March 24, 2010

NAEP 2009 Reading Scores: USA Still Not on Track for 100% Proficiency by 2014

Almost a decade ago, President Bush and Senator Kennedy got together and pushed through the No Child Left Behind act, which mandated that every single child in America would score "Proficient" or "Advanced" on reading and writing by 2013-2014, and told the states to concoct, administer, and grade their own tests to demonstrate this (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

Some states got the hint, such as Mississippi, which soon reported that, even with a couple of years left on its Five Year Plan for Educational Awesomeness, 89% of Mississippi 4th grade readers were already Proficient/Advanced. Whether the governor of Mississippi also invited President Bush and Senator Kennedy to float in state down the Mississippi and see all the thriving new schools that he had erected on the banks of that mighty river is lost in the mists of history.

Unfortunately, while Bush and Kennedy were at it, they forgot to abolish the federal National Assessment of Education Progress test, which has gone on reporting that reading test scores have just kept on keeping on. From today's Washington Post:
Reading scores stalled under 'no child' law, report finds

... progress nationwide has stalled despite huge instructional efforts launched under the No Child Left Behind law.

The 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that fourth-grade scores for the nation's public schools stagnated after the law took effect in 2002, rose modestly in 2007, then flatlined. ...

The national picture for eighth-grade reading was largely the same: a slight uptick in performance since 2007 but no gain in the seven years when President George W. Bush's program for school reform was in high gear. ...

When Bush signed the law, hopes were high for a revolution in reading. Billions of dollars were spent, especially in early grades, to build fluency, decoding skills, vocabulary, comprehension and a love of books that would propel students in all subjects. The goal was to eliminate racial and ethnic achievement gaps. But Wednesday's report showed no great leaps for the nation and stubborn disparities in performance between white and black students, among others.


Another way to look at it is that we're actually doing pretty good. With demographic riptide running in the wrong direction, just staying in the same place is a tribute to a lot of hard work.

Other notes: the white-black gap in 4th grade reading scores is by far the largest in the most liberal jurisdiction, the District of Columbia. Nationwide, it's 25 points, but in DC it's 60 points. The next biggest white-black gaps for 4th graders are in Minnesota (35 points) and Wisconsin (35). The smallest white-black gaps are in West Virginia (12 points -- dumb whites), New Hampshire and Vermont (few blacks), and Pentagon-run schools (need a 92 IQ to enlist).

Indeed, DC has by far the highest scoring white kids (15 points ahead of Massachusetts). It's black students are no longer the lowest scoring, being four points ahead of Wisconsin. (The worst scoring black 4th graders are in the socially liberal Old Northwest: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. This is probably due in part to high welfare payments and easy eligibility requirements in the 1960s attracting the most feckless Southern blacks.)

Unfortunately, there aren't enough white 8th graders in DC public schools for the NAEP to come up with an adequate sample size of white 8th graders in DC.

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

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve, although you sort of imply that the B-W reading score gaps are mainly a tribute to HBD, I strongly suspect that teaching methods/school policies also contribute to the results. The more liberal jurisdictions are less likely to use effective teaching methods (phonics) for political reasons.

Even 80-IQ kids can learn basic reading given proper instruction. I think the smaller gap in math vs. reading scores in the lower grades supports this theory. Arithmetic instruction involves a lot of drill, which works on both B and W kids. Phonics also works on both B and W kids, but "whole language" doesn't work on either-- so the W kids' parents teach them phonics and the B kids' parents let them watch BET and VH1 all day-- hence the gap.

Svigor said...

Do feckless people generally move?

Which seems more feckless:
1) Staying where you were turned loose.
2) Heading for the greener pastures of the Promised Land.

In other words, I want stats or evidence on this one, because your logic isn't working for me.

Svigor said...

I suppose over time maybe the welfare and greater opportunity could overcome the risk aversion of the feckless. You know, the one enterprising fella takes a risk, and now everyone in the tribe knows the grass really is greener.

It's just, I've noticed that northern blacks are a lot more aggressive and obnoxious than southern blacks. On the other hand, the same could be said of northern whites...

Garland said...

It's obvious what's been the problem so far; Bush underfunded NCLB. Now let's not hear anymore about this. La la la la la not listening.

Anonymous said...

"The goal was to eliminate racial and ethnic achievement gaps."


Could anyone -imagine- a program whose goal was to "eliminate racial and ethnic achievement gaps" in athletics for Asian and Hispanic chidlren so their "representation" in the NBA and NFL didn't reflect the "disparate impact" their obviously sub-par coaching and training facilities simply must create?

Anonymous said...

> Another way to look at it is that we're actually doing pretty good. With demographic riptide running in the wrong direction, just staying in the same place is a tribute to a lot of hard work.

Wow, never thought of it that way. When you add dysgenics within-race to changes in racial composition, staying steady is even more amazing. Also, there is some possibility that the genotypic B-W gap could also increase, if you believe Lynn's numbers showing much more intensive dysgenesis in blacks than in whites. So holding the line on the B-W gap is also impressive.

I can't imagine a greater irony. They seem to be doing pretty well: and yet no one will ever know it except evil bio-determinists, since no one else is allowed to recognize the premises that lead to this conclusion.

Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili said...

To paraphrase Stalin: no NAEP, no gap.

AllanF said...

60 points!?! Anyone know how many IQ points that translates to?

I see the national white-black gap is 25 points. As a rough approximation, I will assume that 25 points is one std dev of IQ. If so, that difference is about 2.5 std dev, ~35 IQ points. Wow.

No wonder there are de facto two school systems in DC. How else do you teach two cohorts 35 IQ points apart.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, while Bush and Kennedy were at it, they forgot to abolish the federal National Assessment of Education Progress test, which has gone on reporting that reading test scores have just kept on keeping on.

Oh come on, that's not fair - testing was always at the heart of NCLB.

It was the testing which drove the lefties [and their base of incompentent teachers] absolutely bonkers.

And it is the NCLB testing which is proving the utter & complete hopelessness of the situation [about which Murray and Herrnstein warned us a priori].


West Virginia... dumb whites...

A little off-topic, but as The Derb [or at least one of his readers] pointed out this morning, you really need to take a gander at the discrepancy in per capita budget shortfalls between low-IQ West Virginia and high-IQ Connecticut [with all of its Goldman-Sachs parents & their progeny].


the most feckless Southern blacks

I can tell you from tons of experience that Komment Kontrol is gonna leave you in a world of hurt if you try to use words like "feckless" in your posts.

Reg Cæsar said...

The worst scoring black 4th graders are in the socially liberal Old Northwest: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. This is probably due in part to high welfare payments and easy eligibility requirements in the 1960s attracting the most feckless Southern blacks.

Not quite. Michigan's blacks came up in the '20s, '30s and '40s; Minnesota's big wave in the '80s and '90s.

Minnesota's black population was historically small, stable and capable, until being inundated by refugees from a) Africa and b) welfare crackdowns in the other Great Lake states. (Tommy Thompson, anyone?) Oh, yes, and c) crime.

Minnesota's generous welfare lasted longer simply because the locals, 90%+ white, hadn't been abusing it. Guilt has its rewards.

Wisconsin, by the way, is essentially Michigan in the southeast, and Minnesota everywhere else.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious what's been the problem so far; Bush underfunded NCLB.

No, it's obvious that all of these budding young Mozarts need 10,000 hours of practice before taking the tests; ergo the testing must postponed.

No - wait - it's obvious that teachers are having to "teach to the test", which prevents all of these budding young Mozarts from exploring & discovering their true creative potential and thereby scoring as high as they ought to score on these tests; ergo the testing must be abolished.

No - wait - it's obvious that literacy is an obsolete residue of the Dead White European Male Patriarchy, a residue which is no longer relevant in a world of ebonics, gangsta rap, and touch-screen hieroglyphic-display cash-registers at McDonald's; ergo the very idea of testing in alphabetized languages doesn't even make sense anymore.

No - wait - truth is just a subjective construct and blah blah blah blah blah...

Anonymous said...

incompentent = incompetent

Fred said...

"This is probably due in part to high welfare payments and easy eligibility requirements in the 1960s attracting the most feckless Southern blacks.)"

Wouldn't the blacks with the initiative to figure out which states had the best welfare policies be a self-selected group of smarter ones?

Anonymous said...

(The worst scoring black 4th graders are in the socially liberal Old Northwest: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. This is probably due in part to high welfare payments and easy eligibility requirements in the 1960s attracting the most feckless Southern blacks.)

Possibly that in combination with the whites being generally smarter.

Toadal said...

The NAEP was ranked California 48th in the United States again in reading. Our state superintendent of instruction, Jack O'Connell is misdirecting the public about our Mexican Mestizo residents, writing that if we can just find the right education incantation, our teachers can transform them into perfect readers.

"In California, English learners make up a quarter of our student population, yet as a group, this population scores far behind nearly every other subgroup. It is critically important for us to search for the best strategies to assist these students to succeed academically in order for California to thrive and maintain its place as a leading world economy."

Is it possible I'm wrong and the average Mestizo family, enjoys the Spanish captioned Jeopardy! game show and cleverly answers questions regarding history, current events, the sciences, the arts, literature, and popular culture?

Why no, not really.

International PISA education officials estimate over 50% of Mexican 15-year old youth are functionally illiterate in Spanish too, and thus, unable to compete in *any* modern economy. Unfortunately, they are harbingers of the US and California's dystopian future. This future can be seen today in California's central valley that has become what the Economist has called America's new Appalachia and one of the poorest regions in the U.S.

Frankly, I think California is one Immigration Reform or Democratic governor away from complete economic collapse.

Mark said...

The next biggest white-black gaps for 4th graders are in Minnesota (35 points) and Wisconsin (35).

Don't know Wisconsin's excuse, but Minnesota has among the smartest whites (Scandinavians) and the dumbest blacks (Somalis). That's a recipe for a big gap.

Mark said...

Wouldn't the blacks with the initiative to figure out which states had the best welfare policies be a self-selected group of smarter ones?

Welfare cases would be self-selected more for laziness than for smarts? In addition, they'd have to be blacks too dumb to realize that they don't really like living in cold places like Minnesota, where they suffer more respiratory infections.

Anonymous said...

International PISA education officials estimate over 50% of Mexican 15-year old youth are functionally illiterate in Spanish too, and thus, unable to compete in *any* modern economy.

One of the reasons they are illiterate in Spanish is because so many of them speak pre-literate/non-written/non-alphabeticized/non-hieroglyphicized languages, such as Nahuatl, Yucatec Mayan, Mixtec, Zapotec, Tzeltal Mayan, Tzotzil Mayan, Otomí, Totonac, Mazatec, etc etc etc.

Anonymous said...

Don't know Wisconsin's excuse, but Minnesota has among the smartest whites (Scandinavians) and the dumbest blacks (Somalis). That's a recipe for a big gap.

A little off-topic, but this is the sort of problem which Ann Coulter is running into up in Canada right now: While no one was paying any particular attention to the matter [over the course of the last fifteen or twenty years], Toronto up and became an effectively Muslim city.

Anonymous said...

Why are whites in West Virginia dumb?

Anonymous said...

From that Toronto link.

"But instead of recommending special programs tailored for children of various high-risk groups - Portuguese children, for example, or those from Somalia or Afghanistan - the staff suggests helping all teachers be more sensitive to the challenges diversity can bring."

So Portuguese are kind of underclass in Toronto?

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

the staff suggests helping all teachers be more sensitive to the challenges diversity can bring.

It's funny how diversity is always a blessing, except for when it presents "challenges."

Oh, and diversity must also be "managed"...and imposed by force of law...because it's a blessing.

We really do need a page listing all of the greatest doublespeak hits of the Multicult.

Anonymous said...

Why are whites in West Virginia dumb?

Dumb relative to what? Whites in West Virginia do better than blacks anywhere but are less intelligent than other whites because a) the poorest whites settled in WV to begin with and b)only the poorest ones stayed there due to lack of economic opportunities. Most jobs were in unskilled professions like mining. Jerry West, Homer Hickam, Booker T Washington, and John Nash didn't hang around.

Historically mountainous regions everywhere have seen talented people leave while only the least talented stay - the Scottish Highlands, Afghanistan, the Himalayas, the Hmong in Vietnam, the Appalachians, etc. Lack of economies of scale has meant little Darwinian payoff for those who were smarter.

Modern transportation and communication has meant new opportunities for inaccesible regions, but it helps to get lots of snow - Lake Tahoe, Aspen, Park City, etc.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Why are whites in West Virginia dumb?"

Probably inbreeding in the 18th and early 19th centuries for the most part. Poor nutrition probably also played a role.

I recently read an extrodinary column on the importance of pre-natal nutrition in which mice that normally gave birth to mice prone to diabesity and cancer could see that yield severely reduced by just adding some vitamins (b-9, b-12, folate, zinc, selenium, and other nutrients) to their diets during pregnancy. Poor West Virginia whites are not only descended from quite a bit of cousin-marriage and isolated-gene pools, but from poverty in which crucial nutrients might have been scarce during various pregnancies.

That article is ostensibly about epigenetics (turning on and off certain genes by usage of particular chemicals like Resveratrol, quercetin, and curcumin), and religious stuff, but the info about the rodent experiments are therein. Its well worth the read:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/sardi/sardi158.html



I remember reading "somewhere" that some 460-genes were "turned off" in one experiment when people were put on a very healthy natural diet over what they exhibited at the beginning of the experiment. I wish I had kept that link.

Steve Sailer said...

Ex-West Virginians:

"Jerry West, Homer Hickam, Booker T Washington, and John Nash didn't hang around."

Good list. Chuck Yeager, too.

Anonymous said...

"Booker T Washington"

I see many white luminaries came out of WV.

lol at the HBD guy claiming him.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer said...
Ex-West Virginians:

"Jerry West, Homer Hickam, Booker T Washington, and John Nash didn't hang around."

"Good list. Chuck Yeager, too."

Also Henry Louis Gates, although he is probably not that popular on this list.

josh said...

Aren't a lot of Minnesota and Wisconsin blacks East African? Maybe that has something to do with it.

josh said...

"Why are whites in West Virginia dumb?"

Brain Drain.

Anonymous said...

NCLB consists of two parts, the testing, and the corrective actions. The testing makes sense, but the corrective actions (firing a school's principal and teachers, cutting funding) don't.

Anonymous said...

i keep asking..how much longer can we continue to function in defiance of reality?

itsn't it funny that the secular left is actually more out of touch with reality than creationists

thinking said...

I think it is wonderful to have a start on value added statistics. But would still urge some thinking about what the 4th to 8th comparison really means. Basically it's evaluating the last two years of elementary and the first two years of middle school.

A. First question: how important are these years? Are the critical ones, the earlier ones, where basics are taught. Or perhaps the later ones where adult skills are taught?

B. Second question: Could a school system look bad (or good) because of over (or under) performing in the early years? For instance, say students are of a "talent rank" of 25, but the school system is very strong in early years, so that rank ends up a 20 at 4th grade. However, some regression occurs and the rank drops (perhaps even staying above 25).

C. I wonder which grade score test 4th or 8th correlates more with IQ?

Kylie said...

Fred said: "Wouldn't the blacks with the initiative to figure out which states had the best welfare policies be a self-selected group of smarter ones?"

Not necessarily. How smart do you have to be to hear "They got better welfare up in Michigan" and decide to move? Surely you aren't implying the blacks up there did their research at the library before they pulled up stakes in the South. Second, going someplace so you can get more and better goodies for not doing much more than procreating is not the usual definition of "initiative".

I think you're confusing high intelligence with low cunning.

It's like saying that the women who hear about a good sale at the mall and rush to snag the bargains are smarter than the rest. Maybe the really smart women are operating according to a different definition of "initiative" and working at lucrative jobs they can't just leave to go shopping. Maybe the women rushing to the mall are worse at delayed gratification, which would offset the positive effects of all that acquisitive initiative. Maybe the women at the mall aren't smarter, they're just grabbier.

I say this as as former resident of a left-wing college town with very generous social services stuck in the middle of a sea of tiny towns with few resources. The vast majority of the blacks I met there were from somewhere else, drawn not by the work opportunities but by the generous social safety net.

Anonymous said...

I had a professor in city planning who had had a contract to "fix" West Virginia. He told them to build lots of highways through the state so the people could get out.

jody said...

as somebody who grew up in pittsburgh, i can tell you about west virginia: nobody with a brain stays there. once you get out, you don't go back, either.

Black Sea said...

"Poor West Virginia whites are not only descended from quite a bit of cousin-marriage and isolated-gene pools, but from poverty in which crucial nutrients might have been scarce during various pregnancies."

This would definitely require some citation. Just how much "cousin-marriage" are we talking about here.


I think the far more likely explanation was posted by the other anonymous: people with ambition, talent, brains, and options have been leaving West Virginia for a long time now, or their ancestors never settled there in the first place.

Anonymous said...

"Do feckless people generally move?"

They probably move less often (out of region, anyway), but they do move.

Apparently there's a loser equivalent to Richard Florida's network of creative cities: cities with lots of run-down, cheap housing. Good places to live if you are on welfare or can't get/hold a decent job.

Feckless people may not seek these places out, but if they happen to move there, they're likely to stay.

Anonymous said...

No - wait - truth is just a subjective construct and blah blah blah blah blah...

Hey, you forgot Stereotype Threat and Fear of Acting White!

Anonymous said...

"the staff suggests helping all teachers be more sensitive to the challenges diversity can bring"

Wait! I thought diversity can only be a source of strength. Shouldn't that mean less intervention is needed?

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Probably inbreeding in the 18th and early 19th centuries for the most part. Poor nutrition probably also played a role.

Inbreeding and malnutrition are not cumulative phenomena. A man's family tree could be a straight line, but once he breeds with an unrelated person the effect disappears completely, except to the extent that his inbredness may make it hard for him to find a decent mate.

All populations have practiced moderate inbreeding (frequent marriage of cousins, second cousins, etc.) at some point in history - due either to culture or circumstance. The Jewish business families Rothschild and Reichmann/Gestetner had heavy amounts of inbreeding in their past, with some Rothschild uncles even marrying nieces.