April 2, 2009

Shaming South Carolina

From an article in the New York Times, "Education Secretary Says Aid Hinges on New Data," about how Obama's Education Secretary Arne Duncan wants more data on school performance so he can shame states into performing better:

Speaking with reporters in a conference call, Mr. Duncan inadvertently demonstrated how the information collected from states could be used to try to shame educators and public officials into making changes.

Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, a Republican who advocates issuing taxpayer-financed vouchers that parents can use to send their children to private schools, has told the Obama administration that he would not accept some $577 million in educational stimulus money for South Carolina unless he could use it to pay down state debt.

Mr. Duncan unleashed a barrage of dismal statistics about the South Carolina schools, noting that only 15 percent of the state’s black students are proficient in math ...

Oh, my gosh -- only 15% of black students in South Carolina are Proficient in math! Obviously, that's the fault of that racist Republican governor.

The funny thing is, though, that if you go look up the data for yourself on the handy federal National Assessment of Education Progress website, it says for black 8th graders:
"The percentage at or above Proficient in South Carolina (15) is higher than the National Public (11)."

South Carolina's black 8th graders rank 7th in the country at percent proficient in math -- a rather good performance for what's not a wealthy state.

In contrast, in Illinois, where Arne Duncan was in charge until very recently of many of the state's black 8th graders as Chicago Schools boss, only 7% are Proficient at Math, which is less than half South Carolina's figure. Illinois ranks 10th from the bottom on this measure that the Chicagoan data wizard chose to use to shame South Carolina.

Do you get the feeling that Duncan's not really going to make good use of additional data?

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

50 comments:

Neeners said...

I guess this means the blacks of South Carolina have genetically higher math IQs than the blacks of Illinois. 7% vs 15%. That's twice as much there. South carolinians must be like a whole standard deviation more biologically blessed at math. Look at how intellectually creative their teen beauty queen was, after all.

signed,

your radical feminist fan- feministx.blogspot.com

eh said...

Priceless.

Richard Hoste said...

"Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, a Republican who advocates issuing taxpayer-financed vouchers that parents can use to send their children to private schools, "

This is a conservative idea? Wouldn't it just ruin private schools?

Stopped Clock said...

Richard Hoste, I think you are not on the same page with the mainstream Republicans regarding education. Generally they see vouchers as a way to increase the power of (conservative) private schools by opening their enrollment to families who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford entry; this is good in and of itself and the resulting (minor) decrease in educational standards at those private schools is not generally of a concern to mainstream Republicans. They just want to break the monopoly that the (overwhelmingly liberal) public schools have on educating the lower and middle classes. And I support them fully.

Also: Personally I wouldn't go looking for genetic explanations for a gap between 7% and 15% proficiency. There are definitely good and bad school systems out there and I wouldn't be terribly surprised if the Southern states were, for all the hate they get poured upon them by the Left, the most efficient in the nation when it comes to maximizing performance of students with low-to-moderate intelligence.

josh said...

You're using numbers like 7% and 15% proficiency in math as evidence AGAINST average differences in natural ability? You certainly are the voice of reason.

Pia J said...

It's another case of the not very bright being smart enough to know this is only so because the smart people refused to bestow math ability on them. Yes, the smarties hoard knowledge just like capitalists hoard money.

Share some of that stuff you selfish beasts soz we can all be equal, but we're equal anyway, so there!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Sanford is pissing off all the right people already. I just might start voting again.

Neeners, enough with the Gladwellian truffle hunting. Yes, yes, we all know there's such a thing as a beautiful, unsophisticated teen-aged girl.

Mr. Hoste makes a good point. Unless the private schools retain the right to bar the incorrigible and uneducable, vouchers will torpedo the private schools. They are also a potent externality for an already distorted cost structure.

--Senor Doug

Anonymous said...

"This is a conservative idea? Wouldn't it just ruin private schools?"

They probably still have entrance exams.

AllanF said...

Sounds like a hatefact to me.

Anonymous said...

This is a conservative idea? Wouldn't it just ruin private schools?

It depends on if the private schools could decide to pick which students got in and more importantly, choose on their own to expel poorly-behaved students. My guess is that both will be a "no"

Anonymous said...

Steve,
the London Economist has an article on the 'decline' of California. It is a good read. They know what has caused this decline, they even give statistics on the rapidly increasing Hispanic population, but they simply will not join the dots.

Richard

Lucius Vorenus said...

Neeners: I guess this means the blacks of South Carolina have genetically higher math IQs than the blacks of Illinois. 7% vs 15%. That's twice as much there. South carolinians must be like a whole standard deviation more biologically blessed at math.

Actually, in general, you have to use the inverse error function [and some nonlinear regression, aka Lagrange multipliers], which is just an incredible B_I_T_C_H*.

I was once on a forum for a fairly famous mathematics software package, which supported the error function but NOT the inverse error function, and people were actually suggesting that you run Newton's method to get an approximation, which absolutely flabbergasted me, in that:

A) Anyone would need to do such a thing in this day and age, but even more so that

B) Any of them would have ever even heard of Newton's method in the first place.



*Speaking of which, is that really a picture of you?

Sgt. Joe Friday said...

Vouchers = government money = the government dictates the curriculum. Thanks, but no thanks. Hasn't anyone noticed that the universities that receive the largest research grants are some of the most nutty, far left campuses? I would think the same thing would happen at the elementary and secondary school levels if vouchers ever became a fact of life.

Anonymous said...

re:neeners.

u can't see what's in front of your nose, maybe the reason why u r a feminist. SC is merely doing a better job of getting the most out of what they have unlike IL. It's as simple as that.

travis said...

I love how the NY Times reporter just assumes those statistics are dismal without checking for himself.

This is a conservative idea? Wouldn't it just ruin private schools?

I wouldn't call Sanford a conservative. He's almost Libertarian in his anti-government positions. He's certainly made no friends in South Carolina's political establishment, Republicans or Democrats. Definitely one of the least needy politicians I've ever seen.

testing99 said...

Richard, it would not "ruin" private schools.

Private schools can still accept or reject students as they please.

What will happen is that under vouchers, involved and caring parents will send their kids AWAY from thuggery.

Those who don't care, won't bother. Since vouchers don't pick up the entire cost.

There is a school in Harlem, that achieves good results, no magic bullet, with "basics" in a Catholic school. Kids learn Latin, Math, Science, un-PC history. They are utterly average, save one thing: their parents cared enough to scrimp to send them there (uniform fees, the like are expensive) AND the kids want out the Lord of the Flies atmosphere of the public schools.

The most important thing about schools is first the parents, then the kids, and finally discipline. There is no magic bullet or magic formula.

josh said...

Uhm..he used to play basketball,ya know!

spacehabitats said...

A classic example of the kind of disinformation supplied by our politically correct "Ministry of Truth". Thanks again Steve for taking the time to critique our Emperor's new clothes.

Anonymous said...

More confirmation of the observation that feminists have trouble doing math.

And by the way, it's funny how egalitarians seem to think that the choice is between (1) all group differences in achievement are the result of genetics; and (2) no group differences in achievement are the result of genetics.

Lloyd G. said...

Accentuate the positive: The glass is 15% full.

Anonymous said...

You have to read about Mishawna Moore, the "miracle worker" in Charleston County. Moore was a principal at a poor minority elementary school and under her leadership, test scores skyrocketed! In fact, Moore was so successful, the superintendent assigned her to an additional school so she could duplicate her results. A local reporter suspected fraud and exposed the cheating scandal for what it was -someone erased the wrong answers and penciled in correct ones. Just last year, Moore abruptly quit and accepted another position in NC. Read the NYT article below.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/31/education/31charleston.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=mishawna%20moore&st=cse

Neeners said...

1) It's sarcasm. I'm not bad at math. But I do think that had those two facts been given in a different contexts (scores in region A were 7, scores in region B were 15 despite having less money), then plenty of people would have used this as a basis to believe that people in region B were inherently smarter.

2) Yes, that's my picture.

Tino said...

Neeners: You are clearly bad at math, because you seem to think there is a large difference between 7% and 15% proficient at a test where 41% of whites are proficient.

If white IQ is standardized at 100 you need 103.4 on average to pass the test. If blacks have one standard deviation below and a normal distribution we should expect 11% to pass the test. That happens to be EXACTLY the national average for African Americans.
The difference between a state passing at 7% and 15% would be an average IQ of 81.3 vs. 86.5, a pretty small difference between two extreme states.

Anonymous said...

"I guess this means the blacks of South Carolina have genetically higher math IQs than the blacks of Illinois. 7% vs 15%. That's twice as much there. South carolinians must be like a whole standard deviation more biologically blessed at math. Look at how intellectually creative their teen beauty queen was, after all.

signed,

your radical feminist fan- feministx.blogspot.com"

How embarassing! A little humility will do you good next time so that you don't defiantly declare your ignorance, in the first post no less, and while showing off your legs at the same time because you're so proud of your wit.

Neeners said...

Sigh. If you're going to harass me over my tongue and cheek pretend inference about IQ variance, you might as well be fair and harass Steve over his tongue and cheek pretend inference that because Arne Duncan was in charge of Chicago's schools, he is directly responsible for the lower than average performance of blacks in the state of Illinois.

Don't give me a reason to complain of double standards because you know I will :)

Anonymous said...

Neeners:

What is the value of $\frac{1}{2\pi} \int_{-\infty}^{.07} e^{-(x^2)/2} dx$?

No idea, what those symbols even mean, amirite? And no idea why that value is relevant? Here's a clue.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution#Cumulative_distribution_function

For you to take on h-bd is like an ant running up an elephant's leg with rape on its mind.

Anonymous said...

in the previous anonymous' comment, the upper limit of the integral should be a variable (say u) and the expression itself set equal to .07 (and then .15) and solved for u.

Or you could just use the inverse normal
cdf (pnorm in R).

pnorm(.15)-pnorm(.07) would be the value neener is looking for.

if she had any idea what she was looking for, that is.

"Arrogant and stupid is no way to go through life."

Anonymous said...

"Neeners:

What is the value of $\frac{1}{2\pi} \int_{-\infty}^{.07} e^{-(x^2)/2} dx$?

No idea, what those symbols even mean, amirite? And no idea why that value is relevant? Here's a clue."

Whoa, you really know how to lay the smackdown. $/frac{1} - what is that garbage? I suspect a lot of mathematicians would have no idea what symbols you are trying to render...I see an e to the minus x squared, an integral, and a lot of ascii.

And btw, what a pathetic debating tactic even if you had written a coherent formula. The lady scarcely had any real point to begin with, beyond snark, how can anyone answer snark so badly?

Anonymous said...

Neeners,
You embarassed yourself and its funny. If it had happened to anybody else, you'd be laughing, too.

signed,

meek and mild woman who will not be showing her legs no matter how hot she is or how good her math are

Statsquatch said...

Using an old fashion normal table and assuming the black and white score distributions have the same standard deviation, I get average scores SC and Chicago blacks of 0.82 SDs and 1.2 SDS below the white average, respectively. Not a trivial difference but it can probably be explained by drop outs or noise.

Anonymous said...

Which state do you think provides more generous welfare benefits - South Carolina or Illinois? I would guess the latter. Which state, therefore, would be most likely to attract and hang on to welfare cases? In which state do blacks have a higher rate of drug use (which could reduce IQ in utero)?

Anonymous said...

>>How embarassing! A little humility will do you good next time so that you don't defiantly declare your ignorance, in the first post no less, and while showing off your legs at the same time because you're so proud of your wit.<<

Dude, you are an idiot. How could you have missed the sarcasm in her post? You are like the engineer in "Naked Gun" who runs all the tests in the scientific world to determine the identity of someone at the crime scene, only to have overlooked the driver's license in the wallet. Tool! Plus, you misspelled "embarrassing."

rightsaidfred said...

Nice picture, Neeners.

Ignore the oneupsmanship.

Anonymous said...

regarding \frac, methinks any mathematician would recognize LaTeX markup when he saw it.

Steve-O said...

Not sure what to think of vouchers. But testing99 makes an important point: good families make good students.

Some states offer Open Enrollment in public schools. The government will bus your children to their assigned school. But they can attend any other school in state, so long as they find their own transportation.

It's an appealing idea. There are intelligent students stuck in failing urban schools. Conscientious families will make sacrifices to send their children to the decent suburban schools.

Apathetic, irresponsible parents will take the past of least resistance. Their kids continue to attend the awful schools.

Makes more sense than forcibly busing minorities into white schools & vice versa.

Anonymous said...

Neeners,
One thing I like about the men here, especially the older ones, is that though they may taunt and tease you a little over your mistake, they're still chivalrous and tend not to tear people to shreds. The Smoking Jacket Right, like blogger Roissy, is probably another story.

Steve isn't infallible, but he is incredibly smart. All the other men here as well. Steve just isn't going to make a math error like that. Let Tino, and especially the mathematician, La Griffe du Lion, catch Steve's math errors should he make them.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

The government will bus your children to their assigned school. But they can attend any other school in state, so long as they find their own transportation.

Won't happen. Parents living near good schools have paid more for their homes specifically because of their proximity to those schools. If anyone could attend them their home values would fall, as would the quality of their schools.

That is another policy (supported by the elite, who don't bother with public schools at all) that would screw the white middle class.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous Steve-O said...

Not sure what to think of vouchers. But testing99 makes an important point: good families make good students."

Yes, we all know that. That isn't the point. As soon as an appreciably large number of parents opt to take vouchers to get their kids into private schools - large enough that mixed race public schools start to flounder - it will cease to be a private matter. The left will make sure that it becomes a matter of public policy. They will probably just take over the private schools.

Neeners said...

Who said- "One thing I like about the men here, especially the older ones, is that though they may taunt and tease you a little over your mistake, they're still chivalrous and tend not to tear people to shreds. The Smoking Jacket Right, like blogger Roissy, is probably another story.

Steve isn't infallible, but he is incredibly smart. All the other men here as well. Steve just isn't going to make a math error like that. Let Tino, and especially the mathematician, La Griffe du Lion, catch Steve's math errors should he make them."

Steve didn't make a math error. He just took a gratuitous opportunity to remind us of the low test performance of blacks. It seems that he did this to illustrate the foolhardy endeavor taken by Arne and his liberal ilk when they request more data so they can manage their govt welfare shenanigan- foolhardy because Steve is sure that low performance of low IQ groups is inevitable with or without leftist government intervention.

I did not really make a math error- that implies that I was really trying to do the math. I merely jested with an off the cuff comment which happened to be easily falsifiable. Had I simply said that blacks in SC had twice the biological math juice as blacks in Illinois, I doubt any of these Asperger's wrought repliers would have bothered to actually calculate the significance of a 7-15% achievement difference.

And it's fine with me if you wish to intellectually fellate the male posters for their muscular conservative leanings and sexy math brains and whatever else it is that you revere so much. They're all yours.

clem said...

Neeners, are you familiar with Gloria Steinem's "refutation" of sociobiology, from a decade and a half ago? If not, you can find it
here and here, with commentary.

What you are doing in your attempted critique of HBD--or at least your intro understanding of its ideas--is embarrassingly similar to Steinem's comparably limping work.

There are women who bring real insight to these comment threads--Victoria, for one, is absolutely fantastic. But as Steinem demonstrated years ago, these are not topics which anyone can bumble into after spending a few afternoons glancing at them (particularly with a worldview hobbled by feminist ideology), and have anything to say that's worth hearing.

Still, nice ass and cans, FWIW. Thanks to the "patriarchy," that's all you'll ever really need in life! Even to the point of getting a hearing for your ideas on subjects where you are in completely over your head, and provocatively so.

Gloria would be proud.

From your blog:

Geneticists don't discuss the issue.

James Watson did; are you aware of where that got him? If not, why should your opinion on what geneticists supposedly discuss even be given a hearing?

Oh, right: The T & A.

A small percentage of evolutionary psychologists discuss this issue, and evolutionary psychology can never be called a well supported hard science. Can't do controlled experiments on cro-magnon to see why we ended up the way we are.

The evaluation of hypotheses in science isn't based merely on being able to do controlled experiments, it's also about making testable predictions. Evolutionary psychology certainly does the latter--Barkow's Darwin, Sex, and Status alone made around thirty of them, two decades ago.

[T]he racist patriarchy is everything that tells me I am beautiful. [Oh, but surely the girls you've dated do, too; have they simply been brainwashed by the same "racist patriarchy"?] It looks at me and ranks me an 8. Whatever I have to say has little impact on my value to the establishment.

Hmm, how would you rank Leda Cosmides, on a scale of one to ten? And have her ideas had any impact on the "establishment" ... or is she, too, "just a pretty face," who could only be good for one thing in the eyes of the "racist patriarchy"?

If Cosmides has made a real difference in the world (and she has), while your notions haven't, what do you think the difference might be between herself, and you? Aside, I mean, from her having a whole lot more courage in doing science and facing reality than any card-carrying feminist could ever have while still remaining a proud member of that wonky in-group?

Absolut.Feminist said...

PS,

I should really apologize for derailing a real discussion here. I didn't realize people took comments so seriously on this blog. I'm used to them being taken as trivial.

I shouldn't have repeatedly goaded people for no reason. I'd like to contribute to actual discussions of issues here.

And I agree, I don't know if the posters are male or female, but many tend to be well versed in analytical methods and other issues.

Best,

Neeners

Anonymous said...

"One thing I like about the men here, especially the older ones, is that though they may taunt and tease you a little over your mistake, they're still chivalrous"

Nuh-uh. Neener, you don't get to be both a feminist and demand chivalry from the men.

Women only get chivalry if they uphold their end of the bargain-- which means treat men with respect and behave as a reliable, heterosexual married woman, which you, according to your blog, do not.


Signed:
A reliable, married heterosexual woman who demands and receives her due from her chivalrous husband.

clem said...

From your blog, Neeners: [E]volutionary psychology can never be called a well supported hard science. Can't do controlled experiments on cro-magnon to see why we ended up the way we are.

Here's another thing we can't do controlled experiments on: The first seconds of the universe after the big bang. No way to re-run that, is there?

And yet cosmological physics is still a "well-supported hard science," isn't it?

We can infer the early moments of the universe from the controlled experiments we're able to run on particles today? Yep. And you can do exactly the same inferential thing with the data from the Human Genome Project, and test those hypotheses with genetic engineering (on mice, and on designer babies).

So don't be too confident that evolutionary psychology, combined with genetic science, won't ultimately provide well-supported, rigorous evidence to confirm exactly what you don't want to believe. Chances are that it will, both in terms of racial differences and in terms of differences between the sexes.

Blode0322 said...

I, for one, am glad to have you here Neeners. I am glad someone has noticed we take this sort of thing seriously. This site has a few commenters of the "angry anonymous" variety, who aren't always informative though they are undoubtedly spirited and straightforward.

Truth said...

"Steve isn't infallible, but he is incredibly smart. All the other men here as well."

All of them?...incredibly? You should work for a congressman's PR staff.

Neeners; it takes a big man to admit she was wrong.

Lucius; lay off, she looks Latina in that picture, you'll be blackballed from "white realist" conferences for life: But then what the hell, you have been studying game, what would Mystery do in this situation?

Ronduck said...

Steve-O said...

Some states offer Open Enrollment in public schools. The government will bus your children to their assigned school. But they can attend any other school in state, so long as they find their own transportation.

It's an appealing idea. There are intelligent students stuck in failing urban schools. Conscientious families will make sacrifices to send their children to the decent suburban schools.


I remember reading a comment from a man in Michigan that his state had enacted open-enrollment. He stated that near Ann Arbor where he lived large number of ghetto Blacks were being bused to his children's school with a significant decline in quality. Giving away free busing is a major difference. But a lot of irresponsible parents are likely to give their children a city bus pass and then ignore them as they neglect their homework and cause problems in their new school.

The best solution is an end to public education.

Anonymous said...

Very few Latinas are actually "zero percent white". I guess it's possible though.

Absolut.Feminist said...

"
Nuh-uh. Neener, you don't get to be both a feminist and demand chivalry from the men.
"

Then I'll keep my feminism and you can keep my share of the chivalry.

"
We can infer the early moments of the universe from the controlled experiments we're able to run on particles today?"

This is physics- the foundational science. It is based on mathematical projections of equations that are sometimes simple. Hence we have theories of black holes and the big bang which are acceptable without direct empirical proof.

But even at the biological level, genetics is highly complex in part because of redundancy and the multiple pathways to an outcome.

The explanation for why certain factors cause cancer can be quite lacking. And that is still simpler than the issue of why certain genetic combinations cause certain neural structures which cause different skills which cause differences in "general intelligence." The brain is complex not only as a material organ, but as a computational, creative and sensory source.

"Lucius; lay off, she looks Latina in that picture, you'll be blackballed from "white realist" conferences for life:"

No, I'm not latina. Not an ounce.

"
If Cosmides has made a real difference in the world (and she has), while your notions haven't, what do you think the difference might be between herself, and you?"

The difference is that she is more than twice my age and not in my field.

Evolutionary psychology is never going to be remotely close to what physics is in terms of confidence levels. Our current understanding of evolutionary psych is very poor because we don't even have understanding of the direct mechanisms between genetics and behavior in modern people.

The evolutionary psychologist may observe that humans are social creatures. Then they may tell you of how this is because it was advantageous for early humans to hunt in packs and work together. But that sort of thing really tells us nothing, because they never seem to be able to explain things like why it was more advantageous to work together than for the best to hunt alone and keep all the spoils.

Even on this HBD issue, people only claim that one race is cognitively different from another. Does anyone really think they know why Asians are a 'biological' 105 and whites a 100 as in what evolutionary pressures caused this? You could guess, but it would be just guessing.

"But as Steinem demonstrated years ago, these are not topics which anyone can bumble into after spending a few afternoons glancing at them (particularly with a worldview hobbled by feminist ideology), and have anything to say that's worth hearing."

Exactly what do you know about my general knowledge base and educational background?

Exactly what do you know about my feminist views?

Steinem wrote many of her ideas in the 70s when much fewer biology-behavior ideas had been verified.

"
James Watson did; are you aware of where that got him? "

I am indeed.

Absolut.Feminist said...

FYI:

"One thing I like about the men here, especially the older ones, is that though they may taunt and tease you a little over your mistake, they're still chivalrous"

I never wrote that. I was quoting someone else.

Ronduck said...

Absolut.Feminist said...

Does anyone really think they know why Asians are a 'biological' 105 and whites a 100 as in what evolutionary pressures caused this? You could guess, but it would be just guessing.

I know. Whites in northern Europe also have an average IQ of 105. It is southern Europe that has an IQ lower than 100. Since the US is made up of both northern and southern Europeans our white average is lower than 105.

The reason southern Europe scores lower than 100 is that SE Whites are mixed with the blood of others, lowering their score. Northeast Asians have a score of 105 because they do not have anything else in their gene pool.