August 20, 2010

Not making much progress, are we?

From an op-ed in today's New York Times:

HOW much evidence does the government need before trying something new in the troubled realm of public education? Should there be airtight proof that a pioneering program works before we commit federal money to it — or is it sometimes worth investing in promising but unproven innovations?

Last month, the Senate subcommittee that allocates federal education money weighed in on one such promising innovation, slicing, by more than 90 percent, the $210 million that President Obama requested for next year for his Promise Neighborhoods initiative.

Mr. Obama first proposed Promise Neighborhoods in the summer of 2007, pledging that, as president, he would help create in 20 cities across the country a new kind of support system for disadvantaged children, paid for with a mix of private and public money. In a single distressed neighborhood in each city, Mr. Obama explained, high-quality schools would be integrated into a network of early-childhood programs, parenting classes, health clinics and other social services, all focused on improving educational outcomes for poor children.

Promise Neighborhoods was inspired by the example of the Harlem Children’s Zone, which over the last decade has compiled a solid, though still incomplete, record of success in the 97 blocks of central Harlem where it operates. Students at the group’s two charter elementary schools, mostly low-income and almost all black or Hispanic, have achieved strong results on statewide tests, often exceeding average proficiency scores for white students. 

On tests that progressively got easier, the rigging of which which helped get Mayor Bloomberg re-elected as a successful gap-narrower. Sharon Otterman and Robert Gebeloff reported in the NYT on August 1 that when the test was made harder this year:
At the main campus of the Harlem Promise Academy, one of the city’s top-ranked charter schools, proficiency in third-grade math dropped from 100 percent to 56 percent.

Back to today's NYT op-ed:
... The central argument against fully financing the Promise Neighborhoods initiative, given voice in recent weeks by various policy groups, journalists and bloggers, is that despite such promising data, the Zone has not yet proved itself.

This case was made most forcefully in a report from the Brookings Institution that came out a week before the Senate committee’s vote. The report acknowledged that the charter schools at the heart of the Zone have, indeed, substantially raised test scores for the children enrolled in them.

But the report also argued that the scores are not as high as those at some other charter schools in Manhattan and the Bronx that don’t include the kind of coordinated system of early-childhood programs, family support and neighborhood improvements offered by the Harlem Children’s Zone. ...
Geoffrey Canada, the founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone, premised his organization on the idea that schools like KIPP’s, though needed, are not enough on their own. To solve the problem of academic underperformance by low-income children, he argues, we must surround great schools with an effective system of additional services for poor families.

These two strategies — call them the KIPP strategy and the Zone strategy — are not fully in opposition; they borrow ideas and tactics from each other. But they do represent distinct theories, both new, both promising and, at this point, both unproven.

So, at this moment of uncertainty and experimentation, should the federal government wait, as critics of Promise Neighborhoods suggest, until ironclad evidence for one big solution exists? ...


A certain skepticism with regard to innovation is always wise, especially in public education, where highly touted new programs often turn out to be disappointments. The problem is that for low-income and minority Americans, the status quo is a deepening calamity. The New York state test results released last month showed that the gap in reading scores between black and white elementary- and middle-school students grew from 22 percentage points in 2009 to 30 points in 2010, while the math gap grew from 17 points to 30 points. 

No, they just finally made the test harder (which automatically widened the percentile gap between the races) after years of it getting easier (which automatically made it narrower). Read your La Griffe du Lion, please. It's Normal Probability Distribution 101.
Pass-rate gaps, when measured by percentage point differences, can appear to change dramatically without any real change occurring in the difference between mean scores.

It's 2010. It's not really asking too much to hope that testing gaps be reported in standard deviations rather than in percentages. We've got computers to do the calculations for us. Just ask La Griffe du Lion to explain it to you.

Oh, wait, nobody knows whom La Griffe du Lion is. You see, he writes under a pseudonym to protect himself from all the people who would be angry at him for his knowing what he's talking about. In contrast, people who don't know what they are talking about when it comes to education, like Mayor Bloomberg and his schools supremo Joel Klein, are highly popular with the New York press, even though they are fools and/or frauds when it comes to the racial gap, which the New York press considers a huge issue.

This represents a general problem with thinking about education in 21st Century America: the best minds are driven underground or away from the topic entirely.

Back to the NYT op-ed:
... The declining prospects of the country’s poor and black students can’t be blamed on belt-tightening by Congress. In fact, the budgets for the two main federal programs designed to improve the performance of low-income children, Title I and Head Start, have risen steadily for the last 40 years, through Republican administrations and Democratic ones. According to a new report by Educational Testing Service, the combined Title I and Head Start budgets grew in inflation-adjusted dollars from $1.7 billion in 1970 to $13.8 billion in 2000. This year’s budget was $21.7 billion.

Head Start, which provides preschool programs to poor families, is a prime example of the Senate committee’s true attitude toward evidence-based decision-making. In January, the Health and Human Services Department released a study of Head Start’s overall impact. The conclusions were disturbing. By the end of first grade, the study found, Head Start graduates were doing no better than students who didn’t attend Head Start. “No significant impacts were found for math skills, pre-writing, children’s promotion, or teacher report of children’s school accomplishments or abilities in any year,” the report concluded.

And how did the Senate panel react to this dismal evidence? They set aside $8.2 billion for Head Start in 2011, almost a billion dollars more than in 2010. Of course, the fact that Congress spends billions of dollars each year on unproven programs does not itself argue that the government should start spending hundreds of millions of new dollars on new unproven programs. But it does undercut the argument that federal education dollars should be reserved only for conclusively proven initiatives. 

That's pretty funny when you stop and think about it. 


63 comments:

Melykin said...

The US should just do what Canada and also I believe France does: don't EVER collect any data about race and school grades. And if you accidently do collect such data, for God's sake don't go opening a can of worms by making it public

The same method can be applied to race and crime--simply don't collect data.

That way the public, if they want to find out about which races commit the most crimes, will have to resort to looking at Most Wanted pictures. Any evidence gathered that way can be discounted as incidental. Oh, another thing...discourage the press from reporting crimes commited by visible minorities.

We don't want to stir up trouble in our multicultural utopia, do we?

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but I just realized in this new media age, we'll never again have

1. A short President
2. A bald/balding President
3. An overweight President

No matter how competent they may be.

John said...

"Of course, the fact that Congress spends billions of dollars each year on unproven programs does not itself argue that the government should start spending hundreds of millions of new dollars on new unproven programs. But it does undercut the argument that federal education dollars should be reserved only for conclusively proven initiatives."

In other words, the fact that Congress is already wasting billions of taxpayer dollars can be used to counter the argument that a proposed program will be a waste of money.

Comparable to the "we can't stop every illegal immigrant, so we shouldn't stop any" argument.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Congress allocates funds for programs that do not work undercuts the argument that it should only allocate funds for programs that have been proven to work.
The fact that this country's top newspaper has people on staff that think that way is not funny, it is scary.

GAP said...

GAP: Genetic Averages Prevail

Anonymous said...

No one knows? Well, I know who La Griffe is.

It's not too hard to find out either.

I agree with what Melykin says.

Anonymous said...

Black, and now hispanic, students have pretty much ruined public education, particularly in the larger cities. They've chased out other students and discouraged teachers. Who'd have thought 30-40 years ago some schools would have metal detectors, police in the halls, etc? Yet the do-gooders keep wanting to spend yet more money to transform them all into deep thinkers. We should be spending less, not more, as the returns from these programs are nonexistent. If you want results then target the so-so white students; there's more potential there.

Maple Syrup Slurpers said...

Melykin, again with the Canadian whining? We get it, things are bad up there.

It should be pointed out that since most immigrants to Canada are Chinese, Indians and other assorted Asians, the race/grades data you want so much would probably just show that Euros are getting continuously whipped in every academic field outside Arts and Humanities.

anony-mouse said...

There's no reason results can't be reported in standard deviations rather than percentages. But, er, what percentage of Americans can understand standard deviations?

Anonymous said...

I find myself wondering how it is that such a fraud in testing might ever have come about.

In what I've read about this issue, I haven't seen a single comment about who is responsible for the clearly designed easing of standards in the tests. One of the inescapable basics in such testing is the need to make sure that the tests are properly calibrated year to year to give consistent results. Obviously these tests changed dramatically in the space of just a few years.

Who was involved in the decisions to allow that to happen? Why aren't they being held accountable? How can political leaders and educators be seen failing to punish such an obvious cheat?

The Wobbly Guy said...

The problem with reporters and journalists using basic statistics is that many people reading these reports have no idea what it means either.

I have a science degree, it's easy for me. For the majority of the population, they won't be able to understand the significance of the standard deviation and what it suggests about achievement gaps.

That leads us to an interesting question - what's the minimum IQ for understanding and applying the Central Limit Theorem? 100? 110? Anybody has any idea?

big bill said...

It is hard to explain the unchanging nature of the problem, when each test brings different results and the math gap seems to change all the time. It leaves folks with the feeling that everything is in flux and "change" is possible.

My technique is to deny that any math gap exists. When they say I am wrong, I offer to prove it by doing some instant math testing.

I ask, "what is one plus one?" They all answer "two" and I say "I just proved it!"

At which point they will say something like "your test is too easy,anyone could get 100% on a test like that and therefore it proves nothing".

So they establish in their minds that a test can be so easy that everyone gets it right and there is no math gap.

I then tell them that hardness or easiness has nothing to do with it, and I offer to create a HARD test to prove that the math gap does not exist: "what is the square root of 147456?" Which of course everyone gets wrong.

They argue that it should be obvious that a super-hard test will also give a 0% pass rate for everyone and therefore it proves nothing.

Some say, "we know there is a math gap, so somewhere between super easy and super hard the math gap appears."

At this point they figure they have me in a box. How can I prove that there is no math gap between super easy tests and super hard tests.

But of course I don't really want to prove there is no math gap. I want them to establish Griffe's curve in their own minds and then discuss it significance.

At this point I draw x/y axes on a napkin where x= test_hardness and y= math_gap. I draw Griffe's humped curve on that graph, and ask them if that is what they mean by a math gap existing between hard test and easy tests.

They agree, triumphantly feeling they have won the battle of wits.

It is trivial at that point to illustrate how one can design several tests that fall on that curve at various places, and that ones on eh higher ends will appear to reduce the math gap AND raise scores for dummies and smarties.

As best I can figure, this technique is effective because it is they that establish and defend the minimum-maximum-minimum shape of Griffe's curve, not me.

Starting out denying the math gap and having them come up with the fundamental shape of Griffe's curve short-circuits their lefty defenses and rationalizations.

Depending on their resistance, I can then explain that there seems to be a curve that describes black/white math gaps. They can use it to see whether their schools have brought about real change or whether they are diddling with the test design to "cover up their own racism".

Once they have accepted Griffe's curve as a leftist anti-racism tool, they are willing to use it.

Eventually they (like I) are struck by the intractable, unchanging and permanent nature of the problem.

I don't even discuss genetics, DNA, or nature versus nurture. Who cares. The One Standard Deviation never changes no matter what we do.

Anonymous said...

That's _who_ not _whom_ (le Griffe...is).

Yeah, so much for evidence-based public policy. They won't even yank programs that have been _proven_ ineffectual.

Dwayne Mayor said...

However, KIPP is apparently making damn good progress. I suspect some combination of a Milwaukee Project for Negro infants lasting through grade school, then KIPP middle and secondary schools, would dramatically improve the intellectual quality of the Negro race. Such a scheme would fit him to be a worthy participant in modern urban civilization.

Florida resident said...

Dear Mr. Sailer !
Important post, as always. Thank you.
John Derbyshire wrote in December of 2006 an article "The Dream Palace of Education Theorists",

http://johnderbyshire.com/Opinions/HumanSciences/dreampalaceofedtheorists.html

where his starting point is a November 26th article in NYT Magazine by the same Paul Tough, and more or less on the same subject.

"A platitude must be stated with force and clarity".

See very recent good book "Bad Students, Not Bad Schools" by Robert Weissberg.

Your respectfully, Florida resident.

Anonymous said...

IOI (programming contest for high school kids) 2010 result is out:

Again, whites and East Asians dominate. Top Indian player finished at No. 48

http://www.ioi2010.org/scoreboard/scoreboard.html

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

You correctly identify the symptom but not the cause.

We will never have such a president again because women vote.

Big Bill said...

What is interesting from the Brookings report is that 4 or 5 KIPP schools increased actual test scores over expected test scores by 12-30% whereas the hugely expensive welfare-to-the-whole-community Canada Harlem program only increased test scores by 10% over expected.

Yes, the test scores may have been biased by being easier and easier over the last few years, nonetheless, as between different schools in the same years, it is clear that KIPP schools (improved schooling alone) are doing much better with their money that the Canada Harlem schools (improved schooling PLUS a boatload of welfare to the entire community).

The author has no rational basis for spinning the Canada Harlem system any other way -- other than his emotional and personal investment in Canada and his schools.

If NAM education is such a big emergency like the NYT author says, there is NO reason we should fool around with crappy programs like Canada Harlem instead of KIPP.

Of course, if the real motivation of the article is to blow a hole in welfare reform and start dumping squillions of bucks into every ghetto with lousy schools, then the author's approach is probably a good one.

Anonymous said...

"Off topic, but I just realized in this new media age, we'll never again have

1. A short President
2. A bald/balding President
3. An overweight President

No matter how competent they may be."

Yes, we will only elect a Cassius, with a lean and hungry look.

Whiskey said...

Actually, journalism guidelines dictate NOT reporting race of suspects in crimes if they are non-White. This is supposed to "erase racism" or something. It is an actual guideline prepared by the Schools of Journalism.
----------
As a former teacher, I can say with confidence I probably had no effect at all on my students, those who did well did so because they were smart and interested, those who did poorly did so because they were dull and bored.

Champlain said...

"we'll never again have.... A bald/balding President"


John Edwards
knew it for sure!

John Craig said...

Melykin --
It's probably only a question of time before the reporting of crime and school grades and IQ by race is outlawed. When you think about it, the Department of Justice -- with its crime statistics -- is probably the number one purveyor of "hate literature" in the country.

Anonymous said...

They showed a movie about Head Start during my orientation class to be Social Worker for the City of San Francisco in 1969. It attempted to make a case for the efficacy of the Head Start program - and indeed it did - sort of.

They showed some Head Start workers visiting a poor family and the attached Public Health Nurse noticed that one of the kids had some deficiency disease. It might have been rickets. In any case they gave the kid some pills and he did much better in school thereafter.

I think it was probably a true case history, but even then I thought, "OK, I know modern medicine works, but what has that got to do with a classroom education program?"

I quit the welfare department to go to graduate school ending up in Public Administration studying government program effectiveness. In one of my research design classes we studied Head Start. By then the results were in, beyond any serious doubt - Head Start was a total failure. It could not and did not close the educational gap as intended.

That was 1975.

Albertosaurus

Truth said...

"As a former teacher, I can say with confidence I probably had no effect at all on my students..."

Well, it's nice to know you had the wherewithal to pick up a check every Friday.

Roissysphere said...

Anonymous said...

You correctly identify the symptom but not the cause.

We will never have such a president again because women vote.


It's got to be true coz I read it in a Richard Devlin essay!

Anonymous said...

OT but up your alley (though maybe you've already seen it)
http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/news/docs/hui_scripts_5.6.2010.pdf
Green-lighting Movie Scripts:Revenue Forecasting and Risk Management

TH said...

No one knows? Well, I know who La Griffe is.

It's not too hard to find out either
.

I know who you mean, but Steve has argued elsewhere that that guy would have no reason for pseudonymity because he has published similar findings under his own name. I think La Griffe is indeed that guy. He probably just enjoys the role of the masked statistician.

James said...

"Off topic, but I just realized in this new media age, we'll never again have

1. A short President
2. A bald/balding President
3. An overweight President

No matter how competent they may be."


I don't know. If the Georgian grenade thrower had been more competent, we would have had a very bald President Dick Cheney.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_presidential_assassination_attempts_and_plots#George_W._Bush

Melykin said...

Melykin, again with the Canadian whining? We get it, things are bad up there.

It should be pointed out that since most immigrants to Canada are Chinese, Indians and other assorted Asians, the race/grades data you want so much would probably just show that Euros are getting continuously whipped in every academic field outside Arts and Humanities.

============================

Toronto is 8% black. Winnipeg is about 10% aboriginal. My town is about 7% aboriginal.

I'm not sure if the problems the aboriginals have is directly caused by genetics, or is caused by alcoholism (which is caused by genetics). In any case, it seems they don't do well in school and get into a lot of trouble with the law.

The blacks in Toronto have exactly the same problems as they have in, say, Detroit, which really makes it appear as if something genetic is going on. Most of the blacks in Toronto are from the Caribbean, I believe. They have come to Canada mostly in the last 30 years or so.

Sorry for whining. There aren't many places to whine about this sorts of thing. These problems are simply unmentionable in polite conversation. If I tried to post this sort of thing of the CBC site they would probably track me down and arrest me for hate speech.

I don't hate blacks or aboriginals. I just think we should be studying the genetics of some of these problems since it might lead to effective treatments, at least for alcoholism. I guess there is no cure for being stupid or violent, unfortunately. But perhaps we could at least stop bringing in more people from the Caribbean and Somalia until we figure out a way to screen out the ones who are prone to become criminals. Most of them are not criminals, but a highly disproportionate number are.

Anonymous said...

"We will never have such a president again because women vote."

If only women had voted, Nixon would have beaten Kennedy (really).

Anonymous said...

"Actually, journalism guidelines dictate NOT reporting race of suspects in crimes if they are non-White. This is supposed to "erase racism" or something. It is an actual guideline prepared by the Schools of Journalism."

If this is true, it should be easy for you to find some evidence.

Anonymous said...

Twoof sed:

***"As a former teacher, I can say with confidence I probably had no effect at all on my students..."

Well, it's nice to know you had the wherewithal to pick up a check every Friday.***

He said FORMER teacher, Twoof, you smirking nogoodnik. Sounds like he had the honesty to quit once the futility of the job became too obvious.

Anyway the purpose of a teacher is to facilitate education; you can lead the horse to water but you can't make him drink.

Kylie said...

Melykin said..." I just think we should be studying the genetics of some of these problems since it might lead to effective treatments, at least for alcoholism.

The most effective and cheapest treatment for alcoholism is teetotalism.

And..."I guess there is no cure for being stupid or violent, unfortunately. But perhaps we could at least stop bringing in more people from the Caribbean and Somalia until we figure out a way to screen out the ones who are prone to become criminals. Most of them are not criminals, but a highly disproportionate number are."

How about you stop bringing in more people from the Caribbean and Somalia, period? You're talking about allowing the immigration of a less intelligent population that is also more prone to alcoholism and criminality. Why would any sane nation do that? Why would any sane person advocate it?

I don't mean to question your sanity or disparage you. I'm saying you're assembling facts with your head and then assessing them with your heart. You're seeing the problem and the solution clearly but you're too conditioned by the society in which you live to acknowledge them, even to yourself.

Anonymous said...

"You correctly identify the symptom but not the cause.

We will never have such a president again because women vote."

False. We've not had these kinds of presidents since TV came in (ie, JFK and after), but we did have them after women got the vote, but before TV became a factor in presidential elections:

Dwight D. Eisenhower (bald)
Harry S. Truman (short)
Franklin D. Roosevelt (cripple, although this was not widely known at the time)

Women's influence may be a factor, but if so, dominance of TV is what brings this influence to the fore by making appearance a dominating factor which it was not in the era of radio and newspapers.

Anonymous said...

Where's the proof that the tests were only getting easier? Were those raised standards even sensible ones? Were they the same as standards prior to tests getting easier?

Average Joe said...

That's pretty funny when you stop and think about it.

It's funny until you realize that we are paying for this nonsense.

Hour of the Wolf said...

Yes, this is frustrating and distressing but a common problem all around. Ironically, we may learn much about liberal obstinacy by considering the mind of Patrick Buchanan.
We all know that Buchanan is a very smart and learned guy. As a young man, he surely took classes in biological sciences. He has surely read a good deal about evolutionary theory. He's not your average southern redneck fundie ignoramous.
Though considered a hardline rightist, he's even had the courage and openmindedness to change his views on economic and social matters, especially pertaining to the issue of class. He abandoned 'free trade' in the 1990s when he began to see its effects on the American workers.

BUT, there is one area where he will never change his mind: opposition to Darwin. It wouldn't matter if he sat quietly for a year and read all the best books on evolution. He would still refuse to believe it because God and His role in human affairs are simply too central to his CORE beliefs. The notion that Man was created and was given a soul by THE ONE AND ONLY GOD is too sacro-sanct for Buchanan to ever change his mind on.

And Buchanan is not alone in feeling this way. Some Marxists, against all evidence/data/argument, will still cling to the Faith in Marx. He may insist it's 'scientific' but it's really religious. The Marxist view of history, Marx's moral values, and Marx's towering intellect that had 'figured it all out' are simply too central to his life and how he lived it.

So it goes with liberals. Liberals may be open-minded about lots of things--indeed more so than conservatives for the most part--, but they simply cannot think outside the box on the issue of race, anymore than Buchanan can reject God's creation of man. Liberals will take pride in their rationality, but they are not rational on the issue of racial differences despite all the selective and increasingly obsolete scientific data they present to argue their case.

They insist that it is scientific, but the liberal views of race are really a sacro-science, or scientific(or scientistic)set of ideas that have become sacred and inviolable. Sacred 'facts' are different from hard facts. Gravity is a hard fact. It would be stupid but not immoral to be deny it. And it was established purely by observation and measurement, not by morality. But the liberal views on race were based more on morality than on science. And the scientific liberal case for racial equality was based less on facts than on falsities on the right. In other words, since the Nazis were wrong about racial inequality, all theories about racial inequality must equally be wrong and all ideas about racial equality must be correct. That's not how real science works. For example, if a theory positing that IQ is 100% genetic is proven false, it doesn't necessarily follow that IQ is 100% environmental.

For REAL SCIENCE, the only true moral values are honesty, courage, and lack of bias. A true scientist is supposed to seek the truth, not worry about its moral consequences, which should be left up to politicians, individuals, families, social institutions.
Furthermore, even moral considerations must be based on real facts, not on falsities or fantasies.
Liberal argument against racial differences isn't much different than Buchanan's argument against Darwin: since Darwinism reduced man to a form of animal or biological machine without a soul endowed by God, it led to the mechanized mass murder of human cattle by both communists and Nazis. While it is true that Darwinism has been distorted and abused by demagogues and psychos, that can be said of just about any idea or theory.

Hour of the Wolf said...

Science must be about facts. Nuclear physicists who built the atomic bomb had every right to fear the misuse of nuclear power, but they would have had no right to deny the very concept of nuclear power out of fear that it might lead to harm. Such dishonesty and lack of academic scruples are immoral in a true scientist.

But sacro-science prevails throughout much of our culture. I doubt if Sarah Palin could ever be convinced otherwise about creationism, and it's like talking to a brick wall when discussing race with liberals. They keep repeating over and over, "but all scientists say race is a myth, and that's that, and I don't wanna hear anymore about it, and if you say another word, you are a 'racist'." And if you say more, they either cover their ears or run away or get angry and foam at the mouth.
Well, given what happened to James Watson, of course 'all scientists' are going to tread very carefully on the issue of race. Sacro-science is also a Scared-science.

Liberals take pride in their open-mindedness and equality and even see them as one and the same. They argue we should be open-minded and inclusive of all the peoples and cultures around the world since we are all equal beneath the skin. But, what if we are not? Would that mean we would shut ourselves from the rest of humanity which may be better or worse than us? Would it lead to 'xenophobia'?

Personally, I don't see how why we need liberalism or racial egalitarianism to be open-minded. Humans have always believed they are more intelligent than animals, but we've always been interested in them. Indeed, the mystical
East--India, for instance--had been more likely to believe that humans and animals were of the same realm and even shared the same souls--though the transmutation of reincarnation and worshiping of cows and elephant gods--but it was less interested in and open-minded about the animal kingdom than the more scientific West.
And Western imperialists, who for the most part believed in the races and racial differences, were highly interested and openminded in their studying and discoveries of different peoples and cultures around the world. In noting the differneces, it could be argued that they were actually more respectful of the particularities of different races and cultures than were liberals who lumped all races and cultures into an abstract 'progressive' concept called 'humanity'.

And besides, though Jews happen to be full of fear and loathing for Islamic cultures and peoples, there seems to be no lack of fascination and interest about the Muslim world on the part of Jewish scholars, thinkers, and politicos.

Anonymous said...

"If this is true, it should be easy for you to find some evidence."

According to the Society of Professional Journalist Code of Ethics:

"Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status."

http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

When pursuing my degree in journalism, this particular code was taught to us along with the other major guidelines. We were instructed the way to meet this standard and to avoid stereotyping the races was not to report the race of the suspects of crimes. Maybe other schools differ in their teaching of this, but based on experience I doubt it. There is a fallacious equivocation of "stereotyping" with "reporting the fact of race". Strange.

Average Joe said...

However, KIPP is apparently making damn good progress.

The problem with KIPP is that it only helps the brightest students who probably need the least amount of help. KIPP doesn't do anything for the majority of black students because their IQs are too low to benefit from the program.

Anonymous said...

"It's funny until you realize that we are paying for this nonsense."

Funny in a black comedy way?

Escapist said...

@Steve and all: so you don’t like this policy, but what’s your alternate solution and your tactics for making it implementable in the real-world?

At times, it appears the HBD blogosphere = advertising bots for the left. The same post over and over again, about IQ/the elites/evopsych. Why not look at strategies for how to actually solve some of the key problems (like the entitlements/debt mess for example*)?

And by the way, saying “we should eliminate XYZ” is not a solution, it’s a goal (like saying the answer to being poor is getting rich) – a strategy/solution is a means of getting there.

Sincerely,
Some Female

*Blog challenge: I’ve recently posted a libertarian/fiscally-conservative solution to Social Security/Medicare – what have you got?

Anonymous said...

The LA Times just had a big piece reporting value added scores for teachers around LA schools, as computed by an economist from the RAND institute, and they also included a link to his paper.

One of the few teacher qualification variables in his regression model that was statistically significant for predicting value added was whether the teacher was black, and it had a negative coefficient.

This finding was not exactly given prominent coverage in the Times article, or even mentioned by the wonk himself in his technical report.

TGGP said...

Hour of the Wolf, I've never heard of Buchanan being opposed to Darwin.

Dwayne Mayor said...

The problem with KIPP is that it only helps the brightest students who probably need the least amount of help. KIPP doesn't do anything for the majority of black students because their IQs are too low to benefit from the program.

Actually, that was a common myth, but third-party investigations have empirically demonstrated that those who enter KIPP are indeed the typical ghetto inhabitants: http://www.kipp.org/mathematica

KIPP makes an active effort to recruit the poorest Negroes who have failed in the public schools and would be written off by HBDers as ineducable: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7067226.html

KIPP is the answer to the intellectual improvement of the Negro race, and it simply needs to be scaled nationally (from Pre-K to senior high)to include about 13 million poor Negro and Latino children and adolescents. I've seen estimates that this would cost a mere $35 billion a year (paying teachers the same rate per hour as public school teachers) which is a drop in the bucket when one considers the Bush tax cuts alone cost almost $100 billion in revenue, and it is substantially less than Obama's $212 billion proposal for Promise Neighborhoods.

Kipper the Dog said...

Dwayne Mayor said...

Well... not really. KIPP is obviously achieving whatever success it has by cherry-picking the most motivated and least dysfunctional blacks from the inner city. From Wikipedia

Some observers, such as the authors of The Charter School Dust-Up,[5] say that KIPP's admission process self-screens for students who are both motivated and compliant, from similarly motivated and compliant—and supportive—families. Parents must commit to a required level of involvement, which rules out badly dysfunctional families. Reports of KIPP's discipline policy, which involves shunning the miscreant student, and other KIPP policies such as teaching students how to "walk briskly down the hall" (according to one admiring description of KIPP practices),[6][citation needed] might further tend to discourage willful, defiant or simply independent-minded students from applying.

In addition, some KIPP schools show high attrition, especially for those students entering the schools with the lowest test scores. A 2008 study by SRI International found that although KIPP fifth-grade students who enter with below-average scores significantly outperform peers in public schools by the end of year one, "... 60 percent of students who entered fifth grade at four Bay Area KIPP schools in 2003-04 left before completing eighth grade."[7] The report also discusses student mobility due to changing economic situations for student's families, but does not directly link this factor into student attrition. Six of California's nine KIPP schools, researched in 2007, showed similar attrition patterns.[citation needed] Figures for schools in other states are not always as readily available.

Melykin said...

Kylie wrote:
The most effective and cheapest treatment for alcoholism is teetotalism.

===========================

No doubt. But there seems to be biological reasons why some people have no problems with alcohol, and others will keep drinking until they lose their job, their health, their family or even their life. There is a lot of evidence that it is an inherited condition. There are alcoholics in all races but some races seem to have a much greater portion of alcoholics than others (in particular, races that have decended directly from hunter/gatherers). However, it is just as taboo to talk about this as it is to talk about IQ and race. I wish someone would do some research about this, but I suppose most scientist would be afraid to tackle such a sensitive topic. Too bad, because this type of research might lead to more understanding of why some people are alcoholic and others are not. Might lead to an effective was of controlling the disease.

Dwayne Mayor said...

Kipper,

KIPP is not achieving it's success by cherry picking, as the unprecedented recent multi-year (2007-2010 and continuing through 2012) Mathematica Policy Research study has shown. The annual attrition rate at the 22 KIPP schools studied is about the same as the attrition rate of neighborhood schools. 1/3 of KIPP schools had a LOWER attrition rate, 1/3 an equivalent rate, and 1/3 a higher rate as district schools. The study also controlled for extra motivated ghetto families: "Students at nearly every KIPP campus included outperformed their peers in traditional public school. "It was a little remarkable to us how little variation there was," researcher Christina Clark Tuttle said. The study attempted to control for the extra motivation of families who select charter schools by comparing students' academic trajectories prior to entering KIPP and by keeping students who withdraw from KIPP after a year included in the charters' performance measures."It is a conservative approach," Gills said. "The kids who are actually staying in KIPP are probably experiencing even larger effects."- http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7067226.html

Furthermore KIPP schools often have far, far more applicants than they are able to accept, and so are picked by lottery (i.e. randomized). The very 2008 study from SRI International that you cited found: "In the three KIPP schools where they were able to draw comparisons, SRI researchers found that students with lower prior achievement on the CST were more likely to choose KIPP than higher-performing students from the same neighborhood, suggesting that, at least at these schools, cherry-picking does not occur." - http://www.sri.com/news/releases/091608.html

The 2nd Mathematica policy report due in 2012, will include more samples of KIPP schools nationwide, and compare the achievement of KIPP students, with prospective students who applied to KIPP but did not get the lottery pick. The evidence is becoming fairly overwhelming that KIPP is the best answer to the cognitive development of the average Negro by it's unique combination of a disciplined, structured environment, demanding curriculum that accepts no excuses, and dedicated teachers committed to excellence (i.e. recreating the conditions of the good segregated Negro schools of yore that Thomas Sowell has been known to praise). It can't make every single Negro the intellectual equal of the European, a few kids truly are ineducable (severe mental retardation, crackbabies, etc.), but it can bring their race up as a whole to a competitive level. If I were a man of means, I'd happily donate tremendous sums to the KIPP foundation so that we could finally bring an end to the Negro problem once and for all.

Dwayne Mayor said...

Kipper,

KIPP is not achieving it's success by cherry picking, as the unprecedented recent multi-year (2007-2010 and continuing through 2012) Mathematica Policy Research study has shown. The annual attrition rate at the 22 KIPP schools studied is about the same as the attrition rate of neighborhood schools. 1/3 of KIPP schools had a LOWER attrition rate, 1/3 an equivalent rate, and 1/3 a higher rate as district schools. The study also controlled for extra motivated ghetto families: "Students at nearly every KIPP campus included outperformed their peers in traditional public school. "It was a little remarkable to us how little variation there was," researcher Christina Clark Tuttle said. The study attempted to control for the extra motivation of families who select charter schools by comparing students' academic trajectories prior to entering KIPP and by keeping students who withdraw from KIPP after a year included in the charters' performance measures."It is a conservative approach," Gills said. "The kids who are actually staying in KIPP are probably experiencing even larger effects."- http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7067226.html

Furthermore KIPP schools often have far, far more applicants than they are able to accept, and so are picked by lottery (i.e. randomized). The very 2008 study from SRI International that you cited found: "In the three KIPP schools where they were able to draw comparisons, SRI researchers found that students with lower prior achievement on the CST were more likely to choose KIPP than higher-performing students from the same neighborhood, suggesting that, at least at these schools, cherry-picking does not occur." - http://www.sri.com/news/releases/091608.html

Dwayne Mayor said...

Sorry for the multiple posts (you can delete all but the first, Steve). It seems my comment to Kipper was too long, and I had trouble posting. I just wanted to add the following:

An end to the Negro problem, I say, by a combination of a scaled K-12 KIPP program and the Perry preschool program for 3 and 4 year old inner city children. http://evidencebasedprograms.org/wordpress/?page_id=65 The Perry preschool program would save the taxpayer $8 in social costs (crime, delinquency, welfare, jail, etc.) for every $1 invested.


* The Mathematica Study is available here: http://www.kipp.org/files/dmfile/KIPPJune2010FinalReportPublic.pdf

Mr. Anon said...

"Escapist said...

At times, it appears the HBD blogosphere = advertising bots for the left. The same post over and over again, about IQ/the elites/evopsych. Why not look at strategies for how to actually solve some of the key problems (like the entitlements/debt mess for example*)?"

Some of us here are intelligent and grown-up enough to realize that not all problems can be solved. I think a point has been reached when the only way to solve America's problems is to let it completely collapse and then start over.

Anonymous said...

the letters to the editor about this in the NY Times are hysterical

Anonymous said...

In other educational news, LA just inaugurated its newest school -- at $578M, the costliest school in America.

"The Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools are located in the Wilshire Center/Koreatown area of central Los Angeles ... The school-age population in this area is predominantly Latino (84%) and low-income (89%), with 50% classified as English Language Learners." (website)

I'm sure the $578,000,000 of borrowed money will start paying dividends any... moment... now...

Some Jerk in SF

lesley said...

We will never have such a president again because women vote."

Women have been voting in America since 1920. Please do drag yourself, hbd and all, into the 21st century. Now. Let's see what woman the mass of men would be most likely to cast their votes? hmmmm.

Kipper the Dog said...

Dwayne Mayor,

I don't have anything against KIPP, and it seems one of the less boneheaded ideas educrats have come up with in the past 50yrs.

However, I am inured to reading all sorts of propaganda and sheer lies when it comes to the latest magic bullet that happens to benefit the educrats and pols pushing them on the taxpayer.

KIPP is not achieving it's success by cherry picking, as the unprecedented recent multi-year (2007-2010 and continuing through 2012) Mathematica Policy Research study has shown. The annual attrition rate at the 22 KIPP schools studied is about the same as the attrition rate of neighborhood schools. 1/3 of KIPP schools had a LOWER attrition rate, 1/3 an equivalent rate, and 1/3 a higher rate as district schools.

This is a typical poorly reasoned paid-and-brought opinion by educrats at KIPP which is clearly false. In fact, this it actually proves that KIPP is creaming off top students.

KIPP intentionally erects extremely high barriers for students and their families to get and stay in KIPP schools compared to typical inner city schools. Therefore, if the KIPP and non-KIPP schools had students of the same IQ and motivation, the attrition rate at KIPP schools would be much higher than, not equal to, non-KIPP schools.

The fact that attrition rates are equal despite the much greater obstacles to get into and succeed at KIPP schools PROVES that KIPP schools are skimming of most motivated and/or able students

Given the pathetic condition of inner city schools and the virulently anti-intellectual culture there, it's no wonder that KIPP schools do better by providing a refuge for the most able who seek to escape. However, even the fudged data present by KIPP shows that their success is probably mainly due to skimming the best students and such gains are not generalizable to the entire population.

Anonymous said...

Kipper,

If KIPP is only "creaming the top," then how come the kids who come to them were doing so atrociously before they arrived at KIPP?

Dwayne Mayor said...

Kipper,

Your unsubstantiated claims are literally impossible. KIPP schools attract the LOWEST achievers in the their districts. Only 4 of the 22 KIPP schools enrolled students with higher than average achievement in at least one subject (reading or math). See Figure II.7 in Mathematica Policy Report: http://www.kipp.org/files/dmfile/KIPPJune2010FinalReportPublic.pdf

Even the small study you yourself cited, from SRI International, I quote: "In the three KIPP schools where they were able to draw comparisons, SRI researchers found that students with lower prior achievement on the CST were more likely to choose KIPP than higher-performing students from the same neighborhood, suggesting that, at least at these schools, cherry-picking does not occur."

KIPP's success is obviously not due to the sub-standard quality of its enrollees, but to the excellent structure, disciplined environment, culture of high expectations, dedicated and supportive teachers, and a rigorous, college preparatory academic curriculum. Once the Mathematica Policy Report is completed in 2014, with all the KIPP schools around the country accounted for with both non-experimental and experimental data, the evidence will be incontestable.

If the Negro race is to be psychically cultivated, it will most certainly be by means of Kippean mass education. Then, and only then, will we finally be able to collaborate with the Negro on the higher projects of the mind & culture; to bring to bear all his innate creative impulses to help resolve the scientific and technological problems of our time.

Kipper the Dog said...

Woah Dwayne, you post reads like a love child between the confident ad copy and formal grant proposal language for KIPP.

Let me address the points you raise.

Your unsubstantiated claims are literally impossible.

My claim is simple logic. Since KIPP has many more barriers to get in and stay in their program yet claim to have the same drop out rate as non-KIPP schools (obscenely high in both cases), then the two student populations are not the same.

The KIPP program is selectively getting much higher motivated students and families that have to work much harder than non-KIPP students and families to keep the drop out rates equal.

If the KIPP and non-KIPP schools were getting the same student populations, then obviously the drop out rate would be much higher for the much more demanding KIPP program.

KIPP schools attract the LOWEST achievers in the their districts. Only 4 of the 22 KIPP schools enrolled students with higher than average achievement in at least one subject (reading or math). See Figure II.7 in Mathematica Policy Report: http://www.kipp.org/files/dmfile/KIPPJune2010FinalReportPublic.pdf

False (reading comprehension). Even the paid-for-opinion study never claims KIPP is getting the LOWEST achievers. In fact, elementary schools that feed KIPP schools show no difference between the the testing levels of future KIPP vs non-KIPP students (2nd paragraph from bottom of p.14 of the cited report).

Even the small study you yourself cited, from SRI International, I quote: "In the three KIPP schools where they were able to draw comparisons, SRI researchers found that students with lower prior achievement on the CST were more likely to choose KIPP than higher-performing students from the same neighborhood, suggesting that, at least at these schools, cherry-picking does not occur."

The SRI report is not available for review, but seems to be generally critical of KIPP's universality claims (it notes a 60% drop out rate in Bay Area KIPP schools inflates the their reported improved performance for 5th graders).

One fundamental problem with your claim is that you don't separate out motivation and raw intelligence as two independent factors that largely determine academic success. It appears that KIPP schools are cherry picking for highly motivated and compliant students and their supportive families but not as much for raw intelligence or ability based upon the broader study you cited showing similar test scores between KIPP and non-KIPP feeder elem schools (the SRI appears to be a much smaller study with only 3 valid data points).

KIPP's success is obviously... to the excellent structure, disciplined environment, culture of high expectations, dedicated and supportive teachers, and a rigorous, college preparatory academic curriculum.

No doubt this environment has to be an improvement on the chaos that passes for inner city school. As shown above however, this is likely a small scale project that benefits the few unusually motivated students and their supportive families but is not generalizable to all underperforming students.

(continued)

Kipper the Dog said...

Once the Mathematica Policy Report is completed in 2014, with all the KIPP schools around the country accounted for with both non-experimental and experimental data, the evidence will be incontestable.

I hope so, but will wait and see after 50yrs of broken promises, dashed hopes and outright lies and manipulation by self-interested pols and educrats.

The future definitive Mathematica study is already suspect based upon this June 2010 Mathematica study. You'll note this June study uncritically hold the Harlem Children's Zone Promise Academy up as a yardstick they'd like to measure their success by (bottom paragraph of p. xvii).

You'll recall that Steve just posted on how Mayor Bloomberg, Klein and their educrats purposely manipulated passing scores and statistics to make dramatic failures appear as raging success such as the Harlem Zone in particular and NYC Public Schools in general. That the people at Mathematica didn't catch this obvious trick does not lend much faith in the ideas they have been paid to promote and suggests they're either incompetent and/or paid liars.

If the Negro race is to be psychically cultivated, it will most certainly be by means of Kippean mass education. Then, and only then, will we finally be able to collaborate with the Negro on the higher projects of the mind & culture; to bring to bear all his innate creative impulses to help resolve the scientific and technological problems of our time.

Now you're just being over the top. Look, even the most optimistic results from the highest performing KIPP schools with cherry picked students still left them behind average white students by over 1.2yrs in math and 1.8yrs in reading after years in the program where most improvement occurred in the first year (diminishing returns).

Stop overselling. Again, even if KIPP only helps a handful of highly motivated urban students become normal functioning citizens, it will have accomplished more than Head Start can document after 45yrs and billions of dollars annually (over $8bil most recent year).

Curvaceous, etc. said...

'kay, Dwayne,

I thought you were a deluded lunkheaded liberal until I read this:

"Then, and only then, will we finally be able to collaborate with the Negro on the higher projects of the mind & culture; to bring to bear all his innate creative impulses to help resolve the scientific and technological problems of our time."

Sound like something straight out of The Onion.

Dwayne Mayor said...

Kipper,

The KIPP program is selectively getting much higher motivated students and families that have to work much harder than non-KIPP students and families to keep the drop out rates equal. If the KIPP and non-KIPP schools were getting the same student populations, then obviously the drop out rate would be much higher for the much more demanding KIPP program...One fundamental problem with your claim is that you don't separate out motivation and raw intelligence as two independent factors that largely determine academic success.

Thus far, this claim remains unsubstantiated, your inferences notwithstanding, though in the next four years, it will be tested by the Mathematica Policy Reasearch through randomized experimental analysis. As it stands now, the apparent higher motivation of students and their families for academic success may be attributed to the environmental conditions of KIPP schools, or to the internal character of the students and families themselves. Although I think the latter is highly unlikely, it is not possible to say for sure, until randomized experiments are carried out. In the KIPP schools that enroll based on lottery, one can follow the academic trajectory of two groups of eligible KIPP applicants, a control group (i.e. lottery losers) and treatment group (i.e. lottery winners), and scientifically determine whether the stunning achievement is primarily due to the effects of KIPP itself, or is to be attributed to the behavioral characteristics of these poor, ghetto Negroes, as you seem to think.

False (reading comprehension). Even the paid-for-opinion study never claims KIPP is getting the LOWEST achievers. In fact, elementary schools that feed KIPP schools show no difference between the the testing levels of future KIPP vs non-KIPP students (2nd paragraph from bottom of p.14 of the cited report).

While I was wrong to use the term "lowest", note that I said the lowest achievers, IN THEIR DISTRICTS, not in their schools. Obviously, as the elementary feeder schools serve a low-income, poverty stricken ghetto populace, so naturally, one would not expect to find a pattern of lower/higher achievement among future KIPP enrollees when compared only with students from the same abysmal elementary schools. But KIPP enrollees are, more often than not, among the lower achievers in their districts, and therefore, nowhere near the creme of the crop. Creme of the crop Negroes and Latinos don't apply to KIPP, but to magnet schools and gifted programs. KIPP intentionally targets low achievers.

Mathermatica policy research, Inc, is not an opinion study group, but one of the nation's top social science research and evaluation institutes. It's results are based on empirical data and rigorous experimental design, not opinion or "common sense" inferences.

The SRI report is not available for review, but seems to be generally critical of KIPP's universality claims (it notes a 60% drop out rate in Bay Area KIPP schools inflates the their reported improved performance for 5th graders)...It appears that KIPP schools are cherry picking for highly motivated and compliant students and their supportive families but not as much for raw intelligence or ability based upon the broader study you cited showing similar test scores between KIPP and non-KIPP feeder elem schools (the SRI appears to be a much smaller study with only 3 valid data points).

The higher than average attrition rate of the three Bay Area schools in the SRI report, still showed that lower achievers from Bay Area neighborhoods were more likely to enroll in KIPP than higher achievers and so the point remains, these are not the creme of the crop in IQ, which you originally seemed to be suggesting. And again, the test scores of KIPP enrollees were, in the vast majority of cases, lower or even significantly lower than the average scores in their respective districts. See above.

Dwayne Mayor said...

(cont)

You'll recall that Steve just posted on how Mayor Bloomberg, Klein and their educrats purposely manipulated passing scores and statistics to make dramatic failures appear as raging success such as the Harlem Zone in particular and NYC Public Schools in general. That the people at Mathematica didn't catch this obvious trick does not lend much faith in the ideas they have been paid to promote and suggests they're either incompetent and/or paid liars.

The Mathematica Policy report is a scientific study of KIPP schools nationwide, not the Promise Academy of Harlem Children's Zone in New York. Harlem Children's Zone was not their "yardstick," but a note was made, en passant, that impact of KIPP on achievement compare favorably with the impact of HCZ's Promise Academy based on Dobbie and Fryer's 2009 paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research. And note also, that KIPP's performance was hardly affected at all by the recent change in New York standards. And it bears mentioning, KIPP demands mastery of subjects, not barely passing proficiency, and will retain a student a grade level until he has demonstrated mastery of the material.

Look, even the most optimistic results from the highest performing KIPP schools with cherry picked students still left them behind average white students by over 1.2yrs in math and 1.8yrs in reading after years in the program where most improvement occurred in the first year.

Over the top? Kipper, in three years, some half of KIPP schools were able to close the black-white gap of 1 SD in reading and math, by 0.3 SD and 0.5 SD, respectively. And those numbers include students who have dropped out of KIPP schools after being enrolled for at least year. When adjusted for just the students who have remained in the program from fifth through eighth grade, the impact is substantively larger (see Appendix Tables D.3a and D.3b). Now imagine what is possible with a KIPP K-12 program, when combined with an intensive early intervention like the Perry Preschool program (unlike the watered down Head Start) for 3 and 4 year olds, and tell me I'm being outrageous. See: http://www.kipp.org/index.cfm?furl=/press-center/multimedia-archive/kipp-videos/kipp-video-display/&video_id=1

Given 13 or more years, instead of 3, there is no reason why the KIPP method cannot entirely close the black-white gap.

Stop overselling. Again, even if KIPP only helps a handful of highly motivated urban students become normal functioning citizens...

Again, I firmly believe it is the KIPP environment causing the motivation, as these children showed no motivation or capability in their inner city elementary schools before they arrived at KIPP. We'll know for certain in 2014 whether my premise or your premise is correct.

Dwayne Mayor said...

Curvaceous,

I wasn't being sarcastic. The Negro has shown creative genius in the realms of music, dance, and athletics. With proper mental cultivation through KIPP and university education, there is no reason why we cannot utilize that talent for other fields of human endeavor, particularly science and business organization. He will bring something that Oriental technocrats and workaday plodders cannot.