May 9, 2009

David Brooks on "The Harlem Miracle"

David Brooks writes in the New York Times:
The Harlem Miracle

The fight against poverty produces great programs but disappointing results. You go visit an inner-city school, job-training program or community youth center and you meet incredible people doing wonderful things. Then you look at the results from the serious evaluations and you find that these inspiring places are only producing incremental gains.

That’s why I was startled when I received an e-mail message from Roland Fryer, a meticulous Harvard economist. It included this sentence: “The attached study has changed my life as a scientist.”

Fryer and his colleague Will Dobbie have just finished a rigorous assessment of the charter schools operated by the Harlem Children’s Zone. They compared students in these schools to students in New York City as a whole and to comparable students who entered the lottery to get into the Harlem Children’s Zone schools, but weren’t selected.

They found that the Harlem Children’s Zone schools produced “enormous” gains. The typical student entered the charter middle school, Promise Academy, in sixth grade and scored in the 39th percentile among New York City students in math. By the eighth grade, the typical student in the school was in the 74th percentile. The typical student entered the school scoring in the 39th percentile in English Language Arts (verbal ability). By eighth grade, the typical student was in the 53rd percentile.

Forgive some academic jargon, but the most common education reform ideas — reducing class size, raising teacher pay, enrolling kids in Head Start — produce gains of about 0.1 or 0.2 or 0.3 standard deviations. If you study policy, those are the sorts of improvements you live with every day. Promise Academy produced gains of 1.3 and 1.4 standard deviations. That’s off the charts. In math, Promise Academy eliminated the achievement gap between its black students and the city average for white students.

Let me repeat that. It eliminated the black-white achievement gap. “The results changed my life as a researcher because I am no longer interested in marginal changes,” Fryer wrote in a subsequent e-mail. What Geoffrey Canada, Harlem Children’s Zone’s founder and president, has done is “the equivalent of curing cancer for these kids. It’s amazing. It should be celebrated. But it almost doesn’t matter if we stop there. We don’t have a way to replicate his cure, and we need one since so many of our kids are dying — literally and figuratively.”

These results are powerful evidence in a long-running debate.

Not really.

If you stop and think, you'll notice that this experiment says less than David Brooks implies it says about the "black-white achievement gap" because there's no control group of white students in this study. Nobody bothered to check to see how much white students' scores would go up if a huge amount of money was given to a well-known superstar educator (in this case, Geoffrey Canada -- here's a more skeptical analysis of Canada's accomplishment in Slate in 2008).

It's not that hard to increase school achievement test scores. It's especially not hard to do it in a handful of schools. (It's hard to replicate a local success, though, just like it's hard to take a cool movie, like "The Matrix," and make it a cool series, or to take a cool movie like "The Manchurian Candidate" and come up with a cool remake. Sometimes with movie-making, all the pieces click, other times not. Much the same is true for schools.)

What's hard is to get rid of the racial gap.

More impressively, at great expense, the overall U.S. has improved math achievement test scores over the last quarter of a century or so, as measured by the federal NAEP test. Unfortunately, the "problem" is that white scores have gone up about as much as black and Hispanic scores have gone up. The No Child Left Behind act explicitly claims it is supposed to fix this "problem," which is how I got into this lengthy discussion among Saletan, McWhorter, Millman, and so forth.

Personally, I would describe the broad rise in math scores as less a "problem" than an "accomplishment," but mine is a minority view.

To solve The Problem, we could hit the white and Asian kids on the head with a ballpeen hammer, and that would keep the black and Hispanic kids from being left behind, but so far, we just haven't been willing to do what it takes.

Speaking of Roland Fryer, here's a fun article from 02381 called "A Million Little Writers" by Jacob Hale Russell on how many famous Harvard professors, such as longtime iSteve favorites Alan Dershowitz, Henry Louis Gates, and Roland Fryer, are more brand names and impresarios than they are the actual authors of the stuff churned out under their names. (And, getting completely off the topic, here's a comment to my blog from Charles Johnson, the high school student employed by Dershowitz as a ghostwriter, defending Dershowitz's use of a minor to write rough drafts for him.)

In 2005, when Dr. Fryer was promoting a theory that hypertension among blacks was caused by Darwinian selection on the Middle Passage, evolutionary theorist Greg Cochran offered to help him come up with a more mathematically realistic model of the evolution of African American hypertension, but Fryer refused all help from Cochran.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

108 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is like the studies they used to "prove" that women were suitable for ground combat by giving a group of women intense physical training and then comparing them to a group of men with no physical training. Gee, we eliminated the man-woman physical strength gap, yaaay!

Ivy said...

Steve: Thanks for devoting a post to this. I'm interested to hear what your readers have to say.

OK so lack of a white control group is surely important. I imagine that takes care of the whole black-white gap issue.

But this doesn't bode well for the existence of innate intelligence. The typical student went from 39th percentile to 74th percentile. That's an absolutely humongous increase. Going from a piddling secretary to possibly a manager isn't a trivial increase; it's astounding. I just can't imagine, even on something that's most likely an achievement and not an aptitude test, that this type of improvement is feasible.

Can we chalk it up to a kind of Flynn effect? Except instead of getting it from daily activity like white middle class kids, they get it from arduous, repetitive, and tedious school tasks?

I still don't think you've satisfyingly explained the enormous ascension of the average student. Maybe these kids were all actually smart, but in absolutely horrendous schools. Thus, on an ACHIEVEMENT test, that tests knowledge moreso than ability, their performance was subpar. Put them in a school that has a curriculum explicitly designed for standardized testing success and their scores rise so dramatically?

Anyone else have an explanation (maybe cheating? I heard this is rampant)? Obviously I'm primarily interested in the increase in averages. I've never seen an adoption study that showed similar gains. This would be like an adoption study taking a group of average black kids with an 85 average, putting them in middle class homes, and by high school, they're up near 100. I doubt any study has yielded those kinds of results, yet the Promise school has.

Truth said...

"Not really.

If you stop and think, you'll notice that this experiment says less than David Brooks implies it says about the "black-white achievement gap" because there's no control group of white students in this study. Nobody bothered to check to see how much white students' scores would go up if a huge amount of money was given to a well-known superstar educator."

That really is not the point Steve and I think (or I should say hope) you know it. I don't even really think it is necessary for me to write the real point here, and if it is, it may be too late for you. Your personal agendas are becoming an albatross around your neck if not a Frankenstein's monster. Just fair warning from a fan.

I have a question for everyone here. You and you alone have suddenly been given the most powerful responsibility on earth. A brilliant German scientist has just come up two, racially specific and exclusive pills; they only work on people with between 80and 98% black DNA.

The first pill, if taken will increase the IQ of each recipient 1 full SD. The pill will not work on most black Africans because they are 100% black. This will make the black IQ the same as the white IQ in America.

The second pill will decrease the black IQ one full SD, that will make all takers roughly as smart as the average African.

You can assign every black in America, one pill or the other or neither. And it is an all, or nothing proposition. Every black from Obama to the lowest murderer in jail gets the pill if you assign it.

Now keep in mind that there is no other effect given by the pills, in other words, black people who take the pills retain their "blackness" (whatever that is) and are still confident, good with women, athletic, improvisational, etc. Now keep in mind that assigning the brilliance pill, or the stupidity pill changes the mating game quite a bit, as you would imagine. We are all now the same intellect, but only black people are "black."

White people undergo no changes whatsoever, except those granted by living around a different "class" of blacks.

So which pill, or neither do you assign? The world is now in your hands my sons!

Anonymous said...

"The fight against poverty produces great programs but disappointing results."

I stopped reading the Brooks column after that sentence.

jody said...

well, like i said, if africans are FORCED to do 2 hours of math every day, their test scores will go up.

this is the effect that makes east asians appear to be significantly smarter than europeans when using evidence from academics. they tend to study a math book every day for 3 hours to the exclusion of most other activities.

in fact, they're probably even better at school than US demographic information suggests, because their numbers are lumped in with southeast asians and pacific islanders. filipinos, one of the largest asian immigrant groups, are integrating downward, dropping out of school, getting tattoos, and getting into crime.

Henry Harpending said...

Interesting: I have been reading this same story in the New York Times for fifty years. As I recall in the 1970s there were about three a year.

Anonymous said...

Good points. This is an argument for charter schools though.

Garland said...

" Cochran offered to help him come up with a more mathematically realistic model of the evolution of African American hypertension, but Fryer refused all help from Cochran."

More on this, please. The 2005 link doesn't say much about why Fryer refused. I'm not instigating gossip, I'd just like to know why Fryer thought Cochran's better understanding of evolution was not helpful.

Anonymous said...

"I don't even really think it is necessary for me to write the real point here, and if it is, it may be too late for you."

Don't be so cryptic, please do tell us what the real point is. Maybe there is a chance some of us can be saved from whatever horrid end you are predicting for us. Just make sure your response is approved by Komment Kontrol.

Anonymous said...

It's only on this blog that Cochran is considered some kind of expert on evolution. I'm not saying that means he isn't, but his reputation hardly precedes him when he knocks on doors at econ departments.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested to hear what your readers have to say.




I'm a reader who is an IQ skeptic, so this simply reinforced my own view.

I'm sure that IQ measures something, but what it is is not well understood in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Truth writes:
"A brilliant German scientist has just come up two, racially specific and exclusive pills; they only work on people with between 80and 98% black DNA."
.
.
.
"The pill will not work on most black Africans because they are 100% black."

OK...

"Every black from Obama to the lowest murderer in jail gets the pill if you assign it."

If you think using Obama is a
good example, you fail your own
IQ test.

Anonymous said...

That really is not the point Steve and I think (or I should say hope) you know it. I don't even really think it is necessary for me to write the real point here, and if it is, it may be too late for you



Then it is clearly too late for me, Mr Truth, because I don't have the foggiest what you are on about. (Other than that you think Steve is a racist - that part came through loud and clear.)

Anonymous said...

Another Anonymous writes
"I'm a reader who is an IQ skeptic, so this simply reinforced my own view.

I'm sure that IQ measures something, but what it is is not well understood in my opinion."

The NYT article didn't say they used an IQ test, or even specify what tests were used. More data
is necessary.

There's a lot of solid work on
IQ tests, what they're measuring,
what that is correlated with, and
what it isn't. What are you skeptical about?

Vernunft said...

"I'm sure that IQ measures something, but what it is is not well understood in my opinion."

Would you call yourself a physics skeptic, because causality isn't well understood?

Anonymous said...

"The fight against poverty produces great programs but disappointing results."

I'm curious, how can a program be great without producing results? Unless the greatness of a program is measured by something else...

Lucius Vorenus said...

Ivy [FROM A PREVIOUS THREAD]: I'm honestly unsure how these enormous gains could be achieved without some intense manipulation of the results or complete neglect of important variables

Don't worry.

They're faking it somehow.

Trust me on that.

[Remember, these "numbers" are being brought to you by the same crowd who thinks that the earth is "warming", and that there is "scientific" evidence to "prove" that the earth is "warming", when, in reality, the earth's temperature peaked 11 years ago, back in 1998, and has been declining since then, to the point that the current absence of sunspots could very well portend the start of a new mini-Ice Age, if not a full-blown Ice Age.]

Having said that - that they're faking it somehow - I have long thought that one of the most fascinating retrospective studies which could be directed at the recent annals of American high school pedagogical history would involve going back and figuring out once and for all just what it was that Jaime Escalante was doing with his AP Calculus classes at Garfield.

In particular:

A) Who were Jamie Escalante's students at the time? [Where did their IQs put them on the greater IQ bell curve at Garfield, and what were their hispanic ethnicities as regarded "Castilian" -vs- Aboriginal blood?]

And:

B) What has become of Jaime Escalante's students since then? [Have any of them maintained legitimate, non-AA employment in any technical field for the last quarter century? Or are they all now cabdrivers and short order cooks and groundskeepers? Or did they all get AA placement into law schools and now they're all pulling AA sinecures at "civil rights" law firms or in government jobs?]

Or maybe the pertinent question should be:

C) Just how difficult was the AP Calculus exam back in the 1980s? [Should a "4" on the AP Calculus exam have been a source of pride, or a source of embarrassment?]

I seem to recall a scene* in the movie wherein a female math teacher at Garfield essentially accused Escalante of creating a classroom full of Pavlov's Dogs, who memorized how to answer the questions, but who had no real idea just what it was that they were doing in so regurgitating the answers.

In all honesty, though, if the Garfield kids had the kinds of IQs that pure-blooded Aboriginal lineage would demand of them [i.e. if they were exceedingly unlikely to have been much above IQ 105 to 110], then it's difficult to imagine that now - a quarter of a century later - they would be able to retain much [if anything] of what they had "learned", back in the day, under Escalante.

Of course, Escalante was a Reaganite, so fat lotta luck getting anyone in William Ayers's Edumakashun Establishment interested in funding that study.



*PS: Or maybe I'm just inventing the memory of such a scene in my imagination? God, it's been years since I've seen the movie. Hard to believe, after the BSG-ification & resurrection of Olmos's career, that S&D doesn't get more play on late-night cable TV. Come to think of it, none of those "urban school" movies ever get shown anymore - not the one with Lou Gossett Jr & James Belushi, or the one with Michelle Pfeiffer, or even the Arnold vehicle, with the redhead - what was her name? Penelope Ann Miller?

Of course, with Escalante being a Reaganite, and with Andy Garcia being at least an anti-Castroite [and maybe even an outright GOPer], it's not hard to see why The Powers That Be would suppress the movie.

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of solid work on
IQ tests, what they're measuring,
what that is correlated with, and
what it isn't. What are you skeptical about



Whether it measures something inate or something which can be taught.

And also how useful whatever it measures actually is.

Anonymous said...

Truth, if you really wanted responses to your ridiculous question, you should have written it in a way that wasn't so accusatory and insulting.

Anonymous said...

Would you call yourself a physics skeptic, because causality isn't well understood?I'm skeptical of the idea that we should order human society on the basis of physics. Or any other scientific principle, well understood or not.

Truth said...

"Don't be so cryptic, please do tell us what the real point is..."

Well, the point as I see it, is not any racial "gap." If this cannot be eliminated, so what? As far as I know there has always been a racial "gap" between Jews in Germany and Germans, yet the latter have done fairly well.

If for instance, through new schooling methods, you could raise the IQ of inner city blacks to 100, and if the same schooling methods raised the IQ of whites to 115 and Asians to 120, are we not all better off (including blacks)? this is "the point."

"If you think using Obama is a
good example, you fail your own
IQ test."

No, I'm well aware that Barry is not at least 80% black. The point being that if you decide to administer the pill, all 40 million black people take it whether it leads to intellect gain or not. There is, in other words, no selective disbursement.

"(Other than that you think Steve is a racist - that part came through loud and clear.)"

I've read nothing to lead me to believe that Steve is a racist. I believe however, that he is what I would describe a white Chauvinist, which is a whole different ball of wax. Great journalists are, and always have been objective. Steve is at this point somewhere between journalist and op/ed writer.

Steve, if you really desire Gladwell's wealth and and influence, (as you have confided to me personally) you would be benefited by choosing to be one or the other strongly instead of sitting on the fence weakly.

testing99 said...

In comparing White/Black students, IMHO one of the biggest factors that must be apples-to-apples is the nuclear family.

I.E. not just socio-economic background, but also the family composition.

There's a hell of a difference between having a chaotic home life, with the mother bringing in lots of rotating guys, who are dangerous or disturbing, and a stable family that has both mother and father investment and support.

As a fairly anecdotal basis, the charity I work with selects students for an afterschool, college prep 2 year track course. ALL the kids we take (about 22 out of a potential 9,000) are from intact nuclear families. At least in what I've seen in this (admittedly) anecdotal level with Hispanic kids (mostly first generation Mexican immigrants) their achievement is directly proportional to having a nuclear family. Their peers, genetically very similar, who don't get selected, come from single parent homes. almost exclusively single mother homes.

It's quite possible IMHO that much of the Black/White achievement and IQ gap is related to family structure, particularly the downward trend observed among Black kids from 1950-2009, which is reflective of the disintegration of the nuclear family.

Thus if social policy aimed at improving the 60% of Blacks who are Urban Ghetto Core, promotion of the Nuclear Family would be the best option, if this were indeed the case.

Anonymous said...

Truth,

"That really is not the point Steve and I think (or I should say hope) you know it. I don't even really think it is necessary for me to write the real point here, and if it is, it may be too late for you."I do think Sailer might have been a little too dismissive of these results, which are extraordinary, but for the benefit of those of us who are slow on the draw, could you explicate your point? Thanks.

Regarding your pill question:

"So which pill, or neither do you assign?"This is really a no-brainer. I assign the smart pill. Since crime and poverty correlate strongly with lower IQs, America would be safer and richer if the average black IQ were as high as the average white IQ. Why wouldn't I want that?

- Fred

Mr. Anon said...

"The typical student entered the charter middle school, Promise Academy, in sixth grade and scored in the 39th percentile among New York City students in math. By the eighth grade, the typical student in the school was in the 74th percentile. The typical student entered the school scoring in the 39th percentile in English Language Arts (verbal ability). By eighth grade, the typical student was in the 53rd percentile."

How many of the pupils at this school dropped out or transferred between the 6th and 8th grade? How many new pupils transferred into this school in the 7th grade?

jb said...

Steve is dead-on, as always. In reality, the average white kid gets a mediocre education. Even at the top echelons - my five kids all attended top boarding schools -the high flying performances are largely a reflection of the types of kids they accept in the first place.

I've yet to hear of a program for white kids in which they get the hands-on rah rah mentoring and rigorous academics at the hands of outstanding dedicated teachers that the students in the Harlem programs receive. My guess is that ANY student plucked from the typical public school would thrive - even sky-rocket - academically in such an environment.

I imagine that the average parent can only dream about the type of education their tax dollars provide for these urban programs.

Pouring disproportionate funding into urban areas may indeed raise the scores of these children, but GEE, wouldn't it be lovely if someone cared as much about the largely ignored potential of the children of those who actually pay taxes!

gcochran said...

There is no reason to think that salt retention was a strong influence on mortality in slave ships. Moreover, it is almost impossible to cause a significant genetic change in one generation, unless the selective factor wipes out the least resistant 95% of the population. I told Fryer this - worked out an example using the breeder's equation, plausible values of heritability, a favorable (and unrealistic) estimate of the importance of salt retention, reasonable estimates of mortality on those ships (15%) - no way anything significant would happen.

And of course there are known salt-retention alleles, but they were already especially common in Africans. Had nothing to do with the middle passage.


But he paid no attention. I think he knows as much about quantitative inheritance as the average economist - i.e. nothing.

Anonymous said...

Truth wrote:

"Now keep in mind that there is no other effect given by the pills, in other words, black people who take the pills retain their "blackness" (whatever that is) and are still confident, good with women, athletic, improvisational, etc."

According to Rushton's theories, it is not a coincidence that intelligence and libido are negatively correlated. The evolutionary strategy that led to higher IQs also led to lower libidos. Outside of the world of imaginary magic pills, humans couldn't and can't have our cake and eat it too in the way you suggest.

I think you implied that increased intelligence would give the average black guy an additional advantage in the "mating game". Strictly by itself intelligence would not do that - ask any geek. However, higher IQ leads to higher income, and higher income IS an advantage in the mating game, so there would be an indirect boost.

But I think that another force would work in the opposite direction. The hypothetical world in which giving every black person such a pill could seriously be discussed by the powers that be would be a world in which innate human differences are acknowledged. Modern PC brainwashing could hardly exist in such a world. And with no brainwashing (or busing, etc.) to keep the races together, they would probably move, out of their own volition, towards resegregating themselves. It's how nature works. Like wants to be with like. So I don't think that an imaginary universe in which such a pill could be used would have more interracial dating than does our real universe. It would probably have less of it.

As for your question, yes, of course I'd be for using the "smart" pill. It would solve all sorts of problems.

Anonymous said...

ivy, if your definition of "innate intelligence" is that the correlation between g, IQ scores, and educational outcomes all are r=1 and the fraction of phenotypic variance in each that is attributable to genetic variance is 100%, then no one holds that hypothesis and its obviously wrong. otherwise, its just a quantitative question as to whether this one study suggests revisions to the quantitative models from psychometrics and behavioral genetics that are based on hundreds of other studies. my guess is that it doesn't because of the age of the subjects in this experiment and the extreme (i.e. not generalizable) environmental difference that was introduced. you can increase IQ scores w/o increasing g, you can increase academic achievement without increasing IQ, and you can increase or decrease the heritability of any of these variables with various interventions. the key questions is whether there's anything sustainable and widely applicable that can be done. likely very little of real (lasting and broadly reaching) value based on other past attempts with appropriate study controls and long-term follow-up.

Anonymous said...

If for instance, through new schooling methods, you could raise the IQ of inner city blacks to 100, and if the same schooling methods raised the IQ of whites to 115 and Asians to 120, are we not all better off (including blacks)? this is "the point."



How exactly would we all be better off, including blacks?

Blacks would still trail in IQ, SAT scores, and college graduations under this scenario. Their position relative to non-blacks would not change. So where do you see the improvement coming from?

This assumes that you are concerned at the racial inequalities inherent in an unequal distrbution of IQ, which is implied in your remarks so far. You'be been so busy taking shots at Steve that you've neglected to spell out your postion. But feel free to rectify that now.

nsam said...

In any country where HBD effects are large (i.e., a country with a heterogeneous population pool) unequal outcomes are a fact of life that liberals and liberal governments try to equalize. The equivalent of hitting the smarter groups with the blunt hammer of reservation quotas has already been done in a very widespread and crude way in India. Yet, despite that, inequities in outcomes remain. Programs that target development of modest skills in a reasonably promising sample from the underperforming groups can and do yield results. The important catch is that the ability level targeted has to be realistic. What the NY results appear to be telling is that mostly everyone is goofing off big time in the school system (which is why there is no reason to expect that a similar program will not help white kids even more).

However, granting that this intervention did in fact move kids from the 40th to the 70th percentile (which is remarkable), it would have been interesting to see if such training also had some impact on purely g related generic measures (as opposed to teaching to the test).

What the Harlem study indicates is that training can and does help when one targets narrowly and realistically. Of course one hopes that the reported increase is in fact genuine and not compromised by non-random selection factors (or simple cheating which isn't that implausible).

If the targets are chosen too high (e.g., the products of such schools aim for top 50 universities where they are more likely to experience failure), then you would need a similar program at that level as well (again, targetting specifically to deal with college courses can definitely help relatively dumb students). And ditto in real jobs context (they have mentoring programs for women and minority faculty in many universities). So one could have specific skill boosters every step of the way, from birth to death to equalize outcomes, along with mandated reservations. That could work. But at the cost of a society that with reduced competitiveness, I think (the average would increase somewhat but the variance would go down as most of the investment is on the lower part of the bell curve).

I do think that the society can become more competitive overall if such training was aimed at producing workers with high levels of vocational skills (as opposed to the mostly useless paper chases in conventional academia) as is done in Germany and (maybe) Japan and many of the east asian countries.

here is an example of such a program at a higher level (work) in India (that also worked). But its really done for political reasons (private sector doesnt want to be forced into quotas for obvious reasons.. the education system has already been completely compromised in this way).

--
BANGALORE: Software major Infosys Technologies has taken the initiative with an affirmative action programme to forestall reservation becoming an albatross round its neck.

As a first step, about 60 youngsters belonging to the scheduled caste (SC), scheduled tribes (ST) and other backward castes (OBC) youth from North Karnataka were trained at its BPO subsidiary Progeon and 50 of them have already received job offers. Infosys has begun a programme with an educational institution to train young engineers from the disadvantaged sections on a bigger scale.
--

Reader said...

Well, assuming the results here are not cooked, the result is pretty impressive as far as what it says about the quality of their educational program and of the importance of education in influencing outcomes on these performance tests (i.e. the performance tests cannot be considered approximately equivalent to IQ tests), though you are right that it says nothing about the black-white IQ gap without a white control group.

I don't really agree that good education requires the magical combination of various components the way that good movies and literature often do - if K-12 education had anything to do with pushing students to perform at their full potential, better results than we're achieving now wouldn't be hard to come by.

Anonymous said...

Fred said...
Since crime and poverty correlate strongly with lower IQs, America would be safer and richer if the average black IQ were as high as the average white IQ. Why wouldn't I want that
?

Because you're not black and you read Steve, ergo you're a racist. If you had answered Troof's question HONESTLY, you would have revealed your racism. But because you answered dishonestly, Troof will have to go back to the drawing board and come up with a subtler hypothetical that will surely expose you as the Ku Klux Nazi you MUST be, deep in your Aryan cracker heart.

Anonymous said...

Come on, be Bayesian here. Take those studies with millions of high school students as the prior and see how much evidence you need to move the needle.

Credulity on hbd is the purview of Brooks readers and Gladwellians, not the Steveosphere.

TomV said...

Truth:

If for instance, through new schooling methods, you could raise the IQ of inner city blacks to 100, and if the same schooling methods raised the IQ of whites to 115 and Asians to 120, are we not all better off (including blacks)? this is "the point."

No and yes, truth. No, because IQ score is a statistical construct, like a grade on a curve. The White mean is set to 100. It doesn't matter if you get 15 more points on the raw score, if everybody else does, too, your IQ score will remain the same.

Now, yes, if you're talking about the tide lifting all boats, then that's precisely what the Flynn effect is all about. It's been going on for decades and Steve alluded to it in the paragraph that starts "more impressively."

This achievement, though impressive, has not brought about the utopia you seem to hope for. And it certainly hasn't stopped NYT types from wringing their hands over The Gap. You remember how the current installment of this old issue started, don't you?

If you don't like getting this rubbed in your face, well join Saletan and take it up with the Establishment. The rest of us don't like getting this rubbed in our face, either.

Lucius Vorenus said...

T99: ALL the kids we take (about 22 out of a potential 9,000) are from intact nuclear familiesT99, we've had this discussion before.

22 / 9000 = 0.24%

Statistically speaking, these 22 kids don't exist - they're indistinguishable from background noise.

T99: It's quite possible IMHO that much of the Black/White achievement and IQ gap is related to family structure...While I don't want to imply that culture is not important, when you're striving for the nirvana of total intellectual honesty, you must always force yourself to consider the possibility that the causality flows in the opposite direction.

T99: Thus if social policy aimed at improving the 60% of Blacks who are Urban Ghetto Core, promotion of the Nuclear Family would be the best option, if this were indeed the case.Except that [as maybe you imply?] American social policy is aimed at ensuring that the maximum number of voters turn up at the polls to pull the DEM lever every November.

More welfare state dependency = more DEM votes = successful social policy.

Lucius Vorenus said...

PS: And, again, in the interest of complete intellectual honesty, you must consider the possiblity that - even in theory - THERE CAN BE NO SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL POLICY - that the situation is simply hopeless.

clem said...

Remember, these "numbers" are being brought to you by the same crowd who thinks that the earth is "warming", and that there is "scientific" evidence to "prove" that the earth is "warming"....From an article by the competent skeptic and conservative-libertarian Steven Dutch, on The Science and Pseudoscience of Global Warming:

"The debate over whether climate is getting warmer is mostly over.... The debate now is over whether the connection between warming and human emission of carbon dioxide is real, or whether there are other causes of climate change at work."

This is the "warming," supposedly unsupported by "scientific evidence," to which you derisively refer, correct?

Anonymous said...

C'mon, Steve. You failed to mention the fact that former Secretary of Education Rod Paige got busted for faking the test results of blacks and browns in the Houston Independent School District. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Paige

And let's not forget the current brouhaha here in Texas involving the Texas Top Ten Percent Law. There's talk of a "brain drain" because so many of the best and brightest students have had to flee Texas to attend universities elsewhere. These best and brightest are whites, Chinese, Koreans and South Asians. Many are National Merit Scholarships or its equivalent. They've been shoved aside so that UT Austin and Texas A&M can accommodate marginal black and Hispanic students.

Here's a bet no reader will take: ask yourself why the First Family chose Sidwell Friends for its children, and not the infamous D.C. public schools.

TomV said...

Truth:

As for "chauvinist," do you really think this IQ gap is the source of pride and joy for Steve and most commenters here?

Only, perhaps, in the sense that it's true and we dare to confront this taboo while the cowardly mainstream doesn't. Status competition, in other words, and almost exclusively among whites*.

Otherwise, however, acknowledgment of IQ and HBD in a browning America induces more fear than vanity.

By the way, what say you of our ready acknowledgment of blacks' innate advantages in many sports? Checkerboard chauvinism?

* I'm Asian, however.

Truth said...

"Remember, these "numbers" are being brought to you by the same crowd who thinks that the earth is "warming", and that there is "scientific" evidence to "prove" that the earth is "warming", when, in reality, the earth's temperature peaked 11 years ago,"

Oh! Was Al Gore involved in the creation of this school, or in speaking of "the same crowd" were you referring to "white people?"

"Truth, if you really wanted responses to your ridiculous question, you should have written it in a way that wasn't so accusatory and insulting."

Exactly what was accusatory and insulting about it?

"Why wouldn't I want that?"

Because it would lead to more competition for jobs; true competition, not shoe horning into the 1.3% of company jobs that are set aside for blacks anyway, and therefore are not "competitive. Also, more competition for white Asian and Hispanic women; remember once again, you are surrendering your "intellect advantage" to men with an accepted and natural testosterone advantage.

"According to Rushton's theories, it is not a coincidence that intelligence and libido are negatively correlated."

Probably, and after the "smart pill" is administered, the natural order of correlation would correct itself...three or four-hundred years after.

"Like wants to be with like."

Then why do so many of "you" chose to be with Asian girls?

"So I don't think that an imaginary universe in which such a pill could be used would have more interracial dating than does our real universe. It would probably have less of it."

So you feel that more intelligent black men would find white women less attractive, or would white women find more intelligent black men less attractive?

"So where do you see the improvement coming from?"

Well maybe in the modern world there is a sweet spot to IQ vis-a-vis modern life. This must be somewhere in the 100 (by today's scale) neighborhood, right? If everyone in America has this IQ they can all handle what is asked for them by today's society. Now at some point, maybe the Asians and whites with their IQ boost invent zero-point energy and flying cars and then the problems begin again...or maybe not.

"This assumes that you are concerned at the racial inequalities inherent in an unequal distrbution of IQ,"

I'm not, for two reasons:

1) I'm doing pretty well.

2) I think that whatever inherent differences in IQ exist are somewhat negligible. I'm simply framing the question specifically for my audience.

"You'be been so busy taking shots at Steve"

Whoooaa, now hold your horses there, Sancho Panza! I'm not taking shots at Steve, I respect Steve, obviously, as I read his blog everyday. I'm attempting to help him get to where he wants to be in life. This is, in a nutshell, what I do for a living and I'm giving the service here for free.

BTW I am shocked that you people have become such PEE-CEE afflicted wimps that you will not take a shot at the question...even when your real name is not attached to it. Socrates would be disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I have read that the achievement gap has been narrowed before, by certain intensive programs, but the gap tends to reappear during the later adolescent years no matter what. So the relative "gains" are not lasting. I think it was in Levin's book.

Anonymous said...

Several years ago, I was almost hired to write an article for a major magazine about KIPP schools. It didn't wind up getting written but I did a lot of research.

I was amazed at how transparent the skimming was of quality students (and dedicated parents) from nearby public schools.

Students had to sign contracts agreeing to perform all classwork; parents had to sign contracts agreeing to prod their kids to overachieve left and right. Just getting those parents and kids to sign weeds out a lot of less-than-stellar students -- yet it still allowed KIPP to claim in their propaganda that they are "open admission." Yeah, open admission to extremely dedicated students and parents only!

Failing to maintain certain grades was grounds for expulsion, after which the students would never have existed in most KIPP statistics.

So they skim the all-stars off surrounding schools, then crow about how much better they are than those surrounding school! Imagine if the AL All-star team plucking the best Yankees, Orioles, Blue Jays etc. then doing two weeks of training as an All-Star Team, then having to play the all-star-less Orioles, for example -- and attributing their likely victory to that two-week training period. That's what KIPP does.

True, the kids they skim off do somewhat better than they did in their public schools, because those kids don't have to deal with the bottom 90% slowing them down in class. Everyone's a selected all-star at KIPP, and that's fine with me -- I support charter schools.

But slightly improving the academic performance of all-stars isn't what KIPP claims they do -- they claim they can take any kid and turn them into an academic all-star.

And they don't do anything of the sort.

Anonymous said...

Economists are not scientists and economics is not science.

Anonymous said...

1. Here is the paper for anyone to see.

http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/fryer/files/hcz%204.15.2009.pdf

2. “It's only on this blog that Cochran is considered some kind of expert on evolution.”

That is nonsense. I don’t claim to know evolution, but I know people who do, and they certainly take Cochran seriously. The minority of economist who have knowledge in biology and evolution certainly see the difference between Fryer and Cochran.

Lastly the central question is the Salt retention theory. Again I don’t know much about evolution, but it’s not hard to understand that 1 generation of selection on a trait that is:

• Probably less than 100% hereditary

• Only mildly effects fitness (also note that the African death rate is only somewhat higher than the white death rate on these trips)

Is not enough to explain very large differences 500 years later.
The point about salt retention on all the people still in Africa is also pretty simple and pretty straight forward.

3. Fryer does not have a very solid reputation within economics (people recognize he is a superstar, but don’t respect his claims). Having said that this paper is very straightforward, anyone can compare averages between two groups. So Fryers reputation doesn’t factor into it, I buy the paper.

4. Stop saying IQ. This paper does not measure IQ. It measures 8th grade test scored, which are much more malleable than IQ. Note that this is extreme intervention on a self-selected group. These students “spend nearly twice as much time in school as the typical public-school student”. Test scores on high-school math are a function of IQ, discipline and effort, not IQ alone. If their test scores had not gone up with so much intervention in one of the best school systems in the country we should have been surprised. (The boys test scores in math went up by almost twice as much as the girls, again indicating that discipline is the central factor, rather than IQ) No one has been able to demonstrate that their children’s long run IQ scores in Harlem have gone up by a significant amount. Once they do (and I hope they do) you can have a debate about that.

5. While Fryer should not be dabbling in evolution, Cochran naively predicted that Obama would “Max” increase total US government spending to 34% of GDP (from 32%). It’s a pretty safe bet by the end of Obamas term the US is in the 40-45% range.

Anonymous said...

"...remember once again, you are surrendering your "intellect advantage" to men with an accepted and natural testosterone advantage."

Truth, where are you getting this idea that women are attracted to intellectual men? I don't want to sound like t99 here, but really they're not. As I wrote here before, IQ IS correlated with income, and women ARE attracted to wealthy men. But nobody out there is attracted to any eggheads just for their egg-headedness. If anything, it's a turn-off.

And the welfare state is trying everything in its power to weaken the link between IQ and income. So it's not even a very strong link right now.

ben tillman said...

I'm sure that IQ measures something, but what it is is not well understood in my opinion.Perhaps not by you or by "intellectuals", but average folks understand it quite well. If you ask them to rank one another by IQ, their rankings correlate well with IQ test results.

ben tillman said...

If for instance, through new schooling methods, you could raise the IQ of inner city blacks to 100, and if the same schooling methods raised the IQ of whites to 115 and Asians to 120, are we not all better off (including blacks)? this is "the point."

How exactly would we all be better off, including blacks?


Quite similarly to how we would all be worse off if we -- black, white, and other -- lost 15 points of IQ. Are you really saying that would be a matter of indiiference to you -- to see your IQ drop by 15 points as long as your relative position were obtained? "Truth" syas something inarguable, and you argue against it?

Anonymous said...

Well maybe in the modern world there is a sweet spot to IQ vis-a-vis modern life. This must be somewhere in the 100 (by today's scale) neighborhood, right? If everyone in America has this IQ they can all handle what is asked for them by today's society.


You failed to answer the question, "Truth". In fact you failed to even try to answer it.

So I'll repeat it.

You are proposing that everybody in American get their IQ increased by, say, ten points, as a result of taking your magic pill.

How does that work to the advantage of blacks? You seem to be assuming that, far from ending quotas, this would result in them being increased. And that no employers would be permitted to continue to give preference to those people with higher IQs.

But you are such a muddled thinker and writer that it's hard to know where you're coming from.


Then why do so many of "you" chose to be with Asian girls?


It strikes me that the only person around here with mountain sized racial chip on his shoulder is you. But you'll doubtless be delighted to know that I don't chose to be with an Asian girl.

(Cue indignant cries of, "Hey, what's wrong with Asian girls, you racist!")

AndrewAtor said...

I should probably know what you mean when you say, "Middle Passage", but I'm sure environmentally induced stress by virtue of being a minority has nothing to do with hypertension in Blacks. It's not like they've been substandard citizens since we brought them over here and those that learned to live and adapt to the stress of it all were more likely to pass along their genes or anything. I'm sure the answer has to be infinitely more complicated.

If you're going to start making biological claims for black hypertension you might want to start with Amistad and work backwards. That said, I'm glad I don't have hypertension. Phew, that almost sounded racist.

Anonymous said...

Truth" syas something inarguable, and you argue against it?

What did "Truth" say which was inarguable?

Try reading what he wrote before you jump in here. He most certainly did NOT say the words you are trying to put in his mouth.

Anonymous said...

average folks understand it quite well. If you ask them to rank one another by IQ, their rankings correlate well with IQ test results.

I miss the days when the comment system weeded out the dumber comments.

John Seiler said...

"The fight against poverty produces great programs but disappointing results."

Brooks should spend a few days in Detroit public schools and then write about how great all those social engineering programs are -- if he survives.

Jim O said...

Truth: I'm not sure why you're so confident that whites want to continue that one SD gap between themselves and blacks. I would gladly accept the increase in "competion" in return for the decrease in crime and other social pathologies that, in my opinion, would result from you scientist's first pill (BTW, why was he German?). Heck, we have artificial competion right now in the quotas. I'd prefer the real thing.
What would you do?
Jim O'Sullivan (real name, Melville, New York).

Anonymous said...

Truth,

"Because it would lead to more competition for jobs; true competition, not shoe horning into the 1.3% of company jobs that are set aside for blacks anyway, and therefore are not "competitive."You forget that the economy isn't zero-sum. If blacks were as smart as whites, on average, there would be more successful black entrepreneurs. A black Sergei Brin or Bill Gates might create 10,000 high-paying jobs.

"Also, more competition for white Asian and Hispanic women; remember once again, you are surrendering your "intellect advantage" to men with an accepted and natural testosterone advantage."Right. Because everyone knows that Mensa guys get all the chicks. It's that "intellect advantage" you speak about.

- Fred

Truth said...

"I've yet to hear of a program for white kids in which they get the hands-on rah rah mentoring and rigorous academics at the hands of outstanding dedicated teachers that the students in the Harlem programs receive."

I've heard of those programs for white kids, their called "home."

"As for "chauvinist," do you really think this IQ gap is the source of pride and joy for Steve and most commenters here?"

Do I contradict myself?
Very well I contradict myself!
I am large and contain multitudes.
-Walt Whitman

"* I'm Asian, however."

Sir, let me commend you on your excellent English.

"Truth, where are you getting this idea that women are attracted to intellectual men?"

Is it not one of your boilerplate "facts" here, that marriage is generally conducted amongst those with similar IQ?

"You are proposing that everybody in American get their IQ increased by, say, ten points, as a result of taking your magic pill"

I'm not proposing it, I'm merely asking the question. I for one would not give out the pill.

"You seem to be assuming that, far from ending quotas, this would result in them being increased."

Where in the fuck did I write anything even remotely close to that? What I said was that most jobs in America require a 100 IQ to achieve base competence (according to what I've read here). If you give blacks a pill that raises their IQ to one hundred, "we" are now able to do most jobs. Nothing more nothing less.

"t strikes me that the only person around here with mountain sized racial chip on his shoulder is you."

The whole god-damned blog is a mountain sized racial chip. That is the reason for it's creation. Are you feeling OK today?

"(BTW, why was he German?)"

Because If I said that he was African, Mexican, Arab, etc., that would have made it impossible for most of you to have even played along with the scenario for a second. And if I had said that he was Asian, the thread would have disiniegrated into a series of anecdotes about how much Asians "really" hate blacks, the Bejing riots being cause by Africans getting laid, etc.

"What would you do?"

I would not give out the pill, the world is turning into a strip mall fast enough already.

Maximilian said...

The central point is that we've seen hundreds of these stories in the past, and none of them have panned out in the long run. Either they were frauds or they were real but non-replicable. Like cold fusion. (Do we know even today which category that one fell into?)

Regarding skimming, here's a comparable situation: In the American Catholic Church nearly all of the dioceses have become liberal cesspools. But somewhere a small diocese (like Lincoln Neb) will start a "conservative" program that will draw large numbers of vocations. Certain people with weak quantitative skills will suggest that every diocese would see the same upsurge if they started the same program. But the reality is that this small handful of serious convents and seminaries are skimming all the devout Catholics from the entire United States.

Even though it's true that the liberal dioceses (viz public schools) are bottomless pits of waste, changing their programs wouldn't have any appreciable effect on the number or quality of their graduates, since the number who even wish to benefit from a program of serious scholastic theology is so small. They are stuck in a self-defeating cycle in which the damaged products of their ersatz education are incapable of appreciating or even desiring the genuine article.

rast said...

I have a question for "Truth". A new pill is invented that will raise the IQ of any black recipient by 5 points. Unfortunately, it will also raise the IQ of any white recipient by 10 points. You can choose to assign this pill to every American, or to nobody at all. What do you choose?

gcochran said...

I said that the tax and spending plans proposed by Obama at that time would only have made a 2% difference if implemented - which was the case. Things changed with the financial crisis.

Josh said...

Anon,

The thing to look at is 'g', it predicts various life outcomes that are used as measures of external validity. Spearman's g is extracted from IQ by factor analysis and accounts for 95 to 100% of the predictive validity of IQ tests.

For a summary of the neurobiological correlates with 'g' see Thompson & Gray's summary: http://www.loni.ucla.edu/~thompson/PDF/nrn0604-GrayThompson.pdf

I'd recommend this paper:

Gottfredson, L. S. (2009). Logical fallacies used to dismiss the evidence on intelligence testing. In R. Phelps (Ed.), Correcting fallacies about educational and psychological testing (pp. 11-65). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/2009fallacies.pdf

Also:

What Is Intelligence?

"The term intelligence is used in everyday conversation and is generally understood in the context of conversation. Usually it is used to denote the commodity of brightness that varies tremendously throughout the population.

Intelligence is not, however, a scientifically defined term, as is the case for temperature, force, mass, time, etc. Even so, we generally associate intelligence with IQ, as measured by standard IQ tests.

Psychometricians have offered good and reasonably consistent definitions, but not ones that constitute a scientific standard:

Seymour Itzkoff, author of The Decline Of Intelligence In America offers this: the capacity to think abstractly, to reason, and to organize large quantities of information into meaningful and useful systems.

From Herrnstein and Murray’s The Bell Curve: IQ scores match, to a first degree, whatever it is that people mean when they use the word intelligent or smart in ordinary language. High intelligence has earmarks that correspond to a first approximation to the commonly understood meaning of smart.

There are two attempts to define intelligence that represent agreement among large numbers of psychometricians. The oldest of these is documented in the 1988 text The IQ Controversy: The Media and Public Policy by Snyderman and Rothman (of Harvard and Smith College, respectively). It reports the results of a large-scale query of 661 scholars who were selected as a random sample of members of academic and other professional organizations. They were given detailed questionnaires concerning intelligence testing, but were not asked to answer questions outside their areas of competence. These scholars reported strong agreement on the topics that were later reported by Murray and Herrnstein and others. The scholars were asked what attributes they considered to be important elements of intelligence. 99.3% mentioned the ability to reason abstractly; 97.7% listed problem solving; and 96% listed the ability to learn. The authors concluded: On the whole, respondents seem to believe that intelligence tests are doing a good job measuring intelligence, as they would define it.

More recently, Linda Gottfredson composed the following: "Intelligence is a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings, catching on, making sense of things, or figuring out, what to do." This comment appeared in a letter titled “Mainstream Science on Intelligence,” published on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, December 13, 1994. It was signed by 52 psychometricians who are known worldwide for their publications in peer- reviewed journals.

IQ derives almost all of its validity because it is a good proxy for psychometric g. Arthur Jensen reports (P. 91, The g Factor) a g loading of about 0.88 for most IQ tests. Jensen suggests that the word intelligence not be used in scientific discussions, because it lacks a scientific definition, and that we should instead focus on g, since it is unambiguously defined as the product of a hierarchical factor analysis. It happens that all categories of test items correlate with one another to at least some degree. The ultimate relationship between the various categories of cognitive activity is reflected as g, which is common to all mental abilities. Anyone interested in how g is defined and derived, should consult The g Factor, 1998.

Having narrowed intelligence down to whatever it is that is reflected in g, the next logical question is what is it that causes variations in g? Charles Spearman discovered g in the early 1900s and developed factor analysis, plus a number of statistical methods that are used in psychometrics and other fields. Curiously, Spearman was never satisfied that he understood the nature of g. Today, g remains somewhat difficult to comprehend, but there is now much evidence that it is based in physiology. Psychometric g is substantially heritable (rising from 70% in young adults, to over 80% in older adults). There are some identified genes; one example is Igf2r, which is associated with high intelligence. Although there are various physiological candidates that may account for some degree of what we see as g, two are especially salient: nerve conduction velocity (NCV) and myelination.

NCV correlates to g, with faster NCV in more intelligent brains. This is an area that has been extensively studied and reported by Arthur Jensen. While there may be various ways in which NCV affects mental activity, the one that Jensen most often mentions relates to the high volatility of information held in working memory. Faster movement of the information, implies that it can be used before it is lost.

Ed Miller noted that Jensen’s explanation of the role of NCV in intelligence does not explain the observation that the standard deviation of response times to external stimuli correlates negatively with IQ (smaller SD reflects higher IQ). Miller's paper, “Intelligence and Brain Myelination: A Hypothesis,” first appeared in Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 17 (December 1994). By assembling a huge number of observations, Miller has been able to support his hypothesis that variations in intelligence is a function of the degree of myelination in the brain. His explanation for this is very lengthy, but is basically that myelin acts as an insulator preventing neural noise from disrupting brain signals in a manner that is somewhat like cross-talk that is seen in electrical circuits. As noise disrupts brain signals, the brain attempts to retransmit the information. If there is a significant loss of transmission integrity, there is a cascading of errors, overwhelming the brain so that it cannot progress. This is apparently what is seen in testing of people by increasingly difficult problems. A point is reached in which the person cannot solve the problem in any amount of time. They simply cannot manage the number of bits of information that must be manipulated for a solution.

Another strong indication that intelligence stems from physiology is that g can be measured passively with results that are as good as standard power IQ tests. This can be done by two quite different methods. One method is known as electroencephalography, or EEG. This method involves a variety of measures which are taken from averaging a large number of brain waves. The test subject need only be connected to the measurement equipment his brain waves are evoked by a clicking sound. Measurements are based on such things as the complexity (string length) of the average signals, and the zero-crossing points of specific parts of the typical response pattern. More intelligent brains produce a more complex form (greater string length). The technique is a completely passive observation of brain activity.

The second method, consists of a battery of very simple tests, known as Elementary Cognitive Tests (ECT). The test subject is asked to press a button when he observes a simple condition, such as the turning on of lights, or the playing of a sound, or the movement of a line on a projection screen. All such tests can be done by virtually all subjects in less than one second. Some of the tests involve comparisons or discriminations, but are not difficult to perform, even by very dull people. Sensors on the scalp measure the brain reaction time for each task. More intelligent subjects have shorter average brain reaction times (this does not include hand movement time). Likewise the standard deviations of higher IQ subjects is lower than for less intelligent subjects. Interestingly, the reaction time correlation is independent from the standard deviation correlation, strongly implying that they have different causes. Each ECT is somewhat g loaded, but when combined, the net measurement correlates to test results by standard IQ tests as closely as one IQ test correlates to another one.

The importance of EEG and ECT testing may extend into many aspects of understanding and measuring intelligence, but the most significant aspect of these modern laboratory techniques is that they seem to be more direct ways of getting to the physiological nature of intelligence. Both techniques seem to give support to Miller's myelination model, and both indicate that it is communication between widely separated regions of that brain that is central to the variation we observe in intelligence. As something of a side note, both EEG and ECT measurements show the same variations between racial groups as are seen with traditional IQ tests.

Among the other interesting aspects of physiological correlates to intelligence, more intelligent brains show the following:

· PET scans show that they are more efficient with respect to glucose uptake.

· MRI shows higher gray-white matter contrast.

· Brain volume is greater (correlation of +.44, after correcting for body size).

· In MRI examinations, there is a phenomenon known as T2 relaxation time, which is shorter. The importance of this is that the T2 relaxation time is an indication of the number of biological membranes in the immediate vicinity of the affected protons (in water).

Truth said...

"What do you choose?"

I asked you first.

Ivy said...

"So they skim the all-stars off surrounding schools"

This selective admissions process doesn't explain the extreme increase in test scores. Let's say they did skim the best students from the nearby publics. OK. But when entering, their average score was 39th percentile. After going through the program, their average score went up to 74%. So when attributing the huge gain to the Promise School, the starting point is inconsequential. The only important result is the difference between the 6th grade and 8th grade.

I have a feeling it's mostly due to dropouts not counting towards 8th grade scores and rote memorization. I believe these are achievement tests, not aptitude tests like the SAT, so it's possible repetitive tasks could help increase the scores significantly. Also, it's possible many of them were smart kids in absolutely horrendous schools that were failing them by not teaching the material required for the exams. Thus, their ACHIEVEMENT scores were so deflated. When put in a program that probably explicitly trained them for the test, their knowledge increased and Brooks interprets that as them actually gaining g.

eh said...

So I guess this means that Madonna should adopt all black children in America and move them to Harlem.

But this doesn't bode well for the existence of innate intelligence.In no degree whatsoever? Haven't you ever met anyone you thought was either more or less intelligent than yourself? Maybe you mean the existence of innate differences in average intelligence across ethnic groups. In any case, people who say stuff like this ought to offer an explanation for facts like these:

Black children from the wealthiest families have mean SAT scores lower than white children from families below the poverty line.

Black children of parents with graduate degrees have lower SAT scores than white children of parents with a high-school diploma or less.

Which repeat year after year.

And perhaps in addition offer an explanation for the state of affairs in Liberia, which has been an independent nation since about the time California joined the union.

Or compare and contrast: Iceland with Haiti.

Or why Mexico isn't Mexico because it is full of Mexicans.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious. What non-white governments around the world recognize "racial gaps" in social statistics?

And sorry but I laughed at loud when I read Jack Kemp's obituaries with their wacky emphasis on racial supplication.

The New White Identity politics: What have you done in your life for non-white people? Because whatever else you've done in your life doesn't really count in comparison.

Anonymous said...

War On Poverty? I guess some white people wouldn't know what to do without gov programs with the stated goal of "finally ending poverty". But then what would these people do? Ending poverty would create a gigantic whole in their very souls. What then would be the meaning of life?

Meanwhile innovation and private industry have completely changed the day to day experiences of a poor person in America in 2009 as compared to a century ago.

Today's "poverty stricken" inner city dweller in the USA lives a futuristic life of ease as compared to poor people from 100 years ago (1909).

Cellphone
Color TV
DVD player
Refrigerator
Microwave oven
Portable music player
Video game console

These items are common in the poorest communities in the USA. But in the year 1909 nobody in the USA let alone on planet earth (no matter how wealthy) owned these treasures.

Electricity, automobiles, computers etc could be added (along with a lot of other stuff) to the list of amenities that even the poor have access to today.

Anonymous said...

"I'm curious. What non-white governments around the world recognize "racial gaps" in social statistics?"

A ton.

Anonymous said...

"I'm curious. What non-white governments around the world recognize "racial gaps" in social statistics?"

Malaysia and South Africa.

nist said...

Truth sed: If for instance, through new schooling methods, you could raise the IQ of inner city blacks to 100, and if the same schooling methods raised the IQ of whites to 115 and Asians to 120, are we not all better off (including blacks)? this is "the point."

Truth's point sucks because it always works out to the detriment of white kids. The western world is spending an inordinate amount of money and attention on black achievement, and basically takes white achievement for granted. I guess if all this energy went into white kids, it may threaten another group higher up on the pile.


South Africa is a good example. White kids there previously had western-like achievement levels. Now that blacks took over, they gutted the education system in order to "not leave a child behind", i.e. lowered standards. Of course now the white kids are still top of the class but basically less well educated than their white peers in Europe or the US. Blacks now use their new "success" rate as "evidence" that they are as smart as whites. But the real losers are white kids who are being forced by government to under-perform, all in the name of “removing the achievement gap”. When they get to the job market they get hit by the BEE/AA double-whammy and are not employed. When they emigrate they have trouble competing against whites. So the ramifications of Truth’s idea just suck.

ben tillman said...

I should probably know what you mean when you say, "Middle Passage", but I'm sure environmentally induced stress by virtue of being a minority has nothing to do with hypertension in Blacks.

The thoughtless use of "minority" to mean "non-white" grows so tiresome. It is simply wrong to say blacks were a minority after arriving on these shores. In some times and places, they were, but not categorically as you imply.

For instance, in South Carolina, blacks were the majority from 1708 to the 1780's and from the 1810's to the 1920's -- a total of about 190 years.

It's not like they've been substandard citizens since we brought them over here

No, it's not. For a long time, most of them weren't citizens at all. And in a major development (which you somehow failed to notice), for the last 40 years or so, blacks have in fact been "superstandard" citizens.

And where do you get this "we" stuff"? "We" most assuredly did not bring them over here.

Truth said...

"And where do you get this "we" stuff"? "We" most assuredly did not bring them over here."

But "you" did invent the automobile and the cell phone, right?

roy said...

As for Truth's original question, would the IQ increase also lead to black crime and illegitimacy rates dropping to the level of whites?

If so, then since I live in Baltimore, it should be obvious what my answer would be.

Anonymous said...

Truth said...
"What do you choose?"

I asked you first
.

I haven't heard that response since third grade. Brings back memories, just like Troof's penchant for referencing old Saturday morning cartoons.

Svigor said...

I stopped reading the Brooks column after that sentence.I thought it was irony. No?

Svigor said...

So which pill, or neither do you assign? The world is now in your hands my sons!Neither. I walk away and let blacks figure it out for themselves, keeping in mind all the recriminating fingers that may be pointed at me down the road (by whites and blacks, in order of importance) for even that relatively safe choice, should the pill have unintended consequences.

P.S., I skipped over reading everything in your post except your first, second, and last paragraphs.

Anonymous said...

"But "you" did invent the automobile and the cell phone, right?"

That strawman's getting pretty worn out.

What everyone's always been saying, in a manner that anyone with an average IQ can easily understand is:

If you don't want to credit us with industry, medical technology, etc., you can't blame us for slavery.

If you want to blame us for slavery, you have to credit us with a long list of inventions.

Truth sees that and reads, "You can't blame us for slavery and you must credit us with a bunch of inventions." This kind of error in basic logic speaks volumes about Truth.

Anonymous said...

Is it not one of your boilerplate "facts" here, that marriage is generally conducted amongst those with similar IQ?


You simpleton, under your own proposal white and Asian women would not have "similar IQ" to black men.

Not only do you not read what we write, it seem that you do not even read what you write.

Anonymous said...

1. The point is that you accepted Obama’s deceitful election rhetoric, instead of looking at his leftist ideology and leftist record. Of course he would not openly admit how radical his program was in the election.

But anyone who had listened to out of power Democrats should have realized that they were Social Democrats that wanted to dramatically and permanently transform the United States into France/Scandinavian size government (believing that this would lead to Scandinavian level social outcomes). Once they got power this is what they are doing.

People like you, The Economist, your “Hedge fund managers” and many libertarians helped the left do this by spreading the myth that the Democrats really are just reasonable centrists, that you had to be a troglodyte conservative to believe Obama was a radical.
Guess what, the simple minded folks who followed their gut instincts were right about Obama, and you were wrong.

2. This expansion of the government is not due to the crisis. I am not talking about spending during the crisis (38% of GDP), but spending 8 years from now, when the crisis is long over and the economy has recovered.

There is no economic logic the if you have a severe recession in 2009 you should increase spending in 2016. The only role of the crisis is that it made it slightly easier for Obama to push through his agenda.

If you think Obama would not have tried to expand government without the crisis you have learned nothing.

Matt G. said...

The percentile scores are based on NYC students. What are the demographics of NYC students? Accoriding to Wikipedia:

1.1 million students; 36.7% Hispanic, 34.7% Black, 14.3% Asian, 14.2% White. About 40 percent of students in the city's public school system live in households where a language other than English is spoken, and one-third of all New Yorkers were born in another country.

The term white students immediately brings to mind completely integrated americans of northern europeon descent, when the reality is that many of the white students tested are probably from immigrant backgrounds and may include a large number of students from the middle east.
The wikipedia entry also states that the specialized schools tend to be disproportionately white and asian. Do these students also take the test? If not this could skew the results.Steve is right that a white control group is needed as well. I don't think the black-white gap has been bridged. The results show that the average NYC public school could be doing a much better job at educating it's students.

josh said...

I think they are accomplishing much of this by an old fashioned method:lying.

Truth said...

"just like Troof's penchant for referencing old Saturday morning cartoons."

I know you are, but what am I?

"Truth sees that and reads, "You can't blame us for slavery and you must credit us with a bunch of inventions." This kind of error in basic logic speaks volumes about Truth."

Reading comprehension is really taking in dive in America, isn't it? For instance:

"You simpleton, under your own proposal white and Asian women would not have "similar IQ" to black men."

Now how does that work if all blacks are given a race specific pill that raises their IQ 15 points, and no one else has this option.

Anonymous said...

Truth,

What if there was a pill that turned rainbows into nutritious cotton candy but made you sick every time you heard Oprah's voice? Would you take it?

What if there was a pill that gave you an earth-shattering orgasm every time your cell phone chirped but also made you incontinent for seven hours straight every third Thursday of the month? Would you take it?

And lastly...

What if there was a pill that made every isteve reader take you seriously but caused your penis to permanently wither? Would you take it?

Don't dodge these profound questions, Truther. ANSWER THEM!

Charlotte said...

"Uh, Troof, Buj's 1981 study used the Cattel Culture Fair Test and found an average IQ of 80 for the Ghanaian sample (from Accra) and 97 for the Irish sample (from Dublin)."

Most people marry persons within 5 points of their own IQ. Naturally personality and character enter into it and naturally, that higher you go, the less choice and more compromise there is likely to be.
Few of us have these choices compromised by the inclusion of great wealth in the equation. Most of us end up with a partner in roughly in the same socio-economic class as oneself.

Truth said...

"What if there was a pill that made every isteve reader take you seriously but caused your penis to permanently wither? Would you take it?"

Daaaannng! I can't answer the first two, but I must have taken that pill unknowingly 2 years ago when I found this site. You all take me seriously, and the last time I was in the shower, I kept wondering why I was down to only 11 flaccid inches of manhood. When the hell did you get the chance to slip me that pill?

Anonymous said...

I'm starting to wonder if Troofer is Steve playing games with us.

Anonymous said...

The comment screening here is quite bizarre. I've posted some perfectly good comments which just disappear, while I see "Truth"s profanity-laden drivel gets through.

Anonymous said...

"I'm starting to wonder if Troofer is Steve playing games with us."

It would be even funnier if it turned out that testing99 was just an elaborate ruse by Steve.

Anonymous said...

Really, where on earth are blacks achieving more or have ever had more opportunity than in the US?

This is the country that produced Phyllis Wheatly back in the old slavery days, and more recently Maurice Ashley, the first black chess grandmaster.

There are orders of magnitude more blacks in Africa than in the US, yet compare the list of achievements.

No contest.

Truth said...

Come to think of it, the first pill has been invented already also, Lenard Cohen said that it was overrated.

Charlotte said...

"But nobody out there is attracted to any eggheads just for their egg-headedness. If anything, it's a turn-off."

That is the reference I meant to quote concerning IQ similarity between married people.
ergo,
Most people marry persons within 5 points of their own IQ. Naturally personality and character enter into it and naturally, thw higher you go, the less choice and more compromise there is likely to be.
Few of us have these choices compromised by the inclusion of great wealth in the equation. Most of us end up with a partner in roughly in the same socio-economic class as oneself.

ben tillman said...

What everyone's always been saying, in a manner that anyone with an average IQ can easily understand is:

If you don't want to credit us with industry, medical technology, etc., you can't blame us for slavery.

If you want to blame us for slavery, you have to credit us with a long list of inventions.

Truth sees that and reads, "You can't blame us for slavery and you must credit us with a bunch of inventions." This kind of error in basic logic speaks volumes about Truth.
No, it doesn't. You have misunderstood the argument yourself. Truth can't blame us for slavery, period. There is no sense in which "we" had anything to do with it. It was a few lazy, vain Virginians who fell for the pitch of travelling salesmen fronting for networks of black, Jewish, and Arab slavers.

How do you get "collective responsibility" -- for whites only -- out of that?

Ivy said...

MATT G WINS!!!

As usual Occamm is right: The simplest answer tends to be the right one. Basically, all these blacks kid are scoring better than a bunch of other black kids or white/Asian immigrants that can't speak English (which would significantly hurt even their Math scores).

It seemed fishy and I think Matt G has explained most of it.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Truth:

I would only give the pill on one further condition:
We separate into separate countries immediately upon the pills' distribution.
If blacks get to have an IQ boost as a result of this IQ-boosting pill invented by whites,
then blacks ought not to get to have further access to white inventions.
They now have the IQ that they ought to be able to reproduce for themselves what whites built without help from any other race.

Or else it's simply granting unfair, unearned advantage to blacks (like AA) -- in that the higher testosterone levels that blacks get to keep, might well result in violent black thugs who now, being smarter, can better avoid capture and conduct more and more devious kinds of mayhem.

Would you agree to my stipulation?

Truth said...

"I've posted some perfectly good comments which just disappear, while I see "Truth"s profanity-laden drivel gets through."

Do you not get it by now? It's not about "perfectly good comments", it's about star power:

Profanity, sexuality, ridicule, brilliance, dazzle, sizzle, brio, showmanship, verve. Look at our presidential elections (no, don't you seem like the type of guy who voted for McCain), Look at our celebrity endorsers. Paris Hilton sold a billion dollars worth of perfume last year for Christ (censored) sakes!

This is a man's sport, Sport and it demands E-N-T-E-R-T-A-I-N-E-R-S! (Like Lucius and Me).

Do you want to watch The Terminator or masterpeice theatre?

Anonymous said...

Steve is not t99. Steve is Anonymous.

I am not Steve.

nsam said...

--
But here’s the kicker. In the HCZ Annual Report for the 2007-08 school year submitted to the State Education Department, data are presented on not just the state ELA and math assessments, but also the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Those eighth-graders who kicked ass on the state math test? They didn’t do so well on the low-stakes Iowa Tests. Curiously, only 2 of the 77 eighth-graders were absent on the ITBS reading test day in June, 2008, but 20 of these 77 were absent for the ITBS math test. For the 57 students who did take the ITBS math test, HCZ reported an average Normal Curve Equivalent (NCE) score of 41, which failed to meet the school’s objective of an average NCE of 50 for a cohort of students who have completed at least two consecutive years at HCZ Promise Academy. In fact, this same cohort had a slightly higher average NCE of 42 in June, 2007.
--

http://gothamschools.org/2009/05/08/just-how-gullible-is-david-brooks/

Truth said...

"then blacks ought not to get to have further access to white inventions.
They now have the IQ that they ought to be able to reproduce for themselves what whites built without help from any other race."

That would be a brilliant idea, ship 'em all back!

Except, what about these dudes?

Anonymous said...

Truth -- I don't get it, why not give the pill to the African Americans that have 98+% black DNA?

I'd give out the smart pill, of course. I'd like it even better if the effect was even greater. It would be terrific to have 25 million Americans with IQs of 200.

Anonymous said...

Spike Lee said...
You all take me seriously
.

No, Spike, no one here (or anywhere) ever takes you seriously.

I kept wondering why I was down to only 11 flaccid inches of manhood.

You realize that 11 inches of withered manhood are just as useless as 2 inches of same, don't you? In either case, you'd be an old limp dick and, in your sad loneliness, you'd have to find another way of squeezing some pleasure out of your frustrated, impotent life, such as...oh, I dunno...continually devising absurd hypotheticals intended to "trick" whitey into revealing his "racism"?

albertosaurus said...

Interesting: I have been reading this same story in the New York Times for fifty years.Harpending must be even older than I am. I can only remember this same story for forty years.

Forty years ago I was sure that the connection between race and IQ would be publicly understood and accepted in twenty years. I now think the change will take more like 120 years.

Copernicus wrote a century before Galileo. Yet the church actively suppressed Galileo's writings for another century thereafter. Popular acceptance of heliocentrism took even more time.

Darwin's ideas are currently more than a century and a half old. Yet polls show that the public is deeply divided over the reality of evolution.

Binet, Terman, Spearman and other invented mental testing about a century ago but racial IQ differences only became well known about a half century ago.

All three of these scientific revolutions had a political dimension - a dimension of opposition. In all three cases human vanity was at risk. It took two or three centuries for people to accept that they were not literally the "center of the universe". Evolution - the idea that people are not separate from the animal kingdom is still being fought. Race and IQ also implies that people are not transcendant beings who occupy a special place above nature.

I expect that this same sort of newstory will circulate at the end of the century but by then hopefully it will be like the creationism newstories about caveman remains found with dinosaurs that still appear in the crank press.

Anonymous said...

This piece by Thomas Sowell may be worth looking into:

“...there are schools where low-income and minority students do in fact score well on standardized tests. These students are like the bumblebees who supposedly should not be able to fly, according to the theories of aerodynamics, but who fly anyway, in disregard of those theories.
While there are examples of schools where this happens in our own time-- both public and private, secular and religious-- we can also go back nearly a hundred years and find the same phenomenon. Back in 1899, in Washington, D. C., there were four academic public high schools-- one black and three white.1 In standardized tests given that year, students in the black high school averaged higher test scores than students in two of the three white high schools.2
This was not a fluke. It so happens that I have followed 85 years of the history of this black high school-- from 1870 to 1955 --and found it repeatedly equalling or exceeding national norms on standardized tests.3 In the 1890s, it was called The M Street School and after 1916 it was renamed Dunbar High School but its academic performances on standardized tests remained good on into the mid-1950s….
But the history of this black high school in Washington likewise shows a pay-off for solid academic preparation and the test scores that result from it. Over the entire 85-year history of academic success of this school, from 1870 to 1955, most of its 12,000 graduates went on to higher education.7 This was very unusual for either black or white high-school graduates during this era. Because these were low-income students, most went to a local free teachers college but significant numbers won scholarships to leading colleges and universities elsewhere.8
Some M Street School graduates began going to Harvard and other academically elite colleges in the early twentieth century. As of 1916, there were nine black students, from the entire country, attending Amherst College. Six were from the M Street School. During the period from 1918 to 1923, graduates of this school went on to earn 25 degrees from Ivy League colleges, Amherst, Williams, and Wesleyan. Over the period from 1892 to 1954, Amherst admitted 34 graduates of the M Street School and Dunbar. Of these, 74 percent graduated and more than one-fourth of these graduates were Phi Beta Kappas.9
No systematic study has been made of the later careers of the graduates of this school. However, when the late black educator Horace Mann Bond studied the backgrounds of blacks with Ph.D.s, he discovered that more of them had graduated from M Street-Dunbar than from any other black high school in the country.”

http://www.tsowell.com/speducat.html

ben said...

I don’t know why there is a concern for disparity between blacks and whites - so long as individuals are able to reach their potential. If it so happens that black people (as a race) are less capable in maths, then that’s the reality. So what? I don’t judge the value of people on their ability to do maths.

So you don’t need a white ‘control group’ - the control is supplied by the historical results the school had achieved thus far. If whites were improved by the same amount, and the gap was sustained; that’s fine. Its the overall improvement that’s important.

People are different. Women are different to men, nerds are different to jocks, perhaps whites are different to blacks in some intrinsic way? But, you know, I doubt it. Why? Look at footage of black activists in the 60’s. They are some of the most articulate and impressive people I have ever seen speak. This includes Australian Aboriginals in Redfern over that period. Look at them now…

Have we not systematically de-selected for brilliance and bravery in black society? In the worst case by killing the best (the black panthers) but otherwise not giving them the opportunity nor environment to flourish. By breaking the hearts of their parents. By grinding them down.

That’s the stuff that affects the maths scores of today I would posit, but I would challenge an economist to include them in his study.

dc wathcer said...

"At this point the evidence and predictability of black performance is so overwhelming and worldwide that the only reason to stop and look at one highschool is to see what about was different.

The sad thing about examples like Dunbar M Highschool, is that they don't matter in larger picture. Since then, huge amounts of money and effort, far more than that high school ever had, have been poured into black schools by black administrators with black experts presiding, for decades now. No change.
You could indeed learn something from it. Every first class public highschool in Baltimore, such as Polytechnic, during the 1960s, was ruined by black entrance. Once they become a large minority, much less a majority, these schools had no academic rep left at all.


To be blunt, most of the students would have been of mulatto heritage, especially in 1899, when very few people of either race were attending high school. As late as the 1930s, many whites did not go.
D.C. had a prominent mixed population, some of them claiming descent from a relative of George Washington, though that's neither here nor there.
Today, black kids from families with incomes of over 70,000 p.a. average lower SATs than whites whose family income is under 20,000 p.a. I must assume it was not just money that made these Dunbar high school students so smart. They were not typical.

Mulattos were very self-conscious about their status, and even more likely than whites to be engaged in self-improvement activities of the day, such as clubs and societies, and to be extremely careful about their behavior. I know. I come from a mulatto background, or at least some of my immediate ancestors do.
The "black" percentage at Ivy League Universities before Affirmative Action, was under one percent, but it was the percentge that it would be today if AA were not used, so I doubt there was really much discrimination, at least not at Harvard and some others. A few blacks here and there, who made the grade, were not objectionable by the 1940s, or even the early 1900s.
So yes, there were "blacks" who got into universities on merit. Most of us who study HBD are aware that there have been black people who have been intellectually competitive with the mainstream culture at a high level. Just not that many.

Anonymous said...

Have we not systematically de-selected for brilliance and bravery in black society? In the worst case by killing the best (the black panthers) but otherwise not giving them the opportunity nor environment to flourish. By breaking the hearts of their parents. By grinding them down.


There's that "we" again. Listen, you could have saved some pixels by just saying "Whitey is to blame." The Panthers "the best?" Not providing the opportunity and envirnment to flourish? Where do you think all this money has gone? And "grinding them down?" How, by massive wealth transfers, Affrimative Action, programs galore and easy home loans? I can only hpe your comment was a joke.

T. Roof said...

Thomas Sowell said:
These students are like the bumblebees who supposedly should not be able to fly, according to the theories of aerodynamics, but who fly anyway, in disregard of those theories.


Not that bumblebee thing again. Re-freaking-futed. For the love of Obama make it stop.

Half Sigma said...

"Today's "poverty stricken" inner city dweller in the USA lives a futuristic life of ease as compared to poor people from 100 years ago (1909)."

Yes, but what NEVER changes about being poor is that you have to live next to poor people.

none of the above said...

It seems to me that a great deal of education and social policy over the last 40 years or so has been an attempt to make Truth's black-IQ-raising pill a reality. Those policies would never have been enacted without massive white support, for reasons of arithmetic in counting votes. If I had the pill, I'd distribute it in an instant. If white society as a whole had such a pill, we'd distribute it. The cost and strife of a pill can't compare with the cost and strife of bussing, affirmative action, or even just ending formal legal discrimination, and we did all those things. We're still doing some of them. (Of course, "we" really means everyone, including blacks and Asians and what-have-you, but that doesn't change the enormously strong evidence that such a pill, if available, would be distributed.)

Of course, the irony in Truth's other question (about a pill that raised everyone's IQ) is what happened when schools were desegregated by courts--some states cancelled public education entirely. I believe that actually did depress IQ scores among all students.

Anonymous said...

I do personally do not think it was clear that racial disparities were mainly driven by genetics until at least the mid 1980s, until affirmative action graduates were established and PCR was invented. There was not yet the understanding of genetics we have now, and evaluations of the Great Society and Civil Rights push were not conclusive. I think I could have been a liberal then (even though I have an anti-government streak), because I sense they did not need to shout and cover up the evidence as much they do know.

Anonymous said...

"South Africa is a good example. White kids there previously had western-like achievement levels. Now that blacks took over, they gutted the education system in order to "not leave a child behind", i.e. lowered standards. Of course now the white kids are still top of the class but basically less well educated than their white peers in Europe or the US. Blacks now use their new "success" rate as "evidence" that they are as smart as whites. But the real losers are white kids who are being forced by government to under-perform, all in the name of “removing the achievement gap”."

Only stupid whites live in South Africa now. The smart ones are long gone.

David said...

Anon. said

"I do personally do not think it was clear that racial disparities were mainly driven by genetics until at least the mid 1980s"

Make that "clear to you." It was perfectly clear to your grandfather's generation, and is perfectly clear now to anybody with extensive personal experience with NAMs, including NAMs themselves.

Only people who are relatively sheltered would have to wait for "the studies." The ultimate example of this ivory-towerism being the folks who had to wait for Newsweak or its equivalents to announce, not many years ago, the startling discovery that "Men and Women Are Different."

I'm of the opinion that no matter how many footnotes are piled up, people will continue to believe what they want to believe and whatever serves their narrow self-interest. The only way to effect political change is to wait for the older generation to retire or die off. Then our adepts ascend to the ermine.