Most black children left behind: To all appearances, New York City's public school system is facing a very large problem.
In fairness, the same large problem exists on a nationwide basis.
Below, you see some of the relevant national data. For today, we've chosen fourth grade for a reason:
Average scores, Grade 4 mathFor all Naep data, start here. That said, those are horrible data.
Public schools nationwide, 2017 Naep
White students: 247.92
Black students: 222.78
Hispanic students: 229.10
Asian-American students: 258.02
If we apply a standard, though very rough, rule of thumb, the average black fourth grader was more than two years behind his white counterpart in math in this, the most recent Naep testing. The average black student was more than three years behind the average Asian-American student—and yes, that was in the fourth grade!
Can the nation's achievement gaps possibly be that large? You'll never see that question discussed in the New York Times, a famously upper-class, Hamptons-based newspaper which doesn't seem to care a whole lot about the lives and the interests of the vast bulk of New York City's black children.
Within the crabbed range of sympathies on display at the New York Times, the vast bulk of the city's black children are quickly left behind. Only the highest achievers, the talented few, actually need apply.
Those data come from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the federally run "gold standard" of domestic educational testing.
Those average scores were produced by representative samples of American kids on a nationwide basis. It's also true that those data were produced by children in the fourth grade.
From those basic facts, we would draw some conclusions:
For starters, there is no "test prep" associated with the Naep. No parents "feel compelled to spend thousands of dollars on test preparation over several years to give their children a shot" at doing well on the Naep, a test which is taken by representative samples of students in every state.
(We're quoting from the New York Times, as it pretends to explain why Asian kids do so well on the admission test for Stuyvesant High.)
For the individual child who takes the Naep, the Naep is a "no stakes" exam. Absolutely nothing turns on the score the individual child records on this test.
For that reason, no "multimillion-dollar test prep industry" exists for the Naep. Presumably, no one's score on the fourth grade Naep has been driven by "test prep" madness.
Beyond that, let us say, once again, that those average test scores were produced by students in the fourth grade. As noted above, we chose to start with fourth grade today for a reason:
By the time they're in the fourth grade, the nation's children have not been drowned in fiendish test-taking strategies. To all intents and purposes, it can be assumed that test prep played no role in those average scores on the fourth grade Naep.
Those scores record straight-up "achievement gaps" from the most recent fourth grade Naep. They represent the actual size of our achievement gaps nationwide!
That said, by the time our students reach the eighth grade, the gaps are even wider. In New York City, the achievement gaps in Grade 8 math looked like this on that most recent Naep testing:
Average scores, Grade 8 mathBased on that conventional rule of thumb, those are giant achievement gaps. Unless you get your propaganda from the New York Times!
New York City Public Schools, 2017 Naep
White students: 290.71
Black students: 255.63
Hispanic students: 263.56
Asian-American students: 306.03
If you read the New York Times, you'll be told that any apparent achievement gaps are caused by test bias, or by test prep on the part of Gotham's fiendish Asian families, or by the fact that the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test isn't based on the state of New York's official math and English language curriculum.
You'll be told that the giant gaps between different groups of kids is actually based on those causes, or on whatever other excuse the Times can find.
At the glorious New York Times, it's no excuse left behind! In a pattern which has obtained among pseudo-liberals since the 1960s, the New York Times likes to pretend that our yawning achievement gaps are, in the main, illusory.
This lets these stunningly uncaring people ignore the basic fact which screams out from various sets of New York City data:
The vast majority of New York City's black kids are being left years behind!You'd think the lords and ladies of the Times would want to address this apparent fact. You'd think a rising young star like Mara Gay might want to show the tiniest sign of being able to care about the hundreds of thousands of kids who are being left so far behind, when compared with their peers.
If you thought such things, you may not understand the ways lords and ladies do business. You may not understand the broken-souled values of an upper-class newspaper like the Times, in which absolutely no excuse will ever get left behind.
Like other systems around the nation, the New York City Public Schools is facing a very large problem. On average, its black and Hispanic kids seem to be massively under-performing their white and Asian-American peers.
This doesn't just happen on the Naep, whose content isn't specifically geared to New York State's curriculum. It doesn't just happen on the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, where the same situation obtains.
It also happens on the annual state-mandated testing conducted all through the state of New York. Tomorrow, we'll start with the basic results in New York City from the testing conducted last year.
For the rest of the week, we plan to examine the ugly, unintelligent way the bumbling souls at the New York Times have been leaving those kids behind in the wake of the annual "admission offers" to Gotham's eight "specialized high schools."
We'll focus on Mara Gay's appalling performance in this 19-minute chat with Slate's equally appalling Mary Harris.
We'll focus on the pitiful, excuse-laden editorial which appeared in Sunday's Times.
We'll focus on the pitiful newspaper's endorsement of Mayor de Blasio's unfortunate "seven percent solution." We'll focus on the ridiculous newspaper's endless suggestion that "desegregation" would provide the solution to whatever part of those achievement gaps doesn't result from test prep.
All in all, we're not sure we've ever seen a more ridiculous performance that the one the New York Times has staged concerning this year's admissions offers to Gotham's Stuyvesant High.
The Times' performance is meant to signal the massive virtue possessed by its ladies and lords. To us, it signals something quite different:
It signals the fact that, when it comes to New York City's black kids, only the most talented few need apply. The bulk of New York City's good, decent black kids don't count at the New York Times.
The Times wants them to be left behind! This is part of an ugly, tired old game which dates to the 1960s.
Tomorrow: Mara Gay is able to see what those Asians are doing