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NAEP 2015 Asian White Gaps

Here are the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress scores for Asians (orange) and whites (blue). I took a simple average of four scores: Reading and Math for both 4th and 8th grades. The overall sample size for the whole country is about 280,000, which is a lot, although I wouldn’t put too much faith in any one state’s scores, such as Colorado’s outlier score for Asians.

One observation I’d make is that Hawaii suggests the long term price of importing farm workers: Hawaii brought in a lot of Japanese and Chinese many generations ago, and in 2015 they’re still not scoring impressively.

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Screenshot 2015-10-28 05.27.50

Here are the brand new 2015 federal National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests scores sorted in order of the size of the White-Black Gap on 8th grade math. The color reflects whether the state went for Obama (blue) or Romney (red) in 2012.

A few comments:

- Although it’s often assumed that The Gap is due to racism, it tends to be bigger in blue Democratic states.

- Gentrifying Washington DC now has enough white children to get a white NAEP score. Sure enough, The Gap in very liberal Washington DC is bigger than in all the states, due to a very high white score in DC and a slightly below average black score.

- German-Americans and Nordic-Americans don’t seem to know how to deal with African-Americans. As I’ve often pointed out, the biggest Gap is in Wisconsin, but in this table Nebraska, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania have the next widest Gaps. (Any relationship between this and Merkel’s Boner is probably not coincidental.)

- The highest black scores are in Dept. of Defense schools (DODEA), followed by military intensive states like Arizona and Alaska and well-educated liberals states like New Jersey and Massachusetts that also have high white scores.

- The smallest Gap is in West Virginia, which has, by far, the lowest white scores.

And another graph that explains the migrant crises of 2016-2100
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Population 1950-2015-b

The demographers of the United Nation’s Population Division have quietly released their World Population Prospects: 2015 Revision report.

Above is a graph I put together from their new data that explains much about the “Migrant Crisis” of 2015.

As you can see, way back in 1950, the population of the Middle East was only 18% as great as the population of Europe, while Sub-Saharan Africa was only 33% as large. Even in 2000, the Middle East had only 49% of the population of Europe, while Africa had almost caught up to Europe with 88% of its population.

But from 2000 to 2015, the Middle East added 124 million people, making it now 65% as populous as Europe.

In this century alone, Sub-Saharan Africa has added 320 million people, making it 130% as populated as Europe.

Some of this information about the past is new. For example, the U.N.’s estimate of the population of the continent of Africa back in 2010 has grown by 13 million people, or over 1% between the 2012 Revision and the 2015 Revision. When it comes to population, the past just isn’t what it used to be.

But what about the future?

As a general pattern, the U.N. has found, the completeness of the counts tends to be worse in the fastest growing countries. Thus, the harder the U.N. has looked at Africa in this decade, the more people and more new babies it keeps uncovering.

It turns out that while the total fertility rate in Africa is falling, it’s falling quite a bit more slowly than the U.N. had expected before its disturbing 2012 Revision.

Sub-Saharan Africa simply isn’t behaving like the rest of the world:

Screenshot 2015-09-19 16.44.14

This U.N. map of total fertility rates can be found here. I reviewed the deep structure reasons for Sub-Saharan Africa’s anomalously high fertility here.

The upward adjustment in Africa’s population projections in the 2012 Revision of World Population Prospects came as a shock. But the 2015 Revision forecasts Africa’s population in 2100, about one lifetime from now, to be another 5% higher than the U.N. projected just back in 2012.

And here’s my full graph of the U.N.’s 2015 Revision numbers:

Population 1950-2100-b


The U.N. now projects that, despite lower fertility in some Muslim countries such as Iran, the population of the Middle East will surpass that of Europe in 2045 and reach 937 million by 2100.

As for Sub-Saharan Africa, the U.N. foresees the population growing to 3,935,000,000 (3.9 billion and change) by 2100. (The total population of Africa and the Middle East will be 4,872,000,000.)

That’s probably not going to happen due to some combination of (A) intelligent self-restraint, (B) mass migration, and (C) Malthusian Nightmares (war, famine, disease, etc. etc.) keeping the population of Sub-Saharan Africa in 2100 from being more than six times as great as Europe, which would be an 18-fold increase in 150 years.

Keep in mind that there’s not a one to one relationship between population growth and emigration. In general, people try to assess whether the future at home looks brighter than the present. But people in Africa and the Middle East can see their countries’ futures will be more crowded and constrained.

Personally, I hope the reason that this graph doesn’t prove accurate is largely (A) intelligent self-restraint. But at present, white people don’t seem to be making much of an effort to facilitate and encourage reasonable family planning in Africa. Because that would be, you know, racist.

Which is the worst thing in the world, much worse than the U.N.’s population forecast.

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Screenshot 2015-07-01 16.54.40

Paul Krugman argues today that Puerto Rico is kind of like West Virginia, Mississippi, and Alabama:

Put it this way: if a region of the United States turns out to be a relatively bad location for production, we don’t expect the population to maintain itself by competing via ultra-low wages; we expect working-age residents to leave for more favorable places. That’s what you see in poor mainland states like West Virginia, which actually looks a fair bit like Puerto Rico in terms of low labor force participation, albeit not quite so much so. (Mississippi and Alabama also have low participation.) … There is much discussion of what’s wrong with Puerto Rico, but maybe we should, at least some of the time, just think of Puerto Rico as an ordinary region of the U.S. …

Okay, but there’s a huge difference in test scores.

The federal government has been administering a special Puerto Rico-customized version of its National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam in Spanish to Puerto Rican public school students, and the results have been jaw-droppingly bad.

For example, among Puerto Rican 8th graders tested in mathematics in 2013, 95% scored Below Basic, 5% scored Basic, and (to the limits of rounding) 0% scored Proficient, and 0% scored Advanced. These results were the same in 2011.

In contrast, among American public school students poor enough to be eligible for subsidized school lunches (“NSLP” in the graph above), only 39% scored Below Basic, 41% scored Basic, 17% scored Proficient, and 3% scored Advanced.

Puerto Rico’s test scores are just shamefully low, suggesting that Puerto Rican schools are completely dropping the ball. By way of contrast, in the U.S., among black 8th graders, 38% score Basic, 13% score Proficient, and 2% score Advanced. In the U.S. among Hispanic 8th graders, 41% reach Basic, 18% Proficient, and 3% Advanced.

In Krugman’s bete noire of West Virginia, 42% are Basic, 20% are Proficient, and 3% are Advanced. In Mississippi, 40% are Basic, 18% Proficient, and 3% are Advanced. In Alabama, 40% are Basic, 16% are Proficient, and 3% are Advanced. (Unmentioned by Krugman, the lowest scores among public school students are in liberal Washington D.C.: 35% Basic, 15% Proficient, and 4% Advanced.)

Let me repeat, in Puerto Rico in Spanish, 5% are Basic, and zero zip zilch are Proficient, much less Advanced.

Am I misinterpreting something? I thought I must be, but here’s a press release from the Feds confirming what I just said:

The 2013 Spanish-language mathematics assessment marks the first time that Puerto Rico has been able to use NAEP results to establish a valid comparison to the last assessment in 2011. Prior to 2011, the assessment was carefully redesigned to ensure an accurate assessment of students in Puerto Rico. Results from assessments in Puerto Rico in 2003, 2005 and 2007 cannot be compared, in part because of the larger-than-expected number of questions that students either didn’t answer or answered incorrectly, making it difficult to precisely measure student knowledge and skills. The National Center for Education Statistics, which conducts NAEP, administered the NAEP mathematics assessment in 2011. But those results have not been available until now, as it was necessary to replicate the assessment in 2013 to ensure that valid comparisons could be made.

“The ability to accurately measure student performance is essential for improving education,” said Terry Mazany, chairman of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees NAEP. “With the support and encouragement of education officials in Puerto Rico, this assessment achieves that goal. This is a great accomplishment and an important step forward for Puerto Rico’s schools and students.”

NAEP assessments report performance using average scores and percentages of students at or above three achievement levels: Basic, Proficient and Advanced. The 2013 assessment results showed that 11 percent of fourth-graders in Puerto Rico and 5 percent of eighth-graders in public schools performed at or above the Basic level; conversely, 89 percent of fourth-graders and 95 percent of eighth-graders scored below that level. The Basic level denotes partial mastery of the knowledge and skills needed for grade-appropriate work. One percent or fewer of students in either grade scored at or above the Proficient level, which denotes solid academic performance. Only a few students scored at the Advanced level.

The sample size for 8th graders was 5,200 students at 120 public schools in the Territory.

UPDATE: I’ve now discovered Puerto Rico’s scores on the 2012 international PISA test. Puerto Rico came in behind Jordan in math.

Results this abysmal can’t solely be an HBD problem (although it’s an interesting data point in any discussion of hybrid vigor); this has to also be due to a corrupt and incompetent education system in Puerto Rico.

New York Times’ comments aren’t generally very useful for finding out information, but Krugman’s piece did get this comment:

KO’R New York, NY 4 hours ago

My husband and I have had a house in PR for 24 years. For two of those years we taught English and ESL at Interamericana, the second largest PR university. Our neighbors have children in the public grade schools. In a nutshell: the educational system in PR is a joke!!! Bureaucratic and corrupt. Five examples: (1) In the elementary schools near us if a teacher is sick or absent for any reason, there is no class that day. (2) Trying to get a textbook changed at Interamericana requires about a year or more of bureaucratic shinnanigans (3) A colleague at Interamericana told us that he’d taught in Africa (don’t remember where) for a few years and PR was much worse in terms of bureaucracy and politics. ( (4) The teaching method in PR is for the teacher to stand in front of the class, read from the textbook verbatim, and have the students repeat what he or she read. And I’m not speaking just about English – this goes for all subjects. 5) Interamericana is supposed to be a bi-lingual iniversity. In practice, this means the textbooks are in English, the professor reads the Spanish translation aloud, and the usually minimal discussion is in Spanish. …

Public school spending in Puerto Rico is $7,429 per student versus $10,658 per student in the U.S. Puerto Rico spends more per student than Utah and Idaho and slightly less than Oklahoma.

Puerto Rico spends less than half as much as the U.S. average on Instruction: $3,082 in Puerto Rico vs. $6,520 in America, significantly less than any American state. But Puerto Rico spends more than the U.S. average on Total Support Services ($3,757 vs. $3,700). Puerto Rico is especially lavish when it comes to the shifty-sounding subcategories of General Administration ($699 in PR vs. $212 in America) and Other Support Services ($644 vs. $347). PR spends more per student on General Administration than any state in America, trailing only the notorious District of Columbia school system, and more even than DC and all 50 states on the nebulous Other Support Services.

Being a schoolteacher apparently doesn’t pay well in PR, but it looks like a job cooking the books somewhere in the K-12 bureaucracy could be lucrative.

The NAEP scores for Puerto Rico and the U.S. are for just public school students.

A higher percentage of young people in Puerto Rico attend private schools than in the U.S. The NAEP reported:

In Puerto Rico, about 23 percent of students in kindergarten through 12th grade attended private schools as of the 2011-2012 school year, compared with 10 percent in the United States. Puerto Rico results are not part of the results reported for the NAEP national sample.

So that accounts for part of the gap. But, still, public schools cover 77% of Puerto Ricans v. 90% of Americans, so the overall picture doesn’t change much: the vast majority of Puerto Rican 8th graders are Below Basic in math.

Another contributing factor is likely that quite a few Puerto Ricans summer in America and winter in Puerto Rico and yank their kids back and forth, which is disruptive to their education.

It’s clear that Puerto Ricans consider their own public schools to be terrible and that anybody who can afford private school should get out. The NAEP press release mentions that 100% of Puerto Rican public school students are eligible for subsidized school lunches versus about 50% in the U.S. Heck, Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro’s lawyer father didn’t just send him to private school, they sent him to a boarding school in Pennsylvania.

Still, these Puerto Rican public school scores are so catastrophic that I also wouldn’t rule out active sabotage by teachers, such as giving students an anti-pep talk, for some local labor reason. For example, a PISA score from Austria was low a couple of tests ago because the teacher’s union told teachers to tell students not to bother working hard on the test. But the diminishment of the Austrian PISA score wasn’t anywhere near this bad. And Puerto Rico students got exactly the same scores in 2011 and 2013.

And here’s Jason Malloy’s meta-analysis of studies of Puerto Rican cognitive performance over the last 90 years.

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The darker the tint the better the 8th graders

Audacious Epigone has posted his table of white IQ estimates by state, using NAEP scores for 8th graders (public and private), ranging from 108.0 in Washington D.C. (which isn’t a state) and 104.4 in Massachusetts and 103.5 in New Jersey to 97.7 in Oklahoma, 97.5 in Alabama and a hurting 95.1 in West Virginia.

Thus, New Jersey whites (who, Bruce Springsteen songs to the contrary, are a notably intelligent and well-educated white population) scores 0.4 standard deviations higher than Alabama whites. That’s not a huge gap. On the other hand, the 0.86 s.d. gap between Washington D.C. whites and nearby West Virginia whites is substantial, and may subtly color a lot of media discourse.

Moynihan’s Law of the Canadian Border is still vaguely visible, but is much less strong for whites only than for total populations (which is of course most of the joke). Texas of course stands out sharply from the central southern states.

Of course, some of the differences in test scores don’t reflect underlying IQ but are instead reflections of different effectivenesses at educations and, presumably, at how hard different states get their students to try on the NAEP.

You can read his whole table there.

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I’m reading the book Fault Lines by former IMF chief economist Raghuram G. Rajan of the U of Chicago economics dept. It’s a pretty good read, but what struck me while flipping through it is that it’s solid text: no quantitative graphics, no tables of numbers, just paragraphs. The sole thing to interrupt the flow of paragraphs across a couple of hundred pages is a poem by 18th century economist Bernard de Mandeville.  
That lack of tables and graphs can’t be natural for an economics professor, can it? The publisher must have told him what statistician Andrew Gelman’s publisher told him when he wrote Red State, Blue State, that each graph in the book cuts sales in half.
So, does everybody really hate graphs? If so, why does everybody who gives a presentation think they have to do it in Powerpoint? (As in Abe Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address graph comparing New Nations -87 Years to Now.) Do audience members actually look at the graphs? Or do they just appreciate the chance during the work day to veg out in a dark room with a glowing screen? “Powerpoint: It’s Almost Like Watching TV While Getting Paid!” 
Or did people used to like graphs until Powerpoint came along? 
Do the books that the people who sit next to you on the airplane read have graphs in them? A large fraction of people in airplanes are traveling to meetings infested by Powerpoint graphs: if there is a graph in their book, do they consider it work? 
I like graphs. I had Minard’s now-famous graph-map of Napoleon’s 1812 invasion of Russia up on my office wall for years. It worked as a sort of secret club handshake for people walking by. One out every zillion people who walked down the hall past my office would recognize it and introduce himself.
I find that graphs always take me about five times longer to finish creating than I expected. For example, in VDARE, I’ve got a graph that answers the obvious question (obvious to you and me, at least) about those PISA international school achievement test scores that everybody was pontificating upon last week. My graph shows where the PISA test scores of the four main racial/ethnic groups in the U.S. would fall compared to the national average scores for the 65 countries that took the test. 
A simple idea, right? Yet it took me forever to get the graph right so the answer is clear. (First, I had to find the American race numbers, which don’t appear in any of the hundreds of pages of data posted by the OECD last week.) Then, I had to fiddle for hours to get the graph to look less confusing. 
I think it finally came out okay. But, if everybody out there secretly hates graphs, then I’ll stop wasting time making them.
(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Graphs, Tests 
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Here’s the ultimate graph from General Petraeus’s long-awaited testimony about Iraq, and, just looking at it, aren’t you ashamed to be an American?

I have no idea what it means (if anything), but all those little mincing stars with question marks … Christ, almighty. This guy’s a general? It’s bad enough that Powerpoint seems to be more important than winning wars in determining who gets promoted in the Pentagon these days, but if we’re going to have Powerpoint Warriors, can’t they at least put together macho Powerpoints?

Somebody should do a Powerpoint version of Patton’s speech in front of the huge American flag, like the Powerpoint version of the Gettysburg Address.

Graph via Kevin Drum.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Graphs, Iraq 
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Edward R. Tufte: Here are a couple of articles about the author of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Edward R. Tufte, who has a new book out called Beautiful Evidence (which I haven’t seen yet). Some of it is apparently dedicated to analyzing the most famous graphic Tufte has rediscovered: C.J. Minard’s statistical map of what happened to Napoleon’s Grand Army on its march to and from Moscow in 1812. I had that graph on my wall for many years during my marketing research career, and it functioned like Danny Dravot’s Freemason watch fob in “The Man Who Would Be KIng” — the people walking by who stopped and recognized it tended to be on my data-oriented psychological wavelength.

Edward Tufte is most likely the world’s only graphic designer with roadies. “We own two of everything—amplifiers, digital projectors,” other A/V gear, he says. “One set moves up and down the West Coast, and one stays in the East, to keep the FedEx charges down.” He plays 35 or so dates a year, at $380 per ticket…. As soon as the applause stops, Tufte bolts backstage, enthusiastically draining a Corona. “There are usually about 500 people who want to talk afterwards, and I’ve exhausted myself,” he says sheepishly. “I have to go hide out. Otherwise it takes hours.” This is all a good deal more lucrative than many author tours. “Thirty-five, forty dollars a book, 1.4 million copies?” he says, with a quizzical smile, when I ask about money. “You can multiply.”

And who are these fans who won’t leave? The majority are male, and wearing expensive rimless eyeglasses. Many are Web designers, creative directors, art directors, editors, architects.

Five years ago, I tried to see a display of Tufte’s abstract steel sculpture at the magnificent Bradbury Building (where the climax of “Blade Runner” was filmed) in downtown LA on Broadway, which is now the city’s chief Latino immigrant shopping street. I arrived about 4pm on Saturday, when there are an incredible number of people on the street — the only place in America I’ve seen with a clearly higher density of pedestrians is New York‘s Chinatown. Unfortunately, the Bradbury Building appeared to be locked, so I started looking around for fellow Tufte fans who could explain what the situation was. Despite the enormous crowds, they weren’t hard to pick out as they approached on the sidewalk even from a block away, since they were all white guys at least a half foot taller than anybody else on the street.

And here’s the classic anti-Tufte “Gettysburg Address Powerpoint Presentation.”

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Graphs 
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Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

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

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