NO EXCUSE LEFT BEHIND: Mara Gay insults Asian-Americans!


Look who's "The Other" now!
We have no doubt that Mara Gay is a thoroughly good, decent person.

We say that as a way of noting how potent the cult of the tribal story can be.

As best we can tell, the New York Times has never much bothered, in recent years, to put an education specialist on its editorial board. Though the Times is slipshod in its attempts to identify its board, this seems to be the current line-up.

No education specialist is there—and yes, that includes Brent Staples.

Based on appearances, the New York Times doesn't care a great deal about public school education. Perhaps for that reason, Gay has been stuck with the unenviable task of representing the views of the board in recent in the wake of the annual meltdown concerning enrollments at Gotham's eight "specialized high schools."

Last week, this meant that Gay was required to spend nineteen minutes discussing the operation of these high-powered, academic high schools with Slate's Mary Harris. We're sure that Harris is a good person too—though she doesn't seem to be an education specialist either.

Beyond all that, alas! Harris, like Gay, seems to hail from a part of the world in which journalists care about the "talented one or two percent" and about nobody else. This led to a soporific, 19-minute discussion which was an insult to the intelligence of the American people, and represents the wholesale abandonment of the lives and interests of black kids.

To all appearances, New York City is full of black kids who are, academically speaking, in a world of hurt. Here's the way Gotham's eighth graders performed in the most recent administration of the Naep, the widely-praised "gold standard" of domestic educational testing:
Average scores, Grade 8 math
New York City Public Schools, 2017 Naep

Asian-American students: 306.03
White students: 290.71
Black students: 255.63
Hispanic students: 263.56
According to standard rules of thumb, the "achievement gaps" defined by those numbers are extremely large. Many black kids are in a world of hurt if we accept this notion.

With that, along came Harris and Gay to pretend that this state of affairs pretty much doesn't exist.

The Naep may be called "America's report card," but its content isn't specifically geared to the specific content of New York State's math curriculum. Neither is the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT), the demanding test which is given each year to determine who gains admission to those "specialized high schools."

Because the SHSAT isn't geared to New York State's specific curriculum, Gay aimed a snide remark its way during her talk with Harris. Remember—at the New York Times, the motto concerning the city's giant achievement gaps seems to go something like this:
No Excuse Left Behind!
People like Gay search high and low for ways to deny what seems to be right there before us. It must be "test prep" which is producing those gaps, or it must be test bias! We mustn't admit that punishing, brutal achievement gaps can possibly be real.

Gay delivered a snide remark at the expense of the SHSAT. Because it isn't specifically geared to the curriculum allegedly taught in New York City schools, it's one more part of the "unfair system" which is keeping Gotham's black kids out of Stuyvesant High.

Unfortunately, Gotham's Asian-American kids are the highest performers on New York State's annual statewide testing too. Here's the way the city's demographic groups performed on last year's official New York State math exam (we don't have a figure for Hispanic students):
Percentage achieving proficiency, annual New York State math exam
Grade 8, New York City Public Schools, 2018

Asian-American students: 72%
White students: 64%
Black students: 25%
No matter what kind of test is given, Asian-American kids tend to outperform other groups. This is true on a nationwide basis, and it's true in New York City—unless you get your ideas from the New York Times, in which case those passing rates and average scores all seem to be part of a "fake news" campaign rendered by The Deep State.

In her nineteen minutes with Harris, Gay offered every excuse in the book, suggesting that those apparent achievement gaps are all just a big huge mistake--a misconception, an illusion.

In particular, it must be "test prep," the young board member declared again and again. Also, the SHSAT isn't specifically geared to New York's statewide curriculum!

Gay was ready to recite every excuse in the book. That said, the most remarkable thing she said concerned the relative merits of the city's black and Asian students.

For the record, each of these demographic groups is full of good, decent kids. That said, Gay went above and beyond the call of duty when she voiced the ridiculous claims we transcribed for last Friday's report.

Good lord! According to Gay, the group which racked up that blockbuster average score on the Grade 8 Naep has been sending kids to Stuyvesant who are just taking up space! It's the group which recorded that lowest average score whose kids will find the cure for cancer if we just give them the chance.

Asian-American parents are kids are relentlessly insulted in these inane culture wars about who should get admitted to Gotham's most "elite" public schools. Surely, though, no one has ever gone as far as Gay, a good decent person, went in her chat at Slate that day, with no objection from Harris:
GAY (3/26/19): At the end of the day, what do we want our specialized high schools, or any of our high schools, to do?

Do we want them to find the kids who are best at taking this exam? Or do we want them to find the most enthusiastic, accomplished, passionate learners around the city?

I guess I'm somebody who believe that there are kids in every single classroom in this city who have high potential.


What I can't stop thinking about is, How many black and Hispanic kids are sitting somewhere in a middle school in East New York or in the South Bronx right now who have great grades, who come to school and are going to—you know, they could cure cancer!

And how many of them are going to be languishing in schools that are not going to get them there, because we are insisting on defending the indefensible?
It's hard to believe, but that's what Gay actually said.

The Asian kids who entered Stuyvesant because they racked up the highest test scores? According to Gay, those high-performers can be dismissed as "the kids who are best at taking this exam."

According to Gay, it's the city's black and Hispanic kids who are "the most accomplished, passionate learners!" The Asian kids are unthinking drones. The black kids will save the world, if we just empty out Stuyvesant High and let them take more of the seats!

Truly, that was a comically overwrought statement by Gay. To get an idea of what we're talking about, let's remember how many kids in each group scored at the highest level on the most recent Grade 8 Naep:
Percentage scoring at Advanced level, Grade 8 math
New York City Public Schools, 2017 Naep

Asian-American students: 27.3%
White students: 13.2%
Black students: 0.9%
Hispanic students: 2.1%
Twenty-seven percent of New York City's Asian eighth-graders scored at the highest level on that most recent Naep test. Fewer than one percent of their black counterparts did—but it's the kids in the latter groups who will find the cure for cancer unless we keep holding them back!

Tomorrow, we'll run through other ways Gay disrespected the Asian-American kids who have produced those high scores. For today, we'll ask you to do one thing:

We'll ask you to imagine how a presentation like that must look to New York City's Asian-American parents and kids.

Those kids destroy all other groups in their performance on a wide range of tests. They even outperform the children of Finland, the super-kids our scripted propagandists and hacks have spent the past two decades robotically admiring.

Those Asian-American kids perform on the highest levels. But when the New York Times sends Gay out to speak, they're treated like a bunch of annoying throw-away kids—like kids we need to sweep out of the way to make room for their more accomplished and more passionate black and Hispanic peers.

Imagine how insulting that presentation must seem to those Asian-American parents. And by the way, just for the record—in that 2017 Naep testing, the percentage of kids who were "low income" broke down like this, according to official Naep data:
Percentage of students from low-income families, Grade 8 math
New York City Public Schools, 2017 Naep

White students: 38%
Black students: 72%
Hispanic students: 78%
Asian-American students: 70%
Based upon those data, life for those Asian-American families "ain't been no crystal stair." Imagine how insulting it must be to see your efforts, and those of your kids, disparaged in this traditional manner.

Mara Gay is a good decent person; we have no doubt about that. Why then would she offer such an insulting presentation? Why didn't Harris object?

We can't necessarily answer those questions, but we can tell you this:

Gay made snide remarks about those high-achieving Asian kids all through her nineteen minutes with Harris. She also endorsed the mayor's plan to "desegregate" these high-powered schools—his "seven percent solution."

Alas! It's a plan with would send a large number of higher-performing Asian kids out the door at Stuyvesant. It would also encourage ambitious black kids to avoid seeking a challenging education in their middle school years.

To our ear, Gay insulted those Asian-American parents and children early and often. Over Here in our self-impressed liberal world, there are several bombs we typically drop when confronted with conduct like that.

Tomorrow, we'll look at some other things Gay said about those devious Asian kids who are using up the seats of their more deserving black and Hispanic peers. We'll also review the mayor's "seven percent solution."

The mayor's plan strikes us as extremely poor. The Times has endorsed it, Gay said.

Tomorrow: Methods of Asian removal


  1. Hah-hah. Indeed, your tribes-woman Mara is one hilarious lib-zombie, Bob.

    As always, thanks for documenting the atrocities.

  2. What she said there, reminds me of a line from The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

    "All of us - who might have probed space, or cured cancer, or built industries - were, instead, black victims of the white man's American social system." 90

    Probably a key part of her mis-education is the notion that "we could be kangs, if not for 'the system' keeping us down."

  3. The reasons lie in a combination of genetic differences and family intactness, more realities leftists will never accept.

    1. "family intactness"

      The biggest reason for family break-ups is financial stress. The $25/ hour minimum wage will go a long way to mitigating the family intactness reason.
      We'll start there, and then move onto enforcing laws against red-lining.

    2. What's the biggest reason for 80% of black children born out of wedlock?

    3. Marriage laws. If there were none, there would be no OW children. It costs money to get married. The OW rates correlate directly with average income levels by race.

      By the way, the rate is 73%. Why exaggerate? 29% for white, 53% for Hispanic, 66% Native American.

      Throw in the systematic disruption of black marriages historically, the deportation of Hispanic men or travel to seek employment, and the relocation of American Indian families and child separation, it is surprising the figures track poverty so closely.

      "The fee required for a regular marriage license in Los Angeles is $90." That is a lot of money to pay for a government sanction that is regarded as nobody else's business.

    4. Correction, the rates correlate inversely. Higher income = lower OW rate. To check this, look at the rates within each group by income, not just across groups.

  4. Well there goes the poverty excuse. Now what?

    1. Take your racist garbage back to your alt-right groups. Somerby may find you cute but no one else here wants to hear it.

    2. Normal person: (fact)


    3. Normal person knows that Bob Somerby isn’t a statistician. You can’t legitimately conclude anything from his “data.”

    4. See the cite below about the impact of poverty on academic achievement. THAT is the fact in this discussion. Somerby didn't post anything that says poverty isn't a factor in lower achievement among black and Hispanic students. For a variety of reasons, income is higher among Asian-Americans.

      And yes, it is racist to argue -- in the face of all kinds of evidence to the contrary -- that poverty is being used as an excuse and doesn't actually affect academic achievement of minority children.

      All decent people point out that this is racist in order to prevent slimy alt-right memes from seeping into public discourse and being accepted by unsuspecting people who don't know what is what.

      You guys recruit on the internet. It is the responsibility of people who participate there to keep you guys from influencing discourse in ways that promote hate, including racist views that black and Hispanic children could not do well if they were admitted in larger numbers to science high schools and other educational opportunities. There are top students among black children and Hispanic children, not just among Asian and white children. You meet such successes all over the place these days, at top high tech companies, at places like MIT and Harvard, and in research companies working on important projects. Implying that there are none in the city of NY who might succeed is ridiculous, whether Somerby says it or some racist tool like you.

    5. @5:10
      You have done more to advance the discussion than Somerby ever has or will. Unfortunately, he IS trying to show that poverty is not the explanation. That is clear if you look back at his many other posts. He uses “statistics” to make this claim: Asians students are in poverty, and yet do well on the tests. Thus, poverty can’t be the explanation.

      This is a perfect example of why he needs to just discuss his true thoughts on the achievement gaps without hinting and hedging. It leads to exactly this kind of confusion.

    6. If Somerby believes that, it is another example of divergence from liberal attitudes and beliefs. Liberals believe in the value of educational opportunity for all people. The attitude that race fixes and limits ability so that black children cannot succeed, even under favorable circumstances, is inconsistent with liberal views. If he believes that, he is no liberal. This is more in line with conservative attitudes.

      He probably doesn't come out and say what he really thinks because it would undermine his portrayal of himself as a liberal. His effectiveness in working on behalf of the Russians would be affected and they might cut his pay.

    7. Liberals believe in the value of educational opportunity for all people.

      Still don’t get it, do you? Liberals say they believe in equal educational opportunity, but that’s not the system we’ve got, and nobody is talking honestly about the system’s defects, let alone doing anything constructive. Do I need to repeat my drunk driving example?

      The attitude that race fixes and limits ability…

      … is nothing TDH has ever written.

      He probably doesn't come out and say what he really thinks because it would undermine his portrayal of himself as a liberal.

      Since you have no way to tell what anyone really thinks, why don’t you just stick to what TDH really writes? Or is that too hard?

      His effectiveness in working on behalf of the Russians would be affected and they might cut his pay.

      Yeah, I’m sure all those sweet, sweet rubles are at stake.

    8. Somerby doesn't say things directly. That's the point. Stop defending him for a minute and actually read what he says.

    9. I take it you don't realize how absurd your comment is. You tell me that Somerby isn't direct -- which is demonstrably false -- and then tell me to read what he says. I'm not defending TDH; I'm pointing out that you're trying to read his mind instead of his words. You should stop that.

  5. Somerby identifies what he feels are flaws in the discussion of education or the coverage of it in the Times. He claims that “The New York Times” doesn’t care.

    And he’s made this claim endlessly for the past 20 years. He may be right: It may be worthwhile to point out what he perceives to be misguided thinking, and a lack of focus on important aspects of education.

    But does he ever want to extend his discussion beyond this? He’s had 20 years of blogging and 10 years as a teacher that have given him the opportunity to research and think more deeply about the causes of the achievement gaps. This kind of a discussion would be helpful to his readers. And thinking about the causes might suggest possible solutions. It might even bring him more notoriety as a contributor to the discussion.

    But as it is, by leaving the discussion where he leaves it, he only really invites discussion about whether and how much the NYT or other “pseudoliberals” care about “black kids.” It also invites cockamamie arguments from commenters with their pet theories which Somerby doesn’t do anything to debunk. He never even mentions them.

    Yes the Times (apparently) continues harping on the same points. But since his blog is having little to no effect in changing the Times, one wonders why he doesn’t devote his remaining years to a more in-depth discussion of the issue instead of this endless repetitive rant? Otherwise, it begins to seem as though his own concern isn’t really about black kids either, but rather about who doesn’t care about them.

    1. Typing the reasons just isn't done, you see.

  6. The most enthusiastic, accomplished, passionate learners are too proud to sweat answering stupid test questions.

    Heavenly creatures, they are soaring well above us, mere humans, studying-for-the-test losers.

    1. The lower the test scores, the better qualified for Stuyvesant the student.

      Denying reality makes you a good, progressive person.

    2. Does it feel good to say this stuff? That isn’t the argument being made.

  7. What a load of crap Somerby has written today.

    No point in telling him that the mean doesn't characterize the high scorers in any group. Why does he never cite standard deviations for the NAEP? Bet he doesn't know what it measures.

  8. TDH's lean towards meritocracy I find repulsive and a complete misunderstanding of what makes a healthy and happy society. But let's see where Bob's disgusting logic leads us:

    Top 20 Most Influential Cancer Researchers

    Profiles in Cancer Research National Cancer Institute The men and women who contribute to cancer research

    Not a single Asian amongst them.

  9. “Percentage of students from low-income families, Grade 8 math
    New York City Public Schools, 2017 Naep”

    I have spent an hour and a half trying to find this in the NAEP data explorer. There is no variable called “income” listed anywhere that I can find.

    Would it be too much trouble for Somerby to include a link to this data? Or are we just supposed to accept his stats?

    1. You can google this.

      For example, here is the abstract of a 2011 review of the impact of poverty on academic achievement. NAEP is a measure of such achievement, so you can assume this applies to NAEP scores among other measures.

      "Poverty, which forms a specific culture and way of life, is a growing issue in the United States. The
      number of Americans living in poverty is continually increasing. Poverty indicates the extent to which
      an individual does without resources. Resources can include financial, emotional, mental, spiritual, and
      physical resources as well as support systems, relationships, role models, and knowledge of hidden
      rules. Poverty directly affects academic achievement due to the lack of resources available for student
      success. Low achievement is closely correlated with lack of resources, and numerous studies have
      documented the correlation between low socioeconomic status and low achievement. Several
      strategies exist to assist teachers in closing the poverty achievement gap for students."

      Lacour and Tissington, July 2011, Educational Research and Reviews Vol. 6 (7), pp. 522-527.
      Available online at

    2. So, no mental resources directly affects academic achievements, eh? It's a revelation.

    3. @5:00
      Um, OK. Except there is no “income” stat at the NAEP website. (Hint: they don’t actually track the incomes of students.) Somerby’s statistic is not valid as it relates to the NAEP. Also, you seem to be unclear on what Somerby is saying. He is trying to point out (using non-existent stats) that poverty DOES NOT explain the poor scores of black students, since he wants you to notice that the majority of Asian students taking the test are in poverty and yet score very high.

    4. So, you don't actually care whether poverty affects academic performance, you are playing some game of gotcha with Somerby. check

      Somerby is not an education expert. He was once a teacher, trained by Teach for America (which is minimal). Decades back, he wrote a few articles about cheating in a nearby school district. That's the sum total of his experience in education. He doesn't know anything about statistics either and he appears to have never taken a psychology, sociology or social science course when he was at Harvard. You shouldn't be placing so much importance on what he says here.

      NAEP is influenced by poverty, just as other measures of academic achievement are. You don't need the actual incomes of the students who took the test to determine that. You can use the average incomes of the geographic areas of NYC for that and correlate them with the average NAEP scores, if it is broken down that way. Probably isn't. Or you can go read the studies reviewed in the source cited earlier and think about how that might apply to the NYC students.

      Somerby's argument is bankrupt because he is using average scores to talk about high scoring kids. There is nothing in NAEP about the kids who are in the gifted tail of the distribution. Those are the ones who go to special high schools. There are very smart kids in every demographic group, black, white, Asian. But the test used may not be very good at finding the ones who are stuck in disadvantaged environments. That takes some work. If Somerby (1) knew anything about education, and (2) cared about minority kids, he would be making this argument. Instead, he is attacking a journalist who is describing efforts to get more black kids into the special high schools. She didn't say something right, to his mind.

      This is a stupid waste of time. Somerby has an axe to grind and he doesn't care that it puts him on the wrong side with respect to helping minority kids. Even the smart ones deserve a chance, but he seems to think that helping smart black kids from poor neighborhoods is somehow attacking Asian families or disparaging the rest of the black kids.

      Don't follow him down his rabbit hole. There is nothing worthwhile at the end.

    5. @5:33
      My goodness. Of course I care. There is an apparent correlation between poverty and educational achievement. The research shows that.

      I dislike how Somerby uses bogus statistics to make false claims. I am trying to get him to change. At the very least, I am trying to point out the bogus conclusions that he reaches and the harmful talking points he is spreading. HE is the one implying that poverty isn’t really a factor. Somerby doesn’t read his comments, but those who do may see an alternative to his views. I have asked him countless times to drop the “libs are to blame” approach and clearly state his views and take a more holistic open-minded approach. That would serve his readers better. I have many many times contradicted his views. I have been vilified over and over by trolls or Somerby fans. So what can you do? Stop reading his blog, or try to counteract some of his worst excesses. Perhaps you feel he is irredeemable. You may be right.

    6. Thank you for your service.

    7. For some reason 5:33 PM writes:

      Somerby is not an education expert. He was once a teacher, trained by Teach for America (which is minimal). Decades back, he wrote a few articles about cheating in a nearby school district. That's the sum total of his experience in education.

      Wikipedia says [LINK]:

      TFA [Teach for America] was founded by Wendy Kopp based on her 1989 Princeton University undergraduate thesis. Members of the founding team include value investor Whitney Tilson; former U.S. Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Douglas Shulman; and President and CEO of Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), Richard Barth.

      Since the first corps was established in 1990, more than 42,000 corps members have completed their commitment to Teach For America.

      [END QUOTE]

      Somerby left the classroom in 1980 after ten years of teaching in elementary and junior high schools.

    8. Right, as I said, he is unqualified to critique reports on aspects of education policy and testing for which he has no training or education. He was in the classroom with no education degree. You need a PhD in psychometrics to evaluate the NAEP's bias or usefulness, or that of other specialized tests. He doesn't even have a teaching degree. If he did, he might talk about education issues in ways that matter.

    9. Somerby provides useful commentary about education policy.

      It is not true that "you need a PhD in psychometrics" to come to an informed conclusion about the bias or usefulness of specialized tests. In matters related to public policy a review of some of the available literature which summarizes its issues and an awareness of the controversies among experts about it is a sufficient basis for a citizen to form an informed opinion about the matter.

    10. Speaking of PhDs: are you dembots aware that correlation doesn't imply causation?

      In the class systems there's a well-known phenomenon of 'social reproduction'. Poverty is just as much a characteristic of the class system as educational imbalances between socioeconomic classes. As well as imbalances in crime rates, incarceration rates, health, life expectancy, and so on.

    11. CMike, when you form that opinion, you read the available literature (as you state), but that literature is produced by people with training, typically doctorates in education and testing (psychometrics). Policy isn't created by people like Somerby and Somerby doesn't understand enough about testing to critique it properly, other than his early on articles about cheating (which isn't part of the test itself, but part of the administration of it).

      Somerby has never talked about any education issue intelligently here. His limitations are perhaps why his side-gig as a journalist never took off. He did a little community activism around his own local school district's cheating scandal but hasn't bothered to learn anything more.

      Now he wants to attack efforts to desegregate schools by pointing out that they are no longer segregated by law as they once were. That is so beside the point that it is a distraction to the other important questions inherent in providing greater access for black kids to educational resources. Now he says Gay slimed Asians. That is ridiculous. But he never says why he is opposed to opening up some more seats for black students in a high school where they are grossly underrepresented. One need not disparage Asians or the people trying to get more seats to discuss this issue. But Somerby wastes huge amounts of time doing exactly that.

      To the point where people are questioning whether he holds bias against the beautiful black kids he supposedly champions, but doesn't consider qualified to participate in science. (No one would argue that all black kids or kids performing at the mean should go to such schools, but 20% of the applicants are black. Among there there are likely more than 9 students who might benefit by admission.)

      Somerby doesn't deserve defense. He needs to state his own positions more clearly, just as you need to learn that too and stop just quoting large sections of other people's writing, with no comment about how you think your quotes apply to the issues being discussed. Somerby's style is nothing to mimic, as you repeatedly do.

    12. Policy isn't created by people like Somerby...

      In all forms of government I've learned about, policy is created or revised by all sorts of people besides academicians and purported experts. In a democracy the wonks are supposed to make their case to the citizenry for their approval.

      Empowering the supposed experts in matters of public policy and insulating them from criticisms, assessments, and course corrections by those outside of their silo leads to failure.

    13. Somerby doesn't understand enough about testing to critique it properly[.]

      Possibly, but TDH doesn’t criticize testing. He writes about how journalists cover education, which includes testing. TDH starts with the assumption that the NAEP is valid, repeatedly calling the test “the gold standard.” From there he concludes that we should focus on what he labels the “punishing gaps” that the demographic analysis of the results reveals.

      Somerby has never talked about any education issue intelligently here.

      By which I take it you mean that you don’t agree with him.

      Now he wants to attack efforts to desegregate schools by pointing out that they are no longer segregated by law as they once were.

      No, he’s pointing out that it is misleading to label the imbalances as segregation, which results in a lot of nonsense reporting.

      Now he says Gay slimed Asians. That is ridiculous.

      Yeah, that’s absurd.

      But he never says why he is opposed to opening up some more seats for black students in a high school where they are grossly underrepresented.

      He’s opposed to playing the zero-sum game whereby the supposedly-meritocratic rules are changed to alter the racial balance. He has wondered why nobody is proposing cloning Stuyvesant to open up more seats for students.

      Among there [sic] there are likely more than 9 students who might benefit by admission.

      I presume you mean that among them, i.e, the 20% of the SHSAT test takers who are black, there are more than 9 who might so benefit. (I don’t know where 9 comes from; there were only 7 recently admitted to Stuyvesant.) No doubt you’re right. But admissions are not based on who would benefit, but on who actually qualifies by examination.

      Somerby doesn't deserve defense.

      By which I take it that you have no cogent argument against his claims.

  10. As Twain said: “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

    It’s easy to assemble a set of statistics and claim you have proven or disproven something, a la Mr Somerby.

    But that is different from doing a rigorous and scientific statistical analysis in which all terms are fully defined, the methodology is valid, and the inferences can be fully supported by the data.

  11. Also, Gay didn't exactly say what Somerby attributes to her. She would probably be dismayed by his interpretation of her article.

  12. Somerby is so hysterical about this that his next headline will be “DeBlasio puts Asians in internment camps!”

  13. Somerby should be hysterical about this. It's nuts for Gay to imply that blacks are more "enthusiastic, accomplished, passionate learners" than Asians. Of course, Gay has no basis for this assertion. If anything it would seem more reasonable to assume that the more enthusiastic learners would be the better students. Tragically, this nutty idea leads to bad policies that harm children of all races.

    1. Yes, let's keep all those enthusiastic, accomplished, passionate learners out of special high schools. Did you skip the word "accomplished" David, or can you not conceive of accomplished black kids?

  14. Many cities define a resource as limited, then set competing minority groups against each other by making them argue over who got more of that resource.

    Somerby asks why the slots at the high schools need to be so rare that a special test is needed to screen applicants. That is the heart of the problem, whether it is allocation of pothole repair, assignment of police stations to neighborhoods, job training slots, or any other form of aid and support to communities.

    By splitting the minority parents into racial groups and pointing out that some get more seats in such schools than others, they distract from the need for more schools by focusing energy on in-fighting among groups. Gay participates in this, but so does Somerby.

    School resources are limited because citizens don't place sufficient value on education to fund it appropriately. De Vos exacerbates this by forcing public schools to compete against private ones for funding (tied to student enrollments and attendance). As long as minorities are fighting amongst themselves, they cannot present a united front against the City of New York, demanding why there are not sufficient seats for all motivated children to attend such high schools. It is a divide and conquer approach and it is as old as politics.

    1. "It is a divide and conquer approach and it is as old as politics."

      Duh. What other purpose could liberal identity politics possibly serve?

      Too many 'blacks' in the underclass, we need to lift some of them off, and replace those with 'whites', to the right proportion. Everything will be swell then.

      Who but a decomposed zombie would fall for this?

    2. This is utter nonsense, De Blasio's plan includes creating more schools. Ignoring the racial motivation behind De Vos et al's actions serve no one and is as dumb as the comments you see here.

      Identity politics is effective and has largely been winning the day for whites for a long time, they are just pissed other human beings have caught on.

      The zero sum game and racial realities of our current society are the result of the policies of the corporatists and capitalists of the Republican party.

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