October 9, 2012

New NYC Gifted test expected to be easier for African Americans because it emphasizes "abstract spatial thinking and largely eliminates language"

Any news story about New York kindergartens is guaranteed to be pure comedy gold. Here's a tragically hilarious article in the WSJ about an expensive new test that New York City has signed up for to get more blacks into Gifted kindergartens. Yet, judging from the description, this new test is just going to demolish poor African-American kids.

In New York, the smart, ruthless people always win in the end. Especially when it comes to kindergarten.
Big Change in Gifted and Talented Testing

By SOPHIA HOLLANDER 
A new test for admission into New York City's gifted and talented program will account for the bulk of a student's score, upending a testing regime that a growing number of children had appeared to master. 
In a broader overhaul than previously announced, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, also known as the NNAT, will count for two-thirds of a student's score, said city officials, who signed a three-year, $5.5 million contract with the testing company Pearson earlier this year.

Man, there's money to be made in the test racket! Nothing new is being invented, but there's constant lucrative churn from one testing company to another as institutions thrash about blindly trying to buy their way to racial equality of results.
The Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, or OLSAT, which increasing numbers of children had prepared for intensely, will drop to a third of the total from 75%.

City officials hailed the new test as a vast improvement. It relies on abstract spatial thinking and largely eliminates language, even from the instructions, an approach that officials said better captures intelligence, is more appropriate for the city's multilingual population and is less vulnerable to test preparation.

Oh, great, this new test will work out swell for African-Americans.

As everybody seems to know lately, African-Americans aren't very good with language (the Word Gap), but they're aces with "abstract spatial thinking." Hart and Risley proved it! Plus, African-Americans don't speak English, so how can they compete with people from China on a test in English?
As a result, they expressed the hope that it would "improve the diversity of students that are recognized as gifted and talented," said Adina Lopatin, the deputy chief academic officer for the city's Department of Education. City officials said they were currently compiling data on the program's racial breakdown but students who qualified tended to be concentrated in wealthier districts. Areas such as the South Bronx produced few candidates. 
Some experts have raised doubts about the NNAT's ability to create a racially balanced class. Several studies show the test produces significant scoring gaps between wealthier white and Asian children and their poor, minority counterparts.

Really? You think?
... The shift marks the latest attempt by city officials to address a seemingly intractable problem: How to create equity in the admissions process for its gifted and talented program, which begins in kindergarten and goes through third grade. .... 
The abstract nature of the exam actually makes it more susceptible to test preparation, some argue. On the NNAT, often students "don't understand what they're supposed to do," said David Lohman, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Iowa and the co-author of a rival test, called the CogAT.

Well, give Lohman $5 million, too. That should fix the problem.
The NNAT is significantly harder than the tests city has previously used, with some questions confusing even for adults, tutoring companies reported. "We've known for some time that, on these sorts of tests, understanding what to do is half the battle," Mr. Lohman said. "You solve one problem and create another." Mr. Naglieri dismissed the idea that preparation could unduly reward students on his test.
"You're not going to be able to solve a really hard question on my test because you know how it works," he said. "You have to intellectually manage the demands of the task."

Yup, that's been the problem with previous tests: not enough intellectually managing the demands of the task for poor black kids to shine.
Tutoring companies across the city have reported a frenzy since the NNAT was announced, with families signing children up for private tutoring sessions, enrolling them in multiweek boot camp classes, and buying test preparation booklets in droves—even though the test won't be administered until January.
... Bige Doruk, the founder of Bright Kids NYC, another tutoring company, said she had no trouble selling NNAT Boot Camp packages—eight to 10 sessions, plus preparation materials—which start at more than $1,000.
Some educators said that as long as standardized tests remained the sole criteria for admissions, little would change.

I think Who You Know, not What You Know, should be the criteria.
"They can keep switching tests from now until doomsday and it's not going to make a difference," said James Borland, a professor at Teachers College at Columbia University. "The rationale behind the process is fatally flawed." Others said that even if they maintained testing, the city could still address other barriers for disadvantaged children. Currently, parents must sign up their children to take the test, screening out those whose families are less engaged or savvy. ... Others said the city isn't doing enough to promote diversity in the gifted program.  "You have to believe that what they're doing is a failure or you have to believe that African-American and Latino kids are less gifted," Mr. Borland said. "One of those has to be true."

85 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boring...

JI said...

You need to design the ultimate, politically-correct test, Steve. Make your millions and retire.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this really an easy problem to fix? If your assumption is that all races have the same level of intelligence, then fix your student body at equal proportions of each race, and take the highest scoring students from each race. If this or that testing method disadvantages races relative to each other, it surely will not mean that low scorers of race x are actually smarter than high scorers. So get rid of the racial thing with a quota and just take the top scorers of whatever test is in use.

The current method, of trying to devise a test to prove what everyone already knows, seems like a waste of effort.

ClaudiaResch said...

"You have to believe that what they're doing is a failure or you have to believe that African-American and Latino kids are less gifted," Mr. Borland said. "One of those has to be true."

And that says it all.

Anonymous said...

They should select the kindergardeners like firefighters - randomly. That would be fair. After all, everyone knows that all kids are gifted.

Half Sigma said...

Big win for Asian immigrant families.

Anonymous said...

Califorinia public schools already made this tweak to their GATE program eligibility requirements by administering Raven's Matrices to candidates; so far as I know this hasn't increased Latino or black participation rates.

Just A Parent said...

Intelligence can be hard to measure. I have two children who rarely score less than the 99th percentile on achievement tests, but IQ tests have sometimes been a problem. For example, my son made a perfect score on the Raven's Non-verbal test (so 135+ non-verbal) which was used as a screener for his school's gifted program, but a month later scored a 105 non-verbal on the Reynolds.

They both took the Naglieri three years ago and scored about a 112. Other tests gave them higher scores, and of course achievement tests correlated with an IQ of about 135. For example, my son made a 24 on the ACT as a seventh-grader, which puts him in about the 99.5th percentile for that age group, and you just don't manage that level of achievement with the 112 IQ the Naglieri claimed he had.

In any event, it never made any difference, but my kids scored poorly on the Naglieri, so some other children must have scored higher. I don't know who those kids would be. My guess is that if I had prepared my children for the types of things that would be on the Naglieri they would have done better, so I think it is coachable (and thus not very reliable).

Usually IQ and achievement go together, but not always. After third or fourth grade, achievement test scores are really as good or better measure of IQ, in my view. ANY high score, whether on an achievement test or one of various IQ tests, indicates a high IQ of some sort. Due to the nature of testing, it is very difficult to get a high score by random guessing, so one single high score amid a number of low ones indicates that something is there.

Chicago said...

I feel sorry for these young children with these pushy parents. Now they have to be made to feel anxious at kindergarten age. If they don't pass muster at this point then their lives will all be downhill from then on, it would appear. What are these parents after, anyway? A future high earner? Status? The kids might turn out to be neurotic pot-smokers when they're sixteen.
It seems that this diversity mania comes mostly from the white end of the spectrum rather than from the darker one. Except for those who make a living from being professional blacks and are always angling for a cut of the action, most blacks seem somewhat detached from issues such as this. Multicult has become a contemporary religion and has to be worked into any and all public discourse much like all N Koreans, when the cameras are on, always preface their remarks with praise for the great leader before getting on to the subject at hand.

Yan Shen said...

"You have to believe that what they're doing is a failure or you have to believe that African-American and Latino kids are less gifted," Mr. Borland said. "One of those has to be true."

Uh oh...

josh said...

More blacks,but never less Jews!

Cail Corishev said...

Someone better schedule Mr. Borland for a re-education session; he's straying a little close to thought-crime in that last sentence.

In the eternal question of whether they're clueless or in denial, I guess this one goes in the clueless column. No one with any inkling of the reality of the situation would think this will do anything but make the Gap worse.

"Abstract spatial thinking"? Are you freaking kidding me? Making it more like a real IQ test is going to help? Have they forgotten why they've fought so hard to prevent IQ testing for the past half-century?

"Several studies show the test produces significant scoring gaps between wealthier white and Asian children and their poor, minority counterparts."

So the implication is that it's the wealth of the whites and Asians and the poverty of the NAMs that's responsible for the gaps. So poor whites and Asians score like poor NAMs, and wealthy NAMs score like wealthy whites and Asians, right? Right? Are they even aware those things have been considered?

This stuff would be hilarious, if it weren't people's lives (and vast amounts of our money) that they're playing with.

Mangan said...

"Tutoring companies across the city have reported a frenzy since the NNAT was announced, with families signing children up for private tutoring sessions, enrolling them in multiweek boot camp classes, and buying test preparation booklets in droves—even though the test won't be administered until January."

The irony here is that kids with parents like these will likely do fine in life, regardless of whether they get into the right kindergarten. The whole "highly selective" kindergarten thing, as with other schools, as more than a whiff of scam about it. The establishment has convinced parents that schools are responsible for both over- and underachievement in life, when the effect of school is probably pretty marginal.

Nelson said...

And so the diversity ├╝ber alles campaign continues... *sigh*

@Just A Parent: Perhaps the NNAT and the Reynolds aren't as g-loaded as the Raven's (hence the wide disparity in your son's IQ scores); nothwithstanding it is true that IQ tests aren't the sole barometers of achievement. However:

"Usually IQ and achievement go together, but not always. After third or fourth grade, achievement test scores are really as good or better measure of IQ, in my view. ANY high score, whether on an achievement test or one of various IQ tests, indicates a high IQ of some sort. Due to the nature of testing, it is very difficult to get a high score by random guessing, so one single high score amid a number of low ones indicates that something is there."

IQ becomes more stable with increasing age; hence submitting to an IQ test after around age 18-20 would give a more reliable estimate of IQ.

Truth said...

"Usually IQ and achievement go together, but not always."

Nah, just when you're black.

Anonymous said...

"which begins in kindergarten and goes through third grade. .... "

"with families signing children up for private tutoring sessions, enrolling them in multiweek boot camp classes, "

jesus christ! tiger mom population set to increase, women and minorities hardest hit.

Marlowe said...

There are Stone Age societies, but there is no such thing as a Stone Age language.

Earlier in this century the anthropological linguist Edward Sapir wrote, "When it comes to linguistic form, Plato walks with the Macedonian swineherd, Confucius with the head-hunting savage of Assam."

To pick an example at random of a sophisticated linguistic form in a nonindustrialized people, the linguist Joan Bresnan recently wrote a technical article comparing a construction in Kivunjo, a Bantu language spoken in several villages on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, with its counterpart construction in English, which she describes as "a West Germanic language spoken in England and its former colonies." The English construction known as the dative [A family of constructions typically used for giving or benefiting - glossary] and is found in sentences like She baked me a brownie and He promised her Arpege, where an indirect object like me or her is placed after the verb to indicate the beneficiary of an act. The corresponding Kivunjo construction is called the applicative, whose resemblance to the English dative, Bresnan notes, "can be likened to that of the game of chess to checkers." The Kivunjo construction fits entirely inside the verb, which has seven prefixes and suffixes, two moods, and fourteen tenses; the verb agrees with its subject, its object, and its benefactive nouns, each of which comes in sixteen genders.

[...]

Among the other clever gadgets I have glimpsed in the grammars of so-called primitive groups, the complex Cherokee pronoun system seems especially handy. It distinguishes among "you and I," "another person and I," "several other people and I," and "you, one or more other persons, and I," which English crudely collapses into the all-purpose pronoun we.

Actually, the people whose linguistic abilities are most badly underestimated are right here in our own society. Linguists repeatedly run up against the myth that working-class people and the less educated members of the middle class speak a simpler or coarser language. This is a pernicious illusion arising from the effortlessness of conversation. Ordinary speech, like color vision or walking, is a paradigm of engineering excellence - a technology that works so well that the user takes its outcome for granted, unaware of the complicated machinery hidden behind the panels. Behind such "simple" sentences as Where did he go? and The guy I met killed himself, used automatically by any English speaker, are dozens of subroutines that arrange the words to express the meaning. Despite decades of effort, no artifically engineered language system comes close to duplicating the person in the street, HAL and C3P0 notwithstanding.

But although the language engine is invisible to the human user, the trim packages and color schemes are attended to obsessively. Trifling differences between the dialect of the mainstream and the dialect of other groups, like isn't any versus ain't no, those books versus them books, and dragged him away versus drug him away, are dignified as badges of "proper grammar." But they have no more to do with grammatical sophistication than the fact that people in some regions of the United States refer to a certain insect as a dragonfly and people in other regions refer to it as a darning needle, or that English speakers call canines dogs whereas French speakers call them chiens. It is even a bit misleading to call Standard English a "language" and these variations "dialects" as if there were some meaningful difference between them. The best definition comes from linguist Max Weinreich: a language is a dialect with an army and navy.

Marlowe said...

The myth that nonstandard dialects of English are grammatically deficient is widespread. In the 1960s some well-meaning educational psychologists announced that black American children had been so culturally deprived that they lacked true language and were confined instead to a "non-logical mode of expressive behaviour." The conclusions were based on the students' shy or sullen reactions to batteries of standardized tests. If the psychologists had listened to spontaneous conversations, they would have rediscovered the commonplace fact that American black culture is everywhere highly verbal; the subculture of street youths in
particular is famous in the annals of anthropology for the value placed in linguistic virtuosity
.

-- The Language Instinct, Steven Pinker, 1994, pp. 27-29 Penguin Books ed.

Black Americans just can't handle communicating in such a grammatically simple language as English: hence Mr. Obama's boredom.

Anonymous said...

I have a dream, that one day my children will ace the Three Point Shootaround portion of the SAT.

Anonymous said...

"You have to believe that what they're doing is a failure or you have to believe that African-American and Latino kids are less gifted," Mr. Borland said. "One of those has to be true."

Duh.

Anonymous said...

My 14 y/o son sometimes struggles with concentrating on his homework. So when I see articles on ADHD, I tend to read them. I found this NYTmes article today http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/health/attention-disorder-or-not-children-prescribed-pills-to-help-in-school.html?pagewanted=all which at first seems to just be about children struggling in school and parents and teachers using stimulants to help the kids concentrate. But, then I applied the Sailer-method of critcal reading/thinking, realized where the students are located (Georgia and a Dr from Hartford, CT is quoted) and decided that this story is also about helping NAM children (probably African-American) control themselves to do better in school. But because this article is published the NYTimes the author cannot explicitly make that point. WRT this blog posting, I wonder if there is data pointing towards changes in the use of prescribed stimulants for NAMs vs. whites and asians accepted into schools like Harvard.

TH said...

Naglieri and Lohman have crossed swords over Naglieri's test before. In 2003, Naglieri published a study claiming that similar percentages of whites, blacks, and Hispanics achieved high scores on the NNAT. Racial equality on IQ tests is easy to achieve if you completely dilute the g loading of the test, but this is apparently not the case with the NNAT because it's essentially a Raven's matrices test with some cosmetic tweaks, and Raven's test shows the typical one standard deviation black-white gap. This suggested that Naglieri had found the Holy Grail of test developers by eliminating racial differences in IQ.

However, Lohman reanalysed Naglieri's study and showed that the supposedly nationally representative sample used was anything but. For example, the average socioeconomic background of blacks and Hispanics in the sample was higher than that of whites, the overall mean score across all races was less than 100, all races showed abnormally high standard deviations, and only 5.6% of the students were from urban school districts compared to 26.8% in the general population. While Lohman was too polite to say it explicitly, it's difficult to believe that the huge statistical blunders which caused the lack of racial differences in Naglieri's study were honest mistakes.

There is little reason to expect that using the NNAT will make the student population more diverse, unless you redefine "diversity" to mean "more Asians." Meanwhile, Naglieri is laughing all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

We all know the only accurate way to measure abstract spatial thinking is on the gridiron, in real time. Make 50% of the score depend on demonstrated ability to close on a receiver (i.e., "show your work" as we say in PhysEd), and I guarantee diversity.

Anonymous said...

What I find hilarious is the notion of 'gifted kindergartens'. I mean what do they teach? E = MC2 instead of ABC?

Of course, this has nothing to do with kids and everything to do with parents. By having their kids go to these 'gifted kindergartens', rich parents get to meet other rich parents through their kids and belong to a common community of privilege.

It's so bogus. In educational terms, what kids learn in kindergarten has NOTHING to do with what they'll later do in life.
I mean how did Woody Allen become such a great comic? Did he go to kindergarten for advanced humor?

eah said...

The whole concept of 'gifted and talented' makes less sense at that age.

Anonymous said...

It won't be long before they add singing and dancing.

Anonymous said...

Huffington Post attacked Romney for not acknowledging his 'white privilege'.

But is there white privilege anymore. It seems to me rich white folks have rich privilege than white privilege. And there's liberal privilege for whites: more they express their liberalism, easier is their climb in media, academia, big business, law firms, government, etc.

Most white folks get no privilege from being white.
There's Black Preference.

The two biggest group privileges are Jewish privilege and gay privilege. But I don't see Huff post saying Jews and gays should admit to their privileges.

Paul Mendez said...

I feel sorry for these young children with these pushy parents. Now they have to be made to feel anxious at kindergarten age. If they don't pass muster at this point then their lives will all be downhill from then on, it would appear. What are these parents after, anyway? A future high earner? Status? The kids might turn out to be neurotic pot-smokers when they're sixteen.

I've known plenty of "pushy" parents, and their kids all turned out average to way above-average.

The neurotic, pot-smoking teens are the ones with the "cool" parents who tried to be their friends.

saudi tugboats said...

wait a minute, I thought black culture was an "oral culture." Spoken word and all that.

Anonyia said...

So ...what about the verbally oriented kids? Are they not going to be classified as gifted even if they are?

Does this new trend mean that in 15 years college students will be permitted to turn in research papers in text speak?

Anonymous said...

My new favorite phrase is "less vulnerable to test preparation."

1950s: separate but equal is the reason for disparities! Result: ongoing disparities
1960s: lack of civil rights is the reason for disparities! Result: ongoing disparities
1970s: lack of bussing is the reason for disparities! result: ongoing disparities
1980s: negative media images is the reason for the disparities! result: ongoing disparities
1990s: lack of black politicians is the cause of the disparities! result: ongoing disparities
2000s: lack of diversity is the reason for the disparities! result: ongoing disparities
2010s: lack of student prep exams is the reason for the disparities!

Anonymous said...

"I feel sorry for these young children with these pushy parents. Now they have to be made to feel anxious at kindergarten age. If they don't pass muster at this point then their lives will all be downhill from then on, it would appear. What are these parents after, anyway?" - The future in which the last vestiges of the meritocracy are well and truly dead.

"They should select the kindergardeners like firefighters - randomly. That would be fair. After all, everyone knows that all kids are gifted. " - Disparate impact doesn't apply to the special people, not yet anyways.

G Joubert said...

There can be no question but that amongst African-American kids there is a percentage which can be clearly categorized as talented and gifted. Right? If we don't agree on that then there's no point of continuing. But I'll assume we agree. So, then, what's the problem?

To me the problem is that when the dumbed-down post-War on Poverty, enabled, anti-white, anti-European, and in many ways dysfunctional black sub-culture lands in the dumbed-down union goon-led public employee gravy train known as the public education system, there is ZERO CHANCE of finding and identifying these TAG kids, let alone truly nurturing their gifts in a productive, meaningful, and uplifting way.

europeasant said...

They should include the 100 meter dash and the 200 meter dash as a part of the well rounded IQ parameter. This would be an instant equalizer. I will send an email to our edumacation czar Duncan and with his vast powers his buddy comrade Hussien Obama will implement this latest device in order to achieve federally mandated equality. We can make things right if only we believe.

Severn said...

I'm a bit confused here. Why doesn't Judge Garaufis simply mandate a test which 97% of test takers can pass, after which the schools can take whichever test passers they want - as long as "whichever test passers they want" does not have a "disparate impact" on blacks?

Why the double standard between fire-fighters and students?

playrink said...

"neurotic" & "pot-smoking" - lol. trying to jam those two adjectives together, what is that a martian assessment? Martians running interference for the likes of Bill Bennett? In high school my most thoughtful, hilarious friends thoroughly enjoyed life and pot-smoking. Picked-on dorkuses abstained but carried on to make absurd comments on iSteve years later.

NOTA said...

G Joubert:

I'm sure a super bright kid stuck in the DC public school system does indeed get a lousy education. But that's not the political problem. Indeed, criminally mismanaging public schools so as to screw a great many poor black and brown kids out of a decent education is not really much of a political issue. The people this lands on mostly don't vote, and when they do, they mostly don't value education all that much.

No, the issue that matters centers around the fact that there are proportionally fewer black gifted students than white gifted students, probably because of innate differences in intelligence between the two populations. Because middle class blacks care a lot about getting their kids into gifted programs, for the same reasons as middle class whites, and racial imbalances could lead to changes that would break these gifted programs entirely, and those matter to a whole bunch of the kind of people who have money and power and voices.

Anonymous said...

It's a "myth" that the "less educated" speak a "simpler or coarser language"? Funny, one gets that distinct impression from talking to the less educated. But that's just an "illusion", according to the dissertation writer above. Yes, it's all just an illusion. The real zinger is that Obama is just too smart for a simplistic language like English. Maybe that'll fit into the Obama comedy gold theme that's played on this blog from time to time.
Blacks I worked with used to use the phrase "educated fool" occasionally. A very useful coinage.

Maya said...

"The irony here is that kids with parents like these will likely do fine in life, regardless of whether they get into the right kindergarten. The whole "highly selective" kindergarten thing, as with other schools, as more than a whiff of scam about it. The establishment has convinced parents that schools are responsible for both over- and underachievement in life, when the effect of school is probably pretty marginal."

No, no. Smart high-functioning parents know very well that schools and teachers aren't anywhere near the top 5, or even top 10 factors of success. But, if you are a loving parent, highly invested into your child's future, adding or losing something like 3%-4% of your child's eventual outcome is of monumental importance. Such parents want to do everything in their power, and diminishing returns don't make them any less motivated.

Plus, the true value of the gifted program is in the peer group. The # 2 reason I'd never allow my child into a regular inner city classroom is that I wouldn't want him to get used to THAT type of conduct and performance and perceive them as normal.

And the #1 reason is safety, of course. I imagine that getting into this gifted program would allow the kids' parents to send their children into a safe, adequate environment every day, without having to pay for a private school.

Marlowe said...

Anon: I mean how did Woody Allen become such a great comic? Did he go to kindergarten for advanced humor?

Jewish family life forms an advanced placement class according to the man's movies. He once said that if he had been born an American indian he would have been screwed.

Maya said...

"To me the problem is that when the dumbed-down post-War on Poverty, enabled, anti-white, anti-European, and in many ways dysfunctional black sub-culture lands in the dumbed-down union goon-led public employee gravy train known as the public education system, there is ZERO CHANCE of finding and identifying these TAG kids, let alone truly nurturing their gifts in a productive, meaningful, and uplifting way."

Nah. Gifted black kids get identified easily and they are well served. Perhaps a few talented strays fall through the cracks, but that's only because the gifted programs don't tolerate violence and the type of behavior that purosefully wastes everyone's time. It's not the school's job to deal with sociopathy and senseless rebellion. Overall, the inner city gifted classes and special honors programs are filled with (mostly black) eager, bright kids who consistently score "above profecient" on all the standardized tests, without having to drill for it and consistently show highest gains for any given year. Those classrooms (and there are many of them, in the absolute) are such a joy to visit. The kids say interesting things, make funny jokes and show a lot of personality while getting things done.

It's the average and the below average minority kids who are generally willing to learn that you should pity. They are stuck in loud zoos that cater only to the least able and the most violent among them. These are the kids who don't improve, even though they could have.

Carol said...

"this story is also about helping NAM children"

Maybe, but here in Whitopia I know plenty of white kids who also get it. They're all low income, one-parent, receiving benefits...amazingly, the kids from intact, sane, succesful families don't seem to need the stuff.

sunbeam said...

It sounds to me like a cynical way to segregate things even more.

I've no way of knowing, but it seems reasonable to think that this test might be designed to produce a result counter to it's stated objectives.

Is there any reaction from the minority community in New York about this? Of course you could construct a cynical theory about that as well.

Maybe it works as intended for two or three years, then another attempt can be made with a similarly disingenuos test, then another after that one.

By then a decade or so has gone by, and most of the black people have moved back down south.

Maybe absolutely everyone has thrown in the towel.

"So Dark the Con of Man."

Heck sometimes I wonder if law firms play pool, you know set up their shot. Get something going, that you know you can sue later.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that Jews lead while Asians follow? In the 50s and 60s, wasps dominated much of America, and Jews challenged that power. Jews had chutzpah.

Now, Jews have the power. If Asians had chutzpah, they'd confront Jewish power since Jewish power is the new game in town. But Asians are such drones. They just suck up all the politically correct BS taught them by their Jewish professors in elite colleges and spout the same thing. Jews lead, Asians just follow.

Jews stood up to Wasps, but Asians suck up to Jews. Jews lead, Asians follow. Thrones and drones.

Maybe this is why Jews don't really mind Asians. Asians are like dogs that will follow the orders of whomever rules the roost.

Anonymous said...

The two biggest group privileges are Jewish privilege and gay privilege.

Please define "Jewish privilege" for me. In my experience growing up far from a large Jewish population center, growing up Jewish meant having my ancestral religion made fun of regularly by people almost too stupid to describe and social ostracism because so many local social activities revolved around church. It certainly provided no advantage in getting dates in high school. What advantage do you think taht being Jewish confers on ordinary Jews who are neither wealthy nor elite?

Dutch Boy said...

Just a Parent is correct. Mensa accepts results on achievement tests as a proxy for IQ (many of the tests now have a cutoff date since they have been dumbed down).

Tony said...

Just have a test where they only ask questions about hip hop and basketball. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

"Isn't this really an easy problem to fix? If your assumption is that all races have the same level of intelligence, then fix your student body at equal proportions of each race, and take the highest scoring students from each race. If this or that testing method disadvantages races relative to each other, it surely will not mean that low scorers of race x are actually smarter than high scorers. So get rid of the racial thing with a quota and just take the top scorers of whatever test is in use."

Yes, that's probably the easiest way. It is called "race norming" and was somewhat surprisingly ruled illegal some years ago. I guess whites didn't like finding out that blacks had points added to their scores simply for being black and so these indirect methods of quotas are being used.

Scott said...

Simple solution; all testing in all schools at any grade level for any purpose will henceforth be written in Ebonic.

Anonymous said...

In my experience growing up far from a large Jewish population center ..


That's a highly atypical Jewish experience. Are you really Jewish, or just part Jewish?

Peter said...

Last week I was driving on Northern Boulevard in the Little Neck section of Queens, just west of the Nassau County line. It seemed like every other business was a "test prep" academy. Do you care to guess the neighborhood's ethnicity?

Anonymous said...

Is this for real? Where do these people get that black and Latino people will do better in math and science than reading and writing? Past tests have shown the opposite. I think this doesn't have to do with black and Latino students and more to do with competing with East Asian countries. The people making the rules are using this "testing crisis" to realign American curricula closer to East Asian curricula. It will give East Asian students, who are already OBSESSED with math and science and look down on other fields, a big boost in test scores.

Cail Corishev said...

" If your assumption is that all races have the same level of intelligence, then fix your student body at equal proportions of each race, and take the highest scoring students from each race."

Say you want to admit the smartest 10% of students to your school. You design a test that works out that way (meaning a cutoff IQ of about 120). You give it to 1000 kids, 800 white and 200 black, about the US ratio (for the sake of simplicity, I'll leave out other groups). You expect to get 80 whites and 20 blacks, but instead you get 80 whites and 2 blacks. Oops.

You know blacks are just as smart as whites, because all the right people say so. So you know some other factor has to be holding them back -- poverty, racism, crime, whatever. Something's hiding those other 18 smart kids, but you don't know what.

Sure, you could just take the top 20 black scores, but there's no guarantee they would be the smartest ones. There's no reason to think the next 18 smartest kids were the runners-up. What if the really smart ones don't even take the test, because they found opportunity running the gangs? (Not my theory, but I've heard that one suggested.) What if the smart ones hide their intelligence by failing tests to avoid resentment from their peers? If poverty or hunger is the problem, taking the top 20 will just give you the smartest 20 rich, well-fed kids.

Simple race-norming might satisfy the race lobbies, but it wouldn't achieve the goal of finding those hidden geniuses, assuming that's the real goal.

Average Joe said...

Several studies show the test produces significant scoring gaps between wealthier white and Asian children and their poor, minority counterparts.

Once again low income whites are ignored since they don't fit the liberal view of America being composed of rich whites and poor minorities.

Anonymous said...

Marlowe, did Edward Sapir, Joan Bresnan, Max Weinreich or Steven Pinker write their smart thesis using limited English idioms or sophisticated Bantu or Cherokee languages?

Why did Messrs Sapir and Weinreich chose to emigrate to backward U.S. over more advanced countries?

Rain said...

The whole point of gifted programs is to separate the bright kids away from black kids so that they can actually learn without being beaten up for getting an A.

You weren't kidding about comedy gold:"You have to believe that what they're doing is a failure or you have to believe that African-American and Latino kids are less gifted," Mr. Borland said. "One of those has to be true."

Hansen said...

" Anonymous JI said...

You need to design the ultimate, politically-correct test, Steve. Make your millions and retire."

La Griffe Du Lion already gave away the formula: Just make the test so insanely easy that virtually everyone of all races passes.

Mike Jan said...

""Usually IQ and achievement go together, but not always."

Nah, just when you're black."

Not really. Plenty of bright white and Asian grad students and postdocs laboring away for about what the guy working the fry machine gets if you figure it on a per hour basis...

Cail Corishev said...

Why should the government have "gifted" schools anyway? Look at anything else the government provides to one and all. It provides food for the hungry, but it doesn't give food to the well-fed, and it doesn't search out people with delicate palates and provide them with fancy seven-course meals with subtle flavors. It provides public transportation, but it doesn't search out the best drivers and give them hot rods.

Why don't we expect government to do the same in education that it does in other areas: provide a lowest common denominator product for those who need it, and let the smart and rich fend for themselves if they want more than that? If our public schools only tried to teach the indigent to read and write and balance a checkbook, instead of trying to teach everything to everybody, who knows, maybe they'd accomplish something.

Anonymous said...

How about athletic scholarships for kindergarten?

NKAA

unix said...

"Please define "Jewish privilege" for me."

Well, I don't know where you come from--sounds grim. But I think they're talking about Hollywood, the MSM, and lobbies in Congress. Maybe also, New York City.

Anonymous said...

"To pick an example at random of a sophisticated linguistic form in a nonindustrialized people, the linguist Joan Bresnan recently wrote a technical article comparing a construction in Kivunjo, a Bantu language spoken in several villages on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, with its counterpart construction in English, which she describes as "a West Germanic language spoken in England and its former colonies." The English construction known as the dative [A family of constructions typically used for giving or benefiting - glossary] and is found in sentences like She baked me a brownie and He promised her Arpege, where an indirect object like me or her is placed after the verb to indicate the beneficiary of an act. The corresponding Kivunjo construction is called the applicative, whose resemblance to the English dative, Bresnan notes, "can be likened to that of the game of chess to checkers." The Kivunjo construction fits entirely inside the verb, which has seven prefixes and suffixes, two moods, and fourteen tenses; the verb agrees with its subject, its object, and its benefactive nouns, each of which comes in sixteen genders."

languages spoken by small, cohesive, preliterate groups tend to "complexity" of that kind -- for instance, in navajo, you have to derive almost every noun from a verb phrase, which is much more "complex" than anything in any european language. or look at the tribal languages of the caucasus -- they make mastering the latin grammar look like the work of a day.

but to go from that to arguing that primitives' languages are more "complex" than english? that's basically arguing via pun. the complexity of english lies in its literature, the web of allusions that make up our daily speech, the rich borrowings from related and unrelated languages that allow for complex shades of meaning.

almost anything you could say about the "simplicity" of english is a fortiori true of chinese, which is also grammatically "simple" -- no plural forms, no conjugation system, invariant word forms (no prefixes, infixes or suffixes), null-subject -- but somehow i don't see special-pleading arguments about how this or that tribal language is more "complex" than chinese. naturally, chinese is complex in the same way that english is complex, and for the same reason. both are the languages of extremely sophisticated peoples, both are widely spoken as second languages, both have a lot of history and both have evolved towards facial grammatical simplicity.

of course, the facial simplicity of english belies the genuine and flexibility of the english grammar, but the dissertator quoted has no interest in determining a true degree of comparative complexity. rather, the complexity of tribal grammar is a stick with which to beat english.

--bbtp

Anonymous said...

people almost too stupid to describe

Which makes you what?

Almost too smart to describe?

Hacienda said...

Time to get women out of politics.

Maya said...

"That's a highly atypical Jewish experience. Are you really Jewish, or just part Jewish?"

Why? At what stage of dilution does a Jew lose his old school video game-like protective shield? Around 50%? Does it matter if the offending parent is Syrian or Turkish, and the kid still looks sufficiently greedy? Does the mutt get to wear a smaller pouch of Jew gold around his neck, or none at all? I need clear guidelines, so I could rank my Jews in order of importance and potential usefulness.

Anonymous said...

Wow Steve, you got linked on fark.com! First time I've seen that. And the link got 200 comments, which is also pretty good.

http://www.fark.com/comments/7372569/Any-news-story-about-New-York-kindergartens-is-guaranteed-to-be-pure-comedy-gold-The-New-NYC-Gifted-Program-test-emphasizes-abstract-spatial-thinking-largely-eliminates-language

Svigor said...

Please define "Jewish privilege" for me. In my experience growing up far from a large Jewish population center, growing up Jewish meant having my ancestral religion made fun of regularly by people almost too stupid to describe and social ostracism because so many local social activities revolved around church. It certainly provided no advantage in getting dates in high school. What advantage do you think taht being Jewish confers on ordinary Jews who are neither wealthy nor elite?

Indeed. But Jewish privilege is more real and substantial than white privilege, yet everybody talks about white privilege, and nobody talks about Jewish privilege, unless they want to get smashed in the mouth.

Hey, I guess I just defined Jewish privilege for you, to an extent. Jewish privilege means Jews never having to say they're sorry, but everyone having to say they're sorry to Jews. It means der Fatherland in the Levant for Jews, but Jews in America get to pathologize the very idea of Fatherlands for Whites.

Svigor said...

Jewish privilege means you're white when it serves your interests, but not when it doesn't.

Truth said...

"Usually IQ and achievement go together, but not always."

Nah, just when you're black."

Not really. Plenty of bright white and Asian grad students and postdocs laboring away for about what the guy working the fry machine gets if you figure it on a per hour basis.."

Then how smart are they?

Anonymous said...

"How to create equity in the admissions process for its gifted and talented program..."

That's comedy gold.

It's like saying you're looking for a way to find average sized clothing at a big and tall men's shop.

You can't have gifted and talented and equality and if you're the one proposing it, you don't understand your basic premise.

Marlowe said...

Anon asked: Marlowe, did Edward Sapir, Joan Bresnan, Max Weinreich or Steven Pinker write their smart thesis using limited English idioms or sophisticated Bantu or Cherokee languages?

Because English has become the dominant language of scientific and scholarly works? (Once, the part played by Latin). Because these persons live(d) in an English speaking society?

Why did Messrs Sapir and Weinreich chose to emigrate to backward U.S. over more advanced countries?

No doubt for a variety of reasons none of which I expect to be a preference for the grammatical simplicity of the English language.

Kylie said...

"Time to get women out of politics."

No. It's not time to get women out of politics. It's way past time to get women out of politics.

Sword said...

We should not simply be angry, but instead figure out how to game the system.

Anonymous said...

On one level they know what they are doing, or think they do; the spatial abstract section of the IQ test is the only one that has shown the Flynn Effect, leading many to conclude that it does not really measure intelligence at all but something that is clearly malleable, indeed, to date, the ONLY aspect of intelligence that seems open to efforts to increase it.

The idea that spatial is peculiarly iable to study and practice and not as ineradicably tied to inherited intelligence seems borne out by recent history.

So the devisers of this test are actually moving away from more stable measures of heritable inteligence, hoping that this will give blacks an advantage. It might, theoretically, but....

Of course, WILL blacks study and practice and do what it takes?

Probaby not, but there is another group that is known for doing that to an extreme degree and for getting scores that vastly overpredict it's actual intelligence and ability to perform, and coincidentally, this group also has its only and peculiar advantage in terms of intelligence in spatial, for reasons that probably have a genetic basis at least partly, so this new test seems desgned to especially for them, which is exactly NOT what was intended.

So the future economy of America will look more and more like Asia, perhaps - competent, but with little new, and little flash? Or as Asian underperformence relative to their scores becomes more and more pronounced in American intellectual and ecenomic life, something that is already in the early stages of being noticed ( we must remember Asians have only been here for 20 years, in large numbers, so it takes time for us to see what they can really do; aparently work really hard and be moderately intelligent. The early hope and promise of intelectual brilliance seems to have, sadly, been an illusion when it came to Asians.), will test scores and elite credentials as they now stand began to matter less, OR will what it means to be "elite" change all over again?

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Great post, as usual. Reading some of the comments and combining what I perceive to be their main points, I have come up with a new way to address the problem of urban school dysfunction. Test all kindergarten aged children. Instead of separating the most gifted, separate out the least gifted and those most prone to disrupting other students (if the latter is even something you could test). Put them in a daycare type facility so they can watch TV, go outside and play, and at least train them to be decent citizens. Maybe the "upper" 75% can acheive more by subtraction.

Anonymous said...

At what stage of dilution does a Jew lose his old school video game-like protective shield? Around 50%? Does it matter if the offending parent is Syrian or Turkish, and the kid still looks sufficiently greedy? Does the mutt get to wear a smaller pouch of Jew gold around his neck, or none at all? I need clear guidelines, so I could rank my Jews in order of importance and potential usefulness.


You should direct all those questions to Bryan Caplan.

Caplan describes the following conversation he had.

Teen: Sir, are you Jewish?

Me: I'm ethnically Jewish.

Teen: Ethically Jewish? Everyone is ethically Jewish.

Me: No, I said I'm ethnically Jewish.

Teen: Why do you say that?

Me: Because my father is Jewish.


See what he does there? He could have said "I'm ethnically Irish, because my mother is Irish" (I don't know what his mother is, but she's evidently not Jewish) but he decided to identify with his Jewish parent.

KHarn said...

More proof that "Liberals" think that "minorities" are DUMBER than white people. Why else would they "need" special consideration from whites?

Maya said...

"We should not simply be angry, but instead figure out how to game the system."

Form homeschooling co-ops and set them up to function like normal schools. If 15 families got together and put up $4000/year each, and then, a 16th family with twins, or cousins provided their basement or large garden house for the learning space, you could afford all the supplies, books and computers that you'd need, and you'd have a very large pool of competent teachers from which to choose. There'd be money left over for group swimming classes and a visitting strings instructor.

Your kid would get socialized with a group of high functioning peers in a safe enviornment oriented towards learning, you and your wife could continue working full time, and you'd have direct control over your child's curriculum, without having to do all the work setting it up.

And, seriously, I can't stress just how easily you could find a suitable, energetic teacher who'd care about nurturing your intelligent, well-behaved child and helping him develop. All you need to offer is $40,000 (negotiable), health benifits and a good vibe.

Let us know what you're looking for and where we should send our resumes. We got people with elite education here, Christians, Jews, men , women, fluent speakers of Japanese, German, French, Hebrew and Italian (along with a few useless foreign languages), people who've read classics in original Latin, people with years of classic musical training, people currently in a band, competitive dancers, avid gamers, fishing and hunting enthusiasts, people with engineering degrees, former varsity athletes, marathon runners, alpinists, and that's just our sad little Trivia Wednesday, at a crumbling bar, in a dying city. The actual possibilities are much broader. You could order it up like a Subway sandwich.

Maya said...

"Test all kindergarten aged children. Instead of separating the most gifted, separate out the least gifted and those most prone to disrupting other students (if the latter is even something you could test). Put them in a daycare type facility so they can watch TV, go outside and play, and at least train them to be decent citizens. Maybe the "upper" 75% can acheive more by subtraction."

THAT, Sir, is what we call common sense, and that's how it used to be anyway. However, the reforms and "research" are doubling down to achieve exactly the opposite.

One of the ideals we are required to accept as sacred is the mainstreaming of the special education students. These kids are often retarded or emotionally disturbed, but they have to participate in all the activities and follow the same lessons as the normal kids. The teacher is responsible for adjusting the lessons and materials to fit the abilities of the special kids. The buzz word our evaluators use for this (when they drop by for 20 minutes or so) is "differentiated instruction".

Tracking by ability has been disgraced by "research". We are told it hurts everyone.

Also, the visiting admins ("education leaders") who evaluate us are all about seeing small group work. And they have a fit if the special ed, low ability or high ability kids are grouped together, so they could work at a common pace. According to "research", that's the most horrible way to group kids in the history of kids and groups, and all the small groups must be of mixed ability because that benefits EVERYONE. I'm always ordered by the education leadership admins to put my largest and most violent student together with the smalles and most introverted girl. Something about the possibilities of such a partnership always gets the visiting adminst breathing heavy. The buzz word for this is "flexible grouping".

Naturally, all that stuff applies to behavior as well. All my education leaders say that all kids want to be good and all kids want to learn. So, if a child goes around punching other students in the back of their heads or stabbing them with pencils, he is simply not engaged enough, and it's my job to engage him better. "Engage" and "engaged" are also huge buzz words in the politics of education. If a student refuses to do home work or class work, that work simply isn't engaging enough, and that's a failure on the teacher's part.

In my early days, I suggested that, perhaps, the kids are refusing to even attempt some sections of their high stakes standardized tests because these tests aren't engaging enough. That earned me negative points. But it would've been much worse if I didn't have a foreign accent.

Cail Corishev said...

"[O]f course, the facial simplicity of english belies the genuine and flexibility of the english grammar,"

Yes, it seems to me that, instead of arguing that languages with complex inflections indicate higher verbal skills among their speakers, you could just as easily argue the opposite: the simplicity of English requires greater verbal skills of its speakers because of how much has to be figured out on the fly from the context.

When my Latin students groan about learning all those declension endings, I tell them those are actually pretty cool, because they give you more information when you're translating. It's all very logical, and sentences fit together like a puzzle, without nearly as much need to infer meaning as we have in English.

(I'm not sure I would make the argument above, because my Latin/French teacher, who was fluent in 14 languages, said English was the easiest to learn. But anyway, I think saying, "That language seems really complicated," doesn't tell you much about the intelligence of its speakers.)

"We should not simply be angry, but instead figure out how to game the system."

Steve has pointed out the problem with this. "We," meaning taxpayers and working people, simply don't have the per-capita incentive to fight the system that its beneficiaries have to defend it. That's why all liberal programs survive and grow: the small number of people who benefit hugely from each one care a whole lot more about it than the large number of people who each pay a little into it.

I think what Maya is talking about is coming (if the educrats don't pass laws to ban it). I tutor some homeschoolers to help out their families, and they've talked about eventually growing it into a co-op that could hire a full-time teacher, or maybe a few part-time ones with different areas of expertise. The families who have been doing it for a while are pretty independent, because they had to figure it out for themselves, so they don't see much need to consolidate except for things like sports. Newer ones are used to a bigger support structure with homeschool groups and online resources, and I think many of them will move toward a co-op model as numbers grow.

TGGP said...

Anonymous, Caplan said he was "ethnically Jewish" because the Hasidic asked him if he was Jewish. What specific variety of gentile his mother is was irrelevant to the Hasid. Caplan's father is religiously Catholic despite being ethnically Jewish, which is presumably why Caplan hasn't referred to himself as being Jewish in any other post I can recall. Contrast that with his former co-blogger Arnold Kling, who writes about being Jewish (and his disagreements with other Jews) much more often.

Mr. Anon said...

"You have to believe that what they're doing is a failure or you have to believe that African-American and Latino kids are less gifted," Mr. Borland said. "One of those has to be true."

No, one of them has to be true, and the other has to be not true. That's what Borland really means.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this really an easy problem to fix? ...So get rid of the racial thing with a quota and just take the top scorers of whatever test is in use.

So, you really don't know why that isn't a solution? Or, you do, but racist selection criteria that 'treats everyone equally' is more important?

If you select a certain amount of kids from each race to fill a limited number of seats, and selection is not based on the high scores in the total pool of students, then you discriminate against more talented/intelligent students because they don't have the correct skin color. Furthermore, you degrade the quality, value, and reputation of the advanced program by populating it with lesser talented individuals. This will then likely eventually provide impetus for other, perhaps private, programs to be founded that accommodate the not-chosen but more talented individuals, thus creating a natural selection process that would diminish and eventually eliminate the original advanced program. Schools and advanced programs are only as good as their student body; and society will always evolve to make the choice of its most valuable members, because society needs to reward value to progress and profit, and therefore it will do so no matter how many obstacles that you put in its way.

Anonymous said...

The Jews running NYC Big Ed don't really want any minority no matter what IQ to displace their little Prince/Princess's! They just want to talk like a diversicrat but otherwise they are supremacist!

Anonymous said...

>> But I think they're talking about Hollywood, the MSM, and lobbies in Congress.

Cream rises to the the top.

Tell me honestly.... are you ===envious=== of working in show biz? It's the snake pit of a rat race, says THIS heeb.

If not, then why do you care any worse than you care about the Vietnamese lockup on the naail-salon racket?