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February 25, 2012


The real question is why there aren't more of HS's people at Stuyvesant. After all, the Ashkenazim are supposed to be the smartest people on earth, and American-born Ashkenazim are supposed to be the smartest of all. And it's not as if New York is lacking in terms of Ashkenazi population.

I mean if you set up a school for gifted kids and then some groups start studying for the entrance exam... it is reasonable to reevaluate.

There have been some articles in the WaPo about the science/tech magnet school in Northern VA, Thomas Jefferson, in which the lack of diversity is bemoaned. Like Stuyvesant, it is majority Asian and minority white, which never seems to represent a "diversity" problem.

There has also been some talk about "tweaking" the admissions (which are based on a standardized test) so that more stupid, worthless NAMs can get in.

Half Sigma

admission to the high prestige public high schools in manhattan is a function of score on the admission test
but score on the admission test is a function of IQ plus work ethic

As you know, back when you were young and taking the test, there were huge numbers of ashkenazi children with the same work ethic as northeast asian children

today, the iq of ashkenazi children hasn't gone down but the work ethic certainly has

so therefore you see dramatically fewer ashkenazi and dramatically more northeast asians at the prestige high schools

perhaps you should comment on this factor

in my humble opinion work ethic of ashkenazi is falling and you see it in terms of reduced ashkenazi representation in fields that require huge work ethic like medicine.

ashkenazi are going in to more fields that don't require super hard work


TJ has the same percentage of whites as Fairfax County where it is located.

One of the odd facts about TJ is the number of Chinese students who squatted in Fairfax County in order to be eligible to attend. The children and their mother move into a rental unit in Fairfax before the children start eight grade. If the child is admitted to TJ, the mother remains. If the child does not get in, the family moves on.

I suspect that is it much easier for Chinese student to squat in NYC than in Fairfax Virginia and that many of the Asian students are not real residents of NYC or even real residents of the U.s.

How can we get rid of the NYTimes? I think that would be a coup for humanity.

Georgia Resident,
Stuyvesant isn't quite the path of upward mobility that it used to be. At least according to some of my relatives who still live in NYC, there is now concern among some NYC Jews that the intense competition is a hindrance in gaining admission to top universities. After all, the Ivies will only take so many people from one school, and not everyone can rank at the top of the class.

"And it's not as if New York is lacking in terms of Ashkenazi population."

What matters is the number of secular middle class Ashkenazim who live in the 5 boroughs. I would guess that's a much smaller number than the total Ashkenazi population of greater New York.

I suspect that a large percentage of New York Ashkenazim are either (1) secular middle class Jews living in North Jersey, Westchester, or Long Island who are therefore ineligible to attend Stuyvesant; (2) ultra-religious types living in Brooklyn who attend yeshivas; or (3) secular ultra-rich types living in Manhattan who go to fancy private schools.

PEW research center recently published a study that claims "intermarried" couples are on the rise from 8% to 15% of all newly weds and among the newly wed couples, those who are the combination of Asian-Caucasian make the most money, while households of two Asians or Caucasians households are close second and thirds.

Again more evidence that Asians (Chinese, South Korean and Japanese) are model minorities!


I'm sure in 10-20 years there will be affirmative action against Asians and females.

Assuming there's a reasonable gender balance among the 72.5% of the students who are Asian, the school must be an absolute paradise on Earth if you're a nerdy white boy.

Bitter Tractal? Would studying cut into your WoW time?

It's true that the Jews aren't as hungry as they might have been 30 - 100 yrs ago in NYC. Save for some Russian immigrants, most the Ashkenazi teenagers who actually live in NYC are from elite/wealthy families in Manhattan (or Riverdale) and don't number as many you might think. On the other hand, there are tens and tens of thousands of Asian teenagers in NYC today...They're hungrier and have parents that insist they shoot for the elite high schools.


If the nerdy white boy is trying to keep up with the hyperdriven Asians, then the white boy does not have much time to spare for the ladies.

that is what the game people always gloss over. IF you put all of your time into chasing women, then someone else gets to make the money and run the place.

"How can we get rid of the NYTimes? I think that would be a coup for humanity."

Then what will people read to help them avoid eye contact in the subway? The Post? Remember, Rupert Murdoch owns the Post.

That's interesting. One thing I've noted is that the competition to get into Stuyvestant in recent years has intensified as its chief competitor (and my alma mater) Bronx Science, seems to have fallen out of favor. I'm guessing that has much to do with its location and related excessive commuting time and costs. I read a while ago that only about 20% of Science students now live in the Bronx, compared with well over 50% back then (including me). This is not surprising, given the collapse of the Bronx since the mid-70s.

Back then we had some really intrepid types who made the trek from the further reaches of Queens on bus and subway. Today there are special buses that parents pay for in order to bring the kids in. If Science continues to be mired in controversy (see coverage in NYTimes about the social studies dept.) and locationally disadvantaged, I can't see how it will last another ten years in its current location.

Until then, however, I can't help but wonder if the same racial breakdown exists there as well.

"most the Ashkenazi teenagers who actually live in NYC are from elite/wealthy families in Manhattan (or Riverdale) and don't number as many you might think"

Many of the Ashkenazi teens in the city are Orthodox or Hasidic. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if a majority of them belong to one of these groups. Hasidic teens would attend religious schools, I'm not certain but I believe the Orthodox usually would too.

@Jay M

I thought civil society read WSJ, FT and/or Foreign Affairs.

I doubt many Jews want to go to Stuyvesant anymore. It's an Asian school. Jews are more and more embedded in the white elite, and are more common no doubt at fancy private schools or schools in the suburbs, schools which are majority white.


Studying for a high school admissions test is a waste of time. Society benefits nothing by having people spend their afternoons cramming for such tests. All it does is make the entire process less efficient. Remember, admissions systems are in place for specific reasons. Admissions are not competition for competitions sake. They are designed to accomplish some end, in this case maximizing the potential in the cognitively gifted NYCrs.

With that in mind, studying for these tests is a serious problem. The students end up being less gifted, because some of the kids get there by simple grinding. Brighter students lose slots, and duller students waste their youth cramming. In essence, it is a classic collective action problem. If everyone was willing to send their kids to pointless cram schools, the Asian advantage would radically diminish, but everyone would be worse off because now we are all wasting our time in cram schools. Asian cramming behavior is analogous to defection in a CAP. It doesn't take virtue to send your kid to a cram school.

This behavior is bad for society at large. It advantages the studiers at the expense of everyone else. It hampers the schools purpose.

And no, I'm not bitter. I attended a test based high school like this one, and it really is a good thing for gifted kids. It is important to take really gifted learners out of the general population, for both parties. But with numbers like 72% Asian, it is extremely likely gifted children are being replaced by try hards. The same thing is occurring in college admissions, but less dramatically. Asians are disproportionately investing in test prep, and are basically exploiting our meritocratic apparatus. It is a minor but legitimate problem.

It sure feels like ‘minority’ and ‘diversity’ is code for having some black people.

I was working on a NYC construction site (2% white) and two lawyers came down to tell me “You don’t have enough minority workers” to which I replied “I’m glad you are here because I’m the only white guy, can you help me to get more white workers?” their reply was “No, you don’t have enough black people.” So I said: “Oh wow, I really didn’t know that, so how many black people do we need?” they told me two (which would be 4% of our staff). So they gave us two black people (or were they colored, it’s so hard to tell by looking) and one was a perfectly fine fellow, but the girl they gave us kind of felt like warts that could only be removed through hostile litigation, it was almost as if she was trying to start a lawsuit with anyone she got to know by name.

The NAACP is an ironic name for a group that theoretically opposes racist policies as the opposite of racism isn’t reverse racism but equality without bias to race; oh and they don’t like to be called ‘colored people’, or maybe just some of them don’t. With construction laborers we found that not even size or apparent strength made for a good worker, the only things that mattered is if they kept showing up on time, ready to try to give us a good days work; and for safety there had to be a shred of a common language, so when someone says “duck” the poor soul doesn’t just turn and look.


Long time, first time. One of your on going series which really struck a chord with me was investigating the upbringing of NYT writers, and telling how elite they actually were. Can you write more of those, or was the heat too high?

"TJ has the same percentage of whites as Fairfax County where it is located."

Not quite.

Fairfax County in 2010:

47.1% white
9.2% black
15.6% Hispanic
17.6% Asian

TJ high school:


43.6% white
1.6% black
2.1% Hispanic
46.4% Asian

"Society benefits nothing by having people spend their afternoons cramming for such tests."

If black and Hispanic thugs spent their afternoons cramming for tests instead of terrorizing everyone around them, society would benefit a lot!

"If the nerdy white boy is trying to keep up with the hyperdriven Asians, then the white boy does not have much time to spare for the ladies"

What I mean is that if he simply wants a girlfriend, being at Stuyvesant will make the quest much easier.


You are really going to nitpick over 3% Of course, since the whites are generally older than Hispanics, the real question is what percentage of fairfax county high school students are white.

Also, TJ can only be started when one is a freshmen but many student do drop out, mostly due to the hyper comeptition.

I grew up in NC, which has a residential high school for gifted juniors and seniors, the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. I attended for one semester and then left.

I think the school mostly benefited the following: Asians already planning on their medical school residency, and smart, nerdy kids (of any race) from poor school districts, whose intelligence and social maladroitness made them pariahs at their base high school.

Since I came from a wealthy suburban district, and already attended a magnet school there, I came to realize I wasn't going to gain much, if anything. There were more sports and activities available at my base school, and, unlike at Science and Math, I was allowed to have a part-time job during the school year: bussing tables at the Carolina Country Club. That, more than any experience before or since, taught me how the elite behave (at least the elite in a medium-sized Sunbelt city like Raleigh).


Who has time for a girlfriend when one is trying to get into MIT, Cal Tech and does not want to attend your safety school of Carnegie-Mellon?

"You are really going to nitpick over 3%"

Why not? Blacks whine about discrimination when the "disparate impact" involves 0.1% (see http://isteve.blogspot.com/2012/02/minority-victimhood-kicks-in-above-01th.html).

I have no doubt that blacks in Fairfax County think they "deserve" 7% more slots at TJ than they are getting through merit. Don't see why I should feel any different about the white disparity.

if this is not proof that liberals hate asians idk what is. the whole article is basically bitching about how well asian students do, and why they are not letting more blacks and hispanics into these schools. as if asian students are taking something away from black and hispanic students. liberals love blacks and hispanics because they know they dont have to compete with them economically for jobs. they are simply pawns in the chess game for increased power. thats why white liberals will aways fight for AA when its at the detriment of their economic competitors namely asians.

I believe white and asian applicants are approved at TJ at about the same rate. So the over-representation of Asians is due to the fact that a higher percentage of them apply in the first place.

That's partly surely due to the desire for Asians to go to a school where they are not such a minority; and there is probably feedback by now; probably some smart whites are not applying because TJ is too asian.


The overrepresentaiton can also be attributed to Chinese students squatting in Fairfax County.

In addition, some of the white students have interest that would be harder to pursue while at TJ but some pursuits are easier at TJ.

One of things that Fairfax County is concerned about is the lack of support they get from Asian parents.

"@Jay M

I thought civil society read WSJ, FT and/or Foreign Affairs."

WSJ used to be respectable until Murdoch purchased it. Financial Times is still reputable, as is Foreign Affairs, but they are specialized papers. If a person is on the subway then it is bad form to notice what paper or magazine they are reading anyway. Here in New England we essentially have the same rules, although many people here toast their bagels.

"The whole article is basically bitching about how well Asian students do, and why they are not letting more blacks and Hispanics into these schools."

I interpret more as introspection, as if asking the question, "Why are Blacks and Latino/as not doing as well as Asians?" Not a "bitching" per se, but an acknowledgement. Maybe they think many blacks have mental (and institutional) blocks that Asians lack, and want to discover what they are? No matter how well off Asians are at least blacks are considered fully American many Asians argue, so their success cannot be attributed to being perceived as more "American". I remember meeting a girl from China who lacked any trace of an accent, so perhaps this uncanny ability to hide accent is to blame? Of course, that is just one individual, but many from the Far East do sound like they may as well have been born here.

Half Sigma, it appears that the entrance exam to Stuvyesant is heavily loaded on math. This probably explains why the school is more heavily Asian than it otherwise might be. From the article..

"Her mother, Annmarie Miller, a nursing assistant at a hospital in the Bronx, recalled a cousin’s reaction when she mentioned Rudi’s pick: “You have to be Chinese or Indian to get in there.” A co-worker, also black, “said the exam is built to exclude blacks because it’s heavy on math, and black people can’t do math,” Mrs. Miller said."

"probably some smart whites are not applying because TJ is too asian"

As a parent, I far prefer my kids to associate with nerdy Asians than NAMs. That TJ is "too Asian" attracts me rather than deters me. If others are deterred by Asians -- good!


that sounds like is was written by someone who did not major in science and did not have classes with many Asians.

Being around Asians means being around groups that cheat, that are organized along ethnic lines, and that will grind non-asians with their work effort.

A good way to explain Fairfax county Virginia is that the junior high band directors tell parents that if there children are not taking private lessons, then the children are wasting their time.

Being in a school with Asians means test prep classes, private lessons, and no time for recreation.

"that sounds like is was written by someone who did not major in science and did not have classes with many Asians."

I went to Harvey Mudd. I know what it's like to be around Asians and major in science. (As the saying goes, some of my best friends are Asian science majors...)

I noticed their hard work. But I regard that as a PLUS if my kids are around hard-working kids. Didn't notice the cheating or the "groups organized along ethnic lines" (maybe they let me in as their token white boy).

"Being in a school with Asians means test prep classes, private lessons, and no time for recreation."

None of this is a bad thing.

Indeed, the more I can keep my kids occupied and thus diverted from the vileness of popular culture (and away from other kids who care about popular culture), the better.

HBDers are funny. According to you, Whites score higher than Blacks because they have higher IQs but whites score lower than Asians because Asians cheat. White kids are the biggest cheaters around. Almost every organized cheating scandal were exclusively done by white kids. I think we should view most white kids' exam scores as suspect.

[HS: That's NOT the contention of the author of this blog who believes that Asians score higher on IQ tests because genes that cause high IQ are more common in the Asian gene pool. Until proven otherwise. This is also consistent with Rushton's r-K theory.]

Anyone who believes that whites cheat more than Asians have never taken a science or engineering class at a university with lots of Asians.

Korea, China, and Japan have all had major scandals on college entrance exams.

My guess is that many of those Asian students at Stuyvesant did not attend NYC schools before 8th grade so that they could qualify to take the entrance exam. I would guess that there are more than a handful of Asian students who are lying about their age and education background to get admitted.

And if you want to look at the difference of culture, how many Asian kids play sports or play the guitar versus participate in study groups and play the violin.

I predict magnet schools based on field hockey, lacrosse, swimming, skiing, and soccer in the very near future.

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