My new Taki's Magazine column includes a surname analysis (courtesy of reader Rec1man) of the latest National Merit Scholar list of semifinalists in California. About 1.6 million high school juniors take the PSAT annually, and the top 16,000 scorers are recognized as semifinalists. The NMSC does not release ethnic breakdowns of semifinalists, so you have to use surname analysis, which is time-consuming and inexact, but fun.
The white/black test-score gap has been in the news since the 1960s, yet rather like Mark Twain supposedly said about the weather, despite all the talk, nobody seems able to do much about it. ...
The big news in this century has been the growing Asian-white test-score gap at the high end.
Consider a feature article in The New York Times over the weekend, “To Be Black at Stuyvesant High.” It was seemingly commissioned to argue for admissions quotas at the famously competitive Manhattan public high school by pointing out that only 3.6 percent of Stuyvesant’s students are now black or Hispanic, down from 15 percent in 1970. My guess is that the story’s emphasis on a lonely black student was mostly an elaborate framing device for its more newsworthy but downplayed message: Holy God, look at ALL THE ASIANS!
Read the whole thing there.
Miscellaneous left over fact: Stuyvesant High in lower Manhattan has 121 of the state of New York's 969 National Merit semifinalists. Hunter College school isn't far behind.