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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 08/ 3/2010

Report: When/why progress in closing achievement gap stalled

By Valerie Strauss

Progress seen over several decades in narrowing the educational achievement gap between black and white students has remained stalled for 20 years, according to data analyzed in a new report.

Called “The Black-White Achievement Gap: When Progress Stopped,” the report by the Educational Testing Service examines periods of progress and stagnation since 1910 in closing the achievement gap.

Anybody who thinks that the achievement gap will be closed by throwing more standardized test scores at kids and without addressing health and social issues should read the report and think again.

The report, written by Paul E. Barton and Richard J. Coley of ETS’s Policy Information Center, uses data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress to show that there was a steady narrowing of the achievement gap from the 1970s until the late 1980s. Scores essentially remained the same since then.

"The last 20 years have essentially yielded a period of stability in spite of a lot of national attention to the gap, and measures taken that were expected to narrow it,” Coley, director of the ETS Policy Information Center, said in a statement. “We want to know why.”

The authors discuss various issues that could help explain why progress stopped, including some sensitive ones such as inadequate care in early childhood, the decline of communities and neighborhoods, the explosion of single-parent families, the employment plight of black males and stalled intergenerational mobility out of seriously disadvantaged neighborhoods.

These areas are important, the report says, because student achievement is related to family, demographic and environmental factors.

The report discusses at length how difficult it is for people living in seriously disadvantaged neighbors to break the cycle of poverty.

It says that while 5 percent of white children in the United States born between 1955 and 1970 grew up in highly disadvantaged neighborhoods, 84 percent of black children did.

There was little change for children born between 1985 and 2000. Four out of five black children who started in the top three income quintiles experienced downward mobility, compared with two out of five white children. As for upward mobility, three out of five white children who started in the bottom two quintiles experienced upward mobility, versus just one out of four black children.

“In such circumstances, any generational improvement becomes a huge challenge,” the report says.

Restarting progress in closing the achievement gap must be addressed on multiple levels, Coley said.

“Entire neighborhoods may have to be uplifted in terms of their economic capital, school quality, safety and health structures,” he said.

The report refers to research by University of Chicago economist Derek Neal who projected that based on current trends, reaching equality could take from 50 to 100 years unless the dynamic that exists today is broken.

-0-

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By Valerie Strauss  | August 3, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Equity, Research  | Tags:  achievement gap, closing the achievement gap, ets, ets report, factors affecting the achievement gap  
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Comments

The noted report cites nary a word of tobacco smoking. Major error.

The prevalence of smoking is higher among those in poverty. Consider generational issues.
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5320a2.htm

Furthermore, early smoking age is associated with other risky behaviors among teens and is a predictor of dropping out of school.

http://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(00)00202-0/abstract
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/111/5/949

The ramifications relating to smoking, physical and social, are worthy of consideration when evaluating achievement gaps.

Posted by: shadwell1 | August 3, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

We've been hearing the refrain of 'doing something about poverty' since the mid 60's. We've poured billions of dollars into anti-poverty programs since then; since we're still talking about the same issues, those billions of dollars haven't worked.

Every one who says 'we must do something' fails to identify concrete solutions along with the trade-offs from implementing those solutions.

I can't afford going to Venice Beach every day, so I don't.
I can't afford to do happy hour every day, so I don't.
I can't afford HBO, so I read.
I can't afford a new car, even though my students laugh at my 9 year old 'bucket.'

I don't need government assistance to make these choices, and neither do those in poverty.

Posted by: pdfordiii | August 3, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

pdfordii,

Some folks can't afford food, so they starve.
Some can't afford health care, so they die.
Some don't have a grocery store within 10 miles, so they eat fast food.
Some have 2 or 3 jobs so their kids are left alone.
Some of them have rotten teeth and can't concentrate.
Some have no hope because of attitudes like yours!

You are not going to solve poverty with small, targeted programs.

We need universal health care and free early childhood education for everyone.

That would be a good start.

Posted by: tfteacher | August 3, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

“Entire neighborhoods may have to be uplifted in terms of their economic capital, school quality, safety and health structures,” he said.
...........................
Finally a real study of the poverty gap and the national policy for almost the last 10 years that has been ineffective.

I wish that the report would have covered the differences in public schools.

Walk into any classroom of the problem Title 1 poverty public schools in urban areas and you will likely see teachers constantly struggling with the students that disrupt any attempt at education.

The report also does not mentions that these schools are not safe.

This study indicates the problems of poverty but totally ignores the current characteristics in these public schools that are inferior and can only add to problems that prevent children from obtaining the benefit offered by education.

Public schools, with the basic standards of safety and classroom with environments where teachers can teach and children can learn, will not overcome all of the problems of poverty.

At the same time the absence of these basic standards only add to the problems of the poverty gap.

The "steady narrowing of the achievement gap from the 1970s until the late 1980s" arose from new Federal programs in poverty.

But even new Federal programs in poverty will be ineffective if the problems of schools without the basic standards are not dealt with.

It is essential with Title 1 poverty public schools in urban areas to provide the basic standards of safety and classroom with environments where teachers can teach and children.

Without these basis standard any change is impossible.

Posted by: bsallamack | August 3, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

We've been pouring billions of dollars since the mid 60's into solving poverty, and haven't fixed it yet, especially in our most distressed neighborhoods.
Posted by: pdfordiii | August 2, 2010 10:57 PM
.........
We've been hearing the refrain of 'doing something about poverty' since the mid 60's. We've poured billions of dollars into anti-poverty programs since then;
Posted by: pdfordiii | August 3, 2010 12:50 PM
.............................
tfteacher, I wanted to draw your attention to the constant "refrain" of pdfordiii. Looks like on any day of the week pdfordiii is willing to give the same song and dance.

I am surprised that pdfordiii is not telling us the logical conclusion of his constant refrain, and simply stating that the Federal government spending on public education in poverty areas should be stopped since this has not fixed the problem.

Posted by: bsallamack | August 3, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Re the Achievement Gap in Rhee's DCPS.
This is a section of the
DCPS Press Release from July 13th, 2009...

At this Web address:

http://dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/About+DCPS/Press+Releases+and+Announcements/Press+Releases/Fenty,+Rhee+and+Reinoso+Announce+DCPS+2009+DC+CAS+Scores

Fenty, Rhee and Reinoso Announce DCPS 2009 DC CAS Scores
DCPS Continue to Make Steady Gains

NARROWING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP

The achievement gap between African-American and White students continues to close across all grade levels and subject areas, with the gap between secondary math students closing an astonishing 20 points from 70 percent to 50 percent after only two years. Elementary students have also showed significant progress after two years, with the achievement gap narrowing by 8 points in math and 6 points in reading.

“Narrowing the achievement gap continues to be a top priority, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to ensure that every child in the District, regardless of their background and circumstances has the opportunity to realize their potential,” said DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee. “We are proud of our students and encouraged by their continued growth; once again DCPS educators made the difference, and we are extremely grateful for their tireless work.”

---------------

So, it is clear that DCPS has solved this national problem. It is important that we get this message to other school systems that continue to struggle with ineffective and outdated school leadership.

Posted by: AGAAIA | August 3, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Are there any sociologists reading this article? Hello!!!! I am yet to read something about parenting skills training and prepping the parents for their 18-21 year long responsibilities of raising children they decided to have. Once can invest gazillion dollars in education and healthy meals; however, unless one has the type of parents who will actually give a darn to ask what is going on at school and what milestones need to be achieved the GAP will remain to be there. Why compartmentalize poverty to education only? The poverty affects the WHOLE CHILD not just education. Sociologists nowadays are ran over by education experts (mis nomer in itself) in favor of quantification of performance. What needs to happen is select developmental psychologists, sociologists, medical experts, and educators who will revamp the schooling systems. Too costly? Sure it is. Government spends more money per capita on enforcing the taxation laws than on education reform. The GAP will be there. Let me say it again. the Gap will be there. As long s there are intelligence ranges, classes of citizenry, and diversities we will have gaps. Otherwise, the utopic society we are trying to create will have everyone in the superfluous proficient/advanced stage of performance. Not even the highest ranking ed systems in the world have majority of their kids on that stage. Lets forget the gap and turn to addressing the whole child education that MANDATES parent-school collaboration.

Posted by: inickdc | August 3, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

When I became pregnant with my first child almost forty years ago, I got some invaluable advice from my obstetrician and the book he gave me to read. There was a lot of information about "guarding your baby's health" and "developing your child's cognitive abilities." I learned:

that smoking, drug and alcohol use during pregnancy could damage my child's brain and cause permanent learning problems;

the importance of interacting with my baby from birth to ensure critical brain development;

the importance of watching for developmental milestones and reporting any suspicions to the doctor;

the importance of intelligent disciplining (as opposed to shaking a baby);

that environmental dangers were a threat to my child's brain (such as ingesting lead or other poisons );

the importance of a good preschool;

We've known for many years how important health, safety, mental stimulation, and human interaction are to the developing child. During the seventies and eighties there was some stress on "meeting the needs of each child," but we've abandoned that lofty goal. Why?

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | August 3, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Linda,

Those things you list as important for raising a kid are true. I don't think, however, that these things have been abandoned. They have simply become harder to do for the most impoverished among us for reasons I listed above in another comment.

Poverty pretty much precludes worrying about diet, environmental issues, and going to the doctor for prenatal checkups. And doctors don't usually give out books, especially in the free clinics/county hospitals where our impoverished go for medical care.

And if people don't have access to the things they need in order to raise their kids, we as a society need to be responsive to that. Hence my cry for universal healthcare and free early childhood education.

We might also want to give kids books, for free, from a pile of books from which they can choose.

Posted by: tfteacher | August 3, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

So, it is clear that DCPS has solved this national problem. It is important that we get this message to other school systems that continue to struggle with ineffective and outdated school leadership.

Posted by: AGAAIA
.............................
You need to read the New York Times where New York State has lowered state test results after identifying that these test were made too easy starting in 2006.

You also need to check the national test results for D.C. in 2009 and see that the claims of 30 percent and above being proficient are ludicrous when the national standard for testing shows proficiency of 11 percent.

Why bother with the mayhem of Ms. Rhee? Simply make the tests easy as Ms. Rhee has done and we call proficient all those who score basic on national tests and we can call all those who fail on national tests basic.

Problem solved no need for Ms. Rhee or Race To The Top.

Articles in New York Times regarding the actions of the New York State Reagents.

Standards Raised, More Students Fail Tests
Confusion on Where City Students Stand
When 81% Passing Suddenly Becomes 18%

Posted by: bsallamack | August 3, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Are there any sociologists reading this article? Hello!!!! I am yet to read something about parenting skills training and prepping the parents for their 18-21 year long responsibilities of raising children they decided to have.

Lets forget the gap and turn to addressing the whole child education that MANDATES parent-school collaboration.
Posted by: inickdc
................................
Let us forget all the above.

Why can not Americans understand the problem?

Any school that is unsafe and that can not provide a classroom environment where teachers can teach and children can learn should not be acceptable in America.

Teachers and children should not be expected to daily deal with the problems that should be dealt with by their school system.

If forced to send their children to such schools any middle class white American would be outraged while they simply ignore inferior schools here in America.

At the least, the Federal government should guarantee every child a safe public school with classrooms where teachers can teach and children can learn instead of the mayhem that is the characteristics of so many public schools in America.

We are talking about American schools and not schools in Afghanistan.

Posted by: bsallamack | August 3, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Thank you bsallamack.

You are right.

I NOW SEE that the increases in DC-CAS test results do not mirror the NAEP scores for the same period (2007-2009).

And furthermore... that analysis of the NAEP data included in their TUDA (Trial Urban District Assessment) study for the same period actually show that DCPS is the worst urban school system (of the ten included in the study) in the country, and getting worse!

------------

It is just so hard to know who to believe these days. After all, Chancellor Michelle Rhee said, “Narrowing the achievement gap continues to be a top priority, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to ensure that every child in the District, regardless of their background and circumstances has the opportunity to realize their potential.”

And her press release clearly states that, "The achievement gap between African-American and White students continues to close across all grade levels and subject areas, with the gap between secondary math students closing an astonishing 20 points from 70 percent to 50 percent after only two years."

Why would she mislead us?

Posted by: AGAAIA | August 3, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

AGAAIA

Sorry, as from your second post I understand that your first post was meant to be a subtle satire.

I am from the old school where writing subtle satire can also be the criteria of writing good PR press releases.

My model of satire is A Modest Proposal of Swift.

In reading Jane Austen I do enjoy subtle satire. I especially like the point where Jane Austen fully clues the reader into the satirical nature of previous pages that she has written.

Posted by: bsallamack | August 3, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

tfteacher:

Yes, I too believe in universal health care, preschool and free books (among other things) for our poorest children. This would be huge in terms of making life better for our most vulnerable citizens and (I believe) would result in increased learning for impoverished children.

Another intervention that would help a great deal is government support for jobs and low-income housing in all communities across the United States so poor and minority children are no longer isolated in impoverished schools and neighborhoods. This isolation is probably more harmful than anything else.

While it's true we can't fully eradicate poverty, we can do as well as Finland, England and France if we choose to do so.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | August 3, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes there is a great deal that can be done in regard to social inequality.

At the same time change is brought about slowly and by recognizing the reality of society.

Americans are not going to buy into expensive Federal government programs only for the poor.

We had a year of the troubled National Health Insurance.

Imaging if instead of National Health Insurance this administration would have asked for covering all children in America with a single payer plan. This would have been easily adopted and accepted by the vast number of Americans. This plan could have contained coverage for pregnant women.

One does not have to be an ogre to oppose poverty plans. One only has to be a middle class family with two parents working to meet expenses.

Poverty programs are not acceptable in this nation if the poor are given say reasonable access to day care while other Americans are not. Reasonable access to day care is needed by all Americans.

The Title 1 poverty public schools should have the basic standards of public schools. This is not a question of a gift but a right. Instead of expensive standardized these schools should be dealing with the problems of safety and classrooms that are in mayhem. The Federal government should be providing assistance in this area and should ensure that every public school in the nation has the basic standards.

The idea of the Secretary of Education that "class room management" is the answer for unsafe schools and classrooms in mayhem is repulsive, and also the acceptance of inferior public schools by the Federal government.

Posted by: bsallamack | August 3, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

The reality of all this talk of programs for the poor repulses me.

My parents were poor.

I know that I am now bsallamack one note, but give the poor what they have a right to as Americans first, instead of poverty programs that may or may not work or ever come into existence. Put yourself in their shoes if you are not poor.

Every American parent and every American child deserves public schools that are not inherently inferior.

Give these Americans at least that, no matter the political consequences.

Posted by: bsallamack | August 3, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Deserve? Deserve what? Free and Appropriate Public Education Act is a sign of equality, yet it lacks the proper definition of what parents define as appropriate. So to say that poor children 'deserve' things like everyone else is a bias in itself. When did the institution of parenting suspend itself so that the public school system can promote itself to raise the children that have not been planned, raised with nurture, or wanted? Why would anyone deserve anything? Equality is not based on merit but on value that everyone MAY and SHOULD take advantage of the free services of education with substantial investment of self-induced effort toward growth. Poor parent or rich parents, it is NOT the schools job to interlink the achievement gap that will take generations to connect. What a child from a poor home deserves is PARENTING and attention in respect to developmental milestones attainment, love, nurture, and cognitive conditioning no matter how little time parents have to spend with the kids. With this variable taken away, schools are faced with the alternative of having to fill in too may gaps that parents failed to do. I am an educator and a parent. I feel enraged when either side is pressured over the limit to close the gap that is impossible to close. It is simple: reform the social construct of parenting in America and then attempt to reform schools. Pardon me, but parenting BY PROXY is not an educational reform. I feel that more of us educators are stuck in by-proxy parenting situations with our students and spend too much time 'raising' the children as opposed to 'educating students'. Close the gap? Draft and legislate parents' rights and responsibilities act. I guarantee you that within a decade you will have the achievement gap narrowed to a minimum.

Posted by: inickdc | August 3, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

@bsallamack and tfteacher,

There's a part of my original post that no one seems to want to tackle: concrete solutions that confront the trade-offs of any solution.

tfteacher, when you say 'we need universal health care,' what does that mean? How will you pay for it? For any solution there is always a negative side; identify it, and then we can decide the efficacy of the proposed solution.

bsallamack, as in any situation, if something's not working, you change what you do. We all know the cliche about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results: insanity.

The few things I don't like about blogs such as this is how some people tend to attack others personally, inferring things about responders versus responding to the issues.

tfteacher, you know nothing about my attitude, or what I do; you have not once been in the classrooms I've taught, or the neighborhoods I've lived where these very people both live and go to school. On one hand folks complain about 'top down solutions' like RTTT, but then want top down solutions like universal healthcare. I don't wait for the government to solve something; as I said before, if I want change, I make change where I can with what I do. EVERYONE must do the same, no matter our means.

inickdc:
Very well said. Today I was playing basketball with some of my former middle-school students who are now juniors and seniors in high school. Few of these students were the best behaved, highest academic performers when they were with us, but all of my colleagues were pleased, but not surprised, by how they've all matured. Like raising a child, educating a child takes time, and labeling a child by a test score at a particular year is narrow and useless. What we can hope for is that they have a continuum of educators who commit to them the way we did, and as I've tried to do with all my former students maintain some contact so as to be that elder upon whom they can call whenever they need.

I am not smart enough to fix the 'parent-family' problem; I can only control what I do in my classroom. As a person of faith I believe part of the solution resides in our places of worship, those places that help us shape our morality and responsibility to others, but of course that's another issue for another blog!

Posted by: pdfordiii | August 3, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

What a child from a poor home deserves is PARENTING and attention in respect to developmental milestones attainment, love, nurture, and cognitive conditioning no matter how little time parents have to spend with the kids.

Draft and legislate parents' rights and responsibilities act. I guarantee you that within a decade you will have the achievement gap narrowed to a minimum.
Posted by: inickdc
.........................

More of the stupidity of the PARENTING whiners.

I have seen American children in charitable institutions where there are children who are 3 time losers since they have been sent back 3 times by possible foster parents. These children are destined to state orphanages.

Stop with the PARENTING whining. I have never seen legislation that has raised a parent that has died from the dead. I also have never seen even legislation that will provide a job to parents that have suddenly found themselves unemployed.

Every American child and every American parent deserves public schools that have the basic standards of education and not inferior schools.

This is the basic responsibility of government in regard to public education.

Fifty years ago the only public schools in America that were unsafe and with classrooms where teachers had to be concerned about the unruly ruling, were the reform schools.

I do not care if you bring back the reform, or if something else is done with the problem. Just fix the inferior public schools.

There is no guarantee that children will learn, but every American child should have a public school with an environment where there is the opportunity of learning.

The inferior schools of today are the result of local government and should be fixed and not ignored.

I am not fond of the political leaders with their nonsense of every child being proficient, and every child going to college. This is simply political expediency of those who want to be reelected, and they are not concerned about public education.

But the PARENTING whiners can not be explained in any other way but STUPIDITY.

Even if you had legislation against stupidity in this country you would still have the PARENTING whiners.

Posted by: bsallamack | August 3, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

@bsallamack and tfteacher,

There's a part of my original post that no one seems to want to tackle: concrete solutions that confront the trade-offs of any solution.

inickdc:
Very well said.

Posted by: pdfordiii
...............................
Another of the PARENTING whiners.

The reality of these whiners is that they are obsessed with resentment with the unwed mothers with children.

From pdfordiii
"You're unmarried, undereducated, underemployed or unemployed, and you bring a child into the world; very few, if any, pundits and 'researchers' confront this."

Instead of whining have the government build abortion clinic in the neighborhood of the poor and let them dispense the pills that will produce abortion.

This would actually deal with the problem that the PARENTING whiners are so obsessed with.

Of course then these whiners would have to find something else to whine about.

Posted by: bsallamack | August 3, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Valerie, back before the US Civil War, standardized tests would no doubt have measured an "achievement gap" between white children and children of color. After all that vicious racist institution made it a crime for a child in bondage to even pick up a book and attempt to learn to read.

But certainly the abolitionists would never have allowed the test results to be described in such absurd terms as an "achievement gap". The Quakers, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Beecher Stowe would have put the blame for the testing disparity where it belonged, on slavery!

The slaveholders would have loved to debate over an "achievement gap" while slavery went on generating super profits for them in the background. And so it is today, our corporate masters prefer to make an issue of a consequence of racism while their system's racist economic underpinnings and the profound and disproportionate effects of severe poverty on children of color are ignored.

Leave the debate on their terms behind. Be an abolitionist!!!

Posted by: natturner | August 4, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Leave the debate on their terms behind. Be an abolitionist!!!

Posted by: natturner
...........................
I rather the term was poverty gap.

Children of 1 generation of poverty will have less difficulty than children of 3 generations of poverty.

I seriously doubt that any researchers have considered this in their analysis.

The term achievement gap is only an euphemism that trivializes the problems.

Posted by: bsallamack | August 4, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Yet more evidence as to why we should NOT blame teachers for the failure of students to achieve academically.

Thanks Valerie. Keep it coming!

Posted by: UrbanDweller | August 4, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Parenthood is not for everyone. Only those who can provide the right environment for their children should be allowed to become parents.

Require basic financial capability by law for parenthood. Read more: http://www.theperfectworld.org

Posted by: cooloften | August 4, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Evidently some posts are more equal, ( 'correct'? ), than others.

Posted by: China_Rider | August 4, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Parenthood is not for everyone. Only those who can provide the right environment for their children should be allowed to become parents.
Posted by: cooloften

The Perfect World
by preventing birth into poverty

Imagine a law that required you to have $100,000 per child before becoming a parent. Imagine that this money is used to ensure the basic life necessities of food, clothing and shelter for your child's entire lifespan.
http://www.theperfectworld.org/
..................................
Apparently thinking is not for everyone.

Posted by: bsallamack | August 4, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Parenthood is not for everyone. Only those who can provide the right environment for their children should be allowed to become parents.
Posted by: cooloften

The Perfect World
by preventing birth into poverty

Imagine a law that required you to have $100,000 per child before becoming a parent. Imagine that this money is used to ensure the basic life necessities of food, clothing and shelter for your child's entire lifespan.
http://www.theperfectworld.org/
..................................
Apparently thinking is not for everyone.

Posted by: bsallamack | August 4, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Mary: It is that time of the month. Can we have sex.

John: I do not know. I will check the price of my the stock on the internet.

Mary: Well?

John: We are over the $100,000.

Mary: Oh John that is wonderful.

Ding, Ding from the telephone.

John: Hello, this is John.

Mary: Who was that?

John: That was my broker. My Enron stock just went down to zero.

Mary: OH!

The Perfect World

Posted by: bsallamack | August 4, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Some important and relevant basic facts about innate differences in human mental ability which the ETS report carefully suppressed:

1) IQ-type intelligence is a highly heritable mental trait, by early adulthood about 80% of the variation in IQ scores is due to genetic differences (early childhood IQ scores are more strongly affected by environmental differences but the effect of environmental factors fades away by adolescence).

2) Social classes differ in IQ in modern meritocratic societies where colleges and professional schools (with their various admissions tests which are essentially the same as IQ tests) are the gatekeepers to higher social class.

3) There is strong assortative mating with regard to IQ, smart successful higher-IQ women tend to marry smart successful higher-IQ men and their children inherit their higher-IQ-encoding genes and thus their children have innately higher IQs (the converse is true for the children of lower IQ men and women).

4) There are ethnoracial group differences in average IQ with some ethnoracial groups tending to have higher IQs (Jews, high caste Hindus, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese) and some ethnoracial groups tending to have lower IQs (Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans). Regarding the Black-White achievement gap, we can expect that Blacks on average will score as high as Whites about the same time that Jews, Brahmins and Chinese score as low as average Whites (i.e. that will be NEVER).

4) All cognitive tests tend to show the same basic scoring patterns regardless of whether they are called "IQ tests" or if they are called "achievement tests" (i.e. the NAEP tests, SAT/ACT tests, and various NCLB-mandated tests). Throughout the entire world, Blacks always score about one standard deviation lower than Whites on all cognitive tests, it is simply an empirical fact of nature that is well known to all serious social scientists and cognitive psychologists (some like the ETS's Barton and Coley choose to feign ignorance).

5) If you would like to learn more about the facts of human intelligence differences (rather than the politically correct Boasian fallacy that all social classes and ethnoracial groups should somehow be made to perform equally) you should read the research papers, essays, and books by the following scholars and writers (Arthur Jensen, Hans Eysenck, Richard Lynn, J.Philippe Rushton, Michael Levin, Neven Sesardic, Charles Murray, Richard Herrnstein, Thomas Bouchard, David Rowe, Linda Gottfredson, Ian Deary, Robert Plomin, Dorret Boomsma, Nicholas Martin, Bruce Lahn, Henry Harpending, John Derbyshire, Steven Pinker, Heiner Rindermann, and Satoshi Kanazawa).

Rushton, J. P., & Jensen, A. R. (2005). Thirty years of research on race differences in cognitive ability. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 11, 235-294.

http://psychology.uwo.ca/faculty/rushtonpdfs/PPPL1.pdf

http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/index.html

Posted by: rifraf | August 4, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

To eliminate the achievement gap, we need to stop blaming people for being poor or having children or for whining. It is a waste of energy. Instead consider the following questions:
How about helping teachers to systematically identify what cultural strengths families and students have and then explicitly incorporate them into the classroom curriculum? All families have strengths. This validates and demystifies what families can do to support their children as more powerful learners, rather than assuming poor parents cannot do anything to share responsibility for student success and development.

After all, "it is very difficult to have an island of academic success in a sea of community indifference"
(Not to mention in a sea of outright hostility--as noted in other comments!).

How about helping administrators and teaching staff to understand the value of family engagement and what types of parent involvement is directly linked to boosting student achievement and development. Check out the Harvard Family Research Project's Family Involvement Network of Educators (FINE) to find out more. www.hfrp. org/fine-family -involvement-network

How about helping school people to understand the value of building positive and reciprocal relationships over time with students and their families so families feel welcome to share responsibility for student success?

How about helping everyone working in a school to become more culturally responsive and proficient to the students who are attending their school and their families as a routine way of doing business?

How about always asking the following question before any decision is made: Who is this benefiting? Who is being left out?
How about helping school people to examine every single intersection with families (i.e., Back to School Nights, Parent Teacher Conferences) and find ways to add value, substance and reciprocity to those intersections?

How about getting everyone on staff together and listing all of the things their school:
1) does to build deep relationships with students and their families,
2) does to link parent engagement efforts directly to student learning,
3 do that are not related to #1 or #2 in anyway, but the school keeps doing it anyway just because that is the way they have always done it.
–School people and parents together could examine all of the things listed for #3 above and either find ways to add value to the event or idea by incorporating elements that would serve to build relationships and/or link it to student learning, (preferably both) or eliminate it or reinvent it with something that does.

Why not start now?

Posted by: mwhipple | August 4, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

pdfordiii,

Do you seriously not understand what I meant by universal healthcare? I mean socialized medicine, paid for by taxes, without the need for insurance companies.

Clear?

Posted by: tfteacher | August 4, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I think rifraf (comment above somewhere) is actually Steve Sailor.

Posted by: tfteacher | August 4, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

pdfordiii,

You are Peter D. Ford III of Green Dot, right?

Posted by: tfteacher | August 4, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

tfteacher wrote, "I think rifraf (comment above somewhere) is actually Steve Sailor."

I think you meant, Steve Sailer. If I was named Sailor, I would be upset, but being named Sailer or Rifraf would be still worse.

To Everyone:
Please speak up against such racist speech. It is very important to confront this tactic of mixing some real science with unsupported opinion used to support these destructive and hateful beliefs.

Posted by: AGAAIA | August 4, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

To AGAAIA,

I am glad you recognize that my list of facts about human intelligence differences reflect "some real science". What is destructive or hateful about believing in true facts about human nature? Is it really better to pretend to believe in Marxist/Boasian fallacies (i.e. that all students have the same level of innate intelligence)?

You yourself in prior comments poked some fun at Ms. Rhee and her fatuous hollow claims of having successfully raised the level of academic performance of DC's Black students. You probably realize that Ms. Rhee has an impossible task because one can not really get Black students with IQs mostly in the 80 to 90 range to learn college-prep material that is appropriate for students with IQs in the over 110 range.

The education schools have banned discussion of the truth of IQ differences, everyone is forced to believe in the BIG LIE i.e. that all people regardless of social class or ethnoracial group have the same innate intelligence (of course it is a total lie). Here is a link to an essay,"Achievement Gap Politics", by a recent graduate of education school attesting to the existence of this strict enforcement of political correct Boasian thought.

http://www.nas.org/polArticles.cfm?Doc_Id=1310

Also recently Professor Robert Weissberg wrote a book entitled Bad Students, Not Bad Schools

http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Students-Not-Schools/dp/141281345X

Here is what one reviewer (Mike Berman of NY) wrote:
In my 33-year career in public schools I've implemented one hare-brained scheme after another imposed by "well-intentioned" administrators, politicians and academic theorists. Finally, here is a book which exposes the total futility and impotence of the endless parade of one-size-fits-all cure-all programs which are foisted upon students, parents, schools and educators.

Thank you Professor Weissberg for having the fortitude, honesty and courage to confront the taboos and explain why expert solutions always fail. "Honesty" is the operative word. When parents seek out "good schools" or flee "bad" ones for their youngsters, how many face the truth about why schools earn these labels? Is it the bricks and windows which encompass them? Do you buy into the latest theories about teachers or administrators being responsible for a school's reputation? A careful reading of Bad Students, Not Bad Schools will convince any open-minded reader that full responsibility deserves to be shifted back where it always was: students.

The author bluntly identifies the real culprits in today's educational mess: lack of innate ability and sloth. If you run from the room when differences in IQ are mentioned, this book is not for you. If you think that The Bell Curve is junk science and low self-esteem explains student failure, I leave you to your delusions. If, however, you are a realist, this is a must-read. Robert Weissberg skewers the all the pet programs from both the left and the right that ignore ability and ambition.

Posted by: rifraf | August 4, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

AGAAIA asks:

"To Everyone: Please speak up against such racist speech."

I'll give it a start. Some qualities that have been attributed to genetics, when evaluated from precise components reveal flawed logic when analyzing confounders. While there are certainly many to consider with rifraf's remarks, let's look at just one. Breastfeeding. In light of the latest research from UC Davis regarding breastfeeding (1), and considering the incidence of breastfeeding among populations (2) noted by rifraf as having lower IQ, rifraf stands on sinking soil.

1.http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/03/science/03milk.html?src=mv&ref=science

2.http://mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa_07/healthstatus/maternal/graphs/0335b.htm

Furthermore, the populations rifraf notes as being of inferior intelligence are also often caught in a cyclic system that begets further environmental insults, which actually can affect IQ, such as exposure to higher levels of combustion pollution, lead, and a host of other insults. Furthermore, an infant born to a mother who had a poor diet will have fewer reserves of antioxidants that can protect against illness as well as provide nutrients for the maturing brain during infancy.

I wonder if rifraf has ever visited a NICU (neonatal intensive-care unit).

Posted by: shadwell1 | August 5, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The proposition that only improving instruction in our schools would help close the achievement gap has always been weak. Now we have one more study that makes the case that we have to pay attention to all aspects of students live's if they are to succeed in large numbers. It is time that policymakers act on this research and help schools address the multiple factors influencing student achievement. This will only happen when we mobilize our commmunity to support our students and to strengthen our families and communities. We can do this if think about schools as centers of their communities where schools and partners work to address the health and social needs of students, support their failies and provide an engaging quality academic experience. Schools and communities are making this happen across the country under the banner of community schools. I invite readers to look at www.communityschools.org for more information.

The President

As the debates over manifestos and policy agendas continue, the Coalition feels it’s important to share with you the areas where we see common ground.

The civil rights framework cites community schools as strategy to provide opportunities to learn to ALL students. They state, "The best approach to school turnaround is to reinvent low-performing schools as community schools, offering high-quality programs, strong instruction, and wraparound services." (Click here for more.) We agree. Community schools across the nation (e.g., Cincinnati, Tulsa, Kansas City, New York City, Portland (OR), and South King County, WA) are producing positive results for our youth.

While the Administration isn’t always as explicit about their support for community-based strategies, we see areas of agreement between the Obama Administration’s education reform strategy with the aforementioned groups. The President recognizes the important pieces we need in place to ensure that our youth succeed: schools, parents, communities, and social supports. He said,

“It’s [education] about investing in that school’s future, and recruiting the whole community to help turn it around, and identifying viable options for how to move forward.”

Clearly the President understands that complex problems require comprehensive strategies like community schools. However, a challenge still remains. Despite the Administration’s calls for more parent and community engagement, along with high standards, accountability, and quality teachers, education reform continues to be dominated by a false “either/or” debate. We believe that without question, our schools need qualified teachers and strong principals. But, just as surely, our young people and their families need more connections, more support, more opportunities, and more learning time to be successful.

In contrast, the community schools strategy is a “both/and” proposition. As we’ve said before in The Community Agend

Posted by: MartinBlank | August 5, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

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