the high school application process thinks it’s anything but legalized child abuse,” said Clara Hemphill, the editor of the popular school guide InsideSchools, a project of The New School’s Center for New York City Affairs. “I think it would be a healthier system if we poured resources into neighborhood schools to make them stronger.”
Sometimes you just have to laugh.

Having said that, we're willing to take a wild guess! We'll guess there's someone in New York who thinks the application procedure is something other than "legalized child abuse!"

In effect, the scribes cherry-picked that eye-catching description from a wider range of possible views. Before the week is done, we'll also ask you to consider the second part of Hemphill's statement, in which she alludes to all the "resources" New York City could allegedly "pour into" neighborhood schools. Problem magically solved!

Hu and Harris cherry-picked that evocative statement about the child abuse. That said, such cherry-picking is on display all through yesterday's "news report," in which elbows, thumbs and even asp cheeks are constantly placed on the scales, leading to a front-page headline in which the New York Times describes the city's current admission procedures as a form of "cherry picking" which "leaves minorities behind."

Every button is being pushed in that heavily slanted headline. For the record, the argumentative term "cherry picking" isn't taken directly from Hu and Harris themselves. It's taken from another cherry-picked statement—a statement by one of the New York City parents Hu and Harris chose to quote.

(They chose to quote exactly two such parents, out of a possible roughly two million. How did they choose those particular parents? Only their editor knows!)

Does New York City permit too much admission "screening" on the middle and high school level? Certainly, that's possible, though it's also a matter of judgment.

What's abundantly clear is the fact that the Times adopted that stance yesterday through the medium of a front-page news report. Basically, every standard button was pushed as the paper tried to persuade its gullible readers to adopt its own high-minded view.

This was terrible news reporting—and it appeared on the front page of our most important newspaper. On the upside, this slanted report can help us see why conservatives will sometimes say, not entirely without reason, that they feel they can't believe a thing they read in the New York Times.

Does New York City permit too much "screening"—Hu and Harris also refer to the practice as "tracking"—in the school admission process? Like everything else, that's possible! We'll ponder the question all week.

That said, Hu and Harris went to heroic lengths to avoid confronting the obvious reasons for "tracking," whether done within a school or in the admission process.

Why would public schools in New York City engage in screening or tracking, even in "cherry picking" or "picking and choosing?" Also, why does screening or tracking tend to "leave [certain] minorities behind?"

Duh! It's because of the size of some of the gaps—the extremely large achievement gaps the New York Times refuses to tell you about. We've published these data again and again. They aren't allowed in the Times:
Average scores, Grade 8 math, Naep
New York City Public Schools, 2017

White students: 290.71
Black students: 255.63
Hispanic students: 263.56
Asian-American students: 306.03
Unless there's something wrong with the Naep, extremely large achievement gaps are defined by those punishing numbers—and virtually everyone agrees that the Naep provides our most reliable educational data.

If anything, the gaps confronted by Gotham's schools are even larger than those data may suggest, as we'll show you (again) with other Naep data this week. Prepare to run screaming from the room when we show you percentiles again!

At any rate, the New York Times refuses to report or discuss the basic data we've shown you again and again. Yesterday, the paper also refused to run the awkward headline it could have run instead of the propagandistic headline which graced the paper's front page.

In so doing, Hu and Harris, and their editors, walked away from the black and Hispanic kids who sit on the short end of those enormous gaps. This continues a fifty-year process in which we liberals pretend to care about those kids, while consigning them to the "second-class citizenship" reflected in those Naep scores.

Who's committing the "child abuse" now? We'll ponder the question all week.

Tomorrow: Classic slanted "reporting"

The data which mustn't appear: For all Naep data, just click here. From there, you're on your own.

20 comments:

  1. "Who's committing the "child abuse" now? We'll ponder the question all week."

    The term child abuse has been applied this week to the separation of immigrant children from their parents. Somerby knows this.

    Failure to consider "the gaps" specifically, while addressing tracking is now being described by that same term, child abuse. Talk about false equivalence! Talk about minimize what is being done to immigrant kids!

    There is no evidence that New York's schools, or any other districts, are failing to address the academic needs of poor and minority kids when they fail to explicitly talk about these gaps. It is likely that teachers are attempting to remedy those gaps every day in their various classrooms. These headlines in the New York Times have nothing to do with what is actually happening in schools. Nor does any failure of "liberals" to discuss things using exactly the terminology Somerby wants to hear, mean anything whatsoever about whether liberals support or do not support educational practices to remedy gaps.

    Somerby is being ridiculous again, but in whose service? He deliberately borrows a term being applied to heinous behavior by Trump's folks, and hijacks it to apply to a non-issue with no particular impact on kids, as if the two were equally serious. By doing so, he minimizes what Trump is doing.

    Classic propaganda technique. One would think Somerby didn't care at all about immigrant kids. In fact, since he has not mentioned them, I doubt he does care. He only cares about liberal-bashing these days. He only cares about giving aide and comfort to Trump, propping up the behavior of some truly evil people. Next thing, he'll be suggesting that those middle schoolers should be "dating" our politicians -- with their mama's permission, of course.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By now, I’m used to the cluelessness of TDH’s commentariat. The trolls, like Mao in Cal, the moral and intellectual idiots like David Cheng Ji, the endless Anonymous posters who read Somerby’s mind — he’s no liberal! he hates women! — and those who don’t understand how a blog could fail to address their pet issues. (The latter are the people who write nasty Yelp reviews about vegetarian restaurants because they couldn’t order steak.) But I’m still surprised by the utter inability of some to read for comprehension.

      Case in point, Anonymous on June 19, 2018 at 9:40 AM, who writes that TDH

      deliberately borrows a term [child abuse] being applied to heinous behavior by Trump's folks, and hijacks it to apply to a non-issue with no particular impact on kids, as if the two were equally serious. By doing so, he minimizes what Trump is doing.

      But TDH isn’t “borrowing” the term. That honor belongs to Clara Hemphill, the editor a school guide, InsideSchools, someone quoted by Winnie Hu and Elizabeth Harris in the NYT of 6/18. TDH calls the Hu/Harris piece “comically slanted” and calls the authors out for “cherry picking” quotes.

      Here’s what TDH actually says about NYC high-school admission procedures:

      Does New York City permit too much admission "screening" on the middle and high school level? Certainly, that's possible, though it's also a matter of judgment.

      Here’s what TDH actually thinks of the NYT’s piece containing the child-abuse comparison: “This was terrible news reporting” (emphasis TDH’s).

      Of course @9:40A goes on to guess what Somerby thinks of immigrant kids, that he only cares about helping Trump, and that Somerby is in favor of politicians dating underage children. That’s only to be expected. It’s the sheer incompetence in reading simple paragraphs that I’m noting here.

      Sorry, Sparky, but you’re being held back a grade because your reading skills are so weak. You’ll have go take some remedial classes, but, hey! look on the bright side. Maybe you’ll learn to read.

      Maybe you’ll even learn that aid is the help and aide is the helper.

      Delete
    2. Deadrat, you think your reading is the only possible way to read something. It isn't.

      First, I quoted Somerby, not Hu/Harris or Hemphill. Somerby pulled the phrase child abuse from their quote and decided to make it the focus of the week's posts. He did that in the context of this ongoing strong protest over actual child abuse committed by the president. Using the term in that context is "tone deaf" (wrong, insensitive, unnecessarily upsetting to others, unfeeling, a minimization of the acts the term is otherwise being applied to -- forcible separation of kids from their parents). I made that very clear.

      Second, you seem to think that anything not actually contained in a comment doesn't exist. I have made very clear why I considered Somerby's defense of Roy Moore untenable. If you weren't around to read any of that discussion, that is on you. I do not need to repeat it to make an allusion to it.

      I have also repeatedly explained in detail why I think Somerby doesn't like women much. I have been doing it whenever he comes up with something egregious. Again, if you weren't around, or if you were around but disagreed, it doesn't mean I have no basis for what I said. It means YOU are ignoring context. Treating every comment as if it occurred in a vacuum and nothing has been said previously is a violation of conversational pragmatics.

      That you for the spelling correction.

      When you read something and agree with it, you will not react to or see the same things as people who read the same thing and disagree. You will read past when others notice. It doesn't mean that stuff isn't there. So, stop claiming that I can't read. Go back and look for the things that ticked me (or other commenters) off. Try to take on someone else's perspective for a change. You can always disagree, but at least you won't keep claiming that no one can read except you.

      Delete
    3. Deadrat, you think your reading is the only possible way to read something. It isn’t.

      First of all, quit telling me what I think. You’re not very good at mindreading, and your attempts block your understanding. Secondly, we’re not on an initial caps basis.

      Of course there are many possible ways to read something. Including some wrong ways. Yours, for instance.

      First, I quoted Somerby, not Hu/Harris or Hemphill.

      Yes, you did. And in the process completely missing the point, something you have quite a talent for. One might even say a gift.

      Using the term in that context is "tone deaf”

      The persons using “the term in that context” are Hu, Harris, and Hemphill. TDH decries using a “cherry picked” quote with that term to improperly imbalance the scales of understanding. But you needed to indulge your moral outrage. Can you at least be honest about your judgments below? I’ve interpolated some helpful suggestions.

      wrong
      You don’t like the blog entry.
      insensitive
      You’re upset by the blog entry.
      unnecessarily upsetting to others
      You’re upset. (C’mon, you don’t know of any “others”.)
      unfeeling
      Your feelings were hurt.
      a minimization of the acts the term is otherwise being applied to
      You don’t understand what TDH is saying

      you seem to think that anything not actually contained in a comment doesn't exist

      Still telling me what I think. Still not any good at it

      Yes, I was around for your absurd claims that TDH defended Roy Moore and your equally ridiculous conclusion that TDH doesn’t like women “much.”

      (Or at least I was around for somebody’s absurd and ridiculous comments. You haven’t abandoned your attachment to making anonymous comments based on the ignorant fear that the alt-right or the FSB or somebody might track you down if you used a nym. And that is on you.)

      It doesn't mean that stuff isn't there.

      It doesn’t mean that “stuff” is there either. You’ll need evidence to show otherwise, and by evidence, I mean from outside your own head.

      So, stop claiming that I can't read.

      But you can’t read. At least not for comprehension. Your own feelings about “stuff” get in the way. Your first comment here is dispositive of that.

      Try to take on someone else's perspective for a change.

      I see no reason to take on any “perspective” that is supported by nothing but emotionally-backed speculation. But if you’re so damned fond of other people’s perspectives, why not try taking on the perspective that that the NAEP gaps are the single most important indicator of failure in the single most important endeavor for our society and that those who ignore this issue are complicit in that failure?

      You can always disagree, but at least you won’t keep reading your own feelings into the words that others write.

      Delete
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  2. "Yesterday, the paper also refused to run the awkward headline it could have run instead of the propagandistic headline which graced the paper's front page."

    Breaking News: Some kids do better than others in school!

    Achievement of minority kids lags again.

    How about these headlines:

    Tracking OK because minority kids will underperform anyway.

    OK if scores are destiny because minority kids do worse on NAEP tests.

    Parents should demand higher scores for all kids, not adjust entrance requirements.

    Ratty teachers still neglecting minority kids.

    Parents to be separated from kids with substandard test scores until all kids score equally.

    Schools with substandard performers will be taught by standup comedians in new city outreach effort.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Schools Cherry Pick, Leaving Minorities Behind"

    Yeah, Bob, so the NYT and other tools of your zombie cult are trying to inflame 'racial' animosity, just in time for this year elections. What else is new.


    So, perhaps it'll increase the vote for your zombie cult by 1-2%. But your zombie cult will, most likely, lose anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trump needs to use his "expertise" as President. What's the hold up? Seventeen months as President, and he still hasn't taught each and every American how to file bankruptcy.

      Delete
    2. Liberals are going to lose in New York City? In what universe?

      Your training at troll school should have included the information that this is a primary election coming up, not a general election.

      Delete
    3. Trump is a liar and a thief.
      And Putin's bitch.

      Punk

      Delete
    4. "are trying to inflame 'racial' animosity, just in time for this year elections. What else is new."

      Read Trump's biography, start with the Central Park 5 and keep going to "Obama was born in Kenya".
      Mao,you are a lying sack of shit. Getting close to DinC but way short of Trump.

      Trump is a liar and a thief.
      And Putin's bitch.

      Punk


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    5. Pardon me, you are a lying sack of shit punk.


      Punk!

      Delete
    6. Mao has acquired his own troll.

      Delete
    7. Just calling the punk out on his lies.
      DinC is not ignored either.
      Both are lying sacks of shit.

      DinC has the added "distinction" of being a bigot.

      Delete
    8. I will continue to call them out.

      That they are (almost always) the first to comment on and agree with Bob's posts shows me how peculiar TDH has become.

      Delete
  4. The comment from Hu and Harris that struck me was:

    "...now choose all of their students based on factors like grades or state test scores. That intensifies an already raw debate about equity, representation and opportunity that has raged..."

    What struck me about that excerpt was that the debate, according to H&H, was about "equity, representation and opportunity," but did not seem to include educational efficacy.

    Surely, the justification or rejection of processes that direct students to schools based on test scores should depend on the educational results of such a process for various sub-populations, should it not? That efficacy will also, presumably, be a function of the relative resources provided to the different schools.

    ReplyDelete
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