Video: America needs to mind the (racial) gaps. All of them

What do you think of this public service announcement? Do you think education reform — and the achievement gap question — is too often discussed as if schools were in a vacuum?

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Nextset

    The usual propaganda written by people who know the truth but peddle lies.

    Racial differences are real, concrete and have been charted for generations all over the world. Get over it. Everybody is good at something, not the same things.

    If the USA is tired of 4% of the population (black males between certain age) committing 50% of the crime (Google Color Of Crime) maybe they will fix the public schools system, and the other systems we have changed in the last 80 years to systematically promote diseugenics. Otherwise we should stop with the pretending we have no idea why the trends are moving the way they are.

    A well run public school system can make a difference in the socialization of all our proletariat youth – as well as the non-prole kids whose families don’t want to homeschool them, send them to church schools, private schools, etc. Like Delancey Street Foundation our schools should make sure that no one reaches 18 and leaves without having 2 or 3 areas of training and experience to get a job or support themselves. Like DSF the schools are responsible (not just the parents) to require that their products speak the language well (Even a 85 IQ can be taught English grammar and vocabulary). In short, the schools should deliver as much as a good drug rehab program.

    The gap is physical and real. It doesn’t matter why or where is comes from. It cannot be changed (across a group) in adolescence. Prenatal and Postnatal nutritional supplements seems to be a economically viable way to help the numbers over a generation or two if you can get the target population to take them (good luck with that). Schools don’t plan into the 3rd generation.

    I think the service announcement is a disservice. It propagates the lie that the “gap” is the result of neglect, disservice, or victimization. It is intended to fool the public into thinking the gap can be fixed with more taxes, more spending, more government. We are spending too much on the public schools as it is. Redirecting public policy from throwing money at bad behavior, to running public programs to actually be effective in curbing bad behavior will improve life for all, while cutting waste.

    I’d write as PSA stating that the gap is real and in this society everybody works to the best of their ability. No one rides for free. And everybody is equal before the law here – if you’re a citizen and not a convicted felon, of course.

  • Irene

    I like the public service announcement. I think these are important contrasts to draw. I do think the education achievement gap needs to be tied to the other social and economic disparities. (I also wish that these ads would bring in class issues too, but I realize that’s a lot to ask in the seconds they had.)

  • Sharon

    Nextset: I will admit that agree with a few of the things you have said over time. I am interested in the history of Oakland and its demographics changes and would like to get your perspective on something.

    I have learned that a few Blacks (some free, some enslaved) came to the Bay Area for the Gold Rush and in the years that followed. Then, after the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed (1869) more Blacks settled in Oakland because it was the terminus for the railroad. A substantial number of Black residents were connected to train work especially via the Pullman Company (the biggest single employer of African Americans in post-Civil War America). This was high status work for African Americans at that time.

    In 1940, Oakland’s African American population was 8,462. Things changed during WW II.

    Kaiser needed laborers for his shipyards so he recruited many of them from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. I have heard that many Black folks in Oakland have family ties to Monroe, Louisiana. I have also been told that these laborers were some of the poorest sharecroppers of all in the Deep South. They came to California hoping to find better opportunities. By 1950, Oakland’s African American population was 47,562.

    When WW II was over, ships were no longer needed so the shipyards eventually closed down. Like other big American cities, Oakland had other manufacturing jobs for a time, such as food processing and auto manufacturing (we were called the “Detroit of the West”). Most of those blue-collar jobs evaporated by the early 1960’s. Oakland then ended up being the home for thousands of Black folk, with few familial accumulated assets (materially or educationally), who could not find work because there were just not enough jobs.

    From what you have written, your “…parents, grandparents and great grandparents were educators going back into the 19th century.” In fact, your relatives “…were among the 1st black teachers in the East Bay public schools.” You have also said that your parents “…had professional degrees for over 2 generations.” Your family assets also included living in a home in El Cerrito that was “nicer and more expensive” and higher on the hill than those of the blue collar whites living nearby. It also sounds like you have a successful extended family since you have revealed that you have “several relatives working in the banking & medical industries.”

    Undoubtedly, those many generational and familial assets contributed to your success. How might that contrast with the experiences of the poor, uneducated African Americans with few assets who arrived in the Bay Area later than yours, and their descendants? Are you saying that their current predicament is simply because of their low IQ’s?

    A 14 year old boy today might have had perfectly intelligent and hard-working great-grandparents (b. circa 1919) who moved to Oakland in 1943 from Louisiana to work in the shipyards. Unfortunately, their son, the boy’s grandfather (b. circa 1944), would have had a much more difficult time finding work when he graduated from high school in 1962. He might have had a son (b. circa 1969) despite having never found decent employment. And that son may have had a son in 1994, thus our 14 year old boy. By the time this great-grandson of a couple from Louisiana is born, no male in his family has been gainfully employed for generations, and probably no male in his neighborhood has been either.

    The skills which have been traditionally transmitted by fathers to sons — about being a steady mate and a good provider — have been dwindling from this family group for decades and have most certainly disappeared altogether from their body of knowledge. This doesn’t even take into account the strain that such generational unemployment would place on marriages, and the Idea of Marriage; I would imagine that the whole concept would become irrelevant in a segment of society that has experienced this history. I would also imagine that having no knowledge about how to be a productive member of society may cause a level of despair and lack of purpose that contributes to substance abuse, pathological levels of anger, carelessness about life, etc. Perhaps this is what feeds and reinforces the “street” culture.

    How realistic is it to expect our public schools to rectify the consequences of such immense generational damage to so many families? What are your thoughts?

  • Doowhopper

    Just a quick thought – I keep reading about the low IQ’s of African American kids. OK, then WHY are these same kids such quick and creative thinkers? To me, the Black students I encounter are extremely bright and their wit is razor sharp.
    I think the true problem and reason why African American test scores are low is that their culture discourages academic excellence. You get no “props” from females or “the homies” for being an intellectual so in the short term it pays to act a fool or put on a thuggish pose.
    Yet make no mistake about it – most black kids are VERY intelligent. Yet most will not put in the WORK.

  • Caroline

    I’ve posted before about black sociologist Elijah Anderson’s book “The Code of the Street.”

    His book portrays a street culture that is actively — aggressively — alienated from and oppositional to the mainstream culture. That means it’s not just that the culture discourages academic excellence; it strongly encourages resisting cooperation with the school’s (and the mainstream culture’s) agenda.

    And the tougher kids show themselves to be by doing that, the more street credibility they get, which in a dangerous, violent culture they see as a matter of safety and survival.

    These kids didn’t create that culture; they’re using their intelligence to survive in it. I don’t know what the answer is, but I think he illuminates the situation clearly. In that light you can see why the problem goes deeper than just the need to encourage kids to do their schoolwork.

  • Nextset

    Sharon: A lot of questions to answer. My immediate family came to Oakland in 1949 from the St. Louis area. It seems that entire neighborhoods from East relocated to Oakland and the East Bay. Some of the very elderly (age 90+) blacks who were part of that exodus have friends here they knew as small children “back east”. They relocated to the same zip codes across the country. In my society we don’t have blacks who were here before WWI. Everybody I knew was back east in the 1920s and before.

    I am well aware of the Oakland Pullman Porters – that group and their families were here first.

    My group all went to segregated black schools through college and professional school with certain exceptions (grandfather finished grad school at Univ of Colorado of all places in the early 1930s or so). They brought their social class system with them which sure didn’t include the Pullman Porters (or their children) in their social clubs.

    It’s clear to me that IQ is the dominant factor in development – with each family grouping having the dumb one and the smart one. But IQ only accounts for certain things. Think of it as brain processing speed, and it’s required at higher levels for lab sciences, math, ability to win at chess, etc. Essential for higher academics. Avg IQ people can support a family and stay out of trouble if they have other assets – but they are always more prone to short sighted judgment and always will be. If they are fortunate they are balanced with siblings/spouses. One important feature they have (comparatively) is ability to operate in an environment where aggression is needed to survive. The same process occurs with the Irish and Italian families with different baselines.

    No amount of good family is going to make up for an IQ of 85 (black average) compared to 115 (believed to be avg for Chinese/Japanese & European Jews). Over time the higher IQ group and individual will routinely amass more education, labor skills, assets, better health, etc. The differences are stark by the time the individual is 15 and the lesser IQs drop back in intellectual accomplishment from that point on. All the groups have geniuses but not in the same ratio. There is evidence that the higher processing speed people have related “problems” – nervousness is one quaint word that’s used. My Jewish friends nearly all have their psychiatrist on speed-dial. Things that others shrug off make them nervous wrecks. Whatever… But the 85s and lower will periodically need to be bailed out of Jail, stitched up, and buried earlier. Blacks have more of them, Asians have (much) fewer of them per 100.

    Basically it takes everybody sometimes to cover all the bases in a division of labor economy. You can’t make the lower IQ be like the highers and nobody wants to switch places – they just like different things.

    Virtually all of the pathology we see with groups of blacks dovetails neatly with the group IQs, as compared to Hispanics, Whites, Asians, whatever. But since 1960 the black mortality and pathology tables have taken a nosedive beyond anything historical – which I attribute to the diseugenics Johnson’s Great Society programs imposed on the entire country.

    Combined with the calculated USA policy of importing 20 million Mexicans and their stream of decendents – you are going to see a kill-off of American Blacks in our lifetime, both politically with the removal of the members of the Black Congressional Caucus (and the mayors, etc), economically, physically (we now see the ethnic cleansing of Blacks in Los Angeles by gunpoint by Mexicans across whole neighborhoods, and medically with the HIV trends which are practically unbelievable (rate of infected per 1000, age 12 to 30 as seen 20, 15, 10, 5 years ago and today). The group IQ (Mexicans have a 93 avg to black 85 avg) makes the Mexicans the iceplant in the garden.

    And don’t think the USA ruling classes don’t know exactly how all these trends are playing out. It’s happening with some speed. Have you seen the prison guard union in CA lately?

    Your question begs the nature vs nurture issue. I’m sorry, that discussion is old and cold now. In the time we have left all you can do is try to save some clusters of people. A good school program here and a good program there. You can make the 90s taxpayers but you cannot make them physicians, period.

    I watch the numbers and just don’t see any significant good news. The majority of people still think this problem will go away if you throw money at it (it won’t) – nobody is pushing affirmative action anymore, it was a disaster anyway.

    The popular thing is Pallative care – making the black folks feel comfortable. That comfort will put them to sleep for good.

    Anyway, Dellums is a trainwreck and will be replaced with the next Hispanic candidate. Barbara Lee will go next. They need to go anyway. Look around the state. Interesting trends, blacks replace whites but then are put out of office by Hispanics.

    Have you looked at the projected demographics for the 2012 elections? Even without McCain legalizing the invading Mexicans here illegally. The voting demographic is fundamentally altered and the Hispanics are not American in taste, they are Mexican and they vote Mexican values (power structure, corruption, ways of doing business).

  • Nextset

    Doowhopper: You can have serious powers involving music, rapping, basketball, etc while being too dumb to balance a checkbook. Creativity doesn’t seem to be tied to brain processing speed. Everybody has something they are better at. That’s why your black kids out do the other kids in certain areas, and will continue to do so past adolescence. But they will have different causes of death at every age range.

    Some of that difference is related to starting puberty significantly earlier than the other groups – which may be related to the higher trauma deaths for the black adolescents male and female. There are interlocking differences to the racial groups from puberty to IQ group avg and distribution. The important thing is that the groups are different, act different (in groups) and all the groups are usually pretty darn pleased with themselves and don’t want to be anything else.

    Because you can’t do serial sevens backward as fast doesn’t mean your are stupid. But your decision making is simply as not as future oriented and it’s never going to be.

    So there are going to be group differences in bastardy, credit scores, homeownership, job skills, medical compliance, the list is endless.

    If you want different numbers, intermarry across races and/or take prenatal vitamins or something similar. Check the scores in a generation or two.

    We are all equal before the law and nowhere else. And none of this is an excuse for anybody not to make the most of the life they’ve been given.

    But stop putting lower IQ students in an academic program and making them feel so bad because they are “slow” until they tear the school apart. They could be the Next Ray Charles minus the heroin habit, everybody has something to offer if it can be identified and developed. And it’s probably NOT Calculus.

  • Doowhopper

    Nextset, I haven’t got much time today but I do want to pose one question vis a vis the assertion that the average black IQ is 85?
    If that is so, why do AFRICANS who come here as immigrants, just as “black” as a kid from West Oakland, almost all do quite well academically and are frequently seen in AP classes at places like Tech or Skyline?
    My answer is that it is not race that is the determining factor but CULTURE. These African kids for the most part come from stable two parent families and have not bought into the “thug life” mindset so many Americans have.
    Again, I want to delve further but time is tight today.

  • Sharon

    Nextset: You responded at last! So then, how do the expectations of “No Child Left Behind” and its supporters (like the ever expectant Education Trust) all fit into this? Are they simply off track with their thinking, or – like wolves in sheep’s clothing – do they have some other hidden agenda? Because, honestly, according to what you are saying, NCLB’s goals are absolutely ludicrous. Many of us have known this all along, we just don’t think it is all because of IQ.

    Also, tell me your thoughts about this. Several years ago, my husband attended a community meeting (held at Mills College during the Jerry Brown days) to discuss the possibility of starting an academic high school in Oakland. He observed A LOT of anger and hostility about this proposal expressed mostly by Black people who were in attendance. Of course, the whole idea was immediately shelved. The end.

    Here’s another thing re: Asian students. Richard Rothstein reports studies (p. 33) in his book “Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic, and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievemant Gap” (2004) which have shown that “Asian students with Confucian traditions are often taught obligations to serve their parents with academic achievement. Latin American and Asian immigrant families may have similar incomes and be similarly close-knit, but where the former expect children to serve by assisting with chores, the later expect them to do so by studying.”

    Not knowing anything about the Confucian tradition at the time, I ended up reading about it to learn more. I have learned that Confucianism is not really a religion. Rather, it is an ethical and philosophical system that has played a major role in guiding the very, very large Chinese society (in and out of China) for two and a half thousand years. It is very powerful and, to me, undoubtedly accounts for a significant portion of Lincoln Elementary School’s current API of 899, your reported IQ averages not withstanding.

    I would like to see any discussion which mentions the high academic achievement of Asian students (even those from very low income families) including this piece of the puzzle. I am currently in the mode of thinking that America, and especially Black America, probably needs to discover and embrace a 21st century version of Confucianism to help halt the unraveling. What say you?

  • Nextset

    Doowhopper: I have African immigrant in-laws. Sub-saharan Africans are believed to avg IQ at 70. There is a natural selection process at work that has the brighter ones immigrating here. Those I’ve met over the years are typically far brighter than the American Negroes. (ie foreign trained and American trained physicians, lawyers, skilled labor, etc.) Often these immigrants come from a long line of higher IQ families. It’s a hoot to see their displeasure at indigenous US Black group behavior and attitudes…

    The same thing works in cases where blacks who are military families enroll in local schools. The US (voluntary) military ruthlessly screens for IQ and keeps out most of the black candidates. Those that enroll are not average at all. Their children do not profile to typical black group norms because they are no random selection, they are in effect pre-screened.

    Once you stop using random sortings and are dealing with sub-groups of blacks you can have a series of people who are at and above the white avg IQ. Now put them up against Jewish (avg IQ 115, far high ratio of geniuses) undergrad and graduate students and see what happens. You just have too many high scorers when competing with the higher IQ avg groups, they swamp everybody else.

    IQ is not everything but it’s critically important for abstract thinking, morals and values, and future orientation. Other attributes can contribute to the takeover of whole industries by ethnic groups such as the Irish (100 avg) takeover in the US of big city police and fire departments from the 1900s when they were reviled to 1960 when they stole/took the US Presidency after previously taking all the important Big City Municipal Governments. They were not as “advantaged” as the WASPs who’d run things forever but they had superior political/people skills, were ruthless and disciplined. The WASPs were simply outclassed on networking. The Jewish crime families may have had high IQ than the Italians but couldn’t surpass the Italian skillsets at organized physical crime. They had Wall Street to conquer anyway. When they weren’t allowed into the WASP controlled Country Clubs they built newer and better ones for themselves. They evaded some of the strong anti Jewish policy (Jewish Caps on enrollment) in the Ivy League schools by changing their names. White affirmative Action remains now in the form of Legacy points – without those, the Jewish applicants nationally would completely takeover Ivy League. What was a few Jewish immigrants in 1900 now utterly dominate key industries in finance, sciences, entertainment (they always did like vaudville) and CA Senate seats. It “just happened”.

    Only certain people get the Nobel Prizes in lab sciences and it wasn’t the Irish or the Blacks.

    Culture is a reflection of present vs future orientation, higher IQ is required to have or sustain future orientation. It’s not the culture that keeps the sub-saharan blacks from having 2 story mud huts or a stable currency or government, it’s that Avg IQ of 70, it’s too low to sustain civilization. 70 is the offical retardation point but that point was going to be set at 85 until it was decided that officially classifying half of the US blacks as retarded wasn’t desirable. Still, at 85 you are going to need help getting along in society or you’d get dead early.

    As far as your school kids, you have bright students scattered around. US Court cases have banned school IQ testing for black students but not for others. It’s very difficult to directly test and push forward the black brights – and they will be physically attacked by their fellow blacks if they act white (smart). You have a problem helping black students break out as long as everybody is stuck in the same crab pot. Thus my position that schools should be segregated by performance so that the dulls don’t in any way set the themes for the brights (a la Lowell High School in SF).

    What does it take to make Bantu babies born with IQs of 100? Genetics and probably some contribution with diet and pre and post natal nutrition. There are big differences in breast feeding rates between the groups which is believed to hurt blacks by blocking certain nutrition from children who fail to be breastfed. Whatever.

    My interests are what do we do with a diverse population who is born here for generation to get everybody integrated into the economy and society without putting a third of blacks in prison (which would be a LOT higher if we actually enforced laws to the hilt). How do we bring the wildly disparate disease rates down to acceptable levels? I have no doubt we could fix a lot of this in a generation but it would mean making a whole lot of people very uncomfortable and pulling the life support plug on a whole lot of people. I have no problem with that, when it’s sink or swim time people learn to swim amazingly fast. I did, so did everybody else I know – if they were thrown into the pool (there were other people in the pool, it’s not as if I was abandoned to the water). I have relatives who never learned how to swim and can’t swim today as grandparents. Nobody thought enough of them to throw them into a pool somewhere.

    Forget the culture and forget being nice. Kick them into the pool.

  • Nextset

    Doowhopper: The avg IQ stats are remarkably stable across the 20th century in datasets from Military drafts from WWI to WWI, the Korean War and Vietnam drafts. There are a lot of other datasets from around the world and other ways to calculate averages by using proxy scores for IQ (PSAT for example). Selective Service examination scores are larger and more random. When you then go and compare datasets for cause of death (kept by race) and other datasets by race you start to notice correlations. Credit scores are not kept by race yet, but neighborhoods are segregated and there are tons of data by zip code. US Census data is racially kept and can be mined.

    This NCLB is the biggest racial gold mine of information and I’ve always felt that the creation of that data had hidden motives. US Crime stats have been racially recorded across time.

    You asked where the Black avg of 85 came from? Well the number is a concept. The white (and ONLY the white) avg score is set at 100 foundationally. The rest of the numbering system is taken from that as a benchmark. 85 (blacks) and 115 (Asians, Jews) represent one standard deviation below and above the white avg which is where the spread of scores fell. One in six blacks tested at or above the white avg and the same white ratio to jewish/asian avg.

    The whites responded with Jewish enrollment caps in Universities, the Jews replied by name changing. The GI bill flooded the schools with returning vets after WWII and the big corporations started hiring for IQ and not pedigree. When the gov’t banned IQ testing for employment the corporations happily substituted university degrees as proxies for IQ.

    Somehow all this brings us to blacks aged 16-30 in 2008 typically not having driver’s licenses or speaking standard english (lowest verbal scores), having a 50% plus VD rate, a 70% bastardy rate, and homicide as the #1 cause of death. The US Gov’t thinks we need 20 million Mexican-Indian (avg IQ 93 and just as willing to use violence) immigrants to be their new underclass. There go the proletariat jobs blacks once held in large numbers (like 100k prison guard and every other civil service low skill job). We wanted a multi-cult society and boy did we get it.

    Brave New World. Your black students need all the education you can possibly give them in the little time you have left to prepare them for their fate. I hope you teach them that no one is going to give them anything anymore, they have to be ready, willing and able to get what they need in the economy. I think OUSD should make a study of Delancey Street Foundation and maybe incorporate some of their philosophy.

    Some my complain that I’m focused on race. Duhhh. Racial loyalty comes before all others (Hear that, Hilary?). Only (WASPs?) whites don’t understand this. Anyway, we’re the engangered species not the hispanics.

  • Grateful Teacher

    You write a lot Nextset, but none of it is convincing. You keep blurring learned “intelligence” with potential “intelligence.”

    Everybody knows that education/learning/thinking is the highest value in traditional Jewish and Chinese societies. Everybody knows that the urban black and rural Mexican families whose children are struggling in Oakland don’t put the same emphasis on formal/academic learning. Studies show this and our own personal experiences show this.

    Everything you say is based on this misinterpretation of what an IQ test tells us. You are building castles on loose sand.

    You even contradict yourself — Africans doing well here are from educated families, but the Asians are just “smarter.”

    I also don’t see where you ever answered my point that YOU had the benefits of an educated and successful family yet ascribe to the schools the power to make or break you.

    Let’s take this out of the Oakland context: Chinese emigrants have been hugely successful in business in every part of Asia, often at the expense of locals. This is not because they are smarter, but because they are Confucian, organized, money-centered and part of a culture that grew out of the immense scarcity of China. Put them in a place of abundance like Thailand and they made the locals look like bumpkins. NONE OF THIS HAS TO DO WITH INTELLIGENCE.

    I think you have a lot of receptive ears on here when it comes to requiring people take responsibility for themselves. But you undermine everything with your lazy thinking on intelligence and obsession with The Bell Curve.

  • Nextset

    Grateful – you produce products in your factory that nobody wants and nobody is buying. You don’t carry weight here by expressing unhappiness. I’m not your student.

    IQ is not happiness. It can be compared to brain processing speed. Some people play chess better than others, they can see the possibilities better than others. Intelligence includes being able to make sound decisions. Dull people just cannot, they can’t. Doesn’t mean they don’t mean well, they are just dull and are not good prospects for an insurance company.

    Think of it that way. Within a family grouping, look for a reason why certain people can’t seem to take care of themselves and their siblings can, and expand that to larger groups.

    The Bell Curve is an interesting metaanalysis of previously existing studies and datasets. It sure doesn’t answer everything. What you do with the data is up to you. There is more than enough cause to believe IQ leads culture, not the other way around. The major point of that book was the assortive mating issue anyway – that the USA is becoming cognitively segregated with a heriditary aristocracy (of all races) who would only marry/associate with each other and eventually own and operate the whole economy. Well look around.

    I sure don’t run around thinking that all the pathology and bad results are distributed the way they are internationally because of “culture”. It’s a chicken vs egg problem. Call it whatever way that lets you sleep at night. My problem is the mortality/pathology trends. I don’t like them. If we are to try to block the upcoming deaths and distress, change needs to be made and I’m not talking about increasing minimum wage.

    The TV ad is worse than a waste of money. Nobody is interested in throwing money at low performing black folks to try to purchase them some IQ points. It that ever worked we’d have seen progress by now. AA is dead. That didn’t work either. You can’t close “the gap” by claiming it’s not there. You’d better make sure people who are here do the very best with what they have. That means discipline, training, and promotion of those who can perform to the upper limits of their skils, something not currently in favor in out public schools (where elitism is thought to be bad).

    I don’t have to indulge in namecalling. Proof’s in the pudding. Tell us please just what have you done in your career to take your schoolkids (of whatever races) to the limits of their potential?

    What are you saying distinguishes Thugs from the upper middle class? Table Manners?? Caring parents? Thugs don’t have love?

  • Nextset

    Sharon: Just saw your post. I believe NCLB is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Can’t explain why, just a real bad feeling. Have you read John McWhorter’s “Losing The Race”?

    You can forget teaching lower class blacks anything about Confucious or for that matter, anything academic. They loathe education and value no information beyond it’s immediate use. Too bad, so sad. If you are working with that group you have to be concrete and find ways to address problems in the order of concern. They are present oriented and that is hard wired into them. We can work with that.

    The real and critical thing that can be done is to identify within a slum population those members that are brighter – who often have to hide it – and bring them forward with education and training as strong as they can absorb. Again with a dose of practicality. You don’t want to get them murdered in the process. To thrive they may have to be physically segregated from the thugs during their most vulnerable years.

    This type of dialog drives crazy those (usually women) who insist that all men are created equal even if we have to kill them. Save us from white liberals.

    You do wonder what Fay Stender (jewish radical lawyer) thought as she looked down the barrel of the gun at her murderer (black thug) in Berkeley during her last moment. Ditto the White Woman bookkeeper for the Black Panthers who wound up dead in the Bay (pre-audit of the Panther daycare scheme) while Elaine Brown retired to Paris ASAP. And the Muslim Polygamous Bakery set up shop. Maybe Marcus Foster’s plan to have the students wear photo ID on campus should have been tried. He didn’t make it. It’s not just the schools that are out of control in the East Bay. It truly the Wild West in Oakland.

    I can go on about the East Bay and the race and educational ups and downs. As my detractors fume… It’s all about race and allowing what’s left of the OUSD Blacks (down to 31%?) decline, while the authorities forget to even try to teach Standard English and Driver’s training.

    And we have Public Service Ad’s on the “gap”.

    Somebody explain what OUSD is doing to get more of the Hispanic and Black students into the shrinking middle class? Encourage them to dream and write about them?

  • Doowhopper

    Wow, Nextset, now you want to go Panther bashing. I knew a number of Black Panthers way back when and, for whatever faults they might have had, they at least gave a damn about more than blunts, bling and the latest Souljah Boy jam.
    And look at the murder rate in Oakland in 1969 and compare it to now. Could it POSSIBLY have been much lower because groups like the Panthers stressed black unity and pride rather than a commercially oriented bankrupt morality that kills not only physically, but spiritually as well?

  • Nextset

    Doowhopper, My family knew some of the black shopowners who were forced to pay protection money under fear of beatings and worse. I personally knew some of the black middle aged men who were physically assaulted by the Panthers during (random) encounters with them. I thought Elaine Brown was hot, I’ve met her repeatedly long ago and I have her book. But I realize she was a vicious gun moll. I have relatives who dealt with Huey & the boys close up and personal. We never had any white liberal fantasies of what those creatures were. They were evil gangsters with a great PR system who hurt (principally black) people and took things from them by force. And who would be dumb enough to become their bookkeeper but some silly (and dead) white woman?

    What burns me up is that the white establishment tolerated their presence and allowed them to grow as long as they only principally victimized other blacks, such as the black liquor store owners.

    A generation later the same thing happens again where that damn Bakery operated as an evil cult raping the black girls they held – the establishment really didn’t worry about them until they had the nerve to disturb the peace with a daylight killing of a reporter who happened to be black. Then it’s a big “oops” and they finally get raided by a 20 man swat team.

    It’s not that I’m a conspiracy buff, it’s just that I think the establishment (including the black establishment) since the civil rights movement in the mid ’60s doesn’t expect anything from blacks so they really don’t worry about all kinds of slacking off until the tourists are scared off. That’s not the way to reverse these mortality rates.

    Above all they want the negroes to be happy – who cares if they are making statistical progress. Happy like frogs in a pot of warm water.

  • Irene

    internal and external (to the community) expectations are both important. I was just at a presentation by Sir Michael Marmot, professor at University College London and Chair of the World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants on Health. He quoted a study of low and high caste Indian youth. they were given a series of math puzzle challenges under two sets of conditions. When their caste level was not publically identified, the lower caste youth scored better than the higher caste youth. However, when a similar group of low/high caste youth were given a similar set of math puzzle challenges and were publically identified as belonging to one caste or another, the lower caste youth did worse. This study reminded me of studies that I’ve read about by Claude Steele (psychologist at Stanford) where African American students are given standardized assessment tests under two sets of circumstances. In one setting, they are given the test with no introduction by proctors (or a standard intro “this is a standard achievement test and you have 1 hour to complete it). Another group of students with similar grade point averages is given the same test with s slightly different introduction (“this is a standard achievement test. you might find this very difficult. do the best you can.) The second group scores significantly lower.

  • Nextset

    Irene, I’m aware of that published study. You can tinker with individual performance. Now the US draft datasets where the males were scored for any possible job assignment I find to be useful data.

    In any event you don’t need IQ tests to see different average intellectual performance of the groups anymore. I’ve spent enough time in class with Jews and Asians to see them trump the whites at those things where sheer calculating power wins the day.

    Remember, IQ isn’t about experience, emotional control and other skillsets such as ability to track multiple objects in motion. It’s more a rating of processing speed. So Blacks by appear to be more proficient at driving a bus or car than Asians even if they don’t change the oil which is a different skillset.

    Higher IQs have superior ability to weigh future consequences and tend to win at games involving long term selections and deferred gratification. Lowers can’t do that. Think of Aqueducts and city sewage systems vs Teepees and Mud Huts. Not to mention operating a division of labor economy.

    Higher IQs, at the greater end, include a toxic alturism that defeats self preservation and makes a group vulnerable to predation. an interesting evolutionary construct. I recently watched “King Of Scotland” with Forrest Whittaker and found the interplay between the Dr and Idi Amin to be classic example of the inability of “smart” people to evaluate and fight danger. You see the same thing across history when “smarter” groups meet others. If they didn’t have their less IQ favored siblings along (who acted first in defense) the bright children of the story would always get massacred.

  • Sharon

    Nextset: Although this is an education blog, I am curious about your general opinion on gun control. Since we’ve partly been discussing today’s trajectory for poor, uneducated African American boys, the gun access topic seems to tie in.

    Yes, I read McWhorter’s book years ago. I hadn’t thought much about him until I recently encountered his name on the Manhattan Institute’s website. I mostly cringe at the tone of that organization, but I do like to follow one of their contributors, Kay Hymowitz, who writes about family breakdown in our society, especially the extreme breakdown in poor, minority communities. She contends that the widening gap in the American social structure is being caused by the absence of marriage, especially in African American families.

    By the way, you are absolutely right in your posting of 4/12 (about the poetry book) when you say that the kids “…only have a few years to be exposed to middle class values in school.” I hate to see people working in the schools who are clueless (as with some of the young, naïve teachers, or employees who never learned these values themselves), lazy (as with the people who decide that it takes too much effort to stand their ground and be firm, although some have been justly worn down by the intense and incessant power of the kids), or oppositional (as with the employees who believe those values are evil because they adhere to some alternative radical ideology) about this very important notion. To me there is nothing wrong with having a set of decent, mainstream expectations for children.

    Children definitely need to be taught (by adults!) that it isn’t okay for them to say and to do whatever they want. Some language, and some behavior, IS absolutely “inappropriate” at certain times. That point needs to be made crystal clear to these children by the adults who are working in the schools, and reinforced at all times. These kids may never have the opportunity to hear this message from anyone, or anywhere else, ever again.

    My older daughter once told me how her ninth grade English teacher, an African American woman, would tell her misbehaving African American male students, “Stop confirming negative stereotypes!” I loved hearing that.

  • Nextset

    Sharon, “gun control” to the extent of banning guns to law abiding citizens is an abominiation – I am very much in favor of criminal control which means they would be flogged, executed or maybe imprisoned for repeat crimes in general which include having any access to weapons or ammo. Malaysia is a multi-ethnic society which controls crime while being free. They don’t spend $100k a bed to house a large percentage of the population.

    I once toured the Museam in DC for the Jewish victims of the Nazis. It is the finest monument to gun control I have ever seen. It should have signs up that discuss this. Those people had no wepons when they came to take them on cattle cars to the death camps.

    You got it right about the worthless staff of the public schools. My teachers as a rule all had powerful personalities and ran their classrooms without asking permission of the students. In retrospect I also had several male teachers which are probably rare now in HS. The students were not given “intense and incessant power” – ever. Giving a 17 year old “power” is probably illegal anyway!

    As far as the fate of the blacks as a group – they won’t be around in USA culture and politics in another generation. They will be dead, marginalized, intermarried out or interned in camps. That’s an extreme prediction but a predication that should be talked about. When you look at the projected numbers of Hispanics and other ethnics the government has brought in to replace blacks at the lower end of the SES spectrum combined with mortality trends you can see what’s in store. It’s like iceplant taking over a landscape. Takes awhile, but the iceplant is relentless.

    In this state I see what’s happened to civil service, occupational licensing, college and professional school admits, and housing. The public schools are absolutely the only chance we have to fight this trend but I believe it is now hopeless because any improvements now will accellerate the Hispanic progress curve at the same time. It’s simply a case of evolution in action. The conditions here in the US now favor the higer group average of the newly tranplanted Mexican-Indians who remain low enough so that the former white majority will still have a competitive edge even as a minority.

    As you see, being a minority has never been a problem for the Jewish ethnic in their competition.

    All you can do is prepare your family and friends for likely futures and see what happens (and only some have the ability to react to warnings).

    Ever try to get some people – even the educated some people to do Cancer screening? Or write wills, etc…

  • Sharon

    Nextset: I want to make it clear that I do not think that every staff person in the public schools is worthless. There are definitely teachers in OUSD public schools who have “powerful personalities” and who run their classrooms well. My children happened to experience a number of them and for that, I am very grateful. I only wish that there were more.

    I think it is wise that you share your extreme prediction about the outcome of Blacks as a group. Things are profoundly dire and too many people are uninterested. (I happen to I feel this way about our entire planet, too.)

    Maybe the last train already has left.

  • Nextset

    Sharon, despite my rhetoric I don’t think every OUSD teacher is deficient. It only looks that way because the verbal scores coming out of OUSD are so bad and the deportment and attitudes of the students keep people from wanting to hire them.

    I think OUSD as an institution hires, trains, assigns and promotes deficient teachers and the ones more to my liking wouldn’t stay in the nuthouses. But, hey, I don’t actually work there, I’m not qualified to testify with direct evidence. My feeling on the whole subject are based on circumstantial evidence of the fate of the OUSD students including those who fail to complete school.

    My extreme prediction is not so much as a sun rising prediction as it is an increasing fear of the tally of the bills. When you add everything up, the trends and the stats, the resulting conclusion is like an terrible liver function report on a patient who keeps drinking. This is not going to end well and it won’t be but so much longer.

    There is still more than a possibility that something systematic can appear and change out world. The internet is extraordinarily powerful. But to the extent that Blacks as a group have to compete with the imported Mexicans, they are doomed. I went out to brunch today and there was not one black face in the large restaurant staff. And it wasn’t an ethnic restaurant either. I watching for the bus drivers now to see when that goes. One industry after another…

    I can only imagine what the teachers in OUSD tell the black students about careers and the future. Do they teach them that they will have to compete with others (in a matter of months) for jobs and spouses (remember that line from Sidney Poitier in “To Sir With Love”?

    I know of students and instructors in medical technical schools, nursing schools, auto mechanical schools, police academies, adult vocational training of all types. I ask them: “how many black students”? The answer is always few to none. I ask why, the answer is that they freak out if anyone corrects them or criticises them, have too many excuses for failure and they don’t have the discipline to try the coursework and show up on time anyway. So the Phillipinos and Mexicans dominate Voc training to the exclusion of (all) the blacks.

    The dumbest student in my schools, public and Catholic (and the Catholic schools had some dummies, believe me) could handle being corrected in public, hold their temper, show up on time (eventually the dulls learned that one) and at least manage to finish general ed classes. And they did so because the faculty didn’t care a wit about making them happy and communicated that early and often. No one took it personally if corrected or dressed down. That was life.