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A New Levitt, Fryer & List Study: Pre-K Program to Close White-Black IQ Gap Instead Increases It
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A cornerstone of the conventional wisdom is that All We Have to Do is to spend a lot more money cognitively stimulating poor black children pre-K and that will close The Gap.

But down through history, it’s been assumed that better teachers should work with higher, not lower potential students: Socrates taught Plato, Plato taught Aristotle, and so forth. Rather than pour extra resources into lower potential students, most cultures have allotted them to higher potential young people

So what if spending money on the conventional wisdom’s pre-K initiatives actually widens The Gap?

From the National Bureau of Economic Research:

Parental Incentives and Early Childhood Achievement: A Field Experiment in Chicago Heights

Roland G. Fryer, Jr., Steven D. Levitt, John A. List

NBER Working Paper No. 21477
Issued in August 2015

This article describes a randomized field experiment in which parents were provided financial incentives to engage in behaviors designed to increase early childhood cognitive and executive function skills through a parent academy. Parents were rewarded for attendance at early childhood sessions, completing homework assignments with their children, and for their child’s demonstration of mastery on interim assessments. This intervention had large and statistically significant positive impacts on both cognitive and non-cognitive test scores of Hispanics and Whites, but no impact on Blacks. These differential outcomes across races are not attributable to differences in observable characteristics (e.g. family size, mother’s age, mother’s education) or to the intensity of engagement with the program. Children with above median (pre-treatment) non cognitive scores accrue the most benefits from treatment.

Here’s the full paper.

For years I’ve argued that rather than obsess over boosting school achievement among blacks and Hispanics by roughly one standard deviations while not allowing whites and Asians to get better, we should try as a society to boost all groups by half a standard deviation.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Education, Freakonomics, IQ 
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  1. • Replies: @Richard A.
    It is primarily those with computer science degrees that Zukerberg wants to import, and by major they are the number one victim of the H-1b visa. It will be interesting to see what type of starting salary that computer science majors receive in 2015 relative to 2014. If it is negative, Zukerberg and the politicians he has in his pocket have some explaining to do.

    Class of 2014 starting salaries:
    http://www.naceweb.org/s09032014/starting-salaries-for-2014-graduates.aspx

    The class of 2015 starting salaries from NACE should be out by early September.
  2. It says that parents were rewarded for attendance at early childhood sessions, completing homework assignments with their child, etc…did the parents compete at the same level? I can’t get the full paper to open, so I need to know the parent’s level of participation. Were the parents rewarded the same?

  3. Wow, you think the improvement goals should be the same across all ……. what sort of racist are you?

  4. Kudos to Fryer for letting the study see the light of day. Maybe he is a real scientist after all (or maybe Levitt refused to let it be squashed).

  5. Trump speaks more common sense.

    • Replies: @WhatEvvs
    It's interesting how often Trump mentions the word "love."
  6. @JohnnyWalker123
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQYdfdtDRyE

    It is primarily those with computer science degrees that Zukerberg wants to import, and by major they are the number one victim of the H-1b visa. It will be interesting to see what type of starting salary that computer science majors receive in 2015 relative to 2014. If it is negative, Zukerberg and the politicians he has in his pocket have some explaining to do.

    Class of 2014 starting salaries:
    http://www.naceweb.org/s09032014/starting-salaries-for-2014-graduates.aspx

    The class of 2015 starting salaries from NACE should be out by early September.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    https://normsaysno.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/new-cs-grads-wages-down-9/

    according to norm their projection is for a decline. We shall see.
  7. Meanwhile, my four-year-old nephew just started reading words he sees on the street.

    No one put him in a program to learn this. Nobody made any special effort. He just picked this up on his own. He sees a word or name on something, and he reads it out loud.

    He also likes to put our whole family on conference call together on Skype. He does that on his own too. Sometimes he will just call us by himself. He is what you would call computer literate — for a four-year-old.

    Beautiful.

    If he grows up to found something like Facebook, I hope he won’t become a pimple-faced, ignorant asshole like Zuckerberg.

    • Replies: @EvolutionistX
    Your nephew's parents have been teaching him. It's a thing most parents do, whether they realize it or not.
  8. Am I just having a brain lock or does that last sentence not make any sense? Should it read “we SHOULD try”?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Thanks
  9. @PSR
    Am I just having a brain lock or does that last sentence not make any sense? Should it read "we SHOULD try"?

    Thanks

  10. @Jack D
    In other news, blacks expelled from school at higher rates than whites.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/25/us/higher-expulsion-rates-for-black-students-are-found.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    Must be due to da racis's.

    Thanks, I’ll post.

  11. In another of today’s iSteve posts, Sailer mentions “the last 60 years” as if nobody in education has been grappling with this gap. This is nonsense. This has been the prime concern of professional educators for 150 years.

    This article covers the history of the gap going back into the 19th century and details the excuses, hand wringing, and finger pointing that have produced policies that time and time again have done a major disservice not only to blacks, to greater American society, but to whites.

    The Mis-education of Afro-Americans, Yesterday
    http://thosewhocansee.blogspot.com/2012/03/mis-education-of-afro-americans.html

    (As with all the essays on this blog, it is long and replete with excellent data, graphics, charts, and images.)

  12. Have you seen this study on brain scans for structure outproforming testing for estimating mathematical ability in the 8-14 range. Clearly in addition to Pre-K we should also be funding elective brain surgery (once we figure out how to do that)

    http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2015/08/brain-scans-better-forecast-math-learning-in-kids.html

  13. You can close the gap by putting crayons up the noses of the white students.

    • Replies: @Harold

    You can close the gap by putting crayons up the noses of the white students.
     
    Way up!

    Alternatively you can give them alcohol. This would make the boys more likely to harrass the girls, it will make them louder, more impulsive, unruly and disruptive, it will even make them more likely to dance. They will get suspended and expelled more often, thus closing another gap at the same time.

    Maybe give the black kids modafinil. With correctly calibrated chemical treatments I think we can close all the gaps.

  14. “Chicago Heights lies 10 square miles south of Chicago.”

  15. @ScarletNumber
    You can close the gap by putting crayons up the noses of the white students.

    You can close the gap by putting crayons up the noses of the white students.

    Way up!

    Alternatively you can give them alcohol. This would make the boys more likely to harrass the girls, it will make them louder, more impulsive, unruly and disruptive, it will even make them more likely to dance. They will get suspended and expelled more often, thus closing another gap at the same time.

    Maybe give the black kids modafinil. With correctly calibrated chemical treatments I think we can close all the gaps.

  16. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The average IQ of Ashkenazi Jews is 115 which is 15 points higher than the average IQ of whites which is 100 which is 15 points higher than the average IQ of American blacks which is 85.

    The majority of the world’s BILLIONAIRES are American and the majority of American billionaires are Ashkenazi Jews, therefore the majority of all billionares in the world are Ashkenazi Jews.

    So, WHY is there no concern to close the performance gap between whites and Ashkenazi Jews?? If this could be accomplished, multitudes of whites could/would become billionaires!?!

    I think the answer is, as these IQ’s have persistently existed as such~with little consistent variation~since IQ’s have been measured, it simply cannot not be accomplished. But, yet, study after study has to be performed; program after program has to be instituted; government $$ have to be constantly increased, all under the guise that somehow black performance levels can and must be improved. We all know that there exists the “Talented Tenth” of blacks and the other 90% just are never going to rise higher than the confines that their low IQ’s are going to allow them to perform.

    But, the question still remains: Why is there SUCH concern to prove that blacks can compete on par with whites, BUT, there is no concern that there should be programs to help whites compete on par with Ashkenazi Jews??

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "therefore the majority of all billionaires in the world are Ashkenazi Jews."

    I don't think multiplication quite works like that.

    , @Drake

    The majority of the world’s BILLIONAIRES are American and the majority of American billionaires are Ashkenazi Jews, therefore the majority of all billionares in the world are Ashkenazi Jews.
     
    Actually about 11% of the world's billionaires are Jewish.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2013/04/forbes-jewish-billionaires

    I think JocasseeJo does raise an interesting point. That even if blacks ever managed to perform equally with whites they still wouldn't have real equality, since they would still be below Jews and Asians.

    Also, if whites can't close the gap between themselves and Jews and Asians, how are blacks ever going to?

    It would be very interesting to see how your typical anti-racist would respond to this.

  17. @Anonymous
    The average IQ of Ashkenazi Jews is 115 which is 15 points higher than the average IQ of whites which is 100 which is 15 points higher than the average IQ of American blacks which is 85.

    The majority of the world's BILLIONAIRES are American and the majority of American billionaires are Ashkenazi Jews, therefore the majority of all billionares in the world are Ashkenazi Jews.

    So, WHY is there no concern to close the performance gap between whites and Ashkenazi Jews?? If this could be accomplished, multitudes of whites could/would become billionaires!?!

    I think the answer is, as these IQ's have persistently existed as such~with little consistent variation~since IQ's have been measured, it simply cannot not be accomplished. But, yet, study after study has to be performed; program after program has to be instituted; government $$ have to be constantly increased, all under the guise that somehow black performance levels can and must be improved. We all know that there exists the "Talented Tenth" of blacks and the other 90% just are never going to rise higher than the confines that their low IQ's are going to allow them to perform.

    But, the question still remains: Why is there SUCH concern to prove that blacks can compete on par with whites, BUT, there is no concern that there should be programs to help whites compete on par with Ashkenazi Jews??

    “therefore the majority of all billionaires in the world are Ashkenazi Jews.”

    I don’t think multiplication quite works like that.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    You will have to give JocasseeJo a pass, since he isn't Ashkenazi Jewish.
  18. @Steve Sailer
    "therefore the majority of all billionaires in the world are Ashkenazi Jews."

    I don't think multiplication quite works like that.

    You will have to give JocasseeJo a pass, since he isn’t Ashkenazi Jewish.

  19. @Buzz Mohawk
    Meanwhile, my four-year-old nephew just started reading words he sees on the street.

    No one put him in a program to learn this. Nobody made any special effort. He just picked this up on his own. He sees a word or name on something, and he reads it out loud.

    He also likes to put our whole family on conference call together on Skype. He does that on his own too. Sometimes he will just call us by himself. He is what you would call computer literate -- for a four-year-old.

    Beautiful.

    If he grows up to found something like Facebook, I hope he won't become a pimple-faced, ignorant asshole like Zuckerberg.

    Your nephew’s parents have been teaching him. It’s a thing most parents do, whether they realize it or not.

  20. WhatEvvs [AKA "Aamirkhanfan"] says:
    @JohnnyWalker123
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w0MD0-vbu8

    Trump speaks more common sense.

    It’s interesting how often Trump mentions the word “love.”

  21. WhatEvvs [AKA "Aamirkhanfan"] says:

    The Times finds another racial gap:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/25/health/a-racial-gap-in-attitudes-toward-hospice-care.html?gwh=916C630331709E44A5C9C89D7C333F8C&gwt=pay

    Instead, black Americans — far more so than whites — choose aggressive life-sustaining interventions, including resuscitation and mechanical ventilation, even when there is little chance of survival. …The racial gaps may widen after January 2016, when Medicare is to begin paying physicians for end-of-life counseling. In 2050, blacks and other minorities are projected to make up 42 percent of people aged 65 and over, up from 20 percent in 2000.

    The journalist points out that suspicion of hospice care arises from African-Americans’ justified suspicion of the medical industry. Then why choose aggressive life-sustaining interventions?

    • Replies: @Brutusale
    My girlfriend has documented this at her hospital. It's the same attitude that informs the entire gamut of hospital care: if someone else is paying for it, give me everything you've got.
  22. There are no discipline problems in the almost all black school with all black teachers that my two black kids go to.

    Of course the school is not in the US and religion is part of the curriculum.

    • Replies: @Brutusale
    There were no discipline problems at my school, either, despite the average class size being 32-35 students.

    The nuns had license to whack us upside the head as needed. And they did.
  23. @Anonymous
    The average IQ of Ashkenazi Jews is 115 which is 15 points higher than the average IQ of whites which is 100 which is 15 points higher than the average IQ of American blacks which is 85.

    The majority of the world's BILLIONAIRES are American and the majority of American billionaires are Ashkenazi Jews, therefore the majority of all billionares in the world are Ashkenazi Jews.

    So, WHY is there no concern to close the performance gap between whites and Ashkenazi Jews?? If this could be accomplished, multitudes of whites could/would become billionaires!?!

    I think the answer is, as these IQ's have persistently existed as such~with little consistent variation~since IQ's have been measured, it simply cannot not be accomplished. But, yet, study after study has to be performed; program after program has to be instituted; government $$ have to be constantly increased, all under the guise that somehow black performance levels can and must be improved. We all know that there exists the "Talented Tenth" of blacks and the other 90% just are never going to rise higher than the confines that their low IQ's are going to allow them to perform.

    But, the question still remains: Why is there SUCH concern to prove that blacks can compete on par with whites, BUT, there is no concern that there should be programs to help whites compete on par with Ashkenazi Jews??

    The majority of the world’s BILLIONAIRES are American and the majority of American billionaires are Ashkenazi Jews, therefore the majority of all billionares in the world are Ashkenazi Jews.

    Actually about 11% of the world’s billionaires are Jewish.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2013/04/forbes-jewish-billionaires

    I think JocasseeJo does raise an interesting point. That even if blacks ever managed to perform equally with whites they still wouldn’t have real equality, since they would still be below Jews and Asians.

    Also, if whites can’t close the gap between themselves and Jews and Asians, how are blacks ever going to?

    It would be very interesting to see how your typical anti-racist would respond to this.

  24. @Richard A.
    It is primarily those with computer science degrees that Zukerberg wants to import, and by major they are the number one victim of the H-1b visa. It will be interesting to see what type of starting salary that computer science majors receive in 2015 relative to 2014. If it is negative, Zukerberg and the politicians he has in his pocket have some explaining to do.

    Class of 2014 starting salaries:
    http://www.naceweb.org/s09032014/starting-salaries-for-2014-graduates.aspx

    The class of 2015 starting salaries from NACE should be out by early September.

    https://normsaysno.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/new-cs-grads-wages-down-9/

    according to norm their projection is for a decline. We shall see.

  25. @WhatEvvs
    The Times finds another racial gap:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/25/health/a-racial-gap-in-attitudes-toward-hospice-care.html?gwh=916C630331709E44A5C9C89D7C333F8C&gwt=pay

    Instead, black Americans — far more so than whites — choose aggressive life-sustaining interventions, including resuscitation and mechanical ventilation, even when there is little chance of survival. ...The racial gaps may widen after January 2016, when Medicare is to begin paying physicians for end-of-life counseling. In 2050, blacks and other minorities are projected to make up 42 percent of people aged 65 and over, up from 20 percent in 2000.

     

    The journalist points out that suspicion of hospice care arises from African-Americans' justified suspicion of the medical industry. Then why choose aggressive life-sustaining interventions?

    My girlfriend has documented this at her hospital. It’s the same attitude that informs the entire gamut of hospital care: if someone else is paying for it, give me everything you’ve got.

  26. @Jonathan Mason
    There are no discipline problems in the almost all black school with all black teachers that my two black kids go to.

    Of course the school is not in the US and religion is part of the curriculum.

    There were no discipline problems at my school, either, despite the average class size being 32-35 students.

    The nuns had license to whack us upside the head as needed. And they did.

  27. Roland Fryer is the first black to win the John Bates Clark medal for young economists. He is noted for his work on the racial achievement gap, notably the Harlem Children’s Zone. That school has nearly closed the black/white achievement gap the state math exam but only a quarter of the kids at HCZ are proficient in reading while half of the white kids in NYC are.

    HCZ high school students are still a standard deviation below the white national SAT average. HCZ SAT scores are 396 reading, 438 math, and 410 reading.

    So far, only state exams and the NAEP have shown a closing of the achievement gap, not even high school entry exams like the SHSAT. Definitely not the ACT, GRE, MCAT, GMAT, LSAT, etc.

  28. According to an NAEP assessment of 12th graders, the black children of college graduates score almost the same in reading and math as white and Hispanic students whose parents dropped out of high school.

    The black children of college graduates score similar in reading as the Asian children of high school dropouts, but score much lower in math.

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

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