One of the most salient statistics regarding education is the tendency for poor white teenagers to perform as well as rich black teenagers do on college entrance exams. When sharing as much with educational romanticists, I’ll often get the response that it isn’t money that determines whether or not an environment is intellectually stimulating, it’s the household’s embrace of education and learning that does.
Well, the NAEP online data explorer allows for cross-tabs to be created using several variables, including race and parental education level*. The following table and graph show estimated average IQ by race and the parental education level among 8th graders taking the NAEP math and reading assessments in 2013. The scores for both tests are on a 500 point scale, with a standard deviation of 37 on the math assessment and 34 on the reading assessment. In the proceeding table and graph, these are converted into IQ estimates with a mean of 98–corresponding to the national average NAEP scores of 283.62 for math and 266.02 for reading–and a standard deviation of 15. The math and reading scores are weighted equally:
|IQ by parent ed and race||Less than HS||HS grad||Some college||College grad|
White kids from the homes of high school dropouts do about as well as do black kids whose parents are college attendees and graduates (marginally worse and marginally better, respectively). At every level of parental educational attainment, the racial ordering is the same–Asians on top, followed by whites, then Hispanics, then American Indians, and finally blacks. These things are, as Steve Sailer might say, drearily predictable.
NAEP variables used: PARED, SDRACE
* Defined as the highest level of educational attainment achieved by either of a student’s parents and broken down into four categories: Did not graduate high school, graduated high school but didn’t go to college, went to college but didn’t get a bachelor’s degree, and graduated with a BA or higher