May 8, 2014

Narrowing the Gap: The West Virginia Solution


The federal government's National Assessment of Educational Progress test results for 12th graders in readin' and 'rithmetic are now out for 2013. The feds have a nice website to display the numbers. I've been following these kind of test score stats for almost as long as I've been following baseball statistics, but I have to admit that seldom if ever do any Mike Trouts come along to add excitement to my peculiar hobby. 

Above is a graph of the ten states where the NAEP had big enough sample sizes to break out The Gap (white-black, in this graph on the Math test). Of the ten states, the only one where The Gap is notably smaller than in the nation at large is West Virginia. How has West Virginia accomplished this goal that has obsessed policymakers and pundits for most of my lifetime? By having many of the smart white people in West Virginia move to greener pastures in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and so forth.
           

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Uh, whom is obsessed with replicating West Virginia's education system? I have never heard of this...

Anonymous said...

British and French solution too, as many smart ones move elsewhere for opportunities... while white dummies on welfare mix with more immigrants.

Anonymous said...

Steve -

I found some data in the census that actually supports your conclusion. The median income in WV is lower than the national average ($40,400 v $53,046). The state is also has a very non hispanic white population (92.9% v. 77.9% nationally). It either has to be lower white scores or an unlikely concentration of high scoring black students.

One thing I was wondering, on the NAEP website, do you know if Asians are counted as white in the scores or omitted? WV also has very few Asians. (.7% v 5.1%) If Asians are "white" for this purpose, this would remove some high scores contributing to the gap.

Anonymous said...

Cmon, 50% of the difference between WV and Tennessee is that blacks in WV score higher than blacks in Tennessee

jon said...

Making the same comparison between Whites and Hispanics, you'll notice that the two states with below average gaps are Arkansas and Florida. At least for Florida, it seems an inverse approach also works: having more of the White-Hispanics of Cuba in the mix will, surprise, surprise, close the gap with White-Non-Hispanics.

I got no idea what's happening in Arkansas.

Anonymous said...

On a good day, NJ's blacks could probably outperform WV's whites.

Therefore "HBD" only accounts for part of these gaps. Liberals actually do have a point about culture, environment, etc.

pat said...

When I was in planning school we had a professor who was a consultant to the federal government for redeveloping West Virginia. His solution was to build lots of big highways so the West Virginians could get out of there.

It looks like this worked at least for the smarter ones who could afford cars.

Pat Boyle

Anonymous said...

Another interesting stat:

According to the Wikipedia page on US demographics, West Virginia has a shockingly (at least to me) low number of Blacks in the state -- only 3.4%. For perspective, that ranks it just above Alaska and below Washington in terms of percent Black.

Forgot My Alias Again said...

There's an old joke that is, as they say, funny because it's true:

What's the largest city in West Virginia?

Akron, Ohio.

Anonymous said...

That could be but blacks do better in states that have less blacks. In California blacks outperformed Hispanics but not is in some places in Texas like Houston and Dallas. In fact NC is not the greatest place to move for a poorer white since its best jobs are professional.

Anonymous said...

OT

Big news: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/gaming/2014/05/07/tomodachi-life-same-sex-relationships/8809745/

Anonymous said...

Also, Geogia scores low on social mobility. In fact there are a few nice upper middle class places but Georgia actually has poorer places than West Virginia. Atlanta has high black poverty. West Virgnia just looks a little worst but Georgia is no great place for moving up unless you are a professional with a college degree.

Anonymous said...

The best bet is South Carolina not North Carolina or Gerogia, even Florida is better for lower income whites. South Carolina has more better paying blue collar jobs than North Carolina which is banking and high tech.

Anonymous said...

"Uh, whom is obsessed with replicating West Virginia's education system? I have never heard of this..."

It's not that anyone's intentionally trying to copy West Virginia.

Liberals have spent a great deal of time and money over the years trying to equalize education and therefore life opportunities between blacks and whites, yet when you do find a place where things are pretty equal it doesn't have anything to do with government policy.

Furthermore, equality between groups isn't necessarily desirable if it means population as a whole is mediocre... no offense to any WV commenters.

Anonymous said...

Whom? That would be who...

Anonymous said...

La Griffe found that in Baltimore City, the same solution proved very effective.

http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/city.htm

Anonymous said...

Absolute upward mobility is y25 = 46:2 in Salt Lake City, compared with y25 = 35:8 in Charlotte.
See, I tell Steve that Salt Lake is so much better than the South but does he mention that

Anonymous said...

That is, among families earning $28,800 { the 25th percentile of the national parent family income
distribution { children who grew up in Salt Lake City are on average 10 percentile points higher in
their birth cohort's income distribution at age 30 than children who grew up in Charlotte.
Absolute mobility is higher in Salt Lake City not just for below-median families, but at all
percentiles p of the parent income distribution. The gap in absolute outcomes is largest at the
bottom of the income distribution and nearly zero at the top. Hence, the greater relative mobility
in this particular comparison comes purely from better absolute outcomes at the bottom of the
distribution rather than worse outcomes at the top. Of course, this is not always t

Steve Sailer said...

Chetty's big study of "social mobility" is methodologically hopeless because it just finds that all-white places like West Virginia have much better social mobility for people born there than heavily black areas, even the Atlanta metro area. That's because of regression toward the mean with whites and blacks and blacks regressing toward different means.

ATBOTL said...

The small number of "blacks" from WV I've ever seen were mulattoes with wavy hair.

Anonymous said...

West Virginia is about the best spot for gentrification I can imagine. It's beautiful and parts of it are very close to DC. Won't be long till the eastern part of the state becomes a commuter colony of DC Drones. Which is sad.

Anonymous said...

West Virginia is about the best spot for gentrification I can imagine. It's beautiful and parts of it are very close to DC. Won't be long till the eastern part of the state becomes a commuter colony of DC Drones. Which is sad.
I hear of retired white people wanting to move there its pretty.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a concentration of Blacks near the Charles Town casino maybe it's just the projects.

Anonymous said...

appalachian goiter belt

Anonymous said...

""""""I've been following these kind of test score stats for almost as long as I've been following baseball statistics, but I have to admit that seldom if ever do any Mike Trouts come along to add excitement to my peculiar hobby."""""""

By the way, has anyone bothered to test Trout? For PEDS, that is? Certain anomalies should be indeed tested, especially after the stupendous rookie season he had in '12.

Test Trout. Before he becomes an embarrassing front page story a la Ryan Braun.

Anonymous said...

appalachian goiter belt

I like to see goiter belts make a comeback, along with stockings and 8-inch spike heels.

Anonymous said...

"""""On a good day, NJ's blacks could probably outperform WV's whites."""""""

But on that same day, NJ's WHITES will definitely outperform NJ's blacks.

See, you have to be consistent, especially since nationwide (which means the total for all blacks and all whites), whites score nearly 2-1 ahead of all blacks.

One has the smarts and the other, well.....

Steve did a favor by only highlighting ten states in particular. What about the black-white scores for NY? NJ? CA? and many of the other large states?

I'd venture to say that in the most populous states, the black-white score gap is going to be even wider, since, not all whites score at the level of WV.

Take the Northeastern States and CA in particular. Bet those states have an even wider gap score since there you'll be dealing with the best educated whites overall.

Also, there are very few Shermans in WV whereas they tend to reside in the larger states (NY, CA, etc) which in turn will raise the white score even higher about the black scores.

AnotherDad said...

Anon (Geeze just pick a moniker) 1:57
> Cmon, 50% of the difference between WV and Tennessee is that blacks in WV score higher than blacks in Tennessee

Yes, but that's because Tennessee blacks are particularly unsharp. (Ever been to Memphis and stopped at a gas station?)

Look nationally, and West Virgina has very average blacks, but what's remarkable is that the whites are stupid.

AnotherDad said...

Anonymous said...
"On a good day, NJ's blacks could probably outperform WV's whites.

Therefore "HBD" only accounts for part of these gaps. Liberals actually do have a point about culture, environment, etc."

~~
Did you read Steve's post?

HBD does not mean "white power!" or "white's are smart". It means people and groups of people naturally vary.

Steve's proposing a very strong, very HBDish explanation for why WV whites perform poorly. (Basically the reverse process from how the Jews got smart—culling away the folks who *can* make it in cognitive occupations.)

Furthermore, your assertion about NJ blacks besting WV whites is still not correct. Seven points is still 1/4 of a standard deviation.

In fact, this state data is a pretty strong refutation of the liberals claims. There is in fact *no* state--blue, run-by-liberals, high tax, etc.--where the blacks best the whites in even the dumbest, backwater red state. Even a backwater state which has been culled of smart white genes by a couple generations of strong out-migration.

Think about that. That's pretty remarkable!

No one in fact disputes that culture matters. But in the modern US where there's iodine in the salt, vitamin D in the milk, where the poor are fat and there is universal public education ... most all of the gaps we see is in fact not culture but biology.

If culture is what's ruling here—to any significant extent at all—explain how blacks with college educated parents can not outperform whites with HS dropout parents?

http://nationsreportcard.gov/reading_math_g12_2013/#/group-results








Anonymous said...

>>Another Dad said:
"""""""Look nationally, and West Virgina has very average blacks, but what's remarkable is that the whites are stupid.""""""""""""

And STILL, WV's Whites scored above WV's blacks.

Like this: 2--if WV's blacks are representative of the best black test scores nationwide,

+2--and they STILL got whupped educationally by WV's whites, who aren't sharpest, educationally speaking, well....

=4--there's only one thing to say then. Nationally, who or which group scores the best?


Big Bill said...

The WV results are echoed in the NAEP scores for Detroit. A 23-city (21?) analysis was conducted a few years ago to see how the major metro areas were performing on the NAEP.

They found only one city in which black male students did better than white male students: Detroit.

If your white parents are too dumb to get out of Detroit, you are probably as dumb as the blacks that are still stuck there.

Anonymous said...

>>Big Bill said:
""""""""They found only one city in which black male students did better than white male students: Detroit.

If your white parents are too dumb to get out of Detroit, you are probably as dumb as the blacks that are still stuck there.""""""""""""


And keep in mind that Detroit is about 85% black, so perhaps for this type of analysis the Latinos in Detroit are being lumped in with and thus being classified as "white". (much as these studies tend to do with prison populations throughout US, where latino is suddenly classified as "white" a la George Zimmerman.)

Anonymous said...

On a good day, NJ's blacks could probably outperform WV's whites.

Probably.

Therefore "HBD" only accounts for part of these gaps. Liberals actually do have a point about culture, environment, etc.

No, dumbass. Culture and environment don't make people smarter. Rather a good culture and environment attract smarter people. Smart blacks move to where they get a better deal. Smarter anyone does that.

Anonymous said...

North Carolina is only 19 percent black and Charlotte I believe is under 20 percent. So, being black doesn't effect its social mobility that much. In fact Pittsburgh does better in the study its doesn't have as much professional jobs and about the same percentage of blacks. Steve you just don't admit that North Carolin and and Georgia are not that good in terms of income and social mobility. They just have a few metro areas and cities that do better but they are not that great

Anonymous said...

Even dear California does better in the social mobility and it has a lot more Hispanics than the states you defend like North Carolina and Georgia, Charlotte gets beaten even by Anaheim which is pretty bad.

Techno-HillBilly said...

I'm a native of the Mountain State and I will say that WV gets a bum rap. Certainly there is ignorance, the same as any other state.

But, it is a safe state to live in and a beautiful state with good people. Currently I'm living in northwest Colorado, but I will be going back to WV when I retire.

Going back to spend my golden years with all my ignorant kinsmen, we'll sit around and pick banjos and sip moonshine and mock the rest of the civilized world from our mtn top cabins in peace and tranquility. Good day.

Anonymous said...

No one in fact disputes that culture matters. But in the modern US where there's iodine in the salt, vitamin D in the milk, where the poor are fat and there is universal public education ... most all of the gaps we see is in fact not culture but biology.

The gaps are in genetics, and are solvable by aggressive genetic modification therapy rather than iodine, vitamin D, and fluoride. Public health now needs to focus on giving everybody the honkiest genes possible.

Anonymous said...

North-Eastern states' African Americans have much higher scores than Southern blacks.

African Americans in the south have more European ancestry than African Americans from any other region of the country.

http://genomebiology.com/2009/10/12/R141/table/T1

So clearly...

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous to think that twins, one educated in an average CT school and one educated in an average AL school wouldnt come out different.

Anonymous said...

"But in the modern US where there's iodine in the salt, vitamin D in the milk..."

There are ongoing aggressive campaigns to reduce salt intake and there has been a less aggressive but more general long term campaign to reduce consumption of natural fats which led to a decline in the amount of dairy products consumed.

Anonymous said...

"No, dumbass. Culture and environment don't make people smarter. Rather a good culture and environment attract smarter people. Smart blacks move to where they get a better deal. Smarter anyone does that."

Yes, part of the gap is due to the sorting effect you describe, just like I said in my comment.

That doesn't mean non-genetic effects are zero. The fact that there are large populations of blacks who do about as well as large populations of whites tends to support the idea that there are substantial non-genetic factors at play. For example, WV's blacks probably do a little better than some other states because they're insulated from the dysfunctional school systems in the worst ghetto neighborhoods that those states have.

Prior posts by Sailer are actually pretty reasonable about this: real world outcomes are part nature, part nurture. Talking about the nature part is taboo in the media; pointing out that nurture is important draws juvenile insults on HBD blogs.

If you really think that white people in New Jersey are biologically different than their cousins in West Virginia, and that explains 100% of the huge test score gap then I honestly don't know what to do with you.