Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Black-White Testing Gap Is Real, and It’s a Disgrace - The Daily Howler

With respect to Stuyvesant, the Times responded with an ugly and stupid propaganda campaign designed to suggest that the achievement gaps in New York City actually aren't real.
It's all a matter of "test prep," this dumbest of all Hamptons-based newspapers said. Test prep, and the fiendish amounts of money spent on same by Those People, Gotham's devious Asians.

In weeks of insulting, ridiculous work, the Times used "test prep" as the way to prove that those very large achievement gaps aren't real. Last Saturday, the Times swing into action again, this time with a lengthy, front-page version of a favorite press corps novel.

The press has been pimping this heart-warming novel for at least the past fifty years. Though the novel can take on many forms, they all share a Platonic form. The name of this brain-dead novel is simple:

The Little School System That Could
The upper-end, liberal world has been typing this heart-warming novel at least since 1967. In that year, Herbert Kohl published his high-profile memoir, 36 Children, in which a nice guy shows up in a sixth-grade classroom in Harlem and the kids start writing novels.

However these pleasing tales may be intended, they promote an obvious fiction. They seem to say that those apparent achievement gaps really aren't real—that the gaps can quickly be erased by a nice guy who doesn't hate the kids, or by a hard-charging principal with some magic solution.
The Howler is always ready to flame liberals even though he claims to be one. But he also tells truths, and the fact he was a teacher in the inner city gives him some creds on education.

THE LITTLE SCHOOL SYSTEM THAT COULD: Kevin Drum published a sensible post!

http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2019/04/the-little-school-system-that-could.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheDailyHowler+%28the+daily+howler%29

 

TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

The New York Times published a novel:
Kevin Drum wrote a sensible post in the wake of the Stuyvesant uproar.

It happens every spring! Only a handful of black kids had been admitted to Gotham's most "elite" public high school. In response to the annual uproar, Drum offered several sensible points.

First, he said progressives "are ill-served by the continuing notion that every standardized test ever invented is racially biased in a massive way." A larger point, one which was implied by this statement, was directly stated in Drum's headline:

The Black-White Testing Gap Is Real, and It’s a Disgrace
The nation's achievement gaps are real! So Drum said this day. He also said that we pseudo-progressives should stop pretending they aren't.

Drum's second basic point this day was even gloomier. He said he didn't know what to do about those achievement gaps. Indeed, he almost seemed to say that no one else seems to know what to do either:
DRUM (3/22/19): These gaps are real effects of education, not just an artifact of test-taking, and the fact that the gaps increase over time is good evidence that much of the fault lies with our schools and the communities they serve. We miss this if we insist that standardized tests are useless. After all, if there’s no “real” gap at all, then our schools must be doing fine.

I’m no expert in how to close this gap
, though I can say that there have been many dozens of serious efforts—some aimed specifically at schools, others aimed at parents and communities—and virtually all of them have failed. In any case, we shouldn’t pretend there’s nothing here except a bunch of racist test constructors.
Oof! Drum said that he himself is "no expert in how to close this gap." He seemed to say that "many dozens of serious efforts" at closing those gaps have tended to fail.

Drum said those gaps reflect actual failures, not simple artifacts of test construction or test-taking techniques. He said that "much of the fault lies with our schools." He also said that much of the fault "lies with the communities [our schools] serve." At one juncture, he even seemed to suggest that some of the "fault" may lie with children's parents.

Is Drum allowed to say such things in this dumbest of all possible worlds? We have no idea, but of one thing we can be sure:

Such comments will produce no discussion—none at all—within the liberal world.

Alas! Our massively self-impressed liberal world has long been one of the "communities" which fails to address that "national disgrace." That's due to our massive lack of interest in the lives and the interests of black kids.

Then too, we have the New York Times, which responded in the time-honored way to the Stuyvesant uproar, then behaved in a similar way on last Saturday morning's front page.

With respect to Stuyvesant, the Times responded with an ugly and stupid propaganda campaign designed to suggest that the achievement gaps in New York City actually aren't real.

It's all a matter of "test prep," this dumbest of all Hamptons-based newspapers said. Test prep, and the fiendish amounts of money spent on same by Those People, Gotham's devious Asians.

In weeks of insulting, ridiculous work, the Times used "test prep" as the way to prove that those very large achievement gaps aren't real. Last Saturday, the Times swing into action again, this time with a lengthy, front-page version of a favorite press corps novel.

The press has been pimping this heart-warming novel for at least the past fifty years. Though the novel can take on many forms, they all share a Platonic form. The name of this brain-dead novel is simple:
The Little School System That Could
The upper-end, liberal world has been typing this heart-warming novel at least since 1967. In that year, Herbert Kohl published his high-profile memoir, 36 Children, in which a nice guy shows up in a sixth-grade classroom in Harlem and the kids start writing novels.

However these pleasing tales may be intended, they promote an obvious fiction. They seem to say that those apparent achievement gaps really aren't real—that the gaps can quickly be erased by a nice guy who doesn't hate the kids, or by a hard-charging principal with some magic solution.

Subliminally, these stories tell liberals that we can go back to sleep when it comes to the interests of black kids. There's nothing to look at! Keep moving along! Or so we liberals are told.

There is no serious problem here—or so we progressives are told.

1 comment:

  1. How do Chinese kids. and South Asians do so well? Many arrive in America with no english, then 2 or 3 years later are achieving at the highest levels.

    ReplyDelete

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