October 14, 2012

Judge Richard Posner on IQ by race and how to rate teachers

Richard Posner is probably the most prominent judge in the U.S. not on the Supreme Court. He has to be the hardest working, as a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and a senior lecturer at the U. of Chicago Law School. The author of approaching 40 books, by one measure he's the most cited judge of the 20th Century. 

Posner has a joint blog with Gary Becker, the Nobel-winning UC economist, where they discuss a topic every week. Awhile back, they took on "Rating Teachers." Judge Posner wrote:
I don’t think varying salaries on the basis of measures of teacher quality are a feasible reform. My reasons for this pessimistic judgment are several. First, teaching below the college level tends not to be attractive to competitive people. I happen to have a job, as a federal court of appeals judge, in which everyone is securely tenured and paid the same salary, even though the judges vary in ability, experience, and effort.

I.e., nobody works as hard as Posner.
There are many jobs of that sort, they have their pluses and their minuses, and it would be a mistake to think that all such jobs would be performed better if they were restructured along the Darwinian lines that prevail in business. It’s a mistake to think that everyone is a natural risk taker. Tenure, a wage that varies with seniority rather than measured output, and long summer vacations create a compensation package that is attractive to a certain kind of person.  
Second, while in a sample of millions, as in the study by Chetty et al. that Becker cites, it may well be inferrable, as the study finds, that teachers vary in the value they add to their students, within an individual school such an inference will be very difficult to draw. The average IQ and home environment of students in different classes may differ significantly, random factors may affect their future success, and there can be spillover effects from other classes. 

I know a lot about the history of the evolution of baseball statistics over the last 150 years, a lot more than I know about the development of teacher rating statistics. Maybe I'm not up to date, but my general impression is that teacher rating stats are about where baseball stats were in the late 1800s.

Here's a concept for a nonfiction book. A lot of books come out that focus on schools, with journalists visiting KIPP schools, charter schools, etc. etc., and there's always talk about value added test scores being used to evaluate teachers, but I've never seen a journalist follow some teachers, sitting in the back of the classroom, and then watch them get back their value-added test scores. Do the value-added scores match up with the journalists' subjective impressions?

You may be saying, "Subjective? Everybody knows we have to trust only objective statistical measures, even if they were just made up this year!" In truth, subjective and objective evaluations improve each other. Right now, we have a bunch of brand new complicated value-added measurement systems with few ways of checking whether they seem plausible or not.
Suppose for example that a mediocre teacher teaches English, and a superb teacher teaches the same students history. Both teachers require essays. The superb teacher improves the students’ writing skills, and that in turn improves their performance in their English class, making the English teacher look better than he or she really is.  
Third, and related, varying teachers’ salaries by some output measure will induce all sorts of wasteful strategizing—office politics—what organization economists call “influence activities,” an aspect of agency costs—by teachers hoping to get a good quality rating. They will angle to get the best students assigned to their classes, even when salary is tied to “value added,” as discussed by Becker, because smarter students are likely to improve more.  
Fourth, although in principle the cost of higher salaries for the better teachers could be offset by reducing the salaries of the worse teachers, that is surely infeasible; so the Darwinian approach would cost more than the existing system, and maybe as much more as raising teacher salaries by a uniform percentage.  
Finally, I am not clear what we should think the problem of American education (below the college level) is. Most children of middle-class (say upper quartile of households, income starting at $80,000) Americans are white or Asian and attend good public or private schools, usually predominantly white. The average white IQ is of course 100 and the Asian (like the Jewish) almost one standard deviation higher, that is, 115. The average black IQ is 85, a full standard deviation below the white average, and the average Hispanic IQ has been estimated recently at 89. 
Black children in particular often come from disordered households, which has a negative effect on ability to learn and perhaps indeed on IQ (which is only partly hereditary) as well. Increasingly, black and Hispanic students find themselves in schools with few white or Asian students. The challenge to American education is to provide a useful education to the large number of Americans who are unlikely to benefit from a college education or from high school courses aimed at preparing students for college. The need is for a different curriculum and for a greater investment in these children’s preschool environment. We should recognize that we have different populations with different schooling needs and that  curricula and teaching methods should be revised accordingly. This recognition and response should precede tinkering with compensations systems.

Indeed.

120 comments:

Peter A said...

"Suppose for example that a mediocre teacher teaches English, and a superb teacher teaches the same students history. Both teachers require essays. The superb teacher improves the students’ writing skills, and that in turn improves their performance in their English class, making the English teacher look better than he or she really is."

Funny, that was precisely the situation in my high school.

Friendly Asian Neighbour said...

I wonder how he calculated Asian IQ. North-East Asian IQ is estimated at about 105, however it is heavily skewed towards math.
Europeans generally score higher on verbal tests on which you cannot prepare on.

Second, Asians in America are the top of the crop. In India, 8% of the population has a bachelor's degree.

In America, it is a stunning 70%.

The Asian immigrants the U.S. gets are the cognitive top 20%, or sometimes higher (as in the Indian example). Not all of them are rich, but they are on average higher-income than the median in the U.S.

This could perhaps give a slightly higher IQ to Asian students. However, on the last 2009 PISA, American Whites scored very, very close to USA-Asians, and actually higher than Japan and other North-East Asian nations. Only Finland(which scores at about 100) and Korea outscored American whites on PISA scores.

My guess is that IQ tests are, still, too skewed to math to be represenative. After all, on PISA, Finnish students got higher scores on the science part than Korea did, which was the best-scoring Asian nation.

European IQ is, at least from my perspective, still relatively underinvestigated.
And Asian IQ in America most likely isn't 115, and Jewish Ashkenazi IQ is about 115, but Mr. Posner has a very eurocentric view.

25 % of all Jews in America are non-Asheknazi. Non-Ashkenazi Jews in Israel form the overwhelming majority.

He seems to equate Jewish = European/Ashkenazi Jew.

That's a mistake that many Jews who are not Ashkenazi inside the community are very bitter about when old Ashkenazi Jews like him do, but that's another story.

rightsaidfred said...

Interesting that Posner speaks so frankly about IQ.

All this hand wringing about schools and teachers comes from an underlying belief in equality for all: if we put kids in the same classroom with the same textbooks, they should come out equally educated. When this doesn't happen, the conventional effort is to "make it so"; while what we probably need more is a more accurate assessment of what the kids are individually capable.

Anonymous said...

He seems to believe in the facts, and nothing but the facts.

Let's see if they take him on.

Anon.

CJ said...

This guy is a LOT more clued-in than your typical legalist, that is for sure. His belief that the average "Asian" IQ is 115 is a little jarring -- I can't remember any source ever claiming that -- but the rest of what he says is astute.

DoJ said...

I'm a bit surprised by his inaccurate "IQ 115" remark about Asians.

(To summarize our current best guess at reality:

- East Asian average IQ is comparable to that of Germans, with a skew toward mathematical over verbal ability compared to Europeans.
- Due to a combination of personality and cultural differences, first- and second-generation East Asians perform ~1 SD better in school than one would predict from their IQs. [Flynn's estimate in the early 90s was that average IQ was 103, but school performance was as if it was 121.]
- Post-graduation, their performance returns to being about what one would expect from their IQ distribution and skew.)

Anonymous said...

"The average white IQ is of course 100 and the Asian (like the Jewish) almost one standard deviation higher, that is, 115. The average black IQ is 85, a full standard deviation below the white average, and the average Hispanic IQ has been estimated recently at 89."

Holy shit did Judge Posner actually SAY that?

--Discordiax

Sword said...

I second the comment by Discordax.

Are we going to see a second Larry Summers treatment? It really surprised me that a person with the brains he must have - given his previous academic performances - could have blurted out such a politically dumb statement. What on earth possessed him to do a potentially career-wrecking thing needlessly?

Sword said...

How are we supposed to motivate good teachers?

Threats of firing the really bad ones will cause lots of backlash, and it will not - in and of itself - motivate a middling teacher (who can be sure to keep his job) to improve to the "good" level.

Differential wage structures also cause backlash, and as Posner points out, it is nontrivial to figure out a system that assigns the extra wage dollars to the right teachers.

What else? Good teachers getting their names hung up in the school auditorium? First dibs on classes? Better offices? More reading materials to their classes? What else?

Anonymous said...

Discordax et. al.:

Posner can say what he want, because he is an Article III judge. He can't be removed without impeachment proceedings and a supermajority vote of the Senate. If anything, his ability to make that statement illustrates why we give Article III judges life-tenure.

Hunsdon said...

Anonydroid at 5:07 a.m. must have missed the part of Steve's post that ran, "and a senior lecturer at the U. of Chicago Law School."

Nice point about Art III judges, though.

Heh said...

The title of the post made me think the post itself would discuss whether white teachers are better than black teachers...

Anonymous said...

@Sword,

The mere fact that teachers won't like being made accountable for performance does not mean that we cannot do so and should not even try. In short, yes we should fire the bad ones and pay the good ones more, and "backlash" be damned.

Anonymous said...

OF course lifetime tenure protects Richard Posner, as a judge and as a U-Chicago professor. But still, to voluntarily drop trou and dare the Two-Minute-Haters to do their worst...he has a son, Eric Posner, who wants a career...

Ahh, thank you Wikipedia. Richard Posner, age 73. Apparently, too old to give a flying crap about polite society. Eric Posner, tenured at University of Chicago since 2003.

--Discordiax

ed said...

That blog and the post are offline now, maybe things got too hot. Google cache of that post is at: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:vCznbzM-G_EJ:www.becker-posner-blog.com/2012/09/rating-teachersposner.html+&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Perspective said...

"Second, Asians in America are the top of the crop. In India, 8% of the population has a bachelor's degree.

In America, it is a stunning 70%."

Despite Canada's much touted immigration points system - that's supposed to select people on education and language ability - the US still seems to receive higher "quality" South Asians than Canada. According to results from the Toronto district school board, whites outscored all South Asian groups in math and reading.

I'm very surprised a judge was able to make this statememt. I wonder, if any, what the reaction of the MSM be?

Anonymous said...

"Increasingly, black and Hispanic students find themselves in schools with few white or Asian students."

Er, so what?

I've always suspected that the handwringing over voluntary "segregation" in schools is really white people patting themselves on the back over how awesome they are.

The handwringing is due to a complete confidence that white and Asian students are so wonderful that they'll not only bring up the average, but magically drag everyone else up. Therefore, the real cause of Teh Gap is that coloured students aren't exposed enough to the Magical Powers of Whiteness/Asian-ness.

Or else they credit white/Asian higher scores to their wonderful parenting. And if only the blacks were as good at parenting, they could totally match the Ice People.

Frankly, I find that realism about genetic racial differences is actually less insulting - at least it's an acknowledgement that some people just got lucky. The right hand side of the Bell Curve didn't earn their brains, therefore they have no reason to feel smug - either about their IQ or their culture.

At the very least, it's better than claiming that blacks are inherently awful, neglectful parents or that the real problem facing American NAMs today is not enough access to white people, and not enough parenting as upper middle class white parents do.

Max said...

Actually, when you look at specific white groups- whites in britain, whites in denmark, etc. often you find that the avg is 110 or so, which is higher than the NE Asian avg. of 105. They aren't lumped together with an increasingly higher pct of NAMs in their population as we are, under the category 'American' which people then take as free rein to assume is the IQ of whites.

Anonymous said...

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/10/12/worst_prize_ever

Time mag whatever of the year also turned into a joke.

Anonymous said...

The truth is education reform types don't give a rat's a** about improving quality. They've been calling shots for a long time in a lot of places with nothing to show for it. (If Rahm Emanuel needs major reforms in Chicago then what does that say about Arnie Duncan's tenure?) It's all about busting unions and privitizing. Helping NAMs is excuse to start dismantling the public school system, just like the NFL jeopardized a multi-billion dollar business over a tiny fraction of the operating costs since defined-benefit pensions for referees were idealogically offensive to them. Replacing experienced teachers due to flawed tests works about as well as using replacement refs, but isn't put on national TV.

dearieme said...

Put aside the race-IQ issue. My experience of observing teaching at the university level is that it is easy to agree on the identity of the lousy teachers. The cases I've seen of rewards for outstanding teaching have, however, gone to good teachers rather than excellent ones. (Though I'll grant that there is more variety of opinion on who is excellent than on who is lousy.)

So my suspicion is that it's far more important to make it possible to sack the lousy ones than to start pissing off everyone else by trying to give prizes to the excellent. But if you must claim to be able to identify and reward the excellent, I'd suggest a good reward would be to let them choose their teaching duties each year. That way they could, for instance, choose the ability level and age of their classes (you would have "streaming", wouldn't you?). If people teach partly because they like it, give them the chance to like it more.

Anonymous said...

You're right that value added measures have all kind of flaws. Some teachers universaly recognized at excellent have been fired because the students' teacher from the previous year had been caught cheating. They also tend to fail on the core psychometric property of reliability (the same teacher will receive a high score and a low score for teaching two different grade levels).

Anonymous said...

Re: Anonymous

Of course white liberal's equality is just racism, but as hidden under a smothering blanket of anti-rationality. It originates from Christian missionaries who believed that once exposed to the light of european Christianity, blacks in Africa would magically become educated and productive Christians who could escape the superstitious pagan religions holding them back. The exact same mentality continues today "let's just bring the world liberal Democracy and McDonalds and they'll all be saved!" or "lets just move Section 8 housing into white rural areas and black crime and divorce rates will magically drop and they'll all become farmers!"

Same shit, different century. IQs aren't rising and stupid beliefs aren't fading.

Hacienda said...

"We should recognize that we have different populations with different schooling needs and that curricula and teaching methods should be revised accordingly."

Beginning with ending 10-12 year mandatory education on state curriculum which has created an enforcement state, block state, a Stars Wars Death Star state (whatever you want to call it).



Orthodox said...

In order to fairly judge teachers, students would need to be tested at least at the end of every school year, in a rigorous multi-subject test. After years of data, they could then look at the average ability of incoming students historically and compare it to the incoming class. They could then project, based on history, this 4th grade student/class should see its scores improve by X%, and see whether the teacher is consistently above or below marks. Otherwise you turn teaching into fantasy football (especially in states that have inclusion). This would also be useful for comparing with homeschooling.

Anonymous said...

Student performance is overwhelmingly determined by family of origin. Motivated parents flock to better public and private schools in textbook capital flight. Demonstrating genuine, quantitative improvements in student test scores thus depends heavily on which students come to a particular classroom. A teacher with a classroom full of slow, disruptive unmotivated minority students can hardly be faulted for opposing that his pay, promotion and tenure decisions depend on squeezing marginal improvements from poor prospects.

elvisd said...



As Tocqueville said with approval: "When asked as to where the aristocracy in America is to be found, I unhesitatingly say the judiciary."

Anonymous said...

Student performance is overwhelmingly determined by family of origin. Motivated parents flock to better public and private schools in textbook capital flight. Demonstrating genuine, quantitative improvements in student test scores thus depends heavily on which students come to a particular classroom. A teacher with a classroom full of slow, disruptive unmotivated minority students can hardly be faulted for opposing that his pay, promotion and tenure decisions depend on squeezing marginal improvements from poor prospects.

Anonymous said...

A rare note of realism injected into American public life.
Hopefully some of America's elite don't actually believe in the PC bullpoopy they are more or less forced to agree with and actually hold sensible opinions. The question is 'how many closet Posners are out there running things?'.

Anonymous said...

http://mondoweiss.net/2012/10/j-street-sells-its-soul-completes-evolution-to-aipac-lite.html

Was J-street ever anything but Aipac-lite?

Aipac and gaypac.

William Boot said...

This essay — and the writing on that blog in general — shows that Posner is overextending himself and producing a lot of second-rate (or third-rate) stuff rather than a smaller amount of good stuff.

Did he actually read anything about teacher measurement programs or did he simply sit down to imagine how he might rate teachers, discover that he could not think of anything great in five minutes and give it up as futile?

It sounds like the latter because teacher measurement, while not as finely honed as baseball measurement, has gotten through a bunch of the hurdles he imagines — including "how can you figure out which teachers are good when students vary so much in ability and self-discipline?"

Steve Sailer said...

"So my suspicion is that it's far more important to make it possible to sack the lousy ones"

My father survived 42 years of a policy of firing the bottom 5-10% each year.

Steve Sailer said...

"That blog and the post are offline now, maybe things got too hot."

Sorry, that was my mistake in originally making the link. It's still there.

In general, there's no witchhunt of Posner. He's double-tenured and too formidable.

sabril said...

"In general, there's no witchhunt of Posner. He's double-tenured and too formidable."

That may very well be so, but it just goes to show that there is a calculated process behind the persecution of blasphemers. The calculation may be subconscious, but it is still there.



Kylie said...

"Frankly, I find that realism about genetic racial differences is actually less insulting - at least it's an acknowledgement that some people just got lucky."

Because, of course, the point of discussing IQ in terms of race is to avoid insulting NAMs.

"The right hand side of the Bell Curve didn't earn their brains, therefore they have no reason to feel smug - either about their IQ or their culture."

True, smart people didn't earn their smart brains. But they do earn the good grades they tend to make by working hard to use those smart brains. Aren't they entitled to feel some pride about that?

"At the very least, it's better than claiming that blacks are inherently awful, neglectful parents or that the real problem facing American NAMs today is not enough access to white people, and not enough parenting as upper middle class white parents do."

Maybe. But why can't both be true?

Anonymous said...

http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2011/01/the-pisa-rankings-and-the-role-of-schools-in-student-performance-on-standardized-testsposner.html

and probably even earlier.

here is summers defence.

http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2010/01/the-revolution-in-womens-employment-in-the-marketposner.html

Sideways said...

tenured, and he's unpromotable, so he doesn't care about that, either.

rec1man said...

@Perspective

On Canadian Indians

There are 3 types of Canadian Indians

1. The high IQ segment coming in through points system

2, Family reunification of Jat Sikhs, a mid-IQ group

3. Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, a mid to low caste group

All 3 groups are lumped together
Further, Canada has imported muslim south asians too, which drags down the IQ

rec1man said...

@Perspective

On Canadian Indians

There are 3 types of Canadian Indians

1. The high IQ segment coming in through points system

2, Family reunification of Jat Sikhs, a mid-IQ group

3. Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, a mid to low caste group

All 3 groups are lumped together
Further, Canada has imported muslim south asians too, which drags down the IQ

Anonymous said...

“CORNERING THE MARKET ON CHUTZPAH,” blared the headline on one review, and in tone it wasn’t alone. It’s not often that a book by a public intellectual has received as much media attention—mostly vilification and scorn—as Richard A. Posner’s Public Intellectuals: A Study of Decline (Harvard University Press, $29.95). Three reasons for this stand out. First, there’s the sheer audacity of including a list of the top hundred public intellectuals, drawn from a larger list of 546 names. This invites endless dispute over how the list was generated, who is on it, who is left off, where each one stands, and why. Second, there is the fact that Posner has managed in the book to offend half of the public intellectuals you’d expect to be called on to review it—almost as though he made a list of potential reviewers and worked in a swipe at each. Finally, he has tapped into the deep antipathy humanist intellectuals have to seeing a beloved topic treated quantitatively, with statistics and applications of social and economic theory, replete with graphs and algebraic formulae. And after all, what topic is more beloved by the intellectuals than they themselves? That Posner would actually treat such important people as a demographic type, sorting them in terms of race, age, field, politics, sex—why, he even asks why so many are Jews. It’s outrageous . . . and delicious.

http://denisdutton.com/posner_review.htm

Anonymous said...

"Tenure, a wage that varies with seniority rather than measured output, and long summer vacations create a compensation package that is attractive to a certain kind of person. "

Yes, 99% of the population

sunbeam said...

What exactly are the IQ's of the Asian and Jewish populations?

The only really consistent number I've ever seen is that the White average is 100.

If the last bit of this post was Posner, he seems to think Jews and Asians have the same mean IQ.

Over the time I've been paying attention to this subject, I've seen all kinds of things at different places and articles on the Internet.

For example:

Asian IQ is 115
Asian IQ is 110
Asian IQ is 105

Jewish IQ is 120
Jewish IQ is 115
Jewish IQ is 110
Jewish IQ is 107

I've seen all these quoted or written in different places.

So what exactly are the numbers really?

And this is the first time I think I've read that Asians were as smart as Jews on average.

Chicago said...

He wants a "greater investment in these children's preschool environment"? Like what? He knows about Operation Head Start, doesn't he? Does he want the little kiddies to be taken away by the nice white ladies or to have Madonna helicopter in and adopt them all? Sounds like 'send mo' money'. He is not saying anything original at all, just dressing it up a bit. This blog has been light years ahead of him for a very long time now.

sunbeam said...

I thought of something else I'd like to know.

Are Asians and Jews the least likely groups to have their children go to school in an environment with blacks and hispanics?

I really don't know how it works in other parts of the country, but it is hard for me to imagine an Asian student in a majority black school district. The same for a Jewish kid.

Anonymous said...

"According to results from the Toronto district school board, whites outscored all South Asian groups in math and reading."

And a much higher proportion of Muslims/Sikhs/refugees too. It would be interesting if someone
could provide an estimate of the proportion of upper caste Indians in Canada.

Anonymous said...

"Suppose for example that a mediocre teacher teaches English, and a superb teacher teaches the same students history. Both teachers require essays. The superb teacher improves the students’ writing skills, and that in turn improves their performance in their English class, making the English teacher look better than he or she really is."

I know it was "just" an example, but trust me, this was about the silliest example he could have offered. I spent 34 years in the public school system as an English teacher, approximately 66% at a school which served working class and middle class white kids, the remainder a school serving lower class and working class white, Hispanics, and black kids, and no social science teacher was ever interested in doing what was necessary to improve the essay writing skills of any kids. Hell, they weren't interested in improving the sentence writing skills of any kids. Fact is, they rarely required writing of any sort from their students over the last 12-15 years of my career.

Yeah, it's THAT bad.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Lots of other commenters have mentioned it, but it bears repeating: I can't believe a judge actually said that!

(I read the entire transcript of Fisher and I don't recall the issue of IQ ever being brought up.)

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, Judge Posner is entirely too realistic. This will never do. Egad. I hope his career survives despite all this honesty and plain speaking.

Anonymous said...

The paper mentioned on the Becker-Posner web site seems more important:

Is US Economic Growth Over

That probably means that a sustained period of downward mobility is upon us, with all that it entails ...

Svigor said...

1. Teachers might fight amongst themselves for the best students.

2. IQ is correlated with success.

Dunno if this one's a clear loser, judge.

asdf said...

If things are rotten at the top then all the hand wringing about what carrots and sticks we use on the peons is a waste of time.

Do we have good educational goals?

Are the people setting educational policy competent and driven by the right goals?

If that stuff is right the rest can be addressed. If that stuff is wrong incentives and punishments don't matter, because they will be based on false goals and judged by false judges.

Nanonymous said...

so the Darwinian approach would cost more than the existing system

No, it won't. Get rid of the ridiculous tenure in K12 and market will quickly sort things out. Such a move will kill most public schools as we know them - and maybe it's a good thing.

Nanonymous said...

We should recognize that we have different populations with different schooling needs and that curricula and teaching methods should be revised accordingly.

Exactly! Long overdue. Without such a reform, we get what we have now: College is quickly becoming a new high school and any half-decent jobs now require advanced degrees.

Anonymous said...

East Asian IQ isn't even 105. That was taken from a sample of highly educated Asians. If you take East Asia as a whole, it is 99 or 100. Same as whites. Asians are more grinds than minds.

Anonymous said...

My guess is Posner overstated Asian IQ to shift the resentment at them though Jews really control the elite positions.

Anonymous said...

im surprised there is no witchhunt of posner when even james d watson and larry summers could be witchhunted. im guessing the reason is that posner isnt as prominent as those two.

Neil Postman, 1985 said...

We must not be too hasty in mocking Aristotle's prejudices. We have enough of our own, as for example, the equation we moderns make of truth and quanitification. In this prejudice, we come astonishingly close to the mystical beliefs of Pythagoras and his followers who attempted to submit all of life to the sovereignty of numbers. Many of our psychologists, sociologists, economists and other latter-day cabalists will have numbers to tell them the truth or they will have nothing. Can you imagine, for example, a modern economist articulating truths about our standard of living by reciting a poem? Or by telling what happened to him during a late-night walk through East St. Louis? Or by offering a series of proverbs and parables, beginning with the saying about a rich man, a camel, and the eye of a needle? The first would be regarded as irrelevant, the second merely anecdotal, the last childish. Yet these forms of language are certainly capable of expressing truths about economic relationships, as well as any other relationships, and indeed have been employed by various peoples. But to the modern mind, resonating with different media-metaphors, the truth in economics is believed to be best discovered and expressed in numbers. Perhaps it is. I will not argue the point. I mean only to call attention to the fact that there is a certain measure of arbitrariness in the forms that truth-telling may take.

Anonymous said...

The mere fact that teachers won't like being made accountable for performance does not mean that we cannot do so and should not even try. In short, yes we should fire the bad ones and pay the good ones more, and "backlash" be damned.

It won't work. The bad teachers will find ways to escape the axe. Don't forget that the bad teachers are usually the best politicians and unionists, and they will weasel their way out - bribe, bully, blackmail - to keep their jobs. They might even slander the good teachers to get them fired instead.

The only solution is to abandon the public system entirely and look for alternatives.

Anonymous said...

Of course white liberal's equality is just racism, but as hidden under a smothering blanket of anti-rationality. It originates from Christian missionaries who believed that once exposed to the light of european Christianity, blacks in Africa would magically become educated and productive Christians who could escape the superstitious pagan religions holding them back. The exact same mentality continues today "let's just bring the world liberal Democracy and McDonalds and they'll all be saved!" or "lets just move Section 8 housing into white rural areas and black crime and divorce rates will magically drop and they'll all become farmers!"

It's interesting that Japan follows the same old superstititous pagan religions as it did 500 years ago, yet is a top-flight first world power. Japan was in a position to pick and choose which elements of the West to use, and evidently picked the right ones, and left the wrong ones behind.

stari_momak said...

Northeast Asian IQ averages are 103-105. Lynn's latest meta-analysis of Ashkenazi IQ put it about 107.5. With the teacher 'value added' approach that most school districts (including LA) are adding, teaching the smartest students, already in the 90+ percentiles on standardized exams, will be a disadvantage rather than an advantage.

Posner is too cocky here, just as he is on his pronouncements on immigration. Chutzpah is a big part of Jewish success, and he has it in spades.

alonzo portfolio said...

In my famous academic public high school in S.F., I had my own predictive rating system for math teachers. The best teacher would be the one who didn't have a cute asian chick with a nice rack in his class. Any teacher who did wouldn't get a damn thing done.

Prof. Woland said...

There is a similar problem judging the quality of health care. The only way to measure medical outcomes is if you have an accurate handle on the patient population prior to the treatment. Of corse the hospital that caters to upper income whites and asians will have favorable results but does that mean they are better and why? 16% of our GDP is measured using the same fuzzy arithmatic as our schools.

not a hacker said...

@Sword: please tell me how you conclude that Posner could say anything that would be "career-wrecking"? You do know federal judges have lifetime tenure, right? Ever read any of his opinions? Not exactly retiring, is he? So how's a leftist tantrum going to intimidate him?

Prof. Woland said...

Off topic again but what the hell. We will have a national dialog on the physiological differences between the races long before we will have one on the differences in intelligence but it might be a backdoor way to eventually broach the subject. It is becoming increasingly clear that there are significant differences between patient populations to the efficacy of medical treatment including pharmaceuticals. This will become increasingly obvious and problematic as a new generation of drugs and protocols are developed. Each new drug coming to market is more specialized than the last and now that we are starting to unravel the genome this topic will become unavoidable.

Dutch Boy said...

Funny thing how American teachers got lousier as the students they had to teach got dumber.

sword said...

Anon, the reason who I pointed out backlash is that there is a limited amount of political capital that a decider (governor, president, etc.) has when he is voted in, and if he foolishly spends too much on it one stuff that eventually gets killed in the political process, then he loses the political capital - and can not push through other, easier, stuff that he would have succeded with if he would have started with the easy stuff.

That is why I would like to figure out some motivators that do not cause backlash, so as to start out with getting the system used to motivators for teachers to become better. Once the system is used to that, then we can graduate to harsher measures.

If we can figure out some positive stealth motivator which makes its recipients happy, while not antagonizing those who

Gringo said...

Sword @ 10/14/12 4:49 AM

How are we supposed to motivate good teachers?Threats of firing the really bad ones will cause lots of backlash, and it will not - in and of itself - motivate a middling teacher (who can be sure to keep his job) to improve to the "good" level.

I know of a case where a very good teacher quit in the middle of the year to go to work in a high tech sales job. In the exit interview, she was asked why she resigned.

Her reply was that the Superintendent of Schools had made a comment about firing teachers. Getting rid of the deadwood, what have you.

While she was in no danger of being fired, she decided she didn't need to work in that environment. This was in TX, a state where teachers' unions are powerless. Everyone working for the school district already knew that the school district had no hesitation in firing/non-renewing teachers, so one may question why the Superintendent bothered making the statement. Ratchet up the fear level..show that he was one tough hombre? She apparently decided she didn't need to work for such an equine posterior.


Nor has she returned to the teaching profession, years later.

The Superintendent went on to bigger and better jobs, but got fired for a conflict of interest issue.

Anonymous said...

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have it right on education.

The Republicans think the solution is in vouchers and pay for performance schemes. The vouchers will swamp the good suburban schools with disruptive blacks. And pay for performance is useless for the reasons Posner outlined.

Democrats think the solution is more $$$, which is just a payout to the teachers, as well as the janitors, the lunch ladies, the bus drivers, who all give them their votes. But more $$$ is not going to raise test scores or competency either.

Overall Posner is correct that a more targeted approach is needed. In the urban areas, they maybe need to consider something like year round schooling. The lower IQ kids regress massively over America's comically long summer vacations. And they perhaps also need to be run in a more militaristic style and at the high school level focus on vocational classes much early on.

Anonymous said...


"Student performance is overwhelmingly determined by family of origin."


Yeah, that is right.


"Motivated parents flock to better public and private schools in textbook capital flight."


No, they don't. They flee schools as the population of low performers rises. Then they fill the school with their smart kids, but they are not super picky about the teachers.

My husband was in one of the first classes through Blue Valley High school. He said he had a few great teachers, but plenty were average and some even far below. They still had average ACT scores around 25 and continue to.

helene edwards said...

In the exit interview, ...

Anyone know someone who said,
"F*** your exit interview"?

Svigor said...

Northeast Asian IQ averages are 103-105. Lynn's latest meta-analysis of Ashkenazi IQ put it about 107.5.

*Ahem*

Thank you, thank you very much.

I've been saying it was 106-108 for, what, over a year now? My previous estimate was 108, then I went with 106.

Or, is he talking Ashkenazi-Americans, meaning, global Ashkenazi IQ is like 106, as in my second estimate?

Anonymous said...

I doubt that America's education problem is fixable in any real sense of the term; its major function should be to segregate the educable of whatever race, invest heavily in them, and try to ensure minimal literacy and discipline in the rest.

AS America dumbs down, consequent on the Obama and Bush "open borders" idiocy, all of this is going to get much worse.

Anon.

Anonymous said...

"Funny thing how American teachers got lousier as the students they had to teach got dumber."

Why funny? This is entirely to be expected. As a loser in an academic rat race, I could have considered teaching a bunch of bright kids but there is no way I will ever agree to teach "traditional" students, which would be a bunch of NAMs with serious discipline problems.

Svigor said...

The Republicans think the solution is in vouchers and pay for performance schemes. The vouchers will swamp the good suburban schools with disruptive blacks. And pay for performance is useless for the reasons Posner outlined.

I've been curious to talk about vouchers for some time now. Your criticism doesn't seem valid. Vouchers would free up a (hopefully substantial) fraction of public education tax dollars, right? Meaning, private schools being built and public schools being torn down. So, extant private schools don't have to be swamped, as long a the thing is phased in over time.

Anonymous said...

...and at the high school level focus on vocational classes much early on.

That would be a great idea...if we weren't so busy offshoring almost all our manufacturing jobs. Not much point training a ghetto kid to be a machinist if there won't be any jobs for him when you've finished training him.

Anonymous said...

I have had an interesting correspondence with Richard Lynn about Israeli IQ. He notes that Israelis of European origin (Ashkenazim) have an average IQ of about the European norm (100) whereas Israelis from the Arab lands (Sephardim) have the quite low average IQ of 88.

And by averaging them together he comes up with a figure of 94.

TGGP said...

Eric Posner wants to restrict our freedom of speech so we don't offend foreigners and make the unaccountable executive's imperial administration of the world more difficult. To hell with him. His father Richard has at least written some stuff worth reading.

Anonymous said...

Hispanics are a varied group.
Calling everyone from Latin America 'Hispanic'(regardless of their race or ethnicity) because they speak Spanish is like calling everyone who speaks English in the US an 'Anglo'.

If blacks who speak Spanish are Hispanic, why shouldn't blacks who speak English not be Anglo?

Anonymous said...

Posner mentioned iq but said it mostly due to environment.

Anonymous said...

http://www.kansascity.com/2012/09/10/3802097/memo-to-gop-demography-is-destiny.html

When mexers crow about it, it's not demagoguery. It's a celebration.

Jews love it.

Anonymous said...

The education of which most American students are being so egregiously deprived is an education in humility, discipline and self control. This is a far greater problem than ignorance of facts or deficits in skills.

Truth said...

"In America, it is a stunning 70%."

Not even close:

http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb12-33.html

Truth said...

"- East Asian average IQ is comparable to that of Germans, with a skew toward mathematical over verbal ability compared to Europeans."

Steve has cited studies that indicate that the average IQ in Hong Kong right now is 120+.

Truth said...

"Actually, when you look at specific white groups- whites in britain, whites in denmark, etc. often you find that the avg is 110 or so, which is higher than the NE Asian avg. of 105. They aren't lumped together with an increasingly higher pct of NAMs in their population as we are, under the category 'American' which people then take as free rein to assume is the IQ of whites."

That's not the way IQ rankings work.

Anonymous said...

Israelis from the Arab lands (Sephardim)

Jews from Arab lands are called Mizrahim. Sephardim are the descendants of the Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal. Some Sephardim went to North Africa and other Arab lands after the expulsion. However, not all of the Jews in those places are descended from Sephardim.

As for Israeli IQ, one other thing to consider is that there has been a lot of mixing between Ashkenazim, Sephardim and Mizrahim. There aren't that many pure Ashkenazim left, and it is possible that someone might identify as Ashkenazi when being tested, say if he has an Ashkenazi surname, but be less than fully Ashkenazi by ancestry.

Pincher Martin said...

"At the risk of sounding retrograde and unimaginative, I suggest that the only worthwhile reforms of teacher compensation are raising teacher wages uniformly, providing recognition and modest bonuses for outstanding teachers, and increasing hiring standards. The first two suggested reforms are essential because without them the third will have little or no effect on teacher quality."

Posner believes that the only compensation reform likely to work is to raise teacher's wages uniformly? State budgets are already under heavy stress because of education expenditures and teacher pensions, so I assume he is also for raising taxes significantly.

Posner's point above also doesn't mesh with his additional comment about teacher salaries that "teaching below the college level tends not to be attractive to competitive people." If that's true, then why worry whether women have better salary opportunities outside of the education profession?

Posner wants his readers to believe that the people who might become teachers respond to monetary incentives only until they actually become teachers. Afterwards? It appears he thinks additional monetary rewards won't work anymore. I can believe one or the other, but not both.

*****

Posner also mentions his own experience as a federal appeals court judge.

"I happen to have a job, as a federal court of appeals judge, in which everyone is securely tenured and paid the same salary, even though the judges vary in ability, experience, and effort. There are many jobs of that sort, they have their pluses and their minuses, and it would be a mistake to think that all such jobs would be performed better if they were restructured along the Darwinian lines that prevail in business."

This analogy between teachers and judges seems greatly strained.

According to Wikipedia, there are 179 federal court of appeals judges. They are all political appointees, picked by the president and confirmed by the senate. Some of them have no serious jurist experience before being nominated.

It's unclear what objective standard potential judges need hlive up to at all - once they have cleared the minimum professional standards demanded of by their peers (e.g., passed the bar). Or if it's even desirable that only the smartest and most capable men and women be allowed to serve on the courts regardless of their political principles.

Does any conservative really care whether Stephen Breyer's legal arguments are better made than Clarence Thomas's? Does any liberal really care that Scalia's arguments are better made than Ruth Bader Ginzberg's? I doubt it. At least not enough to throw their partisan off the bench and replace him with someone they agree is more professionally suited but opposite of their politics.

That's because the job of judge is as much about politics as it is about maintaining professional excellence. Few would say the same about math teachers.

Anonymous said...

Another issue affecting Ashkenazi IQ in Israel is the proportion of ultra-Orthodox. Ultra-Orthodox make up a significantly larger fraction of the Ashkenazi population in Israel than they do in the U.S. (although their population share is growing here). If they have lower average IQ than more secular Jews, that would also affect estimates.

sunbeam said...

Truth said:

""- East Asian average IQ is comparable to that of Germans, with a skew toward mathematical over verbal ability compared to Europeans."

Steve has cited studies that indicate that the average IQ in Hong Kong right now is 120+."

How can that possibly be true?

According to wikipedia the population of Hong Kong is 7 million people. And the average of these people is more than a standard deviation above the US average?

I dunno, maybe if the best and brightest in China decide to a large extent Hong Kong is where it's at maybe, and they push the dumber ones out. Other than that I have a hard time seeing it.

DaveinHackensack said...

"So, extant private schools don't have to be swamped, as long a the thing is phased in over time."

Another reason they wouldn't be swamped is that the vouchers wouldn't cover the full cost of the fancy schools. In order to neutralize the talking point that vouchers are draining resources from public schools, they would almost certainly be set at a level a little less than the per-pupil spending a district. So, for example, here in NJ, where the average is about $16k per kid, a voucher might be set at $14k.

It wouldn't be hard to set up profitable, specialized schools collecting $14k per kid per year, when you don't have to cover the gold plated pensions and benefits of public school teachers, so you'd see a bunch pop up. Maybe someone would take Steve's idea for one, and hire retired Army NCOs as disciplinarians. That could be the school that takes the ones kicked out by public schools.

At the same time, though, $14k isn't going to get you into fancy private schools around here that can charge $30k per year. So none of them will get swamped by voucher students.

Mitch said...

Pincher,

If that's true, then why worry whether women have better salary opportunities outside of the education profession?

I understood Posner to mean "not competitive", as in "not wanting a job that relies on competition to get ahead", as opposed to "not competitive enough to get paid more". I agree with that. It's also true of government workers, cops, and firefighters.

While his statements about women having better opportunities than teaching are conventional wisdom, I have never seen any evidence that this is in fact true. People have been complaining about teacher qualifications for most of the 20th century. There's no evidence yet that teachers were better educated or more qualified in the past.


It's unclear what objective standard potential judges need hlive up to at all

You might want to ask Harriet Miers about that.

By the way, it's manifestly unclear what objective standard teachers need to live up to, either. Reformers think they have one, but they don't.

I agree with you, however, that it doesn't make sense to give teachers more money.

His paragraph about the purpose of school was practicallly perfect, though.

Anonymous said...

True, smart people didn't earn their smart brains. But they do earn the good grades they tend to make by working hard to use those smart brains. Aren't they entitled to feel some pride about that?

One of Steve's earlier articles was about how even this aspect of an individual may be predetermined by his genes, in much the way that some working dogs are responsible and others are flighty. It may turn out that there's a kind of biological Calvinism at work governing our individual destinies. It's almost a prescription for socialism.

Friendly Asian Neighbour said...

"Truth" wrote a few things.

First:

"In America, it is a stunning 70%."

Not even close:

http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb12-33.html"

You need to learn to re-read the text. I was talking in the Indian-American context.

70% of Indian-Americans have a bachelor's degree while only 8% of Indians back home have.

This was an example of just how skewed the Asian-American population is.

Second:

Hong Kong has a high IQ, but the difference between Amsterdam and the rural Dutch country is about 15 IQ, and this includes a 40% non-Western(overwhelmingly Arab) population.

That's why the Chinese include Hong Kong and Shanghai in the PISA test, but refuse to let the rest of the country participate. Because they know that in those cities the cognitice elite are situated.


My, my, you are really poorly informed.

Anonymous said...

Hispanics are a varied group.
Calling everyone from Latin America 'Hispanic'(regardless of their race or ethnicity) because they speak Spanish is like calling everyone who speaks English in the US an 'Anglo'.

If blacks who speak Spanish are Hispanic, why shouldn't blacks who speak English not be Anglo?


I've often felt the same. I don't like the current way the census classifies people because everyone is pigeon holed based upon whether or not they are hispanic. For example, most of the people on this blog are considered white non-hispanic. Why is this so? It gives an unearned level of importance to the Spanish language and culture in regards to the history of the USA.

There is no doubt that English is the dominant language and formed the kernel of our culture at the Founding. All follow on immigrants adopted English and English was the language the original Anglo-Saxons and non Anglo immigrants used to write literature, poetry, lyrics, plays and movies. It is English, not Spanish, that is the the important cultural force in America.

Therefore, they should classify people based upon whether or not English is their primary language. So a recent immigrant from Mexico, Haiti, or China would be classified as a non Anglo white, non Anglo black and non Anglo Asian.

The son of the Mexican, Haitian or Chinese immigrant, born and raised in the US, would be anglo white, anglo black and anglo Asian.

You would still see a break down by race, but by eliminating the hispanic category and calling everyone born and raised here Anglo, you would cut down a lot on the racial spoils system because all those hispanics who are now classifed as 'white hispanic' would be classified as 'white anglo' and get buried in the heap of Germans, Irish, English and every other white group that now speaks English.

Truth said...

" In India, 8% of the population has a bachelor's degree.

In America, it is a stunning 70%."

"You need to learn to re-read the text. I was talking in the Indian-American context."

LMAO; are you sure it is not you who needs to re-write the text?

Big Bill said...

"Student performance is overwhelmingly determined by family of origin. Motivated parents flock to better public and private schools in textbook capital flight. "

That's the crazy thing about this. Mr. Brown, of Brown v. Board of Education wanted to get his sweet little black daughter out of the ghetto, way the heck away from Negroes and into a decent white school with decent white friends. He moved to the other (white) side of town to do just that.

imagine his shock and horror when the school said she would have to go back to the same old school with the very Negroes he was so desperately trying to escape!

Negroes are desperately escaping Negroes all over the world. When Negroes escape Negroes and come live with white folks, it is called "integration". When white folks do the exact same thing for the exact same reasons, it is called "white flight". Go figure.

San Franciscan non-monk said...

What does he mean by saying that the middle class is the upper quartile?

stari_momak said...

"This was in TX, a state where teachers' unions are powerless."

I hate to say it, but Texas is one of the most improved states judging by NAEP scores. Also one of the few (only?) where the white-'hispanic' gap has closed somewhat (but not all that much).

Pincher Martin said...

Mitch,

"You might want to ask Harriet Miers about [how unclear the objective standards are for potential judges]."

Harriet Miers' nomination shows just how "unclear" the professional standards are for judges.

It was conservative ideologues, not professional legal critics or nonpartisan lawyers' organizations like the American Bar Association, who were the primary drivers in forcing the Bush Administration to withdraw her nomination. Her most dedicated opponents weren't guided by objective professional standards, but by ideological ones. They weren't concerned she was an incompetent jurist; they were concerned Bush was putting an ideological cipher on the court.

"I understood Posner to mean "not competitive", as in "not wanting a job that relies on competition to get ahead", as opposed to "not competitive enough to get paid more". I agree with that. It's also true of government workers, cops, and firefighters."

I thought his comment was made in the context of monetary incentives.

For example, a lot of people might teach because they like the long summer vacations or the reliable working hours or the relative job stability they find in teaching, and they are willing to forego some salary in order to gain that additional freedom or security. They might like teaching and care a great deal for the kids, but they were also attracted to teaching because they wanted a more balanced life.

Introducing monetary awards for performance into such a group, assuming we even could measure teacher performance accurately and fairly, is not likely to lead to the results one might expect in a more strictly economically rational group. As Posner says, teachers as a group are generally not competitive and seeking to maximize every dollar they can get. if they were, they wouldn't be teachers.

Anonymous said...

"True, smart people didn't earn their smart brains. But they do earn the good grades they tend to make by working hard to use those smart brains. Aren't they entitled to feel some pride about that?"

Or entitled to some guilt on seeing their hard-working friends still way behind their low-effort approach to school results.

dearieme said...

"My father survived 42 years of a policy of firing the bottom 5-10% each year." Once the backlog of lousy teachers had been cleared, there would be no need to fire 5% - 10% each year, probably just 5%-10% of the new intake. Plus, perhaps, the odd older one who's started hitting the bottle.

You have to design a school system that can cope with most teachers being so-so: it's only the lousy ones you have to get rid of. Once it's clear to most teachers that their jobs are safe, their morale would be boosted by seeing the dismissing of the lousy ones who drag a school down.

Anonymous said...

Mark Teixeira is of Portuguese origins and is considered a Yankee.

Jim said...

Regarding Lynn's IQ numbers. Lynn
norms his IQ numbers by setting the UK to 100. He gives, I belive, 98 as the US average. In comparing Lynn's estimates to other sources where the US population is set to 100, 2 points should be added to Lynn's numbers.

walter condley said...

nonpartisan lawyers' organizations like the American Bar Association

Help him Lord.

IHTG said...

25 % of all Jews in America are non-Asheknazi. Non-Ashkenazi Jews in Israel form the overwhelming majority

Wrong and wrong.

There aren't that many pure Ashkenazim left

Wrong.

Comments section is getting crappy lately.

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

Anonymous10/14/12 3:18 PM

"Funny thing how American teachers got lousier as the students they had to teach got dumber."

Why funny? This is entirely to be expected. As a loser in an academic rat race, I could have considered teaching a bunch of bright kids but there is no way I will ever agree to teach "traditional" students, which would be a bunch of NAMs with serious discipline problems.

Dutch Boy: No matter how obvious it is to you ( or to me!), methinks you needed to use the old "/sarcasm".

Maya said...

"My father survived 42 years of a policy of firing the bottom 5-10% each year."

Was your father evaluated based on other people's merits and wildly differing, statistically invalid scores gathered from short observations by people with no real qualifications? Was his performance judged against expectations based in reality or those rooted in pure fantasy? Was your father ever held responsible when a plane crashed as a result of a drugged poodle being allowed to pilot it? Was your father ever demoted for what he was ordered to do against his better judgement? How about for refusing to follow orders that he knew would lead to disaster? Did his superiors ever give him a bunch of inflatable matresses and tell him to make sure that they make it to Japan without stopping to refuel, with a straight face? Did he have a pannel of 20 ever changing managers, each of whom would show up at random to insist that your father should repaint the planes instead of checking their mechanisms or that what he really needs to focus on is becoming friendly with the families of any given crew that any given plane might carry? If anything your father was working on did turn out to be majorely defective, was he allowed to tell somebody, or was he required to just shut up and not think about it?

Anonymous said...

Posner probably figures he is too old now to be appointed to the Supreme Court even if Romney is elected, Presidents want Supreme Court justices in their 40's and 50's not their 70's. Posner will have to be happy with being the Learned Hand of his generation ( The most influential jurist not on the Supreme Court ) so he probably figures the conventional wisdom will eventually turn on IQ and he is going to be out in front at least amongst those in the self selecting elite. Not surprising given his history of going against the grain on range of issues, such as bringing economic analysis into the law. BTW, Posner was brought in a mediator on the Microsoft antitrust case, and earned Bill Gates highest verbal compliment: " He's a super-smart guy "

Steve Sailer said...

Actually, he spent many years trying to keep the F-104 (an interceptor that the Lockheed brass had sold to the West Germans as a low-level fighter bomber by bribing the Defense Minister $10 million) from killing so many German pilots in training missions, so, yeah, he had some experience with that sort of job.

Nanonymous said...

San Franciscan non-monk said:
"What does he mean by saying that the middle class is the upper quartile?"

Oh, he means to say (but does not): "Welcome to Brazil version 2.0)"

Maya said...

Well, everyone has to deal with a stupid/destructive boss at one time or another, but it's a matter of degree. In all sincerety, I don't consider the analogies I made above to be absurd exaggerations. I have friends here who teach AP English and AP Calc. Every year, they are handed a bunch of students who are known to be completely illiterate and unable to do long divission/compute percentages and told, "Seriously. You can make this work if you put your mind to it. Sure, they might not catch up enough to get 5s on the test, but 4s and 3s aren't out of reach here. Just follow the gudelines, work hard and make them know that you care". Also, a bunch of my collegues are micromanaged to such a degree that not a single thing they do originates from them. Yet, they are still held responsible for the (non)results.

Btw, I say all this as someone who is considered a "good" teacher and hasn't gotten a bad evaluation in almost 2 years. I'm sort of an admin whisperer, actually. Some of it is due to my willingness to smile or scrunch up my forehead in mock concentration as needed, but a lot of it has to do with me overplaying my ethnic wisdom and the richness of my culture. Any time I'm corrected or shamed, I wait until it's my time to compliment the admin and proceed to thank her for helping me become a better American and understand American culture, all the while apologizing for slipping into my inferior cultural norms. They shrink back. A few a sincerely conserned about "native born privilege". Many know exactly what I'm doing, but still don't want to touch it. They leave me alone now, mostly. The reason I sound so angry and bitter is that the game I'm playing makes me feel dirty and compliant, like a French collaborationist pleasuring a nazi.

Sorry, about the probable spelling and format horrors. I'm posting with a phone.

pat said...

Well I certainly agree with him on the attractiveness of teaching below the college level. I often wonder why Bill O'Reilly seems so proud of having taught high school?

I've never taught at that level but I have visited high schools and inteviewed the teachers. They alway looked to me like people trying to survive in a war zone. I can't imagine enduring the daily stress of teaching in a typical urban high school. It's like being a coal miner - the kind of job you are driven to in desparation. Not the kind of job any sensible person would choose.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

"Posner was brought in a mediator on the Microsoft antitrust case, and earned Bill Gates highest verbal compliment: " He's a super-smart guy ""

In case albertosaurus forgets, Kildall. And Gates's mother.

Wade said...

From the LA Times:

"The Gallup polling organization will gather the questioners from a pool who say they have not picked either Romney or Obama. The voters will submit their questions, and Crowley will then help pick the 15 or so who will have a chance to ask their question, live, before a national television audience expected to number 60 million or more."

...so Crowley, an Obama supporter, was given sole discretion in winnowing 80 submitted questions down to about 15 to be asked. Does anyone actually seriously entertain the idea that this was a fair fight? Why Reince Priebus didn't cry foul to the debate committee days before the debate about this is a mystery to me.

Romney fought with one hand tied behind his back, or more accurately, Obama was fighting with a 3rd arm. Crowley even had a response herself prepared for Romney's highly anticipated attack on the administration's handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi. Romney had literally turned his back towards Crowley to deliver the attack to Obama sitting behind him when Crowley attacked his statement on Benghazi from the front.

Very disappointed here.

Svigor said...

"- East Asian average IQ is comparable to that of Germans, with a skew toward mathematical over verbal ability compared to Europeans."

Steve has cited studies that indicate that the average IQ in Hong Kong right now is 120+.


So? I bet mean IQ in Silicon Valley is higher than the American, just as the HK mean is probably higher than the Chinese. Well over a billion Chinamen, all clamoring to get into HK - one would hope the mean IQ there is high. But 120 is an extraordinary claim, requiring extraordinary evidence.

Svigor said...

"Actually, when you look at specific white groups- whites in britain, whites in denmark, etc. often you find that the avg is 110 or so, which is higher than the NE Asian avg. of 105. They aren't lumped together with an increasingly higher pct of NAMs in their population as we are, under the category 'American' which people then take as free rein to assume is the IQ of whites."

That's not the way IQ rankings work.


So, you were just putting your dick in the butter tray when you wrote:

"- East Asian average IQ is comparable to that of Germans, with a skew toward mathematical over verbal ability compared to Europeans."

Steve has cited studies that indicate that the average IQ in Hong Kong right now is 120+.


Right?

Svigor said...

As for Israeli IQ, one other thing to consider is that there has been a lot of mixing between Ashkenazim, Sephardim and Mizrahim. There aren't that many pure Ashkenazim left, and it is possible that someone might identify as Ashkenazi when being tested, say if he has an Ashkenazi surname, but be less than fully Ashkenazi by ancestry.

The smart Jews would rather live in the diaspora among non-Jews than in the Jewish ethno-state. I think Occam would like that explanation. There were certainly more Ashkenazis living in the diaspora than in Israel, last time I checked.

Another issue affecting Ashkenazi IQ in Israel is the proportion of ultra-Orthodox. Ultra-Orthodox make up a significantly larger fraction of the Ashkenazi population in Israel than they do in the U.S. (although their population share is growing here). If they have lower average IQ than more secular Jews, that would also affect estimates.

Mean Ashkenazi IQ in Israel is 104. I don't have the source handy, but that's my recollection.

This all seems plausible to me. The dumb Ashkenazis with IQs sufficient to make them the elite in Israel, but not elsewhere, find Israel an attractive deal. The smart Ashkenazis with IQs sufficient to make them the elite in the diaspora (when combined with the stratospheric levels of Ashkenazi ethnocentrism) find the diaspora more attractive.

Svigor said...

Second, Asians in America are the top of the crop. In India, 8% of the population has a bachelor's degree.

In America, it is a stunning 70%.


T, I think it was obvious to everyone (else) that he meant that 70% of Indians in America have bachelor's degrees.

Interesting statistic, btw.

Truth said...

"T, I think it was obvious to everyone (else) that he meant that 70% of Indians in America have bachelor's degrees.

Interesting statistic, btw."

My Dick Tracy secret decoder ring was in the shop.

Truth said...

"So, you were just putting your dick in the butter tray"

That may just be the whitest axiom ever produced by anyone from the European diaspora in any language.

Anonymous said...

>Europeans generally score higher on verbal tests on which you cannot prepare on.

Guess not.