The Times should be ashamed: Once again, we show you the data which define one modern version of "the problem we all live with."
These data concern academic performance within the New York City Public Schools. Similar data obtain nationwide:
Average scores, Grade 8 math, 2017 NaepBelow, we'll show you the corresponding data for public schools nationwide. For now, let's stick with "the problem we all live with" in Gotham.
New York City Public Schools
White students: 290.71
Black students: 255.63
Hispanic students: 263.56
Asian-American students: 306.03
Those data seem to define "achievement gaps" which are brutally large. If we apply a conventional though very rough rule of thumb, in which ten points on the Naep scale roughly equates to one academic year, the average black eighth grader in New York City is performing more than three years below the average white eighth grader, five years below the average Asian-American.
Those are brutal gaps. But in the face of those punishing data, the New York Times—our dumbest, least comprehending upper-class newspaper—continues with its self-involved, pointless magical thinking.
In yesterday morning's front-page report, the Times continued its quest for a largely pointless state of affairs it has now even described as "full integration." The report was written by Eliza Shapiro, who is presumably being held hostage by her unnamed editors.
Would it be better if Gotham's schools were more diverse, more "racially balanced?" In theory, yes, it would be.
That said, there's only so much "full integration" you can get from New York City's student population. If the Times could wave a magic wand from the Hamptons and produce that "full integration," the student population of each New York City school would magically look like this:
"Full integration," New York City Public SchoolsThat isn't a lot of "integration." That's especially true since the propagandistic definitions of "segregation" devised by our pseudo-progressive thought leaders only count interaction with white kids as a marker of integration.
White kids: 15 percent
Black kids: 30 percent
Hispanic kids: 40 percent
Asian-American kids: 15 percent
Attending school with (high-performing) Asian kids? We're sorry, but that doesn't count!
Of course, the ratios shown above would never obtain in real life. The white student population would quickly drop as parents moved their kids out of the reconfigured schools.
Why would parents do that? In part, because of thinking like that we've highlighted below. In this passage, Shapiro is describing recommendations from a recent report by a City Hall task force:
SHAPIRO (2/12/19): Mr. de Blasio should also focus on integrating schools in neighborhoods that may have wealth disparities and segregated schools, the group said.Pseudo-progressives, please!
The report prompted the mayor to require nine such local school districts, including the Upper East Side, Ditmas Park in Brooklyn, Forest Hills in Queens and all of Staten Island, to come up with integration plans.
Mr. de Blasio should also ask all 32 of the city’s local school districts to consider whether their gifted and talented programs and schools that admit students using academic criteria are causing further segregation, the report suggests.
So-called "gifted and talented programs" allow higher-performing students to be presented with the type of work appropriate to their achievement levels.
In a school system with achievement gaps as large as those in New York City, it's impossible to teach the same curriculum to all the kids within a single grade. Everyone on the planet knows this—except the kinds of people who wrote this report for the mayor, along with people who pose as education reporters across the upper-end press.
In a system like New York City's, would differential instruction produce increased "segregation?" We refer you again to those average scores. This represents a basic problem, except in newspapers like the Times, where those achievement gaps don't exist and don't need to be discussed.
The size of those achievement gaps is never reported and never discussed in the New York Times. That's because the people who work for the New York Times are either too dumb to know about this state of affairs, or are too uncaring to examine how this tragic state of affairs should be addressed.
Instead, the Times offers its readers feel-good magical thinking! It loves the preening and posturing which come with the fight again "segregation," a tribally thrilling, repurposed term which once had a specific meaning.
It loves the utterly crazy implied idea that increased racial balance in Gotham's schools would do much of anything about those punishing gaps.
Those gaps are ugly, dark and deep, but they don't exist in the Times. Instead, the Times instructs Shapiro to play these persistent reindeer games, and the ballyhooed hire complies.
(As for de Blasio, please! Don't even ask.)
Again and again and again and again, we've shown you the size of those gaps. These gaps have existed since roughly forever and, for exactly that long, our big newspapers have found various magical ways to avoid discussing their import—to pretend they can be wished away, to pretend that it's all a mirage.
If you subscribe to the New York Times, you'll never be asked to read about the size of those punishing gaps. Nor will you ever see any discussion of what could possibly be done to help Gotham's black and Hispanic kids achieve at higher levels.
What should happen in kindergarten, when low-income kids are already way "behind" their middle-class peers? How about in preschool? How about in low-income children's actual homes, starting in the first few weeks of life?
People at the New York Times don't worry their heads about that. Instead, they hand you their silly magical thinking about the need to fight "segregation." And yes, this brain-dead conduct exists in this most rational of all possible worlds.
No one cares about black kids. Timesfolk like to pose.
Corresponding scores nationwide: The corresponding achievement gaps are roughly the same nationwide. That doesn't necessarily mean that gaps this large obtain in any particular school system:
Average scores, Grade 8 math, 2017 NaepAre those gaps are large as they seem? Is there any reason to doubt data from the Naep?
United States, public schools
White students: 292.16
Black students: 259.60
Hispanic students: 268.49
Asian-American students: 309.52
Questions like these don't arise in the upper-end press. In the upper-end press corps, they care about wardrobe and who's BLEEPing whom, and they care about the way major candidates are inclined to eat their fried chicken.
Gillibrand ate her chicken wrong! Such meat has been the fuel of the press for many, many years.
Is this the work of "the rational animal?" We ask, you decide!
"What should happen in kindergarten, when low-income kids are already way "behind" their middle-class peers?"ReplyDelete
Nothing "should happen", and, more importantly, nothing can happen. Simply because the underclass reproduces itself, just like any other socioeconomic class.
And when the elite refuses to discuss it, they have a point. Questioning class reproduction is as useful as discussing yesterday's weather.
Your "achievement gaps" are perfectly predictable, any correlation with so-called "race" is meaningless, and that's all there is to it, Bob.
That's a long-winded way to say "You provide them with everything they need to succeed."Delete
The days of making believe the richest country in the history of mankind is too broke to assist it's people are over.
Tough break, Mao.
Government can't provide them with everything they need to succeed. That's the family's job. Unfortunately they don't have effective families, community, or culture and never will because the Democrat culture enables those failures.Delete
Good point about the minimum wage needing to be $25/ hour, so one parent can stay home and raise and nurture their kids.
Now, how do we get there? Businesses aren't going to share their profits without a fight.
And why would they "share their profits" (whatever that means), if they can easily move abroad, thanks to your globalist zombie cult.Delete
It's an idle threat. Let them ask the Cayman Islands to use their military to defend corporate patents and profits.
The money we save as a nation not having to do so, will allow us to provide for the people (non-corporate division).
So Mao runs interference for the Establishment Elites, who pay him to spout nonsense on the internet, by blaming a "globalist zombie cult".Delete
Who, other than anyone who has paid the tiniest bit of attention, could have saw that coming?
This has little to do with the Cayman Island, dembot. Hiding money is a problem too of course, but much less so than exporting jobs.Delete
The whole point of the globalist zombie cult is that the US government indeed provides all kinds of support to American-based corporations and investment companies operating overseas, producing goods overseas, to be sold back in the US. Thus enabling and protecting super-profits, made possible by exploiting cheap labor, weak environmental laws, and so on. While simultaneously de-industrialising the US.
I see that Trump is trying to lure back those American-based corporations and investment companies to the U.S. by providing them the protection of super profits, the exploitation of cheap labor, the weak environmental laws, and so on here instead of around the globe.Delete
Perhaps you are unaware of the cost of labor in Bangladesh, dembot.Delete
Besides, going back to your first comment, when the jobs are back home, then and only then you can fight for wages, environmental laws and so on. Because when they are overseas, all you're fighting for is a low-paying service job. See the difference?
Mao makes a great point about how corporations couldn't give a flying fuck about American people or the nation.Delete
Instead of Trump providing them corporate tax breaks, he should have told them to go fuck themselves.
When it comes to corporations, we should tax them, regulate them, and ignore their whining.
“Nor will you ever see any discussion of what could possibly be done to help Gotham's black and Hispanic kids achieve at higher levels.”ReplyDelete
If there were such discussion, Somerby likely would not share it with his readers. Thus, his contention is suspect.
Also, it isn’t clear from anything Somerby has written if de Blasio has other ideas about schools, such as ideas to help narrow achievement gaps or otherwise improve educational outcomes for NYC public school students*, or if his diversity goals are his only or main effort. Again, Somerby hasn’t told his readers and likely wouldn’t tell them.
*here is an example: “The Lessons of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Universal Pre-K Initiative”
In the past, when someone complained that our schools are failing, Somerby would chastise them by referring to the huge increases in NAEP scores. Now, his main complaint is that the achievement gaps are huge, which presumably shows serious problems with schools (or at least can be made to show that). Should someone recall the increases in NAEP scores to reassure Somerby?ReplyDelete
His main point is that we shouldn't be pursuing integration when there are bigger problems, such as those large achievement gaps. He calls that pursuit pointless.Delete
1. I don't understand why it shouldn't be pursued along with other measures intended to address disparities in achievement.
2. It seems like, at the high end of the achievement bell curve within the hispanic and African American groups, one limit on improving achievement might be access to the special high schools in New York. Another might be having admission to such a school as a goal, which might motivate kids in earlier grades if the possibility of admission were more likely.
3. The scores Somerby quotes are means (averages). He never cites standard deviations, so we don't know how high the highest achievers within each group might be, or how low the lowest. Variability is known to affect means. So it may be that more students are doing better than the means might suggest, because there are more students doing extremely poorly within the minority groups than may exist in the white group.
The lower mean does not imply that there are no kids in those minority groups who might be performing at very high levels and thus might benefit from admission to a special school. If segregation (even de facto) exists as a barrier, such kids would not get a chance to do their best work. This creates a self-fulfilling stereotype of low achievement among minority group members. That, by itself, is damaging to the performance of minority kids (see Claude Steele's work).
For these reasons, I believe that Somerby's assertion that pursuing integration is pointless is incorrect. More than that, integration should be pursued because it is the right thing to do.
Somerby quibbles with the statistical possibilities of achieving integration when there aren't enough minority kids to go around (or not enough white kids?). That is a silly argument because the goal of integration is to provide more access for specific kids, not to achieve some a priori percentage goal which may or may not be possible. The lives of those kids are what matter.
It surprises me that Somerby would lose track of that fact. But it has been quite a while since he was in the classroom. Maybe he has forgotten the value that most teachers hold strongly -- it is about the kids.
And yours are the brain dead excuse making contortions of conservatives and contrarian bloggers intent upon demonizing liberals and discouraging any actual discussion.
“It loves the utterly crazy implied idea that increased racial balance in Gotham's schools would do much of anything about those punishing gaps.”ReplyDelete
Is that the really the “implied” purpose of increased diversity?
The goal seems to be simply to achieve diversity as a positive good and “to redistribute resources so that black and Hispanic students have more access to high-quality schools without alienating middle class, white families.”
The issue really is whether this is an acceptable or workable way to provide greater access to high-quality schools for black and Hispanic students.
Increased diversity seems a desirable goal. Unfortunately, it has not happened, either on its own or through government efforts. At this point, it may be logistically impossible in many areas. It is also the case that US public schools recently became “majority minority” (meaning predominantly non-white), and the percentage of white students in public schools is predicted to continue to drop significantly.ReplyDelete
While “diversity” initiatives like DeBlasio’s may be misguided, it also doesn’t seem helpful to look at achievement gaps, where racial groups are compared to or even pitted against one another, as “the” crucial problem facing schools. Solving the problem of achievement gaps as such might unfortunately suggest racially targeted curriculum meant to equalize the gaps. The goal ought to be to improve test scores in general, or otherwise provide the best possible education for all students.
You aren’t trying to have a conversation, but there are real students who do not have access to better schools and who could succeed there who are denied that access because of accidents of birth or geography. Your automatic assumption that the black kid is the poorer performer is telling, isn’t it?Delete
Funny how 6:39 (and Mao) focus solely on 3:55’s “diversity is a desirable goal”, while ignoring the main point of 3:55’s comment, which acknowledges that DeBlasio’s goal may indeed be misguided, that integration may be impossible, and the Somerby’s focus on achievement gaps is also an unhelpful division of students into racial groups.Delete
Fair point. However: you did feel compelled to type "diversity is a desirable goal"; where "diversity" is defined in the usual zombie manner, as "diversity of skin pigmentation".Delete
Are you taking it back now? Do we agree that "diversity" of proportion of melanin in the human body is but a gimmick, demagogic race-mongering, devised for nefarious political purposes?
If we do agree, I got no quarrel with you...
"Are those gaps are large as they seem? Is there any reason to doubt data from the Naep?"ReplyDelete
No one who wants to seriously talk about differences between means quotes those means without also quoting standard deviations.
Are the gaps as large as they seem? That depends on whether the means are being skewed by extreme values. You cannot tell that without knowing about variability within the groups and comparing the variability across groups.
If you find that the variability between the groups is not the same, the next step would be to plot the distributions. All things being equal, you would expect equal variability because these are all human children. However, all things are not equal. In the Hispanic group and African American groups you have social and economic factors that influence school performance. If these result in larger than normal numbers of students at the low end of the scale, then those kids will drag the mean down. So, it may be that the schools are doing fine with most of the kids, but need extra effort with the kids who have specific obstacles (poverty, language deficiency, emotional problems, untreated health issues especially affecting vision or hearing).
Somerby's contention that schools don't know about or care about the problems of minority kids may be garbage. In fact, minority kids may be doing fine in our schools, but there are simply more kids with very serious, intractable problems within those groups due to higher poverty.
Just as poverty is supposedly always with us, so are poverty-related school performance deficits. That means that these gaps aren't news -- they are sociology. Reporters tend to report transient events, not ongoing facts of life that people should learn about in books or in college.
That brings us back to the fact that Somerby doesn't seem to know very much about socioeconomic factors affecting education. The books he keeps citing are trade books from decades ago. He manifestly doesn't understand Harari. It is a shame he didn't take notes and study for his exams at Harvard. I have no doubt they tried their best to get through to him.
Poverty, language deficiencies, and emotional problems resulting from absent parents and broken homes, caused by systematic leftist enabling and destruction of healthy family norms.Delete
That’s a standard pseudo-analysis that one hears from time to time. It is often made by people who don’t fundamentally question the parameters of our society as dictated by those who stand to gain the most from the status quo, the business and monied interests.Delete
"from absent parents and broken homes, caused by systematic leftist enabling and destruction of healthy family norms."Delete
TDH road-trip to Simi Valley, CA to piss on Reagan's grave for his "drug war" and being "tough on crime"?
Those of us who remember the 1980s laugh at the idiocy of the "Trump is the worst President ever!" crowd. Trump is a standard-issue Reagan Republican, playing to the same economic know-nothing and bigoted base the Republican Party has been suckering for 4+ decades.
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