CLARITY ISN'T US: We lost a chunk of time today!


Services resume tomorrow: Doggone it!

We lost a chunk of time today. Our services resume tomorrow.

For extra credit, this: A front-page report in today's New York Times starts exactly like this:

CLOSSON (9/30/22): New York City’s selective middle schools can once again use grades to choose which students to admit, the school chancellor, David C. Banks, announced on Thursday, rolling back a pandemic-era moratorium that had opened the doors of some of the city’s most elite schools to more low-income students.

Selective high schools will also be able to prioritize top-performing students.

The sweeping move will end the random lottery for middle schools, a major shift after the previous administration ended the use of grades and test scores two years ago. At the city’s competitive high schools, where changes widened the pool of eligible applicants, priority for seats will be limited to top students whose grades are an A average.

The question of whether to base admissions on student performance prompted intense debate this fall. Many Asian American families were particularly vocal in arguing that the lotteries excluded their children from opportunities they had worked hard for. But Black and Latino students are significantly underrepresented at selective schools, and some parents had hoped the previous admissions changes would become permanent to boost racial integration in a system that has been labeled one of the most segregated in the nation.

Our questions:

Is Gotham's school system "segregated" at all? Does reporter Closson ever explain what he means by his use of that (highly significant) term?

Also this:

If you're able to figure that out, is it true that Gotham's system is "one of the most segregated in the nation?"

Closson provides a link at that point. Go ahead! See if the source to which he links actually answers that question!

The New York Times routinely makes this claim. In our view, this is a case of Storyline first and always, clarity left behind.


  1. This is racism pure and simple.

  2. Beyond the stats, The Civil Rights Project at UCLA says the districts do not implement plans to reverse racial segregation, which is worse in NY than in the South.

    The definitions are based on % of minority students, some 1% white (labeled apartheid), others less than 10% white (intensely segregated).

    Why is Somerby pretending they don’t define this? It is right there at the beginning of the report.

  3. Somerby perhaps thinks that segregation should be assessed by the intent to keep the races separate, instead of by states measuring how separate they are. But intent is not observable and thus not reliably measurable, whereas the actual amount of separation in schools by race can be measured using numbers that will come out the same no matter who records them.

    The whole "gosh, we'd love to include more black students in our science courses, but none are qualified," excuse doesn't cut it when no effort is made to prepare or recruit such students. The Civil Rights Project says that not only are there insufficient white kids in schools with 90 to 99% minority students, but there is no effort being made to make such schools more diverse. And you can assess intent by observable actions, such as creation of policies and programs that would increase diversity.

    But, as usual, Somerby only hints about what he considers an inadequate definition. He never comes right out and says what he means -- much like DeSantis on race. You have to infer it from objections that no liberal would raise, given that most liberals are in favor of increasing white representation at minority-majority schools.

    Somerby has previously argued that this cannot be done because there are insufficient white students to go around, but somehow the other states and districts outside New York manage to do better, even in the South. How do they do it, if Somerby considers it such an impossible goal? Somerby's objection is disingenuous. Where there is a will, there is a way. Somerby shows his lack of will by manufacturing excuses instead of asking why New York City isn't doing better by its racial minorities.

  4. "Lost time" actually has a specific psychiatric meaning that I doubt Somerby intends here.

  5. Nobody is underrepresented at these schools, because there are no representations there — just individual students eager to learn.

    1. Above comment from David in Cal

    2. Schools with more white students tend to be better funded with more resources so students do better in integrated schools (controlling for other factors). That’s why changing segregation is important for individual students.

    3. See how well Somerby has taught David to play linguistic games!

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