The New York Times [HEART] the "elite:" The New York Times is deeply committed to freeing The Gotham One.
By "The One," we mean the top one percent—the tiny percentage of New York City kids who may, some day, end up attending prestigious, elite and highly selective Stuyvesant High School, gateway to places like Yale.
As for all the other Gotham kids—the kids who will never go to Stuyvesant—those kids can go hang in the yard! The New York Times shows very few signs of giving a flying fig about those tiresome kids, or about their lives or their interests.
In part, the predicament facing The Gotham 99 is described by the data shown below—data you will never see, or hear about, in our dumbest "limousine liberal" newspaper:
Average scores, Grade 8 mathBased on a conventional though very rough rule of thumb, those data define enormous "achievement gaps" among those different groups of New York City kids.
New York City Public Schools, 2017 Naep
White kids: 290.71
Black kids: 255.63
Hispanic kids: 263.56
Asian-American kids: 306.03
Based on that very rough rule of them, the average Asian kid in Gotham's schools was something like five years ahead of the average black kid when that most recent Naep math test was administered. And yes, you read that right:
A five-year achievement gap seemed to obtain when they were in the eighth grade!
If anything like that is actually true, that's an astonishing state of affairs. That said, the New York Times doesn't traffic in average kids, or god forbid in those many kids who may even be below average.
Their interests don't count in the New York Times—and neither do those embarrassing data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the gold standard of domestic educational testing.
You won't see data like those in the Times. Those data are embarrassing, and who cares about all those lower-achieving kids?
Instead, the New York Times is busily trying to free The Gotham One. By "freeing," we mean "desegregating," a fraught term which has very little meaning as used in the New York Times.
By The One, we mean the top one percent. By The One, we mean the "elite."
When the New York Times discusses Gotham's public schools, that key term—"elite"—is rarely left behind. This very morning, the ridiculous paper is at it again, with its latest ridiculous bit of bean-counting in support of the "desegregation" of The Gotham One.
Today's remarkably tedious report runs 1137 words. It's accompanied by a poorly explained set of charts, which very few readers will be able to interpret, explain or understand.
In this way, our dumbest newspaper bows to Gotham's brightest kids. For the record, the headline in today's hard-copy Times runs exactly like this:
Some Students Get Extra Time To Take Elite High School ExamLike Mary with her little lamb, everywhere the New York Times goes, the word "elite" is sure to follow! Two weeks ago, the paper's tireless Eliza Shapiro wrote another report in support of The Gotham One. On that day, the headline said this:
How New York’s Elite Public Schools Lost Their Black and Hispanic StudentsEverywhere Shapiro went, "elite" was sure to follow! So too with the Times' devotion to this latest display of "performative virtue," in which the paper seeks to "integrate" Gotham's elite high schools while leaving the vast majority of Gotham's children a million miles behind.
This latest performative jihad started in late March, when Gotham's eight "specialized high schools" sent out their annual admission offers. For reasons which are socially troubling but blindingly obvious, a relatively small percentage of these offers went to black and Hispanic kids.
On the most basic and obvious level, everybody understands why this occurs every year. It happens because of the data we've already shown you—the type of data the New York Times will never report or discuss.
Instead, this dumbest newspaper sends Shapiro out to tell readers that the distribution of admission offers is all about test prep. Shapiro—she's more a publicist or politician than a reporter—followed her front-page report in March with this chance for readers to learn all about her own beliefs and reactions, all about her own glorious self.
In the process, she mentioned her editor's name. This is part of what she wrote in her Times Insider piece:
SHAPIRO (3/22/19): I found out last week that Monday would be the day we would hear about specialized school admissions, and I’d heard that the numbers of black and Hispanic students were low.So Shapiro wrote, dramatizing her glorious self as she and her gobsmacked editor raced against the clock.
But when my editor, Dodai Stewart, and I saw the final tally around noon on Monday, our jaws dropped: only seven black students were accepted into Stuyvesant, out of 895 total offers. The city’s education department sends out a spreadsheet listing how many students of each race applied to the schools, and how many were accepted. It’s a simple set of data to crunch, but each statistic was important. I knew all the reporters at other news outlets also had this at the same time I did, and we were all racing against the clock.
As we scrolled through the spreadsheet, we saw that Stuyvesant was not an outlier: The other top specialized schools had even lower numbers of black and Hispanic students than in previous years. These were the grimmest statistics about black and Hispanic enrollment in the schools that I’d ever seen.
It felt like a watershed moment, one that would force people to pay attention to what has mostly been a local issue. We scrambled to get the article posted online at 4:30 p.m., the moment the data was released to the public. Within a few minutes of publication, we knew this was going to be an article that would resonate with readers.
According to Shapiro's dramatization, her jaw dropped when she saw the latest admission figures; her editor's jaw dropped too. As to why their jaws had dropped, we have no real idea. Below, you see what Stewart reported about this year's admission offers—and you see what Times reporter Kate Taylor reported when admission offers were sent out in March of last year:
TAYLOR (3/10/18): When running for mayor in 2013, Bill de Blasio said the city’s elite high schools had to “reflect the city better.” But according to data released by the education department on Wednesday, black and Latino students made up only 10 percent of those offered spots for next fall at the eight high schools that administer the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, a percentage that has been essentially unchanged for years.That was March 2018. This was March 2019, one year later:
At Stuyvesant, the most competitive of the schools, only 10 black students and 27 Latino students received offers this year; last year, the comparable numbers were 13 and 28.
SHAPIRO (3/19/19): At Stuyvesant High School, out of 895 slots in the freshman class, only seven were offered to black students...As you can see, the figures Shapiro reported this March were very hard to distinguish from the figures Taylor reported in March of 2018.
Though black and Hispanic students make up nearly 70 percent of New York City’s public school system as a whole, just over 10 percent of students admitted into the city’s eight specialized high schools were black or Hispanic, according to statistics released Monday by the city. That percentage is flat compared to last year.
Regarding the admission of black and Hispanic kids to the eight prestigious high schools, Taylor had reported that the percentage admitted "has been essentially unchanged for years." One year later, Shapiro reported that this year's percentage was "flat compared to last year."
Why then did this youngish reporter's jaw drop when she saw this year's figures? We can't exactly tell you. As for Stewart's jaw drop, at the expense of seeming unkind, the backstory goes something like this:
Stewart was hired by the New Times in October 2018. She was 46 or 47 years old. She had no apparent background in education reporting.
According to the Times' ecstatic announcement, Stewart was "a founding editor of Jezebel and the ultimate New Yorker." At the risk of seeming unkind, we'll revisit that announcement before our current reports are done—though we think this episode reflects on the values of the Times, not on Stewart herself.
Have we mentioned the fact that the New York Times doesn't seem to care about public schools and the kids who attend them, except for those who may end up at Yale? Despite Stewart's lack of background in education reporting, she was assigned to be Shapiro's editor in the Times' latest pathetic attempt to report on the public schools.
There is no sign that Stewart knows anything about the nation's public schools. Nor is there any obvious sign that she cares all that much about those schools, or about those found in New York City.
In this recent self-portrait in the Times, Stewart modestly says that she's "a proud graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, where a racially diverse cast of New York’s brainiest were educated." Later, recalling her high school years, she modestly says that she "remember[s] the parties. For smarty-pants kids, we loved to party."
Stewart also says that, when she was assigned to be Shapiro's editor, "I hadn’t thought much about the current makeup of my alma mater." This may explain why this inexperienced editor's jaw dropped when she found herself confronted with this year's wholly predictable data—data which almost perfectly matched the data from last year.
Might we borrow from Brother Foxworthy? You may not care about black kids if—if your blood hasn't started to boil at the thought that the New York Times assigned this inexperienced person to this latest jihad. Meanwhile, as late as September 2017, for reasons which remain unknown, Stewart had given this answer in a published Q-and-A about her glorious self:
QUESTION: What is your favorite thing right now?Asked to describe her Kryptonite, Stewart copped. "I hate myself for getting unglued, gobsmacked, addle-pated and giddy around pretty boys with cheekbones you could slice a ham on," she thoughtfully said.
STEWART: I love tarot and fortune telling, and just got these Art Oracle cards—you draw one and get some life/work/inspiration advice. Tonight I really wanted to draw a Warhol, a Koons, a Basquiat or an O'Keefe but instead I pulled a William Blake: “Hell is hypocrisy on earth. Vision requires not sight but spirit. Madness in life, genius in death.” Thanks? I suspect soon my favorite thing will be Rihanna’s new Fenty Beauty line, which drops later tonight.
At the risk of seeming judgmental, that's the person the New York Times assigned to supervise Shapiro's endless reporting about the city's public schools and the interests of the million-plus kids who attend them. You may be a redneck if—if that remarkable fact about the Times doesn't make your blood start to semi-boil.
Stewart's jaw dropped when she saw this year's data, perhaps because she seems to be utterly clueless about the deeply important topic she was assigned to supervise. Shapiro's jaw may have dropped because it made good copy.
Meanwhile, their writing about Gotham's public schools has been about as useless and insultingly foolish as upper-end journalism gets. It's pseudo-liberal performative virtue at its worst—and it's an act of mindless devotion to the top one percent.
Trust us! Stewart had never heard of the Naep when she received her assignment. She'd never set eyes on the type of data we've posted above.
Neither, of course, has any New York Times reader. The paper is devoted to the idea that admission rates at "elite" schools are a function of test prep, full and complete total stop. Also, that nothing much matters except what happens at those "elite" schools.
This dull-witted work masquerades as a crusade about "desegregation." We'll try to take you through the key points over the next few days, but we're fairly sure we already know what top future anthropological experts are going to say in the nocturnal submissions the haters dismiss as mere dreams.
Tomorrow: One reader's instant reaction!