The New York Times' two "solutions": Have we mentioned the fact that last week's discussion at Slate between Harris and Gay may have been the worst conversation ever conducted by humans?
Right from Harris' opening statement, the discussion dove into the Slough of Despond. That statement went exactly like this:
"One of the best high schools in the country is on the edge of Manhattan, just a few blocks from where the World Trade Center is now—Stuyvesant."Is Stuyvesant "one of the best high schools in the country?" It's amazing that, after all these years of pretending to care, upper-end journalists still don't see the conceptual problem which lurks within such declarations.
Whatever! Harris and Gay staged one of the worst conversations ever recorded on the face of the earth. It turned on a very important topic—the lives and the interests of "black" kids.
The liberal world, black and white alike, has pretended to care about that topic for roughly sixty-five years. Over the course of the past fifty years, that ministry has largely consisted in a string of attempts to pretend that data like these are, at heart, just a giant illusion:
Average scores, Grade 8 mathSince at least the 1960s, pseudo-liberals, black and white alike, have found various ways to pretend that data like those aren't worth talking about.
New York City Public Schools, 2017 Naep
White students: 290.71
Black students: 255.63
Hispanic students: 263.56
Asian-American students: 306.03
Nothing to look at! Keep moving along! That's how the story is told.
"It's the white racist teachers," we used to be told. Today, Gay and the Times have a different excuse:
"It's money and test prep all the way down! It's just those devious Asians, stealing the seats which rightly belong to our most accomplished learners!"
Harris and Gay embarrassed the human race with their dim-witted, ugly discussion. But so much was wrong with their conversation that we've decided to spend another two weeks reviewing its basic components.
Next week, we'll look at the "solution" to the problem at Stuyvesant which, as Gay told Harris, the New York Times has endorsed. After that, we expect to spend another week considering the cultural factors which help produce those data.
We liberals have treated black kids like toys for the past fifty years. And yes, that includes pseudo-liberals of both major "races."
When's the last time you saw the NAACP, or any other such organization, engage with the type of data we have presented above? As everyone on the planet knows, such things simply aren't done!
The New York Times has a gonzo solution to the Stuyvesant problem. Beyond that, the newspaper has a second solution, one the paper would apply to Gotham's public schools as a whole.
Each "solution" is utterly mindless. That said, did we mention the fact that this pair of solutions come from the Hamptons-based Times?
Is "man" [sic] really "the rational animal" in any essential way? As you've heard, that's the question we plan to explore all through the course of the year.
We'd hoped to move more quickly to the later Wittgenstein's analysis of the ways our human reasoning breaks apart on the highest academic platforms. But last week's conversation was so god-awful that we've decided to postpone that pleasure a couple of weeks—to postpone that pleasure again!
Right from Harris' opening statement, that conversation was god-awful. Neither participant was an education specialist, but when has that ever stopped us liberals from displaying our defiant disinterest in the lives and the interests of black kids?
We've been kicking those kids to the curb since roughly forever. History suggests that this "human, all too human" behavior is unlikely ever to end.
Our own solution, to our riddle: "Stuyvesant is one of the best high schools in the country."
It's a very familiar type of throw-away assessment.
But is Stuyvesant one of the best high schools because the functioning of the school itself is exceptionally good in some way? Or is Stuyvesant one of the best simply because the famous school is assigned Gotham's best students?
That basic distinction is very important. It goes unnoticed within the Slough containing our "upper-end press corps!"