The Times should be ashamed: Once again, we show you the data which define one modern version of "the problem we all live with."
These data concern academic performance within the New York City Public Schools. Similar data obtain nationwide:
Average scores, Grade 8 math, 2017 NaepBelow, we'll show you the corresponding data for public schools nationwide. For now, let's stick with "the problem we all live with" in Gotham.
New York City Public Schools
White students: 290.71
Black students: 255.63
Hispanic students: 263.56
Asian-American students: 306.03
Those data seem to define "achievement gaps" which are brutally large. If we apply a conventional though very rough rule of thumb, in which ten points on the Naep scale roughly equates to one academic year, the average black eighth grader in New York City is performing more than three years below the average white eighth grader, five years below the average Asian-American.
Those are brutal gaps. But in the face of those punishing data, the New York Times—our dumbest, least comprehending upper-class newspaper—continues with its self-involved, pointless magical thinking.
In yesterday morning's front-page report, the Times continued its quest for a largely pointless state of affairs it has now even described as "full integration." The report was written by Eliza Shapiro, who is presumably being held hostage by her unnamed editors.
Would it be better if Gotham's schools were more diverse, more "racially balanced?" In theory, yes, it would be.
That said, there's only so much "full integration" you can get from New York City's student population. If the Times could wave a magic wand from the Hamptons and produce that "full integration," the student population of each New York City school would magically look like this:
"Full integration," New York City Public SchoolsThat isn't a lot of "integration." That's especially true since the propagandistic definitions of "segregation" devised by our pseudo-progressive thought leaders only count interaction with white kids as a marker of integration.
White kids: 15 percent
Black kids: 30 percent
Hispanic kids: 40 percent
Asian-American kids: 15 percent
Attending school with (high-performing) Asian kids? We're sorry, but that doesn't count!
Of course, the ratios shown above would never obtain in real life. The white student population would quickly drop as parents moved their kids out of the reconfigured schools.
Why would parents do that? In part, because of thinking like that we've highlighted below. In this passage, Shapiro is describing recommendations from a recent report by a City Hall task force:
SHAPIRO (2/12/19): Mr. de Blasio should also focus on integrating schools in neighborhoods that may have wealth disparities and segregated schools, the group said.Pseudo-progressives, please!
The report prompted the mayor to require nine such local school districts, including the Upper East Side, Ditmas Park in Brooklyn, Forest Hills in Queens and all of Staten Island, to come up with integration plans.
Mr. de Blasio should also ask all 32 of the city’s local school districts to consider whether their gifted and talented programs and schools that admit students using academic criteria are causing further segregation, the report suggests.
So-called "gifted and talented programs" allow higher-performing students to be presented with the type of work appropriate to their achievement levels.
In a school system with achievement gaps as large as those in New York City, it's impossible to teach the same curriculum to all the kids within a single grade. Everyone on the planet knows this—except the kinds of people who wrote this report for the mayor, along with people who pose as education reporters across the upper-end press.
In a system like New York City's, would differential instruction produce increased "segregation?" We refer you again to those average scores. This represents a basic problem, except in newspapers like the Times, where those achievement gaps don't exist and don't need to be discussed.
The size of those achievement gaps is never reported and never discussed in the New York Times. That's because the people who work for the New York Times are either too dumb to know about this state of affairs, or are too uncaring to examine how this tragic state of affairs should be addressed.
Instead, the Times offers its readers feel-good magical thinking! It loves the preening and posturing which come with the fight again "segregation," a tribally thrilling, repurposed term which once had a specific meaning.
It loves the utterly crazy implied idea that increased racial balance in Gotham's schools would do much of anything about those punishing gaps.
Those gaps are ugly, dark and deep, but they don't exist in the Times. Instead, the Times instructs Shapiro to play these persistent reindeer games, and the ballyhooed hire complies.
(As for de Blasio, please! Don't even ask.)
Again and again and again and again, we've shown you the size of those gaps. These gaps have existed since roughly forever and, for exactly that long, our big newspapers have found various magical ways to avoid discussing their import—to pretend they can be wished away, to pretend that it's all a mirage.
If you subscribe to the New York Times, you'll never be asked to read about the size of those punishing gaps. Nor will you ever see any discussion of what could possibly be done to help Gotham's black and Hispanic kids achieve at higher levels.
What should happen in kindergarten, when low-income kids are already way "behind" their middle-class peers? How about in preschool? How about in low-income children's actual homes, starting in the first few weeks of life?
People at the New York Times don't worry their heads about that. Instead, they hand you their silly magical thinking about the need to fight "segregation." And yes, this brain-dead conduct exists in this most rational of all possible worlds.
No one cares about black kids. Timesfolk like to pose.
Corresponding scores nationwide: The corresponding achievement gaps are roughly the same nationwide. That doesn't necessarily mean that gaps this large obtain in any particular school system:
Average scores, Grade 8 math, 2017 NaepAre those gaps are large as they seem? Is there any reason to doubt data from the Naep?
United States, public schools
White students: 292.16
Black students: 259.60
Hispanic students: 268.49
Asian-American students: 309.52
Questions like these don't arise in the upper-end press. In the upper-end press corps, they care about wardrobe and who's BLEEPing whom, and they care about the way major candidates are inclined to eat their fried chicken.
Gillibrand ate her chicken wrong! Such meat has been the fuel of the press for many, many years.
Is this the work of "the rational animal?" We ask, you decide!