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The Eye of Sauron v. Nice White Lady Teachers
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Here’s a brand new article from the New York Times that nicely illustrates the theme of my Taki’s column about how the Eye of Sauron can only glare at a few instances of discrimination at a time. For example, the federal government is currently blithely rebuilding the civil service examination system, junked as discriminatory in 1981 due to disparate impact, but is also persecuting the very blue state of New York for trying to hire good teachers.

Does that make sense? Of course not, but that’s not the point, the point is that it’s more fun to be behind the Eye than in front of it.

Questions of Bias Are Raised About a Teachers’ Exam in New York
By KATE TAYLOR APRIL 7, 2015

A federal judge is questioning whether a new exam for aspiring teachers in New York is discriminatory against minorities, a case that could derail the state’s efforts to create a more rigorous set of tests for entry into the profession.

Black and Hispanic applicants have been passing one of the exams, intended to measure reading and writing skills, at lower rates than white candidates, prompting concerns of decreased diversity in the teaching ranks.

The judge, Kimba M. Wood of Federal District Court in Manhattan, has asked the state for extensive documentation on the development of the test, which was first given during the 2013-14 school year.

I haven’t heard the name Judge Kimba Wood for a while. She was, briefly, a Playboy bunny while she was at the London School of Economics, then went to Harvard Law. She sentenced Mike Milken to 10 years in the pen, was going to be Bill Clinton’s Attorney General nominee but got hit with Nannygate, then was involved in a steamy 1995 divorce trial that was the talk of New York society.

The request came as part of a long-running case brought in 1996 by black and Hispanic teachers against New York City. In 2012, Judge Wood ruled that an older state-certification test, which was intended to measure teachers’ knowledge of the liberal arts and science, was racially discriminatory.

Although compensation has not yet been awarded, the city is expected to have to pay back wages to several thousand teachers who were demoted to being substitutes from the early 1990s to 2004, or were never hired as full-time teachers because they did not pass the older test.

The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Joshua Sohn, a partner at Mishcon de Reya New York, said that he did not know if the new test, the Academic Literacy Skills Test, was discriminatory. But, he said, given the fact that blacks and Hispanics are passing the test at lower levels than whites, “the court has an obligation to ensure that the historical discrimination is not continuing.”

The State Education Department declined to comment on the judge’s request, citing the pending litigation.

The literacy test is the most challenging of four exams introduced in the 2013-14 school year, as part of an effort to raise the caliber of teachers and teacher training programs. Over all, the number of aspiring teachers passing the four required tests dropped by 20 percent from previous years. Students may retake tests they failed.

Under a provision in the new state budget, any graduate-level teacher training program that has fewer than 50 percent of its students pass each certification exam for three consecutive years will not be able to admit new students.

The earlier test that Judge Wood ruled was discriminatory, the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test, was used until 2004. She said that because the minority candidates were failing that test in greater numbers, the burden was on public officials to prove the test served a valid purpose. In similar rulings, judges around the country have thrown out written exams for firefighters and police officers, ruling they were not relevant to the tasks they would perform.

Judge Wood ruled that officials had not shown that the material on the test “accurately measured the minimum knowledge about the liberal arts and sciences that teachers need to be competent.”

Kimba Wood has a J.D. from Harvard Law School. As everybody knows, Harvard Law put a lot of effort into accurately measuring the bareminimum knowledge it takes to be a competent lawyer and then picks its admittees randomly from among all those who clear that hurdle. Harvard Law School would never think about admitting applicants from the top down based on a combination of the LSAT exam and college grades.

She is also expected to rule soon on whether a replacement test with the same name, which was in use from 2004 to 2013, was also discriminatory. If she decides that it was, thousands of additional people who failed the test during that time and thus were barred from full-time teaching positions could make claims against the city for back pay and other benefits. A testing expert appointed by the court submitted a report in February that concluded the state had not proved the test was relevant.

The new literacy test that is now under scrutiny by Judge Wood “requires the teacher to demonstrate an understanding of evidence found in texts and uses cogent reasoning to analyze and synthesize ideas,” according to the State Education Department. “The teacher produces complex and nuanced writing by choosing words, information, and structure deliberately for a given task, purpose, and audience.”

Sample questions provided by the state include a passage about Gertrude Stein’s life in Paris, followed by questions about the passage, and two passages about federal energy policy that the test-taker is asked to analyze in short written responses.

Kate Walsh, the president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, which advocates tougher certification requirements, said the judge’s questioning of the test was troubling. “I want to ask Judge Wood,” Ms. Walsh said, “would she be willing to have any of these teachers teach her own children or grandchildren, and I would bet my life she’d say no.”

“They’re saying, at the risk of not appearing racist, or at the risk of having to make a hard call against adults, I’m going to sacrifice the best needs of kids,” she added.

I haven’t been able to find out where Kimba Wood sent her only child, the son of her second of three husbands, Time columnist Michael Kramer, to school. I found a high four-figure donation from her and her financier third husband to Ethical Culture Fieldston School (tuition $43,265), so that might be a guess.

The State Education Department on Tuesday would not release statistics showing passing rates by ethnicity, but officials have acknowledged that minority teaching candidates have not done as well as white candidates on the new test.

So it’s obviously due to some idiosyncratic failure of the test, since no other test in no other state has ever had the same problem.

The important thing is that no one ever learn from any other examples. Noticing general patterns is evil.

You’re especially not allowed to notice the g factor.

The racial makeup of the city’s teaching force has been a concern for years. While 41 percent of students in public schools are Hispanic and 25 percent are black, 60 percent of teachers are white, according to the city’s Education Department. Eighteen percent of teachers are black, and 15 percent are Hispanic.

Education Realist points out that a reform made by Congress a number of years ago had the inadvertent impact of making it very hard for ed schools to practice affirmative action.

 
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  1. “Harvard Law School would never think about admitting applicants from the top down based on a combination of the LSAT exam and college grades.”

    You really have to hand it to these asshole Ivy League lawyers who think that every job below the status of Ivy League-grad lawyer can be done by people who are as dumb as rocks. How dare the teaching profession, the firefighting profession, and law enforcement believe that it requires a certain amount of intelligence to do their jobs? Do they think they’re lawyers or something?

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    • Replies: @AnotherDad

    ou really have to hand it to these asshole Ivy League lawyers who think that every job below the status of Ivy League-grad lawyer can be done by people who are as dumb as rocks. How dare the teaching profession, the firefighting profession, and law enforcement believe that it requires a certain amount of intelligence to do their jobs? Do they think they’re lawyers or something?
     
    Well said Wilkey. These folks really are a pompously obnoxious bunch. (And it's not like they are nuclear physicists themselves.)

    I'd add "power plant operator" to the list of jobs where i'd like to get the smartest ones we can. But nope, in the US of A courtesy of judicial fiat only lawyering requires any IQ.
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  2. I think Wood only did some training to be a bunny. She never actually was one.

    FOR generations, Jewish educators dominated New York’s public schools. Now that era is over. Does anybody care?

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  3. Starting in the thirties, and for decades afterward, Jews constituted the largest single ethnic group among the city schools’ teachers and principals, frequently forming an absolute majority. By both numbers and force of personality, they virtually created the institutional culture of meritocracy and union power. When both of those ideals came under attack in the decentralization war of Ocean Hill-Brownsville in 1968, Jewish educators more than any others bore the blame for public education’s failures in the black and Puerto Rican slums. Long hailed as the architects of the Golden Age of public schooling in New York, they were suddenly reviled as racists who could not uplift minority children as they had their own.

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  4. While 41 percent of students in public schools are Hispanic and 25 percent are black, 60 percent of teachers are white, according to the city’s Education Department. Eighteen percent of teachers are black, and 15 percent are Hispanic.

    So they want to try and get more blacks and browns into teaching positions, huh? Have fun with that shit, guys!

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    • Replies: @Joe Walker
    Apparently black and Hispanic parents are more concerned with having teachers that look like them than they are with having teachers who are good at their jobs.
  5. The racial makeup of the city’s teaching force has been a concern for years. While 41 percent of students in public schools are Hispanic and 25 percent are black, 60 percent of teachers are white, according to the city’s Education Department. Eighteen percent of teachers are black, and 15 percent are Hispanic.

    Asians are not included once again. How large does the Asian population have to get before they will be factored in to any analysis on disparate impact?

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    • Replies: @Joe Walker
    Asians screw up that whole "white privilege" ideology that so much of modern liberalism is based on.
  6. Harvard Law School would never think about admitting applicants from the top down based on a combination of the LSAT exam and college grades.

    You are absolutely right about that. If they did that, they would have only a handful of black and Hispanic students, if any. Stuyvesant H.S. in NY DOES do this and they have mostly Asians and a vanishingly small # of NAMs.

    America is obviously not going to stop worrying about race and become a color-blind society any time soon. There is too much money to be made in the race-baiting business. So what should be done with the teacher’s test is what Harvard does already (without publicly saying so): the applicants should be divided into pools – white, black, Hispanic, Asian, in some pre-negotiated quota proportion. Then they can give each of the pools a real test and choose the best candidates in each pool without stepping into America’s racial quagmire.

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  7. The problem with the current system of essentially random selection among all applicants who meet a bare minimum standard is not just that it favors less-qualified black candidates to get ahead of better-qualified white candidates. It also gives jobs and promotions to a lot of less-qualified black candidates ahead of better-qualified black candidates, and for that matter, a lot of less-qualified white candidates ahead of better-qualified white candidates. So the current system is twice as bad as it needs to be to meet Sauron’s affirmative action goals.

    Rationally, even if Sauron wants to make sure that blacks comprise a given percentage of all teachers, he should still give the test. If we are inevitably going to have affirmative action, then the Harvard system is still the best one. Decide how many black teachers you want to have. Give the test. Then make separate lists for whites and blacks. Hire the best-performing blacks until all of the black seats have been filled. Then fill the white seats with the best-performing whites. Why can’t we do that?

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  8. Firefighting is mostly a physical job. It doesn’t require a lot of brain power. And firefighters are almost always working together as teams, not as individuals. In practice, any confusion by a dumb firefighter is likely to be remedied in real time by pairing him with a smarter firefighter who makes sure that he doesn’t screw up. So the elimination of written tests probably doesn’t significantly impair the performance of the fire department. Whites resent it, but blacks still do useful work satisfactorily.

    Giving preference to women by weakening the physical standards is a more serious matter. A firefighter who can’t do the job physically is useless. If she can’t be given one of the small number of important assignments at the scene of the fire that don’t require physical strength, she has to be either left behind in the station, given a make-work assignment at the scene of the fire where she is doing nothing productive, or given an important assignment where she endangers her fellow firefighters.

    The good news is that there just aren’t a lot of women who want to be firefighters. Not many of them apply for the job. As a practical matter, the number of women firefighters is small, so they don’t significantly degrade the performance of the fire department or endanger their fellow firefighters. If fire departments were compelled to fill 50% of their jobs with women, things would be much worse, of course. That would be a catastrophe, and people would die.

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    • Replies: @Sparkling Wiggle

    Firefighting is mostly a physical job. It doesn’t require a lot of brain power. And firefighters are almost always working together as teams, not as individuals. In practice, any confusion by a dumb firefighter is likely to be remedied in real time by pairing him with a smarter firefighter who makes sure that he doesn’t screw up. So the elimination of written tests probably doesn’t significantly impair the performance of the fire department.
     
    ...said the commentor who has obviously never been a firefighter.
    , @Joe Walker
    In practice, any confusion by a dumb firefighter is likely to be remedied in real time by pairing him with a smarter firefighter who makes sure that he doesn’t screw up.

    What if the dumb one is so dumb that he thinks he is the smart one and ignores the firefighter who is actually the smart one? If you pair a dumb black firefighter with a smart white firefighter what is most likely to happen is that the black guy will complain to his bosses that his white partner is racist and ends up suing the department and trying to get the white guy fired.
    , @Joe Walker
    Giving preference to women by weakening the physical standards is a more serious matter. A firefighter who can’t do the job physically is useless.

    Not really. In the real world, firefighters are required to make intelligent decisions in high stress situations. A smart white woman is going to be better at that than a less intelligent black man.
  9. This whole last 40 years or so is like a giant I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and Desi decide to switch places.

    Looking forward to the switchback.

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  10. Steve,

    A little off topic, but you will undoubtedly hear a lot about Vijay Chokal-Ingam shortly. He is the brother of Mindy Kaling, the actress. He is an Indian-American who posed as an African-American in order to gain admittance to medical school via affirmative action. He did so because his college scores, 3.1 GPA and 31 on the MCAT, were mediocre, and would never have earned him acceptance without AA. He was ultimately accepted by St. Louis University Medical School but dropped out after 2 years. His website, almostblack.com is interesting and, but for my complete incompetence, I would have linked it. He says he was a “serious contender” at Harvard, Columbia, Penn and a few other schools.

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  11. The request came as part of a long-running case brought in 1996 by black and Hispanic teachers against New York City.

    Is this background info, or has litigation actually lasted 19 years?

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  12. In fairness, there’s no connection between being able to pass the credential tests, and being a “good teacher”, especially if you’re judging the teacher by the pupils’ test scores. What matters is the ability of the pupils, realistic expectations for the low and middle ability kids and – somewhat embarrassingly – matching the race of the teacher with that of the pupils.

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    • Replies: @Joe Walker
    So you are basically saying that teachers are irrelevant? Also, few liberals and politically correct "conservatives" are going to have realistic expectations for the low and middle ability kids since those kids are more likely to be black and Hispanic than white or Asian. Remember, if a white person is better at something than a black or a Hispanic this is taken as proof of racist activity.
  13. Clearly there is some important factor that Harvard Law admissions does not take into account.

    This judge is either:

    1) So stupid as to be unable to see the faulty logic at work here, or

    2) She is so evil as to want to facilitate the increase in numbers of incompetent teachers, or

    3) She is being bought and paid to bring forth the damage she is causing.

    No matter which of the three possiblities is true, this judge scores very low on something very important to the functioning of a just society. She should not be a judge and should never have been admitted into any good law school. She is either stupid, evil, or corrupt (or some combination.) This can be said of many people in our elite today.

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  14. I remembered Zoe Baird getting shot down, I didn’t realize that Kimba Wood was choice number two, and I’m guessing Janet Reno was choice number three, but wasn’t rich enough or married enough to require the nannies a high flying liberal lawyer would no doubt need. Appointed to the federal bench by the Reagan Administration on the recommendation of Al D’Amato, some bad decisions just keep on giving, don’t they?

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Kimba Wood and Zoe Baird had both hired illegal aliens as nannies. It's just that Wood had done it a wee bit earlier when it was still lawful and had undertaken the proper withholding, paid the payroll taxes, &c. Janet Reno was a vocational spinster who cut her own lawn, so that issue did not stick to her.

    Looking at period photographs of Kimba Wood, recalling she was once a cocktail waitress at a Playboy club, recalling also she was called out in the newspapers for adultery in later years, and knowing d'Amato's Warren Beatty aspirations after he separated from his wife in 1985, the smart money says it was a horizontal audition.
  15. Okay, so the Eye of Sauron is going to gaze at test for potential teachers.

    How are they going to be able to bafflegab their way around hiring all those great teachers who, according to Waiting for Superman, will ultimately Fix the Schools, yet having to do NAM-friendly affirmative action at the same time?

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    • Replies: @jo S'more


    Okay, so the Eye of Sauron is going to gaze at test for potential teachers.

    How are they going to be able to bafflegab their way around hiring all those great teachers who, according to Waiting for Superman, will ultimately Fix the Schools, yet having to do NAM-friendly affirmative action at the same time?
     
    Man, I want to get some popcorn to watch the two camps wrestle this one out. Some seriously opaque double speak be coming out of that.
  16. We should simply establish a charter school that requires the study of Latin at least an hour every day. That will keep out the nitwit students.

    The charter school also should organize its faculty into a “team teaching” scheme that essentially would require every teacher to understand Latin fairly well. That will keep out the nitwit teachers.

    The charter school should require all its students also to master Henry Wadsworth Longellow’s epic poem Song of Hiawatha.

    The following passage is from an episode when an angel named Mondamin descended from Heaven at a series of sunsets to wrestle with Hiawatha. The poem compares Mondamin’s sunset arrivals to the formation of evening dew.

    When the sun through heaven descending,
    Like a red and burning cinder
    From the hearth of the Great Spirit,
    Fell into the western waters,

    Came Mondamin for the trial,
    For the strife with Hiawatha ;
    Came as silent as the dew comes,
    From the empty air appearing,

    Into empty air returning,
    Taking shape when earth it touches,
    But invisible to all men
    In its coming and its going.

    Thrice they wrestled there together
    In the glory of the sunset,
    Till the darkness fell around them,

    Till the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
    From her haunts among the fen-lands,
    Uttered her loud cry of famine,
    And Mondamin paused to listen.

    Tall and beautiful he stood there,
    In his garments green and yellow ;
    To and fro his plumes above him
    Waved and nodded with his breathing,

    And the sweat of the encounter
    Stood like drops of dew upon him.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The Charter school already exists. Great Hearts Academies schools in Arizona.
  17. Related (1):

    http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2015/04/nj_teen_accepted_to_7_ivy_league_schools_didnt_app.html

    Related(2):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/07/nyregion/at-success-academy-charter-schools-polarizing-methods-and-superior-results.html

    Second link from the NY Times, although unaware of HBD, is an excellent and balanced article that shows that Black and Hispanic kids perform tremendously better on tests when pushed to work hard enough.

    First link, from my local paper, is clueless and infuriating. I’d really like to know whether the last three paragraphs (which ask “what’s your secret” to the student who was the subject of the story, who had 2200/2400 on the SAT and a GPA of 4.4 on a 5.0 point scale but got into 7/7 Ivies) are just colossal insensitivity or a deliberate slap in the face to my students (who know that even with SATs in the 2300′s each B on their transcript cuts their chances of getting into an Ivy League school in half because they are the wrong minority, and that “be yourself and don’t obsess over grades” is the worst possible advice because they don’t have the kind of “self” desired by colleges).

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    • Replies: @res
    Regarding (2), has anyone done an analysis of schools like that which actually includes non-PC explanatory variables? For example, how much of the success is due to selecting for better students? It seems like this could be checked by comparing things like the test results prior to attendance at the new school, measures of earlier good/poor conduct, and demographics (income, parental presence, etc.). This selection could be either during admission or by just relying on attrition (accomplished by either the school or the students themselves).

    I think charter schools offer a valuable opportunity to experiment and compare results, but given that almost no one seems willing to admit that the student attributes matter (I would argue they matter most) the opportunity is being squandered.

    P.S. In (1) how do you know his SAT score and GPA? All I saw at the link was a statement that he was in the top decile of a 160 person class.
    , @Bill

    Second link from the NY Times, although unaware of HBD, is an excellent and balanced article that shows that Black and Hispanic kids perform tremendously better on tests when pushed to work hard enough.
     
    It's a very, very long article which touches only briefly on what would seem to be the most important issues. The schools sound like machines for selecting students for conscientiousness. The article says that some students leave. How many some? That's kind of a big deal, no?

    These schools get urban blacks and hispanics to score highly on standardized tests. Better, according to the article, than some suburban schools. Hmmmmmm. We've heard this before, right? Then there is this:

    Success did not allow a reporter to observe test preparations,
     
    So, it's a trade secret how they prep urban black and hispanic students to beat white suburbanites on standardized tests. My spidey sense . . . it's, it's, it's . . . well, not tingling so much as, ahhhhh, throbbing and twisting and pulsing and vibrating . . .
    , @officious intermeddler

    my students (who know that even with SATs in the 2300′s each B on their transcript cuts their chances of getting into an Ivy League school in half
     
    I know they believe that, but it is not true. Most Harvard students did not have straight A's in high school, and most high school students with straight A's who apply to Harvard don't get in.

    From the article:

    "Bostrom is not only boasting an impressive GPA and taking advanced classes, but also heavily involved in his school's music program and marching band. He was also on the Verona track team until a back injury forced him to step down last year."

    Those things matter a lot in an Ivy League application. A kid with Bostrom's record would have an excellent chance of getting into an Ivy League school even if he were white.

  18. Literacy is obviously not related in any substantial way to performing the duties of a public school teacher. Therefore the state has no compelling interest. Thus SCOTUS will rule? Unimaginable to me.

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  19. Steve, you wound me! No link??!! I’m grateful for the mention, of course. But you know how you get when the media finally notices something you’ve been writing about for years? This is my noticing moment.

    Ed Schools and Affirmative Action

    It’s the Test, Zitbrains!

    More on Mumford (a credential test cheating ring in which the press refused to notice that everyone involved was black)

    The lurker in the teacher quality debate

    The last one is over three years old. It was one of the first posts I ever wrote!

    Anyway. As I wrote in the first link, this is going to be a problem. Blacks who have the ability to become math and science teachers have the ability to pass the bar exam in a number of states, at least theoretically. And affirmative action also makes it easier for higher IQ blacks to get into competitive fields that pay much better than teaching. So blacks are going to be more likely to be elementary school teachers or highly motivated and smart (and more likely to go into admin, where affirmative action kicks back in).

    This is an area where I like to think I’ve had an impact. Stephen Sawchuk, one of the major people in this beat, used to write about the credential test as if its ease was a union scam. I’m pretty sure I’ve convinced him otherwise; all his work in the past three years in the credential area mentions the impact that higher scores would have on minority teachers. As a result of his work (also Goldhaber’s research, which forced everyone to officially notice that teachers aren’t stupid), reformers are always talking about how it’s possible to both raise standards and retain minority teachers. This is impossible, of course, but they never used to mention it at all, just saying that the credential tests were too easy.

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    • Replies: @syonredux
    RE: Black teachers,

    In 10th grade, I had an English teacher who was Black (I went to a public High School).It was the first time that I encountered a teacher who was both less intelligent and less knowledgeable than I was.For example, we were discussing Shakespeare in class, and I made an allusion to Ben Jonson.She tried to correct me, telling me that I meant Samuel Johnson and he lived in the 18th century, not the 16th-17th. I actually had to pull out an encyclopedia (Ah, those pre-internet days) and show her the article on Jonson, Ben.

    On the plus side, she did know who Samuel Johnson was....
  20. As long as they can link the test to job skills, I thought it doesn’t matter if it was “discriminatory” or not.

    Also, shouldn’t they have to prove that diversity in teachers improves a school or are we at a point where diversity is just assumed to be the greatest Good and anything that decreases that is Bad?

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  21. @education realist
    Steve, you wound me! No link??!! I'm grateful for the mention, of course. But you know how you get when the media finally notices something you've been writing about for years? This is my noticing moment.

    Ed Schools and Affirmative Action

    It's the Test, Zitbrains!

    More on Mumford (a credential test cheating ring in which the press refused to notice that everyone involved was black)

    The lurker in the teacher quality debate

    The last one is over three years old. It was one of the first posts I ever wrote!

    Anyway. As I wrote in the first link, this is going to be a problem. Blacks who have the ability to become math and science teachers have the ability to pass the bar exam in a number of states, at least theoretically. And affirmative action also makes it easier for higher IQ blacks to get into competitive fields that pay much better than teaching. So blacks are going to be more likely to be elementary school teachers or highly motivated and smart (and more likely to go into admin, where affirmative action kicks back in).

    This is an area where I like to think I've had an impact. Stephen Sawchuk, one of the major people in this beat, used to write about the credential test as if its ease was a union scam. I'm pretty sure I've convinced him otherwise; all his work in the past three years in the credential area mentions the impact that higher scores would have on minority teachers. As a result of his work (also Goldhaber's research, which forced everyone to officially notice that teachers aren't stupid), reformers are always talking about how it's possible to both raise standards and retain minority teachers. This is impossible, of course, but they never used to mention it at all, just saying that the credential tests were too easy.

    RE: Black teachers,

    In 10th grade, I had an English teacher who was Black (I went to a public High School).It was the first time that I encountered a teacher who was both less intelligent and less knowledgeable than I was.For example, we were discussing Shakespeare in class, and I made an allusion to Ben Jonson.She tried to correct me, telling me that I meant Samuel Johnson and he lived in the 18th century, not the 16th-17th. I actually had to pull out an encyclopedia (Ah, those pre-internet days) and show her the article on Jonson, Ben.

    On the plus side, she did know who Samuel Johnson was….

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    • Replies: @International Jew

    a teacher who was both less intelligent and less knowledgeable than I was.For example, we were discussing Shakespeare in class, and I made an allusion to Ben Jonson
     
    Sheesh. I hope someone caught you after class and gave you a wedgie for pulling that stunt.
  22. If the quality of schools goes down further in nyc as a result of low quality teachers, than nyc will completely loose its remaining small middle class and ambitious immigrant population.

    There is a reason that nyc still maintains a significant middle (mostly white), and an east asian and south asian working class despite the low quality of life afforded by ridiculous housing prices. At the very least, they could for the most part rely on the school system to provide pretty decent to top notch teachers in the many “gifted and talented programs” at least at the elementary school level. At the high school level, we can also rely on the selective programs such as the specialized schools (Stuyvesant, Bronx School of Science etc.) which have enough seats for all the decent to excellent students in the city (believe it or not).

    It will be ridiculous to have not so smart teachers teaching to very smart students.

    Anyways, maybe it does not matter if the quality of teachers goes down anyway given that 70% of the mostly black and hispanic student population don’t care enough, or lack the ability to perform. I mean, do qualified white teachers really want to have a career of teaching unmotivated resentful minority students even if it means a good pension for them at the end?

    I think the city is going to be home to childless, birth-controlled young hip white & Asian people in their 20s and 30s, retired wealthy whites leaving their empty nests in the suburbs seeking to reinvent themselves as hip city dwellers, the rich who can afford elite private schools (like Judge Woods), the small middle class in the outer boroughs such as Queens who can afford a catholic school education for their lone child ($20, 000 a year), the amazingly prolific hasidim jews who are brilliant at manipulating the special education laws to fund their religious schools, the aging and aged holding on tightly to their paid-off co-ops or rent stabilized apartments, the poor but strangely content blacks in the projects, the peaceful, hardworking but academically challenged mestizo hispanic immigrants.

    Everybody else will check out and head to ???

    I think between the psychotic right wing and their jihad against the teachers unions, and the demented left with their affirmative actions, the teaching profession is done, and smart “nice white lady teachers” should move on to other professions that have better uses for their talents. The public school system is not sustainable, and the only ones who had figured this out a long time ago are the hasidim jews of new york.

    http://nymag.com/news/features/east-ramapo-hasidim-2013-4/index3.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    Very good points, but

    ...smart “nice white lady teachers” should move on to other professions that have better uses for their talents.

    Such as what...HR?
    , @officious intermeddler

    we can also rely on the selective programs such as the specialized schools (Stuyvesant, Bronx School of Science etc.) which have enough seats for all the decent to excellent students in the city (believe it or not).
     
    There are over 100,000 9th graders in the NYC public schools. About 30,000 of them took the test, and 3,000-4,000 were offered admission to the specialized schools. I think more than 3%-4% of the kids in the public schools are at least "decent" students.
  23. Black and Hispanic applicants have been passing one of the exams, intended to measure reading and writing skills, at lower rates than white candidates, prompting concerns of decreased diversity in the teaching ranks.

    No Asians want to be teachers?

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  24. Ace reporter Kate Taylor might not be able to pass the NY literacy exam for teachers. Per her article, New York requires teachers to “produce[] complex and nuanced writing by choosing words, information, and structure deliberately for a given task, purpose, and audience.” Surely New York Times reporters, being professional writers, should write at least as well as primary-school teachers.

    Here is some of Taylor’s* clumsy prose with my markup:

    A federal judge is questioning whether a new exam for aspiring teachers in New York is discriminatory [discriminates] against minorities, a case [an inquiry] that could derail the state’s efforts to create a more rigorous set of tests for entry into the profession.

    Black and Hispanic applicants have been passing one of the exams, intended to measure reading and writing skills, at lower rates than w[W]hite candidates, prompting concerns [from who?] of [about] decreased [from what? story claims previous tests disadvantaged minorities] diversity in [the future racial composition of] the teaching ranks.

    *Though not impossible, it is highly unlikely that some editor messed up Taylor’s prose.

    Read More
  25. Oh, I wanted to add, 25% of all students in nyc qualified for a gifted and talented program.

    http://insideschools.org/blog/item/1000980-25-of-test-takers-qualify-for-gt-programs

    That is a whole lot of kids!

    I don’t think their parents are going to be to happy to hear that their precious children are about to be taught by unqualified teachers…somehow I have the feeling that the NY Times is not about to bring it to their attention either.

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  26. If reading and writing really are necessary skills for public schoolteachers, why not have some remedial prep courses for the test?

    Problem solved. ;)

    Read More
  27. @countenance
    Okay, so the Eye of Sauron is going to gaze at test for potential teachers.

    How are they going to be able to bafflegab their way around hiring all those great teachers who, according to Waiting for Superman, will ultimately Fix the Schools, yet having to do NAM-friendly affirmative action at the same time?

    Okay, so the Eye of Sauron is going to gaze at test for potential teachers.

    How are they going to be able to bafflegab their way around hiring all those great teachers who, according to Waiting for Superman, will ultimately Fix the Schools, yet having to do NAM-friendly affirmative action at the same time?

    Man, I want to get some popcorn to watch the two camps wrestle this one out. Some seriously opaque double speak be coming out of that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @countenance
    I'm saving my popcorn for when Randi Weingarten and Davis Guggenheim start going at each other with billy clubs on the floor of the arena at the DNC in Philadelphia.

    Actually, one lesson that came out of the election yesterday in Chicago is that "we" in the right wing should shut the hell up about teachers' unions, because they're not that powerful anymore. Hell, the CTU doesn't even have the muscle in Chicago, one of the biggest bluest cities around, to get its way!

    The other big lesson from yesterday in Chicago is that, seeing how the percentage and raw vote totals went down ward by ward, you depend on or fret about the ZOMG GREAT HISPANIC VOTER TIDAL WAVE LOL~!!!1 at your own peril.
  28. Actually, the link between teacher intelligence and student outcomes is largely nonexistent. When improvement is shown, the IQ boost needed is about a standard deviation, while the improvement is usually under 10% of an std–and all sorts of other reasons that might account for a couple more test questions right.

    On the other hand, the correlation between teacher race and academic outcomes is quite strong, particularly for black students.

    What this suggests is that there is a cognitive minimum for teaching, but we haven’t really found it our current credential tests are above the basement. We could probably drop it a little for elementary school teachers, or create a second standard–one for k-3, one for 4-6. We already require middle school teachers to have high school credentials (at least in a number of states).

    That’s why we tend to have an oversupply of elementary school teachers. States keep the cognitive standards a standard deviation below average, which picks up a good number of black and Hispanics. But there’s a lot of whites who qualify, too, and a lot of white women who want to teach elementary school, apparently.

    This is less of a problem in high school credentialing, because the standard is much higher, and there are far fewer blacks and Hispanics who qualify–and the cognitive levels required for whites are such that they have a lot more options.

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  29. @syonredux
    RE: Black teachers,

    In 10th grade, I had an English teacher who was Black (I went to a public High School).It was the first time that I encountered a teacher who was both less intelligent and less knowledgeable than I was.For example, we were discussing Shakespeare in class, and I made an allusion to Ben Jonson.She tried to correct me, telling me that I meant Samuel Johnson and he lived in the 18th century, not the 16th-17th. I actually had to pull out an encyclopedia (Ah, those pre-internet days) and show her the article on Jonson, Ben.

    On the plus side, she did know who Samuel Johnson was....

    a teacher who was both less intelligent and less knowledgeable than I was.For example, we were discussing Shakespeare in class, and I made an allusion to Ben Jonson

    Sheesh. I hope someone caught you after class and gave you a wedgie for pulling that stunt.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Sheesh. I hope someone caught you after class and gave you a wedgie for pulling that stunt.
     
    Have to confess, I have no first hand knowledge (either as victim or as perpetrator) of wedgies.Indeed, I don't recall ever actually hearing about something like that being done in real life. Frankly, I've always though that it was something of an urban legend.Or maybe it's like dipping curls into inkwells, a thing that was done in the "The Beforetimes, in the Long Long Ago..."
  30. My daughter graduated number one in her Masters class in School Psychology, none of her cohort that were AA managed to pass the national certification test, yet they graduated with a Masters Degree in School Psych. At some point this crap has to stop.

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  31. Did white women really believe that they would be the SJW’s darlings forever? They took all the goodies, whether they deserved them or not, and crapped on their brothers, fathers and significant others with gusto. In the case of the nice white lady teachers, many taught the SJW propaganda with religious zeal. If any of these women were my mother, sister and/or significant other, I might be able to care.

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  32. @jo S'more


    Okay, so the Eye of Sauron is going to gaze at test for potential teachers.

    How are they going to be able to bafflegab their way around hiring all those great teachers who, according to Waiting for Superman, will ultimately Fix the Schools, yet having to do NAM-friendly affirmative action at the same time?
     
    Man, I want to get some popcorn to watch the two camps wrestle this one out. Some seriously opaque double speak be coming out of that.

    I’m saving my popcorn for when Randi Weingarten and Davis Guggenheim start going at each other with billy clubs on the floor of the arena at the DNC in Philadelphia.

    Actually, one lesson that came out of the election yesterday in Chicago is that “we” in the right wing should shut the hell up about teachers’ unions, because they’re not that powerful anymore. Hell, the CTU doesn’t even have the muscle in Chicago, one of the biggest bluest cities around, to get its way!

    The other big lesson from yesterday in Chicago is that, seeing how the percentage and raw vote totals went down ward by ward, you depend on or fret about the ZOMG GREAT HISPANIC VOTER TIDAL WAVE LOL~!!!1 at your own peril.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous

    Hell, the CTU doesn’t even have the muscle in Chicago, one of the biggest bluest cities around, to get its way!
     
    Karen Lewis was a pretty good fast talker although unpalatable to most non-far left whites. She probably would have gotten the black vote. Her replacement, the droopy mustachioed 'Chuy' failed to excite most people. Blacks are suspicious of Hispanics; Rahm got Obama's endorsement. The CTU would have to line up with other interests to get it's way; it can't stand alone. Only 8% of the students in the CPS system are white so there's a disconnect right there between the school system and the white electorate.
  33. Steve, no mention of Chicago? How the Teachers Union (mostly Black) has been behind the effort to unseat Rahm Emmanuel? In retaliation for Emmanuel closing schools and firing underperforming (almost entirely Black) teachers?

    As a former teacher, I can tell you that K-12 Education in this country is mostly turning into a jobs program for non completely ghetto Blacks and Hispanics. And that in turn is creating both tension with White Upper Middle Class Democratic parents and the masses of Black and Hispanic Democratic core voters who want jobs for the boys (and girls).

    Which in turn leads to online education; heavily advertised here in SoCal at least. Online education is probably the future for Junior High onward for White and Asian kids, look at Connections Academy for which I see ads all the time.

    Summary: Political reality demands that teaching be dumbed down to the point that an 85 IQ Black person without a criminal record or an 88 IQ Hispanic person without a criminal record can teach and find political patronage just like Tammany Hall.

    Political/market reality also demands that a technical work-around be made for the IQ 100 and up White and Asian kids whose parents don’t want IQs of around 88-85 teaching their kids in a society that puts an awful lot on test scores and knowledge for those lacking personal connections (the Biden and Pelosi family could be taught by the family pets and do fine, they are Biden and Pelosis after all). Which in turn is going to collapse society into three parallel universes only rarely intersecting each other.

    The Black Universe will look much like the Atlanta Public Schools, site of a recent racketeering series of convictions of teachers and administrators for creating a cheating ring to pump up student test scores.

    The Hispanic Universe will look like the City of Bell, corrupt and dysfunctional but not say, the mess that is Atlanta by degrees anyway.

    The White Universe will be the White Middle/Working Class engaging in its own internal secession, Confederacy 2.0. Fleeing online to education as they abandoned “diverse” malls for the safety of Amazon on a laptop at Starbucks. [OT: how much of the "safe spaces" stuff in Colleges is a sub-rosa desire for "Whites/Asians only" non-ghetto thuggery in disguise?]

    But that is THE main story of the place on the map called America: the race between the political class to create a non-White Tammany Hall vs. Whites internally seceding into online reality.

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  34. @Merema
    If the quality of schools goes down further in nyc as a result of low quality teachers, than nyc will completely loose its remaining small middle class and ambitious immigrant population.

    There is a reason that nyc still maintains a significant middle (mostly white), and an east asian and south asian working class despite the low quality of life afforded by ridiculous housing prices. At the very least, they could for the most part rely on the school system to provide pretty decent to top notch teachers in the many "gifted and talented programs" at least at the elementary school level. At the high school level, we can also rely on the selective programs such as the specialized schools (Stuyvesant, Bronx School of Science etc.) which have enough seats for all the decent to excellent students in the city (believe it or not).

    It will be ridiculous to have not so smart teachers teaching to very smart students.

    Anyways, maybe it does not matter if the quality of teachers goes down anyway given that 70% of the mostly black and hispanic student population don't care enough, or lack the ability to perform. I mean, do qualified white teachers really want to have a career of teaching unmotivated resentful minority students even if it means a good pension for them at the end?

    I think the city is going to be home to childless, birth-controlled young hip white & Asian people in their 20s and 30s, retired wealthy whites leaving their empty nests in the suburbs seeking to reinvent themselves as hip city dwellers, the rich who can afford elite private schools (like Judge Woods), the small middle class in the outer boroughs such as Queens who can afford a catholic school education for their lone child ($20, 000 a year), the amazingly prolific hasidim jews who are brilliant at manipulating the special education laws to fund their religious schools, the aging and aged holding on tightly to their paid-off co-ops or rent stabilized apartments, the poor but strangely content blacks in the projects, the peaceful, hardworking but academically challenged mestizo hispanic immigrants.

    Everybody else will check out and head to ???

    I think between the psychotic right wing and their jihad against the teachers unions, and the demented left with their affirmative actions, the teaching profession is done, and smart "nice white lady teachers" should move on to other professions that have better uses for their talents. The public school system is not sustainable, and the only ones who had figured this out a long time ago are the hasidim jews of new york.
    http://nymag.com/news/features/east-ramapo-hasidim-2013-4/index3.html

    Very good points, but

    …smart “nice white lady teachers” should move on to other professions that have better uses for their talents.

    Such as what…HR?

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    • Replies: @Merema
    Is there a reason that nice white lady teachers who passed the difficult certification tests can't do jobs in finance or STEM?

    The ones I know that opted out early in their career started working for hedge funds.
    , @Desiderius
    Raising families.
  35. @Polymath
    Related (1):
    http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2015/04/nj_teen_accepted_to_7_ivy_league_schools_didnt_app.html

    Related(2):
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/07/nyregion/at-success-academy-charter-schools-polarizing-methods-and-superior-results.html

    Second link from the NY Times, although unaware of HBD, is an excellent and balanced article that shows that Black and Hispanic kids perform tremendously better on tests when pushed to work hard enough.

    First link, from my local paper, is clueless and infuriating. I'd really like to know whether the last three paragraphs (which ask "what's your secret" to the student who was the subject of the story, who had 2200/2400 on the SAT and a GPA of 4.4 on a 5.0 point scale but got into 7/7 Ivies) are just colossal insensitivity or a deliberate slap in the face to my students (who know that even with SATs in the 2300's each B on their transcript cuts their chances of getting into an Ivy League school in half because they are the wrong minority, and that "be yourself and don't obsess over grades" is the worst possible advice because they don't have the kind of "self" desired by colleges).

    Regarding (2), has anyone done an analysis of schools like that which actually includes non-PC explanatory variables? For example, how much of the success is due to selecting for better students? It seems like this could be checked by comparing things like the test results prior to attendance at the new school, measures of earlier good/poor conduct, and demographics (income, parental presence, etc.). This selection could be either during admission or by just relying on attrition (accomplished by either the school or the students themselves).

    I think charter schools offer a valuable opportunity to experiment and compare results, but given that almost no one seems willing to admit that the student attributes matter (I would argue they matter most) the opportunity is being squandered.

    P.S. In (1) how do you know his SAT score and GPA? All I saw at the link was a statement that he was in the top decile of a 160 person class.

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  36. Presumably, white prospective teachers who failed the test won’t be compensated, thus confirming equality, or something.

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  37. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @countenance
    I'm saving my popcorn for when Randi Weingarten and Davis Guggenheim start going at each other with billy clubs on the floor of the arena at the DNC in Philadelphia.

    Actually, one lesson that came out of the election yesterday in Chicago is that "we" in the right wing should shut the hell up about teachers' unions, because they're not that powerful anymore. Hell, the CTU doesn't even have the muscle in Chicago, one of the biggest bluest cities around, to get its way!

    The other big lesson from yesterday in Chicago is that, seeing how the percentage and raw vote totals went down ward by ward, you depend on or fret about the ZOMG GREAT HISPANIC VOTER TIDAL WAVE LOL~!!!1 at your own peril.

    Hell, the CTU doesn’t even have the muscle in Chicago, one of the biggest bluest cities around, to get its way!

    Karen Lewis was a pretty good fast talker although unpalatable to most non-far left whites. She probably would have gotten the black vote. Her replacement, the droopy mustachioed ‘Chuy’ failed to excite most people. Blacks are suspicious of Hispanics; Rahm got Obama’s endorsement. The CTU would have to line up with other interests to get it’s way; it can’t stand alone. Only 8% of the students in the CPS system are white so there’s a disconnect right there between the school system and the white electorate.

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  38. Ed Realist, your blog is one of the reasons I escaped jibbering madness a few years ago.

    I spent 30 years in the Ed Biz–higher ed, though I worked for some years at the state public education agency of an upper midwestern state that I won’t name, because apparently their state university’s basketball team is too white and everybody hates them. Or something.

    I sent this piece of yours to everyone I knew, back there and elsewhere, of all political beliefs and stripes:

    https://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/what-can-we-blame-teacher-unions-for/

    Highly recommended to all of Mr. Sailer’s readers.

    This whole thing is about pensions. The whole point is to liquidate the life savings of older whites who have worked, spent within their means, and saved the rest. The current regimes–both parties–have no productivity-based solutions. It’s all about driving everyone by force into the only allowable industry in the future: speculation in the global casino. For the past 40 years, whites’ productivity was sorely taxed to create an artificial middle class of blacks who still take more from the system than they pay in. That’s in addition to the undertow, which produces nothing. The pyramid is collapsing, despite plenty of real work being done, and plenty of cash around to do it.

    Meanwhile, somehow, the vision is that the productive/real stuff high tech will have to get done…by a passel of Vibrants with IQs of 90 and no work ethic or skills other than complaining.

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  39. @Polymath
    Related (1):
    http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2015/04/nj_teen_accepted_to_7_ivy_league_schools_didnt_app.html

    Related(2):
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/07/nyregion/at-success-academy-charter-schools-polarizing-methods-and-superior-results.html

    Second link from the NY Times, although unaware of HBD, is an excellent and balanced article that shows that Black and Hispanic kids perform tremendously better on tests when pushed to work hard enough.

    First link, from my local paper, is clueless and infuriating. I'd really like to know whether the last three paragraphs (which ask "what's your secret" to the student who was the subject of the story, who had 2200/2400 on the SAT and a GPA of 4.4 on a 5.0 point scale but got into 7/7 Ivies) are just colossal insensitivity or a deliberate slap in the face to my students (who know that even with SATs in the 2300's each B on their transcript cuts their chances of getting into an Ivy League school in half because they are the wrong minority, and that "be yourself and don't obsess over grades" is the worst possible advice because they don't have the kind of "self" desired by colleges).

    Second link from the NY Times, although unaware of HBD, is an excellent and balanced article that shows that Black and Hispanic kids perform tremendously better on tests when pushed to work hard enough.

    It’s a very, very long article which touches only briefly on what would seem to be the most important issues. The schools sound like machines for selecting students for conscientiousness. The article says that some students leave. How many some? That’s kind of a big deal, no?

    These schools get urban blacks and hispanics to score highly on standardized tests. Better, according to the article, than some suburban schools. Hmmmmmm. We’ve heard this before, right? Then there is this:

    Success did not allow a reporter to observe test preparations,

    So, it’s a trade secret how they prep urban black and hispanic students to beat white suburbanites on standardized tests. My spidey sense . . . it’s, it’s, it’s . . . well, not tingling so much as, ahhhhh, throbbing and twisting and pulsing and vibrating . . .

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  40. @officious intermeddler
    Firefighting is mostly a physical job. It doesn't require a lot of brain power. And firefighters are almost always working together as teams, not as individuals. In practice, any confusion by a dumb firefighter is likely to be remedied in real time by pairing him with a smarter firefighter who makes sure that he doesn't screw up. So the elimination of written tests probably doesn't significantly impair the performance of the fire department. Whites resent it, but blacks still do useful work satisfactorily.

    Giving preference to women by weakening the physical standards is a more serious matter. A firefighter who can't do the job physically is useless. If she can't be given one of the small number of important assignments at the scene of the fire that don't require physical strength, she has to be either left behind in the station, given a make-work assignment at the scene of the fire where she is doing nothing productive, or given an important assignment where she endangers her fellow firefighters.

    The good news is that there just aren't a lot of women who want to be firefighters. Not many of them apply for the job. As a practical matter, the number of women firefighters is small, so they don't significantly degrade the performance of the fire department or endanger their fellow firefighters. If fire departments were compelled to fill 50% of their jobs with women, things would be much worse, of course. That would be a catastrophe, and people would die.

    Firefighting is mostly a physical job. It doesn’t require a lot of brain power. And firefighters are almost always working together as teams, not as individuals. In practice, any confusion by a dumb firefighter is likely to be remedied in real time by pairing him with a smarter firefighter who makes sure that he doesn’t screw up. So the elimination of written tests probably doesn’t significantly impair the performance of the fire department.

    …said the commentor who has obviously never been a firefighter.

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    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    Yeah I saw that and my eyebrows went up a notch. Plenty of time for a smart firefighter, knee deep in his own tasks, to keep a dumb firefighter from opening the wrong door and causing a backdraft.

    You don't become a subject matter expert by reading a wiki article.
    , @officious intermeddler

    …said the commentor who has obviously never been a firefighter.
     
    No, I haven't. But I know a few firefighters. The best guys in the world but not the smartest. Maybe Sparkling Wiggle would be willing to explain the effect of affirmative action for us from his own firefighting experience.
  41. @Polymath
    Related (1):
    http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2015/04/nj_teen_accepted_to_7_ivy_league_schools_didnt_app.html

    Related(2):
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/07/nyregion/at-success-academy-charter-schools-polarizing-methods-and-superior-results.html

    Second link from the NY Times, although unaware of HBD, is an excellent and balanced article that shows that Black and Hispanic kids perform tremendously better on tests when pushed to work hard enough.

    First link, from my local paper, is clueless and infuriating. I'd really like to know whether the last three paragraphs (which ask "what's your secret" to the student who was the subject of the story, who had 2200/2400 on the SAT and a GPA of 4.4 on a 5.0 point scale but got into 7/7 Ivies) are just colossal insensitivity or a deliberate slap in the face to my students (who know that even with SATs in the 2300's each B on their transcript cuts their chances of getting into an Ivy League school in half because they are the wrong minority, and that "be yourself and don't obsess over grades" is the worst possible advice because they don't have the kind of "self" desired by colleges).

    my students (who know that even with SATs in the 2300′s each B on their transcript cuts their chances of getting into an Ivy League school in half

    I know they believe that, but it is not true. Most Harvard students did not have straight A’s in high school, and most high school students with straight A’s who apply to Harvard don’t get in.

    From the article:

    “Bostrom is not only boasting an impressive GPA and taking advanced classes, but also heavily involved in his school’s music program and marching band. He was also on the Verona track team until a back injury forced him to step down last year.”

    Those things matter a lot in an Ivy League application. A kid with Bostrom’s record would have an excellent chance of getting into an Ivy League school even if he were white.

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  42. “Second link from the NY Times, although unaware of HBD, is an excellent and balanced article that shows that Black and Hispanic kids perform tremendously better on tests when pushed to work hard enough.”

    Oh, my lord. It was an excellent article, all right, but it most assuredly did not show that. What it suggested, as all the pieces on Success Academy suggest, is that the schools are somehow gaming or cheating the tests. Which is why you don’t hear ed reformers pushing SA much. They’re worried it’s a hoax.

    I just wrote about that: Ian Malcolm on Eva Moskowitz

    “Did white women really believe that they would be the SJW’s darlings forever?”

    White female teachers aren’t SJW’s darlings and never have been. Nor are they the ones pushing liberal swill in school–not any more than any other group, anyway. Finally, there’s no way that a judge can force the test to be dumbed down enough to make a dent in the white female teaching dominance. Unlike the firefighter tests, it’s incredibly easy to demand that a test for a high school teacher include mastery of high school level material. And blacks or Hispanics who have that mastery have many other options, as I wrote above.

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    • Replies: @Merema
    I actually disagree with you about their being cheating on the tests. I think a school careful selects for motivated students with no behavioral problems, provide them with a disciplined learning environment, highly motivated teachers, great teaching material and focused test preparation, poor black students can perform very well academically.

    It's done all the time in Africa and the Caribbean.

    In my opinion, the greatest impediment to black student achievement in ny at least, is that a significant number of them have serious psychological/emotional/behavioral problems, and their presence in the classroom sabotages the entire learning environment in inner city schools. How is a poor but normal black kid expected to function- never mind learn -in such a disruptive and dangerous environment?

    The charter schools give the motivated sane poor inner city kids a chance to learn in a safe, sane pleasant environment that addresses their social and academic weaknesses.

    The unions really ought to leave the successful charter schools alone, even if they are being pushed by corporations, because they work for these desperate kids.
    , @Affirmative Action Jackson
    "For the most part, stay out of big cities and you probably won’t get pressure on test scores. At least thus far."

    It's happening in small towns also. I did a semester of student teaching in a small town, and the principal stated outright that more had to be done about test scores. Several students actually told me that a teacher fed them the answers on a state test, which explained how this school was a school of excellence. FWIW, the school was about 60% black, rural, poor, and the students, teacher and principal involved were all black.

    The whole school was a joke, and everything was arranged so that anyone with a pulse would pass. The lowest grade possible on a test was 50%, and test corrections were made at home with the book at half credit. Homework wasn't graded, though I did read and remark, and almost every assignment was copied, mistakes and all, from someone who really had no interest in reading the material. I don't remember the formula for a final grade, but with a guaranteed 75% on tests and 100% on class participation and homework, showing up was the most difficult part.

    I went to the graduation ceremony and saw kids graduating with honors who couldn't write a decent paragraph if they had to, and who didn't pass a single test on the first try. Of course, they all got the mandatory state scholarships given to all kids with a B average or better. Maybe some of them were just coasting because nothing was expected. I wish I could have seen the SAT scores.
    , @Bill

    Oh, my lord. It was an excellent article, all right,
     
    Why do people keep saying this? It wasn't excellent at all. It was wordy, boring, and discursive. It conveyed almost no useful information. It dwelled lengthily on the feeewwwings of this and that teacher. It sucked.
  43. @Merema
    If the quality of schools goes down further in nyc as a result of low quality teachers, than nyc will completely loose its remaining small middle class and ambitious immigrant population.

    There is a reason that nyc still maintains a significant middle (mostly white), and an east asian and south asian working class despite the low quality of life afforded by ridiculous housing prices. At the very least, they could for the most part rely on the school system to provide pretty decent to top notch teachers in the many "gifted and talented programs" at least at the elementary school level. At the high school level, we can also rely on the selective programs such as the specialized schools (Stuyvesant, Bronx School of Science etc.) which have enough seats for all the decent to excellent students in the city (believe it or not).

    It will be ridiculous to have not so smart teachers teaching to very smart students.

    Anyways, maybe it does not matter if the quality of teachers goes down anyway given that 70% of the mostly black and hispanic student population don't care enough, or lack the ability to perform. I mean, do qualified white teachers really want to have a career of teaching unmotivated resentful minority students even if it means a good pension for them at the end?

    I think the city is going to be home to childless, birth-controlled young hip white & Asian people in their 20s and 30s, retired wealthy whites leaving their empty nests in the suburbs seeking to reinvent themselves as hip city dwellers, the rich who can afford elite private schools (like Judge Woods), the small middle class in the outer boroughs such as Queens who can afford a catholic school education for their lone child ($20, 000 a year), the amazingly prolific hasidim jews who are brilliant at manipulating the special education laws to fund their religious schools, the aging and aged holding on tightly to their paid-off co-ops or rent stabilized apartments, the poor but strangely content blacks in the projects, the peaceful, hardworking but academically challenged mestizo hispanic immigrants.

    Everybody else will check out and head to ???

    I think between the psychotic right wing and their jihad against the teachers unions, and the demented left with their affirmative actions, the teaching profession is done, and smart "nice white lady teachers" should move on to other professions that have better uses for their talents. The public school system is not sustainable, and the only ones who had figured this out a long time ago are the hasidim jews of new york.
    http://nymag.com/news/features/east-ramapo-hasidim-2013-4/index3.html

    we can also rely on the selective programs such as the specialized schools (Stuyvesant, Bronx School of Science etc.) which have enough seats for all the decent to excellent students in the city (believe it or not).

    There are over 100,000 9th graders in the NYC public schools. About 30,000 of them took the test, and 3,000-4,000 were offered admission to the specialized schools. I think more than 3%-4% of the kids in the public schools are at least “decent” students.

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    • Replies: @Daniel H
    >>There are over 100,000 9th graders in the NYC public schools. About 30,000 of them took the test, and 3,000-4,000 were offered admission to the specialized schools. I think more than 3%-4% of the kids in the public schools are at least “decent” students.

    I am actually glad that Chinese kids are taking most of these seats. At Stuyvesant Asians make up around 75% of the student body. In the past these seats went to the sons and daughters of white proles, mainly; now that most white proles have left the city the seats should have gone to the offspring of BOBO/SWPLS, if it weren't for those damn Asians. As a response to this exclusion from the free elite schools, the BOBOS/SWPLS twist themselves into contortions trying to justify why they need more and more charters schools, schools implicitly designed to keep out NAMS, at least the unruly, stupid and dangerous ones, but it is not working out too well. Students at charter schools don't perform too well and the parents of NAMS are demanding access to these schools, of which they will get. Combine this reality with the continuing dumbing down of the teacher corps and BOBOS/SWPLS are left little alternative but to fork over 20K-50K per year for private schools. Some of these BOBOS/SWPLS are even resorting to sending their offspring to the detested Catholic schools (a relative bargain at about 8K-10K per year). O liberalism. Schadenfreude.
    , @Merema
    By "decent" students, I mean the top 10%.

    Based on the dept. of ed reports, there were 70, 000 students in 7th graders, of which 70% did not meet the state standards for reading. Only 6%, or about 4, 200 students scored ABOVE grade level. The specialized high schools have about 5, 500 seats. There are another about 3000 openings in other elite public schools and selective programs in zoned high schools still available to absorb additional high performing students. In other words, NYC has enough seats in good schools to absorb the top 10% with seats left over.
  44. @International Jew

    a teacher who was both less intelligent and less knowledgeable than I was.For example, we were discussing Shakespeare in class, and I made an allusion to Ben Jonson
     
    Sheesh. I hope someone caught you after class and gave you a wedgie for pulling that stunt.

    Sheesh. I hope someone caught you after class and gave you a wedgie for pulling that stunt.

    Have to confess, I have no first hand knowledge (either as victim or as perpetrator) of wedgies.Indeed, I don’t recall ever actually hearing about something like that being done in real life. Frankly, I’ve always though that it was something of an urban legend.Or maybe it’s like dipping curls into inkwells, a thing that was done in the “The Beforetimes, in the Long Long Ago…”

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Trust me....they exist in real life!
    , @Art Deco
    Or maybe it’s like dipping curls into inkwells, a thing that was done in the “The Beforetimes, in the Long Long Ago…”

    No, my uncle was called up on the carpet ca. 1936 for just this offense.
    , @International Jew
    Never witnessed a wedgie? Are you under 35 or otherwise the product of an overprotective culture?

    In the 60s/70s, if you didn't get wedgied for playing wise-guy like you did in your story, you'd have been wedgied for saying "my dear fellow" (as, according to Unz's archive, you've said 40 times).
  45. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @syonredux

    Sheesh. I hope someone caught you after class and gave you a wedgie for pulling that stunt.
     
    Have to confess, I have no first hand knowledge (either as victim or as perpetrator) of wedgies.Indeed, I don't recall ever actually hearing about something like that being done in real life. Frankly, I've always though that it was something of an urban legend.Or maybe it's like dipping curls into inkwells, a thing that was done in the "The Beforetimes, in the Long Long Ago..."

    Trust me….they exist in real life!

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  46. “The mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the yellow bird behind”

    “I am sorry to blow up so much romance. In particular, I am sorry for the
    suffragettes who specialize in the double standard, for when they get
    into pantaloons at last, and have the new freedom, they will discover
    to their sorrow that they have been pursuing a chimera–that there is
    really no such animal as the male anarchist they have been denouncing
    and envying–that the wholesale fornication of man, at least under
    Christian democracy, has little more actual existence than honest
    advertising or sound cooking. They have followed the porno maniacs in
    embracing a piece of buncombe, and when the day of deliverance comes it
    will turn to ashes in their arms.” The Origin of a Delusion

    https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/1270/pg1270.txt

    Don’t let reality get in the way of a good delusion. Ignorance is bliss.

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  47. I don’t understand why any white teacher would want to work in a predominantly minority public school. If the minority students do well then liberals and politically correct “conservatives” will give the credit to the students; if the minority students do poorly then the blame will be assigned to the white teachers. I can’t think of a more thankless job.

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    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    I don’t understand why any white teacher would want to work in a predominantly minority public school.

    Except for the Teach for America resume-builders, teachers don't want to work in a minority public school, but they need a job and have no other alternative. There are not enough positions for all the White teachers in the upper-class White school districts. And almost zero teachers can work in STEM or FIRE. Some teachers do desperately escape to school district HQ admin jobs or corporate "training" positions.
  48. @Bert

    While 41 percent of students in public schools are Hispanic and 25 percent are black, 60 percent of teachers are white, according to the city’s Education Department. Eighteen percent of teachers are black, and 15 percent are Hispanic.
     
    So they want to try and get more blacks and browns into teaching positions, huh? Have fun with that shit, guys!

    Apparently black and Hispanic parents are more concerned with having teachers that look like them than they are with having teachers who are good at their jobs.

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  49. @Perspective

    The racial makeup of the city’s teaching force has been a concern for years. While 41 percent of students in public schools are Hispanic and 25 percent are black, 60 percent of teachers are white, according to the city’s Education Department. Eighteen percent of teachers are black, and 15 percent are Hispanic.
     
    Asians are not included once again. How large does the Asian population have to get before they will be factored in to any analysis on disparate impact?

    Asians screw up that whole “white privilege” ideology that so much of modern liberalism is based on.

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  50. @officious intermeddler
    Firefighting is mostly a physical job. It doesn't require a lot of brain power. And firefighters are almost always working together as teams, not as individuals. In practice, any confusion by a dumb firefighter is likely to be remedied in real time by pairing him with a smarter firefighter who makes sure that he doesn't screw up. So the elimination of written tests probably doesn't significantly impair the performance of the fire department. Whites resent it, but blacks still do useful work satisfactorily.

    Giving preference to women by weakening the physical standards is a more serious matter. A firefighter who can't do the job physically is useless. If she can't be given one of the small number of important assignments at the scene of the fire that don't require physical strength, she has to be either left behind in the station, given a make-work assignment at the scene of the fire where she is doing nothing productive, or given an important assignment where she endangers her fellow firefighters.

    The good news is that there just aren't a lot of women who want to be firefighters. Not many of them apply for the job. As a practical matter, the number of women firefighters is small, so they don't significantly degrade the performance of the fire department or endanger their fellow firefighters. If fire departments were compelled to fill 50% of their jobs with women, things would be much worse, of course. That would be a catastrophe, and people would die.

    In practice, any confusion by a dumb firefighter is likely to be remedied in real time by pairing him with a smarter firefighter who makes sure that he doesn’t screw up.

    What if the dumb one is so dumb that he thinks he is the smart one and ignores the firefighter who is actually the smart one? If you pair a dumb black firefighter with a smart white firefighter what is most likely to happen is that the black guy will complain to his bosses that his white partner is racist and ends up suing the department and trying to get the white guy fired.

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  51. As a first order corrective measure, where most current problems are removed and then the lesser issues we deal with, a return to Jim Crow laws makes sense.

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  52. @officious intermeddler
    Firefighting is mostly a physical job. It doesn't require a lot of brain power. And firefighters are almost always working together as teams, not as individuals. In practice, any confusion by a dumb firefighter is likely to be remedied in real time by pairing him with a smarter firefighter who makes sure that he doesn't screw up. So the elimination of written tests probably doesn't significantly impair the performance of the fire department. Whites resent it, but blacks still do useful work satisfactorily.

    Giving preference to women by weakening the physical standards is a more serious matter. A firefighter who can't do the job physically is useless. If she can't be given one of the small number of important assignments at the scene of the fire that don't require physical strength, she has to be either left behind in the station, given a make-work assignment at the scene of the fire where she is doing nothing productive, or given an important assignment where she endangers her fellow firefighters.

    The good news is that there just aren't a lot of women who want to be firefighters. Not many of them apply for the job. As a practical matter, the number of women firefighters is small, so they don't significantly degrade the performance of the fire department or endanger their fellow firefighters. If fire departments were compelled to fill 50% of their jobs with women, things would be much worse, of course. That would be a catastrophe, and people would die.

    Giving preference to women by weakening the physical standards is a more serious matter. A firefighter who can’t do the job physically is useless.

    Not really. In the real world, firefighters are required to make intelligent decisions in high stress situations. A smart white woman is going to be better at that than a less intelligent black man.

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    • Replies: @officious intermeddler
    I texted my business partner, a former fireman, trying to get him to write a slap-down of everybody who disagrees with me. His reply: "Why are you arguing about this? Go to bed." Good advice, I guess.
  53. @Jesse
    In fairness, there's no connection between being able to pass the credential tests, and being a "good teacher", especially if you're judging the teacher by the pupils' test scores. What matters is the ability of the pupils, realistic expectations for the low and middle ability kids and - somewhat embarrassingly - matching the race of the teacher with that of the pupils.

    So you are basically saying that teachers are irrelevant? Also, few liberals and politically correct “conservatives” are going to have realistic expectations for the low and middle ability kids since those kids are more likely to be black and Hispanic than white or Asian. Remember, if a white person is better at something than a black or a Hispanic this is taken as proof of racist activity.

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  54. @officious intermeddler

    we can also rely on the selective programs such as the specialized schools (Stuyvesant, Bronx School of Science etc.) which have enough seats for all the decent to excellent students in the city (believe it or not).
     
    There are over 100,000 9th graders in the NYC public schools. About 30,000 of them took the test, and 3,000-4,000 were offered admission to the specialized schools. I think more than 3%-4% of the kids in the public schools are at least "decent" students.

    >>There are over 100,000 9th graders in the NYC public schools. About 30,000 of them took the test, and 3,000-4,000 were offered admission to the specialized schools. I think more than 3%-4% of the kids in the public schools are at least “decent” students.

    I am actually glad that Chinese kids are taking most of these seats. At Stuyvesant Asians make up around 75% of the student body. In the past these seats went to the sons and daughters of white proles, mainly; now that most white proles have left the city the seats should have gone to the offspring of BOBO/SWPLS, if it weren’t for those damn Asians. As a response to this exclusion from the free elite schools, the BOBOS/SWPLS twist themselves into contortions trying to justify why they need more and more charters schools, schools implicitly designed to keep out NAMS, at least the unruly, stupid and dangerous ones, but it is not working out too well. Students at charter schools don’t perform too well and the parents of NAMS are demanding access to these schools, of which they will get. Combine this reality with the continuing dumbing down of the teacher corps and BOBOS/SWPLS are left little alternative but to fork over 20K-50K per year for private schools. Some of these BOBOS/SWPLS are even resorting to sending their offspring to the detested Catholic schools (a relative bargain at about 8K-10K per year). O liberalism. Schadenfreude.

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  55. @officious intermeddler

    we can also rely on the selective programs such as the specialized schools (Stuyvesant, Bronx School of Science etc.) which have enough seats for all the decent to excellent students in the city (believe it or not).
     
    There are over 100,000 9th graders in the NYC public schools. About 30,000 of them took the test, and 3,000-4,000 were offered admission to the specialized schools. I think more than 3%-4% of the kids in the public schools are at least "decent" students.

    By “decent” students, I mean the top 10%.

    Based on the dept. of ed reports, there were 70, 000 students in 7th graders, of which 70% did not meet the state standards for reading. Only 6%, or about 4, 200 students scored ABOVE grade level. The specialized high schools have about 5, 500 seats. There are another about 3000 openings in other elite public schools and selective programs in zoned high schools still available to absorb additional high performing students. In other words, NYC has enough seats in good schools to absorb the top 10% with seats left over.

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    • Replies: @officious intermeddler
    Your basic point is right. In New York, people who are diligent about working the application process will usually get their kid into a pretty good public school, although (1) the process is stressful and absurdly time-consuming, (2) getting into the selective schools is difficult, and (3) if you can't afford to live in one of the neighborhoods with good zoned schools, there is a real chance that, despite your diligent efforts, your kid will get sent to a genuinely bad school. It is common for parents to spend thousands of dollars on consultants to guide them through the application process and tutors to improve their kids' test scores. I wrote some checks myself just this year to do that for my own kid.

    A couple of clarifications about your numbers:

    My understanding is that there is normally an influx of about 30,000 students between 8th and 9th grade. So although there are only about 70,000 7th graders, there are about 100,000 9th graders.

    The statements that only 30% of New York City "meet the state standards for reading" and that only 6% "score above grade level" don't mean quite what they seem to mean. The test that you are referring to is new and the definitions of "proficiency" that it uses are arbitrary. Not wanting to go into painful detail here about the test, I think a fair guess about the meaning of the figures that you cite is that about 30% of students in NYC public schools score in the top half of students nationwide (and are hence on track to be able to do college-level work upon graduation) and about 6% score in the top 10% of students nationwide.
  56. How the Teachers Union (mostly Black) has been behind the effort to unseat Rahm Emmanuel?

    While CTU is one of the more diverse populations, the teaching staff is 50% white and 24% black.

    Pretty much everything you say is utterly bogus, at least in that post. BTW, online education has fewer cognitive requirements, which means that the cognitive standards are lower.

    don’t understand why any white teacher would want to work in a predominantly minority public school.

    I’ve worked in three. Only one of them fussed even slightly about test scores, and I was teacher teaching the most kids in the single most tested subject. And our school did great that year (in no small part because of my efforts, thankyewverrymuch). But it neither caused much pressure nor did it do me much good to have been useful.

    For the most part, stay out of big cities and you probably won’t get pressure on test scores. At least thus far. My current school is absolutely the best at realizing that the scores are what they are. Keeping kids motivated and finding their place in the world is a much higher priority for the admin. Hope that doesn’t change.

    As for why teachers do it–1) loan forgiveness 2) hard to find jobs at the wealthy schools because they pick and choose the “best” (read, youngest and most impressionable) new teachers and then occasionally hire from another district 3) high maintenance parents.

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    • Replies: @Brutusale
    Sorry, in my town (pop. 23,000) in Massachusetts, the MCAS scores are the school system's paramount concern. The scores dropped 3 years ago and the superintendent was cashiered.
  57. @syonredux

    Sheesh. I hope someone caught you after class and gave you a wedgie for pulling that stunt.
     
    Have to confess, I have no first hand knowledge (either as victim or as perpetrator) of wedgies.Indeed, I don't recall ever actually hearing about something like that being done in real life. Frankly, I've always though that it was something of an urban legend.Or maybe it's like dipping curls into inkwells, a thing that was done in the "The Beforetimes, in the Long Long Ago..."

    Or maybe it’s like dipping curls into inkwells, a thing that was done in the “The Beforetimes, in the Long Long Ago…”

    No, my uncle was called up on the carpet ca. 1936 for just this offense.

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  58. now that most white proles have left the city the seats should have gone to the offspring of BOBO/SWPLS, if it weren’t for those damn Asians.

    No, the offspring don’t find the schools desirable–in large part, I think, because of the Asians. Asian attempters are about twice the white attempters, despite having equal represention in the school district. Rich whites would rather go to private schools than heavily Asian schools. So New York taxpayer dollars are mostly paying for illegal Chinese immigrants and a bunch of Bangladeshis who prepped for the test since they were 7 using money from home.

    So you are basically saying that teachers are irrelevant?

    I think a more realistic translation is that an adequate teacher within a wide ability range will get the same results. This suggests our current teachers are adequate.

    BTW, Jesse’s correct and the links supporting those claims are in my post above.

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  59. @Unladen Swallow
    I remembered Zoe Baird getting shot down, I didn't realize that Kimba Wood was choice number two, and I'm guessing Janet Reno was choice number three, but wasn't rich enough or married enough to require the nannies a high flying liberal lawyer would no doubt need. Appointed to the federal bench by the Reagan Administration on the recommendation of Al D'Amato, some bad decisions just keep on giving, don't they?

    Kimba Wood and Zoe Baird had both hired illegal aliens as nannies. It’s just that Wood had done it a wee bit earlier when it was still lawful and had undertaken the proper withholding, paid the payroll taxes, &c. Janet Reno was a vocational spinster who cut her own lawn, so that issue did not stick to her.

    Looking at period photographs of Kimba Wood, recalling she was once a cocktail waitress at a Playboy club, recalling also she was called out in the newspapers for adultery in later years, and knowing d’Amato’s Warren Beatty aspirations after he separated from his wife in 1985, the smart money says it was a horizontal audition.

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  60. @education realist
    "Second link from the NY Times, although unaware of HBD, is an excellent and balanced article that shows that Black and Hispanic kids perform tremendously better on tests when pushed to work hard enough."

    Oh, my lord. It was an excellent article, all right, but it most assuredly did not show that. What it suggested, as all the pieces on Success Academy suggest, is that the schools are somehow gaming or cheating the tests. Which is why you don't hear ed reformers pushing SA much. They're worried it's a hoax.

    I just wrote about that: Ian Malcolm on Eva Moskowitz

    "Did white women really believe that they would be the SJW’s darlings forever?"

    White female teachers aren't SJW's darlings and never have been. Nor are they the ones pushing liberal swill in school--not any more than any other group, anyway. Finally, there's no way that a judge can force the test to be dumbed down enough to make a dent in the white female teaching dominance. Unlike the firefighter tests, it's incredibly easy to demand that a test for a high school teacher include mastery of high school level material. And blacks or Hispanics who have that mastery have many other options, as I wrote above.

    I actually disagree with you about their being cheating on the tests. I think a school careful selects for motivated students with no behavioral problems, provide them with a disciplined learning environment, highly motivated teachers, great teaching material and focused test preparation, poor black students can perform very well academically.

    It’s done all the time in Africa and the Caribbean.

    In my opinion, the greatest impediment to black student achievement in ny at least, is that a significant number of them have serious psychological/emotional/behavioral problems, and their presence in the classroom sabotages the entire learning environment in inner city schools. How is a poor but normal black kid expected to function- never mind learn -in such a disruptive and dangerous environment?

    The charter schools give the motivated sane poor inner city kids a chance to learn in a safe, sane pleasant environment that addresses their social and academic weaknesses.

    The unions really ought to leave the successful charter schools alone, even if they are being pushed by corporations, because they work for these desperate kids.

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  61. @E. Rekshun
    Very good points, but

    ...smart “nice white lady teachers” should move on to other professions that have better uses for their talents.

    Such as what...HR?

    Is there a reason that nice white lady teachers who passed the difficult certification tests can’t do jobs in finance or STEM?

    The ones I know that opted out early in their career started working for hedge funds.

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    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    The ones I know that opted out early in their career started working for hedge funds.

    Maybe you know one former teacher working in a support function for a hedge fund, but otherwise I call complete B.S. If there ever was a former public school teacher that career-changed into hedge fund manager, then the WSJ needs to do a front page write-up on her (tee hee).

    On the other hand, I do know one former public school teacher (attractive 28 y/o blonde female), that left the Miami-Dade Public School system after a couple of years of teaching to take a job as a pharmaceutical rep. I wouldn't call that STEM.
  62. “poor black students can perform very well academically”

    That’s not what is at issue. I have personally taught a good number of poor black students who do exceptional work.

    The issue is whether a group of poor black students, selected with some bias, trimmed through attrition and test prepped to the gills, can score at twice the proficiency rates of whites. In a world where poor whites outscore non-poor blacks.

    I find that extremely unlikely. I’m not saying they cheat, because I can’t see how. But they’re gaming.

    And the fact that poor whites outscore non-poor blacks pretty much explains why your belief about poor blacks is way off base. Again, poor blacks have a wide range of abilities. The center, however, is way below that of whites.

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    • Replies: @Merema
    It is my belief that the reason poor whites outscore non poor blacks is that a significant number of non poor MALE black students have learning disabilities and/or emotional/mental health problems . It does not matter that they are not poor or that they have college educated parents. . I became painfully aware of this fact after meeting many middle class Caribbean and African parents here in New York City who are heartbroken and confused by the failing of their mildly dysfunctional to seriously ill sons.

    So to get back to your points, if the charter schools trim their student body to exclude the learning disabled or dysfunctional black students, and are working with HEALTHY black kids, they can get them to pass the state tests at twice the proficiency rate of whites, probably because the white students encompasses the whole white student population including English language learners (we have them in New York) and white students in the crowded mediocre schools of the outer boroughs. Additionally, many white male students that have been diagnosed with ADHD and have learning challenges. Also, a significant number of these so called white students are low income Persians from the 'stans from the former Soviet Union (such as Uzbekistan) who are mediocre or failing students for the most part.

    The gaming in how they select and trim their student body.
  63. @Sparkling Wiggle

    Firefighting is mostly a physical job. It doesn’t require a lot of brain power. And firefighters are almost always working together as teams, not as individuals. In practice, any confusion by a dumb firefighter is likely to be remedied in real time by pairing him with a smarter firefighter who makes sure that he doesn’t screw up. So the elimination of written tests probably doesn’t significantly impair the performance of the fire department.
     
    ...said the commentor who has obviously never been a firefighter.

    Yeah I saw that and my eyebrows went up a notch. Plenty of time for a smart firefighter, knee deep in his own tasks, to keep a dumb firefighter from opening the wrong door and causing a backdraft.

    You don’t become a subject matter expert by reading a wiki article.

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  64. @education realist
    "poor black students can perform very well academically"

    That's not what is at issue. I have personally taught a good number of poor black students who do exceptional work.

    The issue is whether a group of poor black students, selected with some bias, trimmed through attrition and test prepped to the gills, can score at twice the proficiency rates of whites. In a world where poor whites outscore non-poor blacks.


    I find that extremely unlikely. I'm not saying they cheat, because I can't see how. But they're gaming.

    And the fact that poor whites outscore non-poor blacks pretty much explains why your belief about poor blacks is way off base. Again, poor blacks have a wide range of abilities. The center, however, is way below that of whites.

    It is my belief that the reason poor whites outscore non poor blacks is that a significant number of non poor MALE black students have learning disabilities and/or emotional/mental health problems . It does not matter that they are not poor or that they have college educated parents. . I became painfully aware of this fact after meeting many middle class Caribbean and African parents here in New York City who are heartbroken and confused by the failing of their mildly dysfunctional to seriously ill sons.

    So to get back to your points, if the charter schools trim their student body to exclude the learning disabled or dysfunctional black students, and are working with HEALTHY black kids, they can get them to pass the state tests at twice the proficiency rate of whites, probably because the white students encompasses the whole white student population including English language learners (we have them in New York) and white students in the crowded mediocre schools of the outer boroughs. Additionally, many white male students that have been diagnosed with ADHD and have learning challenges. Also, a significant number of these so called white students are low income Persians from the ‘stans from the former Soviet Union (such as Uzbekistan) who are mediocre or failing students for the most part.

    The gaming in how they select and trim their student body.

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  65. @Sparkling Wiggle

    Firefighting is mostly a physical job. It doesn’t require a lot of brain power. And firefighters are almost always working together as teams, not as individuals. In practice, any confusion by a dumb firefighter is likely to be remedied in real time by pairing him with a smarter firefighter who makes sure that he doesn’t screw up. So the elimination of written tests probably doesn’t significantly impair the performance of the fire department.
     
    ...said the commentor who has obviously never been a firefighter.

    …said the commentor who has obviously never been a firefighter.

    No, I haven’t. But I know a few firefighters. The best guys in the world but not the smartest. Maybe Sparkling Wiggle would be willing to explain the effect of affirmative action for us from his own firefighting experience.

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  66. @E. Rekshun
    Very good points, but

    ...smart “nice white lady teachers” should move on to other professions that have better uses for their talents.

    Such as what...HR?

    Raising families.

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  67. It is my belief that the reason poor whites outscore non poor blacks is that a significant number of non poor MALE black students have learning disabilities and/or emotional/mental health problems .

    I know it’s your belief. It’s not a very good one. Keep looking.

    The rest of your post is something akin to tooth fair worship. Purging black school populations of these imaginary troublesome males can cause them to score at twice the rate of white New Yorkers.

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  68. @Merema
    By "decent" students, I mean the top 10%.

    Based on the dept. of ed reports, there were 70, 000 students in 7th graders, of which 70% did not meet the state standards for reading. Only 6%, or about 4, 200 students scored ABOVE grade level. The specialized high schools have about 5, 500 seats. There are another about 3000 openings in other elite public schools and selective programs in zoned high schools still available to absorb additional high performing students. In other words, NYC has enough seats in good schools to absorb the top 10% with seats left over.

    Your basic point is right. In New York, people who are diligent about working the application process will usually get their kid into a pretty good public school, although (1) the process is stressful and absurdly time-consuming, (2) getting into the selective schools is difficult, and (3) if you can’t afford to live in one of the neighborhoods with good zoned schools, there is a real chance that, despite your diligent efforts, your kid will get sent to a genuinely bad school. It is common for parents to spend thousands of dollars on consultants to guide them through the application process and tutors to improve their kids’ test scores. I wrote some checks myself just this year to do that for my own kid.

    A couple of clarifications about your numbers:

    My understanding is that there is normally an influx of about 30,000 students between 8th and 9th grade. So although there are only about 70,000 7th graders, there are about 100,000 9th graders.

    The statements that only 30% of New York City “meet the state standards for reading” and that only 6% “score above grade level” don’t mean quite what they seem to mean. The test that you are referring to is new and the definitions of “proficiency” that it uses are arbitrary. Not wanting to go into painful detail here about the test, I think a fair guess about the meaning of the figures that you cite is that about 30% of students in NYC public schools score in the top half of students nationwide (and are hence on track to be able to do college-level work upon graduation) and about 6% score in the top 10% of students nationwide.

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  69. @education realist
    "Second link from the NY Times, although unaware of HBD, is an excellent and balanced article that shows that Black and Hispanic kids perform tremendously better on tests when pushed to work hard enough."

    Oh, my lord. It was an excellent article, all right, but it most assuredly did not show that. What it suggested, as all the pieces on Success Academy suggest, is that the schools are somehow gaming or cheating the tests. Which is why you don't hear ed reformers pushing SA much. They're worried it's a hoax.

    I just wrote about that: Ian Malcolm on Eva Moskowitz

    "Did white women really believe that they would be the SJW’s darlings forever?"

    White female teachers aren't SJW's darlings and never have been. Nor are they the ones pushing liberal swill in school--not any more than any other group, anyway. Finally, there's no way that a judge can force the test to be dumbed down enough to make a dent in the white female teaching dominance. Unlike the firefighter tests, it's incredibly easy to demand that a test for a high school teacher include mastery of high school level material. And blacks or Hispanics who have that mastery have many other options, as I wrote above.

    “For the most part, stay out of big cities and you probably won’t get pressure on test scores. At least thus far.”

    It’s happening in small towns also. I did a semester of student teaching in a small town, and the principal stated outright that more had to be done about test scores. Several students actually told me that a teacher fed them the answers on a state test, which explained how this school was a school of excellence. FWIW, the school was about 60% black, rural, poor, and the students, teacher and principal involved were all black.

    The whole school was a joke, and everything was arranged so that anyone with a pulse would pass. The lowest grade possible on a test was 50%, and test corrections were made at home with the book at half credit. Homework wasn’t graded, though I did read and remark, and almost every assignment was copied, mistakes and all, from someone who really had no interest in reading the material. I don’t remember the formula for a final grade, but with a guaranteed 75% on tests and 100% on class participation and homework, showing up was the most difficult part.

    I went to the graduation ceremony and saw kids graduating with honors who couldn’t write a decent paragraph if they had to, and who didn’t pass a single test on the first try. Of course, they all got the mandatory state scholarships given to all kids with a B average or better. Maybe some of them were just coasting because nothing was expected. I wish I could have seen the SAT scores.

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  70. @Joe Walker
    Giving preference to women by weakening the physical standards is a more serious matter. A firefighter who can’t do the job physically is useless.

    Not really. In the real world, firefighters are required to make intelligent decisions in high stress situations. A smart white woman is going to be better at that than a less intelligent black man.

    I texted my business partner, a former fireman, trying to get him to write a slap-down of everybody who disagrees with me. His reply: “Why are you arguing about this? Go to bed.” Good advice, I guess.

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  71. “Why are you arguing about this? Go to bed.”

    Well, if I’m going to bed, I’ll definitely choose the white woman over the big black man.

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  72. Not to worry. There will be fewer and fewer white lady teachers. Then any discrepancy will be much less noticeable.

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  73. Joe Walker says:

    “So you are basically saying that teachers are irrelevant?”

    Eh, not really. But there’s less room for improvement than people like to think. Also, education has too much pressure put on it. It can’t make up for terrible economic policies, off-shoring, automation, immigration, limitations in inherent intelligence etc.

    What does seem to matter is race matching between teachers and pupils, as well as making sure that the average and below average have a snowball’s chance in hell of finding jobs, which means looking at factors outside education. Some find that horrifying. Personally, I think it’s fascinating, and heartening, simply because it’s at least somewhat doable, even now.

    “Also, few liberals and politically correct “conservatives” are going to have realistic expectations for the low and middle ability kids since those kids are more likely to be black and Hispanic than white or Asian. Remember, if a white person is better at something than a black or a Hispanic this is taken as proof of racist activity.”

    Doesn’t change the reality that expectations are too high. That said, I myself am a fairly orthodox liberal, of average intelligence and still managed to see the light. Took a few years, but. Why can’t others?

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  74. I see Ed Realist was in and made the point that it’s not clear that you need the highest possible scoring teachers, but there is evidence that black teachers do a better job teaching black students. (Has similar research been done for Hispanic students? I don’t know.) Anyway, something to bear in mind as our student population becomes majority-minority.

    People calling the judge clueless, an idiot, etc.: she is applying the law. A test that has a disparate racial impact (as any decent cognitive test will) is prima facie discriminatory, and in practice that presumption of discrimination is almost impossible to overcome. And as far as I can see, there is zero political support for changing that law.

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  75. @education realist
    "Second link from the NY Times, although unaware of HBD, is an excellent and balanced article that shows that Black and Hispanic kids perform tremendously better on tests when pushed to work hard enough."

    Oh, my lord. It was an excellent article, all right, but it most assuredly did not show that. What it suggested, as all the pieces on Success Academy suggest, is that the schools are somehow gaming or cheating the tests. Which is why you don't hear ed reformers pushing SA much. They're worried it's a hoax.

    I just wrote about that: Ian Malcolm on Eva Moskowitz

    "Did white women really believe that they would be the SJW’s darlings forever?"

    White female teachers aren't SJW's darlings and never have been. Nor are they the ones pushing liberal swill in school--not any more than any other group, anyway. Finally, there's no way that a judge can force the test to be dumbed down enough to make a dent in the white female teaching dominance. Unlike the firefighter tests, it's incredibly easy to demand that a test for a high school teacher include mastery of high school level material. And blacks or Hispanics who have that mastery have many other options, as I wrote above.

    Oh, my lord. It was an excellent article, all right,

    Why do people keep saying this? It wasn’t excellent at all. It was wordy, boring, and discursive. It conveyed almost no useful information. It dwelled lengthily on the feeewwwings of this and that teacher. It sucked.

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  76. @education realist
    How the Teachers Union (mostly Black) has been behind the effort to unseat Rahm Emmanuel?

    While CTU is one of the more diverse populations, the teaching staff is 50% white and 24% black.

    Pretty much everything you say is utterly bogus, at least in that post. BTW, online education has fewer cognitive requirements, which means that the cognitive standards are lower.

    don’t understand why any white teacher would want to work in a predominantly minority public school.

    I've worked in three. Only one of them fussed even slightly about test scores, and I was teacher teaching the most kids in the single most tested subject. And our school did great that year (in no small part because of my efforts, thankyewverrymuch). But it neither caused much pressure nor did it do me much good to have been useful.

    For the most part, stay out of big cities and you probably won't get pressure on test scores. At least thus far. My current school is absolutely the best at realizing that the scores are what they are. Keeping kids motivated and finding their place in the world is a much higher priority for the admin. Hope that doesn't change.

    As for why teachers do it--1) loan forgiveness 2) hard to find jobs at the wealthy schools because they pick and choose the "best" (read, youngest and most impressionable) new teachers and then occasionally hire from another district 3) high maintenance parents.

    Sorry, in my town (pop. 23,000) in Massachusetts, the MCAS scores are the school system’s paramount concern. The scores dropped 3 years ago and the superintendent was cashiered.

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  77. I did a semester of student teaching in a small town, and the principal stated outright that more had to be done about test scores.

    That’s not pressure on test scores. And what you describe is pretty normal for a small school such as you describe. Notice there’s far more intensity placed on getting kids out (grades) than there is on performance (test scores).

    I don’t even assign homework, and it’s certainly not just black kids who copy homework from others. Moreover, a kid who shows up and works in my class will pass. Those are philosophical responses to ludicrous transcript expectations. It’s because of these philosophical responses that the test score push came about. Thus far, the test score push, particularly when combined with merit pay, has been restricted to predominantly black schools in urban areas.

    That may change, but what you describe is something a bit different.

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    • Replies: @Affirmative Action Jackson
    "That’s not pressure on test scores."

    You had to be there. There's more to the story, but I believe that cheating was common practice in this school, and particularly with the teacher who was supposedly feeding answers. I had direct experience with this teacher (who was the teacher of the year the prior year) that makes me 100% certain that he would feed answers during a test.

    " Notice there’s far more intensity placed on getting kids out (grades) than there is on performance (test scores)."

    That much was obvious. I wasn't an education major, so I wasn't drilled with theory for years on end. Still, I don't see the point in much of what was done, and judging by most of the graduates, I don't see what was accomplished.

    "I don’t even assign homework, and it’s certainly not just black kids who copy homework from others."

    Out of the 150 or so students that I taught, I can think of 3 or 4 that actually did homework, and I'm pretty sure that they did the work on their own with the intent of actually learning something. Few kids of any race tried. It wasn't my point that any kids wanted to do homework.

    I do believe that the teacher and principal involved were more concerned about the achievement of black kids. I could be wrong, but that's they way they struck me, which wouldn't be uncommon in the area. I once heard black BOE members in a neighboring county state in a meeting that they intended to run the schools to the benefit of black students. That's just a reality in this area.
  78. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Mike Sylwester
    We should simply establish a charter school that requires the study of Latin at least an hour every day. That will keep out the nitwit students.

    The charter school also should organize its faculty into a "team teaching" scheme that essentially would require every teacher to understand Latin fairly well. That will keep out the nitwit teachers.

    The charter school should require all its students also to master Henry Wadsworth Longellow's epic poem Song of Hiawatha.

    The following passage is from an episode when an angel named Mondamin descended from Heaven at a series of sunsets to wrestle with Hiawatha. The poem compares Mondamin's sunset arrivals to the formation of evening dew.


    When the sun through heaven descending,
    Like a red and burning cinder
    From the hearth of the Great Spirit,
    Fell into the western waters,

    Came Mondamin for the trial,
    For the strife with Hiawatha ;
    Came as silent as the dew comes,
    From the empty air appearing,

    Into empty air returning,
    Taking shape when earth it touches,
    But invisible to all men
    In its coming and its going.

    Thrice they wrestled there together
    In the glory of the sunset,
    Till the darkness fell around them,

    Till the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
    From her haunts among the fen-lands,
    Uttered her loud cry of famine,
    And Mondamin paused to listen.

    Tall and beautiful he stood there,
    In his garments green and yellow ;
    To and fro his plumes above him
    Waved and nodded with his breathing,

    And the sweat of the encounter
    Stood like drops of dew upon him.
     

    The Charter school already exists. Great Hearts Academies schools in Arizona.

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  79. @Wilkey
    "Harvard Law School would never think about admitting applicants from the top down based on a combination of the LSAT exam and college grades."

    You really have to hand it to these asshole Ivy League lawyers who think that every job below the status of Ivy League-grad lawyer can be done by people who are as dumb as rocks. How dare the teaching profession, the firefighting profession, and law enforcement believe that it requires a certain amount of intelligence to do their jobs? Do they think they're lawyers or something?

    ou really have to hand it to these asshole Ivy League lawyers who think that every job below the status of Ivy League-grad lawyer can be done by people who are as dumb as rocks. How dare the teaching profession, the firefighting profession, and law enforcement believe that it requires a certain amount of intelligence to do their jobs? Do they think they’re lawyers or something?

    Well said Wilkey. These folks really are a pompously obnoxious bunch. (And it’s not like they are nuclear physicists themselves.)

    I’d add “power plant operator” to the list of jobs where i’d like to get the smartest ones we can. But nope, in the US of A courtesy of judicial fiat only lawyering requires any IQ.

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  80. @Joe Walker
    I don't understand why any white teacher would want to work in a predominantly minority public school. If the minority students do well then liberals and politically correct "conservatives" will give the credit to the students; if the minority students do poorly then the blame will be assigned to the white teachers. I can't think of a more thankless job.

    I don’t understand why any white teacher would want to work in a predominantly minority public school.

    Except for the Teach for America resume-builders, teachers don’t want to work in a minority public school, but they need a job and have no other alternative. There are not enough positions for all the White teachers in the upper-class White school districts. And almost zero teachers can work in STEM or FIRE. Some teachers do desperately escape to school district HQ admin jobs or corporate “training” positions.

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  81. @Merema
    Is there a reason that nice white lady teachers who passed the difficult certification tests can't do jobs in finance or STEM?

    The ones I know that opted out early in their career started working for hedge funds.

    The ones I know that opted out early in their career started working for hedge funds.

    Maybe you know one former teacher working in a support function for a hedge fund, but otherwise I call complete B.S. If there ever was a former public school teacher that career-changed into hedge fund manager, then the WSJ needs to do a front page write-up on her (tee hee).

    On the other hand, I do know one former public school teacher (attractive 28 y/o blonde female), that left the Miami-Dade Public School system after a couple of years of teaching to take a job as a pharmaceutical rep. I wouldn’t call that STEM.

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  82. I welcome this stuff. Bring it on. Bring forth the contradictions.

    20 odd years back i was naively in the “meritocracy” camp. But i confess i was bamboozled.

    If we’re going to live in a “diverse” society then–per Lee Kuan Yew rules–we’re going to have political racial contention\allocation.

    Better to have quotas. But quotas where “Jews” are a separate category from whites.

    – Bring the sleaze into the light. The politicians responsible have to stand for what they stand for. They don’t get away by appointing judges and signing giveaway consent decrees. Politicians should always have to *take responsibility* as directly as possible for what they do.

    – Bring HBD into the light. No one gets to hide from what’s actually going on. Since we’re trashing meritocracy let everyone have to think about it long and hard and continually.

    – Better minority hires. Disparate impact dumbing down sets such a low bar–to get in the black proportions you need–that the candidates are shit. Quotas protect the bar for whites and up and let you keep a good test to get the smartest candidates you can from NAMs.

    – The squealing! The squealing you’d get from all the Jews and white liberals losing their jobs for diversity would be just too precious. The public sector is a parking lot for a lot of Jewish\white mediocrities–particularly women–holding (proudly, pompously) conventional left wing views. Turn ‘em out on the streets. Make ‘em get real jobs. Nothing could be better for improving their thought processes … and the spectacle!

    – Protect whites. What’s going on is that the left\Jews agitate for space for low performing minority groups (basically NAMS), but then leave the continually shrinking “regular”\”meritocratic”\”white” space as an open “fair” competition in which of course they have an IQ advantage. With the growing Asian population this becomes worse and worse. In elite institutions like the Ivies the most under-represented folks are probably flyover country white gentiles. (Probably the Scots-Irish, the folks who’ve continually stepped up to fight this countries wars at the bottom of the totem pole.)

    Restated the current paradigm is any group below white capability gets “affirmative action”, any group above white capability gets to feast on the “white” portion of the pie.

    Hey well … f-you! Quotas for everyone including Jews and NE Asians. You hated white bread America and wanted diversity …. lets have it good and hard.

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  83. @education realist
    I did a semester of student teaching in a small town, and the principal stated outright that more had to be done about test scores.

    That's not pressure on test scores. And what you describe is pretty normal for a small school such as you describe. Notice there's far more intensity placed on getting kids out (grades) than there is on performance (test scores).

    I don't even assign homework, and it's certainly not just black kids who copy homework from others. Moreover, a kid who shows up and works in my class will pass. Those are philosophical responses to ludicrous transcript expectations. It's because of these philosophical responses that the test score push came about. Thus far, the test score push, particularly when combined with merit pay, has been restricted to predominantly black schools in urban areas.

    That may change, but what you describe is something a bit different.

    “That’s not pressure on test scores.”

    You had to be there. There’s more to the story, but I believe that cheating was common practice in this school, and particularly with the teacher who was supposedly feeding answers. I had direct experience with this teacher (who was the teacher of the year the prior year) that makes me 100% certain that he would feed answers during a test.

    ” Notice there’s far more intensity placed on getting kids out (grades) than there is on performance (test scores).”

    That much was obvious. I wasn’t an education major, so I wasn’t drilled with theory for years on end. Still, I don’t see the point in much of what was done, and judging by most of the graduates, I don’t see what was accomplished.

    “I don’t even assign homework, and it’s certainly not just black kids who copy homework from others.”

    Out of the 150 or so students that I taught, I can think of 3 or 4 that actually did homework, and I’m pretty sure that they did the work on their own with the intent of actually learning something. Few kids of any race tried. It wasn’t my point that any kids wanted to do homework.

    I do believe that the teacher and principal involved were more concerned about the achievement of black kids. I could be wrong, but that’s they way they struck me, which wouldn’t be uncommon in the area. I once heard black BOE members in a neighboring county state in a meeting that they intended to run the schools to the benefit of black students. That’s just a reality in this area.

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  84. @syonredux

    Sheesh. I hope someone caught you after class and gave you a wedgie for pulling that stunt.
     
    Have to confess, I have no first hand knowledge (either as victim or as perpetrator) of wedgies.Indeed, I don't recall ever actually hearing about something like that being done in real life. Frankly, I've always though that it was something of an urban legend.Or maybe it's like dipping curls into inkwells, a thing that was done in the "The Beforetimes, in the Long Long Ago..."

    Never witnessed a wedgie? Are you under 35 or otherwise the product of an overprotective culture?

    In the 60s/70s, if you didn’t get wedgied for playing wise-guy like you did in your story, you’d have been wedgied for saying “my dear fellow” (as, according to Unz’s archive, you’ve said 40 times).

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Never witnessed a wedgie? Are you under 35
     
    34


    Ah, so it is a product of “The Beforetimes, in the Long Long Ago…”

    In the 60s/70s, if you didn’t get wedgied for playing wise-guy like you did in your story,
     
    Knowing who Ben Jonson was counts as being a "wise-guy?"

    you’d have been wedgied for saying “my dear fellow” (as, according to Unz’s archive, you’ve said 40 times).
     
    Kudos for keeping track
    , @Truth



    In the 60s/70s, if you didn’t get wedgied for playing wise-guy like you did in your story, you’d have been wedgied for saying “my dear fellow”
     
    LOL! Something tells me we went to the same schools.
  85. @International Jew
    Never witnessed a wedgie? Are you under 35 or otherwise the product of an overprotective culture?

    In the 60s/70s, if you didn't get wedgied for playing wise-guy like you did in your story, you'd have been wedgied for saying "my dear fellow" (as, according to Unz's archive, you've said 40 times).

    Never witnessed a wedgie? Are you under 35

    34

    Ah, so it is a product of “The Beforetimes, in the Long Long Ago…”

    In the 60s/70s, if you didn’t get wedgied for playing wise-guy like you did in your story,

    Knowing who Ben Jonson was counts as being a “wise-guy?”

    you’d have been wedgied for saying “my dear fellow” (as, according to Unz’s archive, you’ve said 40 times).

    Kudos for keeping track

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  86. @International Jew
    Never witnessed a wedgie? Are you under 35 or otherwise the product of an overprotective culture?

    In the 60s/70s, if you didn't get wedgied for playing wise-guy like you did in your story, you'd have been wedgied for saying "my dear fellow" (as, according to Unz's archive, you've said 40 times).

    In the 60s/70s, if you didn’t get wedgied for playing wise-guy like you did in your story, you’d have been wedgied for saying “my dear fellow”

    LOL! Something tells me we went to the same schools.

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Comments are closed.

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