Editorial board pretends to care!

SATURDAY, AUGUST 1, 2020

Nobody cares about black kids:
During this latest press corps stampede, the posing, posturing, pretending and preening can get pretty silly at times.

These upper-end news orgs today! Entities which have never given given a fig about race suddenly care about nothing else. For a clownish example, consider the decision to publish this hard-hitting opinion column in today's New York Times.

The column appears in the hard-copy Times. Presumably, it was published to let us know how deeply this newspaper cares.

The column discusses an utterly pointless "issue." Until recently, the topic would have been seen as highly marginal even in a newspaper's sports section.

The column discusses an utterly marginal topic. But dear lord, how the New York Times cares!

We'll confess that we had a similar reaction to a recent editorial in the Washington Post.

Unlike today's opinion column, that editorial involved an extremely important topic—but the piece struck us as reprehensible. Posturing headline included, the posturing started like this:
WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL (7/28/20): A Virginia school shows that racial inequities aren’t confined to the justice system

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology has offered admission to the class of 2024 to 486 students. Want to know how many of those students are black?
Fairfax County officials won’t say, but the number is so small—fewer than 10—that officials claim its disclosure could lead to potentially personally identifiable information about individual students. That tells you all you need to know about the system’s abject failure to expand educational opportunities to students of color.

The pitiable numbers—African American students make up about 10 percent of Fairfax’s public school system—are a stark reminder that the racial inequities that have been the subject of unprecedented national protest are not confined to the criminal justice system. Education is supposed to be a great equalizer, which makes its failings all the more pernicious.
As the editorial notes, Jefferson High is found in large and populous Fairfax County, part of D.C.'s high-income Virginia suburbs.

"Judged by household median income, Fairfax County is among the highest-income counties in the country, and was first on that list for many years," the leading authority on the county has written.

Beyond that, the county's households spill with the highly-educated types who serve in federal agencies, think tanks and universities. The county's public school system is the nation's tenth largest, but Jefferson High is also open to students from four adjacent (high-income) counties and from the (high-income) city of Falls Church, Virginia.

In short, Jefferson High draws its students from a very large, very high-SES population. It's very hard to gain admission to each year's freshman class.

That said, Jefferson High isn't ruled by the region's highest-achieving white kids.

Almost surely, the Post's editorial will convey that impression, but it isn't true. The editors could have learned that fact from this recent analysis piece in their own Washington Post:
NATANSON (7/3/20): There are 486 students in Thomas Jefferson’s incoming freshman class. Seventy-three percent are of Asian heritage, and slightly more than 17 percent are white. There are 16 Hispanic students, equivalent to roughly 3 percent of the incoming class.

The exact number of black students is unclear. The asterisk on the data set indicates the number is fewer than 10...
According to last year's official Census Bureau estimate, Fairfax County's overall population is 50.0% white, 20.1% Asian-American.

The Fairfax County Public Schools
are 38.5 percent white, 25.9 percent Hispanic, 19.6 percent Asian and 10 percent black. We don't know what the numbers would be for kids of high school age throughout the counties whose kids can apply to Jefferson.)

Asian-Americans constitute 20% of the county's population. But despite that smaller overall number, high-achieving Asian-American kids earn almost three-fourths of all admissions to Jefferson High!

Despite accounting for half the country's population, white households account for only 17 percent of admissions. Black and Hispanic kids gain admission in very small numbers.

You'll note that the Post editorial doesn't even mention this aspect of Jefferson's enrollment pattern. A reader might think that white kids are getting all the seats, which black and Hispanic kids getting kicked to the curb.

A reader will likely get that impression. In fairness, that is Storyline.

As we've noted in the past, this same situation obtains in New York City, where high-achieving Asian kids dominate admission offers to Stuyvesant High, the city's most competitive academic high school. There's one major difference, however:

In New York City, those Asian kids, and their families, are insulted and slandered, in the ugliest ways, by staff of the New York Times. In Washington, a kinder, gentler regime prevails:

When the Post complains about the lack of seats for black and Hispanic kids, those high-achieving Asian kids are simply disappeared! This lets the editors tell the story which Storyline demands:

White kids are in and black kids are out! Also, Post editors care!

So it goes! So it goes as our journalistic slumlords change us our daily rents.

For ourselves, we've never seen the slightest sign that the editors care, at the Post or the Times. With these basic points of background established, let's consider what the Post said in Tuesday's editorial:

In our view, the lower performance of black and Hispanic kids should be a point of major concern. In our view, that lower performance is part of the ongoing backwash to our nation's brutal racial history, dating back to the magical date—1619—next to which the modern-day Times preens and postures.

That lower performance by good, decent kids should be a point of concern. In fairness, it has been a point of feigned concern perhaps since the mid-1960s. Today, that feigned concern expresses itself in one of the phoniest sentences ever composed:

"That [small number of admissions for black kids] tells you all you need to know about the system’s abject failure to expand educational opportunities to students of color."

Heinous! In fact, that small number tells you nothing about the way our nation's "achievement gaps" have been formed.

It tells you nothing about the degree of responsibility which can sensibly be charged to the Fairfax County schools. It tells you nothing about what our various institutions, including our schools, might do to address those gaps.

Beyond that, it tells you nothing about what might be done in the first few days, and the first few years of life of the children in question. It tells you nothing about what could be done in the years before a child ever sets foot in a school.

Those numbers tell you nothing useful; the editors say nothing useful. That's because the editors don't seem to know a whole lot, and don't much seem to care.

Consider the earlier analysis piece from which we drew Jefferson's admission figures. Astoundingly, that lengthy piece was written by Hannah Natanson, a very young journalist with exactly zero background in education reporting.

None of what follows is Natanson's fault. That said, what follows is true:

Who the heck is Hannah Natanson? Good God! She's exactly one year out of college, having graduated from Harvard in June of last year.

Did we mention the fact that she has no background—zero; none—in education reporting? When the Post sent this inexperienced kid to report on so important a topic, the paper was showing its utter contempt for every black kid who ever lived.

Natanson brought one great talent to that assignment; as with many very young journalists, she knows current Storyline. With some editor's consent, or possibly at some editor's urging, she played the Jefferson enrollment figures as a black v. white issue, as today's Storyline requires.

The editors preened the exact same way, all the while letting us see how very much they care. As they continued, they offered this. Phoniness rarely gets phonier:
WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL (continuing directly): The racial and social composition of Thomas Jefferson has never, since its opening in 1985, come close to reflecting the racial and economic composition of the Northern Virginia communities from which it draws students. Each year, when stories are written about the scant numbers of black and Latino students and those from poor and low-income households, there is hand-wringing by school officials. But promises to do better and tweaks to the admission policies invariably fall short.
In that passage, the editors assail those slacker school officials. In this way, the editors show us how much more they care.

Indeed, from the highlighted sentence, a reader might get the impression that the Washington Post has been attacking this matter year after year after year.

Using Google, we found no evidence on any such report or editorial over the previous two school years, whether in 2018 or in 2019. How many past years do we have to check before we conclude that the editors are feigning concern this year because of a current stampede—in response to Storyline?

At the start of our adult life, we spent the bulk of twelve years teaching fifth grade in the Baltimore City Schools. From that day to this, we're not sure we've ever seen a serious attempt, in the Post or the Times, to discuss the sorts of things which may impact the achievement levels, and the day-to-day happiness, of this nation's very large number of very good decent "black" kids.

In fact, nobody cares about black kids at all. We've noted this fact many times.

We've seen no sign that anyone cares at the Post or the Times—or, perhaps, that anyone is bright enough to know how to care. At present, though, a stampede is on:

Beware of Storyline.

Monday: Back to that disproportion in shooting deaths


98 comments:

  1. Liberals care about appearances. They don't care whether blacks are capable of handling the curriculum at Jefferson HS. Liberals don't care if other non-black students are more deserving of a spot. Liberals just want want to see a blend of races, because it looks nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm trying to imagine someone thinking David in Cal is worth listening to, and I keep coming up blank.

      Delete
    2. "Liberals just want want to see a blend of races, because it looks nice."

      Well, except for the school their brats attend, obviously.

      But in fact, they don't really "want to see a blend of races", because if it actually did happen they would lose this opportunity for virtue signaling and race-baiting. No, they want it to stay exactly as it is.

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    3. Oh joy! One comment . . and counting!

      Delete
    4. Trump is going to lose and David is mad.

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    5. Liberals don't care whether blacks are capable of handling the curriculum at Jefferson HS?

      That doesn't make any sense. Most blacks are liberals.

      Delete
  2. "In our view, the lower performance of black and Hispanic kids should be a point of major concern."

    Now, that's because you are, sadly, a liberal-hitlerian cult member, dear Bob.

    Otherwise, you would simply care about the lower performance of the kids with lower performance.

    Oh well.

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    Replies
    1. A second comment! Made earlier, I see. Can we possibly ask for more?

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  3. "In fact, nobody cares about black kids at all."

    We certainly hope so. Why would anyone in their right mind care about specifically "black" kids (whatever the fuck that is), dear Bob?

    If you are a normal humyn being who cares about the kids, then what you care about is the kids.

    Why would you start imagining some racist category of the kids and care specifically about that category of the kids, dear Bob?

    As the leading expert in insanity, how would you diagnose this weird quirk, dear Bob?

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    Replies
    1. A third comment!!! My cup runneth over. And yet, even now, I tremble in anticipation of more, still more wisdom from your divine lips.

      Your fan, Gao

      Delete
  4. “Nobody cares about black kids:”

    A very broad statement which would seem to encompass newspapers, liberals, conservatives, and everyone in between.

    Whether the Times or Post care or not, it is not logical to conclude that that implies that nobody cares. And as long as the blogger avoids discussing people who do care, then it is a simple matter to maintain the fiction that nobody cares.

    It is reasonable, however, to conclude that Somerby doesn’t care, because “nobody cares”, but also, because he never writes about those kids.

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    Replies
    1. As Jeff Goldblum said (in Big Chill), I care, and I'll bring a date.

      Parents care about kids and so does everyone in education. Realtors care a lot about quality education (because it sells houses). There are physicians who treat kids and they cared enough about them to specialize in kid medicine. Then there is the toy industry, which is massive, those who sell kids clothes and write kid books, design playgrounds, and so on. Their livelihood depends on caring about kids. Not to mention kid TV shows and movies and video games, candy manufacturers, baby food and clothes, and of course, kids care about other kids. Now you are slicing off a sizeable hunk of our population that demonstrably cares about kids.

      So why is Somerby upset because it isn't talk about kids 24/7 in the media? And what's all this "nobody" he keeps throwing out there?

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    2. Another problem is that even though someone might actually care, Somerby will accuse them of not caring because they don’t talk about it in a way acceptable to him.

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  5. Somerby, Mao, David, and the rest of the Right-wingers are losing their minds over blacks, perhaps, getting equality.

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  6. "Entities which have never given given a fig about race suddenly care about nothing else."

    This is called making up for lost time. There is nothing "clownish" about caring about race and FINALLY beginning the national conversation about it.

    It only seems like everyone talking about race to Somerby, because he is sensitive to that topic. I think way too many people spend way too much time talking about sports. It isn't enough to talk about baseball, but they have to talk about football and hockey and basketball and horse racing too. Sheeesh! Where could someone find a discussion anywhere about race back when sports were around?

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    Replies
    1. discussion about race is ok. but does it have to be so dumb?

      Delete
    2. AC/ MA,
      Shithole country does, as shithole countries do.

      Delete
  7. The problem in Fairfax County is lack of affordable housing, clearly. Otherwise there would be more black students in that area. Why doesn't Somerby ever talk about housing issues. Instead, he seems to spread his hands wide, shrug his shoulders, and say "what can we do? there just aren't enough talented black students in Fairfax County"

    Even if 10% of students in Fairfax County are black, that would mean admitting 48 black students, not less than 10. So there is something systemic at work that is lowering the number of black students at that particular school.

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    1. the systemic thing is they either don't take the test or don't do well enough on it. Or all these asians do real well, to the extent that there is now systemic racism against white students.

      Delete
    2. I love the smell of Meritocracy in the morning.

      Smells like Inequality.

      Delete
  8. "At the start of our adult life, we spent the bulk of twelve years teaching fifth grade in the Baltimore City Schools. From that day to this, we're not sure we've ever seen a serious attempt, in the Post or the Times, to discuss the sorts of things which may impact the achievement levels, and the day-to-day happiness, of this nation's very large number of very good decent "black" kids."

    Somerby is perhaps looking for a John Holt style description of obstacles to academic performance among poor children. That's fine, but it is more important to emphasize other things, such as jobs and housing and political issues that affect the parents of disadvantaged kids, because when you improve life for the parents you improve life for their kids too.

    Meanwhile, movies such as Stand and Deliver, which is a true story about Jaime Escalante who quit an aerospace job to teach math, and was able to greatly improve the performance of disadvantaged Latino kids by raising expectations and working very hard at teaching them. I am certain that Somerby was no Escalante, since he (1) gave up on the kids, (2) doesn't have the skills because he was given no training to deal with such kids. Most of the Teach for America crowd burn out and aren't seriously interested in helping actual kids, since they did not prepare for their jobs by learning what kids are like and how they learn.

    But Somerby thinks his 10 years entitle him to chide journalists for not writing more articles about the effects of no breakfast, going to school without a coat or shoes, having no one to help with homework and no space to do it and no one who cares if you do, and so on.

    His self-righteousness makes me puke. Those ratty teachers who stayed behind deserve better from Somerby than the diatribes he writes, all of which lead the reader carefully to the conclusion that black kids are hopeless to teach and will never close the gap -- because liberals don't care about kids (which his right wing readers are nodding and smiling at his dog whistle and concluding, as David does, that black kids just aren't smart enough to keep up with white kids).

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    1. @ 3:24 - Whether you like it or not, it's a fact. Black kids, on average, are not smart enough to keep up with Asian kids. What should we do about this?

      1. Pretend that the difference doesn't exist. Create all sorts of preferences for blacks that will serve to hide the difference. Stop using SATs which show the difference. Stop focusing on proper grammar at Rutgers English Dept. Have racial quotas fro employment throughout government and private employment.

      2. Make the black kids smarter. This can be done by changing black culture to favor intellectual development. Head Start was an effort in this direction but it didn't work very well. However, IMHO we shouldn't quit on this approach. BTW there is currently an anti-intellectual culture among black students. I know this because my black cousins experienced it.

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    2. It's none of your fucking business, what "we"
      should do about this. Your fucking job is to make sure as few as possible of blacks vote, you fucking fascist prick.

      Hey David, did you score any Kodak stock recently? I hope they didn't leave you out in the dark on that, you've done your duty for these fucking thieves, they owe you.

      And by the way David you fucking racist bastard, Herman Cain gave his life for Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, why can't you do the same?

      Delete
    3. Hey, David, based on the story about Fairfax County, it seems that white students on average are also not smart enough to keep up with Asian kids. What shall we do? More Head Start for the slacker white kids?

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    4. Americans believe in innate intelligence and put a lot of weight on it. Other cultures (including Asian) put more emphasis on hard work. If a child has more trouble learning something, he just needs to work harder and both parents and teachers encourage that hard work. You don't do a child any favors by making excuses for him or giving up on him because he just doesn't have enough academic talent (or whatever). You give the kid challenges and then help him or her to meet them, not screen them out of such opportunities.

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    5. SATs are not predictive because effort and other factors have a bigger influence on performance. That's why they aren't being used any more.

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    6. @6:45 - yes, let's make the white kids smarter. That's a better solution than what's actually being done, which is: artificially holding down the number of Asian kids accepted at Harvard and other colleges.

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    7. "BTW there is currently an anti-intellectual culture among black students. I know this because my black cousins experienced it."

      There is currently an anti-intellectual culture among most students (black, white, Asian, just not immigrant). That why the lack of a parent who is pushing back against that culture is a disadvantage to any child.

      Anti-intellectualism is rampant in American culture at all levels but especially among Republicans. That's why it irritates me when Somerby exhibits anti-professor, anti-expertise, and anti-university biases here. We have enough problems in education without someone who says he cares about children saying so many things to undermine their aspirations.

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    8. "artificially holding down the number of Asian kids accepted at Harvard and other colleges."

      Harvard takes into account more than just academic achievement when it selects students for admission. They want diversity and they want a range of experiences because that enriches the interactions among students, so they will take someone who plays the oboe over someone who plays violin, and someone who spent a year traveling the world over someone with a higher gpa who comes from Cambridge.

      But there are many more good schools besides Harvard. The problem is that parents define a handful of top schools as the only acceptable alternatives and their kids feel like failures if there aren't enough spaces for them to be accepted. That is idiotic. Harvard does a super marketing job, but the so-called second tier schools provide just as good an education, sometimes better if it is a better fit for the student's needs. Asian parents don't tend to understand this, but they are not being harmed if they send their kids somewhere else. And this is true of Berkeley too, which has such a large Asian population in the immediate vicinity that parents all aim for that single school and feel wronged if their child must go somewhere else. The experience of going away from home and encountering a different environment may be better for the student than parents anticipate. Limiting the admissions of Asian students isn't disadvantaging them -- they are just being asked to take a different path, like any other student rejected by such a college.

      Talk about entitlement -- the idea that Asian students are entitled to go wherever they want because their grades or SATs or ACTs are slightly higher, is ridiculous. Elite universities make their decisions based on an overall class profile, not based on the students' needs. That's true for everyone except the so-called legacies (think George Bush and Donald Trump).

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    9. Somerby is perhaps looking for a John Holt style description of obstacles to academic performance among poor children.

      Perhaps? Is there any evidence that TDH would endorse the homeschooling or unschooling movement? In any case, it's the reporting on school issues that TDH opines about.

      That's fine, but it is more important to emphasize other things, such as jobs and housing and political issues that affect the parents of disadvantaged kids, because when you improve life for the parents you improve life for their kids too.

      It is? Perhaps you're right. In that case, shouldn't reporters be taking these "more important" issues into account when they write about public schools? Perhaps you and TDH are in more agreement than you realize.

      I am certain that Somerby was no Escalante

      Of course, but you're an egregious ignoramus who's certain of all your benighted opinions.

      ... since he (1) gave up on the kids,

      A dozen years spent teaching the fifth grade doesn't sound like "giving up" to me. How much longer should TDH have taught to satisfy you?

      (2) doesn't have the skills because he was given no training to deal with such kids.

      Please tell us what skills TDH lacked as a teacher and detail his training regimen.

      But Somerby thinks his 10 years entitle him to chide journalists....

      I'm agnostic on personal claims that I can't check, but TDH says 12 years, not 10. Is it that hard to get the simplest things straight?

      His self-righteousness makes me puke.

      Odd, considering how strong a stomach you have for your own ignorance and prejudice.

      [TDH's "diatribes"] lead the reader carefully to the conclusion that black kids are hopeless to teach and will never close the gap

      Only "the reader" who can't read for comprehension. You know, like you.

      ... because liberals don't care about kids (which his right wing readers are nodding and smiling at his dog whistle and concluding, as David does, that black kids just aren't smart enough to keep up with white kids).

      Your foolish argument from consequences is noted. And dismissed. Nobody reads this blog, so I don't think you have to worry about many "right wing readers" like our Village Idiot, David in Cal. Anyway, who cares what right-wingers think? They mostly think nonsense and are not amenable to reason.

      Stop emulating them.

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    10. Teach for America recruited college students from elite universities (such as Harvard) and placed them in inner city (their term) schools in the Fall after their graduation. They typically had 6 weeks of "training" during which they read books like Holt's and discussed education. They did not have any education courses at their universities (and in fact considered such education to be indoctrination into a failed approach). They did not do any supervised teaching internships as today's teachers typically do. They were put into classrooms without mentor teachers or supervision, other than a contact at Teach for America. Their efforts were ineffective in general (based on evaluations of the program) and most did not stick it out. Some left before the end of their first semester because teaching is hard and if you have not been taught classroom management skills you cannot control your environment sufficiently to promote learning. These "teachers" had no skills whatsoever but were expected to inspire students with their enthusiasm and caring, using their intelligence and ability to create a positive environment.

      I know that these teachers recruited during Somerby's time period were thrown into the deep end without training because the training teachers typically receive was considered part of the problem. Somerby was a philosophy major, not even a child development or psychology major, much less an education major. And Somerby has never ever described any serious education texts or studies he has read or any course he has taken in the field of education. He mentions only the popular anti-education books that came out in the 60s and 70s (e.g. Kozol's Death at an Early Age, Holt's How Children Fail) -- the same time period that I myself was in college. I was interested in Teach for America at the same time as Somerby, and I have read the evaluations of Teach for America. Have you?

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    11. Remember that I'm the guy who's agnostic about personal anecdotes. I have no reason to believe them (since I have no way to confirm them), and I have no reason to disbelieve them.

      It's hard to assess TforA. It must be a plus that their instructors haven't been through the educationist mills of our "schools" of education. Just as it must be a minus that their instructors have no experience in "classroom management" (the educationist term of art for learning how to control a roomful of our little savages). It's even harder to assess how TforA was over 30 years ago.

      Some evidence seems to show that TforA has produced only transitory gains in performance. A lot of time is spent wagging the finger at the organization for its high attrition rate, which seems beside the point.

      In any case, all of this matters not in the least. If TDH used his alleged status as an alumnus of TforA to claim expertise in teaching, you might have a point. But he doesn't, so you don't.

      TDH's arguments about the woeful state of reporting on schools stand or fall on their evidence and logic, and not on how many 5th-grade classes he taught long ago in Baltimore or how well he taught them.

      One may look at "caring" as an emotional state that arises form contemplation of events. If only we had a careometer that could read the state of caring in individuals by clipping leads to their earlobes. Alas no such device exists.

      Alternatively, one may measure caring as a function of the action that arises from the contemplation of events. You may be moved to tears by the plight of a drowning person, but if you neither jump in the pool to rescue that person nor call 911 to get others to make the jump, then perhaps we shouldn't take you at your word about how moved you are.

      As for 3:24P, consider the colossal arrogance it takes to conclude that "most" of TforA teachers aren't "seriously interested in helping ... kids." Then consider the equally large disability in employing logic required to think that such an unfounded judgment, even were it true, has any bearing on the discussion.

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    12. @deadrat
      deadrat said: “right wing readers" like our Village Idiot, David in Cal.

      David was offering comments here that were on topic. He expressed the view that we ought to educate our kids better, rather than try to fix the problem by creating racial quotas in school student bodies. Does that not seem to be exactly what Somerby is saying?

      And “who cares what right wingers think?” Bob Somerby, for one. Deadrat, you are reading a (supposedly) liberal blog that constantly urges you to care what right wingers think and feel.

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    13. Here's David in Cal in this very series of comments expressing his "on topic" view about edukayshunin' our kids better:

      Liberals just want want to see a blend of races, because it looks nice.

      So, no, that doesn't seem to be remotely in the same neighborhood as TDH. David in Cal is a moral and intellectual idiot, incapable of learning, independent thought, or indeed, anything other than regurgitating the right-wing talking points that he's swallowed whole and unquestioningly.

      Some heap abuse on him; others try to engage with him in reasonable dialog. The latter is a fool's errand; the former is just cruel: reasonable and humane people don't ascribe agency to idiots.

      Just a word of caution: if you argue with an idiot, people might not be able to tell the difference; if you quote one with approval, people for sure won't be able to.

      TDH urges us not to label everyone who disagrees with us as the irredeemable "other." He thinks that's a losing political strategy. Now I regard as vanishingly small the cardinality of the intersection of the set of hopeless rightwingers and the set of those who disagree with me politically. I think TDH would disagree with my estimate. That means that absent their sincere acts of contrition, I don't care about those who disagreed with me in 2016 and voted for Trump, and TDH would disapprove of my stance.

      So what? That just makes one of us guilty of bad judgment. And I've decided which one of us that is. I don't have to agree with TDH to read his contrarian arguments and evaluate them for their evidence and logical coherence. Sometimes I agree with him and sometimes I don't. Amazingly enough, I can do that without casting him into the darkness of otherness. Go figure.

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    14. If you're on Somerby's blog not regurgitating the right-wing talking points that you've swallowed whole and unquestioningly, you're the "other".

      Delete
    15. I am not cruel. Or unreasonable or inhumane. Maybe I am blunt with passive aggressive trolls.

      Delete
    16. @deadrat
      (DinC said): “Liberals just want want to see a blend of races, because it looks nice.”

      That really sounds similar to charges that Somerby makes against liberals.

      Not sure why it’s supposed to be idiotic or unfair when it comes from DinC but not when it comes from Somerby.

      @mm
      I love your comments.

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    17. TDH has a bunch of critics, a few Republican supporters, and one loyal fanboy.

      The world largely canceled TDH years ago, all the action is in the comments.

      One could hope that eventually all races in America will interbreed enough to diminish the impact of racism to the point that we won't have to suffer through TDH's nonsense. But most Asians are already white-skinned, so is it the eyes?

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    18. "But most Asians are already white-skinned, so is it the eyes?"

      Could you elaborate on your racial theory (extra-super-scientific, I'm sure), dear dembot? Please.

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    19. "If TDH used his alleged status as an alumnus of TforA to claim expertise in teaching, you might have a point. But he doesn't, so you don't."

      He has asserted no other qualification. That he stayed in teaching for 10-12 years (the number seems to vary) is commendable but it doesn't give him any right to claim that no one cares about kids, black kids, education or specifically education of black kids. Many of the people who read this blog and its comments are currently working in education and TDH frequently says demeaning and insulting things to them about their motives and accomplishments. I object strongly to that.

      I have noticed that you give a bye to TDH for committing the same sins you criticize in commenters. Anything he says about his teaching experience is anecdotal, as is the fact that he claims to have read Wittgenstein, has a pear tree in his back yard, and so on.

      Delete
    20. mm looks deeply into his psyche to declare

      I am not cruel. Or unreasonable or inhumane. Maybe I am blunt with passive aggressive trolls.

      If David in Cal is a troll, then you're wasting your time and breath in a self-defeating way. Trolls, like Mao, our Village Troll, are here for the attention. Don't feed them.

      I don't think David is a troll; he's an idiot, literally unable to understand. Your favorite term for David is "fucking fascist prick." That's like yelling at your cat for pitching a hairball three weeks ago. Do you think that's reasonable or humane?

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    21. @1:20P notes

      [TDH] has asserted no other qualification [than his teaching experience].

      So what? The point is that TDH is not criticizing teachers or declaring his opinion on classroom pedagogy. Were he doing that, then his teaching credentials would be relevant. But he's not, so they're not.

      That he stayed in teaching for 10-12 years (the number seems to vary) is commendable

      Really? According to your gaggle of Anonymous Ignoramuses, it's a sign that he gave up on the kids.

      but it doesn't give him any right to claim that no one cares about kids, black kids, education or specifically education of black kids.

      True, but irrelevant. The 1st Amendment gives him that right. I expect you mean that his alleged teaching experience doesn't give him the standing to make his claim. True again, and also irrelevant.

      Many of the people who read this blog and its comments are currently working in education

      Assumes facts not in evidence.

      and TDH frequently says demeaning and insulting things to them about their motives and accomplishments.

      He does? When was that? As far as I can remember, TDH has never addressed anyone in his commentariat.

      I object strongly to that.

      Which is fine with me.

      I have noticed that you give a bye to TDH for committing the same sins you criticize in commenters.

      No, you haven't, Sparky.

      Anything he says about his teaching experience is anecdotal, as is the fact that he claims to have read Wittgenstein, has a pear tree in his back yard, and so on.

      I'm agnostic about TDH's teaching experience and about whether he has a pear tree in his back yard. I can't check either claim, so I have no basis to believe him. I also have no evidence that he's lying. But he presents neither of those anecdotes as evidence for his claims about reporting on education. Those claims I can check and evaluate.

      I can do the same with TDH's claims about Wittgenstein, which stand or fall regardless of whether TDH has actually read the philosophy. As far as I can tell, he's either read Wittgenstein or enough about his work to pass as a reader.

      Delete
    22. Anonymous Ignoramus @11:48A declares

      @deadrat
      (DinC said): “Liberals just want want to see a blend of races, because it looks nice.”

      That really sounds similar to charges that Somerby makes against liberals.


      If that's what it "really" sounds like to you, then get your hearing checked. Liberals see increased participation of underserved groups in elite educational institutions as a matter of equity. That's because liberals understand the importance of education as the pathway to a better life.

      David in Cal says no, it's solely a matter of esthetics for liberals, 'cause that blend of races looks so nice, dontchaknow?

      TDH's criticism applies to some liberal plans to achieve their goals. TDH says those plans are impractical, wrong-headed, and divisive. In this matter, he's right or wrong or somewhere in between, but he's nothing like David in Cal, our Village Idiot.

      Delete
    23. @deadrat
      “TDH says those plans are impractical, wrong-headed, and divisive.”

      Yes, but he doesn’t leave it there. He goes further and also says that liberals support integration and racial quotas (a la the NYC specialized high schools) mainly because they are virtue signaling. In other words, it is only to make themselves feel good, ie they don’t actually “care” about black kids. That is far worse a charge than merely being wrong-headed or even divisive. That corresponds with the conservative charge against liberals. You need to state the full thrust of his complaints rather than tidy them up.

      Delete
    24. deadrat: I don't think David is a troll; he's an idiot,..

      You wrote that shortly before the idiot posted this:




      David in CalAugust 2, 2020 at 4:01 PM
      Off Topic - Since Bob and others claim Trump is mentally ill, it's worth sharing this survey. It shows that liberals have more mental illness than conservatives. E.g., the percentage who have ever been told by a health care provider that they have a mental health condition:

      I don't know.

      Delete
    25. Most Asians have relatively pale skin. Are they racially non-white in any meaningful way?

      "Liberal" is such a broad term, all it really means is non-conservative, and even then just sort of.

      TDH makes a bold assertion "Nobody cares about black kids", and leaves it at that, unsubstantiated. When journalists or writers do this - "All men are evil", he howls. Somerby is a clown. He also says liberals are lazy, uncaring, not experts, performative, not rational.

      Pot: Kettle you are black
      Kettle: Black lives matter
      Pot: Are you dishwasher safe?

      Within a highly stratified and hierarchical society, education can be important to maintain a reasonable standard of living. Many liberals are working to diminish those aspects of society in which case education as it currently exists will not be so integral to a standard of living.

      Delete
    26. Many Asians are culturally not mainstream in many meaningful ways.

      Liberals means a lot more than just not conservative. There are definite liberal values that most liberals hold and there is a platform every 4 years that expresses those values in terms of specific issues. One key value is that liberals support science, expertise and empirical knowledge. Liberals are NOT working to diminish aspects of society that benefit from education. That's an idiotic remark.

      I suspect that someone not liberal has written this as another form of trolling. Listen to the Republican House members during any hearing, and then listen to the Democratic members and see what the differences are.

      Delete
    27. Deadrat, no one here believes that you check Wittgenstein to verify Somerby's statements, or even that you read Wittgenstein. You don't bother with that -- you just snipe at others.

      Delete
    28. Every now and again I'm favored by one of these comments: one of the Anonymous Ignoramuses writes on behalf of his (or her) ignorant cohort (sometimes even in the first person plural) to announce a supposed consensus about some unsuitable aspect of my existence.

      Here, it happens to be my familiarity with the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein. I don't know what amuses me more, the suggestion of a plebiscite of the ignorant or the idea that anyone would read my comments and still think that I'd care about the vote.

      Here's what I said about my command of Wittgenstein:

      I can do the same with TDH's claims about Wittgenstein, which stand or fall regardless of whether TDH has actually read the philosophy. As far as I can tell, he's either read Wittgenstein or enough about his work to pass as a reader. (Emphasis added.)

      Now as low a bar as this is, no one should believe that I checked Wittgenstein because you have no reasonable way to verify what I've read. Nor should you believe my claims about verifying TDH's claims about Wittgenstein, because you should do that for yourself.

      Now, as it happens, I did check some of TDH's claims about what Wittgenstein wrote, mostly but not entirely, from reading what academics have concluded about the philosopher. And it does seem that in the later part of his career, Wittgenstein really did despair of standard philosophical investigations as merely a set of linguistic tricks with little value for understanding.

      But don't take my word for that.

      My favorite Wittgetstein quote (favored long before TDH's blog entries) is "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen." Which is German for "STFU already."

      But don't take my word for it.

      Delete
    29. mm, re: David in Cal @4:01P

      OK, that is so colossally stupid (right down to making "Pew" into an acronym) that I'm tempted to believe he's a troll instead of an idiot.

      Perhaps he's both.

      I don't know either.

      Delete
    30. @deadrat
      You admonish others:
      “if you argue with an idiot, people might not be able to tell the difference;”

      And yet here you are, arguing with, what was it, an “egregious ignoramus”. Hmmm. People might not be able to tell the difference.

      Anyway, here’s a German phrase I made up just for you and Somerby, because it describes you both to a T:
      “Wenn man ein Arschloch ist, ist man nicht fähig, das Maul zu halten, auch wenn es geboten ist.”

      Delete
    31. Thanks for the distinguishing camel nym.

      An ignoramus is just somebody who's ignorant. Many of the Anonymi Ignorami are egregiously so, but that doesn't mean they're incapable of rational argument. Thus they differ from hopeless idiots like our Village Idiot, David in Cal.

      If you wish to posit that I'm the one who's ignorant, then I'd say you'd be demonstrably wrong for the most part.

      Given my stance here, I can hardly object to your calling me a garrulous asshole auf Deutsch. To quote the man about my manner, "I've had complaints about it but it keeps getting worse."

      Now that we find ourselves in violent agreement about what a jerk I am, did you have any comments on the substance of what I've written?

      Delete
    32. deadrat, when you responded to TDH recently about words and meaning it was clear that you were not familiar with Wittgenstein, and it has always been clear that your modus operandi goes something like this:

      Google
      Copy
      Paste

      Delete
    33. Asians may be culturally distinct - particularly if one stereotypes; they are not meaningfully racially distinct.

      A quick glance at Wikipedia shows that "liberal" includes a wide spectrum of views and values, the DNC does not hold a copyright on the word.

      Progressives are working to diminish the degree to which society is stratified and hierarchical, which will result in education as it currently exists not being so integral to a standard of living. Some may not want to put progressives in the category of liberal, so be it.

      Republicans are conservative so it is unremarkable they hold different views than liberal Dems. If you listen carefully to a neoliberal like Pelosi, a difference exists but it is slight.

      Having said that, I have no problem voting for Biden, as Trump is corrupt, incompetent, and a tool for ideology I oppose.


      Delete
    34. when you responded to TDH recently about words and meaning it was clear that you were not familiar with Wittgenstein....

      I've neither studied nor read Wittgenstein's philosophy. I attempted to read enough about the subject to verify TDH's claims. In that effort, I may well have failed. All that means is that in my ignorance I made one or more errors.

      Please tell me what you think I got wrong.

      Delete
  9. "Using Google, we found no evidence on any such report or editorial over the previous two school years, whether in 2018 or in 2019."

    Often when Somerby claims that he cannot find something, I go and look myself and it is easy to find whatever Somerby claims is missing. Somerby doesn't seem to understand search terms, or maybe he is just motivated NOT to find what he wishes to claim is missing.

    I'm done playing that game, because obviously, I just don't care about black kids enough to keep doing Somerby's work for him. He is dishonest about this kind of thing and I wouldn't believe him when he makes this kind of claim.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't choose to live in a place like Fairfax VA, where there are too few black kids to give my children the opportunity to interact with the kind of diversity that exists in other spheres of life. Having black playmates should be part of every child's early experiences or they will be handicapped when they reach college and workplace. Businesses of all kinds have begun to realize that unfamiliarity with the black demographic limits their marketing efforts, so they have tried to catch up with our changing society. Many parents are deliberately seeking out more diverse schools as an educational advantage. Those who isolate themselves in wealthy neighborhoods perhaps don't care about that, since their kids will inherit wealth (as Trump did) and another rich bigot will emerge from their white supremacist cocoon.

      Delete
    2. You're such a good person, dear Jake. Everyone should be like you. I'm thinking: perhaps we could import some of 'em Africans, some young ones, to play with our children? Shouldn't be too expensive, I reckon.

      Delete
    3. Maybe we could find the dumbest person in Africa and make them president to improve upon Trump who has killed 3 times as many people in 4 months than were killed in the Viet Nam was in 19 years.

      Delete
    4. Trump has damaged the economy because of his bad, strange decision making during the covid-19 pandemic. What on earth what he thinking?

      Delete
    5. "Maybe we could find the dumbest person in Africa"

      Hmm. Okay. You already have Rapist Joe, but why not? Start looking, dear dembot.

      I'm sure LORD Thy God Soros will get you a ticket.

      See if the dumbest African is dumber than Rapist Joe. I'm kinda curious myself.

      Delete
    6. Mao’s employers should be asking for their money back.

      Delete
    7. What? How can you possibly say such a thing of dear Mao -- not only is the quality of his comments brilliant, the quantity is outstanding! Five comments today! All beautifully crafted, impeccably reasoned, delivered with such panache.

      I am Gao, and I have spoken!

      Delete
    8. You could find the dumbest person in Africa, rape them and then inject them with an ounce of heroin and that person would still be in much, much better shape to handle an international health pandemic than Trump was and is.

      Trump is the dumbest fucking moron. Look at what he did here. He couldn't have fucked this thing up worse!

      Who is Soros?

      Delete
    9. 'Who is Soros', really? Is it you, dear Rapist Joe?
      Take a rest, my dear, you're in no condition to rape, even finger-rape, anyone these days.

      Delete
    10. Trump is a moron, who tried to gaslight a virus, like it was some common NY Times political reporter.

      Delete
    11. Mao - Biden could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue in broad daylight on national TV and finger rape the world's sweetest grandmother and he would still beat Trump in landslide.

      It has nothing to do with Biden or Soros (whoever that is.) It has to do with Trump himself. His words and most of all his deeds, which have torn a swathe of war-like destruction and misery through the country he wanted to "Make Great".

      Trump's 2016 election was the triumph of stupidity and tabloid politics. In the end, it has been a historically immense disaster which is why he will lose massively in November.

      The next three months is going to be very bad for you Mao - but you deserve it! You've always acted like a dick and here comes your karma bill. Prendre plaisir jeune fille! Next time you may want to get behind someone who is minimally competent and without a string of lifelong failures and destruction that can be repeated on a world scale as it was here by the inept idiot Trump.

      Delete
    12. Are you reading this world-salad off a teleprompter, dear Rapist Joe?

      You must be tired now, go get some rest, my dear. And ask your nurse to breathe into your nostrils, as usual.

      Delete
    13. At this point Biden could attend an award ceremony of the most highly decorated New York City police officers and kill and rape all of them on the dais. He could then go out on to 5th Avenue and find the world's sweetest grandma and the dumbest, drunk African in midtown and kill and rape each of them successively on live TV with dozens of helicopters above and he would still easily beat Trump. The Trump folly is over.

      Just because of Trump's totally retarded almost impossibly stupid response to coronavirus that was a never ending string of lies and bizarre, stupid decisions that killed thousands of innocent Americans every day! And the deaths won't stop for a long time.

      If you hire someone to drive a bus and they, despite a series of blatant warnings, drive the bus off a cliff, you don't rehire that person.

      Fuck Trump. That dumb ape is over and will go down as one of history's greatest fools.

      Delete
    14. Geez mao even I can't get with this nostril breathing... uh stuff?
      George Soros is going to hold you down and buttock you like a dog come November.

      Delete
    15. Whoa, LORD Thy God Soros himself? To hold me?

      Meh, I ain't worthy, dear dembot. It's your sacred dembot privilege, and let us keep it that way.

      Delete
    16. Who the hell is Soros? The point is Trump. Not Soros. Who gives a shit about Soros? Who IS Soros? Would Soros have fucked up corona as bad as Trump? No! Because NO ONE could fuck up corona any worse!!! It's July and this idiot Trump still has no plan or clue. I'd rather have a monkey be president. "It will miraculously go away!" FUCK TRUMP.

      Delete
    17. Trump is no worse than any other standard-issue Reagan Republican.

      Delete
    18. "Who the hell is Soros? The point is Trump. Not Soros."

      Lol. You're too funny, my dear. You're not supposed to just come out and say it. Don't inform us directly what your assignment is. It's a "secret". Your dembot supervisor isn't going to be happy.

      Delete
    19. I like Mao better when he pretended he wasn't working for the Establishment.
      Now he's just another dime a dozen bigot, like the rest of the Right-wing.
      (Yawn)

      Delete
  10. Democrats are happy to inflict pain on black children who are behind other groups in every grade because leftists view blacks as useful for promoting their abortion and the other components of their hate-filled social degradation agenda, and nothing more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Technological progress and economic growth inevitably break down traditional values stupid fool.

      Delete
  11. Bob,
    You could give a shit about black children.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Bob,
    Trump is nuts. He should be re-elected.

    ReplyDelete
  13. “The column appears in the hard-copy Times. Presumably, it was published to let us know how deeply this newspaper cares.

    The column discusses an utterly pointless "issue." Until recently, the topic would have been seen as highly marginal even in a newspaper's sports section.”

    The writers of that editorial, Mary Pilon and Travon Free, are preparing a movie about the subject of the editorial, John Donaldson, an apparently phenomenal baseball player who was barred from the white leagues and whose achievements have been overlooked until a white man, Peter Gorton, decided to champion him and his forgotten achievements.

    Perhaps the New York Times is merely pretending to care...whatever. I imagine the authors of this piece actually do care.

    Somerby’s overwhelming cynicism towards the motives of a newspaper blind him to this possibility. It also leads him to scoff at the real human interest contained in that story.

    According to Wikipedia:
    “Researchers so far have discovered 667 games in which Donaldson is known to have pitched. Out of those games, Donaldson had over 400 wins and 5,081 strikeouts as a baseball pitcher. According to some sources, he was the greatest pitcher of his era.”

    And yet, he was buried in an unmarked grave until fairly recently.

    How is this man’s life story “pointless?” Is it any more or less pointless than the lives of all those country musicians featured in Ken Burns’ recent documentary that Somerby gushed about?

    ReplyDelete
  14. If you don't write such editorials, then you don't care, but if you do write them, then you are pretending to care. So you cannot win with Somerby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can win with Somerby -- if you're Ron Johnson, Roy Moore, Brock Turner, Zimmerman, Barr, Jim Jordan, DJT Somerby will defend you gallantly. As befits a Trumptard.

      Delete
  15. This is do bogus. Go to the Washington Post and search for the phrase “achievement gap” and you get dozens of hits in the last year alone, stories that Somerby has ever so generously decided not to share with his readers. So he really isn’t qualified to make any kind of pronouncements about the state of education reporting if he isn’t going to report honestly about it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. These are The Other who Somerby thinks we should be taking seriously:

    https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/08/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-sex-with-demons

    ReplyDelete
  17. Off Topic - Since Bob and others claim Trump is mentally ill, it's worth sharing this survey. It shows that liberals have more mental illness than conservatives. E.g., the percentage who have ever been told by a health care provider that they have a mental health condition:
    White Very Liberal................38.0%
    White Very Conservative......14.8%

    Non-White Very Liberal...........19.0%
    Non-white Very Conservative..14.8%

    (These figures come from a PEW survey)

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1248823584111439872.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why is that worth showing?

      Delete
    2. Trump is not mentally ill, he is mentally damaged.

      So is anyone that thinks a survey such as that conveys anything meaningful.

      Trump is also corrupt, immoral, and a complete failure as a president.

      Other surveys with more competent methodologies show that Biden is going to trounce Trump in the presidential election. Then let's see which side has the mental health condition.

      Delete
    3. It shows that liberals are more willing to tell a survey about their mental health issues. They may also be more likely to consult a doctor about them.

      White very conservative no doubt includes those who believe in prayer for healing.

      This is self reported, not verified by health records or ER intake or 5150 holds.

      Delete
  18. Today (Monday), Digby reprints an op-ed from a school superintendent agonizes over whether to reopen or not.

    That is what someone who is really interested in education writes about, because that is what is happening in our schools today.

    Somerby doesn't care about education or kids -- he cares about bashing liberals.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You must be new here, so let me help. Go to the blog's header. There you'll find the words

    musings on the mainstream "press corps" and the american discourse

    I don't know that TDH isn't "really interested" in education (and neither do you), but what he is "really interested" in writing about on this blog is the reporting on and the public discussion of various issues, including education.

    Complaining that TDH doesn't cover the topics you'd like him to cover seems futile to me. Either stick with Digby or start your own blog.

    ReplyDelete
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