Nobody cares about black kids: Sometimes, the larger scandal lies in the way our upper-end press corps reacts to some limited scandal.
So it goes with the current hot scandal concerning a relative handful of upper-end parents who cheated to get their kids admitted to a handful of upper-end colleges.
This morning, the New York Times has gone wild again, publishing five (5) more full-length reports about this rather limited matter. In this morning's print editions, the Times offers this array of reports:
In today's hard-copy Times:By our count, this means that the Times has published twelve (12!) full-length reports about this rather limited matter in the last three days, not counting material in its Sports section. Four of these reports have been on page A1, the hard-copy Times front page.
A front-page report about the scandal, right there on page A1. (It's a troubled and troubling portrait of the respected Yale soccer coach.)
A front-page report in the Business Day section. It's right there on page B1.
Three (3) more full-length reports inside the National section. We'll quote from one below.
The usual nonsense has appeared as editors delight at the chance to talk about Hollywood, the super-rich and the cultural greatness of schools like Yale all at the very same time.
Our favorite bit of small-bore nonsense appeared in one of Thursday's front-page reports. As a courtesy to the reporters, we'll exclude their names:
TWO UNNAMED REPORTERS (3/14/19): The government’s indictments of dozens of parents, college administrators and coaches exposed an ugly array of corrupt and illegal admissions practices.Did you follow the apparent logic there? Unless we misunderstand what was said, a student is now "gaming the system" if he or she takes Advanced Placement classes when he or she is in high school!
But there is also a perfectly legal world of gaming the college admissions process by doing everything from picking advanced classes, choosing the right sport, giving donations and turning to the multibillion-dollar industry of test prep, college essay editing and advice on how to produce the perfect application.
If you take AP classes, you're gaming the system! So it seems to say in paragraph 6 of a New York Times front-page report! So it goes when the "rational animals" at the Times grab hold of a "story" they like.
Our favorite nonsense in today's paper comes from a report about student reaction on the handful of campuses involved in this rather limited scandal. At the New York Times, editors routinely wave copy like this into print without even bating an eye:
LEVIN, DE LEON AND HASSAN (3/16/19): At the University of California, Los Angeles—among the campuses ensnared in the shocking scheme—students like Ayesha Haleem said she and her classmates were both heartbroken and fuming.All right, all right—the scheme was shocking! That said, our question would be this:
“The higher education system has always benefited people who come from privileged backgrounds,” said Ms. Haleem, a Pakistani 23-year-old senior. “Students of color have it so much harder to even get to these places.”
The issue of race-based admissions dominated conversations at the University of Texas at Austin, which was party to a landmark affirmative action case several years ago and has a student body that is now 41 percent white, down from 62.7 percent in 2000.
If it's so hard for students of color to get admitted to these schools, why is the student enrollment at Austin down to just 41 percent?
The comment quoted by the reporters was made by a heartbroken, fuming student at UCLA.
But according to the NCES data base used by the Times for such matters, undergraduate enrollment at UCLA is now just 27 percent white. Somehow, it seems that a lot of students who aren't white are getting accepted at Westwood! (We regard that as a good thing.)
(Fuller disclosure: At UCLA, white enrollment seems to be roughly 31 percent among non-foreign students. More on these NCES enrollment statistics next week.)
"All the news that's fit to print!" At one time, that was the slogan.
Today, the slogan might be somewhat different: It might go something like this:
All the quotations, and all the news, which fit prevailing scripts!"The quote from the heartbroken student at UCLA fits the much-loved prevailing narrative. For that reason, the Times was eager to let you read it.
Did editors even notice the way that enrollment statistic doesn't seem to align with the student's complaint? We don't know how to answer that question, but unremarked non sequiturs of this type are common in Times reporting.
The Times is in a major tizzy about a rather small number of enrollment slots which went to the unfortunate children of some horribly grasping parents.
This "scandal" is very limited in scope at this time, but it involves both Hollywood and Yale. For that reason, the Times has swung into action, clutching real pearls as it falls on a couch, perhaps somewhere in the Hamptons.
For perhaps the ten millionth time, we're going to show you the wide-ranging education scandal the New York Times doesn't tell you about. Below, you see the latest scores in Grade 8 math for the 99.9 percent of American kids who aren't the children of grasping Hollywood stars or grasping corporate moguls:
Average scores, Grade 8 mathThose data define the actual scandal which lies at the heart of American education. Based on a very rough rule of thumb, the average black eighth-grader is roughly three years behind the average white kid in math, perhaps as much as five years behind the average Asian ancestry kid. The average Hispanic kid is less than one year better.
National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2017
White kids: 292.16
Black kids: 259.60
Hispanic kids: 268.49
Asian-American kids: 309.52
The New York Times doesn't publish or discuss those very basic, brutal statistics. The Times doesn't fill its pages with reports about that state of affairs, possibly for the most obvious reason:
Judging from appearances, the New York Times doesn't care about the nation's black kids! Nor is there any sign that it ever has.
Yale and Hollywood win the prize. Those horrible nationwide data are swept away, sent down the drain.
We'll be discussing this general topic all year long, focusing on the press corps' treatment of the Clinton Foundation's Too Small to Fail campaign. Of one thing you can be quite certain:
Nothing we show you, including those data, will ever enter the national discourse.
That discourse is run by the New York Times and by people who want to work for the Times. They're thrilled by Felicity Huffman in chains, by black kids not so much.
Everybody cares about Yale. About black kids, not so much! Yes, this is the national culture developed by us, the rational animals. And yes, this is the tribal culture of Us in our silk liberal tents.