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Are We Doomed? Test Scores of Millennial Adults Suggest We Are at Least Dimmed.
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Screenshot 2015-03-25 16.45.30From a 2015 ETS publication:

AMERICA’S SKILLS CHALLENGE: Millennials and the Future

This report was written by:
Madeline J. Goodman
Anita M. Sands
Richard J. Coley
Educational Testing Service

This report, the first in a series to be produced by Educational Testing Service using data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), is an attempt to focus attention on a topic of interest to a broad range of constituencies. The subject of this report is our nation’s millennials, those young adults born after 1980 who were 16–34 years of age at the time of the assessment. …

Screenshot 2015-03-25 16.59.07

How do the average scores of U.S. millennials compare with those in other participating countries?

• In literacy, U.S. millennials scored lower than 15 of the 22 participating countries. Only millennials in Spain and Italy had lower scores.

• In numeracy, U.S. millennials ranked last, along with Italy and Spain.

• In PS-TRE, U.S. millennials also ranked last, along with the Slovak Republic, Ireland, and Poland.

• The youngest segment of the U.S. millennial cohort (16- to 24-year-olds), who could be in the labor force for the next 50 years, ranked last in numeracy along with Italy and among the bottom countries in PS-TRE. In literacy, they scored higher than their peers in Italy and Spain.

How do U.S. top-performing and lower-performing millennials compare to their
international peers? What is the degree of inequality in the score distribution?

• Top-scoring U.S. millennials (those at the 90th percentile) scored lower than top-scoring millennials in 15 of the 22 participating countries, and only scored higher than their peers in Spain. …

We will focus solely on the numeracy scale in our examination. We do so for the following reasons.

First, a number of reports on U.S. performance have already covered the ground on literacy.

Second, the PS-TRE assessment—while an innovative and important measure of problem-solving skills—has a more limited number of participating countries, a more restricted sample of participants overall, and (because the measure is new) no trend data.

Third, researchers have found that numeracy is a robust predictor of labor market success.

Finally, the relatively poor performance of the U.S. on the numeracy scale—compared to the previous assessment year and in relation to other countries in 2012—calls for greater scrutiny of how different demographic subgroups in the U.S. performed on this measure and what these patterns might suggest in terms of policy recommendations. …

For the most part, the racial/ethnic gaps identified in educational achievement and attainments at the K-12 level are borne out in the PIAAC skills data on millennials. Gaps in average numeracy scores are evident (table 6). White and Asian millennials outperform their Black and Hispanic peers, though the scores for Asian and White millennials do not differ significantly from one another as they do in many of the K-12 national assessment results. The overall demographic trends evident in the K-12 population—with an increasingly more diverse school age population—are present when we look at age segments of the adult population, with millennials decidedly more diverse than older adults. While Whites comprise 70 percent of the population of adults over the age of 35, they are only 58 percent of millennials.

In what ways do race/ethnicity influence our understanding of the overall performance of U.S. millennials? As a means of comparison, 64 percent of millennials in the U.S. performed below the minimum standard (below level 3) in numeracy, compared to 47 percent of millennials in the OECD average. Fifty-four percent of White millennials and 52 percent of Asian millennials performed below this level, as compared to 83 percent of Hispanic and 88 percent of Black millennials.

The performance of White and Asian millennials, however, still does not reach the level of the top performers internationally and remains below the OECD average. In fact, average scores and percentages of U.S. White millennials that performed below level 3 are similar to those of millennials in France (average score of 267 and 54% scored below level 3), which ranks near the bottom internationally. While a greater percentage of White and Asian/Pacific Islander millennials (12%) performed at the highest proficiency level (level 4/5) compared to Hispanic (3%) or Black (1%) millennials, these percentages are still lower than the OECD average (15%) and the percentages of millennials at this level in top-performing countries (Finland at 26% and the Netherlands at 21% ). The issues of race and ethnicity clearly impact our understanding of how skills are distributed among our young adult population and deserve further attention and research.

Race/ethnicity and educational attainment. As with adults overall, differences in the performance within racial/ethnic groups in the U.S. are associated with different levels of educational attainment. (Note: Due to sample sizes in the PIAAC data for race/ethnicity in the U.S., performance for racial/ethnic groups by levels of educational attainment could not be estimated for millennials and is reported here for adults 25–65). Across all racial/ethnic groups, those with greater levels of educational attainment scored higher than adults with less education (table 7).

Screenshot 2015-03-25 16.52.57

However, the distribution of the population among levels of educational attainment differed by race/ethnicity.

For example, 57 percent of the Hispanic adult population reported having an upper secondary education or less, compared to 38 percent of White adults, 46 percent of Black adults, and 23 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander adults. In terms of post-secondary education, a greater percentage of White (34%) and Asian/Pacific Islander (34%) adults age 25–65 reported that their highest level of educational attainment was either a post-secondary non-bachelor’s degree or a four year bachelor’s degree as compared to Black (27%) or Hispanic (16%) adults in this age group. Given the previously noted association between educational attainment and skill level, it is therefore not surprising that Hispanic and Black adults age 25–65 (as well as millennials) performed worse than their White and Asian peers.

Variation in performance among racial/ethnic groups persists, however, even for those with similar levels of education. For example, 95 percent of Black adults age 25–65 reporting their highest level of education as upper secondary and 86 percent of Hispanic adults at this educational level performed below the minimum standard (below level 3) in numeracy compared to 71 percent of White adults. This differential in performance, particularly the gap in percentages of White and Black adults that scored below level 3, was noted at each level of educational attainment (with reportable results). In fact, Black adults age 25–65 consistently scored about 50 points lower than their White peers across most educational attainment categories, where sample sizes were adequate to allow for a reliable estimate. Equally alarming, there is no difference between the percentages below level 3 for Black adults that report having only a high school credential (95%) and those that report having some post-secondary (nonbaccalaureate) education (91%).

 
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  1. we don’t need no education

  2. The way this story should have been reported: European Americans are scoring about as well as Europeans, Black Americans are scoring better than blacks in Africa, as are Mexican Americans than Mexicans in Mexico, Asian Americans than Asians in Asia, and so on.

    • Replies: @jenny
    @Luke Lea


    The way this story should have been reported: European Americans are scoring about as well as Europeans, Black Americans are scoring better than blacks in Africa, as are Mexican Americans than Mexicans in Mexico, Asian Americans than Asians in Asia, and so on.
     
    Exactly.

    title should have been

    In America there is Black Privilege, Hispanic Privilege, and Asian Privilege, but No White Privilege

    Whites only do as well as whites in Europe. No surprise there.

    Diversity confers no advantage on whites, but confers advantages to all other groups who live in white countries. I wonder how much advantage they will get when the whites are gone.

    Replies: @Twinkie, @Tun Razak

    , @Torn and Frayed
    @Luke Lea

    This isn't really true since you are ignoring the fact that most European countries have large minority populations as well. It's not possible in most countries, but if you could separate out the non-Europeans, you would see that the native European scores would be at least ten points higher. Even as it is white Americans are scoring below European averages even taking into account these country's scores are brought down by immigrants and their spawn.

    Sure at the top end, Finland, Japan, Estonia, they don't have many non-natives; but the rest of the list of European countries does. Australia and Canada are the weird position of having their immigrants score better than their white populations due to selective immigration policies.

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @Luke Lea

    That's true of crime, as well.

    When they say we're so much more violent than other "developed" or "industrialized" countries, they really mean "white", buttered with an Asian nation or two. We're quite safe for a Spanish-speaking country!

  3. Any professor you talk to will tell you the same thing: every year the students are entering college/university less prepared than previous cohorts. Educational quality is declining. Worse, education seems to be getting replaced by a new and virulently insidious form of politico-philosophical indoctrination. Personally, I intend to homeschool any children that I have.

  4. I think it’s a little of both, doomed and dimmed.

  5. What’s the change by ethnicity during this time frame, if any? It doesn’t jump out at you on any of those figures.

    And as useful as the internet is, I think it makes you dumber in some ways. I’m pretty sure I can tell a difference in myself as regards memory, ability to do mental calculations, and basic reasoning ability since I started using it heavily.

    And I’m pretty sure it isn’t just the normal effects of aging on mental function.

    I’ve noticed so many young people who cannot navigate or remember how to get to a place. When I was a kid, if I went with an adult somewhere in the same city once or twice I knew how to get there.

    Now you can take them 10 times and it is a crapshoot if they remember.

    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    @Sunbeam

    And as useful as the internet is, I think it makes you dumber in some ways. I’m pretty sure I can tell a difference in myself as regards memory, ability to do mental calculations, and basic reasoning ability since I started using it heavily.

    Yeah, I find my short term memory has trouble functioning if I smoke 2 or 3 joints of internet the night before.

    , @Nathan Wartooth
    @Sunbeam

    My spelling has gotten awful, but it never seems that way because of spell check. But God forbid I have to write anything on paper. I do it in front of the computer so I can Google a word I am iffy on.

    But my grammar has gotten a little better. I focus on that instead of spelling, since spell check is bad at looking for things like the correct usage of their, there and they're.

    But otherwise I feel about the same as I did before. My reasoning ability has only gotten better by being able to check my facts instantly.

    , @Aristippus
    @Sunbeam

    Homer Simpson once said something to the effect of "every time I learn something it new it pushes something old out of my brain. Like that time I learned how to make wine and forgot how to drive." In a way there's a grain of truth to that because the brain prioritizes information. With directions, it's a bit unnecessary to learn them when a GPS will tell you how to get everywhere. Hell, I really didn't know my way around the city where I live until I had to live a few months without a smartphone and started memorizing maps. It was a great experience in the long run, but a total pain for the first few weeks.

    Edit: here's the Simpsons link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dbDJzDV1CM

  6. For those who want a taste of this test: http://www.oecd.org/site/piaac/educationandskillsonlineassessment.htm

    We are totally effed.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @turning tide

    Yes, we are. Out of curiosity, I took the test but its online version is completely moronic. Obviously designed by some cheap Bangalore programmer. E.g. in the "Unit 6" you are instructed to return a product using a web site that looks like the least usable web site ever. E.g.,

    "Your Return Form has been submitted.
    Please click Next to continue."

    Except that there is no Next button anywhere to be found...

  7. As a means of comparison, 64 percent of millennials in the U.S. performed below the minimum standard (below level 3) in numeracy, compared to 47 percent of millennials in the OECD average. Fifty-four percent of White millennials and 52 percent of Asian millennials performed below this level, as compared to 83 percent of Hispanic and 88 percent of Black millennials.

    The solution to our dire fate? More Mexicans!

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    @syonredux

    "The solution to our dire fate? More Mexicans!"

    At least they know how to count beans.

    Good skill to have in our Regression to the Bean.

    , @syonredux
    @syonredux


    As a means of comparison, 64 percent of millennials in the U.S. performed below the minimum standard (below level 3) in numeracy, compared to 47 percent of millennials in the OECD average. Fifty-four percent of White millennials and 52 percent of Asian millennials performed below this level, as compared to 83 percent of Hispanic and 88 percent of Black millennials.
     
    And we are going to get a lot more Hispanic Mestizos:

    The Hispanic population is expected to reach about 106 million in 2050, about double what it is today, according to new U.S. Census Bureau population projections.
     
    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/12/16/with-fewer-new-arrivals-census-lowers-hispanic-population-projections-2/
  8. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factor"] says:

    Not to worry.

    Mills are very creative.

  9. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factor"] says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhimmitude

    Dimmitude is still better than Dhimmitude.

    Blacks go for Gimmitude.

  10. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factor"] says:

    When it comes to brain power, it really matters with the top 5%, especially top 0.01%.

    The rest merely need to be competent, so I wouldn’t worry to much about this.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Priss Factor

    "When it comes to brain power, it really matters with the top 5%, especially top 0.01%.

    "The rest merely need to be competent, so I wouldn’t worry to much about this."

    I fear this is what our elites think, but I tend to think that anyone who thinks this is probably dreaming. Yes, you need to have smart people at the top, but you really don't need a bunch of people below them who are surly and fairly incompetent mucking things up. Things function better when you've got people at all levels who are reasonably bright and have reasonably good attitudes.

    , @Anonymous
    @Priss Factor

    You are wrong. Take India. Pretty smart top 1-2%, somewhat retarded rest. The result? A disaster. Even if they managed to get nuclear weapons, something like half the country still does not have toilets.

  11. The numbers suggest that the white numbers for the US (with the Asian/Pacific Islanders right behind) are brought down by the extremely low numbers for the other two groups. This in turn suggests that tiered education might be what’s needed in this country.

    The distributions for the two lowest groups cannot be attributed to either racism or poverty, precisely because of the scoring for the Asian/Pacific Islanders who are usually of modest means, recent immigrants, and subject to virulent prejudice in the past century. Even lead paint cannot be used to explain the discrepancy.

  12. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factor"] says:

    Idi Amin’s shtick about being the Last King of Scotland…

    It wasn’t so far-fetched the way things are going in the UK.

    http://news.yahoo.com/church-england-first-bishop-couple-130026856.html

  13. @Luke Lea
    The way this story should have been reported: European Americans are scoring about as well as Europeans, Black Americans are scoring better than blacks in Africa, as are Mexican Americans than Mexicans in Mexico, Asian Americans than Asians in Asia, and so on.

    Replies: @jenny, @Torn and Frayed, @Reg Cæsar

    The way this story should have been reported: European Americans are scoring about as well as Europeans, Black Americans are scoring better than blacks in Africa, as are Mexican Americans than Mexicans in Mexico, Asian Americans than Asians in Asia, and so on.

    Exactly.

    title should have been

    In America there is Black Privilege, Hispanic Privilege, and Asian Privilege, but No White Privilege

    Whites only do as well as whites in Europe. No surprise there.

    Diversity confers no advantage on whites, but confers advantages to all other groups who live in white countries. I wonder how much advantage they will get when the whites are gone.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @jenny


    Asian Privilege
     
    Asian privilege is a bit complicated. There are government-subsidized benefits like minority business loans and preference in federal contracting (all of which I vehemently oppose as both unfair and ultimately degrading). But Asians do have to score higher than whites (in particular Jews) in aptitude tests to receive the same treatment in many educational institutions. Asians are also frequently seen as "perpetual foreigners" and seemingly have to prove their patriotism time and again.

    But I do not blame ordinary Americans for those. I blame the elite institutions and media.
    , @Tun Razak
    @jenny

    The Black privilege is probably due to White admixture.

    The Asian privilege is probably due to immigrant selection bias.

    If Hispanics are being compared to Latin Americans the privilege is due to a combination of White admixture and immigrant selection bias, mostly the latter. If we're comparing Hispanics to Spaniards, the disadvantage is probably due to Native American admixture.

    The only interesting thing here is that Whites were previously above the OECD average and now they are below, although I'm not sure the difference is large enough to be significant.

  14. @Sunbeam
    What's the change by ethnicity during this time frame, if any? It doesn't jump out at you on any of those figures.

    And as useful as the internet is, I think it makes you dumber in some ways. I'm pretty sure I can tell a difference in myself as regards memory, ability to do mental calculations, and basic reasoning ability since I started using it heavily.

    And I'm pretty sure it isn't just the normal effects of aging on mental function.

    I've noticed so many young people who cannot navigate or remember how to get to a place. When I was a kid, if I went with an adult somewhere in the same city once or twice I knew how to get there.

    Now you can take them 10 times and it is a crapshoot if they remember.

    Replies: @SPMoore8, @Nathan Wartooth, @Aristippus

    And as useful as the internet is, I think it makes you dumber in some ways. I’m pretty sure I can tell a difference in myself as regards memory, ability to do mental calculations, and basic reasoning ability since I started using it heavily.

    Yeah, I find my short term memory has trouble functioning if I smoke 2 or 3 joints of internet the night before.

  15. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factor"] says:
    @syonredux

    As a means of comparison, 64 percent of millennials in the U.S. performed below the minimum standard (below level 3) in numeracy, compared to 47 percent of millennials in the OECD average. Fifty-four percent of White millennials and 52 percent of Asian millennials performed below this level, as compared to 83 percent of Hispanic and 88 percent of Black millennials.
     
    The solution to our dire fate? More Mexicans!

    Replies: @Priss Factor, @syonredux

    “The solution to our dire fate? More Mexicans!”

    At least they know how to count beans.

    Good skill to have in our Regression to the Bean.

  16. The generation gap between millennials and Gen X/Boomers is the most interesting part of this data. Millennials globally seem to be marginally smarter than their predecessors, so that’s a good sign for the future. The good news is that non-whites in particular seem to have registered some pretty impressive gains. Asians millennials were able to basically reach parity with whites, blacks somewhat closed the gap, and Hispanics had very impressive gains when compared to their parents’ generation. White gains could also be suppressed by Eastern European immigrants. If I had to guess, probably the generation gap has something to do with greater levels of higher education in the millennial generation and maybe some pedagogical improvements (throw billions of dollars at education and maybe something minor does stick).

    Another theory for generational score differences is environmental improvements in pollution and nutrition. I know Steve isn’t a fan of the Pb-IQ theory, but maybe reduction in environmental toxins like Pb (or NOx, smog, PCBs, etc) has had a positive effect on younger generations. Nutrition is another big possible component as presumably many of the 35-65 Hispanic and Asian groups in America are composed of immigrants whose offspring, the 16-34 group, have received better nutrition in the United States. Furthermore, these factors could be responsible for the more rapid gains in other OECD countries as presumably the former communist countries have had somewhat rapid environmental improvements in the past few decades.

    • Replies: @Tun Razak
    @Aristippus

    I would think the null hypothesis would be that the lower scores for the older generation is simply due to aging.

    Replies: @Aristippus

  17. @jenny
    @Luke Lea


    The way this story should have been reported: European Americans are scoring about as well as Europeans, Black Americans are scoring better than blacks in Africa, as are Mexican Americans than Mexicans in Mexico, Asian Americans than Asians in Asia, and so on.
     
    Exactly.

    title should have been

    In America there is Black Privilege, Hispanic Privilege, and Asian Privilege, but No White Privilege

    Whites only do as well as whites in Europe. No surprise there.

    Diversity confers no advantage on whites, but confers advantages to all other groups who live in white countries. I wonder how much advantage they will get when the whites are gone.

    Replies: @Twinkie, @Tun Razak

    Asian Privilege

    Asian privilege is a bit complicated. There are government-subsidized benefits like minority business loans and preference in federal contracting (all of which I vehemently oppose as both unfair and ultimately degrading). But Asians do have to score higher than whites (in particular Jews) in aptitude tests to receive the same treatment in many educational institutions. Asians are also frequently seen as “perpetual foreigners” and seemingly have to prove their patriotism time and again.

    But I do not blame ordinary Americans for those. I blame the elite institutions and media.

  18. It’s weird, because diversity is strength.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    @Ex Machina


    It’s weird, because diversity is strength.
     
    I love to mock leftie platitudes, and this specific formulation gets the tone just right. For a younger crowd "... because I mean diversity is like strength and stuff" might be better.
  19. @Sunbeam
    What's the change by ethnicity during this time frame, if any? It doesn't jump out at you on any of those figures.

    And as useful as the internet is, I think it makes you dumber in some ways. I'm pretty sure I can tell a difference in myself as regards memory, ability to do mental calculations, and basic reasoning ability since I started using it heavily.

    And I'm pretty sure it isn't just the normal effects of aging on mental function.

    I've noticed so many young people who cannot navigate or remember how to get to a place. When I was a kid, if I went with an adult somewhere in the same city once or twice I knew how to get there.

    Now you can take them 10 times and it is a crapshoot if they remember.

    Replies: @SPMoore8, @Nathan Wartooth, @Aristippus

    My spelling has gotten awful, but it never seems that way because of spell check. But God forbid I have to write anything on paper. I do it in front of the computer so I can Google a word I am iffy on.

    But my grammar has gotten a little better. I focus on that instead of spelling, since spell check is bad at looking for things like the correct usage of their, there and they’re.

    But otherwise I feel about the same as I did before. My reasoning ability has only gotten better by being able to check my facts instantly.

  20. It appears that white Americans are slightly behind white Europeans. Likewise for Asians in America vs back home. Can this be explained by our schools teaching to the lowest common denominator in class? Add five negro kids to a class otherwise filled with whites and Asians and the lesson plan must adjust accordingly or risk leaving the negro kids hopelessly behind. I saw this dynamic throughout my own educational years in almost exclusively white and Asian student populations. It is true whether a general population class or an AP class. The teacher can’t move on until she feels that everyone has at least some grasp on the lesson.

    Back in my school days the only escape from terminal boredom in a class stuck on stupid was drugs. You could get really high and zone out while the teacher droned on endlessly about something you mastered years ago. Is it any different today?

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Stan D Mute


    Back in my school days the only escape from terminal boredom in a class stuck on stupid was drugs.
     
    I brought my own books and hid them underneath and read them instead of listening to many of the lectures.

    Replies: @Kylie, @Kylie

  21. The fact that the black-white gap does not narrow at all as educational level increases is pretty disturbing.

  22. @Stan D Mute
    It appears that white Americans are slightly behind white Europeans. Likewise for Asians in America vs back home. Can this be explained by our schools teaching to the lowest common denominator in class? Add five negro kids to a class otherwise filled with whites and Asians and the lesson plan must adjust accordingly or risk leaving the negro kids hopelessly behind. I saw this dynamic throughout my own educational years in almost exclusively white and Asian student populations. It is true whether a general population class or an AP class. The teacher can't move on until she feels that everyone has at least some grasp on the lesson.

    Back in my school days the only escape from terminal boredom in a class stuck on stupid was drugs. You could get really high and zone out while the teacher droned on endlessly about something you mastered years ago. Is it any different today?

    Replies: @Twinkie

    Back in my school days the only escape from terminal boredom in a class stuck on stupid was drugs.

    I brought my own books and hid them underneath and read them instead of listening to many of the lectures.

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @Twinkie

    @ Twinkie

    @ Twinkie,


    @Stan D Mute
    Back in my school days the only escape from terminal boredom in a class stuck on stupid was drugs.

    I brought my own books and hid them underneath and read them instead of listening to many of the lectures.
     
    I cut class and read what I wanted to read in the library. The first semester of my senior year, I cut 90 classes. That would have entitled me to a suspension but I was a National Merit semi-finalist (and when the SAT results came in, a finalist). I remember laughing when the asst. principal gave me a friendly lecture about the need to attend class and two days later, took me out of class so my pic could be taken for the local newspapers' article on National Merit Finalists.

    Your turn.

    Replies: @Truth, @Twinkie

    , @Kylie
    @Twinkie

    @ Twinkie

    @ Twinkie,


    @Stan D Mute
    Back in my school days the only escape from terminal boredom in a class stuck on stupid was drugs.

    I brought my own books and hid them underneath and read them instead of listening to many of the lectures.
     
    I cut class and read what I wanted to read in the library. The first semester of my senior year, I cut 90 classes. That would have entitled me to a suspension but I was a National Merit semi-finalist (and when the SAT results came in, a finalist). I remember laughing when the asst. principal gave me a friendly lecture about the need to attend class and two days later, took me out of class so my pic could be taken for the local newspapers' article on National Merit Finalists.

    Your turn.
  23. They are asking the wrong questions.

    That is what smart phone apps are for … remembering all that hard stuff. And there is Siri for the rest. Store clerks no longer need to ‘make change’ so … on the rare occasion where they do need to, they are helpless. But, mostly it doesn’t matter because the register does it for them.

    As long as the top quartile are smart enough to do the hard stuff that can’t be mostly automated, everything is cool.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @FWIW

    "As long as the top quartile are smart enough to do the hard stuff that can’t be mostly automated, everything is cool."

    I think this idea is probably wishful thinking. I wish I had some data to support my assertion.

  24. @jenny
    @Luke Lea


    The way this story should have been reported: European Americans are scoring about as well as Europeans, Black Americans are scoring better than blacks in Africa, as are Mexican Americans than Mexicans in Mexico, Asian Americans than Asians in Asia, and so on.
     
    Exactly.

    title should have been

    In America there is Black Privilege, Hispanic Privilege, and Asian Privilege, but No White Privilege

    Whites only do as well as whites in Europe. No surprise there.

    Diversity confers no advantage on whites, but confers advantages to all other groups who live in white countries. I wonder how much advantage they will get when the whites are gone.

    Replies: @Twinkie, @Tun Razak

    The Black privilege is probably due to White admixture.

    The Asian privilege is probably due to immigrant selection bias.

    If Hispanics are being compared to Latin Americans the privilege is due to a combination of White admixture and immigrant selection bias, mostly the latter. If we’re comparing Hispanics to Spaniards, the disadvantage is probably due to Native American admixture.

    The only interesting thing here is that Whites were previously above the OECD average and now they are below, although I’m not sure the difference is large enough to be significant.

  25. @Aristippus
    The generation gap between millennials and Gen X/Boomers is the most interesting part of this data. Millennials globally seem to be marginally smarter than their predecessors, so that's a good sign for the future. The good news is that non-whites in particular seem to have registered some pretty impressive gains. Asians millennials were able to basically reach parity with whites, blacks somewhat closed the gap, and Hispanics had very impressive gains when compared to their parents' generation. White gains could also be suppressed by Eastern European immigrants. If I had to guess, probably the generation gap has something to do with greater levels of higher education in the millennial generation and maybe some pedagogical improvements (throw billions of dollars at education and maybe something minor does stick).

    Another theory for generational score differences is environmental improvements in pollution and nutrition. I know Steve isn't a fan of the Pb-IQ theory, but maybe reduction in environmental toxins like Pb (or NOx, smog, PCBs, etc) has had a positive effect on younger generations. Nutrition is another big possible component as presumably many of the 35-65 Hispanic and Asian groups in America are composed of immigrants whose offspring, the 16-34 group, have received better nutrition in the United States. Furthermore, these factors could be responsible for the more rapid gains in other OECD countries as presumably the former communist countries have had somewhat rapid environmental improvements in the past few decades.

    Replies: @Tun Razak

    I would think the null hypothesis would be that the lower scores for the older generation is simply due to aging.

    • Replies: @Aristippus
    @Tun Razak

    I just checked out the null hypothesis idea you brought up and came to the conclusion that these tests have a real problem. From a quick google search I found the PIACC results from 2013 (http://www.essentialskillsontario.ca/sites/www.essentialskillsontario.ca/files/Essential%20Skills%20Bulletin%201%202014_%20An%20Overview%20of%20PIAAC_0.pdf) and learned that the quantitative scores have a standard deviation of 46 points, so statistical significance would mean seeing a 1.96*46 or 90.16 points difference in scores. I would assume that sigma is around 46 points with the newer tests too. That's pretty major as even millennial whites don't have a statistically significant difference from older blacks in their test scores. Statistical significance is a pretty high burden of proof, because damn that's a crazy big gap

  26. @Sunbeam
    What's the change by ethnicity during this time frame, if any? It doesn't jump out at you on any of those figures.

    And as useful as the internet is, I think it makes you dumber in some ways. I'm pretty sure I can tell a difference in myself as regards memory, ability to do mental calculations, and basic reasoning ability since I started using it heavily.

    And I'm pretty sure it isn't just the normal effects of aging on mental function.

    I've noticed so many young people who cannot navigate or remember how to get to a place. When I was a kid, if I went with an adult somewhere in the same city once or twice I knew how to get there.

    Now you can take them 10 times and it is a crapshoot if they remember.

    Replies: @SPMoore8, @Nathan Wartooth, @Aristippus

    Homer Simpson once said something to the effect of “every time I learn something it new it pushes something old out of my brain. Like that time I learned how to make wine and forgot how to drive.” In a way there’s a grain of truth to that because the brain prioritizes information. With directions, it’s a bit unnecessary to learn them when a GPS will tell you how to get everywhere. Hell, I really didn’t know my way around the city where I live until I had to live a few months without a smartphone and started memorizing maps. It was a great experience in the long run, but a total pain for the first few weeks.

    Edit: here’s the Simpsons link

  27. well of course I need to comment since Finland rocks once again. However, I got a message a month ago from our New England HS that a whopping 20% of our students scored higher than Finland and Singapore, China & Korea in math! Can’t remember if it was a mish-mash of NAEP and PISA from which they were able to get that composite score. Yey! So, I just finished (pun intended) reading that entire, incredibly long report, and, I found it kinda’ annoying, actually. And, I am SO not worried about American Millennials.

    And, just to point out one thing, the US scores are not separated enough by region/race/ethnic/SES group in my opinion, in that report. And, that getting all panicked that U.S. Millennials are losers is so silly since NO ONE…NOT a ONE country has the magic land of Silicon Valley, and NASA,- although downsized, is slowly getting new life breathed into it. All the smart kids in Europe and Asia are all wanting to work in SV…or some sector tied to something like it. And, seriously, which country created the internet and personal computers? and so many other machines and systems.

    I always burst into laughter when Vladimir prances around rural Russia and declares SV is gonna get a rival in Russia sometime very soon. Sometimes I think he grabbed Crimea just to create this fantasy Russian SV since it is the closest thing to the Pacific coast vibe. Socchi is for sporting events (soccer games), Crimea is the future SV….and you can jet ski or use your Jeanneau (was that the name of the “cigarette boat” of choice in the 80’s?) to go back and forth to both places.

    However, the one major factor the report does not discuss is that many of the European countries that are supposedly outperforming the US have completely different tax structures. Citizens of Finland pay 20-25% more taxes than most Americans…so, there is no fight over funding for education throughout the country and university education is free. Ergo, there is less stress to just study your ass off for as long as you like. Yet there is still no place like SV where magic happens, many ideas happen, industry is created, and being/working in the vanguard is the allure.

    Of course, I do agree with the report that there will be a huge divide between the skilled and not so skilled in sectors we don’t even fully imagine yet. And, I don’t know what solutions there are for the skill gap getting larger. Getting even 50% of people to embrace and love the STEM world is not realistic at all. Yet, I agree with the earlier poster that the Millennials are a resourceful bunch.

  28. @syonredux

    As a means of comparison, 64 percent of millennials in the U.S. performed below the minimum standard (below level 3) in numeracy, compared to 47 percent of millennials in the OECD average. Fifty-four percent of White millennials and 52 percent of Asian millennials performed below this level, as compared to 83 percent of Hispanic and 88 percent of Black millennials.
     
    The solution to our dire fate? More Mexicans!

    Replies: @Priss Factor, @syonredux

    As a means of comparison, 64 percent of millennials in the U.S. performed below the minimum standard (below level 3) in numeracy, compared to 47 percent of millennials in the OECD average. Fifty-four percent of White millennials and 52 percent of Asian millennials performed below this level, as compared to 83 percent of Hispanic and 88 percent of Black millennials.

    And we are going to get a lot more Hispanic Mestizos:

    The Hispanic population is expected to reach about 106 million in 2050, about double what it is today, according to new U.S. Census Bureau population projections.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/12/16/with-fewer-new-arrivals-census-lowers-hispanic-population-projections-2/

  29. I think even among Whites, literacy and numeracy are fading compared to prior generations at their age (key point) — due to dependency on computer technology.

    Take a simple thing like an analog watch. A graphical representation of time hammers home the 60 minute hour, 60 second minute, and allows rapid time-based calculations, i.e. what time is it in London now if it is 7 pm here and London is eight hours ahead of us (seven during Daylight Savings Time)? [Answer: 3 AM]

    Or long division, or addition, or subtraction, with paper and pencil only. Or reading a book instead of a web page or ebook with the ability to annotate and create e-bookmarks.

    All these things have been lost due to computerization and smart phones and the like. Most millenials don’t wear watches. There is something to be said for an analog world.

  30. Marty [AKA "wick"] says:

    As I related here a couple years ago, a Bay Area 17 year-old from an intact family told me really liked math. So I asked him to calculate 60% of 38. Couldn’t do it. I don’t believe anyone could have been passed out of 6th grade in 1970 in that state.

  31. Test scores are a bit irrelevant, useful only for college entrances, nothing else. And why do we need college? For the credential to open doors to some future cube farm where we will spend the next 20 years doing something that doesn’t even require a college degree in many cases. And then depending on the job we either get burned out, outsourced or off-shored.

    Oh yeah almost forgot, most kids also get to become debt slaves before they even graduate and will continue to be one for many years to come.

    Yes I can see why high IQ types strive so hard to get good test results.

    Or you can fore go the worthless test and the 5 years of getting a degree that isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on and go to trade school, become a plumber or electrician and make more money than the drone with a high SAT score.

    So tell me again why test scores are important?

    • Replies: @Truth
    @rod1963

    " And why do we need college? For the credential to open doors to some future cube farm where we will spend the next 20 years doing something that doesn’t even require a college degree in many cases. And then depending on the job we either get burned out, outsourced or off-shored."

    Agree on college, I tell people if I had to do it all over again I would have gotten my GED at 16. Didn't have the stones back then. All those years of indoctrination make one what they want him to be, but as a perosn with a very high IQ, your cube farm can be a financial institution in Manhattan where you are making high six to seven figures every year, they say that over 1/4 of all Harvard grads, of all majors do just that now.

  32. It’s interesting that Asians score lower than whites. Even Asians with BAs and Masters score lower than whites.

    This confirms Professor Flynn’s findings that Asians don’t outscore whites because of higher IQs. Asians outscore whites despite slightly lower IQs. Furthermore, Professor Flynn found that Asians had a lower threshold IQ needed to attain academic/professional qualifications. So it makes sense that Asian BAs/Masters would have slightly lower scores.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @JohnnyWalker123


    It’s interesting that Asians score lower than whites. Even Asians with BAs and Masters score lower than whites.
     
    Don't forget the category is stated "Asian-Pacific Islander." That includes A LOT of different ethno-national groups from the Fijians to the Japanese and everything in-between.

    The "Asians" in the high IQ conversations are usually *East* Asians - the Chinese, the Japanese, the Koreans, and the Taiwanese.

    Also, a substantial portion of "Asian-Pacific Islanders" includes first generation immigrants, with their usual linguistic difficulties.

    When comparing Asians and Hispanics to native-born whites and blacks, it would be much more useful to isolate at least regions of origin (East Asian vs. South Pacific, for example) as well as factor the generational status (foreign-born vs. U.S.-born), in order to get the apples-to-apples comparisons.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123

    , @Sunbeam
    @JohnnyWalker123

    "Asians outscore whites despite slightly lower IQs."

    I don't buy that one. But despite the high intelligence, what really impresses me about Asians, at least the ones I went to school with, was their ability to what I call "grind."

    Sooner or later you have to study some boring crap you have no interest in, and you have to force yourself to do it.

    Asians, whether it is genetic or cultural, or whatever can somehow force themselves to do it, and ignore the pretty butterflies outside the window, the tatas on the curvy girl at the adjoining table, or the suddoku you have in your backpack.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @ingo

  33. @JohnnyWalker123
    It's interesting that Asians score lower than whites. Even Asians with BAs and Masters score lower than whites.

    This confirms Professor Flynn's findings that Asians don't outscore whites because of higher IQs. Asians outscore whites despite slightly lower IQs. Furthermore, Professor Flynn found that Asians had a lower threshold IQ needed to attain academic/professional qualifications. So it makes sense that Asian BAs/Masters would have slightly lower scores.

    Replies: @Twinkie, @Sunbeam

    It’s interesting that Asians score lower than whites. Even Asians with BAs and Masters score lower than whites.

    Don’t forget the category is stated “Asian-Pacific Islander.” That includes A LOT of different ethno-national groups from the Fijians to the Japanese and everything in-between.

    The “Asians” in the high IQ conversations are usually *East* Asians – the Chinese, the Japanese, the Koreans, and the Taiwanese.

    Also, a substantial portion of “Asian-Pacific Islanders” includes first generation immigrants, with their usual linguistic difficulties.

    When comparing Asians and Hispanics to native-born whites and blacks, it would be much more useful to isolate at least regions of origin (East Asian vs. South Pacific, for example) as well as factor the generational status (foreign-born vs. U.S.-born), in order to get the apples-to-apples comparisons.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    @Twinkie

    South Asians actually have higher attainment than even East Asians, due to selective migration.

    Southeast Asians perform more poorly, but that tends to be exaggerated. For example, the Vietnamese do almost as well as the more selected Chinese and Korean immigrants. Filipinos do well too, due to selective migration and high proportion of Filipino-Chinese in the community. Cambodians and Laotians perform more poorly, but their numbers aren't particularly huge.

    I do think the East Asian scores would be slightly higher if they disaggregated from South Asians and Southeast Asians, but it's important to remember that East Asian migration is biased towards those with wealth or education. So that skews scores upwards slightly.

    It's true that Asian migrants often have verbal deficiencies, but this was a numeric test. So that doesn't apply to this test. Especially if we look at youth scores.


    Asians and whites are equally likely to score at level 4/5 level. Asians are only slightly more likely to score below level 3. So it appears the (White vs Asian) score distribution is not that different at all, which implies that East/South Asians aren't having their scores distorted too much by being lumped in with Southeast Asians and PIs. If there was significant distortion, we'd see a larger deviation in Asian scores.

    Flynn's data is more useful to us, as he studied the IQ scores of the children of non-selected, pre-WWII Asian (Chinese and Japanese) migrants. He found a mean IQ of 98.5 for these children. For Filipinos, he found a significantly lower mean IQ.

    Replies: @Twinkie

  34. @JohnnyWalker123
    It's interesting that Asians score lower than whites. Even Asians with BAs and Masters score lower than whites.

    This confirms Professor Flynn's findings that Asians don't outscore whites because of higher IQs. Asians outscore whites despite slightly lower IQs. Furthermore, Professor Flynn found that Asians had a lower threshold IQ needed to attain academic/professional qualifications. So it makes sense that Asian BAs/Masters would have slightly lower scores.

    Replies: @Twinkie, @Sunbeam

    “Asians outscore whites despite slightly lower IQs.”

    I don’t buy that one. But despite the high intelligence, what really impresses me about Asians, at least the ones I went to school with, was their ability to what I call “grind.”

    Sooner or later you have to study some boring crap you have no interest in, and you have to force yourself to do it.

    Asians, whether it is genetic or cultural, or whatever can somehow force themselves to do it, and ignore the pretty butterflies outside the window, the tatas on the curvy girl at the adjoining table, or the suddoku you have in your backpack.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    @Sunbeam

    Post-WWII Asian migration has been highly selective, so their children may have higher IQs than non-Hispanic whites. Pre-WWII Asian migrants were mainly the descendants of rural peasants, so their IQ scores are more representative of their homelands. Most Asian-Americans are from the post-WWII waves.

    , @ingo
    @Sunbeam

    I don’t buy that one. But despite the high intelligence, what really impresses me about Asians, at least the ones I went to school with, was their ability to what I call “grind.”

    ... and ignore the pretty butterflies outside the window, the tatas on the curvy girl at the adjoining table, or the suddoku you have in your backpack.
     

    bug not feature

    Forcing yourself to ignore your interests does not lead to interesting work.

    For 99% it is better to grind because they are never going to do anything interesting anyway.

    But, and this is a big but, for that 1% to procrastinate cleaning out the stall and instead following some crazy hunch and go tinker, well, that is where all of our stuff has come from.

  35. Honestly, those numbers are a bit disappointing in that we should hope to see a bit more progress given all the money we spend on education. But given that the younger people in every category and overall do seem to be doing better than older people, it doesn’t seem to be all that apocalyptic.

  36. The results here are such outliers this test should probably be dismissed entirely.

    First, taking the black non-hispanic white gap as our unit, hispanics usually score .3 to .5 above blacks. Here they score almost the same. Asians usually score .25 above whites on math tests, here they score worse.

    Can anyone find a single other math test where asians do worse than whites?

    I also don’t believe that Finns would ever score higher than Japanese on a properly controlled math test.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    @Lot

    You should look at the PISA data. Finland does well.

    If you look at the scores for 16-34 year olds, whites score 271. Blacks score 219 and Hispanics score 228. If we assume the black-white gap is 1 SD, then the Hispanic-white gap is 0.83 SD. That's fairly consistent with what we generally see on IQ tests. La Griffe estimated a similar Hispanic-white IQ gap.

    The gap is wider for older test takers in the 35-65 age range, but that might reflect the low educational level of Hispanic migrants. Young Hispanics are more likely to be native-born or 1.5 generation, so they are more likely to have received adequate schooling. Their scores reflect Hispanic potential more accurately than those of older test takers.

  37. @Tun Razak
    @Aristippus

    I would think the null hypothesis would be that the lower scores for the older generation is simply due to aging.

    Replies: @Aristippus

    I just checked out the null hypothesis idea you brought up and came to the conclusion that these tests have a real problem. From a quick google search I found the PIACC results from 2013 (http://www.essentialskillsontario.ca/sites/www.essentialskillsontario.ca/files/Essential%20Skills%20Bulletin%201%202014_%20An%20Overview%20of%20PIAAC_0.pdf) and learned that the quantitative scores have a standard deviation of 46 points, so statistical significance would mean seeing a 1.96*46 or 90.16 points difference in scores. I would assume that sigma is around 46 points with the newer tests too. That’s pretty major as even millennial whites don’t have a statistically significant difference from older blacks in their test scores. Statistical significance is a pretty high burden of proof, because damn that’s a crazy big gap

  38. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Priss Factor
    When it comes to brain power, it really matters with the top 5%, especially top 0.01%.

    The rest merely need to be competent, so I wouldn't worry to much about this.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Anonymous

    “When it comes to brain power, it really matters with the top 5%, especially top 0.01%.

    “The rest merely need to be competent, so I wouldn’t worry to much about this.”

    I fear this is what our elites think, but I tend to think that anyone who thinks this is probably dreaming. Yes, you need to have smart people at the top, but you really don’t need a bunch of people below them who are surly and fairly incompetent mucking things up. Things function better when you’ve got people at all levels who are reasonably bright and have reasonably good attitudes.

  39. @FWIW
    They are asking the wrong questions.

    That is what smart phone apps are for ... remembering all that hard stuff. And there is Siri for the rest. Store clerks no longer need to 'make change' so ... on the rare occasion where they do need to, they are helpless. But, mostly it doesn't matter because the register does it for them.

    As long as the top quartile are smart enough to do the hard stuff that can't be mostly automated, everything is cool.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    “As long as the top quartile are smart enough to do the hard stuff that can’t be mostly automated, everything is cool.”

    I think this idea is probably wishful thinking. I wish I had some data to support my assertion.

  40. @Twinkie
    @JohnnyWalker123


    It’s interesting that Asians score lower than whites. Even Asians with BAs and Masters score lower than whites.
     
    Don't forget the category is stated "Asian-Pacific Islander." That includes A LOT of different ethno-national groups from the Fijians to the Japanese and everything in-between.

    The "Asians" in the high IQ conversations are usually *East* Asians - the Chinese, the Japanese, the Koreans, and the Taiwanese.

    Also, a substantial portion of "Asian-Pacific Islanders" includes first generation immigrants, with their usual linguistic difficulties.

    When comparing Asians and Hispanics to native-born whites and blacks, it would be much more useful to isolate at least regions of origin (East Asian vs. South Pacific, for example) as well as factor the generational status (foreign-born vs. U.S.-born), in order to get the apples-to-apples comparisons.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123

    South Asians actually have higher attainment than even East Asians, due to selective migration.

    Southeast Asians perform more poorly, but that tends to be exaggerated. For example, the Vietnamese do almost as well as the more selected Chinese and Korean immigrants. Filipinos do well too, due to selective migration and high proportion of Filipino-Chinese in the community. Cambodians and Laotians perform more poorly, but their numbers aren’t particularly huge.

    I do think the East Asian scores would be slightly higher if they disaggregated from South Asians and Southeast Asians, but it’s important to remember that East Asian migration is biased towards those with wealth or education. So that skews scores upwards slightly.

    It’s true that Asian migrants often have verbal deficiencies, but this was a numeric test. So that doesn’t apply to this test. Especially if we look at youth scores.

    Asians and whites are equally likely to score at level 4/5 level. Asians are only slightly more likely to score below level 3. So it appears the (White vs Asian) score distribution is not that different at all, which implies that East/South Asians aren’t having their scores distorted too much by being lumped in with Southeast Asians and PIs. If there was significant distortion, we’d see a larger deviation in Asian scores.

    Flynn’s data is more useful to us, as he studied the IQ scores of the children of non-selected, pre-WWII Asian (Chinese and Japanese) migrants. He found a mean IQ of 98.5 for these children. For Filipinos, he found a significantly lower mean IQ.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Don't forget the "Pacific Islanders" part of "Asian-Pacific Islander" label.


    So it appears the (White vs Asian) score distribution is not that different at all, which implies that East/South Asians aren’t having their scores distorted too much by being lumped in with Southeast Asians and PIs. If there was significant distortion, we’d see a larger deviation in Asian scores.
     
    That sounds about right. Still, I'd much prefer to see American-born, East Asian (or South Asian or SE Asian) numbers separately to get a more accurate gauge of where they stand vis-à-vis American-born non-Hispanic whites.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123

  41. @Luke Lea
    The way this story should have been reported: European Americans are scoring about as well as Europeans, Black Americans are scoring better than blacks in Africa, as are Mexican Americans than Mexicans in Mexico, Asian Americans than Asians in Asia, and so on.

    Replies: @jenny, @Torn and Frayed, @Reg Cæsar

    This isn’t really true since you are ignoring the fact that most European countries have large minority populations as well. It’s not possible in most countries, but if you could separate out the non-Europeans, you would see that the native European scores would be at least ten points higher. Even as it is white Americans are scoring below European averages even taking into account these country’s scores are brought down by immigrants and their spawn.

    Sure at the top end, Finland, Japan, Estonia, they don’t have many non-natives; but the rest of the list of European countries does. Australia and Canada are the weird position of having their immigrants score better than their white populations due to selective immigration policies.

  42. @Sunbeam
    @JohnnyWalker123

    "Asians outscore whites despite slightly lower IQs."

    I don't buy that one. But despite the high intelligence, what really impresses me about Asians, at least the ones I went to school with, was their ability to what I call "grind."

    Sooner or later you have to study some boring crap you have no interest in, and you have to force yourself to do it.

    Asians, whether it is genetic or cultural, or whatever can somehow force themselves to do it, and ignore the pretty butterflies outside the window, the tatas on the curvy girl at the adjoining table, or the suddoku you have in your backpack.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @ingo

    Post-WWII Asian migration has been highly selective, so their children may have higher IQs than non-Hispanic whites. Pre-WWII Asian migrants were mainly the descendants of rural peasants, so their IQ scores are more representative of their homelands. Most Asian-Americans are from the post-WWII waves.

  43. @Lot
    The results here are such outliers this test should probably be dismissed entirely.

    First, taking the black non-hispanic white gap as our unit, hispanics usually score .3 to .5 above blacks. Here they score almost the same. Asians usually score .25 above whites on math tests, here they score worse.

    Can anyone find a single other math test where asians do worse than whites?

    I also don't believe that Finns would ever score higher than Japanese on a properly controlled math test.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123

    You should look at the PISA data. Finland does well.

    If you look at the scores for 16-34 year olds, whites score 271. Blacks score 219 and Hispanics score 228. If we assume the black-white gap is 1 SD, then the Hispanic-white gap is 0.83 SD. That’s fairly consistent with what we generally see on IQ tests. La Griffe estimated a similar Hispanic-white IQ gap.

    The gap is wider for older test takers in the 35-65 age range, but that might reflect the low educational level of Hispanic migrants. Young Hispanics are more likely to be native-born or 1.5 generation, so they are more likely to have received adequate schooling. Their scores reflect Hispanic potential more accurately than those of older test takers.

  44. @JohnnyWalker123
    @Twinkie

    South Asians actually have higher attainment than even East Asians, due to selective migration.

    Southeast Asians perform more poorly, but that tends to be exaggerated. For example, the Vietnamese do almost as well as the more selected Chinese and Korean immigrants. Filipinos do well too, due to selective migration and high proportion of Filipino-Chinese in the community. Cambodians and Laotians perform more poorly, but their numbers aren't particularly huge.

    I do think the East Asian scores would be slightly higher if they disaggregated from South Asians and Southeast Asians, but it's important to remember that East Asian migration is biased towards those with wealth or education. So that skews scores upwards slightly.

    It's true that Asian migrants often have verbal deficiencies, but this was a numeric test. So that doesn't apply to this test. Especially if we look at youth scores.


    Asians and whites are equally likely to score at level 4/5 level. Asians are only slightly more likely to score below level 3. So it appears the (White vs Asian) score distribution is not that different at all, which implies that East/South Asians aren't having their scores distorted too much by being lumped in with Southeast Asians and PIs. If there was significant distortion, we'd see a larger deviation in Asian scores.

    Flynn's data is more useful to us, as he studied the IQ scores of the children of non-selected, pre-WWII Asian (Chinese and Japanese) migrants. He found a mean IQ of 98.5 for these children. For Filipinos, he found a significantly lower mean IQ.

    Replies: @Twinkie

    Don’t forget the “Pacific Islanders” part of “Asian-Pacific Islander” label.

    So it appears the (White vs Asian) score distribution is not that different at all, which implies that East/South Asians aren’t having their scores distorted too much by being lumped in with Southeast Asians and PIs. If there was significant distortion, we’d see a larger deviation in Asian scores.

    That sounds about right. Still, I’d much prefer to see American-born, East Asian (or South Asian or SE Asian) numbers separately to get a more accurate gauge of where they stand vis-à-vis American-born non-Hispanic whites.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    @Twinkie

    Here's a very large scale 1966 US government report on ethnicity and academic achievement. It's called the Coleman Report.


    http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED012275.pdf

    Lots of interesting data on the achievement of Asian-Americans ("Orientals").

    At the time, about 80% of Asian-Americans were Chinese and Japanese and 20% were Filipino. When Professor Flynn adjusted the Coleman report test scores (of Asians) to subtract out Filipinos, he found that Chinese&Japanese had a mean IQ roughly equal to the white mean (99.6).

  45. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @turning tide
    For those who want a taste of this test: http://www.oecd.org/site/piaac/educationandskillsonlineassessment.htm

    We are totally effed.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    Yes, we are. Out of curiosity, I took the test but its online version is completely moronic. Obviously designed by some cheap Bangalore programmer. E.g. in the “Unit 6” you are instructed to return a product using a web site that looks like the least usable web site ever. E.g.,

    “Your Return Form has been submitted.
    Please click Next to continue.”

    Except that there is no Next button anywhere to be found…

  46. @Priss Factor
    When it comes to brain power, it really matters with the top 5%, especially top 0.01%.

    The rest merely need to be competent, so I wouldn't worry to much about this.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Anonymous

    You are wrong. Take India. Pretty smart top 1-2%, somewhat retarded rest. The result? A disaster. Even if they managed to get nuclear weapons, something like half the country still does not have toilets.

  47. Uh..oh (Part XVII)

  48. Nobody can take math tests like a Finn.

  49. Should have been titled “Countries lacking diversity in danger of losing lead in education”

    But seriously, how is this not a great piece of anti-diversity propaganda? Finland, Japan, Estonia… the most ethnically homogeneous nations going around are belting the diversified, open-border experiments.

    • Replies: @Lagertha
    @enemylimes

    yeah, I know, right? I was wondering if anyone saw that obvious detail that the writers of this exhaustive report (I read the WHOLE darn thing) fail to mention. The whole tone of the report seems to try to say American students are behind their peers, and education inequality/income inequality/segregation is the cause of the downfall. Yet, the 3 countries you mention, Japan has no immigrant population (a few corporate/academic expat families, maybe) and Finland and Estonia have low single digit non-ethnic (Finn & Estonian) student populations...and NO "special needs" students scores added to the mix in Finland.

  50. @Ex Machina
    It's weird, because diversity is strength.

    Replies: @silviosilver

    It’s weird, because diversity is strength.

    I love to mock leftie platitudes, and this specific formulation gets the tone just right. For a younger crowd “… because I mean diversity is like strength and stuff” might be better.

  51. Two major problems:

    1. Mixing pacific islanders with mainland asians. That’s gonna skew the results nicely. I’ve met too many pacific islanders. A majority are not reliant on their raw brain power to navigate their world. It’s not fair to the mainlanders to mix them in.

    2. Lack of proper qualification regarding who can and cannot deem themselves “white.” Too many hispanics will check the “white” box, again skewing the results to the downside.

  52. There are reasons why SV is where it is and not somewhere else. As the Director of Marketing for a state Department of Commerce, I discovered that venture capital would not touch my state for at least two reasons: (1) the lack of transparency in government; the lack of direct flights so that investors could keep track of their investments. Also, while vacationing in Germany, I had an enlightening discussion with a group who expressed jealousy about SV because in Germany banks and investors would not make loans to companies unless they had physical assets such as land, buildings, and equipment as collateral. In short, if you wanted a loan to develop a software application in Germany, forget it. If there is one thing that typifies American investment, it is easy money, which should not be surprising given the Federal Reserve’s long-standing policy of force feeding capital to Wall Street investors at low interest rates. Notice that these factors are cultural and structural rather than race based.

    The cultural and structural factors do not denigrate the race-based issues, but race aside, the structural and cultural issues are still major impediments in many countries and locales even if the race-based issues did not exist.

  53. @Twinkie
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Don't forget the "Pacific Islanders" part of "Asian-Pacific Islander" label.


    So it appears the (White vs Asian) score distribution is not that different at all, which implies that East/South Asians aren’t having their scores distorted too much by being lumped in with Southeast Asians and PIs. If there was significant distortion, we’d see a larger deviation in Asian scores.
     
    That sounds about right. Still, I'd much prefer to see American-born, East Asian (or South Asian or SE Asian) numbers separately to get a more accurate gauge of where they stand vis-à-vis American-born non-Hispanic whites.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123

    Here’s a very large scale 1966 US government report on ethnicity and academic achievement. It’s called the Coleman Report.

    http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED012275.pdf

    Lots of interesting data on the achievement of Asian-Americans (“Orientals”).

    At the time, about 80% of Asian-Americans were Chinese and Japanese and 20% were Filipino. When Professor Flynn adjusted the Coleman report test scores (of Asians) to subtract out Filipinos, he found that Chinese&Japanese had a mean IQ roughly equal to the white mean (99.6).

  54. People working in the field of human resources seem better able to target young people for their respective areas of work than teachers because they will develop a cognitive and personality profile that will be consistent for with each individual. Education is one of the main responsible for the unjust inequality, excessive unemployment, because it works as an illusion of universal equality and free will. People are born cognitively different and this should be taken into account.

    In my country, didatic books teach things that most children here will not be able to learn because of the main idea of memorization, learning accumulation. To be honest, I think that learning legacy, cultural, artistic, historical and scientific (and future specifications) should be exposed (completely) only for intelligent children while the more manual, technical and practical material, should be the foundation labor preparation for adult life for the rest of the population.

    Or, didatic tbooks should stop using a refined language and manipulating the historical events according to their Maoist ideology.

    The teacher should teach mainly self-knowledge. And that should already be imposed since the early years of school. Teachers break his head to try to improve their teaching strategies without fully knowing the psychology and the possibilities of each student. At least in my country, it’s exactly this way.

    In short, a great waste of time.

    The idea that the school is good for socialization, also consists of a large mistake and there is even a well-intentioned campaign to place students with special needs in public schools. The socialization of a child already the case for his own family and over time she will learn that only socialize with those who share similar interests. People with extreme discrepancies in intelligence and personality, are naturally repellent.

  55. @Sunbeam
    @JohnnyWalker123

    "Asians outscore whites despite slightly lower IQs."

    I don't buy that one. But despite the high intelligence, what really impresses me about Asians, at least the ones I went to school with, was their ability to what I call "grind."

    Sooner or later you have to study some boring crap you have no interest in, and you have to force yourself to do it.

    Asians, whether it is genetic or cultural, or whatever can somehow force themselves to do it, and ignore the pretty butterflies outside the window, the tatas on the curvy girl at the adjoining table, or the suddoku you have in your backpack.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @ingo

    I don’t buy that one. But despite the high intelligence, what really impresses me about Asians, at least the ones I went to school with, was their ability to what I call “grind.”

    … and ignore the pretty butterflies outside the window, the tatas on the curvy girl at the adjoining table, or the suddoku you have in your backpack.

    bug not feature

    Forcing yourself to ignore your interests does not lead to interesting work.

    For 99% it is better to grind because they are never going to do anything interesting anyway.

    But, and this is a big but, for that 1% to procrastinate cleaning out the stall and instead following some crazy hunch and go tinker, well, that is where all of our stuff has come from.

  56. As far as “numeracy” is concerned, one need only look at that Allstate Insurance ad where a young lady silences her male acquaintance’s claim that “men are better drivers than woman” by pointing out that she just got a “safe driver” discount in the mail.

    For all I know, men have more more accidents than women, especially the catastrophic kind, but that’s not the point. Try pointing out on a typical college campus that men are, on average, stronger than women. Most people would accept it, but lots more would reply with “Ooooohhh…. I bet Rhonda Rousey could beat you up!!!”

  57. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Thanks for posting, Steve!

    Aside from the seemingly inconsistent racial performance (compared to IQ tests) that other commenters have pointed out, this report doesn’t much surprise me.

    Even among well-educated high status whites of my generation, there’s a surprising amount of innumeracy. For instance, I know a recent college grad who is employed full-time as a web developer and is looking to be a “data scientist” for his small company, despite not knowing statistics at an introductory level (simple stuff like Gaussian distributions, calculating standard deviations and chi-squares, linear regression, etc. at the AP Statistics/9th grade level). At least it gives me hope for entering the job market after finishing my dissertation…

    There’s a number of southerners and midwesterners that were prominent scientists in previous generations–and no, they’re not all Jews. They have charming accents that today would make them seem stupid, since they don’t sound like Jon Stewart. Here’s one example (keep in mind that this guy graduated from high school at 15 and had a doctorate by age 22): http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2015/01/27/nobel-laureate-and-laser-inventor-charles-townes-dies-at-99/ . You just don’t see many of these guys coming up today, and this ETS study makes me think that they will number even fewer as time goes on.

  58. @enemylimes
    Should have been titled "Countries lacking diversity in danger of losing lead in education"

    But seriously, how is this not a great piece of anti-diversity propaganda? Finland, Japan, Estonia... the most ethnically homogeneous nations going around are belting the diversified, open-border experiments.

    Replies: @Lagertha

    yeah, I know, right? I was wondering if anyone saw that obvious detail that the writers of this exhaustive report (I read the WHOLE darn thing) fail to mention. The whole tone of the report seems to try to say American students are behind their peers, and education inequality/income inequality/segregation is the cause of the downfall. Yet, the 3 countries you mention, Japan has no immigrant population (a few corporate/academic expat families, maybe) and Finland and Estonia have low single digit non-ethnic (Finn & Estonian) student populations…and NO “special needs” students scores added to the mix in Finland.

  59. @Twinkie
    @Stan D Mute


    Back in my school days the only escape from terminal boredom in a class stuck on stupid was drugs.
     
    I brought my own books and hid them underneath and read them instead of listening to many of the lectures.

    Replies: @Kylie, @Kylie

    @ Twinkie

    @ Twinkie,


    Back in my school days the only escape from terminal boredom in a class stuck on stupid was drugs.

    I brought my own books and hid them underneath and read them instead of listening to many of the lectures.

    I cut class and read what I wanted to read in the library. The first semester of my senior year, I cut 90 classes. That would have entitled me to a suspension but I was a National Merit semi-finalist (and when the SAT results came in, a finalist). I remember laughing when the asst. principal gave me a friendly lecture about the need to attend class and two days later, took me out of class so my pic could be taken for the local newspapers’ article on National Merit Finalists.

    Your turn.

  60. @Twinkie
    @Stan D Mute


    Back in my school days the only escape from terminal boredom in a class stuck on stupid was drugs.
     
    I brought my own books and hid them underneath and read them instead of listening to many of the lectures.

    Replies: @Kylie, @Kylie

    @ Twinkie

    @ Twinkie,


    Back in my school days the only escape from terminal boredom in a class stuck on stupid was drugs.

    I brought my own books and hid them underneath and read them instead of listening to many of the lectures.

    I cut class and read what I wanted to read in the library. The first semester of my senior year, I cut 90 classes. That would have entitled me to a suspension but I was a National Merit semi-finalist (and when the SAT results came in, a finalist). I remember laughing when the asst. principal gave me a friendly lecture about the need to attend class and two days later, took me out of class so my pic could be taken for the local newspapers’ article on National Merit Finalists.

    Your turn.

    • Replies: @Truth
    @Kylie

    If you hadn't married that first Mc you did, imagine where you'd be.

    , @Twinkie
    @Kylie


    I cut class and read what I wanted to read in the library.

    Your turn.
     

    Hey, I wanted the participation portion of the grades too. I was on my way to an Ivy League school, remember? I was already on thin ice for fighting a lot and could not afford to cut class.

    Also, I read books like "The Anarchist Cookbook" and "Improvised Munitions, Vol. 2" while my history teacher* droned on about World War II on the Eastern Front (about which I could teach him something, having read books by H. Guderian, E. v. Manstein, and F.W. v. Mellenthin by that year in high school).

    *That particular history teacher was an Italian crypto-fascist with a Ph.D. (and my German teacher, the chairman of the language department at the time, was a former Bundeswehr officer who maintained in our conversations that the SS was "just an elite force" and "not at all political like the Nazi Party"). Weird, huh, in the heart of NYC, the best public school in the capital of the worldwide Jewry (to be sure, there were also committed Jewish radicals/commie teachers like two in the science department who seriously, with a straight face, maintained the fiction that the Soviet Union was just maligned by American warmongering propaganda and that Stalin didn't really kill all those Ukrainians and Poles). Ah, whom to believe?

    Now you know why I homeschool *my* kids.

  61. When it comes to brain power, it really matters with the top 5%, especially top 0.01%.

    The rest merely need to be competent, so I wouldn’t worry to much about this.

    There are entire populations for whom the mean is incompetence.

    I fear this is what our elites think, but I tend to think that anyone who thinks this is probably dreaming. Yes, you need to have smart people at the top, but you really don’t need a bunch of people below them who are surly and fairly incompetent mucking things up. Things function better when you’ve got people at all levels who are reasonably bright and have reasonably good attitudes.

    This.

    I think this idea is probably wishful thinking. I wish I had some data to support my assertion.

    Common sense. You’re surrounded by typical citizens on the roads, in schools, queues, theaters, etc. They work on pipes under pressure, wires carrying current, bring you your food, etc. Jesus H Christ, traffic alone is reason enough to want a reasonably smart population.

    The distributions for the two lowest groups cannot be attributed to either racism or poverty, precisely because of the scoring for the Asian/Pacific Islanders who are usually of modest means, recent immigrants, and subject to virulent prejudice in the past century. Even lead paint cannot be used to explain the discrepancy.

    You misunderestimate lefties. They certainly can explain it using racism. You say, “racism can’t explain NAM failure, look at yellows!” They say, “why not?” They’ll just say YT likes yellows, hates blacks & browns, results prove it.

  62. @Luke Lea
    The way this story should have been reported: European Americans are scoring about as well as Europeans, Black Americans are scoring better than blacks in Africa, as are Mexican Americans than Mexicans in Mexico, Asian Americans than Asians in Asia, and so on.

    Replies: @jenny, @Torn and Frayed, @Reg Cæsar

    That’s true of crime, as well.

    When they say we’re so much more violent than other “developed” or “industrialized” countries, they really mean “white”, buttered with an Asian nation or two. We’re quite safe for a Spanish-speaking country!

  63. Multiple choice tests like that aren’t going to pick up anything much. But based now on a lot of personal experience with a generation that doesn’t read books, I can tell you the decline is striking.

  64. @rod1963
    Test scores are a bit irrelevant, useful only for college entrances, nothing else. And why do we need college? For the credential to open doors to some future cube farm where we will spend the next 20 years doing something that doesn't even require a college degree in many cases. And then depending on the job we either get burned out, outsourced or off-shored.

    Oh yeah almost forgot, most kids also get to become debt slaves before they even graduate and will continue to be one for many years to come.

    Yes I can see why high IQ types strive so hard to get good test results.

    Or you can fore go the worthless test and the 5 years of getting a degree that isn't worth the paper it's printed on and go to trade school, become a plumber or electrician and make more money than the drone with a high SAT score.

    So tell me again why test scores are important?

    Replies: @Truth

    ” And why do we need college? For the credential to open doors to some future cube farm where we will spend the next 20 years doing something that doesn’t even require a college degree in many cases. And then depending on the job we either get burned out, outsourced or off-shored.”

    Agree on college, I tell people if I had to do it all over again I would have gotten my GED at 16. Didn’t have the stones back then. All those years of indoctrination make one what they want him to be, but as a perosn with a very high IQ, your cube farm can be a financial institution in Manhattan where you are making high six to seven figures every year, they say that over 1/4 of all Harvard grads, of all majors do just that now.

  65. @Kylie
    @Twinkie

    @ Twinkie

    @ Twinkie,


    @Stan D Mute
    Back in my school days the only escape from terminal boredom in a class stuck on stupid was drugs.

    I brought my own books and hid them underneath and read them instead of listening to many of the lectures.
     
    I cut class and read what I wanted to read in the library. The first semester of my senior year, I cut 90 classes. That would have entitled me to a suspension but I was a National Merit semi-finalist (and when the SAT results came in, a finalist). I remember laughing when the asst. principal gave me a friendly lecture about the need to attend class and two days later, took me out of class so my pic could be taken for the local newspapers' article on National Merit Finalists.

    Your turn.

    Replies: @Truth, @Twinkie

    If you hadn’t married that first Mc you did, imagine where you’d be.

  66. @Kylie
    @Twinkie

    @ Twinkie

    @ Twinkie,


    @Stan D Mute
    Back in my school days the only escape from terminal boredom in a class stuck on stupid was drugs.

    I brought my own books and hid them underneath and read them instead of listening to many of the lectures.
     
    I cut class and read what I wanted to read in the library. The first semester of my senior year, I cut 90 classes. That would have entitled me to a suspension but I was a National Merit semi-finalist (and when the SAT results came in, a finalist). I remember laughing when the asst. principal gave me a friendly lecture about the need to attend class and two days later, took me out of class so my pic could be taken for the local newspapers' article on National Merit Finalists.

    Your turn.

    Replies: @Truth, @Twinkie

    I cut class and read what I wanted to read in the library.

    Your turn.

    Hey, I wanted the participation portion of the grades too. I was on my way to an Ivy League school, remember? I was already on thin ice for fighting a lot and could not afford to cut class.

    Also, I read books like “The Anarchist Cookbook” and “Improvised Munitions, Vol. 2” while my history teacher* droned on about World War II on the Eastern Front (about which I could teach him something, having read books by H. Guderian, E. v. Manstein, and F.W. v. Mellenthin by that year in high school).

    *That particular history teacher was an Italian crypto-fascist with a Ph.D. (and my German teacher, the chairman of the language department at the time, was a former Bundeswehr officer who maintained in our conversations that the SS was “just an elite force” and “not at all political like the Nazi Party”). Weird, huh, in the heart of NYC, the best public school in the capital of the worldwide Jewry (to be sure, there were also committed Jewish radicals/commie teachers like two in the science department who seriously, with a straight face, maintained the fiction that the Soviet Union was just maligned by American warmongering propaganda and that Stalin didn’t really kill all those Ukrainians and Poles). Ah, whom to believe?

    Now you know why I homeschool *my* kids.

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