SEARCH FOR TOMORROW: In our tribe, we love that claim!

SATURDAY, AUGUST 31, 2019

But where does the murky claim come from:
In our tribe, we love to make that claim!

As if to prove our infallible point, Eric Levitz made the claim just yesterday. He did so at the start of a somewhat peculiar essay for New York magazine:
LEVITZ (8/30/19): New York City’s public school system is among the most racially segregated in America. It is also one of the few school systems that uses standardized tests to sort incoming kindergarteners into separate “gifted” and non-gifted educational tracks.
By paragraph 3, the youngish scribe was linking us to videotape of George Wallace declaring, "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever!" Trust us:

Wallace wasn't endorsing unbalanced enrollment in gifted and talented programs. But so it goes as tribal devotion to yesterday's history spreads.

At any rate, consider that initial claim. "New York City’s public school system is among the most racially segregated in America!"

Our team loves that claim! On the down side, it isn't real clear what that claim even means, and standards tend to disappear when we attempt to source it.

In Levitz's case, he sourced the claim to this report by a New York City TV station. In fact, the body of the lengthy report makes no such claim as the one Levitz states. But for some reason which goes unexplained, its headline announces this:
NYC has the country’s most segregated schools; will the city’s plan to change that make its best schools worse?
We don't know what the first part of that headline actually means. That said, its fiery claim goes beyond the weaker claim Levitz sources to it.

Do you see what can happen when tribal members start reciting sacred litany? Standards of sourcing go down the drain. And adepts don't even feel the need to explain what the sacred claim means.

That said, is it true? Is Gotham's giant public school system one of the most "segregated" in the country? Indeed, do we even know what that claim means?

Given the fact that it thrills us deeply, can you explain what the claim actually means? Could you describe the type of data on which the claim is based?

Almost surely, the answer is no, but we know that the claim must be true. We know this because the claim keeps appearing in front-page reports in the New York Times. Eliza Shapiro repeated it for the ten millionth time one week ago today:
SHAPIRO (8/24/19): New York is home to one of the most segregated school systems in the country. Black and Hispanic students make up 70 percent of the system, and white and Asian students represent about 15 percent each. About three-quarters of students are low income, and roughly half the city’s schools are more than 90 percent black or Hispanic.
"New York [City] is home to one of the most segregated school systems in the country." Shapiro repeats this claim all the time. But how can we know if this statement is true? And what does the claim even mean?

To answer your question, we decided to start clicking Shapiro's links. After an extended search, we were able to find the source of the Nile—the original source of her claim.

Along the way, we were forced to observe the slipshod behavior which characterizes modern tribal elites, on both the journalistic and the academic sides. That said, we still aren't entirely sure what the claim really means, or if the claim is justified or reasonably close to correct.

At any rate, let's get started! Our journey will take us through four or five links until we reach the tribal headwaters for this treasured claim.

The most recent source of the claim:

Most recently, Shapiro repeated this familiar claim in an on-line report with Vivian Wang earlier this week. Here's what the journalists wrote:
WANG AND SHAPIRO (8/27/19): For years, lawmakers in deeply blue, proudly progressive New York City have grappled with a seemingly intractable problem: Its schools are among the most segregated in the nation.
Gotham's school "are among the most segregated in the nation," the scribes wrote. This was a slightly fuzzier version of Shapiro's statement from last Saturday's front page (see above).

Last Saturday, Shapiro provided no source for her claim. On Tuesday, a link was provided. Without fear or favor, we clicked.

Second source of the claim:

Tuesday's link took us to an earlier news report—to an earlier news report by Shapiro herself!

That's right! In sourcing Tuesday's claim, Shapiro merely linked to herself back in March. Here's what she wrote at that time:
SHAPIRO (3/27/19): New York City is starkly different today than it was 50 years ago. It is politically more liberal, and far more racially diverse. Yet one aspect has barely changed: The city’s public schools remain among the most segregated in the nation.
Again, that's a slightly fuzzier version of the slightly more explicit claim. But what did Shapiro mean by that claim, and how could we know it was accurate?

At that time, Shapiro provided a link. Hungry for learning, we clicked.

Third (alleged) source of the claim:

The link Shapiro provided in March took us to academia. More precisely, it took us to this 2014 press release, issued in the name of UCLA's Civil Rights Project.

Uh-oh! Nothing in that press release says a single word about the extent of "segregation" in New York City's schools as compared to other school systems. The press release does describe a fiery report about segregation, but the fiery report in question was focused on New York State.

In that sense, the link Shapiro provided in March was a technical dead-end. On the surface, it didn't prove a source for the widely-repeated claim that New York City "is home to one of the most segregated school systems in the country."

For most readers, the search for knowledge would have ended there. That said, we're familiar with that UCLA report, and so we clicked ahead, two more times, to access its full text.

This took us to our fourth source. Inside that UCLA report, this pleasing claim appears right at the start of the Executive Summary:
UCLA REPORT (3/26/14): Executive Summary

New York has the most segregated schools in the country: in 2009, black and Latino students in the state had the highest concentration in intensely-segregated public schools (less than 10% white enrollment), the lowest exposure to white students, and the most uneven distribution with white students across schools. Heavily impacting these state rankings is New York City, home to the largest and one of the most segregated public school systems in the nation.
We're now reviewing the work of two major progressive scholars. As a general matter, we'll say this:

Sad! Also, don't let the children know about what follows.

For starters, Professors Kucsera and Orfield were talking about New York State in that opening sentence, although they were too careless to make that explicitly clear. Perhaps for that reason, many tribals have seemed to believe, to this very day, that their report said that New York City "has the most segregated schools in the country."

Their report made no such claim. For whatever it may be worth, we'll also note that the data reviewed in the UCLA report are now ten years old. Those data can only hint at the degree of "segregation" found in various schools and school systems today.

As you can see, the professors did say, though only in fleeting fashion, that New York City was "home to one of the most segregated public school systems in the nation." But here's where things get really sad.

The professors make no attempt to explain or demonstrate the truth of this claim at any point in their report. Instead, they provided a footnote in the executive summary, thereby providing a source for their claim.

Refusing to submit to exhaustion, we followed that link. It took us to our fourth source.

Fourth source for the claim:

How did the professors know that New York City was "home to one of the most segregated public school systems in the nation?" And what did they actually mean by this claim?

In all honesty, there's no sign that they actually did know any such thing. Their footnote led to an extremely murky graphic in—you guessed it!—the New York Times.

The graphic they cited appeared in the Times on May 11, 2012. It appeared beneath this headline:
New York City’s public schools are among the most segregated in the country.
There it was! The widely repeated claim!

The graphic seems to compare the degree of "segregation" in the public schools of thirteen U.S. cities. They seem to have been the thirteen biggest U.S. cities at the time of the 2010 census, although the Times didn't explain the basis on which the cities were chosen.

According to the graphic, New York City's schools were less "segregated" than those in Chicago and Dallas. On the other hand, they were more "segregated" than those in the other ten locales. In fairness, the degree of "segregation" in Philadelphia, Houston and Los Angeles seemed to come fairly close to that found in New York.

In that sense, Gotham's system was the third most "segregated" out of thirteen, though it came fairly close to ranking only sixth. But in what did this "segregation" consist? What did that fiery claim mean?

By way of explanation, the Times provided only what's shown below. We'll try to explain what this means:
"Percentage of students that would have to move to achieve integration among blacks and whites in the largest U.S. cities, 2009-10."
That's all the grey lady wrote! Though few Times readers would have had any way to know what that meant, we'll guess it meant something like this:

Suppose you wanted the racial enrollment in every single school to match the racial enrollment of your school system as a whole. That would be a highly artificial goal, but suppose you wanted to do it.

How many kids would have to change schools to achieve that state of Nirvana? According to the graphic in the Times, New York City's number was something like 78%. Philadelphia, Houston and L.A. seemed to be right at 70%.

Is that what the graphic's claim actually meant? We can't say we're totally sure. Also, please note this:

The graphic only claims to involve black and white kids. This could completely skew results, given Gotham's large enrollment of Hispanics and Asians.

Meanwhile, were the Times' findings actually accurate? Who knows! The Times provided no source for the findings it was presenting in this murky fashion.

Had the Times done the research itself? Had the research come from some other source? We can't exactly tell you that and, judging from appearances, neither could the two professors, who seem to have passed on a claim for which they couldn't vouch.

In our view, it's amazing to think that Kucsera and Orfield would make a claim of that type based on a single unsourced graphic in a newspaper like the Times. But remember, these guys are so far gone that, according to their published definitions, the hypothetical school shown below is a "segregated school:"
Student enrollment, Public School A
White kids: 45%
Black kids: 20%
Hispanic kids: 20%
Asian-American kids: 15%
We'd call that school "paradise." But according to Kucsera and Orfield, a public school with that enrollment is—what else?—"segregated!"

(According to the professors, that school doesn't have enough white kids! We've explained this tribal lunacy in the recent past.)

Could Gotham do a better job spreading its white kids around? Presumably, yes, it could, though residential patterns may differ greatly in those thirteen systems. (Or not.)

That said, you also have all these other school systems. How much "integration" can we achieve in these systems, and in so many others like them?
"White" enrollment, U.S. public school systems
Los Angeles: 9%
Chicago: 9%
Miami/Dade County: 6.7%
Dallas: 5.1%
Houston: 8.9%
San Antonio: 2%

Detroit: 2%
Memphis: 7%
Birmingham: 1%
Jackson: 1%
New Orleans: 9%

Laredo: 0%
Brownsville: 1%

Camden, N.J.: 1%
Gary, Ind.: 1%
East St. Louis, Mo. 0%
Compton, Calif.: 0%
Are Gotham's school less "integrated" than Detroit's? How about San Antonio's? Compare, contrast and discuss. Try to stay in touch with the real world.

We've been promoting a "search for tomorrow" all week at this site. Next week, and also in future years, good, decent black and Hispanic kids are going to be going to school in school systems, schools and classrooms which are heavily black and Hispanic.

No furious link to Governor Wallace will change that.

Within our floundering liberal tribe, we're now focused on moving handfuls of white kids around instead of addressing the real-world, public school needs of those black and Hispanic kids.

We also spend a lot of time pretending that the achievement gaps which damage their interests don't really exist. We've been throwing black kids under the bus in precisely this way for at least fifty years.

The tribal behavior seems massively self-involved. We like to talk about 1619. It makes us feel tribally pure.

At any rate, we've offered you the original source of Shapiro's familiar claim. Based on data from 2009, New York City's public schools were said to be third most "segregated" out of thirteen, though there wasn't a huge amount of difference between third worst and sixth.

This was based on a somewhat exotic definition of "segregation." Hispanic kids weren't part of the mix. The research was apparently done by the New York Times.

The research is now ten years out of date. Even now, do you understand how that research actually worked? Or is that claim possibly part of a novel, a novel we like to recite?

Coming: More to come

60 comments:

  1. The data apparently come from the 2010 census. I'll bet that is pretty obvious in the newspaper report that Somerby says doesn't cite a source.

    You do realize that Somerby is arguing about whether there are a lot of minorities in big cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and NYC. This is the extent of his ridiculous carping -- whether there is someone official to certify that there are lots of minority kids in the school systems of these big urban areas.

    And then he complains because there hasn't been another census since 2010! What an asshole.

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    1. Immediately before calling Somerby an asshole, 1:59 PM writes:

      And then he complains because there hasn't been another census since 2010!

      Somerby makes no such complaint. Unlike 1:59 PM, Somerby is aware of what most of the rest of us know. The Census Bureau makes available updates for its population analyses throughout the years which intervene between its decennial censuses.

      In his post Somerby linked to data which shows for 2018 the Census Bureau now includes Austin and Fort Worth among the thirteen most populous cities in the United States. San Francisco and Indianapolis, cities which came in as the third and fourth least segregated of the cities considered in that 2012 NY Times report, are no longer numbered among the most populous thirteen in the country.

      And whereas the 2012 Times report does cite the [U.S] Census Bureau, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the New York State Education Department as its sources for the data it used, the report does not cite any specific publications, nor suggest which institution crunched which numbers to come up with the conclusions the Times reported.

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    2. Depending on whether you are looking at the executive summary or the body of the report, the citations may or may not be there. Somerby is not above playing that game either.

      When someone works this hard to prove a nitpick, it essentially undermines any larger point that might have been made.

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  2. "Shapiro repeats this claim all the time. But how can we know if this statement is true? And what does the claim even mean?"

    It means that the dembots hired by your liberal zombie cult do their race-mongering job well.

    Because without massive race-mongering they got zero chance at the voting booth.

    Brain-dead academics, pencil-pushing bureaucrats, and zombiefied "liberal arts" students are your only base. No one who works for a living, not a single working person would ever vote for your cult.

    To win, your zombie cult needs to bribe the underclass - or to incite them with maximum hatred against the opponents. And that's what Shapiro and other goebbelsian dembots do.

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  3. Liberals used to send their kids to public schools as a matter of choice because they specifically wanted their kids to be able to interact with diverse people in their later lives. There are still people who hold that as a value and choose accordingly for their kids.

    In contrast, conservatives choose to home school their kids so that their kids won't ever be exposed to corrupting influences, whether of different religious backgrounds, politics, or culture.

    For conservatives, the worst thing they can imagine would be if their child became attached to a member of a minority group and came home hand-in-hand with a person of another race, announcing their intent to marry. That's why conservatives write nasty letters to the advertisers who depict racially blended families in their ads.

    So, at heart, this isn't about segregation. It is about racial mixing and it is ultimately about white supremacism.

    Which side is Somerby on? He has spent literally years now arguing that integration isn't numerically possible because the school districts don't contain sufficient white children to produce any meaningful integration. He blames liberals like DeBlasio for making "feel good" assertions about the need to integration and for calling our schools segregated because they contain so few white kids. He says liberals love to claim that the schools are segregated, then he makes a confused statement about how integration is impossible because there are too few white kids, but on the other hand liberals haven't presented the statistics to prove the schools are actually segregated. Which is it? These two arguments are incompatible.

    It sounds like Somerby wants liberals to stop making such claims and abandon the desire for integrated schools in big cities (or everywhere, it isn't clear). Why? What is the harm in doing this? Does he think it would be better if we just leave the conservatives to isolate themselves from everyone different than themselves? Is this the way Somerby thinks we will achieve any goal?

    I know liberals who have deliberately moved to white havens of conservatism in order to integrate those areas, politically and racially. I think they are brave to do that and I applaud them. If Somerby were liberal, he might be calling for something similar, or measures that might actually help the schools achieve diversity education. Instead he seems to be lying down on the railroad tracks, so passive in his approach that no one can tell what he believes.

    From today's article, the only clear statement that emerges is that he thinks newspaper articles (and Civil Rights white papers) should be better sourced. Setting aside that newspapers don't typically have footnotes and that casual readers don't look such things up, I'll bet that if I were to go to that Civil Rights Report, I would find many many legitimate sources cited, and that Somerby had to invent a very esoteric question in order to claim they didn't point him toward his answer. That is game playing, not scholarship. And Somerby is the one playing games here.

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    1. Not that you aren't jumping to conclusions that weren't made or even intimated but you have managed to inadvertently bring up an interesting aspect to this.

      If white liberals in NYC are so interested in sending their children to public schools, then according to the cited stats, the public schools they're sending them to must be the very elite public high schools of mention here. (I believe these kids are groomed for these schools from their crib days.)

      If this is the case, how mad are these white liberals going to be at the mayor for changing the sweet scenario of having their kids educated at more affordable and very elite public schools, and maintaining egalitarian bragging rights?

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    2. This may be what you would do, but what is your evidence that this is what "liberals" do? Somerby himself claims that the stats for NYC are better than those of other large cities, so they are not 0 (like poor Compton, a small suburb). Who are those white people who are not gaming the system but sending their kids to the neighborhood schools? I'll bet they aren't conservatives.

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    3. That they aren't conservatives is 2:13pm's point. He's upset at what he gleans as being Somerby's ideological betrayal.

      These parents aren't gaming the system, they're participating in it, and I don't think that they want it changed.

      The 1619 Project is going to have to be very compelling stuff, because it's not my backwoods conservative self that the Democratic political apparatus is trying to convince. I'm a lost a cause. It's their fellow liberals they're working on. Evidently, they can't trust them to be weird and disdainful enough of their country. Yet.

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  4. you have a creepy fixation on downplaying issues of race

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  5. In academic research, those doing a study are permitted to define their terms and "operationalize" their variables however they want, as long as they state clearly in their reports how those terms were defined and the variables operationalized.

    That means that it is OK for Kucsera and Orfield to define "segregation" in whatever way they wish. There is no requirement that they adhere to an outmoded definition from the 1970s, nor is there any law that says they must define things as Somerby might do.

    Somerby not only makes an ass of himself when he raises this objection, but he demonstrates his ignorance of how research works.

    The so-called ideal school with concocted demographics isn't the focus of anyone's concern when they talk about segregated schools. Pretending that it is shows that Somerby is playing word games, not trying to seriously discuss any subject. But we already knew that -- because he (and his defenders in comments) always retreat to the safety of media criticism -- it is about the reporters, no matter how sarcastic he becomes discussing people like Kucsera and Orfield (who are at least trying to do something to help children).

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. In academic research, those doing a study are permitted to define their terms and "operationalize" their variables however they want….

      Ooh! “Operationalize.” Stop it; you’re making me swoon with your academic sweet talk.

      TDH thinks that Kucsera and Orfield have “operationalized” themselves into an absurdity, which he illustrates with his so-called “hypothetical school.” In this judgment, he may be right or wrong, but he doesn’t says that K&O aren’t permitted to define their terms as they want. In fact he says

      Suppose you wanted the racial enrollment in every single school to match the racial enrollment of your school system as a whole. That would be a highly artificial goal, but suppose you wanted to do it.

      How did you miss that?

      His main beef with the researchers is that they relied on “a single unsourced graphic in a newspaper like the Times.”

      How did you miss that?

      You say

      There is no requirement that they [Kucsera and Orfield] adhere to an outmoded definition from the 1970s….

      And that’s true. And TDH makes no such claim that they must so adhere. His contempt is reserved for an New York Magazine reporter who literally links today’s racial imbalance in public schools to George Wallace’s infamous “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever” speech from the 1960s.

      How did you miss that?

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      We hope you enjoyed this example of uncultured impudence and lower middle class ignorance™

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    3. Somerby spreads his contempt widely, across every name mentioned in every article he writes. That doesn't mean the flaws of one reporter are those of the others. When he writes his generalized whines, like this one:

      "Within our floundering liberal tribe, we're now focused on moving handfuls of white kids around instead of addressing the real-world, public school needs of those black and Hispanic kids."

      ...he doesn't bother limiting his crank calls to those who might deserve them (like the New York Magazine author) but he accuses all liberals, as if we all joined hands together to focus on segregation and deliberately neglect the needs of all those minority kids in our nation's largest cities (whatever they are this week).

      The insults are lobbed at all of us and I, for one, won't accept that. I spent my entire teaching career working with Hispanic and Asian students at a HACU. African American students were a smaller minority than white students where I taught, but several were among my best research assistants and I am proud of their achievements, as I am proud of the steady stream of Hispanic students who succeeded despite Somerby's tendency to give up on them and students like them.

      In California, minority students are tracked into the State University System and have difficulty getting into top graduate programs because of it. It is the shame of our state, but it reflects the same kind of channeling of minority students into programs like the NYC science high schools, which in turn limits where they go to college, which limits where they go to grad school.

      Somerby can pretend that racist tracking ended in the 1970s and mock those who quote past racists, but this is a real problem and quoting NAEP stats that imply that no Hispanic and black students can ever succeed doesn't make this go away.

      Somerby should be ashamed to be talking about students the way he does, as if they are damned and don't deserve seats in elite schools, but enough are succeeding that this should be taken seriously as a real problem that our society needs to address, along with the problems of minority students who do not achieve even at grade level.

      You and CMike can play your silly games here, but don't forget that there are real kids out there who are the concern of everyone who is writing about and trying to change a system that is not working for the minority kids who can and do perform well enough to aspire to higher education.

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    4. The insults are lobbed at all of us and I, for one, won't accept that. I spent my entire teaching career working with Hispanic and Asian students at a HACU.

      If you listen verrrry carefully, you’ll hear the plaintive sound of a mournful violin playing just for you and your unjust treatment in TDH’s aggregate condemnation of liberals.

      Hey! I know. How about I ask Somerby directly in this comment section to specifically exempt you from his criticism of the liberal tribe? Of course, there may be few obstacles. One is that it’s unlikely that TDH reads his commentariat (and why would he with commenters like you); another is that you don’t have the courtesy to use a nym, so it’s impossible to tell you from the rest of the Ignorami Anonymi; yet another is that he might respond that anyone can have an entire virtuous teaching career in cyberspace.

      If there really were best research assistants who were African-American and a steady stream of successful Hispanic students, I just hope you weren’t there teaching them reading comprehension or critical thinking.

      (OK, that last is a lie, since I don’t give a damn about any kids of any race. Good thing you’re around to pick up my slack in the virtue signaling department, eh?)

      but it reflects the same kind of channeling of minority students into programs like the NYC science high schools

      You don’t know what you’re talking about, but at least you can’t express yourself. I’m pretty sure you mean the kind of channeling that excludes minority students from programs like the NYC science high schools. Perhaps like Manhattan Hunter Science High School — 16% African-American, 36% Hispanic? No?

      Oh, you must be talking about the Bronx High School of Science, 2% African-American, 5% Hispanic courtesy of the SHSAT. Now that’s a problem, but it’s a problem that arises from NYC’s testing programs that start in the 4th grade. Testing programs that are color blind, which is why TDH mocks those who think that quoting past racists like George Wallace is somehow relevant.

      You’re the one who should be ashamed talking about Somerby as though he claims that students on the low end of the test scales are damned and undeserving. TDH isn’t subtle; he pounds obsessively on a few key points, but you want to play your own silly game and pretend he’s saying something he’s not.

      TDH says it over and over: the NAEP scores across the percentiles show that African-American and Hispanic students are behind their white peers, possibly several years behind. (These are aggregate results — individual test takers are unidentified.) But the results mean that there are hundreds of thousands of minority students badly served by the NYC public school system.

      That’s a problem, one that can’t be fixed by refusing to discuss the results or by pretending that the ghost of George Wallace is dictating education policy in NYC or pretending that there are enough white students in the system to achieve racial balance or by concentrating exclusively on the roughly 2% of students gaining admission to Specialized High Schools via SHSAT.

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      We hope you enjoyed this example of uncultured impudence and lower middle class ignorance™

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    6. 10:13 PM,

      Do you actually want something done to enhance the lifetime prospects of those "real kids" from the black and hispanic underclass who are in school today and who are dramatically underachieving academically? Do you want to put in place a plan that will benefit those "real kids" hailing from the black and hispanic underclass who will be beginning school in the years and decades to come?

      First, take a break from repeating or nodding along with this super woke sounding fantasy that fairer educational opportunities will lead to those in the black and hispanic underclass en masse closing the academic achievement gaps between themselves and their middle class white counterparts and, thereafter, finding their way as adults into the American middle class.

      Second, start advocating for policies that most certainly would improve the lifetime prospects of the "real kids" who are growing up in straitened socio-economic circumstances and, predictably, underachieving academically throughout their K-12 careers relative to those in the more privileged classes. Advocate for a long term plan that has real promise for closing these socio-economic rooted racial academic achievement gaps that are present across the country today.

      Here's a short list of necessary policies. Put a national single payer healthcare program in place; establish a $15.80 an hour minimum wage with automatic cost of living adjustments going forward ($15.80 today is equal to $15 of buying power in January, 2017); put in place some sort of public works project that would guarantee full employment nationwide; defend the rights of workers to organize unions; and establish a universal public option for pre-K child care with an emphasis on infant educational development for parents who want to take advantage of it.

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    7. @CMike:

      There is already a federal minimum wage. New York’s minimum wage is higher than the federal ($11.10 vs $7.25).

      NYC already has universal pre-k (thanks Mayor DeBlasio).

      Hasn’t worked to fix the gaps.

      One thing that contributes to poor educational achievement of a child is having parents (or a parent) with poor educational achievement. It is a self-perpetuating cycle. Thus, the problem is most acute in poor areas, like inner cities. The things you mentioned are good, but will not change the achievement gaps. It isn’t enough to “lift all boats”, because there will always be low performers as long as there are racially isolated schools. Those must be specifically addressed if there is any hope of improvement.

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    8. Give pre-k a chance. It takes 3-5 years to see any impact because the kids have to enter elementary school and get old enough to take the NAEP before a change in test scores can be measured.

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    9. 10:16 AM,

      Actually, New York City's minimum wage will be at $15.00/hr at years end I believe. A national minimum wage of $15.80 would have less of an effect there than a full-time, full-employment program and single-payer healthcare.

      New York City's commendable pre-K program enrolls 70,000 four years and 5,000 three year olds. The 3-K program is slated to be expanded in 2021.

      No doubt you're right that the academic achievement level of parents is a contributing factor in the likelihood of achievement success for their children. I would guess, however, that the level of encouragement and value parents place on their children's education is, at least, as significant a contributing factor. In any event, for certain demographic groups improving what is generally to be found in the home environment as it relates to academics is going to be a multi-generational project.

      Likewise the positive effects both economically from better better employment policies and a better healthcare system and from universal pre-K (with 3-K) will yield their benefits only over the long term, over the course of decades.

      There is no quick fix for the achievement gaps among racial groups that prevail today in New York City and across the country.

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  6. Here's an important question that most people do not want to address: Why are blacks and Hispanics far behind Asians and whites when they enter kindergarten? Worse parenting? Genetic differences? Cultural differences? Poverty? (But poor Asians do extremely well academically.) Is Head Start a failure?

    Knowing the answer to this question could lead to more effective policies.

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    1. Fuck off David.

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    2. David,

      The bottom half of all U.S. households have 32% less wealth than in 2003. The top 1% have more than twice as much as they did then.

      What has Trump done about this?

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    3. Yes, the bottom half has less than they did 15 years ago but they still can consume more Doritos and Pringles and more cheap Chinese made products than people in Hungary?

      Therefore, Trump is good?

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    4. If NYC schools are so segregated, can the city morally stop at the point of addressing the elite high schools?

      So another obvious question is who's coming out for busing?

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    5. David, we're still paying the price for slavery. Everyone of us, to one extent or another.

      Who can gauge the fallout halflife of that sin.

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    6. I have a solution. I'll call it the "Pocahontas method".

      Here is it: every non-zombie person in the country self-identifies as 'Negro' in all official documents.

      And that's it, problem solved. Everyone who's not a Negro is now a zombie-liberal, free to heart-bleed all they want, to look for 'racists' among themselves, and, of course, to bus themselves in any direction they desire.

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    7. Bob,
      Always nice to see you giving aid and comfort to your racist fellow travelers.

      Several weeks ago you promised to re-visit the Baltimore public schools in which you taught 5th grade for 5 years. You haven't mentioned it since.
      I am absolutely sure that during that time the Baltimore school system was all black. What did you try to do to improve the results?
      I think you bought into DinC's analysis that the poor performances were based on genetic differences.

      Remember: Time is longer than rope.

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    8. Actually, @5:23, I believe the cause is Democratic Party policies. Black immigrants outperform American blacks, even though the American blacks don't need to learn English as a new language. Democratic Party policies have been designed to make blacks dependent on government. That gets Democrats the black vote, which is what they really care about.

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    9. Cecelia, I think I read somewhere that the elite high schools in NYC are partially controlled by Albany (state government) so the mayor of NYC cannot close them down.

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    10. I don't think that's correct, 11:42am. I read a NYT piece yesterday that said that the mayor can adopt his panel's recommendation to close the elite public high schools without intervention from the state.

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    11. Oh, you're right, 11:42pm, I looked again. I read wrong.

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  7. This is the umpteenth Somerby post about that 2014 report.

    For the umpteenth time, Kucsera and Orfield are quite clear in their definitions.

    They are quite clear that the report treats several different areas within New York, including upstate, NYC metropolitan area, and New York City proper.

    But the professors do not define things the way Somerby would like, so he attacks them, and in so doing, he ignores the scholarly nature of their work. His most specious objection is to pretend that the professors are vague when they say “New York”, when nothing could be further from the truth. It is perhaps the stupidest and laziest “objection” Somerby could possibly have come up with.

    He is working quite hard to make a mockery of Kucsera and Orfield, but ends up making a mockery of himself.

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  8. For starters, Professors Kucsera and Orfield were talking about New York State in that opening sentence, although they were too careless to make that explicitly clear. Perhaps for that reason, many tribals have seemed to believe, to this very day, that their report said that New York City "has the most segregated schools in the country.”

    I don’t see how it’s possible to justly lay the charge of carelessness on Kucsera and Orfield. Every single page of the executive summary in question has a header containing

    NEW YORK STATE’S EXTREME SCHOOL SEGREGATION

    (Emphases mine.)

    ————
    We hope you enjoyed this example of uncultured impudence and lower middle class ignorance™

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    1. deadratt, you don't even know what tone is, dumbbass townie.

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    2. Welcome back, my own personal troll. I knew you couldn't stay away. Try to keep your story straight -- the claim isn't that I don't know what tone is; it's that I'm not supposed to know how tone is conveyed.

      And now for the troll-repelling incantation that ends my participation in all our exchanges:

      You may think you're my harshest critic, but, bitch, if you have to follow my every comment, you're really my biggest fan.

      Now, begone.

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    3. Deadrat, you are sounding like a narcissist.

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    4. Dedrat: I think you're the one violating the codes.

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    5. @2:30P, wouldn't be surprising. I am a narcissist. But why would you think my ridiculing a stalker reveals that?

      @5:02P, what codes? TDH don't need no steenking codes.

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    6. The problem with deadrat is that his posts are too long and very uninteresting and gay.

      He seems to think what he says is interesting or makes sense.

      Hey deadratt - try harder or do a little better, could ya? You are being very Darwinian and myopic. Read a book or something.

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    7. He neglected to factor in the glyphs. Once again.

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    8. Did you ever get that book on inter-library loan faggot?

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  9. Take a look at the Jewish exodus from NYC and from the public schools. Diane Ravitch and I are among the few left. :) And even more than ever, the wealthy/well-off/rich DO NOT use the public schools. I can count them on my hands... TY, Neal. Stuyvesant HS and Columbia University. Neal Hugh Hurwitz on Facebook. :)

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    1. It seems to be some sort of ridiculous theater that official NYC is willing to engage in to the point of closing down the elite high schools for the city's gifted students.

      This won't come near to creating any sort of racial parity and the exodus makes it's doubtful that much of anything could, but in the meantime the brain trust in the nation's pre-eminent newpaper scolds parents for being guilty of trying to do the best for their kids.

      Modern America in a nutshell.



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    2. nealhugh - I was part of the Jewish exodus from New York City in 1952. But, my parents' decision had nothing to do with race. It was because of the rising crime rate in the Bronx and, in particular, crime in the high schools.

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    3. There doesn't appear to have been an exodus as such of Jews from New York City at that time. The term "exodus" is being misappropriated by right wing groups and this appears to be more of the same. Please reserve that term for large scale mass emigration, not your family's personal decision to move from one place to another.

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    4. "but in the meantime the brain trust in the nation's pre-eminent newspaper scolds parents for being guilty of trying to do the best for their kids"

      Well, it's not really surprising. The liberal zombie cult, like any other cult, wants to control education and replace it with zombiefication. To turn as many human children into zombies as possible.

      If you've been reading this blog, then of course you know that they are gravely concerned about the "gaps": too many children still demonstrating unacceptably high levels of comprehension and knowledge. The zombie cult wants it stopped.

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    5. DeBlasio's panel seems to want to put their chicks in the magnet schools basket.

      We have a system of those school in my area.

      I don't know how they compare with the non-magnet public schools.

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    6. The Jewish population of New York City proper (i.e., the five boroughs) peaked in the 1950s at about 2M, which was about a quarter of the population. The number of Jews dropped to a low of less than 1M around 2000 (12%) and since risen above the 1M mark (about 13%).

      Let me remind readers here that at the last plenary meeting of Jews, David in Cal was on the agenda (just before a report on taking over the rest of the banks and a resolution condemning cinnamon-raisin bagels). The body was just about evenly split between excommunication and defenestration, when someone raised a point of order to note that there was no more reason to believe David in Cal’s claim to be Jewish than there was to believe any of his bullshit.

      Amid some scattered muttering about his being a shanda fer die goyim, a motion to declare David a cinnamon-raisin bagel was tabled sine die.

      Take everything David in Cal has to say with a grain or two of salt (Kosher, if you prefer).

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  10. “TDH thinks that Kucsera and Orfield have “operationalized” themselves into an absurdity, which he illustrates with his so-called “hypothetical school.” In this judgment, he may be right or wrong, but he doesn’t says that K&O aren’t permitted to define their terms as they want. In fact he says

    Suppose you wanted the racial enrollment in every single school to match the racial enrollment of your school system as a whole. That would be a highly artificial goal, but suppose you wanted to do it.”

    In fact, Kucsera and Orfield have not defined what the goal of desegregation should be in terms of specific percentages. Nor do they analyze causes of segregation. They do not identify any “hypothetical” school of their dreams. Their report is simply an objective study of the racial composition of New York public schools over time. The study connects academic achievement with racial isolation, which every academic study has found. The definitions set out early in the report are a way of measuring the levels and changes in isolation over time.

    Somerby’s approach to the report is to link it with careless or “fiery” rhetoric in the press, (he even calls Kucsera and Orfield’s report “fiery” in order to mock its authors), and to make unwarranted, specious, or even intellectually dishonest objections to it, like his ridiculous claim about the authors’ purported carelessness regarding “New York”. This last objection fits in with a larger pattern, and cannot be viewed in isolation from it, which is that Somerby wants to mock the report rather than deal with it in a serious way.

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    1. In fact, Kucsera and Orfield have not defined what the goal of desegregation should be in terms of specific percentages.

      You’re right; they don’t. Although their list of recommendations, devoid of percentages, is so cast in the subjunctive mood and passive voice that it underlines how daunting a task they address. But if segregation is both bad and well-defined, isn’t integration both a state to be desired and one defined as not-segregation? But I take your point.

      Somerby’s approach to the report is to link it with careless or “fiery” rhetoric in the press, (he even calls Kucsera and Orfield’s report “fiery” in order to mock its authors)….

      I’d say to mock its authors work, but again, point taken. But I’ll note that the title of the report contains the phrase “extreme segregation,” and the body of the report refers to “apartheid schools.” These are wordings both emotional and given to misuse by arsonists like the New York City press.

      Somerby’s approach to the report is … to make unwarranted, specious, or even intellectually dishonest objections to it,….

      Oh, damn! And you were doing so well until this. TDH also notes that the report relies on a single “murky” graphic from the NYT for its conclusion about NYC schools, that it deals only with black and white populations for comparison, and that it’s pretty much out of date. That last is, of course, no reflection on the report, only on the current users of the report.

      like his ridiculous claim about the authors’ purported carelessness regarding “New York”

      Agreed. The carelessness lies with the reporter-readers, not with the researcher-authors.

      This last objection fits in with a larger pattern, and cannot be viewed in isolation from it, which is that Somerby wants to mock the report rather than deal with it in a serious way.

      I have a somewhat different view, namely that TDH wants to deride current reporting about the racial isolation of NYC’s public schools and in doing so strikes some unwarranted blows at the report. But to each his own opinion. TDH could deal with the report in a serious way by using its detailed history of New York (State’s) experience with desegregation in education and housing. It’s a cautionary tale, or rather numerous cautionary tales, for ignorant tinkerers.

      I am instructed by almost every point you make, even the ones I disagree with. And you did that all without saying that TDH hates black kids.

      FFS, was that really so damn hard?
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      We hope you enjoyed this example of uncultured impudence and lower middle class ignorance™

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  11. “it’s unlikely that TDH reads his commentariat (and why would he with commenters like you); “

    Yes. Why would an arrogant snowflake like Somerby read critical comments?

    “anyone can have an entire virtuous teaching career in cyberspace.”

    And anyone can have an entire virtuous blogging career as a “liberal” in cyberspace.

    “You may think you're my harshest critic, but, bitch, if you have to follow my every comment, you're really my biggest fan.”

    This is rich, coming from a commenter who never initiates a thread, but only “follows” the minutiae of practically every anonymous commenter.

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    1. Yes. Why would an arrogant snowflake like Somerby read critical comments?

      Arrogant is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. But aren’t snowflakes people quick to take personal affront from criticism? I’ve never seen TDH respond in his blog or in the commentary section to even the most insulting references to him. Pretty hardy snowflake.

      And anyone can have an entire virtuous blogging career as a “liberal” in cyberspace.

      I assume the scare quotes on the word liberal simply means someone you disagree with.

      This is rich, coming from a commenter who never initiates a thread, but only “follows” the minutiae of practically every anonymous commenter.

      Another comment that made me laugh. Am I supposed to believe you’re annoyed that I don’t start threads? That there’s just not enough of my deathless prose in this commentariat for your tastes? But, hey, check out my comment just below (August 31, 2019 at 7:51 PM). Not good enough for ya?

      One commenter’s minutia is another’s problematic misunderstanding. I don’t “follow” particular anonymous commenters for the obvious reason. I don’t pick out commenters and call them slurs related to gay men. If you think my criticisms are misdirected, then correct them; if you find them inconsequential, ignore them. But don’t pretend that my own personal troll and I are on the same footing.

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      We hope you enjoyed this example of uncultured impudence and lower middle class ignorance™

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  12. “Student enrollment, Public School A
    White kids: 45%
    Black kids: 20%
    Hispanic kids: 20%
    Asian-American kids: 15%
    We'd call that school "paradise." But according to Kucsera and Orfield, a public school with that enrollment is—what else?—"segregated!" “

    This a blatant and unconscionable lie. The report describes this type of school as “multiracial.”

    Either Somerby hasn’t read the report, or he is functioning as a propagandist by spouting this nonsense.

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    1. Whoa there, Sparky! The report would call Public School A multiracial because there are at least three groups “of color” each making up at least 10% of the student body. But it would also call the school segregated based on the definition given on page 32: “50-100% of the student body are students of color.”

      Would you care to revise your claim about who’s read the report and who’s functioning as propagandist?

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    2. Whoa there, shithead. From the report:

      “We also explore school segregation patterns by the proportion or concentration of each racial group in segregated schools (50-100% of the student body are students of color), intensely segregated schools (90-100% of the student body are students of color), and apartheid schools (99-100% of the schools are students of color). Such schools, especially hypersegregated and apartheid schools are nearly always associated with stark gaps in educational opportunity.123 To provide estimates of diverse environments, we calculate the proportion of each racial group in multiracial schools (schools with any three races representing 10% or more of the total student body).”

      Gee, do ya think the professors are allowed to have a multi-part definition of things to represent complex situations?

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    3. Sure, and not just professors. Did you even bother to read my reply to Sparky @4:24P? Or did you read it and fail to understand it? Because it's one of the two.

      I said, "The report would call Public School A multiracial ... [b]ut it would also call the school segregated." So there's your "multi-part definition." (I'd prefer multi-part description, but no matter.)

      My object isn't to multiple facets but to the charge that TDH is lying when he uses one of those facets. That the report would call Public School A segregated is not a lie just because it would also call the school multi-racial. The report would describe the school by both adjectives.

      This is so obvious that I wonder how you missed it. Is this an isolated instance or is it part of a larger cognitive deficit? You might want to get that checked out by professionals.

      While you're at it, see if there's something they can do for your incipient Tourette's.

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