January 1, 2008

My New VDARE.com Column: "The Real Dropout Rate"

Here's a short part of my new 3000 word VDARE.com column:

The Real Dropout Rate—And Why Some Students Should Drop Out of School

By Steve Sailer

January 01, 2008

In the grand tradition of Ebenezer Scrooge, economist James J. Heckman, a Nobel Laureate and 2002 Statistician of the Year, says "Bah! Humbug!" to the happy-clappy statistics the federal government has been feeding us on a key omen of America's future: high school dropout rates.

In an important paper with the bland title of The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels, [PDF] Heckman of the U. of Chicago and co-author Paul A. LaFontaine of the American Bar Association report:

"The true high school graduation rate is substantially lower than the official rate issued by the National Center for Educational Statistics."

The Department of Education's NCES claims that the graduation rate has been rising since back in the late 1960s, when it stood at 80 percent…

According to the feds, as cited by Heckman and LaFontaine:

"U.S. schools now graduate nearly 88 percent of students and black graduation rates have converged to those of non-Hispanic whites over the past four decades."

But in fact Heckman and LaFontaine's exhaustive study of the widest array of data sources consulted to date finds that the high school dropout rate isn't 12 percent, but about twice that. And the racial gaps have been steady since the early 1970s.

Moreover, although the high school dropout rate improved consistently through the middle of the 20th Century, falling from 75 percent in the early 1920s to 20 percent in the late 1960s, it has worsened, by up to one-fourth, since then.

Dropout rates have gotten slightly worse for all three big ethnic groups, but I estimate that the majority of the deterioration for the country as a whole is simply because Hispanics and blacks make up a larger share of the population than they did 35 years ago.

In contrast to the federal propaganda, H&L find that the dropout rate is around 35 percent for both African-Americans and for those more assimilated Hispanics who either were born in America or have been here at least a decade.

In fact, despite somewhat higher test scores than blacks, these Americanized Hispanics still appear to leave school early at a somewhat greater rate than blacks.

H&L report that the dropout rate for all Hispanics, including recent immigrants, is significantly worse because

"… almost half of Hispanics in this [18-24] age group immigrated within the last ten years. These recent Hispanic immigrants are primarily low-skilled Mexican workers … The migration of workers with low levels of education has increased substantially over the past 40 years.…"

One of H&L's crucial findings: the ethnic gaps are not getting better:

"In fact, we find no evidence of convergence in minority-majority graduation rates over the past 35 years."

… This intractability of racial differences is something that is constantly assumed away by popular pundits who demonize anyone who suggests that these gaps might have genetic origins. "All we have to do is change the environment!"

Perhaps. But, despite 35 years of rapid changes in the social environment, nothing has happened to the dropout disparities. The only difference is that there are now far more low-performing minorities than in 1972.

With racial gaps, this is a common pattern seen across many different measures. Relative quality differences among the races languish virtually unchanged from decade to decade. But, primarily through immigration policy, we allow relative quantity to change relentlessly—in inevitably unfavorable directions.


I go on to suggest a number of ways to improve the situation.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Bill said...

I dropped out of high school. Finished my college requirements by the end of junior year, and even earned some AP credits, and then they told me I still had to take health, which is a remedial freshman course. I said "no thanks" and went my own way. High school diplomas are worthless anyway. They aren't even required for college admissions.

bjdouble said...

In Germany they have what Steve describes, three different tracks, two ending in grade 10 (the Hauptschule and the more technical Realschule) and then the Gymnasium, which is precollege.

Concerned Netizen said...

What Bill said.

High school diplomas used to be a rough indicator of literacy and numeracy. Now they mean diddly.

If someone really wanted to save black and Latino kids, they'd tell them to get a trade.

But that would be racist.

Meanwhile, I wonder what all those white boys who aren't going to college are doing.

Getting a trade?

Anonymous said...

"Our social engineers must show some humility." Agreed.

One thing about high schools, alot of the people there don't want to be there. We should allow kids to pass out by taking the GED as soon as possible.

There are different ways to educate young people, how much have our schools changed in the past 50 years? (Aside from more computers).

Anonymous said...

Here's a real conversation stopper for addressing the drop-out problem: make education voluntary and abolish truancy laws (I think this was one of Milton Friedman's suggestions). This would benefit everybody but the teacher's unions and other educrats. Considering how much of the Calif. state budget is constitutionally earmarked for education, there is considerable upside for the rest of us. The worst elements of the LA USD student body aren't going to make a contribution to society anyway, so why hold the schools responsible for the Fish out of Water problem that is rural Mexican immigration? I'm a big proponent of "Jails, not Schools".

David Davenport said...

Meanwhile, I wonder what all those white boys who aren't going to college are doing.

Many of 'em are in the US Mil., and what's wrong with that?

Glaivester said...

I thought that GED stood for "good enough diploma," as Chris Rock calls it.

steve wood said...

Meanwhile, I wonder what all those white boys who aren't going to college are doing.

I wonder, in general, what people who don't go to college are supposed to do for a living. Some can learn a trade and would be better served by a system that steered them toward auto mechanics or HVAC rather than toward college. OTOH, any job that requires training beyond the most introductory level requires at least close to average intelligence. What's to become of the people who used to go work on factory assembly lines and in other un- or semi-skilled jobs that have largely disappeared?

Bill said...

High school is a waste of time for more than just kids who will never pass algebra II. In my opinion, it should end at 16, and students should be allowed to choose a trade school or take a university entrance exam, but neither should be required. Another thing: it's really not fair to put a 17 year-old boy in the midst of hundreds of young women of the same age and expect him to care about what some old teacher is talking about.

Our entire education system is outdated. The system of effort and token rewards was meant to prepare young people for the managerial culture that predominated in the mid 20th century. That system is gone. Corporate loyalty is not rewarded, we are culturally addicted to shows like "The Apprentice" where one person gets the prize and everyone else loses, and labor is increasingly treated as a commodity along the lines of wood pulp.

I'd say it's too bad that's the case, but in my heart I know I won't be sad to see some aspects of the old order gone. I never really took to it myself, so I can sympathize a bit with the young men who take the GED because they don't perform very well in the high school environment. In fact, I did pretty much the same thing by taking any test I possibly could to skip requirements.

However, I'm not by any means sympathetic to the hardcore criminals who are sheltered by sympathetic, hard-left school boards. Had too many run-ins with those types. A friend was almost murdered by a few of them, and they always ruined parties by showing up and shooting at things, people, the moon -- whatever. I can't even remember how many parties broke up because of gunfire. It was always the same: someone would get the beer, friends would show up, word got around, and then next thing you know some hoods were on the street out front flashing guns.

Something Steve alludes to is the fact that it would be better for other kids if the troublemakers were not in school. Here's one of the problems with high school as it's set up today: you have 18yo boys in close proximity with younger girls in a relatively uncontrolled environment. This is obviously going to cause trouble (rape, pregnancy, STDs, fights etc), and is another good reason to end the system we have today.

David Davenport said...

What's to become of the people who used to go work on factory assembly lines and in other un- or semi-skilled jobs that have largely disappeared?

Among other activities, those people will be votin' Democrat, if the alternative is an establishment Republican candidate.


Learn a trade? Industrial machinist, or something like that? Sorry, less and less old school industry in the US.

Lay bricks and other construction trades? Illegal Mexcuns can do most of that, at cheaper wages.

Anonymous said...

There is a strong negative causal relationship between education and crime (Lochner and Moretti [2004]). Thus, the educational attainment levels of prisoners are low. [21]

Hmmmm ... no comments about IQ?

Anonymous said...

Calculations by gender reveal that the decline in high school graduation is almost exclusively
concentrated among young males (Figures X and XI). The overall male graduation rate fell 7
percentage points from the first to the last cohort, while the female rate fell by only 1 point. The
forces affecting the increasing high school dropout rate operate more strongly on men than on

Sounds to me like the school system now discriminates against males.

A very strong message should be sent to your local member of congress.

Paavo said...

i didn't attend the finnish matriculation system that most finns attend to. Instead I graduated from an International Baccalaureate Diploma school in Kuopio. Kuopio is a city of 80 000 residents, but my high school class did very well on the Diploma scores. We were the Best school in Finland with 39-points(out of 45
) average ( all the schools in finland do better than international average) . No thanks to me. I was left behind so i gratuated a year later than my original class.

the secret behind my original class's succes wasn't superior student material or superior teachers. the secret was the 30% drop out rate. all the students who were lazy enough to be expected to score below 35 dropped out. And 35 isn't bad. with 36 you get full starting points to most finnish universities.

In fact there was only one male who stayed from the beginning on my high school until graduation. and that was english teacher's son.

During highschool i wrote a lousy play about the survival of the fittest referring to our IB-students. It was supposed to be a parody, but it really wasn't. Our school only took the best students, but even from those best students 30% didn't make it to the graduation. And that was the secret behind the succes of our school. And it is a succesful school. at one time the prime minister (Paavo Lipponen) and the president (Martti Ahtisaari) were both from our school. but the most financially succesful director & producer In Finland , Pertti Pasanen, was kicked out of our prestigious school.

In this study it is found that in Kuopio IB-students score above average especially in mathematics, chemistry and physics. Is it no coincidence that in these subjects the teachers are most discriminative and meanest. in all these subjects the teachers are most hated and most loved. In Kuopio the math teacher has only one pedagogical technicue: to teach only the best students and ridicule the ones who are not interested in maths. therefore he has better average grades than any of his fellow teachers: he allows only the best students to take the higher level test. worse students he scares into taking standard or methods level maths. and those students who previously studied higher level do well in the tests for methods level.

discrimination can be beneficial, but i don't believe that the discriminative practises the math teacher has are good for the students. He seems to have extremely hard time to believe thath any females can manage the higher level IB-maths eventhough they don't require that good mental abilities if the teaching is right.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Steve Sailer: I go on to suggest a number of ways to improve the situation.

When I first read that sentence, my immediate reaction was something along the lines of "Good Grief, Steve, quit being so damned politically correct and have the balls to face the truth of the matter".

But then I went on to glance at your three "suggestions", and I realized that, if you had the courage to speak your mind, then we would probably be in agreement here: THERE IS NO HOPE FOR THESE CHILDREN.

They are inherently uneducable.


Concerned Netizen: If someone really wanted to save black and Latino kids, they'd tell them to get a trade.

These children are too stupid to learn the trades.

Arthur Hu once calculated a Wonderlic to IQ conversion, and these were the numbers he came up with:

Administrator: 114 to 130
Editor: 118 to 130
Industrial Engineer: 116 to 128
Reporter: 114 to 128
Teacher: 114 to 128
Bookkeeper: 108 to 118
Police, Patrol Officer: 104 to 114
Telephone Operator: 104 to 112
Driver, bus or truck: 100 to 108
Warehouse person: 94 to 102

But the AVERAGE IQ for these children in Los Angeles [blacks & mestizo/aboriginal hispanics] is much, much lower than 94, i.e. they are too stupid to occupy even the unskilled position of "Warehouse person".

As Charles Murray has pointed out, when your IQ dips much below 90, you can't benefit from formal "education" - you aren't smart enough to learn to read, or to write, or to memorize the elementary algorithms which allow you to perform simple arithmetic calculations.

By the way, recall Murray's assertion that only about 7% of all black children are born to mothers with IQ's at or above 100:

Consider the results for the women of the 1979 NLSY cohort, whose childbearing years are effectively over (they ranged in age from thirty-eight to forty-five when these numbers were collected). Using a nationally representative subsample for the analysis, one finds that the mean AFQT score of the black women was 85.7. Sixty percent of the children born to this cohort were born to women with AFQT scores below that average. Another 33 percent were born to women with scores from 85.7 to 100. Only 7 percent were born to women with IQs of 100 and over.

That assertion is fairly consistent with the statistic which Steve Sailer just quoted in the piece at hand:

In the LA school district, no more than ten percent of entering 9th graders will, before they leave high school, score at or above the intended mean of 1000 on the SAT—Math plus Verbal, not including the new Writing test. (By the way, that would be an 890 under the pre-1995 SAT scoring system.)

I.e., when we consider "average" academic performance from the traditional vantage point of the American Caucasian, i.e. when we define "average" to be an SAT score of 1000, or an IQ score of 100, then we see that the bell curve for the NAMs falls off so precipitously from its mean [down in the 80's, or even the 70's] that only single digits' worth of them are capable of "average" academic achievement.

But now look back at what "average" intellectual acumen [i.e. an IQ of 100] gets you on Arthur Hu's Wonderlic-to-IQ conversion table: It gets you a truck driver!

[And not a very good truck driver at that.]

It doesn't get you an electrician [who has to compute things like wattage loads], it doesn't get you a plumber [who has to compute water pressures], it doesn't get you a carpenter [who has to compute lengths of sides of triangles*], and it sure as heck doesn't get you a really skilled woodcraftsman, like a cabinetmaker - instead, it gets you somebody who MIGHT [just might!] be capable of reading a map, charting a course down a grid of Interstate highways, and knowing [or at least intuiting] that it probably wouldn't be a very bright idea to introduce any gasoline into a diesel fuel system when he's refueling at the truck stop.

Instead, what we have now are millions upon millions [maybe even tens of millions] of children who are so stupid that the very BEST we can hope for is that they would grow up to be relatively sober, relatively punctual, relatively polite janitors.

Actually, that's probably a fantasy in and of itself: Our best hope might very well be that they grow up to be rude, tardy, drunk janitors, but that at least they make an effort to stay employed.

What's more likely is that they will simply work their way into the "system", and end up costing us $19,588 per year every year for the remainder of their lives.

[Although, for the record, my guess is that the Second American Secession will have occurred long before the end of their lives.]

*Speaking of triangles, a carpenter uses the Pythagorean theorem to square the structures he's building: When he's seeking to square two things [such as two walls at the corner of a room], he marks the 3 foot point in one direction, and the 4 foot point in the other direction, and then he attempts to pull the two things together [or apart] so that the diagonal measurement is exactly 5 feet.

I once knew a carpenter [actually a "handyman", who, in the final analysis, caused me just about as much grief & harm as anyone else I've ever known in my life - purely through the force of his own incompetence and militant indolence] - a carpenter who didn't know that you could "linearize" the Pythagorean Theorem - that you could advance from {3,4,5} triangles to {6,8,10} triangles to {9,12,15} triangles ad infinitum.

And I've seen it in construction contractors, as well: I once had to get out a calculator and compute a Pythagorean diagonal for a guy who was laying a concrete & steel bridge for a road [ostensibly to DOT specs].

By the way, this would probably be a good place to remind everyone one of Lucius Vorenus's Fundamental Law of the Intelligence of Tradesmen: Even in the absence of dysgenic fertility [and dysgenic fertility, such as now consumes the world, makes the problem just exponentially worse], the average IQ of the men who populate a given trade will always be on the decline over time.

You see this if e.g. you've ever lived in a really old house, and gotten to know the quality of its construction, and then taken a gander at the construction techniques which go into slapping together the houses in these modern cookie-cutter subdivisions: Over the course of the last 100 years, the decline in the level of craftsmanship in building even something as straightforward as a wood frame house is just stunning.

And here's why: Every few decades, a "hot" new industry arises, which siphons off the very best talent from what had been the old "hot" industry, and that old "hot" industry is left to be manned by the guys who, in the old days, hadn't quite been able to cut the mustard.

As an example, consider carpentry: Circa 1875, when the USA was bursting at the seams, and new structures needed to be built from New York all the way across the continent to San Francisco, a fellow with an IQ of 120 could make a good living in carpentry:

1875, carpenter, mean IQ 120

But then along comes Thomas Edison [& Nicola Tesla & George Westinghouse], and suddenly there's a need for the very best & the brightest to move into the great electrification project, so that at the dawn of the new century, you were looking at:

1899, electrician, mean IQ 120
1899, carpenter, mean IQ 115

And then, circa 1900, along comes Henry Ford, and now the brightest boys go into automobile repair:

1900, automobile mechanic, mean IQ 120
1900, electrician, mean IQ 115
1900, carpenter, mean IQ 110

And then, circa 1925, Marconi's radio takes off:

1925, radio technician, mean IQ 120
1925, automobile mechanic, mean IQ 115
1925, electrician, mean IQ 110
1925, carpenter, mean IQ 100

And then, circa 1950, David Sarnoff's television is all the rage:

1950, television serviceman, mean IQ 120
1950, radio technician, mean IQ 115
1950, automobile mechanic, mean IQ 110
1950, electrician, mean IQ 105
1950, carpenter, mean IQ 100

And then, circa 1975, it's Thomas Watson's computing machine:

1975, mainframe operator, mean IQ 120
1975, television serviceman, mean IQ 115
1975, radio technician, mean IQ 110
1975, automobile mechanic, mean IQ 105
1975, electrician, mean IQ 100
1975, carpenter, mean IQ 95

And then, by the year 2000, it's Tim Berners-Lee's Internet:

2000, webmaster & perl monkey, mean IQ 120
2000, mainframe operator, mean IQ 115
2000, television serviceman, mean IQ 110
2000, radio technician, mean IQ 105
2000, automobile mechanic, mean IQ 100
2000, electrician, mean IQ 95
2000, carpenter, mean IQ 90

And that's without dysgenic fertility.

In the presence of not just modest dysgenic fertility, but CATASTROPHIC DYSGENIC FERTILITY [as we are now experiencing it], the situation is utterly hopeless.

Steve Sailer said...

Lucius, Thanks for all the hard work. I would point out, however, that learning to read doesn't require close to an average IQ. They won't read Proust, but a large majority of the left half of the Bell Curve can get over the illiteracy hump, which is a big one for them as individuals and for us as a society.

Steve Sailer said...

For example, it's important that people be able to read well enough to read street signs. This is not a high hurdle, but it's an important one.

Illiterates are the ones who need high IQs, like that NHL hockey head coach who revealed after retirement that he's illiterate -- think of all the things he had to keep in his head!

lucius vorenus said...

Steve Sailer: I would point out, however, that learning to read doesn't require close to an average IQ.

But that's precisely the point: We now have millions [and maybe even tens of millions] of children in this country who do NOT have anywhere close to the "average" Caucasian IQ of 100.

I'd guess that for the bulk of them, AT BEST their mean IQ is down around 85, and Murray indicates that they need to be up around 88-90 before they can even be taught to read [much less have any hope of qualifying as Arthur Hu's Wonderlic "Warehouse person", with a threshold IQ of 94].

Lynn & Van Hanen estimate Mexico at a mean IQ of 87, and that's including all the "Castilian" caucasians who distort the Mexican bell curve, and whom we are NOT importing as illegal aliens:

IQ and the Wealth of Nations

I.e., on average [including all the high IQ caucasian/castilian Mexicans, like Carlos Slim], Mexicans are too stupid to learn to read.

[And I'm told that there are huge swaths of rural Mexico in which the inhabitants don't even speak Spanish - they speak ancient aboriginal languages which have never been converted to written form, i.e. apparently there is a very large minority of people in Mexico who come out of an oral tradition which has never known literacy, going all the way back to the dawn of time.]

What's worse, Lynn & Van Hanen estimate the average IQ in Guatemala [with, presumably, a much larger proportion of aboriginal/mestizo peoples, and a much smaller proportion of castilian/caucasian peoples] at a mere 79, which is getting down into moderately retarded territory.

These people might be able to mow your lawn, but you could never train them to e.g. read & complete a credit card application [much less read & complete a 1040-EZ form], and, for that matter, as Arthur Hu's calculation shows, they don't even have the gray matter necessary to qualify as stock clerks at Home Depot.

Mr. F. Le Mur said...

I dropped out of high school.

So did I, out of boredom. Then I worked as a carpenter for about a year, but my coworkers were too dumb to have a decent conversation with, and I always felt out of place...a few years later I had a masters degree in physics.

Absent voluntary, private education, it'd be better for both the smart kids and the dumb kids if they were routinely separated by ability, rather than sticking everyone in the same classes, but since the concept of 'ability' (or intelligence) conflicts with the egalitarian nonsense, don't hold your breath!

Steve Sailer said...

If Murray said it takes a 90 IQ to learn how to read, he's wrong.

fifi said...

"If Murray said it takes a 90 IQ to learn how to read, he's wrong."

I've worked with developmentally delayed adults with IQs in the upper range of mentally retarded. Many of them could read and write. One in particular had better spelling and diction than some of the staff...

Also, it's part of life skills in resource classrooms to teach the kids to recognize signs including but not limited to Exit, Walk, Men's/Women's, Boy's/Girl's, Stop. What differs is the level of comprehension.

Then there are some highly intelligent people with dyslexia who have great difficulty processing the written word. People who may have a strength with auditory processing but a weakness with visual decoding are often at a disadvantage in our society but I gather large public schools with high student-teacher ratios are partly to blame for this.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Steve Sailer: For example, it's important that people be able to read well enough to read street signs. This is not a high hurdle, but it's an important one.

Steve Sailer: If Murray said it takes a 90 IQ to learn how to read, he's wrong.

I think his precise statement was that it takes an IQ of about 88 to even be able to hope to see any possible benefit from formal education.

Now before I proceed, I realize that I am going to enter into the realm of Godwin’s Law, and that I will be called a Nazi who wants to make soap & lampshades out of these poor people.

So let me emphasize: I do not believe that these are some sort of sub-human untermenschen we are talking about here - I do not believe that they are eggs which need to be broken in order make an omelette, and I do not believe that they are merely cogs or widgets in some vast wasteland of industrial machinery.

I readily acknowledge that they are human beings.

Our problem, however - really, our looming catastrophe - is that they are very, very stupid human beings.

Nevertheless, here now I give you permission to invoke Godwin on me: When one says "Gee, it sure would be great if they could be taught to read the traffic signs", one is getting into Pavlovian Dog territory - how do you know that a person with an IQ of 85 [not to mention an IQ of 80, 75, 70, or lower] even contemplates a stop sign as comprising the four letters "S", "T", "O", and "P"?

How do you know that they don't glance at the thing, notice that it's red & has 8 sides [if they can even count to 8 - maybe they just recognize it as "more sided-ness than a square, but less (infinite) sided-ness than a circle"], and then something in their reptilian brain stem tells them that they associate 8-sided red thingamabob-ness with motion slowing to a standstill?

Look, you yourself acknowledged recently that 53% of all adult Los Angelenos are functionally illiterate [and presumably the demographics of the juvenile population in Los Angeles is even more pre-disposed to illiteracy than that].

But apparently you guys are already spending in excess of $18,431 per student per year in Los Angeles: How much more do you think you would need to spend so that a child with an IQ of 80 or 85 could make the transition from "red 8-sided-ness" to "S, T, O, P"?

$50,000 per student per year?

$100,000 per student per year?

At some point, you have be able to face the ugly truth to which all of your arguments will necessarily lead you: THE SITUATION IS HOPELESS.

hey steve said...

I've noticed something, Esteban. The average isteve comment is about thirty times the length of the average little green footballs comment.

What does this mean?

Anonymous said...

I think this Linda Gottfredson graph is also useful:


Note how Gottfredson says that only people above 100 IQ can benefit from "written materials" during training.

Rather than think of it as "literate" or not (i.e. a boolean), how about a continuous value? What about vocabulary size as a function of IQ, or sample texts which can be read by people of a given IQ?

Something tells me that lucius is probably close to the truth here. You have to practice to keep any skill. What do 85 IQ people do to practice reading? Sports pages? *Perhaps* a magazine? Probably not a book, not a m'f'in book (www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN2VqFPNS8w).

Remember, every single person on this blog READS FOR FUN. And not just a little -- isteve is not exactly a Yahoo homepage link! You read thousands and thousands of words on the web before you made your way here.

Commenters are even more bizarre. They *WRITE* for fun. That is unnatural. It's so unnatural that it's really hard for us up here at 2-4 SDs above the mean to imagine what dumb is like.

Dumb means that the primary drive, the only abstract urge, is libidinal.

By this I mean that if you want to discuss something with another guy, you need to have something in common. For an unshaven white guy on the LIRR with a bit of a beer belly, you can discuss sports. Go below that level in IQ, and "she's hot" is the best you can do in terms of casual conversation. That's the only abstraction that can be introduced, because there is built in software for copulating. Reference to anything else outside the immediate vicinity might as well not exist.

Here's an exercise. Go to Youtube. Read the comments on a rap video. Ask yourself whether those people are literate. Remember, this is a true random cross section of the population...because Youtube is one of the few sites on the web where you don't have to read.


Anonymous said...

Look at the NAAL (national assessment of adult literacy) sample questions:


Actually, even better...take a look here:


See page 33, the bit where Gottfredson says

"Finally, one out of seven White adults functions routinely no higher than Level 1 (less than 225), which is limited to 80% proficiency in skills like locating an expiration date on a driver’s license and totaling a bank deposit. Individuals at Level 1 or 2 “are not likely to be able to
perform the range of complex literacy tasks that the National Education Goals Panel considers important for competing successfully in a global economy and exercising fully the rights and responsibilities of citizenship”

Do the math:

1/7 white adults = qnorm(1/7) (in R) = -1.06 = 85 IQ = black mean

Looks like lucius is close to the truth here...

assam said...

A longer list from Wonderlic data:

Median IQ Position
120 Attorney
120 Research analyst
118 Editor & assistant
118 Manager, advertising
116 Chemist
116 Engineer
116 Executive
116 Manager, trainee
116 Systems analyst
114 Auditor
114 Copywriter
113 Accountant
113 Manager/Supervisor
113 Manager, Sales
113 Programmer, Analyst
113 Teacher
111 Adjuster
111 Manager, general
111 Purchasing agent
108 Nurse, registered
108 Sales, Account exec.
108 Administrative asst.
108 Manager, store
106 Bookkeeper
106 Clerk, credit
106 Drafter, Designer
106 Lab tester & tech
106 Manager, assistant
106 Sales, General
106 Sales, Telephone
106 Secretary
104 Clerk, Accounting
104 Collector, Bad Dept
104 Operator, Computer
104 Rep. Guest. Srvc.
104 Sales rep., insurance
104 Technician
102 Automotive salesman
102 Clerk, typist
102 Dispatcher
102 Office, general
102 Police, patrol off.
102 Receptionist
100 Cashier
100 Clerical, general
100 Inside sales clerk
100 Meter reader
100 Printer
100 Teller
98 Data Entry
98 Electrical helper
98 Machinist
98 Manager, food dept.
98 Quality control chrk.
97 Claims clerk
97 Driver, Deliveryman
97 Guard, Security
97 Labor, Unskilled
97 Maintenance
97 Operator, Machine
95 Arc welder, die settl.
95 Mechanic
95 Medical-Dental Asst.
95 Messenger
95 Production, Factory
93 Assembler
93 Food Service Worker
93 Nurse's aide
93 Warehouseman
90 Custodian and janitor
90 Material handler
88 Packer

Then expect roughly +/- 10 points for the middle 50% of people in that profession.

assam said...

more from gottfredson:

If the 25th WPT percentile of applicants is used to estimate the minimum threshold for employability in an occupation, it suggests that virtually all occupations accommodate individuals down to IQ 110, but virtually none routinely accommodates individuals below IQ 80 (WPT 10). Employment options drop dramatically with IQ-from virtually unlimited above IQ 120 to scant below IQ 80. Such options are virtually nonexistent today (except in sheltered settings) for individuals below IQ 70 to 75, the usual threshold for borderline mental retardation.

Lest IQ 80 seem an unreasonably high (i.e., exclusionary) threshold in hiring, it should be noted that the military is prohibited by law (except under a declaration of war) from enlisting recruits below that level (the 10th percentile). That law was enacted because of the extraordinarily high training costs and high rates of failure among such men during the mobilization of forces in World War II (Laurence & Ramsberger, 1991; Sticht et al., 1987; U.S. Department of the Army, 1965). Minimum enlistment standards since World War II have generally been higher than the 10th percentile, and closer to what they are today for the different services: the 16th AFQT percentile (Army, about IQ 85), 21st (Marine Corps and Air Force, IQ 88), and 27th (Navy, IQ 91). It should be noted that these are the enlistment standards for high school graduates. Nongraduates must score above the 27th to 65th percentiles on the AFQT, depending on the service in question (Laurence & Ramsberger, 1991, p. 11).

mercer said...

"I readily acknowledge that they are human beings."

Lucius gets it right. More right than the PC Enforcers, Educrats and 10,000 sundry apologists for failure get it on their best days. A realist can accept that human frailty exists and must be dealt with. An idealist is more concerned with the perfection of the ideal, which has led to trouble time and again where human beings are concerned. The overweening hubris that drives the egalitarian mind-set and the measures necessary to maintain it yield far more misery both for society and the individual than any good done by such inane fancies.

fifi said...

"At some point, you have be able to face the ugly truth to which all of your arguments will necessarily lead you: THE SITUATION IS HOPELESS."

We aren't in disagreement, LV. I merely noted what is done in public schools across the country. The fact that mentally disabled students are allowed to continue in the public schools until age 21 is another expense. The "free and appropriate education" interpretation means that almost any lawyer can prove that the special group they represent deserves to have as much money as possible poured into whatever harebrained scheme educators have decided will give this group an appropriate education. It's not free of course to anyone but the students and their suit happy parents.

It would be interesting to see the breakdown of how much money per student is spent on those who will benefit the least from formal education vs students with normal to advanced ability. I think I alienated a few people I used to work with by being a bit too analytical on the subject of how much money should be spent on these groups and precisely where the money should come from.

Slightly related, parents with Austic children often try to get their insurance company to pay for ABA therapy - min 20,000 year for maybe 3 years. The argument being that the more the child benefited from the behavioral intervention, the less costly their care would be throughout adulthood, the outcome ranging from less severe retardation to normal functioning. I was more politic than usual and kept my mouth shut but I could already see that the diagnosis of Autism was getting to be a catchall for any type of developmental disability or behavior problem, sort of like ADHD.

Some kids do respond very well to one on one ABA type instruction. According to research about 50% of toddlers treated this way end up with normal IQs in childhood. So it sounds like a good idea for insurance companies to pay for the treatment until you look closer at the tendency of psychologists to diagnose kids with whatever disorder has become popular. Worse, the treatment was stumbled upon two or three decades ago and hasn't been modified much since (that means the toddler must spend 20hrs to 40hrs a week receiving ABA therapy along with speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy).

There doesn't seem to be much collaboration between behaviorists and geneticists to hone in on exactly what Autism is. Instead, the diagnosis is made subjectively with widely varying cases all being labelled instances of Autism. It's understandable that parents aren't all that objective either and can get emotionally attached to the idea of a certain treatment as being the solution to their child's problems then lobby for schools or insurance companies to provide it. With ABA, though, it doesn't take long to see that public schools can't provide even 20 hrs a week of 1:1 instruction per child. As far as insurance paying, I think they at least have the right to a more medical basis for authorizing the treatment.

I don't mean to say that developmentally delayed don't deserve an education or treatment. However, when you start combining our existing population of developmentally delayed and lower average IQ minorities with an ever growing number of immigrant children who need special instruction the cost of the "free and appropriate education" seems to be rising exponentially. As LV argues, the situation is fast becoming hopeless. Schools are operating as daycare centers for 21 year olds who will never enter the workforce while simultaneously dabbling in social engineering with a population of students with IQs falling between 75 and 100 who are to be given whatever remediation it takes to make them doctors, lawyers and engineers. This is the distinctively American spin on socialism. European socialism doesn't seem so intent on erasing differences in IQ which they seem more willing to accept as they do on erasing differences in income.

Anonymous said...

High status individuals in some primate species harass lower status individuals and have a direct effect on the reproductive success of the lower status individuals.