June 12, 2006

More from the email bag

Readers write about the 2005 NAEP 8th Grade Science scores:

But Hawaii [which came in third from the bottom, beating only Mississippi and California] is heavily Asian. Why does it rank so low on both the 8th grade and 12th grade science tests? Asians living in Hawaii came to this country under a different immigration regime. They came to work in the sugar cane fields, not as part of the highly educated, post-1965 wave. I wonder if all Asians are more representative of Hawaiian Asians or of the more recent group of immigrants?

Of course, it might also have to do with the fact that they spend more of their time surfing. (Maybe weather explains at least part of the reason why people in northern latitudes do better in school).

The lack of economic dynamism in Hawaii, especially in the high tech fields, is striking.

Another writes about why the highest scoring Hispanics tend to be in states with very few Hispanics like Missouri and Ohio and the lowest scoring ones are in heavily Hispanic states like California and Arizona:

It seems pretty clear to me. If you let in small amounts of immigrants, they have to conform to the prevailing culture. If you let in large amounts, they can keep to themselves and not assimilate...or, worse, assimilate into the preexisting underclass culture with all its negative attributes.

(BTW, I can tell you why whites do so well in Massachusetts: all the college professors. Whatever their risibly liberal politics, they do encourage their kids to study. It's much like the liberal Minnesotans you mentioned before: of course we don't need tradition! People (because all people are like us) don't need social restraints, because all they want to do with their freedom is study 17th century literature! Only someone who's been oppressed all their life would want to rob a convenience store.)

Massachusetts has been among the best educated states ever since the Puritans arrived in 1629. Many of the other states with strong educational traditions, like Montana, were settled by descendents of the Puritans. Another reader comments:

As far as Hispanic test scores go, I'm not surprised that Ohio does better than places with a "critical mass" of Hispanics. Most of the Hispanic kids I went to high school with assimilated strongly to "white norms," probably something they would have gotten beaten up for Texas or Florida. Most of the Hispanic kids here in Ohio learn proper English early, try to make something of themselves in school so they can go to college (despite their parents humble backgrounds), etc. When I lived in Long Island, I noticed a lot of the Puerto Rican and Dominican kids assimilated strongly towards the thuggish Bronx norms, even way out in Suffolk county.

An immigrant reader writes:

I'd like to congratulate you on another astute observation: that immigrants care more about permanent residency than they do about citizenship. Most of the policymakers in Washington who have a big fetish for all this civic stuff probably can't see that. I immigrated to this country, first on a J2 visa in 1992, then an H2, and when we finally got a green card in 1998 it was a big deal. I became a U.S. citizen in 2004, which was nice, but not really a big deal. I could still own property, go to any college, come and go from the USA as I please, work practically any job, etc. as a permanent resident. The green card is what most immigrants care about, or in the case of illegals, an effective green card by not being deported. GWB has already told them that they won't be deported, so they could care less about his "path to citizenship" scheme.

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

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