NO EXCUSE LEFT BEHIND: It's money and test prep, Mara Gay says!

THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2019

The Others rob us blind:
Why do so few black kids get admitted to Gotham's Stuyvesant High?

You're asking a very important question. In our view, if you want to know why Donald J. Trump may well get re-elected next year, we'll suggest that you consider the way Slate chose to approach this important question last week.

Last Tuesday, Slate published a 19-minute discussion between its own Mary Harris and the New York Times' Mara Gay. Why are so few black kids admitted to Stuyvesant High? Through this pair of headlines, Slate chose to frame this question in the most inflammatory possible way:
New York City’s School Segregation Problem
Why the inequities at one elite high school resonate across the country.
According to Slate, the situation at Stuyvesant High is an artifact of "school segregation."

There aren't more black kids at Stuyvesant because of "inequities" at the school. Indeed, these "segregation"-based inequities "resonate across the country," the exciting Slate headlines said.

If you want to know why Donald J. Trump still has a good chance of being re-elected, we suggest you consider the childishness of such low-IQ tribal cries. You might also consider the ugly behavior of Harris and Gay as they explain why New York City's Asian-American kids dominate the enrollment at Stuyvesant.

Please understand! We're sure that Harris and Gay are good, decent people. We're sure it never crossed their minds that their behavior during those 19 minutes came so close to echoing Trump's approach to the unauthorized immigrants from the south who are currently conspiring to rob us of our jobs.

We're sure it never crossed their minds that they were behaving in any such way. But all across the United States, Trump voters, helped by Fox, are able to see the way such "bleeding heart liberals" behave. Let's take a look at the ugly behavior Harris and Gay unleashed on New York City's Asian-American parents and kids.

On the most basic factual basis, why do so many Asian-American kids get into Stuyvesant High? On the most basic factual basis, it's because they outscore every other demographic group on Gotham's Specialized High Schools Admissions Test.

That said, Asian-Americans kids outscore every other group on every type of educational test all across the country. More specifically, on the Grade 4 and Grade 8 Naep, but also on New York State's annual Grade 3-8 exams, they outscore black kids by a very wide margin.

Those achievement gaps represent a major American problem. Rather than attempt to come to terms with that major problem, Harris and Gay spent their time sliming Asian-American families concerning the ways their their high-performing kids are able to score so well.

In particular, Gay painted a familiar portrait of the scheming, inscrutable Oriental who has come to our shores to take our children's seats at our elite high schools away.

How do these Asians do it? In Gay's account, it's very simple—they do it through money and test prep! As a result, Gotham's most "accomplished and enthusiastic learners"—the ones who might find the cure for cancer—get "unfairly" turned away from Gotham's Stuyvesant High.

This portrait of the fiendish Asian pops up early and often as this pair of "bleeding heart liberals" advocate for the interests of the groups they prefer. Three minutes into their brain-dead discussion, Gay starts to lay the foundation for this stupid, reductive portrait:
GAY (3/26/19): We saw with, a couple of weeks ago, the indictments that came down, in which you had wealthy Americans buying their way, buying their children's way, into these Ivy League schools, we saw that clearly education is in a sense a commodity, or has become one, that people are hoarding for their kids.
Wealthy Americans had been buying their children's way into Ivy League schools! As the Slate discussion ground on, it turned out that New York City's Asian-American parents had been playing a similar game.

Moments later, Gay introduced a basic theme about the situation at Stuyvesant. The situation is fundamentally unfair, she said:
GAY: If we aren't allowing every kid from every school and every background the same opportunity to attend these schools, then something's broken.
Presumably, everyone would agree with the claim that we ought to give every kid the same opportunity to attend a school like Stuyvesant. But in what way are Gotham's black and Hispanic kids being denied that opportunity?

Throughput the course of the 19 minutes, Gay never quite explained that basic point. But at the 9-minute mark, she did start saying that Gotham's Asian-American families have been gaming this system:
GAY: The [Specialized High Schools Admissions Test] is charged. It's not this perfect test that came down from heaven. Now, there are plenty of communities who have managed to get around that. And we all want the best for our kids, so there's no blame there. But I think when you have a public school, it's a public good, and so there's a bigger responsibility.
The SHSAT isn't a perfect test, Gay said. But the Asian-American community "has managed to get around that."

Gay says there's "no blame" to be assigned here, but the music of her opera flies in the face of its lyrics. Moments later, she and Harris engage in this exchange:
HARRIS: In the last week, since these new admissions results have come out, you've seen a lot of Asian families coming forward, because these families are often poor, don't have a lot of resources, and scrimp and save so their kids can cram for this one exam, and have seen results. And they've made this argument that, "We're working really hard, and everyone should work this hard."

What do you say when you get into a conversation with a family like that?

GAY: ...I don't think that the onus is on these parents to stand down and kind of roll over and take whatever changes the rest of the city comes up with. I don't blame them for being upset. But I would say that, just because a group of people is benefiting from an unfair system doesn't mean that that unfair system should continue.
According to Gay, these Asian families—the ones who "scrimp and save so their kids can cram for this one exam"—are "benefiting from an unfair system."

Once again, she doesn't explain where the unfairness (the inequity) lies. But Harris' description has started to tell us:

According to the portrait here, these fiendish Asian-American kids have "crammed for this one exam!" It isn't that they're actually more accomplished academically. According to this portrait, their devious parents have scrimped and saved so they can "see results" on this one exam.

By now, Harris and Gay have journeyed deep into la-la land. At no point do they inform their misused audience about the vast size of the achievement gaps between Asian-American and black kids, in Gotham and all across the country, on a wide array of educational tests.

At no point, for example, do they tell their propagandized audience about the painful realities of a data set like this:
Percentage scoring at Advanced level, Grade 8 math
New York City Public Schools, 2017 Naep

Black students: 0.9%
Asian-American students: 27.3%
Those painful results obtain on the Naep, the federally-run "gold standard" of domestic testing, a set of exams for which no specific test prep exists. This second painful data set obtained in that same most recent Naep testing:
90th percentile scores, Grade 8 math
New York City Public Schools, 2017 Naep

Black students: 299.75
Asian-American students: 355.63
Applying a standard through very rough rule of thumb, the 90th percentile Asian kid scored more than five years ahead of the average black kid on that most recent Naep testing! Those very large gaps also obtain, nationwide, on the Grade 4 Naep, at a grade level where very few kids have engaged in any sort of test prep at all.

Having said that, so what? Despite these painful statistics, Harris and Gay give the impression throughout that Asian kids are getting admitted to Stuyvesant High because they've scored well on "this one exam" for which their devious parents have "scrimped and saved" so they can load up on test prep. These are the types of attacks which were directed in earlier epochs when the children of Jewish families began to outperform their non-Jewish peers.

As it was then, so it is today! Soon after telling us that Asian-Americans are benefiting from "an unfair system," the benevolent Gay added this:
GAY: I do think that the concerns of Asian parents, who have spent thousands of dollars that, frankly, I don't think they should have had to spend, helping their kid prepare for this test which by the way, the curriculum on this test is not taught in New York City public schools. So they're essentially being given the same unfair hand, and the communities there have organized a way around it, and they should not be blamed for that.
We're told the same old story again. The Asian families have "organized a way around" the unfairness of Stuyvesant's admission procedures. They've done this by spending "thousand of dollars" on test prep per child!

Behaving like a benevolent Ole Missus, Gay says it isn't fair that these families should (allegedly) have to spend all that money. Benevolently, she's going to let these families keep their (alleged) thousands of dollars, even as their high-achieving kids are forced to surrender their seats at Stuyvesant High!

At this point, we badly need to offer two caveats:

We've been told that these Asian families have been spending thousands of dollars per child on test prep. It's been implied that this test prep explains their students' high scores on the admission exam.

Warning! We've been given no information about the actual amounts these (mainly low-income) families are actually spending. Nor have we been given any reason to believe that test prep actually works. (We'll touch on that question tomorrow.)

At any rate, demonization works this way, even at Slate and the Times. What Donald Trump does to immigrants from Central America, Harris and Gay do to this alternate group of Others. They're reciting an ugly, ridiculous story—one which flies in the face of a wide array of punishing facts.

We've now reached the 12-minute mark in this appalling discussion. We're being told that Asian families have found a way around an unfair system—a method in which thousands of dollars are spent so each individual kid can do well "on this one test."

You have to have the brains of a gnat to be convinced by this familiar old tale. But starting at the 15-minute mark, Gay really turns the bullroar on:
GAY: At the end of the day, what do we want our specialized high schools, or any of our high schools, to do?

Do we want them to find the kids who are best at taking this exam?
Or do we want them to find the most enthusiastic, accomplished, passionate learners around the city?

[...]

What I can't stop thinking about is, How many black and Hispanic kids are sitting somewhere in a middle school in East New York or in the South Bronx right now who have great grades, who come to school and are going to—you know, they could cure cancer!

And how many of them are going to be languishing in schools that are not going to get them there, because we are insisting on defending the indefensible?
In this passage, the admission system at Stuyvesant moves from "unfair" to "indefensible."

Once again, we're told that the high-achieving Asian kids are just "the best at taking this exam." We're told that it's really the black and Hispanic kids who are the "accomplished learners"—the ones who will even find the cure for cancer if we just kick the Asian kids out of Stuyvesant and admit these kids instead.

Let us remind you, once again, about those 90th percentile scores on the Naep. These scores define a major American problem, one this pair of propagandists are determined not to discuss:
90th percentile scores, Grade 8 math
New York City Public Schools, 2017 Naep

Black students: 299.75
Asian-American students: 355.63
That represents a gigantic gap among two of New York City's groups of highest-achievers. Gay and Harris will never tell you that this gap—that this major American problem—actually exists.

You really have to hate black kids to insist on hiding this problem—to ensure that no one will ever discuss the ways we might attack this problem. Displaying a bit of egalitarian spirit, Harris and Gay are willing to slime Asian-American parents and kids, in a time-honored way, to keep this problem buried.

That 19-minute discussion at Slate is one of the dumbest and most appalling we have ever heard. At Slate as at the New York Times, it's "No Propaganda Left Behind" as this pair of upper-end journalists—one from Michigan, one from Penn—behave like accomplished street-corner hustlers.

Tomorrow, we'll show you the brilliant "solution" Gay endorsed during this gruesome discussion. But if you don't know why Donald J. Trump may well win re-election next year, we'd only suggest that you learn to see these numbingly stupid "liberal" discussions in the way Those People are trained to do at Fox.

Tomorrow: The seven percent "solution"

37 comments:

  1. I seem to remember a time in the not too distant past when minority enrollment in these institutions was higher. The NYC public school system made a consistent effort to raise educational standards and provide help in terms of remediation to those students and schools that were "behind." It worked but was the victim of budget cuts and financial exigency. It seems to me that these reformers Somerby writes about always want to level down instead of leveling up.

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    1. There may be plenty wrong with having higher / tougher / more challenging standards. It all depends on who the student is. It isn't clear that it makes sense to have grade-by-grade "learning standards" at all. In fact, it rather plainly doesn't make sense.

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    2. That’s interesting 12:29. It reminds of something Bob Somerby said about “learning standards.”

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  2. " What Donald Trump does to immigrants from Central America, Harris and Gay do to this alternate group of Others."

    Donald Trump does nothing to immigrants from Central America, Bob. He want to prevent illegal border crossings.

    Don't be a dembot, dear Bob, it's extremely disappointing...

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    1. "Dembot" is still not a Thing, despite your best pathetic attempts. You really suck, Mao. You're really bad at what you do, and it's amazing that you expend so much of your energy trolling on this tiny site with a readership of maybe 12 people. I'm laughing at you, Mao.

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    2. It's great, my dear. Super. Pleasing my psycho-dembot stalkers is my main purpose in life.

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    3. Nice try, Mao. It's obvious your main purpose in life is fluffing the Establishment.

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  3. What no one will discuss is effect of single parent families, especially in the black community, on education. Hint: It isn't good.

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    1. Do you have any research that supports this?

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    2. Perhaps he doesn't. However, that's data that should be available for a discussion like this. Before you see the data, what would be your guess 1:28 PM- do children in single parent families perform better, worse, or the same as children in two parent families? Is family income a stronger or weaker predictor of test scoring results, or is it irrelevant? What about parental educational level or measures of language proficiency of individuals at, say, age four?

      If the females of a specific group score better than their males in the same group, would that be evidence females benefit from unfair advantages?

      What Alan Snipes might be overlooking is whether, generally speaking, single parenthood,"especially in the black community," is the result of a choice or a result of other factors.

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    3. Those are good questions, CMike. I don’t have the answers. I do know that Somerby has tried to say that income isn’t a good predictor of test scores. Why can’t Somerby look at some of this himself? Wouldn’t that help his readers understand more about the subject? We all get that the Times doesn’t care. But that isn’t greatly interesting, especially after 20 years of him saying it. 1:28 makes an assertion. I have no idea if it’s true. He probably doesn’t either. Does Somerby know? He sure knows when people are wrong. What does he think? I am not an expert, just a commenter. It’s really not up to me to lead the discussion. I also know that what I might think seems true or logical may not actually be true, based on the data. That’s why you need to be reluctant to assume your own theories are true without having data to back it up.

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    4. I meant Alan Snipes, not 1:28.

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    5. And, CMike, if Somerby wants to spark an intelligent discussion of this, shouldn’t he provide his readers with some source material upon which to base the discussion, such as blogs, web sites, publications, research that he follows that, after his long career of writing and teaching, he has found useful and rewarding for studying and thinking about educational issues? Everyone has a theory, but most don’t have the data to back it up. Best guess? Somerby doesn’t follow education in a serious or in-depth way, so he has nothing to recommend to his readers, outside of the disordered jumble of raw data at the NAEP. And his rage. Which is probably just performance art. If the Times is so bad, why doesn’t he show them how it’s done?

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  4. “in what way are Gotham's black and Hispanic kids being denied that opportunity?”

    First, the desire to offer opportunities to black and Hispanic kids is the primary motivation for deBlasio’s plan, which Gay supports. The plan is not motivated by racial animus. Somerby derails the discussion by making these kinds of insinuations.

    He says “she doesn't explain where the unfairness (the inequity) lies.”, and then claims that Gay is accusing Asians of acting unfairly (by “gaming the system”). That is not what Gay means. The unfairness lies in an educational system and/or society that have failed black and Hispanic kids.

    If a fix to the achievement gaps is possible, it will likely have to include fixing schools and fixing factors external to schools. It has taken 40 years to see the average NAEP score for black children rise by 32 points. In that time, the score for white children went up almost as much, thus the gap persisted. How long will it take to bring up the scores of black children to match that of Asians and whites? In the meantime, generations of black kids are denied the opportunity to attend an elite high school. That is a fundamental unfairness to them, and that is what Gay is talking about.

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    1. @11:30 -- every student who is not admitted to an elite NYC high school is denied the opportunity to attend one such school. That includes blacks, whites and Asians. As long a these schools remain the same size, the same number of students will be denied the opportunity to attend them. The question really is, should some less-qualified blacks replace some more-qualified whites and Asians at these schools?

      @11:30, you didn't explicitly advocate quotas by race, but it seems to me that your comment is moving in that direction. Is that what you favor?

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    2. Oh, I’m a liberal, which means I don’t actually care.

      DeBlasio’s plan is not about racial quotas, but again, I am liberal, so I don’t care.

      I would ask you if you care about the generations of black kids who can’t attend elite high schools in New York. Perhaps you ascribe it to genetic inferiority or bad values amongst the black community. I have no idea what Somerby thinks the problem is, but he seems to think it’s worth fixing. Do you?

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    3. David In Cal is a retarded troll, ignore him.

      Bob Somerby is a confused old man who can't make up his mind because he watches Fox News all the time. He pretends to care about Black and Hispanic students who can't get a fair break in public school systems, then Somerby turns on a dime and says Asian-American hyper-achiever students deserve ALL the slots. He can't have it both ways, this is incoherent.

      It's also related I am sure to the lawsuit funded by a right-wing think tank in the alleged behalf of Asian-Americans, that Ivy League colleges somehow discriminate against high-achieving Asian-Americans. The purpose of this lawsuit is to eliminate affirmative action once and for all. A right-wing dream in their quest to punish black people forever as much as they can. This has nothing to do with high-achieving Asian-American students who, boo-hoo, they might have to go to Stanford. This lawsuit is ALL about eliminating affirmative action and killing opportunities for black students. And Bob Somerby is ALL IN on this plot and doing his best to help.

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    4. TDH watches Fox News? How do you figure that? He seems to spend all his time watching TRMS and reading the NYT.

      If you're going to call DAinCA a retarded troll -- and there's much evidence that's he's a moral and intellectual idiot -- then perhaps it's best not to attribute to TDH things he never claims.

      TDH has not claimed that "Asian-American hyper-achiever students deserve ALL the slots [at Stuyvesant]." He has decried the narrative that they have unfairly taken advantage of the SHSAT by taking test prep courses.

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    5. TDH's claims and assertions are not well defined, to engage with them one has to follow the logical conclusion of what TDH seems to be saying, beyond the endlessly repeated singular point that journalists are not particularly competent (what insight!)

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    6. Really? Well, at least TDH doesn’t write in run-on sentences.

      Here’s a representative paragraph from this blog entry. I’ve helpfully noted three claims:

      [1] Those achievement gaps represent a major American problem. [2] Rather than attempt to come to terms with that major problem, [3] Harris and Gay spent their time sliming Asian-American families concerning the ways their their high-performing kids are able to score so well.

      How are these claims not “well defined”? I’m not saying all three are correct. In fact, I think [3] has no basis, but what’s unclear to you?

      The logical conclusion from [1] and [2] is that the low enrollment of black students in NYC’s special schools arises from their relative lagging performance as measured by NAEP and that it’s journalistic malpractice not to bring this fact into discussion. Again, this is not to defend this conclusion: if you start with faulty assumptions, even a valid logical argument can lead you to erroneous conclusions.

      I’d prefer to stick with what TDH actually says instead of what you think he “seems” to be saying.

      And, yes, TDH is endlessly repetitive. He’s been an obsessive about certain subjects for years. I think it’s part of his charm, but YMMV.

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  5. One commenter a day or two ago suggested that the gap between blacks and Asians might be smaller at the top level for each group. Bob's figures today show it's not so. The gap among the top 10% of each group in grade 8 is 5 1/2 years.

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    1. Liberals don’t care. Haven’t you heard?

      But since you’re not a liberal, and Bob is a clear-eyed truth-seeker, what is your explanation and what if anything can or should be done?

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    2. Thanks for asking, @5:32. My opinion is useless, since I have no power to implement anything. But, here goes. First two things we should not do IMHO:

      1. Do NOT blame racism. That's a false diagnosis, which leads to counter-productive policies.

      2. Do NOT implement any kind of race-based admissions. That's unfair to better students who would be excluded. It risks harming these schools by lowering their standards. The focus on race promotes racial animosity by people of all races.

      Here are two alternatives of what we could do IMHO:

      1. Between 4th grade and 8th grade, black students fall from 2 years behind to 4 years behind. Find a way to get black students to do a lot more studying. Maybe pay them to study. Establish study clubs. At least, popularize David Blackwell, so as to let them know that black man was a renowned mathematician.

      2. Alternative is to ignore race entirely. Stop regarding the gap as a problem. Some students lag behind others. Many of the slower students are black, but many are not. Schools can continue to provide some kind of remedial help for lagging students, but accept that many students will wind up far behind. Don't focus on the race of those who wind up behind.

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    3. I would add another reason to not do race-based admissions. The top black students are 5 1/2 years behind the top Asian students in 8th grade math. How could these black students possibly keep up with Asian students who are 5 1/2 years ahead of them? Throwing black students into classes they can't handle does them no favor.

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    4. Obviously, Somerby has touched a nerve. That's why 5:32 PM has retreated into pout mode.

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    5. CMike, I am not pouting. I am no expert in education. I have no idea what causes the achievement gaps. Does Somerby? Why won’t he tell us what HE thinks? Are you sure your ideas match his? I am simply asking Somerby to advance his discussion.

      Or perhaps he himself has no idea why the gaps exist. But if he cares, and you care, and I actually do care, then why can’t he move beyond an unserious series of attacks and do a serious look at this? Wouldn’t that be a positive thing for him to do? Then we could have an actual non-partisan discussion about it. As a liberal, I would like to have that discussion, but it is unproductive to simply attack one side and discuss who doesn’t care. Why is this so difficult? Do you and Somerby want to have a discussion about causes and solutions, or do you just want to continue attacking the Evil Ones who hate black kids?

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    6. David, somerby compared the 90th percentile Asian scores with the mean black scores, not the 90th percentile black scores.

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    7. Corby - I did not read Somerby's comment that way. He wrote

      90th percentile scores, Grade 8 math
      New York City Public Schools, 2017 Naep
      Black students: 299.75
      Asian-American students: 355.63

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    8. DinC has it right. This post, NO EXCUSE LEFT BEHIND: It's money and test prep, Mara Gay says!, is the third in a series of NO EXCUSE LEFT BEHIND posts. Somerby included the data set for the "average" scores for four racial groups in each of the two earlier posts LINK LINK:

      Average scores, Grade 8 math
      New York City Public Schools, 2017 Naep

      Asian-American students: 306.03
      White students: 290.71
      Black students: 255.63
      Hispanic students: 263.56

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    9. CMike, when do you start grading human worth and value in a scale when you decide whom to send to the death chambers? Gee, you must be really successful and powerful in your real life that you're so decisive here on this tiny blog about who's worthy.

      Is it really sucj a tragedy for you that Asian-American super-achiever students might have to go to Stanford or Brown instead of Harvard? Is Harvard, a private university, obliged to make its student body 85% Asian-American super achiever students just because test scores? It's a really weird insistence just because you hate affirmative action and Black people. Where did you go to college?

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    10. This thread is about assessing the academic competence of individuals and racial groups, it has nothing to do with "grading human worth." As Thomas Frank discusses in his book Listen Liberal, it's the Democratic centrist neoliberal meritocrats who overvalue academic careers in determining individual worth or, at least, what should be the economic expectations of individuals in adulthood.

      These neo-liberal meritocrats think you can game the system with affirmative action. Theirs is a trickle down approach to social justice. "We'll just make sure the black "talented tenth," reduced by two orders of magnitude, are among the elite- everyone else, the black 99% and liberal do-gooders, can live on the vicarious thrill that brings them."

      Here we see the old W.E.B. Du Bois vs Booker T. Washington debate playing out in an updated version. Big surprise, given that Du Bois, himself, was a brilliant intellectual, the neo-liberal intellectual elite, a faction which has had out sized control of the Democratic party message since the late eighties, sees merit in the approach Du Bois advocated (an approach Du Bois was having second thoughts about by the 1920s). Washington, who these days is somewhat an object of SJW ridicule, understood how deep seated racism was and would continue to be in America and offered the sounder way forward for advancing the greater good for the greater number.

      What neither Washington (died 1915) nor Du Bois (died 1963) could have anticipated before World War II was that the United States national security state, finding itself in global struggle against totalitarianism, would have to put an end to the worst excesses of racism being practice at home in order to make the case the American way would be the right one for non-white populations around the world.

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  6. AnonymousApril 4, 2019 at 10:47 PM - sometimes the solution to a problem doesn't depend on the underlying cause. E.g., we can solve nearsightedness with glasses or contact lenses without knowing the underlying cause.

    I don't know the underlying cause of black students lagging behind Asians and whites. But, regardless, the straightforward solution is more studying.

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    1. We're so glad that you shared with us that you think black people are stupid and worthless and beyond education or any help at all, David. It really means a lot to the rest of us, your ideas about racial eugenics. I'll bet you have children, because you're common and the lower orders can't help themselves. Fornicating, breeding all over. You can't help yourselves. And I am sure no public money was ever spent in these births, no roads or hospitals or doctors and nurses trained, nothing that you have been ignorant about your whole life, that allowed you to be the privileged white asshole typing on this stupid blog. Gee David In California, you did it all on your own and you are so awesome. It's okay that you're fat, no one holds that against you. You did it all yourself, dude, you're a champ.

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    2. As soon as David is done shitting on Affirmative Action, he'll get right to shitting on legacy admissions. If the legacy student is black, of course.

      BTW, David is a Trump supporter because Trump is a self-admitted sexual predator.
      Just kidding. David couldn't care less about Trump's sexual predation. David loves Trump because David is a bigot.

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  7. This blog post is such a mishmash of insight and foolishness that is seems as if it written by two people, TDH and his evil twin. Let’s see what TDH gets right:

    1. … why do so many Asian-American kids get into Stuyvesant High? … it's because they outscore every other demographic group on Gotham's Specialized High Schools Admissions Test.

    2. … Asian-Americans kids outscore every other group on every type of educational test all across the country.

    3. Those achievement gaps represent a major American problem. These gaps are crucial to understanding the Stuyvesant admission stats, and Gay and Harris never mention them.

    4. Gay and Harris’ podcast discussion at Slate makes no earthly sense because you have to assume that a) the SHSAT is unfair, b) test preparation is effective, c) Asian-American students rely on test prep for their high scores, d) test prep is unavailable except to those willing to pay, and e) the families of Asian-American students do spend the money on test prep.

    All of those claims rely on facts not in evidence.

    5. Slate incorrectly frames the issue as one of “segregation” and an inequity at Stuyvesant.

    Segregation means more than sorting when it comes to public schools. It means Jim Crow with his thumb on the scales. In fact, the admissions procedure to Stuyvesant is blind with regard to race, and if there are inequities in the outcome, they don’t reside at Stuyvesant, which is following state law.

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  8. Here come the howlers:

    1. Trump may be re-elected because of the idiocy of people like Harris and Gay.

    This is nonsense. Trump voters hate public schools, and they don’t give a shit about New York City. Since this isn’t a clash between black and white, Trumpers don’t even have a dog in this fight. All this will do is confirm their prejudice that black people are inferior either genetically or culturally or both.

    2. …Harris and Gay are good, decent people.

    They’re not. They’re negligent, brain-dead twits.

    3. Gay painted a familiar portrait of the scheming, inscrutable Oriental who has come to our shores to take our children's seats at our elite high schools away.

    This is a lie. Nothing Gay says or implies would lead a reasonable person to think she considers Asian-American parents anything other than American parents. Gay may think that test prep is gaming the system, but there’s nothing in test prep that scheming or inscrutable. It’s right there out in the open. Gay says at least twice, that no blame accrues to parents who pay for their children’s test prep.

    4. Gay claims that Gotham's most "accomplished and enthusiastic learners"—the ones who might find the cure for cancer—get "unfairly" turned away from Gotham's Stuyvesant High.

    No, Gay claims that some accomplished and enthusiastic (black) learners are unfairly excluded from Stuyvesant.

    5. Gay says there's "no blame" to be assigned here, but the music of her opera flies in the face of its lyrics.

    TDH has her words. By and large, her words make no sense: how do you “hoard” education? But it’s out of bounds to pretend to hear her “music” override what she actually says.

    6. According to the portrait here, these fiendish Asian-American kids have "crammed for this one exam!" … According to this portrait, their devious parents have scrimped and saved….

    Nowhere does Gay imply that test prep requires fiendishness or deviousness.

    7. What Donald Trump does to immigrants from Central America, Harris and Gay do to this alternate group of Others.

    Nonsense. Trump and Trumpers claim that immigrants are killers and rapists.

    8. Once again, we're told that the high-achieving Asian kids are just "the best at taking this exam.”

    To be fair, Asian kids are the best at taking this exam. That’s what it takes to get into a special high school in NYC. But also to be fair, Gay isn’t talking just about Asian kids. She wants to know whether it’s right for admission to be given on the basis of this one test.

    9. You really have to hate black kids … Harris and Gay are willing to slime Asian-American parents and kids….

    Horse shit. If you’re brain-dead like Harris and Gay, no animus is required. And nowhere do either of the brain-dead parties “slime” anyone, and certainly not any kids.

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