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Who could have guessed? Breaking news in the New York Times: Nationwide, according to the 2011 Obama Administration study "Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008," blacks were almost eight times more likely to be homicide offenders. But, of course, noticing patterns and looking for simple explanations runs afoul of that
Paul Krugman argues today that Puerto Rico is kind of like West Virginia, Mississippi, and Alabama: Okay, but there's a huge difference in test scores. The federal government has been administering a special Puerto Rico-customized version of its National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam in Spanish to Puerto Rican public school
It has finally dawned on me what Ted Kennedy, George W. Bush, and company were probably thinking ten years ago when they came up with the ill-fated No Child Left Behind school reform act. Until now, I've never been able to grasp what kind of picture they had in their heads when they decided that... Read More
The new book by sometime contributor Robert Weissberg, Bad Students, Not Bad Schools, has become even timelier following the recent popping of the test score bubble in New York City public schools. Weissberg, a professor of political science emeritus at the U. of Illinois, wittily surveys in his conversational prose style a half century... Read More
It's widely argued that the reason that blacks tend to perform poorly in schools and jobs is their fear of being accused by other blacks of"acting white." Thus in the current issue of The New Republic, linguist John McWhorter, the celebrated black intellectual associated with New York's Manhattan Institute, lauds the new book Acting White:... Read More
Over the last decade, a bipartisan consensus has been emerging among politicians, the prestige press, and leading philanthropists: theracial gap in achievement is the fault of—schoolteachers! If only schoolteachers were more multiculturally sensitive, or if only they held students to more rigorous standards, or if only they could be fired in large numbers and replaced... Read More
The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, the new book by veteran education historian Diane Ravitch, has received a lot of publicity for revealing her newfound doubts aboutthe current conventional wisdom on K-12 education reform. Her summary: "[The Bush Administration's No Child Left Behind Act]... Read More
The Obama Administration's munificence toward state and local public schools ($100 billion in stimulus funds, including a $5 billion slush fund to try to figure out “what works“) is bringing out of the woodwork the usual array of miracle workers with cures for whatever ails useducationally. What's palpably lacking in the Obama Administration's approach to... Read More
Whenever I protest the firing of distinguished thinkers such as James Watson and Larry Summers for doubting the race-denying Blank Slateconventional wisdom, I often hear back something like this: "Everybody who is in a position of power knows the facts, but, THINK OF THE CHILDREN! We can't deflate theirself-esteem by mentioning the truth in public.... Read More
How can we improve America's K-12 schools? While we're waitingfor Charles Murray to unveil his plan in his upcoming book, Real Education (due in August), here are some ideas I've had. #1: educators need to stop falling for this year's Solution of the Century every year. A huge amount of time is wasted reorganizing schools... Read More
Why doesn't America ever get better at educating children? During my lifetime, Americans have made progress in many fields—for example, retailing, where Wal-Mart and Costco operate profitably selling at inflation-adjusted prices that would be unimaginably low topast generations. Yet, our schools keep bumping along, with one fad replacing another, but little if any improvement in... Read More
Saturday was the 25th anniversary of the famous “A Nation at Risk” report issued by the Reagan Administration's Education Department in 1983. It warned: “… the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.” Ever since, we've... Read More
In the grand tradition of Ebenezer Scrooge, economist James J. Heckman, a Nobel Laureate and 2002 Statistician of the Year, says"Bah! Humbug!" to the happy-clappy statistics the federal government has been feeding us on a key omen of America's future: high school dropout rates. In an important paper with the bland title of The American... Read More
California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell has figured out a way to aid students of whatever race to come closer to fulfilling their potential. He is denouncing white public school teachers as bigots. According to O'Connell, white teachers contribute to the racial gap ineducational achievement by imposing excessively strict discipline. The Superintendent's bizarre... Read More
A reader who teaches math in a public high school in northern Orange County, California recounted the following dialogue with one of his students: Student: "My mom is 28 years old." Teacher: "How old are you?" Student: "Fifteen." Teacher: "So, your mother had you when she was thirteen?" Student: "Wow! You can do that in... Read More
America has a dysfunctional hate-love relationship with standardized tests. In private, students and their parents are terrorized by SAT and ACT college admission test scores. In public, the federal No Child Left Behind legislation adores tests—it requires that each state test its students and publish the results as part of the mandate that every single... Read More
Last week saw two events exemplifying the vast contradiction between how the American upper middle class views IQ and schooling in public—and what it actually thinks in private. The widely-reviled heretic Charles Murray published three essays in theWall Street Journal on how we are kidding ourselves about schooling("Half of all children are below average in... Read More
Within the claustrophobic limitations imposed by its title phrase, the new book No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning, by conservative Harvard historian Stephan Thernstrom and his wife, Manhattan Institute think-tanker Abigail, contains much to praise. Itoffers detailed documentation of the size of the racial gap in school performance and of all the failed... Read More
Huge numbers of mothers entered the labor force over the last fewdecades. And the inflation-adjusted price of food, clothing, appliances, electronics etc. dropped sharply. So how come we don't feel like we've got a lot more discretionary income than our single-income parents had? A wise and readable new public policy book called The Two-Income Trap:... Read More
You seldom find Caltech grads teaching at tough urban high schools. But for twelve years, Scott Phelps has fought the good fight at Muir High in Pasadena, California, where only 20% of eleventh graders score above the national average on the SAT-9 science test. "He is one of the few teachers I believe went to... Read More
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Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?