March 25, 2010

Are white Californians dumber than white Texans?

On the four sections of the 2009 federal National Assessment of Educational Progress tests (4th and 8th grade Reading and Math), non-Hispanic white public school students in Texas rank an average of 7th in the country, while their non-Hispanic white equivalents in California rank an average of 32nd.

That's a big difference between the two most populous states in the country.

What are the reasons?

P.S., Your Lying Eyes has a good post, Achievement Gap Grows with Achievement, on how the white-black gaps within states tend to get larger the higher the white scores. Thus, New Jersey has the highest white reading score and the largest white-black gap.

Two states that stand out are Wisconsin, where blacks just do badly without whites doing particularly well, and Texas, where, at least on math, whites score well but the white-black is only middling due to blacks doing relatively well. (Hispanics also score well on math in Texas. Does Texas just bribe kids into trying really hard on the NAEP, or are they actually doing something right with teaching math in Texas?)

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

72 comments:

Vernunft said...

I thought "non-Hispanic" was absurdly game-able...maybe in California, there's a lot more Hispanic blood in the "non-Hispanic" whites.

Am I way off base? It seems like the race fudging would even out over a large population, but maybe there's something about California that just gets people systematically to report race differently?

Anonymous said...

Are those just public school students? I'm guessing that the SWPL parents in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles send their kids to private schools. While in Texas, I doubt the prep school ethos has sunk in. Remember that 41 sent 43 to Andover.

Anonymous said...

Average fecund whites have been leaving Cali for years, leaving the dumb ones and the brilliant non-breeders.

RandyB said...

Haven't there been accusations that Texas is finding ways to keep low-scoring kids from taking these tests?

Anonymous said...

In India, the rush for good schools is hypercompetitive.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/world/asia/24test.html

tthhjolk said...

Could be the drug culture in California, with 50% of white teens being a bunch of pothead Spicolis.

Maybe Gladwell can tell us that Hispanic and black math scores in Texas are higher than elsewhere because of the need to count all them steers.

levi johnston said...

Texas teachers have at least two decades of experience in teaching to NCLB-style tests (TAAS/TAKS). Does this trend hold true for the SAT and AP tests?

William1066 said...

I've read that Texas has more than its share of 'German-Americans'. It's also possible that the inter-school hyper-competitiveness of varsity football in Texas (how many movies, TV shows have been made about HS football in TX?) extends to inter-school competitiveness in garnering good test scores.

So maybe it's a cultural thing - while, as suggested above) the cultural thing in CA is to get stoned (again, according to the movies). Or maybe it has something to do with the flood of new Spanish-speaking immigrants (a whole other topic).

JW Ogden said...

If the differences are very small a move from 7 to 32 can be insignificant.

Anonymous said...

Kids in CA probably spend less time studying and more time hanging out and doing drugs.

On another note, will people here please stop misusing "SWPL?" The term refers to young urban hipsters, not parents with children in the suburbs.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: Average fecund whites have been leaving Cali for years, leaving the dumb ones and the brilliant non-breeders.

tthhjolk: Could be the drug culture in California, with 50% of white teens being a bunch of pothead Spicolis.

I don't keep in touch with many of my friends who grew up to be libtards, but among the ones I do touch base with [now and then], it's just appalling [almost terrifying] what they let their kids get away with: shockingly vulgar insubordination, opposite sex sleepovers, hardcore drug use [amphetamines, cocaine, heroin], trips to rehab before they've even been graduated from high school, etc etc etc.

We can talk about nature until we are blue in the face, but we are deluding ourselves if we pretend that nurture doesn't play a role in these outcomes.


PS: In California, white boys play soccer, but in Texas, white boys play football.

That's all you need to know about the difference in parenting.

Average Joe said...

What is the welfare situation like in Texas? If Texas doesn't provide as much public assistance as other states then low IQ types from all races may be less likely to settle there and more likely to move to states with a more pro-welfare viewpoint.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: Average fecund whites have been leaving Cali for years, leaving the dumb ones and the brilliant non-breeders.

tthhjolk: Could be the drug culture in California, with 50% of white teens being a bunch of pothead Spicolis.

I don't keep in touch with many of my friends who grew up to be libtards, but among the ones I do touch base with [now and then], it's just appalling [almost terrifying] what they let their kids get away with.

Shockingly vulgar insubordination, opposite sex sleepovers, hardcore drug use [amphetamines, cocaine, heroin], trips to rehab before they've even been graduated from high school, etc etc etc.

We can talk about nature until we are blue in the face, but we are deluding ourselves if we pretend that nurture doesn't play a role in these outcomes.


PS: In California, white boys play soccer, but in Texas, white boys play football.

That's all you need to know about the difference in parenting.


PPS: It would be really interesting to chart the state-by-state use of Ritalin among white boys against the state-by-state DEM/GOP white voting percentages.

Hipparchus said...

For nearly a decade Texas has required school districts to use proven-effective "SBRR" reading curricula in primary schools.

Up until recently, even so-called "good" California schools have been (against public policy, and more policy) using whole-language schemes which don't work.

I'm certain of this, because I have young children which were, until a year ago, enrolled in Arcadia Unified School District public schools grades 1-4 (Arcadia, CA 91006) and even there (a "top" school district-- mainly top because the students are 70% Chinese with doting parents) the teachers used the long-discredited whole-language approach. When I discussed the problem with teachers and the principal they blew me off with guff about their "experience" (meaning their training was long out of date) and "balanced approach" (meaning they didn't know and didn't care that their methods were useless, because the "whole language" approach is less burdensome for teachers, and they could hardly care less whether it's good for students). I had one teacher actually using photocopies of "see Spot run" type materials! I had to teach my kids to read myself, after which the teachers were happy to praise my "bright kids."

Anecdotally (I have in-laws with grade K-4 children in Texas), Texas' curricula are a lot better than California's and the teachers are governed more strictly. I compared my kids' schoolbooks to their Texas-cousins' and the Texas books were obviously better.

In 2002 (and probably still) ed schools (teaching BA programs) in California were still training prospective teachers in useless "whole language" methods.

The California State Board of Education still has not mandated SBRR curricula for California elementary schools, though some (e.g., Pasadena in October 2009) have purchased Foresman Reading Street, which is a fairly good package.

When you compare students' NAEP scores, you don't just compare those students' IQ's and/or SES's, you also compare the policies and curricula of their schools and teachers.

If you really want to know whether Texas whites are innately smarter, on average, than California whites, you'll have to run them through similar schools.

Anonymous said...

Texas spends less per student annually than blue states. Private school is pretty cheap too.

Anonymous said...

Haven't there been accusations that Texas is finding ways to keep low-scoring kids from taking these tests?

Yes, but that doesn't apply to NAEP because they aren't graded or funded on NAEP. Even the retarded kids take NAEP. If they can't/don't answer problems, it is noted on the form that the student could not answer. NAEP keeps track of the percentage of kids and why they couldn't fill in the test. That way you can see if low scores are because of the percentage of limited English and retarded kids.

Glossy said...

The people whom you've aptly called "men with gold chains" tend to check the "White" box on forms. I'm sure there's more of them in California than in Texas.

By the way, originally the word Asia referred to what's now Turkey, and later to the whole of the Middle East. But in America right now "Asian" pretty much means Mongoloid. Men with gold chains know that they have nothing in common with the Chinese, so they check the "White" box on forms.

Anonymous said...

When I read the title I immediately thought of places like Fresno and Eureka. Humboldt County isn't even an urban county, and yet there's white flight to get away from white people...

Kitty said...

I'm a parent of a kid in Texas public schools. Despite the bad national press about our textbook selection process, we do actually have a pretty decent public school system, especially in the 'burbs around Dallas, Austin, and Houston.

One thing that might explain the difference between us and California is the fact that the upper middle classes here send our kids to public schools. Private schools are either wildly expensive like St. Mark's in Dallas (Boz Skaggs and Tommy Lee Jones are alums) or places for whackjob creationists to send their kids. We also have a considerably larger Hispanic and black middle class than Cali does.

Anonymous said...

I think the Great Schools website might shed some light on why whites do better in Texas vs CA. For California you can check the student body composition and average API scores by race for every public school. My impression from looking at Bay Area schools is that the larger the Hispanic fraction in a given school, the poorer whites perform, although their performance is never exceeded by blacks and Hispanics at ANY school in CA. I've always been meaning to check this but I'll bet a dollar that school-averaged API scores for all races correlate inversely with the corresponding Hispanic fraction of the student body. That constitutes proof that Hispanic immigration is bad for American kids' brains and racial segregation is great for white kids' brains.

Anonymous said...

"The people whom you've aptly called "men with gold chains" tend to check the "White" box on forms. I'm sure there's more of them in California than in Texas.

By the way, originally the word Asia referred to what's now Turkey, and later to the whole of the Middle East. But in America right now "Asian" pretty much means Mongoloid. Men with gold chains know that they have nothing in common with the Chinese, so they check the "White" box on forms."

What group are you talking about....Armenians? Turks? Greeks? Italians? Lebanese? Not really sure what you're getting at. All of those groups are still white, even if they wear "gold chains" or whatever. (You don't have to be a Scandinavian or Germanic to be considered white!) And I don't think the percentage of those particular groups in California are very high anyways so it wouldn't make much of a difference in explaining why white Californians are apparently dumber. The explanation probably has to do with lackadaisical culture in California that encourages pot-smoking...that and the fact that smart Californian whites likely go to private schools, whereas in Texas the opposite might occur (many of the private schools in Texas cater to low-IQ religious types, and upper-middle class kids live in areas where they can attend great public schools)

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you would get Ritalin prescription rates by state, but Steve, you ought to have the data already to correlate DEM/GOP voting percentages to NAEP test scores.

And, for that matter,white TFRs and marriage/divorce rates.

ironrailsironweights said...

The people whom you've aptly called "men with gold chains" tend to check the "White" box on forms. I'm sure there's more of them in California than in Texas.

There's no reason to believe their children would do poorly on achievement tests.

--

I thought "non-Hispanic" was absurdly game-able...maybe in California, there's a lot more Hispanic blood in the "non-Hispanic" whites.

It's a reasonable bet that Texas Hispanics are more likely to claim to be white than are their California counterparts.

Peter

Eric said...

Are white Californians dumber than white Texans? Judging from the way people have been voting in the last few decades, I'd have to say there's little doubt.

Larissa said...

Kitty might be on to something. In places where most people send their kids to public school, the schools do seem to be better. Or maybe they send their kids there because they are better.

Anonymous said...

The gap is huge in NJ and yet we're the most racially segregated state in the country. Just saying...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, your NYT link is incomplete.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/world/asia/24test.html

The article itself is nothing particularly new, though it does repeat the same worn out mistakes that the English language media makes. Those students are not "middle class" Indians. They would be considered middle class in the United States, but in India they are clearly the elite.

Look at their clothes and home surroundings in the pictures and video. Multiple times beyond what the average Indian incomes are capable of. The students and tutors (one even had a bluetooth headset in his ear!) are all speaking English. Classic example of diglossia where a secondary language spoken by an elite minority (5%+ in India) dominates society. The most interesting observation of all is the video interview containing a girls parents. Note that not only does the father speak English but the mother does as well. What this means is that the girl herself inherited significant socio-economic (and genetic) advantages from her parents who were members of the elite in an age when it's population was even more restrictive. Clearly no social mobility in the NYT's article.

What is interesting though is the constant repetition by English language media both Western and Indian about India's "middle-class" of some 300 million. Yet whenever a member of the middle class is actually focused on they always happen to be a member of a 30 million elite.

Cali Rawks 4ever said...

It's all of the Lebanese, Armenian, Iraqi, Iranian & Jewish kids in Texas that skew the "white" sampling in Texas far beyond what the dopey, boring white waspy protestants would be otherwise capable of achieving.

Oh, wait. All of those ethnic groups seem to reside in...oh, nevermind.

Anyhoo, those white Texas rednecks are so dull, and boring and just, uh, whitebread. The Texas contribution to American culture has been so minimal, hasn't it?

Texans don't DO anything. They have no impact. "There is no there, there." There is no culture. Have you ever noticed how we never hear Texans on the radio or see Texans on television or in the national news for any sort of achievement? Texas is like a big, silent, boring waspy wasteland in the middle of America!

I wish I could count the nationally acclaimed Texans - in the arts or sciences or business or tech or Hollywood - on one hand. But I can't think of any... so no hands are necessary.

No wonder Texas has fallen behind California on all the scorecards that matter. It's those "middleman" ethnic groups that are the key to America's future, after all. Texas needs a huge dose of mass immigration from all of those middleman countries ASAP. If it doesn't get that immigration right away, Texas will probably fade into an even deeper void of silence and embarrassment due to under performance on the national stage. Just ask that Friedman guy at the New York Times.

P.S. Did you know that Texas is a Spanish word meaning "pasty", "weak" and "feeble"?

Anonymous said...

On another note, will people here please stop misusing "SWPL?" The term refers to young urban hipsters, not parents with children in the suburbs.

Nah. Look at the SWPL website. There is repeated reference to SWPLs having kids. For example,

"White people also like Farmer’s Markets because it is outdoors (they love being outdoors), they can bring their dogs and children in expensive strollers,"

"All white people want their children to speak another language."

"White people love “gifted” children, do you know why? Because an astounding 100% of their kids are gifted! Isn’t that amazing?"

"In recent years, white people love giving their children two last names."

"White Problems – Should children drink wine?"

"This school also helps to give white parents one more reason for not sending their children to public school. “Public schools don’t have organic food, I can’t have my child eating pesticides. So I’m not racist, I’m just concerned over the food health of my child.”"

"Ultimately the best way to escape a camping trip with white people is to say that you have allergies. Since white people and their children are allergic to almost everything, they will understand and ask no further questions."

All the white suburbanites with kids in my neighborhood are so SWPL that the website could have been written about them!

Texas First! said...

yes

Toadal said...

Kitty said:
One thing that might explain the difference between us and California is the fact that the upper middle classes here send our kids to public schools.

For NAEP national assessment, students in public and private schools are assessed, but at the state level, assessment is in public schools only. Therefore, the larger a states percentage of students in private and Catholic schools, the more likely the public school results will suffer.

So California suffers.

From the NAEP website:
Private schools represent about 24 percent of schools in the nation and educate about 10 percent of the students. In order to have a complete picture of the academic progress of the nation's students, selected students in public and nonpublic schools must participate in NAEP.

Trend in eighth-grade NAEP reading achievement-level performance graphs for 2007 for public, private, and Catholic schools.

My son attends a Catholic high school in San Jose and although he is bright, he competes directly with his highly competitive South Asian and east Asian classmates. BTW, we have a very good defensive entry in the California robotics tournament this year. Our regionals are in Davis next week.

Carolyn said...

My God, the California bashing is a bit outdated. Yes, all we do here is smoke pot. I suspect the difference in scores is that the white people in Texas are simply more white - i.e., more northern European ancestry. The people who are checking white in Cali are probably, like others have said, the gold chain crowd, mexicans in denial, and who knows what else. Contrary to what some believe, the gold chain crowd is fairly large in some schools in SoCal. A number of schools in our Orange County, Anaheim Hills area have a substantial portion (20%) of the english learner populations that speak Farsi. I've helped in the classroom quite a bit in my high scoring school (900+ API, 10 rating) and, sorry to say, the gold chain kids are not that bright.

Divorce might play a part in the stats, too. Our city school district is divided into have & have not schools. The schools that have higher scores are not only in wealthier neighborhoods but seem to have more stable family situations. My husband coaches both little league and soccer. Little league is tightly controlled geographically so the kids he gets are largely from two parent homes. Soccer is open city wide. He has to deal with a lot more kids with divorced parents in soccer.

tommy said...

What are the reasons?

I suspect that older Mexican Texans are whiter and smarter than the kind of Mexicans you find on the West Coast.

In the Pacific Northwest, I was surprised a few years ago at the number of Mexicans in college who hailed from Texas versus California. Most were from families that had lived in Texas for generations and, while mestizo, were more Spanish than Aztec in appearance.

Anonymous said...

To "Cali Rawks 4-ever"
Yes we get your "subtle" sarcasm. But those middle-easterners you listed are still definitely a minority among Californian whites, and therefore they aren't the explanation for Cali's lower scores. And Jews, Armenians, and Lebanese are all considered white whether you like it or not (Iranians and Iraqis not so much though)Not to mention they are often high-achieving groups as well (jews and lebanese at least, not sure about armenians). Why would you have a problem with these people? Nobody on here was insulting Texas or the WASPS at all so calm down. But it's not as if WASPs/germans are the sole white group that has contributed to building America or even Texas for that matter.

DYork said...

non-Hispanic white

Really? How about "non-Korean blacks"?

How about the scary term "White American" in capital letters?

What's with the neurotic inability to get beyond these silly and demeaning PC designations.

guest007 said...

Look at how rich athletes live in the two states. Joe Montana and Wayne Gretzky enrolled their children in Christian Oaks for sports purposes. If they lived in Dallas they would have moved into Southlake and put their children in public schools.

levi johnston said...

hardcore drug use [amphetamines, cocaine, heroin]

Before opening your mouth, you could've first consulted some data, like the CDC's Youth Behavioral Risk Survey. In it you will find that high school students in Houston lead Los Angeles students in heroin, meth, x, and steroid use while Dallas leads the nation in cocaine use. Even sexual activity is more common in Houston schools.

It seems that not only are Californians ‘dumber’ than Texans but significantly lamer too.

Jennifer said...

I wonder how many commenters here have children in California schools. I did, until we realized that the curriculum used in our (local, high-scoring) schools is utter crap--nothing but progressivist hoo-ha that keeps the liberal parents happy and the children practically uneducated. I'd imagine you have a lot less of the "discover your OWN mathematics" nonsense in Texas.

As far as the public/private thing goes, here in the bay area, I can tell you that a large part of the impulse to beggar yourself with an astronomical house purchase was the drive to get into a better school district. Plenty of middle and upper-middle class kids go to public schools--where they are taught nothing.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so Steve has already written about slang used in hospitals by doctors and nurses. Well, I heard a real doozie recently from a Kaiser doctor friend of mine. He said some snarky obstetricians he knows have started using a new code for Hispanic woman in the delivery room: ODD - Operation Dumbo Drop.

Anonymous said...

Me: I don't keep in touch with many of my friends who grew up to be libtards, but among the ones I do touch base with [now and then], it's just appalling [almost terrifying] what they let their kids get away with... In California, white boys play soccer, but in Texas, white boys play football. That's all you need to know about the difference in parenting.

Carolyn: My God, the California bashing is a bit outdated. Yes, all we do here is smoke pot... My husband coaches both little league and soccer. Little league is tightly controlled geographically so the kids he gets are largely from two parent homes. Soccer is open city wide. He has to deal with a lot more kids with divorced parents in soccer.

Like stealing candy from a baby...

Anonymous said...

"The people who are checking white in Cali are probably, like others have said, the gold chain crowd, mexicans in denial, and who knows what else."

Confirm!

We live in Northern California. When we were looking for a private school for our kid we visited one Catholic school that claimed to have an 80% white student body. Our lying eyes told us the student body was 30% white; the rest of the students nicely represented the usual genetic grab bag from Mexico.

Anonymous said...

"Before opening your mouth, you could've first consulted some data"

Some data on cities that barely have any non-Hispanic white people. That's not useful.

Anonymous said...

"Before opening your mouth, you could've first consulted some data, like the CDC's Youth Behavioral Risk Survey."



Nice try Levi, but the group is "white students" not "students".

neil craig said...

There is a logical fallacy in saying it is a major gap that one state is 7th & another 37th. So long as there are more than 37 states that is bound to occur. That Texas & California are both big doesn't really affect what reading level we should expect from individuals (grants if you had a state with about 1,000 kids you would have enough randomness for it to be more likely they would be at the end of the spectrum but above that you have a valid statistical population).

The correct way to explain it is by the difference between the % that are fully literate & I suspect that figure is significant since California is PC & in Texas they shoot their kids for not doing homework, well ok maybe just whup them.

Anonymous said...

Here's betting that the teachers' unions in California are stronger and that the result is worse teaching.

Be real interesting to correlate these figures here with figures on teachers' union membership, activity, and funding.

Anonymous said...

"I suspect that older Mexican Texans are whiter and smarter than the kind of Mexicans you find on the West Coast."

I knew a Mexican Texan with red hair, Irish white skin, and freckles. Her family hadn't intermarried much, that's just hwo they were.

-OM

David Davenport said...

Before opening your mouth, you could've first consulted some data, like the CDC's Youth Behavioral Risk Survey. In it you will find that high school students in Houston lead Los Angeles students in heroin, meth, x, and steroid use while Dallas leads the nation in cocaine use. Even sexual activity is more common in Houston schools.

There's mucho Mexicans in the Houston school system.

David said...

Smart(er) people tend to go where other smart(er) people are. There's the answer.

AmericanGoy said...

"PS: In California, white boys play soccer, but in Texas, white boys play football.

That's all you need to know about the difference in parenting."

As a born in Europe American, this made me giggle.

For the record - like a girl.

patrick said...

I think this is specific to non-Hispanic whites, so I doubt that white Hispanics account for the difference, nor do I think the "gold chain crowd"
(which I guess mean South Europeans and Middle Easterners) is big enough or shows any difference in academic achievement vs. Anglo-Celtic/Germanic whites.
I think maybe a big part of it is class- wealthier Texans will send their kids to high quality suburban schools, but wealthy Californians send their kids to private schools.

Anonymous said...

I doubt that Steve is still reading this far into the comments, but here goes.

I am a teacher who moves around the country a lot. When I subbed in suburban districts around Dallas, the elementary math curriculum was completely standardized--I don't know if it was district-wide or state-wide, but it was a commercial-grade program with math time each day spelled out what problems would be done. (On Tuesday the 8th you were doing Red 5).

Standardization will do a lot to improve what would be the lowest quality teaching, your legendary math-phobic nice lady elementary school teachers who can barely do fractions themselves.

I don't know if this is the reason for Texas' performance vs California, but it was worth mentioning.

AmericanGoy said...

Also, one more comment from the Euro peanut gallery - we are talking here about gigantic entities.

California is basically a super power country all on its own - compare it's size, population and GDP to most European states.

Same with Texas.

Jack said...

Plenty of theories have some merit. I'm sure that conservative Texas has a less PC curriculum than California and therefore teaches its pucblic school kids better. They may also, with their natural pride and competitiveness, push the kids harder to do well on these tests, just as they do in football. And also there's the private school thing in California, and smart Texans find it easier to send their kids to suitable public schools. All of these might be factors.

Anonymous said...

Without reading the rest of the comments here, I'd guess that a higher percentage of Texas whites are of high-IQ German (I'll include Anglo-Saxons here) descent than California whites which, ceteris paribus, would mean a higher IQ. Not a few of my Irish Canadian relatives ended up in California. Nurture-wise, the older I get the more appreciation I have for the legendary Protestant work ethic, which I think would be a small factor too.

Ah, I see William 1066 smells what I am cooking. Carolyn and Glossy, too, with the apposite observation that the Gold Chain set would be predisposed to checking the white box in censii.

Anonymous said...

As a Texan, I can tell you that there is a 50% dropout rate among
Hispanics, so the level of high
school Hispanics taking the NAEP
tests would be higher attaining
Hispanics. And Texas has a very generous welfare program. All new
"green carders" get Medicaid and
SSI and food stamps from day one of
their legal status. The intrastate
test (TAAK) for lower grade levels
tells a different story before the
drop out rate kicks in at middle
school level.

corvinus said...

Basically a rehash of what has been posted already:

1) The school system in liberal California is no doubt far worse than in more conservative Texas. (This would also explain why blacks do better in TX than in CA.)

2) Europeans are a smaller portion of the "non-Hispanic White" population in CA than in TX. On the flip side, the "Hispanics" in TX are more European than those in CA. (In the 2000 Census, about half of Hispanics, including many "mexicans in denial", called themselves "white". But in TX, it was about two-thirds, and in CA, one-third.)

On another note: As far as birth rates go, "non-Hispanic white" Californians are at about 1.55, and those in Texas are about 1.9, as of 2008. The current recession appears to be kicking the CA birth rate in the teeth while having only a slight impact in TX so far, but we'll have to wait a couple of years before the CDC comes out with all its data. But for the first six months of 2009, births in CA fell about 15,000 below what they were a year before (suggesting a ~30,000 fall over all of 2009).

Anonymous said...

What's up with all the bashing of Near Eastern origin caucasians, anyway? Lebanese, Persians, and Armenians may be a bit on the clannish side (at least for the first generation or so) but are plenty sharp and their kids seem to do fine in school. The third and fourth generation Okie descendants in the Central Valley, Sierra foothills, and places like Yreka and Ukiah seem like more likely culprits if you want to find a group of low-achieving whites in Cali.

Anonymous said...

"Without reading the rest of the comments here, I'd guess that a higher percentage of Texas whites are of high-IQ German (I'll include Anglo-Saxons here) descent than California whites which, ceteris paribus, would mean a higher IQ. Not a few of my Irish Canadian relatives ended up in California. Nurture-wise, the older I get the more appreciation I have for the legendary Protestant work ethic, which I think would be a small factor too."

Ah, here we go again, another post going on about how Protestant Germanics are so superior to all those Southern Europeans and Irish/Polish Catholic sorts. Bull. First off, the concept of the "Protestant work ethic" hasn't been relevant for about 120 years. Furthermore, The average IQs of Germany, Austria and Italy are the same:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_and_the_Wealth_of_Nations.Also note that most of the European countries all clump together within a few points anyways, suggesting that there isn't much of a difference between the intelligence of various European-American groups (based on ethnicity at least....there are differences based on other factors obviously...I'm just saying a more Germanic based white population alone has NOTHING to do with one state's better scores on the NAEP)If germanic/anglo-saxon ancestry alone indicates greater intelligence than other European groups, then how do you explain the fact that the extremely Anglo-Saxon population of Alabama (my state) has some of the lowest scores in all areas? In fact, the predominantly Catholic and non-germanic area of the state (the section surrounding Mobile and the coast) has some of the best schools in the state. Not to mention along with Huntsville it's probably the least backwards area too.

Anonymous said...

What's up with all the bashing of Near Eastern origin caucasians, anyway? Lebanese, Persians, and "Armenians may be a bit on the clannish side (at least for the first generation or so) but are plenty sharp and their kids seem to do fine in school. The third and fourth generation Okie descendants in the Central Valley, Sierra foothills, and places like Yreka and Ukiah seem like more likely culprits if you want to find a group of low-achieving whites in Cali."

I agree with you. I guess the bashing derives from the fact that no small majority of the commentators on here are obsessed with extolling their WASP/Germanic roots, as if no other group of Caucasians (or Asians for that matter) has ever contributed anything to society.

Too Tall Jones said...

Anonymous: Average fecund whites have been leaving Cali for years, leaving the dumb ones and the brilliant non-breeders.

tthhjolk: Could be the drug culture in California, with 50% of white teens being a bunch of pothead Spicolis.

--------- If the above is true it raises questions about alleged white "role models" on either the academic or social front. Asians seem to be the group worthy of emulation in California. Since we are all throwing out different reasons, it could also be that the white slackers above have just thrown in the towel when facing tougher Asian competition. Indeed, a recent WSJ article showed just such a scenario in California where white parents avoided or ran away from schools to duck Asian competition. The article is called "The New White Flight"

http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB113236377590902105-lMyQjAxMDE1MzEyOTMxNjkzWj.html


Hipparchus said...
For nearly a decade Texas has required school districts to use proven-effective "SBRR" reading curricula in primary schools. Up until recently, even so-called "good" California schools have been (against public policy, and more policy) using whole-language schemes which don't work.

----------- Agreed. California "trendiness" and use of ineffective methods is a major factor, and it is documented that california's methods have been a failure. As one Hoover Institution report notes:
www.hoover.org/publications/policyreview/3572907.html
quote:

"This approach gained thousands of acolytes during the 1980s. The nation’s colleges of education produced a new crop of teachers weaned solely on whole-language philosophy, while influential professional associations such as the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association (http://www.ira.org/) embraced its basic premises. At the state level, California spearheaded a virtual reading revolution. The state department of education rewrote its entire curriculum in 1987, ditching phonics for a literature-based, whole-language approach. Teachers were told to throw out their old methods and embrace the cutting edge. Other states and local school districts soon followed. "All the major publishers moved to whole-language readers once California implemented it," says Bonnie Grossen of the National Center to Improve the Tools of Educators, at the University of Oregon. "They had no sequenced instruction, just pretty pictures and poetry. It has taken hold in all 50 states."

"Most damaging to whole language’s adherents, last year California punted its whole-language curriculum altogether, stressing the need for systematic, explicit phonics instruction in the early grades. The state reversed course in response to a wave of public criticism after California’s poor performance in the 1994 NAEP, when it tied Louisiana for last place. Janet Nicholas, a member of the California State Board of Education, recently told the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce: "Unfortunately for California children, the unsubstantiated claims and enthusiastic visions of whole-language ideologues proved to be disastrous when applied to real children."

Too Tall Jones said...

Carolyn:
I suspect the difference in scores is that the white people in Texas are simply more white - i.e., more northern European ancestry. The people who are checking white in Cali are probably, like others have said, the gold chain crowd, mexicans in denial, and who knows what else.

------ Dubious. If the touted northern European heritage is so important why does a NON Northern European white people like Jews consistently post better educational performances and higher IQ that the supposedly pace-setting "Nordic" whites? And in fact on a broader analysis, why do SOUTHERN Europeans like Italians boast higher average incomes than a white Northern European people like the Irish as shown by Sowell (1981, 1993)?


Anon: We live in Northern California. When we were looking for a private school for our kid we visited one Catholic school that claimed to have an 80% white student body. Our lying eyes told us the student body was 30% white; the rest of the students nicely represented the usual genetic grab bag from Mexico.

---- Also dubious. If the touted "whiteness" was such a key factor, why do Asians routinely outperform not only "mestizos" or "Mexicans" but supposedly pure white "role models?"



Anon:
Standardization will do a lot to improve what would be the lowest quality teaching, your legendary math-phobic nice lady elementary school teachers who can barely do fractions themselves.

------ But said nice-lady elementary school teachers are mostly white. Shouldn't they serve as "role models" to improve the performances of dismally performing white youth?

Too Tall Jones said...

Anon said: In California, white boys play soccer, but in Texas, white boys play football. That's all you need to know about the difference in parenting.

------------ Asians don't play much football, but they do play soccer a lot in California. Superior Asian performance speaks for itself in both California and Texas.


Glossy: The people whom you've aptly called "men with gold chains" tend to check the "White" box on forms. I'm sure there's more of them in California than in Texas.
---------- So you are saying black guys pretending to be white, the so-called "Oreo factor" is driving down white scores?



Kitty: One thing that might explain the difference between us and California is the fact that the upper middle classes here send our kids to public schools. Private schools are either wildly expensive .. or places for whackjob creationists to send their kids. We also have a considerably larger Hispanic and black middle class than Cali does.

-------- Agreed to a certain extent, and certainly those middle class parents set the tone and expectations, however as Thomas Sowell repeatedly shows middle class status isnt needed for better school performance. All-black Dunbar High School in Washington DC prior to its decline in the "enlightened" 1960s routinely produced test scores and performances equal to or exceeding nearby white schools, drawing on mostly working class kids from Washington's black ghetto. The culture back then was different. Dunbar as run in a no- nonsense, hardcore way, and parents of that time expected no less. Today such performances would seem positively miraculous in most of today's "black" schools, including the dismal DC system.


Anon: The explanation probably has to do with lackadaisical culture in California that encourages pot-smoking...that and the fact that smart Californian whites likely go to private schools, whereas in Texas the opposite might occur (many of the private schools in Texas cater to low-IQ religious types..

------ Dubious. The poor methods used by the hide bound education bureaucracies are more likely to blame. And what makes you think people who attend religious schools are "low IQ type"? If so, how do you explain the fact that private white-run Catholic schools, drawing from the same pool of poor black ghetto kids routinely outperform massively funded public schools nearby?


Todal:
My son attends a Catholic high school in San Jose and although he is bright, he competes directly with his highly competitive South Asian and east Asian classmates. BTW, we have a very good defensive entry in the California robotics tournament this year. Our regionals are in Davis next week.

------------ Hence some argue that many whites are throwing in the towel, unable to face tougher Asian competition as the Wall Street Journal article demonstrates.
http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB113236377590902105-lMyQjAxMDE1MzEyOTMxNjkzWj.html

Anonymous said...

I don't know how reliable the sample size is, but the IQ scores Lynn cites for Lebanon are pretty low. (82 and 86) His estimates for Armenia are in the low 90s...

Steve Sailer said...

Here's a tip:

When engaged in a business negotiation with a Lebanese (e.g., Carlos S[a]lim), do not assume you are going to outsmart him.

Anonymous said...

The IQ cited for Lebanon is an obvious reason to be highly dubious of the Lynn data, since anyone who's spent any time in the Middle East reports that the Lebanese and Palestinians are pretty clearly the sharpest people on average in the Arab world, as seen by how they dominate so many of the civil service/engineering/mercantile niches in the Gulf states. Also, look at how diaspora Lebanese, Syrians, and Palestinians do in latin America and the U.S.-- they stomp all over the mestizos and European populations in latin America and more than hold their own in the U.S.

Even the Shi'ites, supposedly the dumbest of the Lebanese, end up going to Africa and getting rich in the diamond trade and in pursuing other mercantile opportunities.

Curvaceous Carbon-based Life Form said...

"I guess the bashing derives from the fact that no small majority of the commentators on here are obsessed with extolling their WASP/Germanic roots, as if no other group of Caucasians (or Asians for that matter) has ever contributed anything to society"

Oh please. Multiculti America is all about extolling the contributions of everybody BUT the WASP/Germanic populations that founded this country. Our modesty reflex notwithstanding, we have no choice now but to toot our own horns, since no one else will, anymore.

"it could also be that the white slackers above have just thrown in the towel when facing tougher Asian competition."

Fascinating that these Asian Mental Giants keep sending their superior progeny, not to schools in the countries they came from that their own coethnics created, but, for some silly reason, to the schools that dumb White Americans built, with dumb White American taxpayers' money, where it used to be that the dumb White Americans' progeny became dumb White engineers who bumbled their way to the moon.

tommy said...

Even the Shi'ites, supposedly the dumbest of the Lebanese, end up going to Africa and getting rich in the diamond trade and in pursuing other mercantile opportunities.

Yeah, but who are Shi'ites up against in Africa? The Shia are regarded as stupid by Christian and Sunni Lebanese. They are also a larger percentage of the population than officially indicated.

The delinquency and general NAM-ishness of recent Lebanese arrivals in places like Australia leads me to think that the current residents of Lebanon may not be nearly as smart as the "Old Lebanese" who left the country long ago.

The Armenians may be a similar case.

Anonymous said...

"
When engaged in a business negotiation with a Lebanese (e.g., Carlos S[a]lim), do not assume you are going to outsmart him.
"

Here's another tip from someone in possibly the most Lebanese city in North America, Ottawa: just don't do business with the Lebanese. I bought my last car from one, here is how our last phone conversation went:

Me, calling Monday moring: Is my car ready?

Lebanese: What did I tell you on Friday?

Me: That wasn't an answer. Is my car ready?

Lebanese (yelling): WHAT DID I TELL YOU ON FRIDAY?

Me: You didn't answer my question. For a third time, is my car ready?

Lebanese: click.

Once you decide to affirm freedom of association and not to transact business with Lebanese, you notice that they tend to engage in businesses where you have little choice but to deal with them, eg ordering a pizza at 3AM.

Anonymous said...

"When engaged in a business negotiation with a Lebanese (e.g., Carlos S[a]lim), do not assume you are going to outsmart him."

I dispute this new definition of "smart" which seems synonymous with lying, cheating, and stealing. As mentioned in my previous comment I'm from Beirut on the Rideau, Ottawa: I know Lebanese. They don't read, don't write, don't engage in science, etc., etc. They have been famous traders for over 2000 years, but this is not g.

BamaGirl said...

"Oh please. Multiculti America is all about extolling the contributions of everybody BUT the WASP/Germanic populations that founded this country. Our modesty reflex notwithstanding, we have no choice now but to toot our own horns, since no one else will, anymore."

The multicult doesn't celebrate other groups of whites anymore than they do Germanic people...Pretty sure we're all considered evil privileged colonizers or whatever.

Why do you assume that only WASP/germanics founded the country? First of all, pre-revolutionary America had significant numbers of Huguenots and Scots, two groups which are typically considered non-germanic. Did they contribute nothing? Secondly, certain parts of the country were founded by completely different groups altogether!...For instance my paternal ancestors have been here since the early 1700s, and they were from France and Florence, Italy. They were among the first families to settle New Orleans, and they later spread out to Biloxi and Mobile. Are you seriously telling implying that some random German farmer who settled in the Midwest in the 1820s (most Germans settled in the US after the revolutionary war) has a greater claim to contributing to the founding of this country than my ancestors? That is why all these assumptions about teutonic superiority on this blog annoy me. I would not be bringing this stuff up at all if I weren't seeing implications of said superiority in every 4th or 5th comment.

Anonymous said...

Well, I rather live in No Ca with a lot more asians than either Dallas or Houston with a lot of blacks and hispanics. The two top public high schools in Ca which even outranked the Texas schools are in Cerritos about 80 percent asian enrollment and in Cypress-Oxford Academy about 70 percent asian population. And Dallas area barely has more high school graduates than Anaheim. This is bad concerning that Anaheim has a lot of illegal immirgants that come here with grade school educations And Dallas Mexicans and blacks are born in the US. What Mr Sailer doesn't mention is that Texas is about 12 percent black while California is only 7 percent. And Califonia is about 14 percent asian while Texas is about only 4 percent. As the white population drops in both states Texas goes more hispanic and black while California does more hispanic and asian. This gives Calif an advantage over Texas since asians outperform blacks in school.

Anonymous said...

ifI have lived in both Texas and California and the main difference is that Texas is much lower class, it's like a 2 world country, where as California is modern thinking in terms of social public cleanliness and safety standards , In general Texas is very dirty living standards, especially the bathrooms and kitchen.
it just seems like Texas want ur money with put keeping up with there end of the bargain.
Lots German immigrants, lots of fighting at restaurants and bars.