Big newspaper shows that it cares: Last Tuesday morning, right on its front page, the New York Times showed the world that it deeply cares.
The report was written by Eliza Shapiro, one of the paper's fairly recent ballyhooed hires. Her report concerned, or at least seemed to concern, the lives and the interests of black kids.
Shapiro's report concerned admission figures at New York City's most selective "elite" high schools. In print editions, the headline on her front-page report extended across five columns.
Lengthy hard-copy headline included, her news report started like this:
SHAPIRO (3/19/19): New York's Most Selective Public High School Has 895 Spots. Black Students Got 7.By any sensible measure, those numbers would seem to be startling. Stuyvesant High is New York City's most "selective" public high school. But out of 895 admission offers, only seven offers went to black kids this year.
Only a tiny number of black students were offered admission to the highly selective public high schools in New York City on Monday, raising the pressure on officials to confront the decades-old challenge of integrating New York’s elite public schools.
At Stuyvesant High School, out of 895 slots in the freshman class, only seven were offered to black students. And the number of black students is shrinking: There were 10 black students admitted into Stuyvesant last year, and 13 the year before.
In typical New York Times fashion, Shapiro never stated the overall percentage of black kids in Gotham's public schools. But in paragraphs 16 and 17 of her report, she finally offered the statistics we highlight below—and, by any sensible measure, these statistics would seem to be startling:
SHAPIRO: The question of how to racially integrate the city’s elite high schools underscores how hard it is to tackle educational inequality and discrimination. It is a struggle playing out in real time as the future of affirmative action is being challenged at Harvard University and as last week’s college admissions scandal revealed the extreme ways in which wealthy and well-connected families try to game admissions.According to Shapiro's report, black and Hispanic kids make up nearly 70 percent of the city's public school student enrollment. But black and Hispanic kids received just ten percent of admission offers to Gotham's eight "specialized" high schools, Stuyvesant included.
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.
Despite their numbers in the system, they received just ten percent of offers! By any sensible measure, that's an extremely low number.
You'll note, of course, that Shapiro fashioned this state of affairs, in this passage, as a matter of "racial integration." She'd done the same thing in her opening paragraph (see above).
She also fashioned these enrollment figures as a matter of "discrimination." Lumping them in with an ongoing "college admissions scandal," she even possibly seemed to suggest that someone has been "trying to game admissions" to New York City's most competitive high schools.
Without any question, black and Hispanic kids are massively "under-represented" at Stuyvesant High, and at the seven other "specialized high schools."
In the course of her 1566 words this day, Shapiro never offered an overall breakdown of the enrollment figures at these famously "elite" public schools. Three days later, in a second lengthy front-page report, she managed to offer this somewhat jumbled account of Stuyvesant's student enrollment:
SHAPIRO (3/22/19): Asians make up roughly 73 percent of Stuyvesant’s 3,300 students, while white students are about 20 percent of the school. Hispanic students make up another 3 percent, with black students just under 1 percent. The city school system is nearly 70 percent black and Hispanic with white and Asian students making up roughly another 15 percent each.Let's sort that out:
Asian-American kids are 15 percent of Gotham's citywide student enrollment. But they account for 73 percent of Stuyvesant's student body!
White kids are 15 percent of students citywide. They account for 20 percent of Stuyvesant's enrollment.
Meanwhile, black and Hispanic kids occupy just four percent of the seats at Stuyvesant High! They're massively under-represented there, as compared to their numbers—nearly 70 percent!—in the public schools as a whole.
When admission offers went out last week, the New York Times swung into action. Similar admission figures are reported every year, but the Times is skilled at declaring itself to be "shocked, shocked" every time this happens.
Across the organs of the liberal world, others were shocked as well. Deeply caring professional liberals expressed displeasure with this latest example of "segregation," preparatory to crawling back into their logs and sleeping the sleep of the morally great for the rest of the calendar year.
Deeply caring self-approvers let us know how much they care about this troubling state of affairs concerning the lives of black kids.
Tomorrow, though, we'll show you the story which lies behind this story. More specifically, we'll show you the data you'll never be shown by the deeply caring Times.
Shapiro's deeply caring report touched off a wave of complaints across the nation's pseudo-liberal organs. With robotic precision, the usual complaints were rounded up and given voice:
The admission test for these schools must be biased. Someone must be "gaming the system," presumably through test prep. The admission procedure doesn't make sense. Gotham's schools are full of brilliant kids who are getting hosed.
As pseudo-liberals, we all know how to state these complaints, before we crawl back into our logs to sleep the sleep of the just. We also know what sorts of data we mist never report or discuss.
New York City, like our own Baltimore, is full of good, decent kids. We're struck by the decent young people in Baltimore every day of the week.
That said, do the lives and interests of black and Hispanic kids actually matter to those at the Times? To those at our pseudo-liberal organs?
We sometimes suspect that the answer is no. Tomorrow, we'll start to explain.
Tomorrow: The data you'll never be shown