GAPS AND SEGREGATION: The nuns of 1838!

FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2018

Meet the kids of El Paso and Austin:
"Out in the west Texas town of El Paso," something like 150,000 kids are enrolled in school today.

In truth, El Paso is hardly a "town" at this point. As of the 2010 census, it seems to have been our 19th largest city. Based on a 2016 estimate, it may be crowding past Seattle on the largest cities list.

El Paso's kids are served by four different school districts. Something like 45,000 kids are enrolled in the Socorro ISD, second largest of these districts.

Demographically, the Socorro district's student population looked like this in grades 3-8, according to the recent study by Stanford's Sean Reardon and two associates:
Student population, Socorro ISD (El Paso)
White kids: 4 percent
Black kids: 2 percent
Hispanic kids: 93 percent
Asian-American kids: 1 percent
Pity the poor "minority" kids of the Socorro school district! They can't receive the advantages of The New York City "Integration" Ideal, in which they could sit in a lunchroom, every day, with a group of students which might include as many as 15 percent white kids!

The kids of Socorro can only dream of that day. Meanwhile, for children who walk the streets of Laredo, the complexion of things is even a tiny bit worse:
Student population, Laredo ISD
White kids: 0 percent
Black kids: 0 percent
Hispanic kids: 99 percent
Asian-American kids: 1 percent
To this picture, we add one new point. It concerns the children who go to school in Austin, which now seems to rank as our 11th biggest city.

According to Reardon's data, Austin's student population is a walloping 25 percent white! In that sense, Austin's black kids have additional chances to gaze on white kids in their lunchrooms—but in the district's actual classrooms, Reardon says things break down like this:
Where the average student stood
Austin, Grades 3-8, reading and math

White kids: 1.9 years above grade level
Black kids: 1.3 years below grade level
According to Reardon's data, there's a 3.2 year achievement gap, presumably at or near the start of sixth grade. And that's just the average student from each group. A lot of white kids exceed their group's average, and we think you can take it from there.

We're just trying to clue you in concerning world of the actual children who are actually living today. You won't learn these things in the New York Times, a newspaper which sometimes seems to care more about the nuns of 1838 than about the kids of today.

We base this unflattering assessment on what we learned about the Times on yesterday's page A3 (print editions only). That page's daily Spotlight section featured the work of a good, decent person who works for the Times. That section started like this:

Rachel Swarns, a journalist for the Times, has spent more than two years digging into Georgetown University's relationship with slavery: In 1838, 272 slaves [sic] were sold by the Jesuits to help keep the school afloat. In a Twitter thread on Tuesday, Ms. Swarns elaborated on the ways in which some American nuns, and educators tied to the institution they founded, are also confronting a history of slave ownership.
That passage only refers to the Jesuits of 1838. But as the Spotlight feature continued, it posted five chunks of material from Swarns' actual tweets.

To peruse that material, click here.

In those passages from yesterday's page A3, we were informed about what the nuns of Georgetown did "between 1800 and 1962." We learned about efforts by their modern-day successors to "confront" this history.

Stating the obvious, Times readers were supposed to swell with pride when we encountered this Spotlight feature. We were expected to feel that the Times is deeply involved in the pursuit of racial justice.

We had a different reaction. Our reaction focused on one key word in the passage we've posted: "journalist."

Rachel Swarns is a good decent person; she's sensible and intelligent. That said, it seemed to us that work of this kind might represent the type of wasted labor we sometimes find among the nation's "historians."

If you've ever watched C-Span 3 on weekends, when it features American History TV, you've seen the endless person-hours which are invested in the rehashing of Civil War battles and the history of slavery.

Our scholars never stop digging in these fields. In the course of these labors, they completely ignore the living children of El Paso, Laredo, Detroit.

It seems to us that it's bad enough when our "historians" do this. But why would a newspaper like the Times have its journalists spending years on such projects, when it's so clear that its reporters have absolutely no interest at all in the children of Detroit?

In the kids who are being born today. In the little girl who's going to start first grade in the fall.

Why should our journalists study the nuns of 1838 while ignoring the children of modern Detroit? The answer to that is blindingly clear:

Inside the world of the New York Times, today's black and Hispanic and low-income kids just completely don't count. What matters is the desire of us liberal readers to feel morally lofty and pure.

We tackle the nuns of '38. We blow past the kids of Detroit.

At this point, does it actually matter? Should we care about what those nuns did in 1838?

On balance, we'd be inclined to say no, but let's say we really should care. We'll only tell you this:

While one Times journalist has spent two years exploring the nuns of 1838, the newspaper's coverage of the kids of El Paso and Detroit has been a journalistic and moral disgrace—an act of criminal indifference.

The kids of El Paso don't exist at the Times. So too with the kids of Detroit.

How bad has Times reporting been when the lives and the interests of kids like these are at issue? Consider the way Professor Reardon's sweeping study was reported by the Times.

We've linked to that report many times in the past few weeks, but only for the data. In the actual New York Times news report, Motoko Rich was buffaloed by a fairly obvious manifestation—by the fact that achievement gaps were especially large in university towns like Chapel Hill, Evanston, Berkeley.

No one with the first hint of a clue would have been surprised by that phenomenon. The Times education reporter was utterly baffled—and the groaning achievement gaps which exist all over the country were never discussed again.

The Times doesn't care about sh*t like that. The Times loves "desegregation."

What kinds of achievement gaps existed in our major cities, according to Reardon's data? In New York City, the gaps were large, but elsewhere they were larger. For the sake of simplicity, we'll restrict ourselves to just two groups of kids:
Where the average student stood
Grades 3-8, reading and math:

New York City

White kids: 1.3 years above grade level
Black kids: 1.0 years below grade level

Washington, D.C.
White kids: 2.7 years above grade level
Black kids: 2.2 years below grade level

White kids: 2.9 years above grade level
Black kids: 1.5 years below grade level

White kids: 2.2 years above grade level
Black kids: 1.5 years below grade level
Such gaps—at or near the start of sixth grade—go on and on and on and on, in districts all over the country. Rich puzzled about three university towns, and the Times left it right there.

For the record, there are no gaps on the streets of Laredo; the kids there are all Hispanic. Last week, Mayor de Blasio cruelly said that even Those Kids can have good schools! Despite the lack of white kids!

Is it possible that such a remark could be true? You won't see any such discussion in the Times. The truth is, the good, decent people at the Times completely and wholly don't care.

As we learned in several reports in the Times last week, everyone says they want good schools. At the Times, that seems to mean a school where the lunchroom may be as much as 15 percent white.

Alas! Everyone says they want good schools, but no one says how to attain them. All next week, we'll examine that topic—we'll examine the gaps and good schools.

Meanwhile, in one journalist's tweets, you can learn about the nuns of 1838. That journalist is a good, decent person. She's sensible, caring and smart.

She's studied the nuns of 1838. But when it comes to the kids of 2018, her newspaper doesn't care.

We liberals! We care about the racist nuns from the days of Martin Van Buren. But when it comes to the kids of today, we quit on those kids eons ago. Nothing could be more clear.

Next week: Gaps and good schools


  1. C'mon, Bob. Stop the broken record already. This is now beyond obsessive–compulsive.

  2. Somerby is upset because scholar historians keep digging in the past and don't consider today's children in Texas! Does he not understand that history, by definition, is the study of the past?

    1. I read him as more upset that journalist (not historians) are spending time looking into the 1800s rather than exposing what's going on today.

    2. "If you've ever watched C-Span 3 on weekends, when it features American History TV, you've seen the endless person-hours which are invested in the rehashing of Civil War battles and the history of slavery.

      Our scholars never stop digging in these fields. In the course of these labors, they completely ignore the living children of El Paso, Laredo, Detroit."

  3. "Pity the poor "minority" kids of the Socorro school district! They can't receive the advantages of The New York City "Integration" Ideal..."

    The Hispanic children in Texas have a different legacy that does not include slavery, the deliberate suppression of literacy, second-class citizenship and Jim Crow. Segregation is pernicious because it conveys second-class status, exclusion from society. In Texas, Hispanics are close to a majority and they are not second-class citizens by any means. Their poor test scores are often due to the difficulties of acquiring a second language or of hearing Spanish in the home instead of English. Once they catch up, they have cognitive benefits from their bilingualism, including added flexibility in code-switching and the richness of sharing two cultures. Hispanic culture did not undergo the abandonment by the middle classes nor the diaspora from the South that blacks experienced. They do not have the same cultural attitudes toward Anglos or things white that blacks do. There are many differences between the subcultures that have an impact on children.

    Generalizing from one to the other is inappropriate without taking such differences into account. Living in the South and with roots in New England, I doubt Somerby knows thing one about Hispanic people. But claiming that integration is necessary in Hispanic neighborhoods ignores the REASONS why segregation was bad for black children and why it is to be avoided today, even though those reasons have nothing to do with education directly, but with self image and self esteem. Hispanic children have different problems but being in class together with other Hispanic children is not one of them.

    1. You have no clue.


    3. Yes, and Chinese children were segregated in schools in San Francisco. But none of them were subject to slavery, Jim Crow, and the ongoing discrimination based on skin color. Discrimination is different for different groups. Black civil rights activists emphasize that. Children of immigrants were segregated. Poor people were segregated. Religions were segregated into Catholic and public schools. Boys and girls were segregated in many schools. It doesn't make the meaning of the experience the same, and it is the meaning of that segregation, not the fact of being separated, that inflicts the damage.

      Go back and read the supreme court decision that CMike posted. Read the description of the studies upon which that decision was based.

  4. "But when it comes to the kids of today, we quit on those kids eons ago. Nothing could be more clear."

    Who quit on them? Somerby did, when he chose a career in stand up instead of teaching. But did others? What about the teachers who remain? What about the parents of these kids? What about the school administrators and staff, local community groups, local Boards of Education? Did they all quit? Not in my opinion.

    Like many parents, I volunteered in my child's school. In my small town, residents rally behind the teams and donate to the school and are proud of its graduates. Prom involves the whole town. No one has quit on our youngsters. I suspect it is like this in most places.

    Where people have quit on schools and children, that should be our focus. But that isn't the majority of schools or children, black and white and everyone else. Somerby shits on De Blasio and activists who are trying to do some good, then accuses everyone of quitting on kids. He cannot have it both ways. Either we are doing the wrong thing or doing nothing, according to him. How is that compatible with rising test scores? Some black kids need more attention, better schools, and a lot of changes at home. No one is ignoring them, but what can be done without violating parental rights? One price of our freedom is the freedom to neglect children beyond minimal care so that they fall behind those kids whose parents have invested more effort in their upbringing. It is certainly unfair to those neglected, but what are we prepared to do? Not remove such kids from their homes, and no amount of remedial education will make up for a late start in life. But Somerby thinks it is helpful to yell at liberals for not caring. Yes, that's the ticket!

    Somerby needs to take his bitterness to the local bar. I'm sure they can use his business.

    1. I didn't read him as shitting on DeBlasio. And he's never bad-mouthed teachers. He's saying, clearly and repeatedly, maybe obsessively as someone else noted, that journalists ignore these issues, or when they don't ignore them they present misleading narratives.

    2. Anon., you have completely misunderstood what Bob is saying.

    3. Somerby doesn't just criticize the media. How can you overlook his constant bashing of liberals and their "horrible" ideas? His disdain for a discussion of "segregation" and his ridicule of the idea of "integration" (in a 2018 context), aside from being baseless and unfounded on his part, is an attack on the ideas of (some) liberal
      education academics and reformers, not just the "media."

      He has not shown why "integration" won't work, nor why "segregation" shouldn't be examined, among other issues, as a potential problem. He ridicules the idea without good reason and without presenting an alternative. It sure is easy to attack and ridicule the ideas or actions of others without providing any yourself, isn't it?

    4. I wish that he would offer what he might consider to be answers, but (a) that's not what he does, and (b) I don't know that it's fair to demand that he present answers to some very difficult issues. That's something that journalists should be asking experts, rather than publishing superficial and misleading articles.

  5. Ms Swarns probably has a personal interest in those nuns, pursued it herself, then persuaded her editor to let her write an article about it. Her other books have had a similar historical focus.

    Is she rotten because she doesn't have a personal interest in the black children in Detroit? And how would that be relevant to the people of New York who presumably have children closer to home to worry about?

    1. JFC, Somerby didn't say she was rotten for writing an article about nuns in the 19th Century.

    2. No, he says that the media and liberals are rotten. His reasoning is: there is a story about some historical event and thus this shows that the media and liberals don't care Or gaps. Or something. Despite the huge number of articles that SOMERBY HIMSELF QUOTES FROM that talk about education. Oh But they are wrong or misguided. According to Somerby. Which also somehow shows no one cares. But the presence of a historical story today shows no one cares, because they won't report on gaps or Bob's facts, except when they do and they get it wrong because they are arrogant assholes who don't care.

    3. I don't know if you're operating in good faith, but here's what he wrote:

      "Meanwhile, in one journalist's tweets, you can learn about the nuns of 1838. That journalist is a good, decent person. She's sensible, caring and smart.

      She's studied the nuns of 1838. But when it comes to the kids of 2018, her newspaper doesn't care."

  6. Jonny,
    Check's in the mail.

    1. Self-reflection isn't your thing, is it?

    2. And humor isn't yours.

    3. Great posts Jonny. Pithy deconstructions, and something towards which to aspire. Dog knows I often need help in that area.


    4. Sorry I didn't reply directly to your posts. To demonstrate my sincerity, here’s another, different angle on media criticism. Seems to tie in pretty well with Bob’s. In a way.

      I just received the printed version of the magazine. The supertitle is “Like The New Yorker, Only Readable.” Haw!


    5. Speaking of which Leroy, nobody is offering the alt-right and the far left more of what they need right now than this transgender.


      LINK (Our very own Stephanie Clifford groupie, Anonymous, pops in to play at the 8:10 mark in this one.)

  7. There are gaps! Liberals suck! There are gaps! Liberals don't care! There are gaps! Liberals do nothing to help! There are gaps! Liberals do things to help that are stupid and horrible!

    Did we tell you there are gaps? There are gaps!

    Tomorrow: the Howler's comprehensive, well-thought-out plan to fix those gaps, ...Hahaha, just kidding.

    Breaking tomorrow! There are gaps!

  8. "But when it comes to the kids of today, we quit on those kids eons ago. Nothing could be more clear."

    Right you are, Bob. It is clear that you quit on those kids that you taught for a few years over 40 years ago. To pursue the brass ring of standup comedy. Had you succeeded st that, I'm sure those kids would have greatly benefited. Just as I'm sure your blog is having thumping great success at helping them today.

  9. No decent white parents want their children to go to schools that aren't substantially white. And for good reason. That is the underlying root of America's school "segregation" issue.

    1. I wanted my children to go to school with children who are well-behaved and interested in learning.

    2. The underlying root of America's school "segregation" is slavery.
      Look it up.

    3. "And for good reason."

      Go fuck yourself.

    4. All y'all are hypocrites. And despite your defensive posturing, deep down you know you're hypocrites....

      Just admit it. I could at least respect you if you were forthright and said "Ok, you're right...'well-behaved and scholastic' basically means 'white' kids...

    5. What a racist, and false comment by Anon 8:14! First of all, Asian kids, on average, are more well-behaved and scholastic than white kids. Second, kids of any race or culture will be well-behaved if a school is run properly.

      I attended an integrated high school in 1957-60 and there was no problem. Students were grouped homogeneously. There were fewer black students in top classes. But, those classes were available to black students who qualified. Decent behavior was taken for granted. The students who were not academically inclined were not a problem to those of us who were, and we were not a problem to them.

    6. "I attended an integrated high school in 1957-60 and there was no problem."

      And look how you turned out; having to cry crocodile tears about black people, just to make believe you're not really a racist.
      BTW, you're not fooling anyone.

    7. Your self-serving, anecdotal bullshit fools no one - you hated civil rights then and you hate it now.

    8. Actually, Tim, I attended one of MLK's demonstrations at the Washington Monument. I was a long-time member of the NAACP and donated to some other civil rights organizations as well.

    9. I attended an integrated high school in 1957-60 and there was no problem.

      Where was that David in Cal? And what, that makes you 76 years old, is that right? Where were you living when you attended "one of MLK's demonstrations at the Washington Monument"? Are you referring to the '63 "March on Washington" when King famously spoke from the Lincoln Memorial [LINK]?

      King delivered his last sermon at the Washington Cathedral March 31, 1968. I wasn't aware of any demonstrations associated with his visit at that time and, of course, he was dead by the time of the "Poor People's March on Washington" in May of that year.

    10. Once again, David uses the unverified personal homily to lie through his teeth in pretending he ever gave a shit about anyone but rich white men. Your gambit is old, old news around here troll.

    11. CMike I'm 75. I was living in New Rochelle, NY at the time. A group of us went to Wachington D.C by bus. I'm sorry, but I do not recall exacrtly which year it was that we went to hear MLK.

      Anon 9:42, thanks for you support, but no thanks. Even if what you say were true, and most of it is not established facts, your focus on the alleged handlers being Jewish is offensive. Anyhow, regardless of any alleged personal failings, MLK accomplished great things.

    12. David, I get the impression that you are Jewish. Not that that's your fault, but it would explain your consistent refusal to take the side of White people.

    13. Perfect! A Stormer giving David in Cal advice.

    14. Never Cuck, David. See what that got you? The left just shits on you even more unmercifully.

      Of course they do. Sh*tting on people is what today's left does best. The left even shits on the left. E.g.,

      The activists, who have dogged Lopez for the last six months, demanded Lopez apologize, promise to not do the work again and return the money he earned. As the meeting got more boisterous, security officers for Arlington’s Central Library appeared then called local police. ...

      "I’ve been [in office] for 27 years and no one has fought harder for immigrants or immigrant rights than Delegate Lopez,”...

    15. link

    16. Speaking of shitting in your own nest, here's a cite David the concern troll forgot:

    17. Hmm, how's that "your own"? Isn't brain-challenged Sen McCain the super-greatest liberal hero these days?

    18. I am appalled, disgusted, and frankly mortified by you calling Sen. McCain "the super greatest liberal hero".

      Now let me know when I can join you in voting for a proclamation stating that Sen. McCain is "the super greatest liberal hero".

    19. ". Sh*tting on people is what today's left does best. "

      Relax, snowflake.

    20. "I am appalled, disgusted, and frankly mortified by you calling Sen. McCain "the super greatest liberal hero"."

      Sorry about your sufferings, but it's not me, it's Clinton the husband, Clinton the wife, and Obama the demigod. Google it.

  10. Bob's blog increasingly attracts bigots and racists.
    Food and comfort?

  11. Because racism is healthy and eugenic.

    1. Look in the mirror and start your purge there, Herr Fleigenheimer.

    2. Get thee to a cattle car, Schlomo.

    3. Not in front of your incel van, Bunkerboy?

  12. Call Dr. Dr Iyaryi for urgent and fast love spell +2349057915709 or email him

    I lost my husband to another woman,after 4 years of marriage . We had a lovely marriage but he started a relationship with a co worker who chased after him . He is living away near his work and he refused to talk to me or to come home . I was so devastated and found it hard to cope. I became very worried and needed help. As I was browsing through the Internet one day, I came across a comment by Amber that suggested that Dr Iyaryi helped her solve her marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he did a spell for me. 2 days later, my husband came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my family are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Iyaryi. If you need a spell caster that can cast a spell that truly works, I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you. I give you 100% guarantee that he will help you. His email And also Reach him on WhatsApp Number: +2349057915709 Thanks Dr. IyaryI

  13. I'm Dr Ogudugu, a real and genuine spell caster/Spiritual healer with years of experience in spell casting and an expert in all spells, i specialize exclusively in LOVE SPELL/GET REUNITE WITH EX LOVER, MONEY SPELL, POWERFUL MAGIC RING, ANY COURT CASES, FRUIT OF THE WOMB, HIV CURE, CURE FOR CANCER, HERPES, DIABETE, HERPERTITIS B, PARKINSON’S HERBAL CURE, BECOMING A MERMAID, BECOMING A VAMPIRE, SAVE CHILD BIRTH. They are all %100 Guaranteed QUICK Results, it most work. If you have any problem and you need a real and genuine spell caster to solve your problems, contact me now through my personal Email Address with problem case...Note-you can also Text/Call on WhatsApp.

    Contact me -
    WhatsApp No: +27663492930