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January 21, 2008

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Do you really think the push-back on performance evaluation is due to considerations of class? Instead of, say, worry that their tenure-based union-protected employment might have to become more like every other kind of job in the market; where if you don't perform you can get canned.

I swear only Marxists obsess about arbitrary demarcations in society (class) as much as you do.

HS:

I know folks like you want to believe educational attainment is written in stone but it's not. Arithmetic was beyond the ability of most adults living in Europe in 1300 but it's not anymore. Calculus was beyond the ability of most people in 1700 but it's not anymore. Einstein's relativity was only understood by perhaps a few dozen scientists in the years after its discovery. Now it can be taught in high school physics. Piano pieces originally considered unplayable are now being played as training exercises. I am not much for sports but the sub-4 minute mile comes to mind as an example in the sports world of a previously elite level performance that is not a widely achieved.

Efficient training techniques and mentoring in the sense of having people before you who have done the same thing you want to do counts for a huge amount when it comes to attainment.

Of course, good teachers will help especially if those teachers from the same background as the kids involved.

We can argue about whether their IQ will change if they have better learning environment but I think we can agree their expertise level can be changed with more efficient training methods.

I will say one thing though. The parents obviously have an enormous role to play and the quality of the neighborhoods. We need to reduce the distractions: crime, hunger, unstable living situations and TV.

Anybody who thinks IQ is destiny, read this:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/business/worldbusiness/02japan.html?hp

The things that produce large numbers of good students are lots of cramming, lots of hours of school, and an understanding between parents, students and teachers that it's supposed to be hard and unpleasant.

Note that all these elements are present in Jewish and Asian contexts. When this is present in Black culture, if the gap still hasn't closed, I'll entertain genetic causes. Even then, this might just mean black students have to work longer hours for equal attainment but it's ridiculous to say it's impossible to improve in any way whatsoever.

WHAT IS the point of school if people don't learn anything by going there?

In response to Vim's comment above, if teaching techniques have improved for both the the upper classes AND the lower classes, then it's a wash, and the difference in educational attainment is all genetic.

In the NYC school system, there's no difference in teacher quality between minority schools and the few white schools. NYC doesn't assign the best teachers to the white schools, it assigns those who are either luckiest or have the most seniority (because nearly all NYC public school teachers would prefer not having to teach in the ghetto).

You may be thinking that seniority=higher quality teacher, but that wasn't my experience. Most old teachers are burnt-out and just hanging in there until they can retire. The best teachers are the younger teachers.

One word: scripting.

The problem with teachers is that they have to make up their own lesson plans instead of being told what to teach and when.

Scripting takes most of the guesswork out of teaching and makes it much more scientific.

Of course, it also makes it more prole like, and the teachers are against it.

Half Sigma says:

"If the "achivement gap" between whites and "minorities" is genetic in origin, then endless attempts to improve "teacher quality" is just a big waste of resources."

Teachers like Jame Escalante have shown that the achievment gap can be closed, but public schools aren't willing to do what it takes to do this.

The answer probably isn't more tests, which are easily gamed.

I agree that this is a good step to take. It naturally also complicates the evaluation compared to applying a uniform standard across the board. The only way to really see how a specific teacher is doing is to compare his/her students' output performance to those of another teacher with "similar" kids. Not only does it create teacher-teacher competition and an acknowledgement that teachers actually can vary in performance - it also suggests that different kids have different expected performances. Poitentially, this could be very powerful if also tied strongly to hiring and pay. Once a Science teacher in an urban aere can hire a bully/bodyguard and still make twice as much as an English teacher in the suburbs, things could get interesting and we can abolish AA in university admissions. Let's deal with teacher certifications next.

As far as other school having other purposes than learning it itself, I would suggest that the following are stronger motivations:
* Parents: Free child care
* Gov't: Catering to parents who think that lack of education (credentials rather than knowledge) is what kept them from a Great Life.
* Gov't: Indoctrination instilling core societal values - religious or liberal beliefs.

Vim, you need to read gnxp.

Jason Malloy (who is actually a pro- AA, super liberal) wrote a massive defense of Watson that encapsulates everything that is being touched upon here regarding IQ and genetics:

http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2007/10/james-watson-tells-inconvenient-truth_296.php

Also, tangoman comments somewhere in the middle that black and white students spend the same amount of time on homework (there is a lot of other stuff he's commenting on about blacks and whites):

http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/003290.html

or Jason Malloy again talking about the lack of impact on culture:

http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/004064.html

Vim, none, I repeat, absolutely NONE of your points are new. They've been debated ad nauseum on gnxp.

DML says "James Escalante."

Let's assume that Escalante had an amazing ability to motivate students to study harder. This is closing of the gap only by assigning a one-in-a-million teacher to the poor students.

How much would higher class students have improved if they had Escalante as a teacher? Instead of teaching poor high school students to pass the AP exam, maybe he could have taught middle class JUNIOR high school students to pass the AP exam.

The other teachers didn't seem to like him much. This is probably because he made them look bad. No one likes it when someone comes in and does a much better job.

Vim, I read your article. All it says is that there is a craze in Japan in certain segments of Japan for an Indian style education system. It doesn't say whether or not this has been proven to be more effective by any type of scientific measure compared to traditional Japanese schools or not.

But, let's say that it is. I would want to know if those supposed gains are more or less than the gains that could be achieved among different populations (Indian, WASP, Black...). If there is or is not a gap in that type of achievement it will be informative.

Note that all these elements are present in Jewish and Asian contexts. When this is present in Black culture, if the gap still hasn't closed, I'll entertain genetic causes.


The poor performance of middle-class black kids show an undeniable regression to the lower mean of black IQ is compelling evidence. More convincingly, is the separated twin studies that show that adult IQ, regardless of race, is more linked to genetics than environment.

"we can abolish AA in university admissions."

Although a black person myself, I am actually against Affirmative Action. I should disclose that since I am not American it's of no use to me anyway as it does not benefit an institution in terms of quotas to have me enrolled.

However, my objections center around having been a TA at the university level and the sad spectacle that is unprepared African American student which often broke my heart. They had been set up to fail. Why let a student in need of remedial education into university if you aren't going to provide remedial education? I also found it depressing that a lot of these people didn't want to be in school but having been offered the opportunity of a college education felt that they owed it to their mother, their father, their grandparents or whoever else had sacrificed for them to get to where they were.

I am also against AA because schools and institutions don't perform it in good faith contrary to the wider belief. I have been witness to many high school outreach programs that consisted of the least possible effort on the institution's part necessary to keep the federal money coming.

There was one institution in particular that actually asked me to be part of their recruiting effort and I declined. I did not believe they hurt blacks but I definitely did not believe they helped blacks and to be part of them having a black person in their advertising material seemed unethical. And besides, not being American, how could I possible reflect truthfully what a potential African American student's experience might be like.

It is my belief that without AA, about 2% of African Americans would qualify for elite education. When it comes to graduate education, many elite programs concentrate on stealing away as many of those qualified students from other elite programs as possible. In other words, they try to maximize blacks without reducing quality. This is not a good faith tactic and does not improve the position of blacks in America.

So it angers me when people say Affirmative Action failed because I am not sure people are trying.

anonymous1:

"Vim, none, I repeat, absolutely NONE of your points are new."

Am I to understand that everything you and HS are saying on the topic is new and fresh then?

Vim:
"The parents obviously have an enormous role to play..."

If you read the Black Slate by S. Pinker (or any of the above or other posts on gnxp) you'd see that on average parents actually don't have much direct environmental influence on kids's IQ. The environmental compnent of IQ comes largely from peer-peer influences. So, yes parents can indirectly influence this by moving into better (i.e. more white or asian) neighborhoods and hoping the kids get more white or asian friends growing up.

"Note that all these elements are present in Jewish and Asian contexts. When this is present in Black culture, if the gap still hasn't closed, I'll entertain genetic causes."

Again, this has been covered ad nauseum before. Higher socio-economic status black kids score lower on the SAT than lower income white kids.

The above gnxp posts show that behavioral traits like aggression seem more prevalent among black schoolchildren, possibly due to a genetic cause. A lot of what you're asking of black school kids in terms of acting and studyting more like asian and white school kids may be much harder to do due to genetic predispositions.

anonymous1:

Why do you want me over on gnxp so bad? You don't like HS's blog? :)

Vim:
"Why do you want me over on gnxp so bad? You don't like HS's blog? :)"

I'm a gnxp reject like you. Stones & glass houses. I guess. :)

Because gnxp is too coldly scientific and logical on things like the racial differences in IQ.

Even if you're bright and well read, it's a challenging atmosphere where any ungrounded sentimentalism is called out. GNXP is also pretty damn depressioning on things like IQ - but hey, that's reality.

anonymous1:

"you'd see that on average parents actually don't have much direct environmental influence on kids's IQ."

I just flat out don't believe that as someone who is very good at standardized tests. There is definitely a very big difference between somebody who knows how to handle a standardized test and a person that doesn't and it shows in the results of the test. Simple things like keeping calm make a big difference.

"Again, this has been covered ad nauseum before. Higher socio-economic status black kids score lower on the SAT than lower income white kids."

They still live in America don't they? As stupid as you think they are, I think they are fully aware of what society thinks of them.

This is one of the most illogical claims I have seen from Half Sigma. If differences in black/white performance are 100% genetic, 100% environmental or some of both improved teaching should help whoever receives it and thus could be used to close performance gaps (as could worse teaching for high performers). It may be doubtful whether society should allocate more of its scarce capital of highly capable people to teaching, but that's a cost/benefit consideration, not one of fundamental possibility.

Also, if you had taught in both suburban and ghetto schools like I have you would have NO doubt about the superior quality of the education in the former (though both basically suck). Even if the school quality is largely lower due to having lower quality students it remains the case that sufficiently more and better teachers could compensate, and also that most individual students, even quality lowering students, could learn more if placed in a higher quality school.

michael vassar: "If differences in black/white performance are 100% genetic, 100% environmental or some of both improved teaching should help whoever receives it and thus could be used to close performance gaps"

If teaching quality improves equally across the board, then the achievement gap will remain the same. The only way to lower the gap is to assign the worst teachers to the best students and vice versa. But this is a huge waste of our best teachers, keeping them away from the smart students who could accomplish a lot more with better teaching.

"if you had taught in both suburban and ghetto schools like I have you would have NO doubt about the superior quality of the education in the former (though both basically suck)"

But what's the cause and effect? Are suburban teachers inherently better, or are the ghetto teacher just too demoralized by the low intelligence and bad behavior of the students? They come to see themselves more as prison guards than as teachers.

Vim:
"As stupid as you think they are, I think they are fully aware of what society thinks of them."

Why get personal with statements like how stupid I think they must be? If you bothered to peruse the links above then you would see that whatever claims I've made are supported by the cited research.

I've asked you time and time again to demonstrably tell me why the research on, for example, a certain paper is wrong. You may not believe this, but I would prefer not to be a race realist. Yet, I try to be dispassionate about the evidence in front of me and render conclusions accordingly.

anonymous1:

As far as gnxp goes, lets just say I know that mindset pretty well.

I would much rather hang out here and get an impression of how nonspecialists are thinking about 'race realism'. As I said before, this type of thinking is somewhat independent of the 'evidence'.

If you ever get the time, you should read "Mismeasure of Man" or "Typecast: on the arts and sciences of human inequality" or "Darwinian Fairytales". They are interesting books on the narrative of difference so to speak.

As you mentioned, IQ research is by turns mindnumbing and depressing. It's a science of limitations. I am not absolutely sure that there is nothing to it, but I am fairly sure that the answer to our social problems is not going to come from that direction.

HS:

"the ghetto teacher just too demoralized by the low intelligence and bad behavior of the students"

I hate to break it to you but 'bad behaviour' is not just happening in 'the ghetto'. Hilton, Lohan etc ... are not symbols of black America.

I am not absolutely sure that there is nothing to it, but I am fairly sure that the answer to our social problems is not going to come from that direction.

I'm not sure. Investigating the biology of the gap might help us close it. Certainly there might be some easy fixes like better nutrition. Like you, I'm sure there's a huge environmental component too. I would like to see eugenics make a comeback, though not like the Nazis with mass extermination of groups. They pretty much ruined the whole idea for the next 100 years...and they weren't even right about the Jews. If Einstein and Co. had been on the German side, they might have gotten the Bomb first.

anonymous1:

"I've asked you time and time again to demonstrably tell me why the research on, for example, a certain paper is wrong."

I mentioned before it takes a lot of time to do that and its a waste of time anyway. The point is to be aware there are plenty of papers arguing the other way. I am more interested in the moral reactions to the 'facts' anyway but I do challenge when some 'facts' are clearly false.

Do YOU really believe that the quality of teachers do not matter whatsoever? Why are we even sending our kids to school then? Some of these beliefs are bizarre.

anonymous1:

The argument is the total environment of a person is just related to how much their parents make, am I right? I always said I disagree with that. What's a statistic about the SAT going to prove?


The article also contains some interesting stuff about a plan to evaluate teachers based on how much their students improve their performance on standardized tests. This, to me, sounds like a reasonable basis for evaluation. The teachers are opposed to it, and I understand why. The more scientifically you are evaluated by management, the more prole-like your job becomes. Teachers don't want to drop in class.


You think teachers don't know how to game the system? Administrators have an incentive to improve their school's API, and are not above colluding with teachers to, for example, open the performance tests days before they are given so teachers can teach to the test.

Another practice I have heard of is checking students' scantron cards and asking them to fix errors before turning the cards in.

Vim:
"The point is to be aware there are plenty of papers arguing the other way. "

Actually, there aren't many papers the other way. Please show me a plethora of papers that show there is no IQ gap between blacks and whites.

"Do YOU really believe that the quality of teachers do not matter whatsoever? Why are we even sending our kids to school then?"

I think HS had a good rejoinder to this question for M. Vassar above. Please read that. Thanks.

The view of IQ differences being genetic is very proletarian. It's like saying: we're losers, but it's not our fault -- it's genetics.

In reality it has a lot more to do with the environment, starting from the conception, before day 1. Stable environment and access to education proved over and over again to dominate genetics. Take chess for example: soviets dominated decades because they had a huge school of chess. High school science olympiads: East Europeans do by far the best, and there are almost no winners from Israel. (if they are by far the smartest, they should win consistently such incredibly g-loaded contests, which btw put to shame the IQ tests, SATs, GREs, LSAT, etc) There are a countless number of examples. Interests change. Less Russians care about chess nowadays, and the future seems to be Chinese, until China will become developed and then somebody else will have to take over. All these prove that environment trumps genetics.

Upper-middle class is the only class that understands this well, and concentrates on educating their offsprings (this includes living in an area with similar values obviously). The middle class concentrates on work. The uppers are too busy enjoying yachting, playing tennis, golf and polo, riding horses, etc. The proles are brainwashed to believe IQ is genetic, and that their life is the way it is ultimately because of their genes. (They watch the most TV, btw)

HS, you should be ashamed of yourself for brainwashing the masses.

SFG:

Like many people who are science positive, I was initially quite drawn to the idea of breeding away our problems.

However, there is a problem in a democracy with solving disagreements by breeding those who disagree with you out of existence.

HS's problem with low IQ people for instance, as far as I can tell, is not with low IQ per say, but with the fact that they want welfare, they want social support, they are less interested in following laws. These are at least as much personal choices as they are genetic predisposition. In other words, if you or I chose to embezzle money, is it because of our genes or is it because we think there is a low chance of getting caught and a high reward. It seems to me there has to be some respect for the dignity of difference.

Breeding diseases away sounds fine to me. Breeding political difference away ... seems more problematic.

I would also favor breeding for IQ, less agression more, if people set the bar higher than themselves say 180 IQ or something but no they only want to sterilize the underclass ... another red flag for me that these thoughts are not going to a good end, whether the thinker knows it or not.

Vim:
"I would also favor breeding for IQ, less agression more, if people set the bar higher than themselves say 180 IQ or something but no they only want to sterilize the underclass ... another red flag for me that these thoughts are not going to a good end, whether the thinker knows it or not."

Strawman. Nobody here has ever advocated involuntary eugenics- as far as I know. There is a huge philosophical gap between this and voluntary eugenics, which I am strongly for and have advocated for previously on this blog.

"If teaching quality improves equally across the board, then the achievement gap will remain the same. The only way to lower the gap is to assign the worst teachers to the best students and vice versa. But this is a huge waste of our best teachers, keeping them away from the smart students who could accomplish a lot more with better teaching."

This is funny. I thought teaching didn't matter. Anyway, we haven't considered that teachers might matter a lot to low achievers and a little to high achievers. But even if this was not so, there is no waste if better teachers in minority areas promotes social harmony ie reduced crime. It would at the very least save all that welfare spending and AA loses that conservatives care so much about. But apart from all that, it's interesting how they are damned if they do and damned if they don't. So they shouldn't get better teachers because it doesn't matter and if it did matter, we shouldn't waste the teachers. So basically you are saying it's not worth it to educate minorties. Another logical error is you assume 'good' teachers and teachers who are more resistant to being 'demoralized' are the same population of teachers. The optimal plan could just be allocating teachers of average teaching skill who have a higher than average resistance to being demoralized to minority groups.

"But what's the cause and effect? Are suburban teachers inherently better, or are the ghetto teacher just too demoralized by the low intelligence and bad behavior of the students? They come to see themselves more as prison guards than as teachers."

So now the bad behavior drives the good teachers away ... so what? No more good teachers for them, they wasted theirs?! It's interseting how 'race realists' switch between the 'facts' they love so much and these veiled attacks on the disenfranchized. By this logic, we shouldn't have higher quality, specialized teachers for the handicapped kids either.

Vim, here's a thought about how to improve conditions for an American society with finite resources:
1) Establish a mechanism for lower performing children to go into high paying vocational fields, instead of college
2) Do longitudinal pilot studies to show if having the best teachers for lower performing kids or higher performing kids results in better overall outcomes for society (i.e. jobs of kids 10 years out of high school, incomes 10 yrs out, % incarcerated or on welfare 10 years out and so on...). Send those teachers to whichever group society will derive the maximum benefit by having its best teachers teach them. Also, significantly increase the pay of the best teachers to make them want to teach.
3) Completely gut the current immigration system and strongly secure our borders from illegal immigration. Model a new system based on the Canadian points model.

The main issue is how a society with finite resources and an increasing amount of lower performing groups can compete in the global economy. Anybody have any other suggestions?

Half Sigma answers:

"Let's assume that Escalante had an amazing ability to motivate students to study harder. This is closing of the gap only by assigning a one-in-a-million teacher to the poor students."

What you do is copy his techniques. What he was doing wasn't rocket science.

"How much would higher class students have improved if they had Escalante as a teacher? Instead of teaching poor high school students to pass the AP exam, maybe he could have taught middle class JUNIOR high school students to pass the AP exam."

You claimed that it's impossible for genetically inferior poor people to close the "achievment gap". I present you proof that's patently false. You return with a fantasy scenario Escalante about teaching junior high kids to pass AP exams.

We can address that. But first concede this - there is compelling evidence that allegedly genetically inferior poor kids can close the "achievement" gap with proper instruction. Only until you give a yea or nea to this (along with support should you choose nea), is it possible to move beyond that assertion and address "what ifs" like the one you presented.

"What you do is copy his techniques. What he was doing wasn't rocket science."

And it hasn't been replicated either since he and his immediate succesors left:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaime_Escalante

Giving much greater resources to one group can potentially allow them to close an achievement gap with another group who has not been given the same resources. The questions remain
1) Would the latter group do vastly better with those same resources?
2) Would society be overall better if they got them instead of the former group?

Above, I proposed a scientific way of testing this questions. There may already be evidence on this subject, btw. I vaguely remember a gnxp discussion on this.

We live in a society with finite resources so we only have so much to give around.

HS, you should be ashamed of yourself for brainwashing the masses.

Erm, no. It's the environmentalists who have brainwashed the masses. Didn't you pay any attention to the Watson affair? Hereditarians can hardly get a fair hearing in polite society.

Anybody have any other suggestions?

Many have suggested this and I'll suggest it again: Pay high IQs to have kids and pay low IQs not to. here are a few more...

-High tariffs on imported goods. You want the low IQs with the vocations/craftsmen/factory worker/farmer jobs to not get destroyed by cheap imports. We need our industrial/manufacturing capacity back and ASAP. Cheap consumer goods are not the most important thing in the world.
-Bring back the draft. Discipline, especially military discipline, is vital for all IQ types. It teaches many valuable lessons that everyone can benefit from. Not only would it discipline and educate lower IQs, it would get the elite back into the military and make them understand that they can't coast and that life is a serious business. They need discipline as well. The high IQ's need to understand that they are the elite and that if they want to be in that position and reap its benefits, it sometimes involves leading and sacrificing (including lives) every now and then.
-End the federal funding of colleges. If states want to do so that is their problem and their money.
-Let kids test out of High School if they can. Public schools can be a hell for the highly intelligent. Highly intelligent young people need to be challenged if they are to reach their full potential. See Fred Reed for more on this...and abolish the Dept. of Education on the federal and state levels.
-Bring back public punishments(the stocks, the lash, etc...) and executions. The low IQ criminal class(and everyone else) needs to understand in no uncertain terms that crime will not be tolerated (No more I had a bad childhood bullshit) Justice needs to be swift and sure. More hard labor as well. Think Singapore.

anonymous1:

Seriously, I care about all people not just Americans.

"Giving much greater resources to one group can potentially allow them to close an achievement gap with another group who has not been given the same resources."

I'm somewhat vague and hypothetical here b/c for all the good Mr. Escalante admittedly did it is difficult to truly suggest what might happen if he took his program nationwide & to other races. For that matter, we also don't know exactly what the math SAT scores of those same kids were. In certain ways, that is more informative than the results of a PASS/FAIL test, admittedly a hard one. Almost assuredly, they improved on the math SAT but by how much and what were they in relation to WASPs, Jews, or Asians from the same socioeconomic class?

And, again, would those groups from similar socioeconomic classes have done as well or better with Mr. Escalante or his immediate successors as teachers? There are a lot of poor Asians and WASPs out there who might benefit. Would inner city Blacks? These are questions, not statements. I'm holding the 'evidence' given to as stringent standards as the critics of the voluminous race realist research seem to try to do.

Vim

No one is saying IQ or educational attainment is 100% genetic – just largely (70-80%) so as research shows. No one is saying teachers are 100% meaningless in pursuit of educational goals – just that genetics and even peers are far more important. No one has advocated involuntary eugenics .

You can’t just make sweeping statements saying intelligence research is mixed and then refuse to read summaries by the likes of Jason at GNXP who show that the research is pretty unanimous in a way you don’t find to your liking.

What is troubling reading your posts on this issue over the past few days is that (a) you’re a bright guy, but (b) you’re so emotionally mixed up in this issue you refuse to open you mind to what has been presented to you. Instead you create artificial straw men, ignore overwhelming evidence you don’t like and continue to recite hollow liberal tag lines.

If you’re in the top fraction of 1% of blacks (I assume a PhD in hard science from your posts), it’s depressing to think what the rest of black America think. No wonder so many AfAm think the CIA created AIDS in their labs to kill the black man and that Egyptians were black and invented everything from airplanes to submarines.

I'm not American and I'm in the top 1% of everyone ;)

blank:

Actually to be less flip. Let me address something you said. It regards truth and peer review which are not the same thing. I come at things from a science background and I don't believe all the papers I read which is just common sense for anybody who wants to be a working scientist and this is before you even have any politics.

So let me address what you saying here:

"You can’t just make sweeping statements saying intelligence research is mixed"

I don't like most of this work. It has small sample size issues. It has methodological issues. There is a lot of extrapolation. Some of the claims are just ridiculous like education doesn't matter to IQ for instance. Even worse, is comparing people educated or in some cases not educated to people in the West. They do these things with a straight face.

I don't trust white males to produce completely objective research on the apparent superiority of their own race. I just don't and I'm not going to change my mind on that position. This would be like trusting the drug companies to do research on their own drugs. Unsurprisingly I disbelieve a lot of that research also. So I will just have to wait until the Asians start doing work on this. Until then I am skeptical.

Peer review is somewhere between OK and "better than nothing" at sorting out good papers and that's about it.

I do not think I am unique among people interested in doing good science in disbelieving certain branches of peer review as not producing a result that makes sense. But this is a personal choice. You can believe all the IQ papers you want.

I think American blacks have ever reason to mistrust CIA and mainstream culture in general. I am sure if you try you can think of some reasons ... maybe people thinking of practicing eugenics on them, or something like that.

Anyway, I don't really want to slip into defending everything black America thinks ... a lot of what Americans think in general is dumb.

Isn't there a fundamental problem of requiring teachers to raise average test scores year after year? At some point, not only will you be unable to raise scores, they will inevitably decline and that will be seen as horrible, even if the end point of the decline is still at all time highs.

Why do people always pull out Escalante as an example of what can be done with urban minorities?
For all the thousands and thousands of liberals (many of them teachers) who seem convinced that what he did was easy, why is it none of them have repeated his success?
After a decade or so of NOT repeating his results, maybe its time to concede that either he or his students were a statistical anomaly.

"Why do people always pull out Escalante as an example of what can be done with urban minorities?"

It is all they have. I can't blame them though. Non-asian minority performance(or non-performance, which may be a better way to look at it) is pretty dismal all around. And that is just the education side of it.

Vim,

you state:
"I don't trust white males to produce completely objective research on the apparent superiority of their own race. . . . So I will just have to wait until the Asians start doing work on this. Until then I am skeptical."

If you'll read almost any of the literature on race/IQ, you'll find that these white males find E. Asian and Jewish IQs higher than their own.

Roy:

Yeah I know. Decoy. Asians have higher IQs BUT their bell curve is narrower and it's mostly visual spacial while whites are more 'balanced' ... My other favourite is they've started using terms like 'Eurasian' ... so now it's a continuum between whites and asians. Who can tell the difference right? It's just a blend, whites and Asians are one population really.

Jews are seen as white now. In addition they are said to have paid for their IQ with shingolipid diseases ... well crap ... what's the point of being intelligent if you are going to get sphingolipid dieases?

All in all, in my opinion, a compliment is given with one hand and taken away with the other.

Vim:
"Yeah I know. Decoy. Asians have higher IQs BUT their bell curve is narrower and it's mostly visual spacial while whites are more 'balanced' ..."

No, what the research says and what Blank postulates are distinct things. Another strawman argument.

I have no idea if Blank is right or not. If he can actually show research supporting a narrower bell curve, I'd like to see it.

As for the difference between verbal and non- verbal IQs between Asians and WASPs, that is a fact buttressed by empirical science.

You are conflating science with opinion (your own and other people's) and picking and choosing which scientific facts & opinions you want to highlight, even though a thorough understanding of all of the empirical data would be more helpful.

And, you've said you are loathe to do this so I'm not sure why you constantly want to comment on matters you refuse to seriously assess. Or why you persistently make sweeping statements.

Much like your sweeping statements here as well when you said:

"It has small sample size issues. It has methodological issues... Even worse, is comparing people educated or in some cases not educated to people in the West."

Yeah I know. Decoy. Asians have higher IQs BUT their bell curve is narrower and it's mostly visual spacial while whites are more 'balanced'...

The Plan is working perfectly! Who cares if you know the truth?

Vim:
"Jews are seen as white now. In addition they are said to have paid for their IQ with shingolipid diseases ... well crap ... what's the point of being intelligent if you are going to get sphingolipid dieases?"

Again, this is a postulate put forth by some to explain the data. Obviously, putting forth postulates that might be consistent with the data is cause to now be branded a racist.

You have no desire to support free speech and free inquiry. You are prepared to condemn those who do it or analyze it without giving them any benefit of the doubt. Maybe the research will actually show a relationship between myelin diseases and IQ. I have no idea but I'm not prepared to say someone is a racist for merely proposing this.

Vim, you are EXACTLY like the Catholic Church in middle ages when confronted by Galileo. Science can be slowed down by people like you but it will proceed. China and other parts of the Pacific Rim and India will do it if liberals stop it from happening here. And, science is not always politically correct.

There is some doubt that Asians have lower Verbal IQ and this may be a transitional effect of acquiring foreign language. There was a recent study showing American-born Asians do as well on their Verbal SAT as Math (both being proxies for IQ tests).

Also, NE Asian (typically Korean, Japanese, Chinese) have high IQs while other S Asians no so much. I wonder what the NE Asian IQ would be broken out from the umbrella Asian group.

Also, some recent genetic studies recently show that NE Asians are very closely related to Europeans. There may be some justification in using the term Eurasian beyond similarities of IQ.

Blacks would be lucky to have the opportunity to have access to eugenics - probably paid for my some charity or non-black tax dollars. My guess is that NE Asians, Jews and the cognitive Western elites will jump on it as soon as the benefits outweight the risk. Jews and NE Asians have been practicing it in private for centuries to great effect.

Blank:
"Also, NE Asian (typically Korean, Japanese, Chinese) have high IQs while other S Asians no so much."

It was quite revealing that razib and GC (both S. Asians) didn't go ape sh%t like Vim when confronted by the possibility that their own group might have a low mean IQ. They just looked at the evidence dispassionately and actually bothered to read pertinent studies before issuing opinions on them, much less dubious sweeping statements. That is the difference between being able to be objective and arguing from an emotive standpoint.

Vim:
"I do not think I am unique among people interested in doing good science in disbelieving certain branches of peer review as not producing a result that makes sense."

Peer review is the best method we currently have to evaluate raw science before possible publication. Does it have flaws? Of course, and sometimes bad science is published. But, I don't trust single individuals like you to objectively tell me what is good or bad science, based on your admissions on this thread.

Actually, the sphingolipid diseases are lethal in the homozygous condition. The theory is that they raise IQ in the heterozygous condition.

anonymous1:

"And, science is not always politically correct."

I love science. What I don't love is science plus politics.

Many people involved in this stuff have lots to say about public policy in particular: immigration policy, welfare policy, libertarianism, multiculturalism and civil rights. Most of the time, they don't seem to have the welfare of all of us in mind. I think I've emphasized in several places what a fully humanist response would be to 'race realism' and why I think there is more going on.

Creating a fortress America, where low IQ hordes are left to fend for themselves ... it's as if after one figures a race has a low IQ, that race and those people aren't even human anymore and their suffering doesn't count ... that kind of response I don't understand ... and so I disagree.

I also don't understand the logic of allocating fewer resources to those who have little to begin with.

More importantly, white normality, there are low IQ whites as well, why all this discussion of raising the IQ of blacks uniquely? Whatever problems blacks have, whites and Asians will have them also. A general discussion unlinked to race makes more sense to me.

Finally, our world did not start out with whites being self sufficient, it took quite a bit of enslavement and technological progress for Western countries to get to the point where most white countries live in prosperity. Now that the West is roughly where they feel they want to be: Europe, Canada, Australia, they seem to figure it's the end of History. I do not believe it is the end of history. Most people in the West lived very uncomfortable lives, "poor, nasty, brutish and short", until very recently and we managed to change that without needing to practice eugenics on anybody.

Quit beating up on Vim. Sure, you have the particular facts of IQ distribution, but it seems to me that Vim is arguing about absolute performance, not relative performance.

Yes, for regular academic subjects, if you have higher IQ and lower IQ students exposed to the same material with the same teaching techniques, and they put in the same amount of work, then the higher IQ people will get farther, faster. So what? That's no excuse for not getting students to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic.

To put it on a non-controversial footing, let's consider athletic ability. I have very low athletic aptitude. I was always dead last in running and any kind of speed test. But that didn't mean I couldn't be trained to run a mile in a decent amount of time. But to get to that marker, I had to work harder than other people. I knew that. I didn't try to aim for the 4-minute mile, but I reached something more within my grasp and did train to get there.

So I say make reasonable targets for educational attainment, and let students know that some will have to work much harder to get there. I agree with those who think "college for all!" is ridiculous, but I don't think it's ridiculous to have good, basic educational standards to hold the vast majority of students, no matter the IQ, to. Have high school diplomas that stand for a particular level of achievement, to indicate you can do certain functions, though not necessarily higher abstract thinking.

Part of my opinion is colored from family experience, as I've got relatives who have dealt with the mentally retarded in various venues, and in particular, I sat in on my grandmother's middle school special ed class. There was a definite limitation to what they'd be able to accomplish in that comprehension of life in general was low; however, they could be (and were) taught very basic reading skills and counting. This was far beyond what anybody would attempt in earlier times. Many of these students would end up in very unskilled labor jobs, but that's better than sitting around in a group home staring at the TV.

There are obvious relative differences, and I think it's not helpful to fixate on the relative marks as opposed to absolute ones.

Out here in the wilderness of Suffolk County teaching is scarcely an underpaid occupation. As far as I recall the median salary is way, way up in the five figures and many teachers have broken the 100K barrier.

On a different note, I am utterly sick and tired of hearing all these admiring comments about the high IQ scores of NE Asians. High scores haven't done much for China, the quintessential Bart Simpson underachiever of nations, which only in the past few decades has emerged from a pronounced, centuries-long decline. And even today people in much of the country live in backwardness and poverty, and of course China is completely undemocratic. Oh, and while we're on the topic, high IQ's definitely have done jack s*** for the Koreans unlucky enough to live north of the DMZ.

Vim,

You complain how poor and victimized blacks are, yet you refuse to look at one of the principle reasons (low IQ with a high genetic basis). You also seem opposed to any form of eugenenic welfare that would address this core genetic deficiency.

What do you offer? More whining, victimization and conspiracy theories - anything but real help that would begin to address the problem.

You've regurgitated the classical liberal cant for everyone here to a T. If you don't want eugenics, no one is going to force it upon you. I'm sure they'll be many others willing who will be eager to utilize the techonology for the benefit of their offspring.

Peter, don't you guys have cops making 6 figures too? Man, am I in the wrong line of work!

anonymous1:

"It was quite revealing that razib and GC (both S. Asians) didn't go ape sh%t like Vim when confronted by the possibility that their own group might have a low mean IQ."

That's mighty white of them. ;)

"That is the difference between being able to be objective and arguing from an emotive standpoint."

I agree with J. Gould. Pick a side. I don't expect you to agree with me at all. Nobody's mind ever really changes on this stuff anyway unless they are open. It's like arguing liberal vs conservative points. It's just fun to quarrel about it. It is rare that people are ever going to back down.

Hopefully you will read the stuff I mentioned as I think it would be helpful to you in developing a fuller perspective.

As for myself, I am not all that concerned about the 'test gap'. It will be fixed or it won't be.

Like I said, I'd be more impressed with eugenic policy proposals if the cut off was 160 instead of 100. Then I could buy it was being recommeded in good faith. Seems like everybody makes the cutoff for what is OK the same as their IQ (lol).

I am utterly sick and tired of hearing all these admiring comments about the high IQ scores of NE Asians. High scores haven't done much for China, the quintessential Bart Simpson underachiever of nations

Do you realize that the ethnic Chinese have economically, culturally and intellectually dominated many of their neighboring low-IQ nations? Have you looked at the number of Chinese relative to their population at any elite undergrad or graduate program? Can you do a scan of authors for Chinese surnames in any academic journal in the sciences, engineering, medicine, math, physics, etc? Ever wonder why there are so many rich and success Chinese doctors, businesspeople, etc in the West?

Have you witnessed any of the rising economic fortunes of China, especially wrt America, despite their very late start at modernization? Despite their brutal economic colonalization by European powers which forced large scale opium trade into China at gunpoint to correct Europe's first major trade imbalances.

Do you ever wonder why NE Asian and countries like Taiwan and Singapore which high NE Asian populations were able to overcome the hurdles of colonialism and become 1st world economic powers?

If I'd live long enough, I'd bet you 10:1 that today's N.Koreans will be living far better than most all of Africa, Latin America and non-oil blessed Middle Easterns. The Global economy is all about human intellectual capital.

blank:

You are forgetting China has a billion people. It is definitely underperforming relative to any Western country. For that matter, Japan is underperforming too in terms of Nobels or Fields or things like that.

And as for overcoming the hurdles of colonialism, the green revolution is a big part of that. Before the green revolution, I am not sure they were doing too much. Sometimes food in the belly is needed for there to be thoughts in the head.

You are also forgetting Singapore is multicutural. It is not strictly NE Asian at all.

Vim:
"Hopefully you will read the stuff I mentioned as I think it would be helpful to you in developing a fuller perspective."

Right now, I am reading False Gods (a Warhammer 40k sci- fi novel). Prior to that I was reading J. Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel. I go from the sublime to the ridiculous. :)

However, I am seriously going to try to get to Gould. He's been dissected quite a bit on GNXP, but I plan on evaluating him myself. Likewise, I would ask you to take a look at the exhaustive post by Jason Malloy defending Watson that I linked to when you have the time.

Returning to the original issue raised by the NY Times article: Let me restate my bona fides on the subject and remind old and new readers alike that I (a white male) graduated from a large inner-city Jersey City high school in the 90s where the average SAT score was below 800. To boot, I personally was held back and had to repeat my junior year due to excessive absences. There were very few whites in the school - most of them were immigrants or 1st generation Americans from Poland...I was there because my mom worked for the city and there was a residency requirement; I refused to go to Catholic school and wear a uniform so I went to public schools. Here is my 2 cents:

The majority of the teachers were good but a carpenter can only work with the tools you give him, and it's simply not fair to blame the teachers (or even the princicpal, the BOE, etc...) when the most obvious culprit is the students themselves and the anti-intellectual culture they glorify. Most the students were not serious about school. Half the boys were class clowns and an enormous amount of time is wasted (mostly by the students) on things that have nothing to do with academics. I didn't take calculus until college and I remember thinking to myself at the time "I can't imagine anybody from my high school actually passing this class." That was probably an exaggeration, but not by much...

My impression was that parents just wanted their kids to graduate and didn't really care about grades or the rigor of the courses. Some teachers (the older ones) who had been at the school since the 1960s and 70s were lazy and abused their accumulated sick days and seemed indifferent, but I can't blame them. The black teachers were a mixed bag - I had an older black woman who was a wonderful teacher and another younger one who, in hindsight, was definitely not qualified to teach anywhere.

I'm rambling, but I think it is a great distraction to blame the parents when the focus should be on the students and their families. If you don't have the balls to blame the students and their families, then you should at least stop blaming the teachers and instead advocate for drastic reform because the status quo is pretty awful. The biggest impediment, as I see it, is not the school bureaucracy, but the lethal combination of below average IQ + a prevailing culture that is unenlightened about the world. There is a willful ignorance that dominates the worldview of my former student peers and despite the accessibility of knowledge today, the appeal and accessibility of low-brow culture is stronger.

I am in large agreement with the poster at 5:09 who, while not referring to just inner-city schools, advocated discipline and career paths based on vocational and technical skills for students.

correction: should have said "blame the teachers" not the "parents" in the second to last paragraph

my bad

Have you witnessed any of the rising economic fortunes of China, especially wrt America, despite their very late start at modernization?

30-odd years of rapid economic growth is not yet cause for celebration when it follows at least 500 years of stagnation and sometimes decline. Moreover, as I pointed out, much of China isn't sharing in today's growth, and China isn't even remotely democratic.


Despite their brutal economic colonalization by European powers which forced large scale opium trade into China at gunpoint to correct Europe's first major trade imbalances.

If national IQ is so vitally important, why did the Chinese allow themselves to be economically colonized by the Europeans? Heck, why didn't China colonize Europe?

I'm not saying that a nation's IQ ranking is meaningless, but it's not the be-all and end-all that many people here seem to think it is.

Peter:
"Heck, why didn't China colonize Europe?"

Guns, Germs and Steel by J. Diamond

Vim:
"More importantly, white normality, there are low IQ whites as well, why all this discussion of raising the IQ of blacks uniquely?"

You read way too into stuff and arrive at dubious conclusions because of it. A proposal to help the condition of blacks was to utilize voluntary eugenics. Please show me exactly where someone said that this would be exclusively used on blacks and no one else. Other races would be understandably irate at this suggestion.

"Creating a fortress America, where low IQ hordes are left to fend for themselves ... it's as if after one figures a race has a low IQ, that race and those people aren't even human anymore and their suffering doesn't count ... that kind of response I don't understand ... and so I disagree."

Again, you're arriving at a conclusion that you are suggesting other people espouse. Please show me where anyone says that low IQs would be left to fend for themselves. The issues discussed to ameliorate lower performing groups included possibly giving them better teachers and directing them to vocational training.

"Like I said, I'd be more impressed with eugenic policy proposals if the cut off was 160 instead of 100. Then I could buy it was being recommeded in good faith. Seems like everybody makes the cutoff for what is OK the same as their IQ (lol)."

I am not sure what you are talking about here. Voluntary eugenics would presumably allow any parent, for example, to maximize the genes for IQ for their progeny as much as possible. It might even be higher than 160, btw.

"I am utterly sick and tired of hearing all these admiring comments about the high IQ scores of NE Asians. High scores haven't done much for China, the quintessential Bart Simpson underachiever of nations, which only in the past few decades has emerged from a pronounced, centuries-long decline."

The operative word is "decline." Yes, it is true that China has been mired in poverty, backwardness, and Marxist despotism in recent centuries following their "decline." Prior to this "decline," China was the most economically, technologically, and culturally advanced country in the world. That China adopted a communist government in 1949 only exacerbated the nation's centuries-long woes. However, since Deng Xiaoping opened China to free market forces in the late 1970s, the nation's economic growth has been among the fastest in the world.

The largely ethnic Chinese nations/quasi-nations of Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong are holding their own with respect to first-world status. NE Asian Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong rank ahead of such prominent white nations as Germany, France, and Italy in terms of per capita GDP (based on purchasing power parity). Taiwan is only trivially behind these selfsame white polities. South Korea is not faring too badly in the world market as well. Of course, as an above poster mentioned, NE Asians are excelling in Western universities at levels wildly disproportionate to their numbers.

Using the Chinese and North Korean adoption of communism to disqualify or undermine the utility and effectiveness of NE Asian higher intelligence is disingenuous. Is not Marxism a white ideological development? Did not quite a few white nations adopt communism in the 20th century?

Nonetheless, I will concede that it is indeed curious that the five non-communist NE Asian nations of Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea, while being the top five smartest countries, are not the per capita top five richest countries. Some blame narrower intelligence distribution; others blame bifurcated IQ (lower verbal IQ to non-verbal). Maybe Half Sigma is right. Wealth is contingent upon more than raw intelligence. Perhaps being too much of a nerd militates against economic success to a degree, both at the individual and global levels.

DAJ:
"Prior to this "decline," China was the most economically, technologically, and culturally advanced country in the world. "

Not true. Read Measuring Human Accomplishment by C. Murray. At least until 1950, the vast amount of scientific achievements were developed by European males or people whose descendants were Europeans.

Before Vim chimes in about how this is part of the great global anti- black conspiracy, Murray arrived at all of his conclusions using historiography to take the subjectivity out of the process and doesn't include human history after 1950 (I think) or before written history (leaving open the possibility of a lot of advancements made by pre- historic groups).

"Prior to this "decline," China was the most economically, technologically, and culturally advanced country in the world. "

"Not true. Read Measuring Human Accomplishment by C. Murray. At least until 1950, the vast amount of scientific achievements were developed by European males or people whose descendants were Europeans."

Thanks for correcting me. I have also read Murray's Human Accomplishment. Perhaps I was not sufficiently specific. I was referring to the height of Chinese civilization vis-à-vis Europe during most of the medieval period. Was not China the richest nation during most of the medieval period? Did not Europe suffer a Dark Age, or a "decline"? Were not the groundbreaking white scientific/philosophical developments of antiquity mostly lost or forgotten among Europeans during this Dark Age? Was not China faring well economically in comparison to Europe during this period?

Also, NE Asian (typically Korean, Japanese, Chinese) have high IQs while other S Asians no so much. I wonder what the NE Asian IQ would be broken out from the umbrella Asian group.

Typically they are. IQs for the Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese are typically estimated at somewhere around 103-105.

Nonetheless, I will concede that it is indeed curious that the five non-communist NE Asian nations of Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea, while being the top five smartest countries, are not the per capita top five richest countries. Some blame narrower intelligence distribution; others blame bifurcated IQ (lower verbal IQ to non-verbal). Maybe Half Sigma is right. Wealth is contingent upon more than raw intelligence. Perhaps being too much of a nerd militates against economic success to a degree, both at the individual and global levels.

It is difficult to quantify, but I think there may be some truth to the idea that Asians are less creative than whites. The Chinese serendipitously discovered gunpowder hundreds of years before Europeans encountered it. In the hands of Europeans, gunpowder lead to the development of firearms in short order. In the hands of the Chinese, it lead to little more than the development of firecrackers.

It might also have something to do with the distribution of IQ scores among races. As La Griffe du Lion has repeatedly discussed, whites have a rather flat bell curve compared to other races. This leads to a greater percentage of whites who are either above and below the norm compared to other races.

It is difficult to quantify, but I think there may be some truth to the idea that Asians are less creative than whites. The Chinese serendipitously discovered gunpowder hundreds of years before Europeans encountered it. In the hands of Europeans, gunpowder lead to the development of firearms in short order. In the hands of the Chinese, it lead to little more than the development of firecrackers.

Sorry, I can't spell tonight. 'Led' not 'lead.'

Before I endure the wrath of some of you historians, let me make some additional specifications. I understand that after what is generally recognized as the fall of Rome, the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine) was initially the principal inheritor of the achievements of classical European antiquity, while the Western Roman Empire lagged, lulled, and regressed.

peter
You are conflating the failings of corrupt and destructive government systems with the underlying high IQ of Chinese. There are countless examples of how the high IQ of the Chinese (Highest average in the world is Hong Kong at 107) have excelled due in large part to high IQ.

Much of China is being left behind, principally the likely low-IQ rural peasants like everywhere else in the world. Similarly, in Israel the high-IQ Ashkenazi Jews dominate over the lower-IQ groups like Sephardic and Ethiopians. Same, the same goes for India with purportedly higher IQ castes ruling over the lower-IQ castes. This is the same for most other places in history that established civilizations that enforced rule of law, especially for trade and property. Is this not a argument for the utility of a high-IQ?
Defining the type of government a particular country has (e.g. Democratic) is both open to debate and may be weakly related to a populations underlying IQ.
The Chinese got lazy. They not unjustly considered themselves the pinnacle of advanced human society for hundreds of years. Their neighbors were small, weak, and little to offer China that she already didn’t possess. China is the “middle country” because it thought itself the center of the world. It had little interest in colonialinizing nearby savages much less the smelly hairy barbarians from far-away Europe. Without direct external competition, China ultimately fell into a decadent stagnation while war-torn Europe caught up and surpasses it as competition can do wonders for achievement (imagine if the original Roman Empire had continue to decay and stagnate for hundreds of more years that it did).
As much as there is to admire in Asia, Europe has been the engine of innovation and intellectualism since the Renaissance. Both Asia’s and Europe’s relatively success in world history is undeniably do in no small part to the higher IQ human populations found there (higher on average for NE Asia and higher number of absolute geniuses in the case of Europe).

[sarcasm]

How about we distribute a test that measures basic knowledge to everyone in this country. Anybody who scores below 65, gets a date with the gas chamber?

It's just one of the many favors we can do for our precious ruling class. After all, they are genetically entitled to it!

[/sarcasm]


How about we distribute a test that measures basic knowledge to everyone in this country. Anybody who scores below 65, gets a date with the gas chamber?


We don't have to. As Linda Gottfredson and others point out, life is an IQ test.

Further, what complicates things is that males tend to eliminate deleterious alleles from the genome (as they more frequently die without issue than females do) while females tend to keep them in the gene pool.

Moreover, since females are better able to select (except for the very small number of very desirable males) they tend to have a greater selective effect.

Jim Beam

Why do dreamy-eyed Bosheviks like you force every issue to intellectual absolutes: either 100% perfect equality in every regard or mass extermination.

Have you learned nothing from the lessons of your Dear Lenin and Uncle Joe? Although they tried to wipe the slate clean and eliminate all the corrosive remains of the bourgeois, the clergy, the kulaks and other counter revolutionaries (~30M), they still didn't create their new Soviet man.

Can you just deal with reality in all it's shades of grey? Are you so blinded by the hope of ideology that you really cannot see the obvious differences between distinct groups of people that is intuitively obvious and has been exhaustively and consistently confirmed via science?

Are science, common sense and your own lying eyes counter revolutionary in your mind too? How do we wipe these out as well dear comrade?

Like Dr. Phil says: You can't change what you don't acknowledge.

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